THE REVOLVER – Peter Kim

The Revolver begins with a thrillingly atmospheric scene, where Lester Keats – a father who lost his daughter Abigail due to a traumatizing and cruel event- makes his first acquaintance with a peculiar-looking man- ‘The Nameless Man’.

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Little does Lester know that The Nameless man knows everything about him, not to mention that he has the perfect cure for this poor man’s misfortunes.
‘Will Lester Keats accept this stranger’s help?’
‘Will he go through whatever it takes to right wrongs and rid himself of the guilt that is constantly haunting him, no matter the consequences?’

The author takes us on a journey where Lester begins to witness things he could never grasp, and eventually become someone he never thought he could be.

The Revolver is a clever thriller, well-written and eerily suspenseful.

***A big thank you to Peter Kim for providing me with an advanced reading copy of The Revolver in exchange for an honest review***

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THE RETREAT – Mark Edwards

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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

In The Retreat, Mark Edwards does not only delve into the thriller genre but also thrusts the right amount of horror into his writing. No chapter goes by without an insanely shuddering scene featured within its pages.

The Retreat follows the story of horror novelist Lucas Radcliffe, who goes back to his childhood hometown- beddmawr, where he plans to settle at a writers’ retreat in hopes of getting his dose of inspiration to work on his new novel.
Let me introduce to you the remaining guests of the Retreat:

Karen Holden is a luxurious-looking woman in her fifties who loves cannabis and entertains the reader with the most hilarious conversations. My personal favorite character.

Max Lake is a literary fiction writer. He is almost always found accompanied by another guest…

Suzi Hastings, a young blonde woman who spends her writing time with Max in order to help her work on her own very first novel.

Julia. She’s the owner of the house. She’s an ex-illustrator for children’s books. She is haunted with the guilt and shame provoked by her daunting past- a tragedy that took away her entire family. Her young daughter Lily, had disappeared two years ago and everyone keeps convincing Julia that her daughter is dead. But does she truly believe that?

Things begin to get a whole lot more interesting when- as the author put it, ‘strange occurences’ start happening inside the house: a voice humming Welsh songs in the middle of the night, echoes of creepy whispers ‘you’re not welcome here’, Lucas’ belongings disappearing from his room, doors opening on their own, and more traumatizing events caused by an old scary tale of ‘The Red Widow’ – a witch who comes back to town every thirty-five years to claim a child.

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And so what begins as a writing opportunity for Lucas turns into a journey of seeking the truth and uncovering the mysteries behind the sinister happenings of the town of Beddmawr.

‘Is Julia’s daughter Lily dead as everyone claims, or might she still be alive?’
‘Is her spirit wandering around the house and haunting the guests of the Retreat?’
‘What’s exactly in the numberless room and the basement which Julia anxiously keeps off limits?’

I loved how, even when things are finally figured out, some particular characters still had some loose ends to take care of, leading to an insanely suspenseful and deliciously plotted ending.

Brilliantly written, The Retreat represents the spookiest book I’ve read this year. It’s terribly sinister and twisted, and therefore my favorite read of 2018.

The book comes out May the 10th!

***Thank you to Netgalley, Mark Edwards and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a copy of The Retreat in exchange for an honest and unbiased review***

 

THE ALIENIST – Caleb Carr

The Alienist generally features the murders of children who, in the 1890’s, belonged to a segment of society that was both despised and uninteresting to the public.

The main protagonists- crime reporter John Moore, Dr. Kreizler and female police secretary Sara Howard- set on hunting the killer with the help of forensic psychology. A killer that tortures his victims in the exact same manner- throats cut and eyes plucked out.

After the first chapter, the story draws the reader in immediately, especially when a thorough step-by-step investigation of the murderer’s psychology and what drives him to do what he does.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the analysis of a letter written by the killer himself. And I truly think fans of historical fiction, especially the ones who enjoyed novels like The Devil In The White City will enjoy this massively.

ALL BY MYSELF, ALONE – Mary Higgins Clark

Celia Kilbride, in hopes of escaping public attention concerning the arrest of her husband-to-be, proceeds to lecture on a luxurious ocean liner. On the brand new cruise ship Queen Charlotte, Celia meets Lady Emily Haywood -the owner of a priceless emerald necklace.
Three days later, Lady Emily is found dead – and her necklace is missing.

If you’ve enjoyed Murder On The Orient Express, this book is the one for you. They’re almost very similar, except the latter is a modern version of the former.

Each passenger has a dark secret they’re afraid might come out. So when an accident and then a murder occur, it’s hard to pinpoint which one is the guilty party.
Alvirah is one of the passengers. She’s very good detective and a very entertaining one also. She and Willy make it their mission to find out who the killer is before they reach Southampton- hopefully alive.

The travel is very entertaining and everyone is having a good time on one part of the ocean liner, while in an another room, there are jaw-dropping conversations that go something like:

‘Then what are you going to do about it?’
‘What are you suggesting, that I throw her overboard?’
‘If you don’t, I will.’

Aside from the sinister things happening on this luxurious cruise ship, there’s also that bit of appropriate humor that the author knows how to insert in her writing.

This is one of my personal favorite thrillers this year, and I am so happy to end 2017 with it. If this plot sounds up your alley, I highly recommend it.

SUSPENSION OF MERCY – Patricia Highsmith

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“Married, one automatically became poor, it seemed, even though one married a rather well-to-do girl. Single, poorness didn’t matter, one could do things, anyway. But a married man was a broke man, broken in spirit and pocket.”

Apart from the fact one could relate to Highsmith’s quotes, her work could never be dissapointing.

Sydney’s ideas for the book he’s currently working on keep being rejected and his work is known to not contain any plots, but in real life, Sydney is the perfect plotter.
In his mind, his agent is killed about 8 times, and the most important subject -his wife- has been murdered 20 times within his imagination. He thought it through and came up with the perfect plan for his murder. Although he needs to be careful doing so for a new neighbor, Mrs Lilybanks just moved in next door.

This fiction writer feels disrespected by his wife, Alicia, and begins to wonder if their moving into a new house was a mistake. His temper gets the better of him and he starts plotting his wife’s murder.
But it’s what happens afterwards that’s the interesting part. And when you reach the few first pages leading towards the ending, you begin to understand the meaning of the title of the book.

It’s all so engaging – the thrill of the questions the Inspector keeps on asking Sydney concerning his wife’s disappearance, the uneasiness of Mrs. Lilybanks when she confronts the husband about a missing item in their living room.

I highly recommend you read this.

BEHIND HER EYES – Sarah Pinborough

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FIVE stars don’t even do this book justice.

I have no words.

As one of the book characters said, this read will take you on a ‘mindfuck crazy’ ride.

If you’re into those stories that feature crazy things the mind can do to someone with sleep issues, night terrors and lucid dreaming; then I highly recommend you consider giving Behind Her Eyes a try.

Lately, there’s been a lot of books about the seemingly perfect couple with dark secrets behind closed doors, but this one isn’t just about the secrets. It’s something else that’s completely surreal that I never thought I’d witness while reading a thriller.

There are so many shocking discoveries all throughout the book, and two gigantic twists at the end. The second one being more jaw-dropping than the first. The kind that makes you nauseous in a WTF-just-happened kind of way. In a great way.
It’s also the kind of book you’d wanna add to your ‘to-reread’ list.
This was seriously mind blowing.

Even trying to think of books that are similar to Behind Her Eyes, I don’t think another psychological thriller would top the power this one offers.

Read. This. Book. Now!

LIE TO ME – J. T. ELLISON

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This is a gripping story about Ethan Montclair, who one morning woke up to find out his wife Sutton has disappeared from their home, leaving him a note saying not to look for her.
It’s a very engaging fast-paced thriller.
As you turn the pages, you continue to find yourself in a state of confusion. Every clue that’s uncovered leaves you even more perplexed, because nothing adds up or makes sense.
And in every few chapters, there’s a shocking discovery.
The twist at the end, concerning the guilty party, is heart-thudding.
The only thing though that kept me from giving this amazing book five stars is the last page, which brings me to my question, ‘Who the heck is Josie?’