THE SUSPECT – Fiona Barton


Fiona Barton has done it again! Only 100 pages in, THE SUSPECT (10 Jan 2019) still hadn’t ceased to keep me engaged. After that heart-wrenching twist in Fiona’s 2nd novel, I realized that I’ve actually enjoyed the author’s THE CHILD more than I did THE WIDOW, and I think that THE SUSPECT is definitely her best work!
This book is about two eighteen-year-old girls who went missing on their gap year in Thailand. Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, but she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years since he left home to go traveling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think.

A little earlier into the book, readers are already informed of what happened to the missing girls, and what remains is the mystery behind what happened after the disappearance, and is Kate’s family in any way connected to the girls?
What will Kate do once she discovers that the story she’s working on is more personal than she could ever imagine?
THE SUSPECT definitely feels like a mystery once you’re acquainted with what the story is about, but after getting to the last reveal, I realized that this was less of a mystery and more about a mother’s love for her child.
When you’re about to dive into this book, try not to focus on the solving of the mystery, because this read is NOT about that. The purpose of this book is to experience the heartbreak a mother goes through to protect her child, watch the unsettling events the missing girls have lived through when abroad, and meanwhile see a new side of Kate Waters that Barton’s readers have never seen before.

Do you think this book is up your alley? Let me know in the comments, fellow readers!

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I ALWAYS FIND YOU – John Ajvide Lindqvist

I ALWAYS FIND YOU is a Swedish horror novel that I was completely intrigued by. It’s divided into three parts. The first third is mainly dedicated to the events and struggles leading up to the day where John Lindqvist (the author himself) got the urge to start writing horror stories; like getting a place of his own in a courtyard in Luntmakargatan 14 in Stockholm, endeavoring to win in the Nordic Championships and especially John’s desire to make his living as a magician.

But John knows that the only way the inspiration for his writing could begin was to reach out to his childhood demons.
Inside the book, the reader is given actual passages from the horror story that he’s writing.

What is most frightening in this read, among other scenes, were the consecutive mysterious phone calls. that John keeps getting from an elusive caller asking for a man he thinks he lives in John’s home. There’s also something both terrifying and beautiful in the way the author describes his emotions, thoughts and the heart-thudding events that are slowly haunting his life. Things get darker with every page and then you can’t help but wonder, ‘Is there a connection between the horror he’d witnessed in the shower room, the mysterious phone calls he keeps getting and the traumatic events he’d lived through during his childhood alongside the child in the forest?’

This read is very different from anything I’ve ever read before and in fact I’m a big fan of authors whose works are encapsulated with originality and the courage to take their writing to a whole new chilling level.

I ALWAYS FIND YOU keeps getting creepier with every page: mysterious phone calls from a caller asking for a Sigge, an elusive dark force possibly dwelling in the shower room, bizarre neighbors seemingly conspiring towards something unpleasant, etc. This read – being a semi-autobiography – focuses more on the obstacles faced by the protagonist to make his living as a magician than on the horror element, which is delivered in consecutively increased portions throughout the book and in its entire intensity in the last pages.

With that being said, I do think that fans of horror will devour this read and appreciate the way the author delves into this genre.

THE FAIRFAX INCIDENT – Terrence McCauly

Protagonist Charlie Doherty is a private investigator, who finds himself endeavoring to solve a case of suicide that is in fact not as simple as it seems, one that is actually more mysterious and sinister than he could imagine.
After being hired by a widow to investigate the elusive death of her husband who’s a wealthy businessman, Charlie realizes that he’s embarking on a journey he wasn’t quite expecting, and it’s then that the plot thickens and gets more engaging.
This may be a work of fiction but it is also a thought provoking read.
The events are absolutely entertaining, along with the impeccably written dialogue and the atmosphere in which these two elements take place.
Fantastic plot and huge unexpected bombshells.
I cannot wait to see what this author comes up with next!
If you’re a big fan of crime/historical fiction and espionage thrillers, I highly recommend you read this.

FORGET MY NAME – J. S. Monroe

“I can’t remember my own name.”

This book might just be one the most talked-about thrillers this month! Without further ado, here’s what this read is about…

FORGET MY NAME (Oct. 4th) is about a woman who has no memory of who she is. When she arrives at a train station one morning, she realizes that her bag was stolen. When she tries to report the theft, she discovers that she…can’t remember her own name.
In no time, this mysterious woman with no name is the talk of the town, and her presence is causing a great deal of disturbance in the community.

About 1/3 into this book, the suspense element is already in motion. For instance, earlier in the book, there’s already suspicion that our protagonist possibly shares a name with a former mental institute patient who’d murdered her best friend right after warning the police that she’d commit the murder. Is it a coincidence that our main character also used to have a friend who died, under circumstances that are currently unknown?
The reader is constantly put into multiple ‘but how?‘ confusion moments as new revelations are learned, which makes this read THE perfect page-turner that you can’t put down!

The suspense increases as we watch this woman run for her life, afraid of what she could be – is she the sort of person who’d commit such a horrible murder? – and frustrated as to whether she could succeed to find out her real identity. Nevertheless, an explosive plot twist in the middle of the book occurs, and it’s after that that things start to get more active and the reader begins to question the characters’ motives – who to trust and who not to.
It’s that kind of read where you think you know what’s going on when there are ugly truths that are yet to be revealed.

So, who’s the mystery woman with no name?
What secrets could the couple living in her house possibly hide?
Why are certain characters strongly interested in our protagonist?
Will she possibly get out of this rollercoaster alive?

The ending gives such deeply disturbing and gasp-worthy revelations, then succeeds to offer a conclusion that is absolutely satisfying for the reader.

Are you excited to get your copy? Is this book up your alley? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

DEVIL’S DAY – Andrew Michael Hurley

Like every other autumn, John Pentecost returns to the farm where he grew up in the Endlands only to find that his grandfather – The Gaffer – had died. Each year, in order to keep the sheep safe from the Devil, redraws the boundary lines of the village with pen and paper. But as the farmers bury the Gaffer, they begin to wonder whether they let the Devil in after all.

This is definitely one of those moody slow-paced reads that I love, where the suspense element is absolutely engaging.

I was equally impressed by the writing, which was so captivating and pulls you in very easily.
What I also loved about DEVIL’S DAY, is that sense of serenity when you’re being sucked into this world where nature is dominant and creates this addictive moody atmosphere all throughout the book. But then anxiety arises within the reader as secrets and dark backgrounds are revealed petal by petal, and the suspense grows as you begin to wonder how the story could possibly unfold.
DEVIL’S DAY succeeds to draw the reader in partly due to its setting, having been taken place inside a village, and also to its quietness, which adds a soft touch to the beauty of the book.

With that being said, DEVIL’S DAY is not fully an action-packed thriller. Its atmospheric aspect is what takes over, and it generally focuses more on the writing style rather than on the story’s eventfulness. Which makes it the kind of read with which you can unwind – a comfort read.

What are your thoughts on this book, fellow bookworms? Let’s discuss!

THE MYSTERY OF THREE QUARTERS – Sophie Hannah

How wonderful is it to witness our most beloved Detective, Hercule Poirot, being resurrected by one of the most talented authors? Very much, I would say! And Sophie Hannah ingeniously does so in the most fascinating manner.

“This house is like a glacier with walls and a roof.”

This is what you’ll feel once you enter Combingham Hall, the residence where the death of our main victim – Barnabas Pandy, took place.

Four letters signed in the name of Poirot.
A typewriter with a crooked letter.
An unnaturally wet dress.

Could these elements be connected to the alleged murder of Barnabas Pandy?

*Synopsis*

In The Mystery Of Three Quarters, someone dangerous is toying with Detective Hercule Poirot!
He begins to receive consecutive visits from people claiming that he had sent each of them a letter, accusing them of murdering a man named Barnabas Pandy; whose death had already been officially ruled an accident.
Poirot, though, has never heard of a Barnabas Pandy and has accused nobody of murder.

So, who could have sent these letters?
Was Barnabas’ death really an accident, or was he murdered? Why would anyone even go to great lengths to murder a 94-year-old man?
Will Poirot solve such an intricate puzzle without putting more lives in danger?

A cold-blooded killer might be playing games with our Detective, but Poirot is already putting his tricks and clever endeavours in motion!
In the First Quarter, chilling discoveries are made, and it seems that this isn’t such an easily-solved case.

Are these letter-receivers independent from one another or is there a link that connects them?

The dialogue is so impeccably clever all throughout this book, and as for the ending, as much as I’d love to talk about it, I will leave it for you to enjoy. But I will say, you will find your heart thumping endlessly by the time you get to the Mystery of The Fourth Quarter!

At one point, all of the suspects’ backgrounds are revealed, which makes it easier for the reader to sympathise with each one of them and not want any of them to be the perpetrator. Also, it was most definitely a pleasure traveling – through Detective Poirot – into the complex minds of all these characters.

If you’re a big Poirot fan, and especially if you’ve enjoyed mysteries such as Crooked House -Agatha’s personal favorite book that she’s written, you will undoubtedly devour Sophie Hannah’s third addition to the ‘New Hercule Poirot‘ Series!

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What are your thoughts on this book? Is The Mystery Of Three Quarters on your reading list? Let’s discuss in the comments, fellow readers!

THE LAST NIGHT OUT – Catherine O’Connell

Crime readers, I introduce to you one of the most outstanding YA whodunnit reads of 2018!

Six friends with shocking secrets.

A bride to be.

A murder.
I had so much fun leafing through the pages of this book. If you’re a fan of young adult thrillers, you need to get yourself this addictive page-turner as soon as possible!

This is my first Catherine O’Connell read and diving into it was such a thrilling experience. Apart from the tremendously captivating cover, The Last Night Out pulled me in until the very last page.
This book is a suspense novel about a girl Angie’s murder after a get-together at a bachelorette party with her friends one night. And that is when Detective O’Reilly zeroes in on the girls and steps in to find the killer before he/she strikes again, but there’s only one conclusion: One of them is lying.
What secrets are they keeping?
Will the killer be caught before there’s another victim?
A lot of aspects make this plot intriguing, such as the victim having been murdered a while after being delivered home safely, one of her friends – the bride-to-be – waking up with a stranger in her bed, and some of Angie’s acquaintances reacting unnaturally to the news of her murder.
I loved this book. A brilliant page-turner. It will grab your attention from page number One and take you through a series of gasp-worthy twists and turns. The ending will take everything you think you know away from you with an explosive twist you won’t even see coming.
***A big thank you to Severn House Publishers and Catherine O’Connell for providing me with an ARC of THE LAST NIGHT OUT in exchange for an honest review***