CTG’s Xmas Gift Ideas (part 1): Psychological Thrillers

The holiday season is fast approaching, and along with it the search for the perfect gift. But there’s no need to panic. Hardback, paperback, audiobook or eBook, whatever your preferred format, books make a fabulous gift.

So, if you’re looking for a few ideas for the crime thriller lovers in your life (or you’re dropping a few hints about what you’d like in your Christmas stocking) here’s a recap of some of my favourite reads from 2013 …

Today’s picks: Psychological Thrillers

There have been some cracking psychological thrillers out this year, a few of my favourites are:

THE NEVER LIST cover image

THE NEVER LIST cover image

The Never List by Koethi Zan

From the very first page, no, the very first paragraph, this story had me hooked. I don’t know if it was the terrifying premise – three women imprisoned in a cellar by a man they thought that they could trust; the unwavering loyalty to her friend Jennifer that the protagonist, Sarah, maintains despite the danger that in puts her in; or the three women’s determination, against all odds and all that had happened to them, to succeed in their quest for justice and uncover the shocking truth. Whatever it was, I just couldn’t put it down.

A chilling, page-turner of a psychological thriller with one hell of a twist at the end: a real must-read for all fans of the genre.

You can check out my full review here https://crimethrillergirl.com/2013/09/04/the-never-list-by-koethi-zan/

Rush of Blood cover image

Rush of Blood cover image

Rush of Blood by Mark Billingham

Holiday friendships: sometimes they last, sometimes they don’t. But they’re usually fun while they last, and don’t usually involve murder, unlike the holiday friendships made in Mark Billingham’s standalone thriller RUSH OF BLOOD.

A cross between a police procedural and a psychological thriller, this high-tension, fast paced, character driven story is masterfully plotted and flawlessly told. It’ll also make you think twice about striking up a conversation with the people sitting round the pool or beside you on the beach next time you’re on holiday! Fabulous.

You can check out my full review here https://crimethrillergirl.com/2013/09/12/rush-of-blood-by-mark-billingham/

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cover image

cover image

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly

“She’s gone and it’s your fault. You were supposed to be watching your best friend’s 13-year-old daughter, and now she’s missing.”

Lisa’s life is beyond hectic. With her family, her job at the animal shelter, and the demands of her friends she rarely has a minute to herself. It’s easy to empathize with her, and it’s easy to understand how she might overlook the odd detail. An odd detail that leads to her worst nightmare coming true.

I finished this book in 24 hours, unable to put it down until it was finished. It also made me want to go and adopt another animal from the local shelter. If you (or the person you’re buying a gift for) enjoy fast-paced psychological thrillers with an emotional kick, then this is for you.

You can check out my full review here https://crimethrillergirl.com/2013/05/02/review-just-what-kind-of-mother-are-you-by-paula-daly/

Coming next in CTG’s Xmas Gift Ideas [part 2] – Action Thrillers …

RUSH OF BLOOD by Mark Billingham

Rush of Blood cover image

Rush of Blood cover image

What the blurb says: “Three couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on their last night, the teenage daughter of another holidaymaker goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves. When the shocked couples return home, they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties they come to know one another better. But they don’t always like what they find. Then a second girl goes missing. Could it be that one of these six has a secret far darker than anybody could imagine?”

Holiday friendships: sometimes they last, sometimes they don’t. But they’re usually fun while they last, and don’t usually involve murder, unlike the holiday friendships made in Mark Billingham’s standalone thriller RUSH OF BLOOD.

What starts out as the story of three couples from England who meet at a Florida beach resort  takes a sinister twist when the daughter of a fellow holiday maker goes missing. Back in the UK, the couples stay in contact and over the course of three dinner parties, and a few girly and blokey evenings out, discover far more about each other than they might ever have wished for.

Billingham creates a huge sense of dread for what has, and might, happen. While initially each couple seems happy in their everyday lives and relationships, as the story unfolds the reader starts to realise that no one is exactly as they seem, and some have darker secrets than others. In fact many of the characters have rather unattractive traits: they’re mean or angry or jealous or attention-seeking or rude. But, you find yourself thinking, does that make them more or less likely to be the murderer?

This is a book that keeps you guessing. As a reader you know a bad thing has happened. You’re fairly sure one of the six holiday makers is responsible. But which one, and how they did it, provides an intriguing puzzle. Helping solve that puzzle along with you is Trainee Detective Constable Jenny Quinlan– an over-eager workaholic who is determined to crack the case (and meet the Florida homicide detective – Jeffrey Gardner – whose voice she so adores).

A cross between a police procedural and a psychological thriller, this high-tension, fast paced, character driven story is masterfully plotted and flawlessly told.

It’ll also make you think twice about striking up a conversation with the people sitting round the pool or beside you on the beach next time you’re on holiday!

Highly Recommended.

 

[I bought my copy of RUSH OF BLOOD at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival]