Here’s what I’m most looking forward to reading before Christmas and the New Year rolls around… it may seem ages away but it’s really not! There are loads of titles on my TBR list and plenty of others I don’t own/ have for review but which I’d like to, so to keep things (sort of) succinct, I’m sticking to those I own for now, and have picked my top 10 (in no particular order)…
Shattered – Allison Brennan
Over a span of twenty years, four boys have been kidnapped from their bedrooms, suffocated, and buried nearby in a shallow grave. Serial killer or coincidence?
That’s the question investigative reporter Maxine Revere sets out to answer when an old friend begs her to help exonerate his wife, who has been charged with their son’s recent murder. But Max can do little to help because the police and D.A. won’t talk to her—they think they have the right woman. Instead, Max turns her attention to three similar cold cases. If she can solve them, she might be able to help her friend.
Justin Stanton was killed twenty years ago, and his father wants closure—so he is willing to help Max with her investigation on one condition: that she work with his former sister-in-law— Justin’s aunt, FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid. Trouble is, Max works alone, and she’s livid that her only access to the case files, lead detective and witnesses depends on her partnering with a federal agent on vacation. She wants the career-making story almost as much as the truth—but if she gets this wrong, she could lose everything.
Haunted by Justin’s death for years, Lucy yearns to give her family—and herself—the closure they need. More important, she wants to catch a killer. Lucy finds Max’s theory on all three cases compelling—with Max’s research added to Lucy’s training and experience, Lucy believes they can find the killer so justice can finally be served. But the very private Lucy doesn’t trust the reporter any more than Max trusts her.
Max and Lucy must find a way to work together to untangle lies, misinformation, and evidence to develop a profile of the killer. But the biggest question is: why were these boys targeted? As they team up to find out what really happened the night Justin was killed, they make a shocking discovery: Justin’s killer is still out there … stalking another victim … and they already may be too late.
Don’t Wake Up – Liz Lawler
Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table.
The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.
The offer he makes her is utterly unspeakable.
But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.
And then she meets the next victim.
So compulsive you can’t stop reading.
So chilling you won’t stop talking about it.
A pitch-black and devastatingly original psychological thriller.
The Spark Girl – Fiona Ford
Spring 1940. Kitty Williams has suffered more than her fair share of tragedy but rather than wallowing, she’s more determined than ever to do her part in the battle against Hitler. Stepping up her own war effort, Kitty leaves her home town of Coventry and joins the Auxiliary Territorial Service (Women’s Army – ATS) where she finds new friends in Di, Peggy and Mary but also new obstacles to overcome in both her professional and personal lives.
Can You Keep A Secret? – Karen Perry
It’s been twenty years since Lindsey has seen her best friend Rachel
Twenty years since she has set foot in Thornbury Hall – the now crumbling home of the Bagenal family – where they spent so much time as teenagers. Since Patrick Bagenal’s 18th birthday party, the night everything changed . . . for good.
It’s time for a reunion.
Patrick has decided on one last hurrah before closing the doors of his family home for good. All of the old crowd, back together for a weekend.
For the secrets to come out
It’s not long before secrets begin to float to the surface. Everything that Lindsey shared with her best friend at sixteen . . . and everything that she didn’t . . .
Some secrets should never be told.
They need to be taken to the grave.
While others require revenge at any cost.
Before This Is Over – Amanda Hickie
How far will a mother go to save her children? A twisting, edge-of-your seat drama that you’ll never forget.
BEFORE THIS IS OVER by Amanda Hickie is a powerful, thought-provoking drama that looks at one family in the heart of a devastated community and compels us to ask: how far would I go to save my children? ‘Shatteringly suspenseful…it’s impossible not to be super-glued to the page’ Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of PICTURES OF YOU
A normal family. A quiet, leafy street. A terrifying epidemic.
It’s been coming for a while: a lethal illness. With sons of five and fourteen to look out for, Hannah has been stockpiling supplies, despite everyone telling her that it’s unnecessary.
Then it arrives.
At first there are a few unconfirmed cases. Then a death. Now the whole city is quarantined. But Hannah’s family is not yet safe behind their locked front door…
Basics soon become luxuries, and neighbours become hazards. There are power cuts, food shortages and an ever-growing sense of claustrophobia. How will the family cope?
How would you cope?
How far would you go to protect your children?
Shadow Man – Margaret Kirk
Two brutal killings rock Inverness, and bring ex-Met Detective Inspector Lukas Mahler the biggest challenge of his career…
The body of the queen of daytime TV, Morven Murray is discovered by her sister, Anna, on the morning of her wedding day. But does Anna know more about the murder than she’s letting on?
Police informant Kevin Ramsay’s murder looks like a gangland-style execution. But what could he have stumbled into that was dangerous enough to get him violently killed?
Mahler has only a couple of weeks to solve both cases while dealing with his mother’s fragile mental health. But caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse, is ex-Met DI Lukas Mahler hunting one killer, or two?
The Frozen Woman – Jon Michelet
A frozen body, a murdered biker, and a lawyer with nothing left to lose. In the depths of the Norwegian winter, a woman’s frozen corpse is discovered in the garden of a notorious ex-lawyer, Vilhelm Thygesen. She has been stabbed to death. A young biker, a member of a gang once represented by the lawyer, is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Thygesen starts receiving anonymous threats, and becomes ensnared in a web of violence, crime and blackmail that spreads across Northern Europe. Does the frozen woman hold the key?
Chase the Rainbow – Poorna Bell
An honest yet uplifting account of a woman’s life affected (but not defined) by the suicide of her husband and the deadly paradox of modern-day masculinity.
Punk rocker, bird nerd and book lover Rob Bell had a full, happy life. He had a loving wife, a big-bottomed dog named Daisy and a career as a respected science journalist. But beneath the carefully cultivated air of machoism and the need to help other people, he struggled with mental health and a drug addiction that began as a means to self-medicate his illness. In 2015, he ended his life in New Zealand on a winter’s night.
But what happened? How did a middle-class Catholic boy from the suburbs, who had an ocean of people who loved him, and a brain the size of a planet, end up dying alone by his own hand? How did it get to this point?
In the search to find out about the man she loved, and how he arrived at that desperate, dark moment, Poorna Bell, Executive Editor of The Huffington Post UK, went on a journey spanning New Zealand, India and England to discover more about him.
A month after his death, she shared her personal tragedy in an open letter to Rob on the site, which went on to be read by hundreds of thousands of people across the world. This is Poorna’s story, not only of how she met the man of her dreams and fell in love, but also Rob’s story and how he suffered with depression since childhood and had secretly been battling addiction as a means to cope with the illness.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 and a staggering 1 in 4 of us will experience mental illness disease at some point in our lives, but the stigma surrounding mental health means that millions still suffer in silence.
Chase the Rainbow is an affecting, poetic, and deeply personal journey which teaches to seek hope and happiness, even in the most tragic of circumstances. Shattering the stigma surrounding depression and suicide, Poorna Bell challenges us talk about what we most fear, and to better understand the personal struggles of those closest to us.
First Comes Love – Emily Giffin
What happens when love, marriage and children don’t come in the expected order?
Fifteen years after the tragic death of their older brother splintered Josie and Meredith’s already fragile relationship, the two sisters are following very different paths.
Hardworking, reserved Meredith thought she’d done it all the right way round – married the perfect man, had the perfect daughter – but now she’s wondering if she got the love part wrong.
Impulsive and spirited Josie has been single for years. She wants a child so much that she’s preparing to head straight for the baby carriage all on her own.
As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and secrets from the past surface, Josie and Meredith must come to terms with their own choices. Perhaps they’ll find that they need each other more than they know…
Gifts for our Time – Anna Jacobs
Germany 1939, and Christa Sommer boards the Kindertransport, unsure that she’ll ever see her beloved mother and father again.
Once in England she is taken in by elderly Mrs Pelling, who grows to love Christa as the daughter she never had.
But in 1945 Mrs Pelling dies. While her will cannot be found, her money-grabbing niece appears out of the blue to claim her inheritance and turfs Christa out, with only a suitcase to her name. The prejudice against Germans still runs high in England, and Christa is unable to secure a job or a place to stay…
Luck comes her way when a lady she saves from being mugged turns out to be Mayne Esher’s friend Daniel’s mother. Taking pity on Christa, they take her to Rivenshaw where they plan to start a new life as part of the Esher building firm.
There Christa is welcomed with open arms and she soon develops a love for the place, the people and, Daniel…
But Esherwood is not the trouble-free sanctuary she first thinks.
Determined to do their bit for soldiers returning from the war they have agreed to allow the council to build prefabs on some of Esherwood’s garden. But an empire-building town planner seems set on taking all of Mayne’s land for the war effort…
Mayne has also discovered a secret door at the back of the old Nissen hut, with a complicated locking mechanism that has local locksmiths dumbfounded.
Just what is hidden behind the door to warrant such high security?
Lots to look forward to reading!
Have you read any of these? If so what did you think?
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