I’ve got the year off to a great start by picking up early copies of these four beauties – all crime, but all very different. If you’re looking for books to add to your wishlist and you want to topple that TBR pile over once and for all, take a look at these:
‘The Birdwatcher’ by William Shaw
This is the first of Shaw’s books I’ve read, and I was intrigued by the title and the blurb… “Police Sergeant William South has a reason for not wanting to be on the murder investigation. He’s a murderer himself.” As it turns out, this is a read-in-one-sitting standalone mystery surrounding South’s dead neighbour and fellow birdwatcher, Bob. The slightly bleak south coast setting draws you deep inside, and the parallel story about South’s early years in Northern Ireland is equally compelling. Excellent characterisation brings this neatly woven tale to life, and I kept imagining it on screen. Don’t miss this one.
‘In her Wake’ by Amanda Jennings
Oh my God. THIS BOOK. I’d heard so many good things, but I didn’t expect it to blow me away quite in the way that it did. It’s a psychological thriller, but mixed in with the intrigue, pace and clever reveals, there is the incredibly beautiful writing. I’ve read and loved all of Jennings’ books, but in this one she has upped her game considerably. A heartbreaking story of a missing child and the horrific consequences for all involved, this is a book to be read in one sitting, in a state of total immersion. Deserves to be huge.
‘Viral’ by Helen Fitzgerald
This is the story of Su-Jin, who after being coerced into a trip to Magaluf with her sister, ends up doing something that is set to ruin not only her own life, but that of her high-profile mother, and destroy the family as a whole. Based on the controversial first line (which you’ll have to discover for yourself) the rest of the book came as a bit of a surprise. Fitzgerald’s trademark caustic wit prevails, and yet it is really a story about discovery, about finding out who you really are. Although devastating in parts, it is an expertly written, cautionary tale and it more than deserves to go the way of its title. Fantastic. Check out the fab promo video HERE.
‘Bad Samaritan’ by Michael J. Malone
I’ve only read one of Malone’s books before – the excellent Beyond The Rage, featuring Kenny O’Neill. This book is part of the Ray McBain series (also featuring O’Neill), and at first it seems to be a fairly straightforward procedural – a girl has been murdered… and there’s a creepy killer on the loose. BUT this book is so much more than that. McBain and O’Neill are fantastic characters, as are the whole plethora of supporting cast. I flew through this, thinking I had it all worked out, and then… I didn’t. With some excellent twists and turns and an ending that will leave you quite literally stunned, this is one to seek out. Fast.
* * *
What have you been reading this year so far? Let me know in the comments!