Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A Few Thrilling Reviews.

I’ve been reading quite a few thrillers recently and here is a roundup of some of the more memorable ones. I’m always looking for more so please leave your recommendations in the comments below.

Out of the Ice by Ann Turner

Environmental scientist Laura is sent to a remote Antarctic island to carry out an assessment of an abandoned whaling station. The abandoned village is in an exclusion zone, but Laura soon starts to suspect that someone else has been here. Something is badly amiss – or is a long tour of duty in Antarctica starting to get to her?

I was drawn to this book by the setting – having spent time in the Arctic myself I was intrigued to read something set on the ice at the other end of the Earth. This certainly was the best thing about this book. The descriptions of the abandoned whaling station and the Antarctic wildlife were so vivid that I could have been there myself. There was plenty of suspense building and I was as curious as Laura for some answers. However I did feel that this rather lost its way when the action moved on from Antarctica and overall left me feeling disappointed.

Out of the Ice at Amazon UK

The Last One by Alexandra Olivia

Zoo is at a crossroads in her life, looking for a bit of escapism. So she agrees to take part in a reality TV show called “In The Dark”. She, and eleven other contestants take on a series of survival tasks, deep in the forest. But soon the game takes a sinister turn. What is real and what is staged? Zoo really might be “In the dark”.

I really enjoyed this book. It was very different from a lot of the thrillers I have read recently. Zoo is a strong character – she has to be considering the circumstances, and as the story unfolds it becomes increasingly clear to the reader that things are not quite what Zoo thinks they are. Here the unreliable narrator is handled well, whilst the suspense never lets up. Psychological drama at its best. I’ll be looking out for more from this author.

The Last One at Amazon UK

The One by John Marrs

A simple mouth swab and a DNA test will reveal the one person you are genetically matched with. It sounds so easy – and a bit too perfect. Millions have taken the test, but the results are not always what you expect and the consequences can be life changing, as five more people discover in this clever high concept thriller.

I liked this book for its sheer originality. It was perhaps a little predictable in places, but all in all a thoroughly enjoyable read. It raises some serious questions about relationships? Is there such a thing as ‘The One’ or is love what we make of it? And of course, with anything like this comes power, and that can be open to abuse. Great suff!

The One at Amazon UK

Why Did You Lie by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Three seemingly disconnected stories – a journalist on the trail of a cold suicide case, a family returning home to find their house in disarray and four strangers stranded on a windswept rock in the middle of the ocean. And yet these stories have one thing in common – they all lied.

This is the intriguing premise of this cleverly structured novel, you know that these different setups must somehow be connected and half the fun is in trying to second guess the author and work out exactly what this connection might be. I can’t say any more because I don’t want to give anything away. Why did you Lie was my first foray into Icelandic Noir. I’ll definitely be looking out for more.

Why Did You Lie at Amazon UK

The Other Twin by L V Hay

Poppy returns home to Brighton when her sister India falls to her death unexpectedly. Was it suicide? Poppy thinks not. But as she delves deeper into India’s life she also has to face the ghosts of her own past.

I was drawn to this book as much by the setting as by the premise. I don’t really know Brighton but in the pages of this book it came alive for me. The characters are interesting and their interrelationships well drawn. Poppy is flawed and although I didn’t really relate to her I found her compelling. There were lots of unexpected twists and turns. It certainly kept me guessing.

The Other Twin at Amazon UK

Friday, 1 June 2018


Very excited that my latest novel, an adult thriller, has been shorlisted for the Deviant Minds Writing Prize run by Corvus Books and AM Heath. I don't expect to win but I'm thrilled to have got this far.