Hi dear friends,
Today is Tuesday and no the sky did not fall: I am posting quite early in the day for once!
You can thank Easter weekend with one extra day off work for my unusual planning skill! Add to it that I read today’s topic would be thriller/mystery and I just knew I had to research ahead!
You know that my main reading genre is romance in all its variation. Not thriller nor mystery.
When Shanah @bionicbookworms launched that bomb I was all “Oh no! Not again!” because I would have to go back on time to one time in my life where I did read mysteries and thrillers! As I did not want to bore you out with only good oldies I also had to peruse ALL my read books on Goodreads in the hope of finding something new.
In four words: I HAD TO WORK!
Not rely lazily on my usual suspects.
But hey, challenge accepted and I even found more than five mystery/thriller!
Are you ready?
Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson
That first one is an abolute “must read”. Honestly it blew my mind and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time!
Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.
Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable it seems.
More recent now and in the YA genre: One of Us is Lying by Karen Mc Manus.
Here is an excerpt of my review:
“It was like Agatha Christies happening in high school with a Gossip Girl feel. I was deeply invested in this first work by Karen M. McManus. Told with multiple POV (something usually very difficult to execute properly when writing) Karen M McManus sucked me in this mystery novel.
Of course solving the murder is the main topic but not the only one far from it.
The author developed themes like:
– cheating to reach one’s goal;
– being your own person and daring to stand out among the high school clique;
-daring to be different and go against your family’s beliefs and expectations;
-prejudice framing someone as the perfect scapegoat;
-bullying and how our modern society feeds on gossip and scandals like some reality TV porn (media circus);
-police incompetency and court system’s injustice
all this with an omniscient narrator as background foddering little tidbits to keep rumors going strong. Gossip Girl vibes
All along I was wondering: do I KNOW my kids? I mean really know them? Could I discover similar secrets or double lives? It was a somewhat unsettling but the right kind of unsettling. The one that gives you thrills because you love being a little bit frightened.
Then one I gushed about not so long ago and which is overlooked (that pains me): Nerve Damage by JL Myers.
Excerpt of my review:
“-I felt like a mouse in a trap or in a labyrinth. The hooded killer was waiting, lurking in a dark corner and I never knew when he would strike or who he would kill. I felt hunted!;
-If you can imagine how a fish out of the water must feel you have a pretty good idea of how I felt. I was not only totally out of my comfort zone rarely reading mysteries but I was also literally panting seated at the edge of my chair. Totally out of breath as it was riveting!
-you see the flight simulator astronauts have to experience? The one with the seat going in every direction so fast you can no longer tell up from down? Well that was me in the seat with my brain cells pushed in every direction to try to understand what was happening and who the killer might be!
-now I’ll use Tom Thumb analogy. You know how he leaves a trail of crumbles to try finding his way back home? Well that’s what J.L Myers did with her clues. She left a trail of clues to help the reader find the killer. Only I never found my way either, except by the end of the book.
And I hurt So MUCH for that poor girl and what she went through. Be warned the book is closer to very, very dark read sometimes!
So in a few words it was: confusing, riveting, breathtaking and pure genius! I was left speechless and open mouthed!“
An oldie now but fantastic technological thriller: The Third Twin by Ken Follett himself
Using a restricted FBI database, genetic researcher Jeanie Ferrami has located identical twins born to different mothers. Frightened by her bizarre discovery, she is determined to discover the truth at any cost—until she finds herself at the center of a scandal that could ruin her career. To fight the charges, Jeannie plunges into a maze of hidden evidence. With growing horror, she uncovers a cynical, far-reaching conspiracy involving disturbing genetic experiments and some of the most powerful men in America—men who will kill to keep their secrets concealed.
Back to some hidden gem: First We Were Four by Alexandra Sirowy.
This one is not well known and it’s one of these that I’d like more people to know about. It has a mood folks! Fellow bookworms if you love mysteries delving into the minds intricacies, if you want to know how peer pressure can make us go out of control, if you love dramatic stories just read this savage book!
It started for pranks, fun, and forever memories.
A secret society – for the four of us.
The rules: Never lie. Never tell. Love each other.
We made the pledge and danced under the blood moon on the meteorite in the orchard. In the spot we found the dead girl five years earlier. And discovered the ancient drawings way before that.
Nothing could break the four of us apart – I thought.
But then, others wanted in. Our seaside town had secrets. History.
We wanted revenge.
We broke the rules. We lied. We told. We loved each other too much, not enough, and in ways we weren’t supposed to.
Our invention ratcheted out of control.
What started as a secret society, ended as justice. Revenge. Death. Rebellion.
Before I Go by Marieke Nijkamp
Talking about mood that one had a very “gothic/fantasy/PNR” mood. It was a real thriller but you never knew if you were dreaming, imagining things or were back into reality.
Excerpt of my review:
Marieke Nijkamp’s writing is excellent! The story is nerve racking with an oppressive mood.Everything happens in this very, very small town lost in Alaska with endless nights and snow everywhere. It is weighting on you. It has an oppressive and eerie feeling. Lost is a town that thrives on secrets.
The small clues left here and there built up the tension till the apex of the thriller.
All along I was uneasy, shivering, shoulders tense and I could not put it down.
Marieke Nijkamp did a stellar job at writing suspense. The oppressive atmosphere. The eyes always watching every move Corey did. The petals appearing in her room. The fever overcoming the town. The small signs Corey gathers to show her that Kyra’s death may be not what it seems.
Know beforehand that things will be left unexplained even by the end of the book. Things beyond our logical grasp. If you can’t stand a book leaving questions unanswered then don’t read this. But if you love books and movies with a mysterious and scary feel, if you love spooky atmosphere then this could be your next fix.
Last but not least: an historical mystery, pure jewel! Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Some of what I said about that one:
“This story is a story of savage beauty, of cruel destiny for a little girl faced with countless rejection and immense solitude. This is a story of survival. Of deep love for a wild land. Of yearning for acceptance and love. This is a story of courage, strength, brutality and hope.
This is a unique story.“
Pfew that’s it!
What are your best thrillers/mysteries?
Thanks for reading!