As ever the time has come again to pick my ten favourite books in this genre from the previous year. I've read over 120 books this year, but surprisingly there were 10 very clear stand out books for me. They are not in any particular order, but all ten would be highly recommended by me and as ever I can't wait to see what else these authors are going to release this year! What makes this list even better is that 3 of these authors I had read for the first time too!
Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham
Synopsis: A mother and her teenage daughter are found murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other left lying like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her Prince. Reluctantly, clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, calling himself 'the Mindhunter', jeopardises the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger. With no shortage of suspects and tempers beginning to fray, Joe discover links between these murders and a series of brutal attacks where his victims have been choked unconscious and had the letter 'A' carved into their foreheads. As the case becomes ever more complex, nothing is quite what it seems and soon Joe's fate, and that of those closest to him, become intertwined with a merciless, unpredictable killer.
Lost Girls by Angela Marsons
Synopsis: When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping. And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad. Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour. Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?
Blood Country by Sean Black
Synopsis: The second novel in the award-nominated Byron Tibor series.
Having fled his home in New York, and still hunted by the Federal government, special forces veteran Byron is forced to intervene when he stumbles across unsettling events in a small Texas border town. The first novel in the series, Post, is nominated for the 2015 International Thriller Writers' Awards to be held in New York on July 11th.
Those Girls by Chevy Stevens
Synopsis: Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father's temper. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. As events spiral out of control they find themselves in a horrifying situation and are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives. Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened to them. But when one of the sisters goes missing, followed closely by her niece, they are pulled back into the past. And this time there's nowhere left to run.
Liar, Liar by M J Arlidge
Synopsis: In the dead of night, three raging fires light up the city skies. It's more than a tragic coincidence. For DI Helen Grace the flames announce the arrival of an evil she has never encountered before. Because this is no firestarter seeking sick thrills, but something more chilling: a series of careful, calculating acts of murder. But why were the victims chosen? What's driving the killer? And who will be next? A powder keg of fear, suspicion and dread has been laid. Now all it needs is a spark to set it off.
Synopsis: This was no accident…I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes . . .Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist. Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women. Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves.
Synopsis: Heck needs to watch his back. Because someone’s watching him…Across the south of England, a series of bizarre but fatal accidents are taking place. So when a local businessman survives a near-drowning but is found burnt alive in his car just weeks later, DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is brought in to investigate. Soon it appears that other recent deaths might be linked: two thieves that were bitten to death by poisonous spiders, and a driver impaled through the chest with scaffolding. Accidents do happen but as the body count rises it’s clear that something far more sinister is at play, and it’s coming for Heck too.
Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville
Synopsis: When 12-year-old Ciaran Devine confessed to murdering his foster father it sent shock waves through the nation. DCI Serena Flanagan, then an ambitious Detective Sergeant, took Ciaran's confession after days spent earning his trust. He hasn’t forgotten the kindness she showed him – in fact, she hasn't left his thoughts in the seven years he’s been locked away. Probation officer Paula Cunningham, now tasked with helping Ciaran re-enter society, suspects there was more to this case than the police uncovered. Ciaran’s confession saved his brother Thomas from a far lengthier sentence, and Cunningham can see the unnatural hold Thomas still has over his vulnerable younger brother. When she brings her fears to DCI Flanagan, the years of lies begin to unravel, setting a deadly chain of events in motion.
The Wronged by Kimberley Chambers
Synopsis: With family like this, who needs enemies. There are some families that welcome newcomers with open arms, then there are the Butlers. An East End family no good girl wants to marry into. Jo fell for Vinny Butler’s good looks but when she buried her little daughter, she buried her heart as well. Michael Butler was always the nice one, until he started running the family business. Nancy is desperate to leave, and though she would never turn her back on her children, every step they take in their father’s footsteps destroys her a little more. As the old saying goes – you keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. But you keep your family right where you can see them.
Born In A Burial Gown by Mike Craven
Synopsis: Detective Inspector Avison Fluke is a man on the edge. He has committed a crime to get back to work, concealed a debilitating illness and is about to be made homeless. Just as he thinks things can’t get any worse, the body of a young woman is found buried on a wet, Cumbrian building site. Shot once in the back of the head, execution style, it is a cold, calculated murder. When the post-mortem reveals she has gone to significant expense in disguising her appearance, and the only clue to her identity is a strange series of numbers, Fluke knows this is no ordinary murder. With the help of a psychotic ex-Para, a gangland leader and a woman more interested in maggots than people, Fluke must find out who she was and why she was murdered before he can even think about finding her killer. As the body count rises and his investigation takes him from poverty stricken estates to picture perfect Lake District villages, he realises his troubles are only just beginning. Because someone, somewhere has a plan and if Fluke can’t figure out what’s happening, he may just be next.