Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – December 2021!

Hello all! Can you believe we’re well and truly into the festive period?! But I have to say I’m loving soaking it up as much as I can this year! I’m trying to do more things that I enjoyed before the pandemic. Among a lot of things I’ve already mentioned, I’m excited to finally be going to art galleries again! And on that note, I went to the Wallace Collection for the first time to take a peek at the recently restored Swing by Fragonard.

This photo truly doesn’t do the piece justice! For such a small painting it sure does have a BIG IMPACT! Wondrously captivating and worth checking out if you ever get the chance!

In terms of tv, I’ve been getting well and truly wrapped up in the Wheel of Time. I know they changed things (which I don’t agree with) but I’m finding it easier to follow than Jordan’s writing, so I’m very into it. I just hope they continue making all the seasons of it so I don’t have to go away and read all the books (which, granted, I’m pretty tempted to do now anyway). And of course, I watched the second series of Tiger King– which somehow was even crazier?! Other than that, I’ve just been ploughing through the books!

Mrs England– and Halls has done it again! This is her best yet! With a hint of tragedy lurking in the background, this is a subtle take on the traditional English gothic. I loved the creepy vibes and atmosphere of the Yorkshire setting. More than simply a revival of the Victorian novel, this gives a new lease of life to the form. Beautifully written and with psychologically rich characters, this story recontextualises romantic notions of the past and reveals the dark truths behind classic “mad woman in the attic” narratives.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

Hunchback of Notre Dame– well this book is magnificent. Jumping straight into the euphoric high of the Feast of Fools, this story quickly descends into the drama of 15th Century Paris. Under the gaze of Notre Dame, we are slowly introduced to the principle and challenged with our perception of good and evil. Much of the dark side of humanity is on full display and so many characters are morally ambiguous. For this is far, far from the Disney version. Stunningly written- particularly with regards to the description of place- this was powerful reflection of humanity’s strengths and deficiencies. With expert mirroring of the beginning in its tragic conclusion, there is an air of inevitability from the start. It delivers its emotional blows as every great tragedy should.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

Owl Service– this is a bit of a new-old discovery. Someone I work with recommended I try Alan Garner books and WOW these books don’t mess about. Owl Service felt less like a retelling and more like it was possessed by a mythic force, like the legends of old were forcing their way into the story and taking control of the narrative. I liked the concept and the simplicity of the story. More than that, I liked how the characters weren’t mundanely pure and good children. Rather, they were little humans, full of the usual concurrence of good and bad. Way darker than any book I read when I was young, there’s enough creepiness in this to freak adults out (well, adults like me, who can only manage spooky stories in broad daylight 😉). Uncanny in the purest sense, I couldn’t help but feel like this was both unusual and oddly familiar. A masterstroke of mythical storytelling.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas  

Elidor– if I had to summarise this book, I’d say it was a realllly twisted take on Narnia. Except much like the more recent the Light Between Worlds, it deals more with the aftermath of being whisked away to a magical world. It makes you question what is left after a formative (and in many ways traumatic) experience. Taking the extreme example of reluctant heroes- if they can even be called heroes- it explores the genuine human response to asking children to bear the responsibility of the world on their young shoulders. And the result is bleak and hard to come to terms with. It’s a bold coming of age story; it’s the best of YA (written before YA existed). And it does so much of what modern books try to do now- but it does it with a greater profundity and without contrived conclusions. Like the best art, it doesn’t lead you to simple answers and doesn’t propagandise its message. Like the best myths, the meaning is layered beneath mists of magic. You’ll have to figure out how to interpret it for yourself.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

The Wedding Party– this vowed to be great fun- but just didn’t live up to its promise. I do love thrillers set at destination weddings- it’s that wonderful cocktail of high hopes and long held secrets and dashed dreams. And this had all those ingredients and more. The characters were delightfully detestable- the bridezilla obsessed with her image, the weirdly obsessive friend and the catastrophically selfish sister. BUT unfortunately, so much in a thriller hinges on the ending. And after being driven mad by these *awful* characters for hundreds of pages, I wanted to see someone get theirs in a dramatic way and for a good reason… and sadly this just fell flat. The twist of who died and who dunnit just didn’t live up to my expectations.

Rating: 2½/5 bananas  

Before I Go to Sleep– this didn’t quite send me to sleep… but it came close. Fairly predictable and a bit far-fetched, I wasn’t really sold on this story about a woman who wakes up every day with no memory. Granted I never really love amnesia stories to begin with- however this was an especially irritating example. Because I don’t have a problem with my memory, so leaving massive plot holes and contradictions doesn’t work for me. Even if you excuse them by saying the main character just didn’t remember telling other people vital facts. Also, I get that the protagonist reading from her diary was central to the plot, yet it hardly makes sense to have her reading it at crucial moments, when, say, she suspects there’s a potential psychopath on the other side of a door. Just leave- then read the diary. Make her think she’s made it safety before she settles in for an explanation. I’ll also never be a fan of villain monologuing at the end OR a weirdly unearned happy ending. And to top it all off, it’s really obvious to me this was written by a man trying to get inside a woman’s head, because women aren’t typically hyper-conscious of how much space our boobs take up. Stop being weird dude.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

The Appeal– a murder mystery like no other, this is a story you’re going to have to figure out a lot of it on your own. Told through a collection of emails, this crime novel forces the reader to put on their thinking cap and work through a series of clues. With interjections from two investigators, you can slowly come to the truth of who was murdered and why. I have to say I was ridiculously impressed by the format and style of the genius thriller. I was also very happy with myself for working out bits and pieces along the way. Normally, I might find it disappointing to guess twists, however in this case I was inordinately proud of myself and satisfied that I’d been reading between the lines closely enough to get some of it right! I whizzed through this so fast, having enormous fun along the way! I definitely recommend giving this a go if you enjoy mysteries, thrillers or just having a good time. I hope you get as much out of it as I did- break a leg!

Rating: 5/5 bananas

That’s all for now! Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments! And I hope you all had a good month!

Gift Ideas for Bookworms!

Tis the season for fun, food, frivolity… and of course, presents! I’m often stumped for gift ideas- so this is as much for me as it is for you 😉

#1 The new books we won’t stop going on about!!

#2 Your old fave that means so much to you and you just need to share 😊 Because we love sharing the book love!

#3 Special editions and sexy leatherbound classics. Because it makes for the best book porn 😉

#4 Bookmarks- because we can’t get enough of them! Particularly cos I can’t stop losing them dammit! I adore this cutesy Wizard of Oz one and I really love my Klimt bookmark Kat from Life and Other Disasters gave me a few year ago 🙂

#5 Bookish themed games- especially if it involves Thud!

#6 Bookish jewellery- I may or may not have a collection of fairy tale themed jewellery 😉 But I’ll take *any* bookish themed necklaces and one of my favourites is this Alethiometer from Etsy

#7 Book themed notebooks and stationery. I mean, for me stationery is always appreciated.

#8 Book themed FOOD! Any sweets from the wizarding world or Turkish delight… In fact, I’m so obsessed I made a post about this a few years back 🙂

#9 Bookish cuddly toys- unless of course you can’t handle the CUTENESS OVERLOAD?!

And if you can manage it…

#10 Magical bookish artefacts- I would never say no to a book mirror from Echo North, the Luggage or even a Time Turner so I can read more books- I’m not fussy! 😉

What do you think? Do you have any bookish gifts you enjoy? Let me know in the comments!

Books I’d Recommend to Everyone!

Working in a library, I often get asked to recommend “anything”… which as you can imagine is a pretty tricky one to answer! Especially with nothing to go on! But I do my best and here are some of my usual suggestions:

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine– I’m starting with an unusual book that’s universally loved- and for good reason! Before I read it, I thought it was going to be a standard contemporary about falling in love… but this book turned out to be so much more than I expected. In truth, it’s a story about discovering yourself, finding true friendship and overcoming trauma- which I think everyone can get something out of.

A Man Called Ove– I always describe this as an adult version of Up (which I’d also recommend to everyone). This is one of the most uplifting and beautiful books I’ve ever read- and it’s also a great introduction to a wonderful author.

Where the Crawdads Sing– one of the best books I’ve ever read- and I don’t say that lightly- I’d recommend this to *everyone*. It has so much going for it. A story about love, friendship, coming of age, nature, crime… there’s beauty in this that anyone can enjoy.  

A Thousand Splendid Suns– a tremendously moving story about life for women under the Taliban. It’s unfortunately become more relevant in recent months- which makes me want to recommend it all the more.   

Homegoing– Gyasi’s powerful intergenerational epic is highly original and an absolute work of genius. You cannot go wrong giving it a try.

Kindred– because this book is simply glorious. Wonderfully written- it’s different to anything I’ve ever read before. Technically sci fi, it delves more into historical fiction territory, exploring the horrors of the slave trade with a modern gaze.

The Familiars– a subtle story, this historical fiction is cleverly crafted story that seems to be about one thing, but turns out to be something else entirely. While I was expecting a purely witchy experience, this ended up being a magical tale of friendship and family. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Halls’ work in the last few months and I’m sure other people will enjoy this discovery too.

Wolf Hall– a more human story than I imagined I would be, Mantel’s reimagining of Thomas Cromwell’s journey to power is a masterpiece.

The Huntress– a thrilling example of historical fiction, this book had my heart racing. With two timelines chasing each other, the story tells of the elusive Nazi called the Huntress and those who wish to bring her to justice.

The Nightingale– I don’t read very many WW2 books and here I am recommending two of them! But this is the kind of book that is an emotional hard-hitter and well-loved for good reason. Telling the story of two sisters, who live different wars, this is one that will stay with you a long time after you read it.

The Secret History– utterly unique and absolutely brilliant, this murder mystery told in reverse is a real showstopper.

The Thursday Murder Club– who doesn’t love the idea of old-aged pensioners solving crimes? This quirky crime novel was a delight.

How to Stop Time– Matt Haig is another commonly loved author- and for good reason! His novels are full of joy and sorrow in equal measure- and How to Stop Time is a great example of that. A great introduction to magical realism, it explores the reality of what it might be like to be immortal.  

Song of Achilles– I’ve been told multiple times by people that they didn’t really expect to like it, because it’s not normally their thing, but ended up loving it. And for good reason! Miller is a phenomenal writer! Her retelling of the Iliad is not only beautifully written, but unbelievably emotional. I know that this is an excellent choice if you want to get readers branching out into fantasy (not that I have a hidden agenda or anything 😉).

House in the Cerulean Sea– I’d suggest this to everyone because it’s so damn heartwarming- and I defy you to read this and not have a big fat dopey grin plastered on your face by the end!

The Martian– speaking of books that make me smile, this adventurous book is something anyone can enjoy! Yes, it’s sci fi, but even laymen like me love it! Because beyond all the science-speak in the novel, it’s truly a story about determination and the human spirit!

So, what do you think? Do you agree with my suggestions? And what books would you recommend to everyone? Let me know in the comments! I could use the help! 😊

I Can’t Keep Quiet About the Silent Patient!

silent patientWhich is why I have to SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS THAT YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK (seriously, it’s really good). Telling the story of a woman who killed her husband and the psychotherapist who can get to the reasons why, The Silent Patient is a book a lot of people have been talking about. And it’s easy to see why.

I picked this up after discovering The Maidens and was quickly drawn into this mystery. The book lends itself to the audiobook format. Michaelides has a brilliant ability to capture different voices, cleverly contrasting the artist’s diary with the doctor’s more clinical notes. I felt like I was inside the psychotherapist’s head, watching with horror as events unfolded.

And once again, the classics references were on point. The myth of Alcestes was artfully incorporated into the plot and used to illustrate difficult themes. It helped to capture the sense of heartbreak and betrayal, exhibiting the realism behind these thrillers. Because these books are better than simply pure entertainment- they have hidden depths. They are filled with pain and truth and snapshots of beauty.

And of course: a fabulous twist (which I won’t be spoiling for you! You’ll just have to read it!!) It was neatly done and boldly executed. I have nothing but good things to say about this book!

Rating: 5/5 bananas

5 bananas

So, have you read this? Do you plan to try it? Let me know in the comments!

The Maidens Had Me in its Thrall!

maidensDo you like twisted thrillers? Do you like books that don’t play it safe? Well then, I have a recommendation for you! The Maidens is dark academia meets mythology meets murder. Something of a marmite book, it seems to have divided some critics for its out-there plot and unusual style. And I have to admit, it’s a little bit mad… but that’s kinda why I liked it.

There was something uncanny that swept me up in the story. The atmosphere seeped through the pages and into my mind. Listening to the audiobook, I felt like I was stepping into a liminal space, teetering on the edge of reality. Written with tremendous skill, it incorporated Greek mythology and literary references without being ham-fisted and by using them to enhance the characterisation. Personally, I loved the use of the Persephone/Demeter myth. Remarkably for a thriller, I was as interested in the powerful portrayal of grief as I was in the ensuing drama.

Deeply entrenched in Greek tragedy, the themes it draws on are no accident. They are woven into the narrative as if by the Fates themselves. From the topic of family to vulnerable women, the dark truth is foreshadowed. And for all that I could see some flaws in the narrative- like some pointless (and obvious) red herrings- I still couldn’t stop reading.

I will admit that in some ways the finale is a little left of field, but I actually liked it for that! While the ending isn’t clearly signposted, with no obvious breadcrumbs or clues, it is clearly mapped out through other narrative hints and subtle cues (highlight for spoiler: I heard someone say that they didn’t think Sebastian was written as a narcissist, but I disagree, as there were moments in her memories where he was being cruel, yet these were cleverly rose tinted because of Marianne’s love and grief). In many ways, the mystery was more meaningful because of just how twisted it was. And that’s why if you’re looking for a thriller that’s a little different, I’d suggest giving this a go.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

4 bananas

So, have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – November 2021!

Hello all! Time is going weirdly fast, or is that just me? October flew by in a whirlwind of pumpkins and chaos! Most importantly, of course, I read a lot of great books this month, so let’s jump straight into it!

The Shadows Between Us– this was the definition of fun fantasy! A Slytherin love story with fake dating and intriguing political plots, I couldn’t help but be enraptured. Never knowing who to trust, I was swept up in the unfolding drama. And with its fresh take on fantasy, I was quickly drawn into the lush and shadowy world of Shadows Between Us. Oh and of course the romance was TO DIE FOR! I listened to this romp on audiobook and definitely recommend it for people who are looking for a (somewhat dark) romantic YA fantasy!

Rating: 4½/5 bananas  

Kingdom of the Wicked– I’m not sure how much I can say about this other than I FRICKIN LOVED IT!! A witchy, demonic story set in Italy?! YES PLEASE!! I mean, there was dark romance, a story of vengeance, magic and FOOD DESCRIPTIONS!! You have to know that I WANT A SLICE OF THAT ANY DAY OF THE WEEK! I’m so sorry that I can’t do this book justice- I just haven’t read fantasy I’ve enjoyed as much as this in a while and simply devoured it. So so good- I definitely want to try more from the author now (can anyone tell me if Stalking Jack the Ripper is as good as this?)

Rating: 5/5 bananas

Any Way the Wind Blows– ah- now I have to admit this was a little bit on the disappointing side. I did wonder if I was just in the wrong mood when I picked it up, which is always possible, but I still can’t explain why it took me AGES to get through this book, even though I already love the characters and am invested in their stories. Well… all except Shepherd, who I don’t really care about enough to read about him in such detail. And as much as I don’t always mind predicting the twist, I found this one a tad obvious. I didn’t quite get as many warm fuzzies with this as I usually do with this series- though I did enjoy it overall and it’s not a bad conclusion (and luckily may not be the finale anyway).

Rating: 4/5 bananas

Tweet Cute– it’s back to reality with this heart-squeezing contemporary. Centred around a twitter war over cheese toasties of all things, this is a brilliant take on enemies to lovers! Plus, with its secret app elements, I felt like this was a genuinely fun update to Gossip Girl (absolutely mean that as shade towards the new Gossip Girl). Naturally, because I am a very cheesy person, I loved all the grate puns and jokes. I gouda say this book did not take itself too seriously- it just got cuter and cuter. This was all around brie-lliant. (Okay, I’ll stop now 😉)

Rating: 5/5 bananas

The Night She Disappeared- I listened to this on audio (as I often find Lisa Jewell books work so well that way) and was definitely swept up in the complexities of this suspense-thriller. Once again, Jewell delivered a story that was far more about the people going through hell, rather than just being simply plot driven. I did like that the investigator character was a mystery writer herself- that added a nice dimension- however the one thing that made no sense to me was that (minor spoiler) she somehow didn’t spot a reference to her own book!!! How did she not remember writing it?! Anyway, this was bonkers (in a good way) and as emotionally resonant as I’ve come to expect from this author. Looking forward to whatever she writers next!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

We Watch You– and last but certainly not least, I’m very excited to recommend a book by our very own brilliant blogging author, N S Ford! Engrossing from the start, this multi-perspective book about a stalker (or potentially stalkers) was definitely a thrill ride. Each of the characters was distinctive and it was intriguing to get to know them… especially as the stalker seemed interested in targeting them for the things they loved the most. I won’t say anymore because *spoilers* except to say that the ending was unusual and took me by surprise! Kinda wish I’d had my antennae up earlier and paid more attention to the hints!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

That’s all for now! Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments! And I hope you all had a good month!

Books that make no sense- Inspired by Briana @ Pages Unbound

I read an amazing post called “Books I Have Accused of Being Illogical” by the brilliant Briana over on Pages Unbound (which obvs you need to check out!!)- and it made me think about books that I thought made no sense. I hunted through my goodreads and this is what I came up with:

Stags– so this has a “clever” main character who figures out all the clues… and yet makes awful decisions with that information. It doesn’t help that her motivation never makes any sense: she hates toffs, but she wants to spend all her free time with them (an issue which could have been resolved if the author had allowed the mc to have even one undesirable trait, such as jealousy or insecurity, to justify her choices). Add to that a ridiculously over the top reveal and you have a book that’s a little too wild for me. It’s a pity that the lack of logic undid what could have been a fun book.

Instant Karma– I’m choosing this for completely different reasons, just because it gets on my nerves the more I think about how pointless it is. As hinted at in the title, the protagonist inexplicably gets karmic powers… which disappear as randomly they arrive and play no actual part in the plot?! I really don’t understand why this book exists.  

Foxhole Court– I’m including this for a number of reasons. 1) It has the worst fake sport EVER- unless of course you’d like to watch a co-ed football-crossed with hockey-crossed with tennis- which just sounds like a sport made up by someone who was extremely high- speaking of which… 2) This is also a book where young athletes are on drugs and no one cares about that. And finally 3) I just find it amusing how many people who find everything problematic love this rapey book.

Wolf by Wolf– I actually really like this book and would recommend it for the writing style/adventure aspects… buuuut it also has Nazis in kimonos. Cos Nazis definitely would go in for some cultural appreciation lol. As much as I respected the author’s skill and did like this series, I still have issues with a premise where Nazis take over the world and just don’t keep killing indefinitely.  

Divergent– I almost wanted to include a lightning round of YA dystopias, because during the height of that craze, people were just writing dystopias for the sake of it, even if they lacked logic. But I ultimately feel like the culprit responsible for that annoying craze was Divergent. Because this premise- where everyone could only have one of five personality traits- never made sense to me. Then *spoilers for the last book* Roth decided to make it make EVEN LESS SENSE by revealing the reason for this dystopic world was some shadowy-men-in-suits were trying to make people more well-rounded (ergo stuck them somewhere they’d be killed for having the desirable traits… *facepalm*)

Handmaid’s Tale– on the topic of dystopias, while Atwood is a very good writer, I have made no secret of my issues with the world building in this book. The more I think about this book, the more holes I pick in it. Because this is supposed to be a patriarchal society (that materialised overnight with no explanation as to how) and yet the protagonist talks of being separated from her husband and child… but why?!? This is a hyper traditional society. The logical thing would’ve been either to a) make the husband party to the evil regime or b) kill him off (because men are often victims in hyper-aggressive societies that treat women as resources).  

Nutshell– I mean, where is the logic in this story? It’s about a sentient foetus. Which is just the terrible starting point to a terrible retelling of Hamlet (thanks, I hate it).

And that’s all I have… for now! What did you think of these books? Did they make sense to you? What books did you think made no sense? Let me know in the comments!

A Bookworm’s WORST NIGHTMARES!!

In the spirit of the spooky season, I thought I’d share some of my WoRSt BOokISh NiGHtMAreS- WhOooOOO!! Admittedly, some of these may just be my own pet peeves, but I’m sure there’s a few in here that keep ALL bookworms up at night! Enjoy… Or, rather, shudder before me!

Books returned in tatters… or not returned at all! Both of these have happened to me and I swear I’ve never gotten over it.

When someone destroys your beloved book with a bad adaptation– OOF!

Never getting an adaptation… especially if it was promised!! Why did you have to raise our hopes like that?! And on that note…

Sequels that never materialise– not trying to *side eye* any specific authors here- but c’mon!! Waiting for a series finale that’s never coming is a special kind of torture. On the flipside, I don’t exactly enjoy…

Series that never end. You know the bloated book series that just seem to go on and on and on– seemingly without end! It’s a special kind of torture to pick up a new book annnd then realise you’ve read it five times already.

Stickers on books (duh).

Miss-marketed books– why tell me it’s one thing, if you plan on selling me something totally different? I might have even liked what you were trying to sell me if I knew what I was getting into. Please, just stop trying to make me read things like slasher fic masquerading as rom coms, thanks!

SPOILERS! Especially if you don’t have the decency to warn me first (but if you are warning me to my face, don’t say “spoiler warning”, then blurt it out before I can tell you not to!!)

Your kindle battery dying… just as you get to the end!! Because this is just a cruel cosmic punishment.

And lastly, one that may be very specific to me…

Books curled into weird angles and spaces so that they can fit into a box (usually picture books). Don’t tell me you couldn’t lie it flat because I GUARANTEE you could have lain it flat!! Stop rolling up books!! I break out in hives just thinking about this!

And that’s all for now! Did any of these make you shiver?! And what are some of your bookish worst nightmares? I’ll be cowering in the comments section waiting to hear your answers…  

Taking a Whirl into the Wizarding World at the Warner Bros Studio Tour!

Hello all! As I mentioned recently, I went and had a magical time at the Warner Brother’s Studio Tour! And since I had a truly wicked time, I thought I’d invite you all to hear all about it. So grab your Hogwarts acceptance letters and let’s take a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

But before we get started BE WARNED: there will be dragons!

Of course, I will be breaking the Statute of Secrecy, but to confundus you a little bit, I won’t be telling this in the exact order of the tour. Rather I’ll be going in narrative order… which is why we’ll be stopping off at Diagon Alley first! This enchanting street was more wondrous than I ever could have imagined!

Yet, in order to enjoy all the delights Diagon Alley has to offer, we may need to steal away to Gringotts Wizard Bank. Here, I had deep aparecium for the craftsmanship and vision of the set designs. It was truly awe inspiring.

Now we are well equipped, we’d better hurry to Platform 9 ¾ and climb aboard the Hogwarts Express…

… so that we can ascendio up to Hogwarts 😉

Jokes aside, I was truly stupefied by how *charming* everything was!

I was bombardo by beautiful details everywhere I turned…

And totalus impressed by all the props.  

I even got to try my hand at flying and playing quidditch 😉

Yet not everything was fun and games- because things took a dark turn once we headed inside the Forbidden Forest…

I mean just look at that face!! 😉 But the drama was far from over- and there were some big surprises in store (don’t watch the next clip if you don’t want to see spoilers!)  

Once all my mischief was managed, I took a well-earned break, having some butterbeer and fulfilling my lifelong dream of getting a Chocolate Frog (because of course I wanted a collectible card!!!) And, as if by magic, the card I got was the one I would’ve wanted most in the world… Roweena Ravenclaw!

And that was my journey into the world of Harry Potter. I hope you enjoyed reading all about it- I know I enjoyed writing this! It really reminded me how much I enjoy the story and sparked some nostalgia 😊 I can tell you this won’t be the last you’ll be hearing from me about the Boy Who Lived!

My Top British Thrillers

I sometimes get specific requests at the library- and this is one of my favourites to find. Someone came in looking for audiobook thrillers for their elderly father… who only wants British authors. And since I was thinking about this topic, I wanted to share some of my favourites with you! (I will admit they all happen to be written by female authors- this was not intentional, it just worked out that way!)

His and Hers– I love everything Alice Feeney writes, but this is a great place to start. Twisty and tense, this small-town thriller hides a lot more than meets the eye.

The Death of Mrs Westaway- I always enjoy Ruth Ware’s books as well, yet I had to shine the light on this modern take on the gothic classic Rebecca. I not only love the atmosphere, but how it captures the British coastal setting. And it’s got everything I look for in a thriller: dark secrets, an intriguing narrator and a dramatic finale.

I Found You– Lisa Jewell is one of my newest favourite thriller writers. Her books are often wonderfully weird, dark and simultaneously empathetic. There is a lot of depth and deep character work that I often don’t find in this genre. I think it has something to do with the fact she’s written a lot of contemporaries as well. I chose this one because not only is it the most moving example, but it bridges the divide between contemporary and thriller especially well. It may not be the kind of book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, but it may make you shed a few tears for the characters.

The Guest List– this location wedding takes a very unexpected and murderous turn- which just makes it a helluva a lot more fun than your average wedding! The two main reasons I love this and can’t stop recommending it is: a) the setting and b) it’s just a lot of fun!

Exquisite– this exquisitely executed thriller has one of my favourite motifs: it’s a book about writing! Plus, it has a crazy stalker- which certainly spices things up!

Ice Twins– I adore this book- it is the perfect spooky and atmospheric thriller to get wrapped up in as the temperature cools. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the stunning Scottish setting takes centre stage and acts as a character in its own right.  

The Weekend Away– finishing off with a transatlantic choice, this LA-based author knocked it out of the park with this thriller. It’ll just take you a weekend to whizz through this pulpy and entertaining story- where not everything turns out for the best!

And that’s all for now! Have you read any of these? Do you have any suggestions? The reader will be very happy indeed if you give me more suggestions! Let me know in the comments!