Deadly Waters – Dot Hutchison

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Florida journalism undergrad Rebecca Sorley is like any other college student. She tries to keep up with her studies, her friends, and her hot-tempered roommate, Ellie, who regularly courts trouble with the law.

When a male student’s remains are found in alligator-infested waters, the university warns students to stay away from the reptiles. But then a second body shows up, and the link is undeniable. Both men belonged to the same fraternity and had a reputation for preying on and hurting women.

Ellie has previously threatened to kill men who don’t take no for an answer. Rebecca and her friends thought Ellie was kidding. But now a vigilante killer is roaming campus—someone who knows how to dispose of rapists. Someone determined to save female students from horrible crimes.

With each passing day, those who know Ellie become more convinced she’s responsible. But if she is, stopping her might not be in everyone’s best interest…

I got this as part of my Amazon first reads line up for August, where I get to choose from a selection of reads a month before release. I selected this one after just a quick scan of the synopsis so I wasn’t sure exactly where the story was going to go, but I found it brilliant, a completely cracking read. I just sat down in the morning and didn’t stop until I finished.

Taking its theme from #metoo  it cuts through some of the hardest blockers to women looking for justice in a female shaming environment, and tackles some of those unrequired questions when it comes to who we should teach.  Women not to be themselves? or Men not to rape?

It’s an excellent story, with debate into both college culture and vigilantism.  I won’t say I enjoyed every word, some of it was close to uncomfortable, but it’s an amazingly true representation of the difficulties women face in the world today, at the same time as being a twisty thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the end.  I know I changed my mind half a dozen times until I got to there.

With that said, I will say only one more thing…

#MeToo

 

The Chalet – Catherine Cooper

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French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

 

I’ve only ever been skiing once in my life, a school trip when I was thirteen and I absolutely hated every single minute of it.  I also understood the guides disdain for the pretentious ‘richies’ that came along thinking they knew it all.  These two things for me meant a well written opening sequence had me already wanting to know what was going on…

I completely devoured this one sitting read, not being able to work out who the killer was and the truth behind the past despite a number of separate scenarios I came up with along the way.  Each one I was certain about until the next twist came along.  I couldn’t stop being intrigued about who was involved in this tale.

Totally loved it.

Cry Baby – Mark Billingham

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It’s 1996. Detective Sergeant Tom Thorne is a haunted man. Haunted by the moment he ignored his instinct about a suspect, by the horrific crime that followed and by the memories that come day and night, in sunshine and shadow.

So when seven-year-old Kieron Coyne goes missing while playing in the woods with his best friend, Thorne vows he will not make the same mistake again. Cannot.

The solitary witness. The strange neighbour. The friendly teacher. All are in Thorne’s sights.

This case will be the making of him . . . or the breaking.

17 books into the series and I’m still loving the ‘grumpy old sod’ Tom Thorne as a character, alongside his well established colleagues and annoying ‘brass’.  Once again Billingham has put a new spin on him though.  This time taking him back to 1996, to before the time of Thorne’s first appliance in Sleepyhead, where he was already a traumatised copper, but who now had to face all the emotional demons that helped send him on his path.

Being a prequel, it’s easy to pick up and read if you’ve never read Mark Billingham’s Thorne novels before, but that said knowing what I know about the characters later on in the series many of their actions and thoughts about each other did send a chuckle through my bones.

Give it a try, I certainly don’t think you’ll regret it.