Top Books from 2015

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The last year for me has been a strange mix, with book related activities on the increase and yet with reading taking a back seat to life, and reviews sitting further behind.  My motivation for keeping here updated as been at an all time low, and as such I have a list of reviews that I should get posted which is much longer than I would like.

That said I’ve managed to put together just some of the books that I have enjoyed over the last year. There’s no ranking to this, it’s just a list of those books that I’m still talking about and regularly recommending.

wpid-screenshot_2015-01-20-04-13-34-1.pngThe Liars Chair – Rebecca Whitney

A fabulously dark psychological thriller with a story you’ll love and a protagonist you won’t.

wpid-screenshot_2015-02-21-07-32-30-1.pngThe Ties That Bind – Erin Kelly

Gangster gone good meets Journalist determined to prove his murderous past. Tight and twisty plotting it’s Erin Kelly’s best yet.

IMG_2095Day Four – Sarah Lotz

Re-defining the phrase “Holiday from hell”, no one does fear and hysteria like Sarah Lotz.

IMG_2167Sophie Hannah – A Game For All The Family

Sophie Hannah at her dark and twisted best.  A thriller with a riddle, just who is telling the truth?

imageDoug Johnston – The Jump

I’ve honestly struggled to sum this one up since I first read it a few months ago and I’m not sure why.  It’s a compelling read full of the emotional aftermath of tragedy, the struggle to find understanding and to discover a meaning for existence in the wake of devastating loss.  Suffice is to say however, months later I am still fascinated by it, and think of it often.

imageDavid Mark – Taking Pity

DS Aector McAvoy is fast becoming one of my favourite damaged detectives. In Taking Pity the fourth installment of the series he’s down but not out, and you’ll be cheering his corner with every turn of the page.

imageSteve Cavanagh – The Defence

Love Mickey Haller, The Lincoln Lawyer?  Then this one’s for you, Michael Connelly’s got some competition here, and I can’t wait to read more about Eddie Flynn.

imageMichel Bussi – After The Crash

Well I wasn’t expecting that….

I dare anyone to figure this one out . A truly surprising ending to an addictive and melancholic tale.

screenshot_2015-11-25-14-57-20-1.pngAngela Marsons – Lost Girls

Angela Marsons has been one of this years big winners, with over 1,000,000 e-books shifted since the release of her first book in February.  Lost Girls is the third and best installment in her DI Kim Stone series.

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Christopher Fowler – Bryant & May London’s Glory

The perfect filler.  While we all eagerly anticipate the next full length installment in Bryant & May’s adventures, revel in a collection of short stories filling in gaps, and explaining occasionally mentioned exploits.  Pick it up, put it down, enjoy and repeat.

imageAlex Marwood – The Darkest Secret

Out in e-book now and paperback next week, The Darkest Secret is full of characters you will love to hate, I see this appearing in a lot of top recommendations over the next few months. You won’t put it down.

 

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The Liars Chair – Rebecca Whitney

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imageRachel Teller and her husband David appear happy, prosperous and fulfilled. The big house, the successful business . . . They have everything.

However, control, not love, fuels their relationship and David has no idea his wife indulges in drunken indiscretions. When Rachel kills a man in a hit and run, the meticulously maintained veneer over their life begins to crack.

Destroying all evidence of the accident, David insists they continue as normal. Rachel though is racked with guilt and as her behaviour becomes increasingly self-destructive she not only inflames David’s darker side, but also uncovers her own long-suppressed memories of shame. Can Rachel confront her past and atone for her terrible crime? Not if her husband has anything to do with it . . .

A startling, dark and audacious novel set in and around the Brighton streets, The Liar’s Chair will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the final page has been turned. A stunning psychological portrait of a woman in a toxic marriage, Rebecca Whitney’s debut will show that sometimes the darkest shadow holds the truth you have been hiding from … 

A definite winner…

I thought 2014 was a fantastic year for debut novels, but already it seems that whilst we are barely into 2015, this is shaping up to be an even better year.

Rebecca Whitney’s debut has, for me, firmly established her as a writer of fabulous dark psychological thrillers, this is an amazing depiction of what can happen when one person relinquishes control, and how explosive and destructive the results can be when the balance of power in a relationship changes by even the smallest amount.

The Liars Chair is a totally addictive book, and I found reading it was like watching the most uncomfortable and disturbing piece of TV you can imagine and being unable to tear your eyes away from it.   You know you don’t want to bear witness to, or to be part of Rachel’s complete unravelling, but you cannot do anything except carry on reading and watch her complete breakdown, all the while praying for her salvation.

Rachel’s husband David is a completely vile character who immediately sets your teeth on edge with his controlling behaviour and all the way through the novel, as he becomes more and more loathsome all you want is for him to get his ‘just desserts’. That said Rachel is in no way a particularly likeable character either, the uncomfortable sense of her own complicity in the poisoning of her marriage and her totally selfish actions at the time of the accident, never quite leave you even though you feel sympathy for her situation, and find yourself willing her to find a way out of it.

The Liars Chair is a fantastic first novel that had me wanting to scream and shout at its characters, then forced me to throw it down in frustration, before immediately picking it back up to find out what happened next, and to me any book that can provoke such a strong emotional response is a definite winner.