Books to Look Out For

I loved Stephanie Marland’s first Starke and Bell thriller My Little Eye and her follow-up, You Die Next is an outstanding read. A group of urban explorers enter a disused studio and discover a gruesome scene they’re pretty sure isn’t staged. One by one the explorers are murdered while a fellow thrill seeker pleads with academic researcher Clementine Starke to look into the deaths. This brings her into contact with former lover DI Dominic Bell. The shifting point of view works very well here – unsettling the reader and allowing us into the minds of both urban explorers and Clementine and Dom. This is definitely this author’s best book and was a delight to read.

 A Dying Breed by Peter Hannington is an excellent a political thriller with a strong protagonist. His follow-up, A Single Source, has veteran BBC Reporter Will Carver in Cairo during the 2011 Arab Spring. Political intrigue, the perils facing foreign correspondents and the exploitation of refugees fleeing conflict are all represented in this intelligent and well plotted thriller. With multiple points of view and a vast geographical scope, it was great to read a satisfyingly complex story. Brilliant for fans of Star of the North and I Am Pilgrim.

Remember me is the compelling debut by Amy McLellan. Sarah suffers from prosopagnosia, the inability to recognise faces. When her sister is killed by an attacker who might be known to her, Sarah needs to convince the police that not only is she not the murderer but try to help them find the culprit.  A very well written psychological thriller, with a killer premise, I was rooting for the protagonist from the start.

I devoured Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton’s books in my twenties and have long lamented the demise of the female PI novel. It looks like it’s back, however, with Marnie Riches Tightrope. Featuring the intrepid and very human Bev Saunders, this thriller is destined for great things. Earthy and raw, it features a great cast of characters and I loved that it was based in my home town of Manchester.

I read an early version of Allan Martin’s The Peat Dead and I’m delighted to see it’s being published on the 17th April. Set on the Hebridean island of Islay, it involves a historic crime (which are always a favourite theme) which is suddenly uncovered in the present day. Martin is excellent at showing how in small communities, the past can be as painful as the present and I loved the island setting.

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12 thoughts on “Books to Look Out For

  1. I’ve somehow missed Stephanie Marland but I’m off to look for a copy of My Little Eye right now and the Marnie Riches looks as if might be my sort of read as well. Thank you.

  2. These all look great, Sarah. I know what you mean about the female PI – I’ll be interested in the RIches, I think. And the rest look interesting, too.

  3. Hello Sarah. I’ve pre-ordered Tightrope and The Peat Dead so will look forward to reading them when they’re released. Just the kind of books to get my teeth into 😬.

  4. The two Kathy’s are thinking alike here. I am interested in reading Tight Rope and The Peat Dead. Love anything historical about the Hebrides since reading Peter May’s brilliant trilogy (Oh, Finley MacLeod, where are you?) and the sound of a female p.i. was music to my ears. So I must jot them down.

  5. By the way, Sara Paretsky is still writing about V.I. Warshawski. The latest one “Shell Game” is a lot of fun and interesting. Same old feisty, driven, brave, wise-cracking V.I.

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