Books to Look Out For

Reviews

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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Some book news of my own

Reviews

I’ve been reading some really great novels over the last few weeks which I’ll be posting about soon. In the meantime, I’ve some book news of my own. I’m joining Trapeze, an imprint of Orion,  who will publish two historical thrillers of mine. The first called The Quickening, is the story of Louisa, photographer in the 1920s, who visits an infamous country house and is drawn into the impact of a seance which took place thirty years earlier. The hardback will be the shelves in February 2020.

The link to press release is here but I’m so excited about the new book and working with my new editor Katie Brown. My agent Kirsty McLachlan deserves a medal too.

Because they’re slightly different to my crime novels, I’m going to be using my middle name, Rhiannon, so the books will be published under Rhiannon Ward. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!

In the meantime, do tell me what your favourite historical novel is – I’m fascinated to hear what people like to read.