In Ruth Rendell’s dark and contemporary universe, innocent dreams can turn to the most terrible nightmares. Teddy Brex emerges from a loveless, isolated childhood as a handsome but autistic young man. Francine Hill, traumatized by the murder of her mother, grows into a beautiful young woman who must endure the over-protectiveness of an increasingly obsessive stepmother.
Philippa Gregory - The Little House
Ruth and her husband, Patrick, live in Bristol, where she works as a correspondent for a mediocre radio station and he is an up-and-coming TV news reporter. Their marriage is not ideal, but the warmth offered by Patrick and his parents is a welcome change for Ruth, who was orphaned at the age of seven. Every Sunday Ruth and Patrick visit his parents at their eighteenth-century manor farmhouse - afternoons loved by Patrick and tolerated by Ruth. Then "the little house" at the end of her in-laws' lane comes up for sale. When Ruth discovers that she is pregnant, she is persuaded by Patrick and his parents to abandon her career and move from their city apartment to the quaint home in the country - everything Patrick's mother has always wanted. Ruth is lonely, uncomfortable, and bitter. Her husband does not understand, and she is living under the watchful eye of a domineering mother-in-law. Even her own pregnancy seems like a burden. As circumstances threaten to overwhelm her, Ruth struggles to set her life straight with a precarious mix of good humor and outrage, composure and desperation. The result is an engrossing, tragicomic tale of dysfunction - with an utterly surprising, ironic, and intriguing conclusion.
Natsuo Kirino - Real World
A stunning new work of the feminist noir that Natsuo Kirino defined and made her own in her novels Out and Grotesque. In a crowded residential suburb on the outskirts of Tokyo, four teenage girls indifferently wade their way through a hot, smoggy summer and endless 'cram school' sessions meant to ensure entry into good colleges. There's Toshi, the dependable one; Terauchi, the great student; Yuzan, the sad one, grieving over the death of her mother - and trying to hide her sexual orientation from her friends; and Kirarin, the sweet one, whose late nights and reckless behavior remain a secret from those around her. When Toshi's next-door neighbor is found brutally murdered, the girls suspect the killer is the neighbor's son, a high school boy they nickname Worm. But when he flees, taking Toshi's bike and cell phone with him, the four girls get caught up in a tempest of dangers - dangers they never could have even imagined - that rises from within them as well as from the world around them. Psychologically intricate and astute, dark and unflinching, Real World is a searing, eye-opening portrait of teenage life in Japan unlike any we have seen before.
Ruth Rendell - Adam and Eve and Pinch Me
Jock Lewis was supposed to have died in that terrible train crash at Paddington. Minty, his girlfriend, received a letter from Great Western telling her so. But, curiously, the police haven’t been in touch. And Jock has borrowed all her savings . . . Zillah also got a letter from the railway company, informing her that her husband, Jerry Leach, was dead. Something about the letter struck her as suspicious, but she chooses not to mention her doubts to the up-and-coming Conservative Member of Parliament who has just proposed a marriage of convenience . . . Fiona, a successful banker, met Jeff Leigh before the Paddington crash in August. Although he never seemed to have a job, and borrowed money from her, she is utterly devoted to him—and can’t understand why he suddenly has disappeared . . . As this novel gets under way, it is not immediately apparent how the lives of these women might be connected, or how they may figure into a series of vicious stabbing deaths that have shocked and terrified the citizens of London. With consummate skill, Ruth Rendell pulls the colorful strands of this harrowing story ever tighter, increasing the tension page by page.
John Fowles - The Collector
Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is to understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.
Gillian Flynn - Gone Girl
Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
Ruth Rendell - Live Flesh
After ten years in prison for shooting -- and permanently crippling -- a young policeman, Victor Jenner is released to a strange new world and told to make a new life for himself. It's hard to fill the days, but at least there's one blessing -- he was never convicted for all those rapes he committed. Then Victor meets David, the policeman he shot all those years ago, and David's beautiful girlfriend, Clare. And suddenly Victor's new life is starting to look an awful lot like the old one . . .
Stephen King (Richard Bachman) - Blaze (angol)
Clayton Blaisdell, Jr., a/k/a Blaze, has had a hard life which led him to petty criminal activities. Even though his partner, George Rackley, died three months before, Blaze is still hearing his instructions for pulling off one more scheme--the kidnapping of an infant whose parents are millionaires. The story tells of the attachment Blaze forms for baby Joe as he remembers his own childhood--one that was much different than the one baby Joe will have.
Chevy Stevens - Never Knowing
From the acclaimed author of STILL MISSING comes a psychological thriller about one woman’s search into her past and the deadly truth she uncovers. All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara’s home life was not ideal. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and find closure. But some questions are better left unanswered. After months of research, Sara locates her birth mother—only to be met with horror and rejection. Then she discovers the devastating truth: her mother was the only victim ever to escape a killer who has been hunting women every summer for decades. But Sara soon realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her father is him finding out about her. What if murder is in your blood? Never Knowing is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand herself, her origins, and her family. That is, if she can survive…
Minette Walters - Disordered Minds
Bestseller Walters (Fox Evil, etc.) delivers another complex tale of murder and deception. In 1970, 20-year-old Howard Stamp is convicted of brutally killing his 57-year-old grandmother with a carving knife; three years later, he commits suicide in prison. In 2002, London anthropologist Jonathan Hughes includes the Stamp case in his book, Disordered Minds, which examines infamous miscarriages of justice. The mentally slow Stamp may have been coerced into confessing to the murder. George (Georgina) Gardener, an elderly councilor living in Stamp's hometown of Bournemouth, has come to believe in Stamp's innocence herself and asks Jonathan for help in clearing the young man's name. The two get off to a rocky start, but they form an uneasy alliance that gradually grows into a deep friendship. Watching this relationship develop is one of the novel's more entertaining aspects. Walters uses to good effect the multiple viewpoints of her numerous characters, as well as flashbacks, letters, newspaper articles and e-mails to reveal the truth behind the decades-old murder. However, as in life, there are no easy answers, and although the ending may disappoint some, it caps perfectly all that has come before it.
Dean R. Koontz - The Husband
With each and every new novel, Dean Koontz raises the stakes - and the pulse rate - higher than any other author. Now, in what may be his most suspenseful and heartfelt novel ever, he brings us the story of an ordinary man whose extraordinary commitment to his wife will take him on a harrowing journey of adventure, sacrifice, and redemption to the mystery of love itself - and to a showdown with the darkness that would destroy it forever. What would you do for love? Would you die? Would you kill? We have your wife. You can get her back for two million cash. Landscaper Mitchell Rafferty thinks it must be some kind of joke. He was in the middle of planting impatiens in the yard of one of his clients when his cell phone rang. Now he's standing in a normal suburban neighborhood on a bright summer day, having a phone conversation out of his darkest nightmare. Whoever is on the other end of the line is dead serious. He has Mitch's wife and he's named the price for her safe return. The caller doesn't care that Mitch runs a small two-man landscaping operation and has no way of raising such a vast sum. He's confident that Mitch will find a way. If he loves his wife enough. . . Mitch does love her enough. He loves her more than life itself. He's got seventy-two hours to prove it. He has to find the two million by then. But he'll pay a lot more. He'll pay anything. From its tense opening to its shattering climax, The Husband is a thriller that will hold you in its relentless grip for every twist, every shock, every revelation…until it lets you go, unmistakably changed. This is a Dean Koontz novel, after all. And there's no other experience quite like it.
Patricia Highsmith - The Tremor of Forgery
Under the hot desert sun nothing is quite as it seems. Howard Ingham, an American writer, is sent to Tunisia to gather material for a movie, a love story too sordid to be set in America. But his director fails to arrive as scheduled and the erratic mails bring news of infidelities and suicide. Ingham—for reasons obscure even to himself—decides to stay on and work instead on a novel. Gradually, however, a series of peculiar events—a hushed-up murder, a vanished corpse, and secret broadcasts to the Soviet Union—lures him inexorably into the deep, ambivalent shadows of this Arab town; into deceit and away from conventional morality. And when Ingham finds an accomplice to murder, or perhaps something more, what is in question is not justice or truth, but the state of his oddly quiet conscience.
John Grisham - Bleachers
High school all-American Neely Crenshaw was probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. Fifteen years have gone by since those glory days, and Neely has come home to Messina to bury Coach Eddie Rake, the man who molded the Spartans into an unbeatable football dynasty. Now, as Coach Rake’s “boys” sit in the bleachers waiting for the dimming field lights to signal his passing, they replay the old games, relive the old glories, and try to decide once and for all whether they love Eddie Rake – or hate him. For Neely Crenshaw, a man who must finally forgive his coach – and himself – before he can get on with his life, the stakes are especially high.
Jonathan Kellerman - Twisted
Hollywood homicide detective Petra Connor takes center stage in bestseller Kellerman's elaborate, suspenseful, albeit improbable, thriller. Connor, who assisted Kellerman's main series detective, psychologist Alex Delaware, in 2003's A Cold Heart, proves an engaging protagonist, fully capable of carrying a story on her own. She's investigating a seemingly random drive-by shooting that claimed four teenage victims when a precocious 22-year-old graduate student intern, Isaac Gomez, presents her with evidence that a serial killer has struck on the same day, June 28, every year for the past six years. Though his proof relies entirely on a statistical analysis he's performed, his unquestioned brilliance prompts Connor to do a little extracurricular digging that turns up suggestive clues supporting Gomez's theory. Meanwhile, after doggedly pursuing even the slightest lead in the drive-by shooting case, Connor suspects that one of the victims, perhaps the one who wasn't claimed by any next-of-kin, was deliberately targeted. While Connor finds the socially immature Gomez to be a challenging assistant, he displays considerable cool in the climactic showdown with the June 28 killer. Despite a last minute plot twist that comes out of left field, this is vintage Kellerman, sure to please his legions of fans.
Jonathan Kellerman - Gone
It all seems too strange for words. At first, the police are called to a remote region in the Malibu Mountains, where a pair of drama students are discovered near death. The aspiring actors offer a numbing account of abduction at the hands of a gun-wielding maniac. But under the interrogation of criminal psychologist Alex Delaware and LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, they admit that it was all a hoax. Then, three weeks later, one of them turns up as a corpse
Gillian Flynn - Sharp Objects
WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory. HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming. With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.
Jonathan Kellerman - Obsession
Tanya Bigelow was a solemn little girl when Dr. Alex Delaware successfully treated her obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Now, at nineteen, she still seems older than her years–but her problems go beyond hyper-maturity. Patty Bigelow, Tanya’s aunt and adoptive mother, has made a deathbed confession of murder and urged the young woman to seek Delaware’s help. The doctor recalls Patty as a selfless E.R. nurse struggling to raise a child on her own–a woman seemingly incapable of the “terrible thing” she has admitted. But for Tanya’s peace of mind, Delaware agrees to investigate, and he enlists LAPD detective Milo Sturgis in the search for the phantom victim of a crime that may never have occurred. Armed with only the vaguest details, psychologist and cop follow a trail twisting from L.A.’s sleaziest low-rent districts to its overblown mansions, retracing Patty and Tanya’s nomadic and increasingly puzzling life to the doorsteps of a sullen heroin addict; a randy real-estate broker; and a brilliant, enigmatic physics student. Suddenly a very real murder tears open a terrifying tunnel into the past, where secrets–and bodies–are buried. As the tension mounts, Delaware and Sturgis uncover a tangled history of desperation, vengeance, and death–a legacy of evil that refuses to die. Dramatic, action-packed, and filled with the psychological detail that only Jonathan Kellerman can provide, Obsession is a whodunit, a whydunit–and something unique: a did-it-even-happen? This is Kellerman at his heart-racing best
Erin Kelly - The Poison Tree
It is the sweltering summer of 1997, and Karen is a strait-laced, straight-A university student. When she meets the impossibly glamorous Biba, a bohemian orphan who lives in a crumbling old mansion in Highgate with her enigmatic brother Rex, she is soon drawn into their world -- but something terrible is about to happen, and someone's going to end up dead. Already drawing comparisons to Barbara Vine, Tana French and Sophie Hannah, Erin Kelly is an extraordinarily talented new author.
Koethi Zan - The Never List
For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the “Never List”: a list of actions to be avoided, for safety’s sake, at all costs. But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism. Ten years later, at thirty-one, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, living as a virtual recluse under a new name, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn’t make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail. Finally, Sarah decides to confront her phobias and the other survivors—who hold their own deep grudges against her. When she goes on a cross-country chase that takes her into the perverse world of BDSM, secret cults, and the arcane study of torture, she begins unraveling a mystery more horrifying than even she could have imagined.
Minette Walters - The Ice House
Winner of the CWA John Creasey Award for Best Debut Crime Novel 'When a rotting, unidentifiable corpse is discovered in the grounds of Streech Grange, it marks the beginning of a nightmare murder investigation for the three women living there. But is it the beginning? Or does the body lying in the ice house mean that the police can finally close their file on David Maybury, who vanished from Streech Grange ten years earlier? Inspector Walsh, the investigating officer in charge of the original inquiry, is a man obsessed with uncovering the truth. His suspicions centre - as they did at the time of her husband's diasappearance - on Phoebe Maybury. She inhabits a strange, isolated world where her only close companions are Anne and Diana, the two women friends who live with her. For many in the local community Streech Grange is as place of evil, and Phoebe herself has become the focus of the villager's dislike and fear. They believe that she murdered not only her husband but her parents as well. And now that some hard evidence has been uncovered the pressure to convict her becomes intense. As Walsh and his assistant, Detective Segeant McLoughlin, begin to probe into private lives and secret passions they assume that a conviction for murder can only be a formality. But sometimes obsessions can obstruct the truth...
James Patterson - Along Came a Spider
The spectacular international bestseller that introduced Washington-based homicide detective Alex Cross and launched James Patterson's career as one of the fastest-selling thriller writers in the world -- now reissued in striking new cover style. He had always wanted to be famous. When he kidnapped two well-known rich kids, it was headline news. Then one of them was found -- dead -- and the whole nation was in uproar. For such a high-profile case, they needed the top people -- Alex Cross, a black detective with a PhD in psychology, and Jezzie Flanagan, an ambitious young Secret Service agent -- yet even they were no match for the killer. He had the unnerving ability to switch from blood-crazed madness to clear-eyed sanity in an instant. But was he the helpless victim of a multiple-personality disorder -- or a brilliant, cold-blooded manipulator?