How could he forget eight weeks of his life? How could thirty hours have turned into eternity? Why had the nurse said his wires were crossed? What was wrong with him?
When Lieutenant Charles Acland is flown home from Iraq with serious head injuries, he faces not only permanent disfigurement but also an apparent change to his previously outgoing personality.
Crippled by migraines and suspicions of his psychiatrist, he begins to display sporadic bouts of aggression, particularly against women, and especially his ex-fiancée, who seems unable to accept that the relationship is over.
After his injuries prevent his return to the army, he cuts all ties with his former life and moves to London. Alone and unmonitored, he sinks into a private world of guilt and paranoid distrust…until a customer annoys him in a Bermondsey pub…
Out of control and only prevented from killing the man by the intervention of a 250-pound female weightlifter called Jackson, he attracts the attention of police who are investigating three ‘gay’ murders in the Bermondsey area which seems to have been motivated by extreme rage…
Under suspicion, Acland is forced to confront the real issues behind his isolation. How much control does he have over the dark side of his personality? Do his migraines contribute to his rage? Has he always been the duplicitous chameleon that his ex-fiancée claims?
And why – if he hates women – does he look to a woman for help?
Sebastian Fitzek - Therapy
Many modern crime novels can be classified as 'psychological thrillers' but Sebastian Fitzek's debut THERAPY is actually a crime novel about psychology. A huge bestseller in Germany two years ago (where it toppled THE DA VINCI CODE from the #1 position); the central character in THERAPY is a well-known, well-heeled TV psychiatrist whose 12-year-old allergy-prone daughter disappears whilst in his care. Fast-forward four years and the daughter is still missing. The psychiatrist's wife and career have both deserted him but he will not accept that his daughter is dead. Retreating to a remote holiday island in the North Sea (where of course a storm cuts communications) the psychiatrist is stalked by a mysterious blonde claiming to be a schizophrenic author whose characters come alive and one of them is a 12-year-old girl… In an atmosphere of increasing paranoia and well-crafted tension it looks as if this is going to be a case not so much of 'physician heal thyself' but 'psychiatrist analyse yourself' although all is not what it seems. In fact, nothing is what it seems and the reader is taken down the same sort of convoluted, red-herring strewn road that the viewer was the first time they saw The Usual Suspects. This book suckers you in, but once you're hooked you are there until the final twists and I do mean twists - plural. It is a cop-out for many reviewers to say things like "to give away too much of the plot…" but in this case I just might have to call on an alibi like that. Suffice it to say that if Alfred Hitchcock had been still working, he would have bitten Herr Fitzek's hand off for the film rights. Or at least set some seagulls on him until he signed them over.
Aleatha Romig - Truth
Book #2 of the Consequences Series: Claire Nichols endured the CONSEQUENCES of Anthony Rawlings’ vendetta. When she first arrived to his home, her goal was survival. Through strength and compartmentalization Claire captivated her captor. Her resilience in the face of his rule threatened Anthony’s well developed plan. He thought he taught her to behave-but domination became desire and Claire taught Tony to love. Their passion and adoration in a world of opulence appeared perfect, yet the reality was a roller coaster of emotion. Claire’s world teetered on the edge of sanity as Antony monitored her every move. When given the opportunity to flee, Claire drove away—a fateful decision which began a well laid plan. Unbeknownst to either of them, there were others who saw past the perfect facade of Anthony Rawlings. There were others who saw the TRUTH. Conspiracy and unfulfilled promises result in an early prison release for Claire. Not just a release—a pardon. According to the law, her crime never happened! Will it be that easy? Faced with freedom from her past—can Claire seize it? Can she build a new life, mend her broken spirit, become the woman she once was, and seek her own revenge? Or is it all a game? And does the game master have different plans? How does Sophia Burke fit into the puzzle that is Tony and Claire? Will her presence affect the future of this well esteemed man? Can he dominate twice? Is that his goal? TRUTH continues the tumultuous saga of CONSEQUENCES,introduces new players, and uncovers more intrigue. Aleatha Romig skillfully weaves past transgressions through current deception to create a fervent world of obsessed desire. In this reality can an all-consuming relationship survive? When buried sins are discovered they threaten not only Tony and Claire’s future—but their very lives! Will the TRUTH be revealed in time?
John D. MacDonald - Cape Fear
Killing is too merciful. First they have to be destroyed... Sam Bowden considers himself a happy man. He has a beautiful wife, three healthy children, a yacht in the harbour, money in the bank... There is one cloud on his horizon. A night of violence all those years ago- when Sam's evidence put a vicious rapist behind bars. Now Max Cady is free. For 14 years he has nursed his hatred. The time has come to unleash his revenge.
Patricia Highsmith - Ripley Under Water
Tom Ripley is quietly living a life of luxury at his chateau at Villeperce, and, as ever, is keeping one step ahead of the law - he has, after all, a past that would not bear too much close scrutiny ... The fifth novel featuring the protagonist Tom Ripley finds the sophisticated and amoral American expatriate being harassed by David Pritchard, a fellow American whose boorishness marks him as something of Ripley's alter-ego. Inexplicably familiar with all the incriminating details of Ripley's past, Pritchard is determined to expose him. He shadows Ripley's every move, first spying on him at home in France and then following him to Morocco. Tensions build on the return to Villeperce as Pritchard sets out to locate a body Ripley would prefer remain hidden in a nearby river ...
Patricia Highsmith - Deep Water
The great revival of interest in Patricia Highsmith continues with this work that reveals the chilling reality behind the idyllic facade of American suburban life. In Deep Water, set in the small town of Little Wesley, Vic and Melinda Meller's loveless marriage is held together only by a precarious arrangement whereby in order to avoid the messiness of divorce, Melinda is allowed to take any number of lovers as long as she does not desert her family. Eventually, Vic tries to win her back by asserting himself through a tall tale of murder—one that soon comes true.
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.
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.
Wally Lamb - I Know This Much Is True
Who Is Wally Lamb? The author addresses the National Endowment for the Arts. With his stunning debut novel, She's Come Undone, Wally Lamb won the adulation of critics and readers with his mesmerizing tale of one woman's painful yet triumphant journey of self-discovery. Now, this brilliantly talented writer returns with I Know This Much Is True, a heartbreaking and poignant multigenerational saga of the reproductive bonds of destruction and the powerful force of forgiveness. A masterpiece that breathtakingly tells a story of alienation and connection, power and abuse, devastation and renewal--this novel is a contemporary retelling of an ancient Hindu myth. A proud king must confront his demons to achieve salvation. Change yourself, the myth instructs, and you will inhabit a renovated world.
Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see: she’s much more than just the girl on the train…
S. J. Watson - Second Life
Julia's life is comfortable, if unremarkable, until her sister's brutal murder opens old wounds. She finds solace in her sister's best friend, Sophie, but when Sophie reveals the extent of her sister's online life, Julia becomes convinced that the truth about her death lies deep in the dark, sordid world of online chatrooms and internet sex. What begins as Julia's search for the truth about her sister quickly turns into an exploration of herself and her own desires. After all, the internet is her playground, and why be just one thing when you can be as many as you like? What could possibly go wrong? After all, it's only cybersex, isn't it? No one's going to get hurt. But then she meets the dark and mysterious Lukas in an online chat room, and things begin to get very dangerous indeed.
Elizabeth Haynes - Into the Darkest Corner
Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous - Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything. This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.
Laura Marshall - Friend Request
Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston is dead. Isn't she? 1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything the girls Louise hangs out with aren't. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends. 2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever. Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria's sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone she'd severed ties with to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there's more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what's known to Maria--or whoever's pretending to be her--is known to all.
Poppy Z. Brite - Exquisite Corpse
To serial slayer Andrew Compton, murder is an art, _the most intimate art_. After feigning his own death to escape from prison, Compton makes his way to the United States with the ambition of bringing his art to new heights. Tortured by his own perverse desires, drawn to possess and destroy young boys, Compton inadvertently joins forces with Jay Byrne, a dissolute playboy who has pushed his art to limits even Compton hadn't previously imagined. Together, Compton and Byrne set their sights on an exquisite young Vietnamese-American runaway, Tran, whom they deem to be the perfect victim. Swiftly moving from the grimy streets of London's Piccadilly Circus to the decadence of New Orleans French Quarter, Poppy Z. Brite dissects the landscape of torture and invites us into the mind of a killer. _Exquisite Corpse_ confirms Brite as a writer who defies categorization. It is a novel for those who dare trespass where the sacred and profane become one.
B. A. Paris - Behind Closed Doors
The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie? A debut psychological thriller you can’t miss! ‘This outstanding debut novel will leave you breathless’ -Bella ‘Brilliant, chilling, scary and unputdownable.’ -Lesley Pearse, bestselling author of Without a Trace ‘This one is 2016’s answer to Gone Girl. Nuff said.’ -Women’s Health UK ‘You’ll love this’ -The Sun Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows. Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie. ‘Behind Closed Doors gives us a glimpse into the realities of a ‘perfect marriage’, with addictive and heart pounding moments guaranteed to have you looking at your friends and neighbours differently.’ -Margaret Madden, Bleach House Library
Samantha King - The Choice
For fans of The Couple Next Door, I See You and The Widow, The Choice is a hypnotic suspense debut from a remarkable new talent and explores every parent's worst nightmare: What if you had to choose between your children? Then: Madeleine lived for her children. She'd always believed she'd die for them, too. But on the morning of her twins' tenth birthday her love was put to the test when a killer knocked on their door and forced her to make a devastating choice: which child should live, and which should die - her son, or her daughter? Now: Madeleine stands silent on the periphery of her now fractured family, trying desperately to unravel why her world was so suddenly blown apart. But while everyday life continues around her, memories of everything leading up to that tragic day return in agonising flashes.
B. A. Paris - The Breakdown
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust? It all started that night in the woods. Cass Anderson didn’t stop to help the woman in the car, and now she’s dead. Ever since, silent calls have been plaguing Cass and she’s sure someone is watching her. Consumed by guilt, she’s also starting to forget things. Whether she took her pills, what her house alarm code is and if the knife in the kitchen really had blood on it. Bestselling author B A Paris is back with a brand new psychological thriller full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Darcey Bell - A Simple Favor
_She’s your best friend._ _She knows all your secrets._ _That’s why she’s so dangerous._ A single mother's life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of _Gone Girl_ and _The Girl on the Train_. It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time. But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over. Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems. _A Simple Favor_ is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page. "Riveting and brilliantly structured, _A Simple Favor_ is an edge-of-your seat domestic thriller about a missing wife and mother that relies on a rotating cast of unreliable narrators to ingeniously examine the cost of competitive mom-friends, the toll of ordinary marital discontent and the fallacy of the picture-perfect, suburban family." — Kimberly McCreight, _New York Times_ bestselling author
Sarah Pinborough - Behind Her Eyes
Only two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. It’s said that the only people who really know what goes on in a marriage are the couple themselves. But what if even they don’t know the truth? David and Adele seem like the ideal pair. He’s a successful psychiatrist, she is his picture-perfect wife who adores him. But why is he so controlling? And why is she keeping things hidden? Louise, David’s new secretary, is intrigued. But as Louise gets closer to each of them, instead of finding answers she uncovers more puzzling questions. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise could never have guessed how wrong things really are and just how far someone might go to hide it.
Louise Jensen - The Sister
‘I did something terrible Grace. I hope you can forgive me …’ Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear that there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend. When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home. But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger? There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie … Or was there?
Minette Walters - The Shape of Snakes
November 1978. The winter of discontent. Britain is on strike. The dead lie unburied, garbage piles in the streets - and somewhere in West London a black woman dies in a rain-filled gutter. Known as "Mad Annie", she was despised by her neighbours. Her passing would have gone unmourned and unnoticed but for the young woman who finds her and believes - apparently against reason - that Annie was murdered. Yet whatever the truth about Annie - whether she was as mad as her neighbours claimed, whether she lived in squalor as the police said, whether she cruelly mistreated the cats found starving in her house - something passed between her and Mrs. Ranelagh in the moment of death that binds this one woman to her cause for the next 20 years. But why is Mrs. Ranelagh so convinced it was murder, when, by her own account, Annie died without speaking? Why does the subject make her husband so angry that he refuses to talk about what happened that night? And why would any woman spend 20 painstaking years uncovering the truth - unless her reasons are personal?