The Light of Day by Graham Swift

One thing that irritates the bejesus out of me is protracted suspense. It’s probably why I don’t read many thrillers or mysteries. Can you see where I’m heading with Graham Swift’s The Light of Day?

Ex-cop-turned-private-detective, George, reflects on past events that bound him to Sarah, a woman he visits in jail.

And sometimes it’s at the very moment they learn the worst that they most become your friend. They thank you for it – they even pay you for it. Continue reading

Berlin Syndrome by Melanie Joosten

Melanie Joosten’s fresh-to-the-big-screen thriller, Berlin Syndrome, is a story about Stockholm Syndrome. Set in Berlin, obvs.

Australian photographer (with an interest in former Eastern Bloc architecture), Clare, meets native Berliner and English teacher, Andi.

He was not really following her, he told himself, he was just curious to see where she was going. An anthropological study of a foreigner in Berlin.

There is an instant attraction and suddenly a holiday fling turns into something more sinister than Clare could have anticipated. Within days, Clare realises that she is trapped in Andi’s apartment and although she initially tries to escape, her attitude changes and she becomes a compliant prisoner. Continue reading

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

I’ve done a lot of grizzling on this blog about the implausibility, and ultimately the predictability of thrillers (most recently, Second Life and Girl on the Train). So it’s with great excitement that I actually recommend a thriller – Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. Continue reading

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – a literary mixtape

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There’s more than 75,000 reviews of the best-selling Paula Hawkins thriller, The Girl on the Train on Goodreads. I have nothing to add. Instead, enjoy the tunes (although please note the following: it took all my strength not to include Sheena Easton. And Color Me Badd is everything that’s bad about the nineties). Continue reading

Second Life by S. J. Watson

I read S. J. Watson’s debut, Before I Go to Sleep, on a long-haul flight – perfect choice because I couldn’t put it down. The ‘thriller’ section of the bookshelf is not my usual hunting ground and I’m not overly familiar with the conventions of the genre – it’s fair to say I’m easily ‘thrilled’. And although these books are rarely ‘believable’ in the true sense of the word, I expect them to be convincing enough to mess with my mind – that’s the point of the psychological thriller, isn’t it? What I don’t expect is to be rolling my eyes. Hard. Or muttering “Who is that stupid….?” Which brings me to Watson’s second novel, Second Life. Continue reading