Wednesday, 23 April 2014

All about Secrets - Recommended Psychological Thrillers (with 3 Reviews)

Here are Three TOP Psychological Thrillers I'd recommend so far this year. They all feature 'Secrets' in some form or other - one of my favourite themes for a novel - who can resist them?!:

The Accident - C L Taylor
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Sue Jackson has the perfect family but when her teenage daughter Charlotte deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma she is forced to face a very dark reality.

A compelling and exciting ride from C L Taylor. Charlotte (15) lies in a coma after an apparent attempted suicide - her act seems to come out of the blue - until her mother finds out her daughter was harbouring a 'secret'. Fraught domestic scenarios follow as Susan tries to unravel the truth about her daughter's final days before the accident. The present storyline together with extracts from a diary in the past work well in terms of dramatic build up. The lead character, Susan, is nervy, neurotic and paranoid but gradually we understand why - as she faces every woman's worst nightmare. Full of narrative drive - highly recommended.

The Husband's Secret - Liane Moriarty
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband's hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death. Curious, she opens it - and time stops.

Who could resist the initial hook? - a hidden letter stating 'only open after my death'! The revelation (which doesn't come right at the start, and rightly so), did make me gasp out loud. Then what is known can never be 'unknown' and there's no going back...

This is a story of secrets, actions and their consequences told through two separate families and their individual tragedies, exploring the events, random circumstances and choices that can send our lives 'ricocheting in an entirely different direction'.

There are complex threads that gradually overlap and link everything together. Very well managed, I'd say. The writing style is intense, up-close and personal, often humorous and dripping with emotion (could be a bit too chick-lit in style for some readers?).

The Darkening Hour - Penny Hancock
My rating: 5/5 stars

A middle class woman at her wits' end. A struggling migrant worker with few options for survival. When tensions boil over, who will be the first to snap?

Really excellent novel (the follow-up to one of my favourites from last year, Tideline) from Penny Hancock. I love her gentle lilting writing style and the personal voice, within domestic settings (again, like her debut novel, within reach of The Thames). A tragic story and not so removed from fact, which makes it even more poignant. Very clever twists and lots of 'heart in your mouth' moments. Thoroughly recommended.

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AJ Waines is the author of Psychological Thrillers:  The Evil Beneath and Girl on a Train.
Both books went to Number One in 'Murder' and 'Psychological Thrillers' in the UK Kindle charts.