I was lucky enough to grab some quiet time on the beach recently so I took the opportunity to devour a few of the novels promising to be this summer’s big holiday reads. And when I say devour, I’m talking about the kind of page-turners that will keep you glued to your sun lounger long after the ice has melted in your mojito and your SPF is overdue a top-up. So, if you’re looking for some unputdownable easy reads, you won’t go far wrong with the following…
Psychological thrillers: Hits like Gone Girl and Girl on the Train have sent the psychological thriller genre into overdrive, and the next two novels are among many competing to be this year’s biggest hit.
The Girl Before – JP Delaney
I heard the author discussing this on the radio and knew it would be right up my street. Based on the experiences of successive female tenants in a property that is as powerful a character as any in the novel, it ticks off originality as well as intrigue. Innovative and addictive.
Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough
I get irritated when authors conjure up ridiculously inconceivable conclusions that leave me feeling mugged off. On the other hand, I love a clever, well-constructed novel that catches me out with the ending, credible or not. For me, this was a belter of the latter variety. Suspenseful, absorbing, and totally unpredictable!
Unravelling the past: Dark secrets and skeletons in the closet provide the mystery in these two big titles.
Lie with Me – Sabine Durrant
It’s unusual to have such a disagreeable narrator and even more surprising when you find yourself rooting for him. The self-serving protagonist of Lie with Me is by no means evil, but he’s certainly not an endearing character. Yet as we follow him embarking on new friendships and reviving old acquaintances we discover that he may not be the worst of the pack. With a long dormant unsolved mystery thrown in, it makes for a perfect holiday read.
The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel
Although this novel is permeated with some seriously dark and unpleasant themes, it doesn’t get too graphic, which keeps it firmly in the ‘unputdownable holiday reads’ category. Set mainly in Kansas, it’s a family mystery with narrative that bounces back and forth through the decades. I read nearly all of it in one sitting.
The Secret – Kathryn Hughes
I’ve not read anything by Kathryn Hughes before and to be honest I bought this on the Kindle Store by accident, thinking it was something else. I have to be brutal and say that, whilst there was a reasonably intriguing story that surprised me towards the end, there was nothing clever or engaging about this novel and at times I found it painful to read. The writing was just a bit too artificial and the characters too contrived for me, sorry! It clearly works for others though as she’s a bestseller.
The Turning Point – Freya North
I have always loved Freya North and think she’s a very talented storyteller who has her genre nailed. Her novels always have me hooked despite being much lighter than the mystery/death/kill that I’m normally drawn to. The Turning Point was true to form and I was totally engaged from the start. If you’re expecting just another fluffy romp be warned – it’s a tearjerker too!
Whichever you choose, happy reading- and don’t forget your sunscreen!