You can blame Netflix for the decrease in my reading. So I've scaled it back somewhat and made as much time at night as I can for my beloved books.
COLD WATERS BY DEBBIE HERBERT
Synopsis: Everyone thinks fourteen-year-old Violet is a murderer. After a summer-night swim with her best friend, Ainsley, Violet is found confused, wandering in the forest—and Ainsley’s never seen again. But without a body, murder charges won’t stick, so Violet is sent away.
After more than a decade in a psychiatric ward, Violet returns to her broken-down hometown of Normal, Alabama, to claim her dead mother’s inheritance and help her overworked sister care for their unstable, alcoholic father. Violet, still haunted by that night eleven years ago, endures horrific flashbacks and twisted hallucinations while townsfolk spit accusations—and for all she knows, they’re right.
As the summer heats up, details of Ainsley’s fate appear like a beast’s wild eyes, watching in the darkness, and grim revelations about Violet’s family threaten to devour her. Already on the edge of madness, Violet must fight to keep her sanity long enough for the terrible truth to burst from the cold, dark waters.
This was a quick read, a thriller from Amazon Prime Firsts. I'm not sure I'd rush for the second book in the series but it was interesting enough.
HEARTS IN ATLANTIS BY STEPHEN KING
This was five stories that were interlinked in that the same characters pop up as it goes from 1960 to 1999 with the theme of the Vietnam war running through it. It's different from his other short stories I've read (although with many of his, they're novellas rather than short stories). They're not horror or supernatural. You could argue that in a couple of them, nothing much happens (one story is about students dropping out of uni because they get addicted to a card game), but it's not really that simple. Every story keeps the reader's attention because this is Stephen King. He's a master story-teller who could write about putting the bins out and it would be gripping. It wasn't my favourite collection of his but it was worth reading and I can't wait to devour more of his.
THEIR LITTLE SECRET BY MARK BILLINGHAM
I've read a lot of Mark Billingham's Tom Thorne thrillers. Not all of them, but the majority. I like the character, his friendship with gay pathologist Phil Hendricks and his new partner Nicola Tanner, who's still grieving for her murdered wife. When this came up on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to review it. This one's about a murderous partnership that Thorne only stumbles on by accident, such is his tenaciousness. Conrad's a con-man who drives a woman to suicide but when he meets fruitcake Sarah (who has an imaginary child), things become darker. The two of them embark on a little spree with Thorne hot on their heels.
I read this one so quickly, it seemed really short to me (hard to tell when it's on Kindle) but actually the paperback runs at 512 pages, so it's anything but short. Anyway, I devoured it. It was swift moving and easy to follow. Probably one of the best Mark Billingham's I've read in a while.
THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW BY A.J FINN
This little gem came up at NetGalley too and I couldn't resist when I saw that the plot had been heavily influenced by the Hitchcock film Rear Window, starring James Stewart.
Synopsis: It’s been ten months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.
Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.
But one evening, a scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something horrifying. Now she must uncover the truth about what really happened. But if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?
Review coming soon