Booktopia’s crime book of the month is one of my favourite reads of the year so far. The Dark Lake by debut author Sarah Bailey is so good I have already read it twice! I can feel in my bones that this is the beginning of an epic new crime series. I just wish the next book was already available because I’m hungry for more!
And a big congratulations to Jane Harper, author of The Dry, for absolutely cleaning up at the Australian Book Industry Awards recently. Not only did she win the General Fiction Book of the Year award, she also won the Book of the Year award! If you are one of the few people left in the country who haven’t read The Dry, I strongly urge you to rectify this oversight. I promise you won’t regret it!
Enjoy the reviews below!
Reviews by Sarah McDuling
Review by Sarah McDuling: The Dark Lake is an absolutely stunning debut. This is such a beautifully written and utterly absorbing read, it’s hard to believe that it’s the author’s first novel.
I love to get my hands on a good character-driven murder mystery – especially one with a complex protagonist and a plot that keeps me guessing. The Dark Lake delivers all of this and more. The characters and relationships portrayed are so intricate and messy and real. Plus, the atmosphere is so alive, the small town so vibrantly depicted, that it was a real struggle for me to put this book down.
When a beautiful woman is found dead, floating in a lake surrounded by roses, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is called to the scene. Stunned to discover the murder victim is a girl she went to school with – and with whom she shared a complicated history – Gemma is soon drawn into a dangerous web of lies and deceit.
Let me say right now, I love Gemma Woodstock. She is an incredibly strong woman haunted by ghosts of the past, and I was completely riveted by her story arc in The Dark Lake. She sets out to solve Rosalind’s murder with dogged determination, while simultaneously falling deep into a pit of traumatic memory… Learn more.
Review by Sarah McDuling: I really enjoyed Ruth Ware’s first novel, In a Dark Dark Wood, and am pleased to report that The Lying Game might be even better!
This story centres around a group of four women – Kate, Isa, Thea and Fatima – who were close friends in high school and used to play a disturbing game of their own invention called The Lying Game. Now in their thirties, they are brought back together when Kate sends them all the same text message containing just three words – “I need you”.
The mystery at the heart of this book can be traced back to a lie the friends told seventeen years earlier. Now, the past is coming back to haunt them and there will be no escaping the consequences.
There is such an overwhelming feeling of dread that slowly gathers as this story unfolds. The last third of the book was so intense I had to keep putting the book down for a few seconds as I needed to catch my breath!
This is a gripping psychological thriller about love, guilt, secrets and lies. It is sinister, creepy and highly addictive, with a deftly plotted mystery that is bound to keep readers riveted as the truth is slowly revealed.
Perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins and Claire Mackintosh… Learn more.
Review by Sarah McDuling: Whenever I pick up a Dean Koontz book I know that I’m about to get completely swept up in story packed full of action, suspense and amazing characters. He is such a master storyteller and knows exactly how to draw readers in and keep them dangling on tenterhooks.
The Silent Corner is the first in a new series from Koontz staring kickass FBI agent Jane Hawk. I am so on board with this series and am already looking forward to the next book. Jane is such an awesome creation. I might even love her more than I love Odd Thomas, who has always been my favourite Koontz character. Until now! (I’m sorry Odd. I still love you but Jane Hawk is just so cool!)
When Jane’s husband commits suicide she channels all her grief and rage into investigating his death. She suspects a conspiracy as her husband was a happy and successful man with seemingly no reason to kill himself. Pretty soon Jane finds herself a fugitive, fighting for her life as she hunts down the truth.
This book is a heart-stopping, pulse-pounding roller-coaster ride. From the first page I was completely sucked into the story and literally could not put the book down. No kidding – I scrambled eggs, watered pot plants, collected the mail and made a cup of tea – all while reading this book. It’s an epic pageturner!
The Silent Corner will be a guaranteed hit with Koontz’s loyal fans, as well as anyone who enjoys a gripping thriller… Learn more.
Don’t Miss these Crime and Thrillers!
The most daring and devastating heist in literary history targets a high security vault located deep beneath Princeton University.
Valued at $25 million (though some would say priceless) the five manuscripts of F Scott Fitzgerald’s only novels are amongst the most valuable in the world. After an initial flurry of arrests, both they and the ruthless gang of thieves who took them have vanished without trace.
Dealing in stolen books is a dark business, and few are initiated to its arts – which puts Bruce Kable right on the FBI’s Rare Asset Recovery Unit’s watch list.
A struggling writer burdened by debts, Mercer Mann spent summers on Florida’s idyllic Camino Island as a kid, in her grandmother’s beach cottage. Now she is… Learn more.
Must-Read True Crime!
The extraordinary story of one of the greatest living art forgers, who fooled the world’s art experts whilst working from a shed in the garden of his parents’ house in Bolton, England.
In 2007, Bolton Crown Court in the United Kingdom sentenced Shaun Greenhalgh to four years and eight months in prison for the crime of producing artistic forgeries. Working out of a shed in his parents’ garden, Greenhalgh had successfully fooled some of the world’s greatest museums. During the court case, the breadth of his forgeries shocked the art world and tantalised the media. What no one realised was how much more of the story there was to tell.
Written in prison, A Forger’s Tale details Shaun’s notorious career and the extraordinary circumstances that led to it. From Leonardo drawings to… Learn more
About the Contributor
Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Senior Content Producer and Editor of The Booktopian Blog. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling
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