This year is off to an amazing start with the month full of cracking good mysteries and thrillers. If this trend continues, it’s going to be an awesome year for crime readers!
Our book of the month, The Woman in the Window, is selling so quickly it’s practically flying off the shelves. It’s clear this psychological thriller from debut author A. J. Finn is going to be one of the stand-out titles of 2018. With talk of a movie adaptation already in the works, this one is an absolute must-read!
We also have a brand new release from the always-amazing Candice Fox. Redemption Point is the sequel to last year’s engrossing bestseller, Crimson Lake, and it’s a wild rollercoaster ride of a book packed full of action, adventure, mystery and a dash of dark humour. Read on for my reviews of both books.
Reviews by Sarah McDuling
There is a lot of hype surrounding this book at the moment. Having already claimed the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, The Woman in the Window has established itself as the latest must-read thriller – the one everyone is talking about.
This book is fast-paced, tightly plotted and utterly riveting. A curious mixture of the new and the nostalgic, it’s a slick psychological thriller – yet also something of a homage to classic film noir and the golden age of crime fiction. It’s Gone Girl meets Hitchcock with a dash of Daphne du Maurier and a hint of Agatha Christie, which may sound like a bizarre combination of things but trust me when I say it really works!
Former child psychiatrist, Anna Fox, has been housebound for over 10 months. A terrible trauma has left her suffering from agoraphobia. She spends all her time locked away in her empty house with the blinds drawn, spying on her neighbours and drowning her troubles in wine and pills. Her marriage has broken down, her husband has left her and taken their young daughter with him. Anna is utterly alone.
When a new family moves in across the street, Anna begins watching them through the lens of her camera. Something strange is going on with the Russell family and pretty soon Anna finds herself in the centre of a mystery that carries all the hallmarks of a Hitchcock movie.
There is a murder with no murder victim. Two woman claiming the same identity. A sinister husband who may or may not be a killer and a troubled boy who is clearly keeping secrets. And throughout it all, Anna struggles to convince people (and herself) that she isn’t crazy. She knows what she saw and it wasn’t a dream or a hallucination… was it?
With a host of intriguing characters, a highly unreliable narrator and enough red herrings and shocking plot twists to keep even the most discerning reader in a state of constant uncertainty, this book is bound to appeal to fans of domestic noir thrillers like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. It is also full of apt film references – with particular attention to Hitchcock films like Rear Window, Dial M for Murder and Vertigo.
Like all the very best thrillers, The Woman in the Window contains a great balance of deft foreshadowing and unforeseeable turns. Some readers may be able to see a few of the twists coming but the ultimate ending is bound to catch people by surprise. Overall, this is a riveting read and an incredibly impressive debut! Learn more.
I have been desperate for this book ever since reading Crimson Lake last year. Candice Fox is a genius mastermind with crazy-amazing storytelling powers – literally every time she writes a book it becomes my new favourite. Redemption Point is no exception!
For anyone who hasn’t yet read Crimson Lake, my advice to you to you is to drop everything and get a copy immediately. I’m actually really jealous of all the readers out there who will be able to read Crimson Lake and Redemption Point back to back. For us fans, it’s been a long wait to catch up with Ted Conkaffey and Amanda Pharrell again!
Accused of a horrific crime and judged guilty in the eyes of the world, Crimson Lake saw Ted Conkaffey fleeing to far north Queensland to start his life over again. In the last book we watched as he slowly emerged from his grief and shock to team up with highly eccentric private investigator, Amanda Pharrell. In Redemption Point his journey continues as he gets closer to clearing his name and hunting down the dangerous criminal responsible for ruining his life.
Ted is the most reviled man in the country and Amanda is the most hated woman in Crimson Lake. Both are ex-cons accused of terrible crimes. Ted is falsely accused. Amanda isn’t.
In Redemption Point, readers will finally be given some of the answers they longed for in Crimson Lake. The mystery of who really abducted thirteen-year-old Claire Bingley is investigated alongside the double murder of two young Crimson Lake residents. Both crimes, past and present, are complex and difficult to solve. And best of all, there is plenty of opportunity for Ted and Amanda to shine as they each set about seeing justice done in their own very different ways.
Ted is the ultimate good guy. Despite having endured the complete destruction of his career, his family and his reputation – not to mention abuse at the hands of bloodthirsty vigilantes and constant persecution from the media, he somehow manages to remain steady as a rock and quietly heroic. Meanwhile, Amanda is an evil pixie genius with Sherlockian tendencies, zero social skills and a hilariously unique outlook on life. Together, they make for a dynamic crime solving duo.
With a cast of interesting supporting characters, two compelling mysteries to solve and a perfectly paced plot that will have readers on tenterhooks from the very first page, Redemption Point is a super fun, highly addictive and thoroughly satisfying sequel. As usual when it comes to Candice Fox, my only complaint is that I want more! 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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