These new thrillers will unsettle your heart
Books to unsettle your heart featuring wives, sisters and friends
Three Little Lies, Laura Marshall
Three Little Lies unfolds over two timelines, beginning in 2005 when the cultured Monktons move in across the street from teenager Ellen. She becomes fast friends with the exotic Sasha, the Monkton’s ward, and a fixture in the bohemian home. This ends when the eldest Monkton son, Daniel, is sentenced to 10 years for rape, in part because of the girls’ testimony. The second thread begins a decade later: Sasha has disappeared, Ellen is frantic with worry and Daniel is out of jail. Could he be seeking revenge? And what precisely are the three little lies of the title. Immersive storytelling.
The Stranger Upstairs, Melanie Raabe, translated by Imogen Taylor
The best thrillers take an implausible concept and through grit and guile make it believable. Here’s an example: Sarah hasn’t heard from Philip since he left their home in Hamburg on a business trip to South America seven years ago. Only recently has she accepted that he is dead – then she gets a call saying he’s alive and on his way home. Only problem is, the man who gets off the plane isn’t Philip. Who is he? What’s going on? This novel was on Der Spiegel’s bestseller list for six months. The translation is note perfect.
The Exes’ Revenge, Jo Jakeman
Jo Jakeman’s debut novel opens at the funeral of Philip Rochester, where we meet the three women who are happiest to see him dead: narrator Imogen, his ex wife; Naomi, his most recent partner; and finally Ruby, his ex-ex wife. The three do not acknowledge one another, realizing this would be unwise given the role they played in his untimely demise. Of course, it’s more complicated than that. An entertaining tale of revenge.
Sister of Mine, Laurie Petrou
Laurie Petrou’s accomplished debut novel is a classic domestic noir, filled with the hum of secrets and rivalries. It is the story of sisters — Penny, the dark one, and Hattie, warm and light — who live together in St. Margaret’s (a town perhaps similar to Grimsby, Ont., where Petrou lives). Into their home comes Jameson Leung (variously described as the “Oriental Teacher with One Arm” and “the Knockout”) who smites both Hattie and Penny with his exotic charm. Petrou is an associate professor at Ryerson’s RTA School of Media.
When the Lights Go Out, Mary Kubica
After her mom dies, Jessie is on her own and trying to get her life in order. Her first setback comes when she learns her social security number and name belonged to someone who died years ago. Her second is that insomnia has left her a wreck. So, let us delve deeper into Jessie’s life and discover how she is connected to a young woman who, 20 years earlier, wanted nothing more than to have a child. This is Kubica’s fifth novel since 2014, when she published the bestselling The Good Girl.
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