Kerry’s Fiction Picks

I’ve chosen some interesting mystery and thriller titles this week. Good suggestions if you want alternatives to the usual Scandi-types!

Syndetics book coverMan lies dreaming
Lavie Tidhar is an award winning fantasy writer and this is his latest offering, described by the Guardian (a description happily accepted by Tidahr) as a “twisted masterpiece”. It turns the grim subject of the Holocaust upside down and reimagines it through the prism of concentration camp captive Shomer, a former pulp fiction author who fantasises instead that he is a low rent PI called Wolf living London to escape the realities of Auschwitz. Wolf experiences an alternate history where Hitler has failed and he encounters other historical figures on his adventures, the Mitford sisters, Ian Fleming and Leni Reifenstahl. The Guardian goes on to say the novel “treats the topic of genocide with a kind of energetic unseriousness”, in a good way. It sits alongside Timur Vermes’s satirical story about Hitler Look who’s back, both presenting a change in tone in the treatment of such serious topics.

Syndetics book coverGirl on the train
This debut novel by Paula Hawkins will provide you with your next new Gone Girl and has been praised by S J Watson who wrote Before I go to Sleep – so certainly a top notch thriller! It’s about a young woman who commutes everyday on the same train to work. On her journey the passes the same house and the couple who live there, which she always stops to look at and imagine their lives. One morning she sees something terrible and burdened by she saw goes to the police. What unfolds has been described as Hitchcockian and “compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive… and an electrifying debut.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMind of winter
This is a thriller slash horror about a mother and daughter – loving mum and wife Holly and her adopted daughter Tatty. Holly and husband Eric had travelled to Russia to adopt Tatiana from an orphanage, ignoring the superstitions of the nurses there, but still unable to shake the feeling that something evil had followed them back from Russia. One Christmas morning Holly wakes up with an ominous feeling and as the day progresses things start to go wrong, Tatty starts to change and become someone else. Amazon says “a dark and chilling thriller that combines domestic drama with elements of psychological suspense and horror—an addictive tale of denial and guilt that is part Joyce Carol Oates and part Chris Bohjalian.” Author Laura Kasischke’s work has been critically acclaimed and she’s won several awards, certainly sounds like a good scary story!