Is it just me or is Netflix a bit dreary of late? I keep refreshing in the hope that something good will turn up but more often than not I’ve been reaching for a book instead. Here are some of my top picks from the last couple of months.
The Retreat – Mark Edwards
Mark Edwards is a huge favourite of mine. I always storm through his books and The Retreat was no exception. I’m a bit of a sucker for books about people writing books so I knew I’d love this one.
Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.
Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.
When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…
What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?
I finished this so quickly and loved every second. If you like folklore or ghost stories or just want something that’s going to make you feel a little unsettled then I highly recommend The Retreat. I always try to guess the ending when I’m reading a thriller but I couldn’t have been further from the truth with this one.
An Unwanted Guest – Shari Lapena
A cup of coffee and a whodunnit are truly all I need for a good day. It turns out last Monday was a really good day because I spent the entirety of it cosied up in an armchair reading Shari Lapena’s newest novel cover to cover.
As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.
With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.
I’m a huge lover of Miss Marple and An Unwanted Guest paid homage to Agatha Christie in the best way. (I promise at some point I’ll review some books that aren’t crime/thrillers but today is not that day!).
After finishing An Unwanted Guest, I immediately rang my Dad to tell him he HAD to read this book. We both love thriller novels but I only recommend the best to him. Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is one of my favourite books so to read this more modern version with a few differences was a real treat.
Guess Who – Chris McGeorge
A waitress. A cleaner. An actress. A lawyer. A student. Everyone is a suspect.
In a locked room – with no escape, and no idea how they got there.
In the bathtub, the body of a man they all knew. Someone murdered him. Someone in this room.
They have three hours to find out. Or they all die.
I’ll be honest here and say I couldn’t really get on with this book. I think it was more a “It’s not you, it’s me” situation though because I was so busy when I was reading this that I could only manage a few pages a time before having to pack up boxes and do other boring moving related tasks.
However, in saying that, I did really enjoy the premise of the book and I was pretty hooked a guy in a horse head mask. I would have liked a little more depth to the characters and I found the ending a bit disappointing, but all in all I did enjoy the book and regret not giving it more of my time.
What’s your favourite thriller novel? Let me know in the comments!