Tag Archives: psychological thriller

The Reunion

By Samantha Hayes

This was a really great read, with twists and turns aplenty. Samantha Hayes introduces us to a host of believable (though not necessarily pleasant) characters who come together for a reunion. The reason? Claire is worried about her father, who has Alzheimer’s, and believes a gathering of old friends and family – most of whom adored him – would reawaken his memories. Instead, the reunion takes a dark turn as first Claire faces an unnerving work experience and then a young teen goes missing – in a manner eerily similar to the disappearance of Claire’s own sister, Lenni, many years before. Her sister had never been found. Would Rain, the latest teenager to go missing, be found in time? The story is intriguing, compelling, surprising and full of secrets and lies. Samantha Hayes gives us little clues throughout, but not enough to make the outcome predictable. A solid 4-star read recommended for lovers of psychological thrillers.

Book Blurb:

They were all there the day your sister went missing…Who is lying? Who is next?

Then–In charge of her little sister at the beach, Claire allowed Eleanor to walk to the shop alone to buy an ice cream. Placing a coin into her hand, Claire told her to be quick, knowing how much she wanted the freedom. Eleanor never came back.

Now–The time has finally come to sell the family farm and Claire is organising a reunion of her dearest friends, the same friends who were present the day her sister went missing.

When another girl disappears, long-buried secrets begin to surface. One of the group hides the darkest secret of them all…


Blood Moon

By Alexandra Sokoloff

Another cracker of a novel from Alexandra Sokoloff. I was full of trepidation as I set out to read the second in her Huntress FBI series.  I simply adored her first, Huntress Moon. Could book two even come close to it? Boy oh boy did this live up to the first!  Blood Moon is another suspenseful, all-consuming, gripping story that kept me totally intrigued and entertained. I found the profiling insights fascinating – FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is a former FBI profiler, and again ropes in his old mentor to help solve this new case. I was also drawn in by the continuing fascination Roarke has for the murderess he’s pursuing (which seems to be mutual) and by the increasingly urgent hunt for yet another serial killer who’s bound to wreak havoc when the moon becomes full – just days away.  Alexandra Sokoloff continues to build her wonderful characters, such as the slightly comic forensics twosome who work so seamlessly together. Epps and Singh, on Roarke’s team, although not always centre-stage, are finely wrought – I really felt as though I was coming to understand them and could start to predict how they would behave.

Book blurb:

Book II in the Thriller Award-nominated Huntress/FBI series

Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.

The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.

But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks – and wants – may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.

It is highly recommended that you read Book 1 of the series, Huntress Moon, first.

Deadly Intent

By Sheryl Browne

Deadly Intent really comes into its own during the second half  when author Sheryl Browne drags us along on a horrendous journey, in a claustrophobic, confined space, that at any moment could go horribly wrong. She delves into the dynamics of relationships: an estranged couple, pushed apart by tragedy; a ‘friendship’ based on blackmail, manipulation and distrust; and the frightening interactions between a drugged up psychopath and his prisoners. She brings all these interactions alive which made me feel I was really there. She does dialogue so well and manages to sustain the suspense. I continue to adore DI Matthew Adams, a decent, uncomplicated policeman who’s caring and empathetic. I’m pleased Sheryl didn’t feel it necessary for him to have a huge major flaw. Her other characters, however, are much more complex and I hated it when I actually started rooting for one of the ‘baddies’!  A great read if, like me, you enjoy psychological thrillers. Recommended.

Book blurb:

Tormented to the edge of sanity … 
Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family.
Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence.
Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too?


99 Red Balloons

By Elisabeth Carpenter

I loved this psychological thriller. 99 Red Balloons is a clever, well-written debut novel that caught me up right from the very beginning. When asked to describe her novel in one sentence (by author/blogger Sam Carrington), author Elisabeth Carpenter says, ‘two girls go missing, decades apart, and family secrets are slowly revealed’. The story gallops effortlessly along with a large cast of very believable characters and great dialogue. Elisabeth skilfully blends a number of different threads, each told from a different point of view. She led me totally astray – cleverly misleading me for most of the story. It’s a great ride – a skilful, suspenseful roller coaster of a book which left me breathless. Highly recommended if this is your genre.

Book blurb:

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…