Mystery/Thriller

#BookReview
A Life to Kill by Matthew Hall
@MatthewH_books @panmacmillan @PGCBooks

#BookReview A Life to Kill by Matthew Hall @MatthewH_books @panmacmillan @PGCBooksTitle: A Life to Kill

Author: Matthew Hall

Series: Coroner Jenny Cooper #7

Published by Pan Macmillan on February 19, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

The seventh gripping installment in Matthew Hall’s twice CWA Gold Dagger-nominated series – soon to be a CBC Television Original Drama, Coroner, starring Serinda Swan, Roger Cross, and Ehren Kassam.

The day they’ve all been waiting for is at hand. The last British combat soldiers in the Helmand province of Afghanistan are counting the minutes until their departure home to Highcliffe: a small town in the south of England. For their families, it spells the end of an agonizing six month wait.

But in the final hours, disaster strikes. Nineteen-year-old Private Pete ‘Skippy’ Lyons is taken hostage in the night and the patrol sent out to locate him is ambushed. One killed, two injured. And one still missing in action.

Their loved ones are left desperate for answers the Army is reluctant to provide. How was Private Lyons abducted from a heavily fortified command post? And why are officers trying to disguise what happened during the mission to save him?

Their only hope lies with Coroner Jenny Cooper, who must take on the full might of the military to stop the truth being buried along with the boy soldiers. But in a town filled with secrets and rumours, it’s not only the Army that has something to hide.


Review:

Compulsive, astute, and timely!

In this latest novel in the Coroner Jenny Cooper series, A Life to Kill, Hall immerses us in a complicated, emotional case involving a missing Private, a dead soldier, two critically injured, and a military that seems determined to keep their skeletons in the closet.

The writing is tight and crisp. The characters are flawed, secretive, and loyal. And the plot is an intricate, exceptionally paced mystery full of twists, turns, revelations, deception, corruption, allegiances, power, combat, violence, the ins and outs of military life, and murder.

A Life to Kill is a without a doubt an intelligent, masterfully plotted, absorbing page-turner that had me hooked from the very first page. It’s fascinating, shocking, at times even disturbing, and definitely one of my favourite reads of the year.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

  

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall (formerly M. R. Hall) is an award-winning screenwriter and
former barrister. Educated at Hereford Cathedral School and Worcester
College, he lives a stone's throw from the Welsh border in Herefordshire,
England. He is married to journalist Patricia Carswell and they have two sons, Tom and Will. His other loves are beekeeping, boxing, trail running, and native woodlands.
A Life to Kill is the seventh novel in Matthew Hall's twice CWA Gold Daggernominated Coroner Jenny Cooper series.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Good Friend by Jo Baldwin
@jokbaldwin @RedDoorBooks #TheGoodFriend

#BlogTour #BookReview The Good Friend by Jo Baldwin @jokbaldwin @RedDoorBooks #TheGoodFriendTitle: The Good Friend

Author: Jo Baldwin

Published by RedDoor Publishing on February 21, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: RedDoor Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Heavenly Creatures meets The Hand That Rocks the Cradle in this exciting debut novel about friendship, love and jealousy.

Once upon a time they were best friends. They were all friends. So when Jenny moved to Australia to focus on her swimming career, she not only lost Kath, but her soul-mate Tom. It was for the best. Or so they said. Now, eight years later, Jenny seeks out her childhood friend and heads to rural France where Kath has settled. At first the women fall back into a close relationship, but before long strange and malicious behaviour leads Jenny to realise the truth: that Kath has played a clever game all along to manipulate and control those around her. And Jenny is her biggest victim.

Set against the glorious backdrop of the Languedoc lavender fields, The Good Friend is a beautifully written psychological drama about love, lies and a dangerous obsession. Because once the truth is revealed, there’s no going back…


Review:

Ominous, slick, and unnerving!

The Good Friend is a slow-burning, character-driven thriller that delves into just how much our relationships and friendships can define us and highlights just how parasitic and manipulative some of them can truly be.

The prose is edgy and tense. The characters are complex, deceptive, and vulnerable. And the plot builds steadily creating tension, suspicion, and unease as it unravels a sinister tale of friendship, love, secrets, lies, deception, jealousy, violence, and revenge.

Overall, I would have to say that The Good Friend is a brooding, malicious, atmospheric tale that kept me riveted from start to finish and had an ending that left me, in a good way, completely unsettled.

 

This book is available on February 21, 2019.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

 

Thank you to RedDoor Publishing and Jo Baldwin for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jo Baldwin

Since completing a degree in French, Jo Baldwin has spent a large proportion of her life in France, first in Paris where she worked in magazine publishing, and later in the Languedoc where she has a holiday home. Jo now lives in Oxford with her husband and three children and works in educational publishing.

 

 

 

For more information on Red Door Publishing visit them at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

#BookReview
The Burglar by Thomas Perry
@TPerryauthor @groveatlantic @PGCBooks

#BookReview The Burglar by Thomas Perry @TPerryauthor @groveatlantic @PGCBooksTitle: The Burglar

Author: Thomas Perry

Published by Grove Press on January 8, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From Thomas Perry comes a new thriller about an unlikely burglar–a young woman in her 20s–who realizes she must solve a string of murders, or else become the next victim

Elle Stowell is a young woman with an unconventional profession: burglary. But Elle is no petty thief–with just the right combination of smarts, looks, and skills, she can easily stroll through ritzy Bel Air neighborhoods and pick out the perfect home for plucking the most valuable items. This is how Elle has always gotten by–she is good at it, and she thrives on the thrill. But after stumbling upon a grisly triple homicide while stealing from the home of a wealthy art dealer, Elle discovers that she is no longer the only one sneaking around. Somebody is searching for her.

As Elle realizes that her knowledge of the high-profile murder has made her a target, she races to solve the case before becoming the next casualty, using her breaking-and-entering skills to uncover the truth about exactly who the victims were and why someone might have wanted them dead. With high-stakes action and shocking revelations, The Burglar will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they barrel towards the heart-racing conclusion.


Review:

Fast, tight, and meticulous!

The Burglar is a sinister, unpredictable thriller that takes us into the life of Elle Stowell, a young thief who finds herself unexpectedly mixed up in a triple homicide when she chooses the wrong house to rob.

The writing is smooth and tense. The characters are inquisitive, meticulous, and tough. And the plot is a suspenseful tale of corruption, deception, betrayal, greed, violence, murder, and the art of burglary.

There is no doubt that Perry has an incredible knowledge into the intricacies of security and surveillance and can weave a sinister tale that’s dark and twisty. And even though I thought the storyline of The Burglar was clever and entertaining, I would have liked to connect with the protagonist just a tiny bit more.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

  

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Thomas Perry

Thomas Perry is the bestselling author of over twenty novels, including the critically acclaimed Jane Whitefield series, Forty Thieves, and The Butcher's Boy, which won the Edgar Award. He lives in Southern California.

 

#BookReview
Into the Night by Sarah Bailey
@sarahbailey1982 @GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Into the Night by Sarah Bailey @sarahbailey1982 @GrandCentralPubTitle: Into the Night

Author: Sarah Bailey

Series: Gemma Woodstock #2

Published by Grand Central Publishing on December 4, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 404

Format: Hardcover, ARC

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

After the shocking murder of a high-profile celebrity, Gemma Woodstock must pull back the layers of a gilded cage to discover who among the victim’s friends and family can be trusted–and who may be the killer.

Troubled and brilliant, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock finds herself lost and alone after a recent move to Melbourne, brokenhearted by the decisions she’s had to make. Her new workplace is a minefield and Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet, the partner she has been assigned, is uncommunicative and often hostile. When a homeless man is murdered and Gemma is put on the case, she can’t help feeling a connection with the victim and his lonely, isolated existence.

Then Sterling Wade, an up-and-coming actor filming his breakout performance in a closed-off city street, is murdered in the middle of an action-packed shot, and Gemma and Nick have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor’s life and death. Who could commit such a brazen crime? Who stands to profit from it? Far too many people, and none of them can be trusted. Gemma can’t imagine a pair of victims with less in common–and yet as Gemma and Fleet soon learn, both men were keeping secrets that may have led to their deaths.

With riveting suspense, razor-sharp writing, and a fascinating cast of characters, INTO THE NIGHT proves Sarah Bailey is a major new talent to watch in the world of literary crime fiction.


Review:

Intriguing, mysterious, and dark!

In this latest novel in the Gemma Woodstock series, Into the Night, Bailey immerses you into an intense, sultry investigation into the violent homicide of a movie star and the hunt for a confident, callous killer who seems to have gotten away with murder in broad daylight.

The prose is gritty and raw. The characterization is well done with characters that are driven, flawed, and reckless, including the lonely, DS Gemma Woodstock, whose greatest struggles involve her own personal demons and insecurities. And the plot, including all the subplots, keep you engrossed from start to finish with a multitude of twists, turns, deception, revelations, jealousy, obsession, familial drama, secrets, violence, and murder.

Overall, Into the Night is another sinister, tight, riveting thriller by Bailey that reminds us that the lure of fame and fortune mixed with ruthless ambition can sometimes be a deadly combination.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Bailey

Sarah lives in Melbourne, Australia. She has two young sons and one very old cat.

Before she wrote The Dark Lake, Sarah worked in advertising as a business manager. These days she splits her time between writing and working at Creative Projects Company, Mr Smith. Sarah is working on her third book which will be published in 2019.

 

#BookReview
The Temp by Michelle Frances
@PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Temp by Michelle Frances @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: The Temp

Author: Michelle Frances

Published by Pan Macmillan on December 26, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A new gripping psychological thriller from Michelle Frances, bestselling author of The Girlfriend.

Carrie is a successful TV producer in a high pressure job. She’s talented, liked, and well-respected. She and her husband, Adrian, an award-winning screenwriter, decided years before that they didn’t want children. But now, just as they’re both at the pinnacle of their careers, she has discovered she’s pregnant, and is shocked to discover that she wants to keep the baby. But in a competitive industry where time off is seen as a sign of weakness, Carrie looks at the prospect of maternity leave with trepidation.

Enter Emma, the temp, who is everything Carrie could wish for as her cover: smart, eager, and charming. Carrie fears that Emma is manoeuvring her way into Carrie’s life, causing turmoil in both her work and her marriage. The problem is everyone else adores Emma…

Increasingly isolated from Adrian and her colleagues, Carrie begins to believe Emma has an agenda. Does she want her job? Or is she after even more?

A twisting thriller about ambition, deception, and betrayal, The Temp will leave readers hanging on until the very last page!


Review:

Compulsive, unsettling, and surprising!

The Temp is a character-driven, pacey thriller that takes us into the life of Carrie, a middle-aged TV producer who finds herself struggling to juggle new motherhood, a successful career, a secretive husband, and a temp who seems determined to make her position a permanent one.

The writing is taut and polished. The characters are consumed, unscrupulous, and driven. And the plot is a twisty, suspenseful tale of power, betrayal, ambition, suspicion, obsession, violence, and the complex world of tv production.

Overall, The Temp is another intricate, sinister, edgy novel by Frances that reminds us that anger and resentment fostered over a long period of time can often have devastating consequences.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

  

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Michelle Frances

Michelle Frances has worked in television drama as a producer and script editor for fifteen years, both for the independent sector and the BBC. The Temp is her second novel, following her bestselling debut, The Girlfriend.

 

#BookReview
Watching You by Lisa Jewell
@lisajewelluk @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Watching You by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @SimonSchusterCATitle: Watching You

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published by Atria Books on December 26, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…


Review:

Dark, eerie, and spine-chillingly mesmerizing!

Watching You is a complex, intense, psychological thriller that highlights that every choice, good or bad, has a consequence and perspective is everything.

The writing is polished and crisp. The characterization is spot on with a multitude of characters that are multi-faceted, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot told through a mixture of narration and interview-style musings builds steadily creating tension, suspicion, and unease as it unravels all the personalities, relationships, motivations and actions within it.

Watching You is, ultimately, a story of deception, obsession, desperation, vengeance, violence, manipulation, and murder. It’s shocking, satisfying, hard to put down and without a doubt another must-read novel by Jewell.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

Photograph by Andrew Whitton.

#BookReview
Broken Ground by Val McDermid
@valmcdermid @PGCBooks

#BookReview Broken Ground by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooksTitle: Broken Ground

Author: Val McDermid

Series: Inspector Karen Pirie #5

Published by Atlantic Monthly Press on December 5, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, and her gripping, masterfully plotted novels have garnered millions of readers from around the globe. In Broken Ground, cold case detective Karen Pirie faces her hardest challenge yet.

Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville’s inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise–a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. Meanwhile, DCI Pirie is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems. And as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.


Review:

Engrossing, intricate, and deft!

In this latest novel by McDermid, Broken Ground, we head back to Edinburgh where DCI Pirie and her sidekick DC Murray from the Historic Cases Unit find themselves pursuing new evidence in the case of a serial rapist from the 80s; tasked with identifying a body discovered in a peat bog in the Highlands alongside relics from WWII; and inadvertently involved in a new case of premeditated, cold-blooded murder.

The prose is gritty and descriptive. The characterization is superb with all the usual gang back including the intuitive, tenacious, Karen Pirie who’s still coping with the loss of her lover through nocturnal walks and designer gins. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine meticulously into an irresistible tale full of deception, abuse, deprivation, manipulation, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, Broken Ground is a highly entertaining, gripping, atmospheric thriller that highlights McDermid’s exceptional ability to write police procedurals that have well-drawn characters and edgy storylines. It is the fifth novel in the Inspector Karen Pirie series, and definitely one of my favourites.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                          

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Val McDermid

Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.

She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

#BookReview
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
@lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent @lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCATitle: Lying in Wait

Author: Liz Nugent

Published by Simon & Schuster on November 27, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 310

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The second heartstopping suspense novel by international bestselling author Liz Nugent—filled with dark secrets, twisted relationships, and unexpected surprises.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

In 1980s Dublin, Lydia Fitzsimons seems to have the perfect life—wife of Andrew, a respected judge, and mistress of Avalon, the beautiful house where she grew up. Her pride and joy, however, is her only child, her son Laurence, to whom she is utterly, obsessively devoted.

But her husband’s murder of Annie Doyle, accidental or not, sets into motion a dark downward spiral. No one knows what Lydia and Andrew were doing with a drug-addled prostitute late at night on a deserted stretch of the strand near Dublin, but they stuffed her body into the trunk of their car and buried it in their tidy suburban garden, hoping that will put the matter to rest. Annie was a junkie from the wrong side of the tracks; surely no one will miss her or care to find out what happened to her.

Except that Annie has a sister. Her twin, Karen, who has fared much better in life, is desperate to find her. And when Karen crosses paths with Laurence, isolated and lonely, things begin to unravel. Laurence may be overweight and ungainly and bullied at school, but he’s more clever than he’s given credit for. He knows that something is very, very wrong in the Fitzsimons household—and he is determined to discover the truth…


Review:

Gothic, twisty, and downright creepy!

Lying in Wait is a compulsive, macabre, psychological thriller that isn’t so much a whodunit as a whydunit that delves into the complex dynamics between family members and reminds us just how controlling and possessive some of these relationships can truly be.

The prose is insightful, intense, and dark. The characters are obsessed, secretive, and perfectly unlikable. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and alternating timelines builds and unravels exquisitely into a story filled with unexpected twists, well-timed surprises, manipulation, fixation, ruthless deception, and pure wickedness.

Lying in Wait is an intelligent, murky, tragic tale that highlights the scheming, selfish, desperate side of human nature and the ability of even the most ordinary of people to commit the most heinous of crimes. It’s a tight, propulsive, shocking, must-read novel by Nugent that will grip you from the very first line, make your skin crawl throughout, and undoubtedly leave you wholly unnerved.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theater, and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written critically acclaimed short stories both for children and adults, as well as the novels Unraveling Oliver and Lying in Wait. She lives in Dublin.

Photograph by Beta Bajgartova.

#BlogTour #BookReview
Too Far Gone by Allison Brennan
@Allison_Brennan @StMartinsPress @MinotaurBooks

#BlogTour #BookReview Too Far Gone by Allison Brennan @Allison_Brennan @StMartinsPress @MinotaurBooksTitle: Too Far Gone

Author: Allison Brennan

Series: Lucy Kincaid #14

Published by Minotaur Books on October 30, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

The next intense installment in Allison Brennan’s New York Times bestselling Lucy Kincaid series.

When a man who appears mentally unstable holds a group of people hostage and dies in a shootout with the FBI, Special Agent Lucy Kincaid is assigned to investigate what happened. Up until two months ago, McMahon was a respected scientist—then his wife left him, he lost his job, and was arrested for assaulting a former colleague. The one person who might have answers — his research assistant — has disappeared. 

While Lucy is investigating this bizarre case, her husband Sean is on top of the world: his son Jesse is visiting for the summer. They are having a blast until someone follows them. Sean is positive that the surveillance is connected to Jesse’s step-father—a man who had once laundered money for a violent drug cartel. But when Lucy and Jesse are run off the road, they begin to wonder if the attack is connected to Jesse … or Lucy’s current case. 

Nothing is what it seemsnot the McMahon investigation or the car accident. As Sean and Lucy dig deep into the lives of everyone involved, one thing becomes clear: If they don’t find the truth fast, everyone they care about is in danger.


Review:

Ominous, engrossing, and suspenseful!

In this compelling fourteenth installment in the Lucy Kincaid series, Too Far Gone, Brennan has written an intricate, action-packed, police procedural that has FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid and her fellow law enforcement colleagues delving into a case that on the surface seems to be a simple hostage situation but which quickly unfolds into a complex case involving a suspicious death, a missing assistant, and a pharmaceutical company with something to hide.

The writing is taut and precise. The characters are rugged, intelligent, and relentless. And the two main plots intertwine and unravel into a seamless, entertaining tale full of deception, secrets, corruption, scandal, cover-ups, manipulation, family drama, jealousy, violence, and murder.

Overall, Too Far Gone is a multi-layered, captivating mystery that highlights that money and greed are often the root of all evil. And even though it’s another wonderful addition to the series that fans are sure to appreciate it can also be read and enjoyed as a standalone novel.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                         

 

 

Thank you to Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty novels and many short stories. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, she lives in Northern California with her husband Dan and their five children.

 

#BookReview
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
@john_boyne @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne @john_boyne @PenguinRandomCATitle: A Ladder to the Sky

Author: John Boyne

Published by Doubleday Canada on November 13, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The new novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Heart’s Invisible Furies, a seductive Highsmithian psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of fame

Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent – but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.
Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.
Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall…


Review:

Dark, seductive, and skillfully menacing!

A Ladder to the Sky is a character-driven, psychological thrill ride involving the ruthlessly ambitious Maurice Swift who has no qualms about using his handsomeness, charm, lack of conscience, and sociopathic tendencies in his ceaseless pursuit to become the world-class, successful writer he knows he can be.

The prose is unsettling and controlled. The characters, including the sinister, impulsive protagonist are consumed, complex, and vulnerable. And the brilliantly crafted plot builds nicely to create the perfect amount of tension and suspense as it unravels all the duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, questionable personalities, and parasitic relationships within it.

A Ladder to the Sky is an eerily compelling, darkly humorous, tragic novel that transports you to some of the biggest cities in the world and immerses you in a tale full of creative, eccentric, often self-absorbed characters that will keep you enthralled from start to finish. It’s a truly memorable novel by Boyne that highlights his extraordinary talent as a storyteller and his uncanny ability to lay bare humanities weaknesses and emotional vulnerabilities while still poking fun at an industry very close to his heart.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About John Boyne

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, five for younger readers and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy In the Striped Pajamas sold 9 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for cinema, theatre, ballet and opera. John has won three Irish Book Awards and many other international literary awards and his novels are published in over 50 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Photo by Rich Gilligan.

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