Lustrum, by Robert Harris

Lustrum is the second of the Cicero trilogy, following on the story of one of the greatest orators of the late Roman Republic. Having energetically fought for his consulship in the first novel, Lustrum now tracks Cicero’s equally masterful term in office. Threatened by force, by wealth and by the Roman mob ever baying for blood, Cicero proves that even a new man can surpass his enemies and rise to the very heights of power in Rome.

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The Talented Mr Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith

Tom Ripley is young, charming and unstoppably ambitious.

What has now become a timeless classic, The Talented Mr Ripley is a thriller that delves deep into the mind of a disturbed young man. Utilising the subtle arts of deception and persuasion, Highsmith creates a bold tale of crime and murder, observing the psychotic tendencies underlying her compelling character in a chillingly casual way.

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The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, by George Saunders

An earlier work of Saunders’, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil treads the familiar grounds of social commentary common to all his novels. With a particular abundance of the whimsical, strange and downright fantastical, this was certainly an interesting read.

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Solo, by William Boyd

It is no easy task to continue the story of another, however when I discovered that William Boyd had written a ‘James Bond’ novel, I knew that the continuation of this franchise would be safe in the hands of one of my favourite and most compelling authors. Solo certainly didn’t disappoint.

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Mr Mercedes, by Stephen King

The master of horror becomes the master of thriller. Mr Mercedes is a highly energetic novel, bearing all the hallmarks of a classic detective tale.

Set in an American city, Mr Mercedes follows the story of recently retired detective Bill Hodges. After an impressive career, Hodges is soon lured from his newly innate retired life of junk food and daytime TV by the resurgence of a past terror, the classic “perp that got away”. As mysteries are uncovered and tragedies begin to pile one upon the other, it soon becomes clear that no one can ever truly quit the chase.

Though the novel bears little creative ingenuity, a simple psychopath-pitted-against-justice novel, King’s engaging writing style certainly keeps the reader hooked. The prominence of modern technology also adds a new dimension to the classic crime mystery, with the old school detective persistently thrown off the scent by the ingenuity of technologically fueled madness.
Overall an entertaining and easy read, good for the summer, but readers looking for more intrigue had better revert back to the disturbing horrors the author was made famous for. Despite this, with its fair share of action, romance, comedy and tragedy, Mr Mercedes is a strong debut thriller from the world famous King.

Length: 432 (Hodder paperbacks)
Overall Rating: 3 stars

Carrie, by Stephen King


From the skilled hands of its world famous author, Carrie spins a dark tale of youthful cruelty and sorrowful revenge. Bearing a simple yet effective premise for a horror novel, known now by many from its multiple film interpretations, this is a short and entertaining classic.

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