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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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

The Santa Klaus Murder, by Mavis D Hay

 

The first of its genre that I have read in some time, this quaint and sophisticated cosy crime novel was very much enjoyable. For all its prudent cliches and typical narrative, The Santa Klaus Murder certainly proved its worth as a timeless classic.

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Set about a wealthy family living under the swathing shadow of their cruel father, The Santa Klaus Murder embarks on a murder mystery following a terrible Christmas affair. With expert handling of the hallmark inquisitive detective, and enough red-herrings to satisfy a greedy bird-watcher, Mavis D. Hay certainly set the standard for the infamous ‘who-dunnits’.

 

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