The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

A global hit, The Girl On the Train is yet another gripping addition to the plethora of thrillers lining the bestseller charts. With romance, scandal, death and despair, this novel certainly meets all the genre’s hallmarks with great impact.

Following the story of Rachel, a hopeless alcoholic struggling through her daily commute, there soon unfolds a tale of confusion, doubt and violent remorse. With memory the enemy, and no one believing her suspicions, the novel’s sorry protagonist quickly descends deeper and deeper into a plot which will make her question not only herself, but her very life.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable read, drawing suspicions and casting doubt with every turn of the page. You can almost picture the author taking the train each day, drawing inspiration for her work out from the monotony of her daily commute.

The Girl On the Train is a credit to the author’s imagination, turning an ordinary setting into an elaborate thriller.

Length: 416 (Black Swan)

Overall Rating: 3 stars

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Mr Mercedes, by Stephen King

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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

Ordinary Thunderstorms, by William Boyd

9781408802854Ordinary Thunderstorms is a novel which certainly isn’t lacking in momentum, wasting little time in diving into its fast paced narrative. With an assortment of colourful characters, drawn from all parts of London society, this is quite a different read compared to Boyd’s other novels. Though any thriller faces the potential of being labeled as being somewhat commercialised, Ordinary Thunderstorms is still absorbingly fast paced, varied and highly gripping. 

 

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Before I Go to Sleep, by S J Watson

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One woman. A new life. Every day.

 

Highly impressive for a debut novel, Watson has created a heart-breaking scenario, in which her protagonist, Christine, can only retain memories for a single day. As this difficult, frightening life is gradually unfurled to the reader, it quickly appears something isn’t right. But the truth is hard to come by, especially when you wonder whether you can trust even yourself. What begins as a novel of confusion, where the reader is left feeling as empty and bewildered as the protagonist, slowly turns into a gripping struggle to understand a past that is buried again and again each night.

 

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Follow You Home, by Mark Edwards 

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The first thriller I have read in quite some time, this novel was encapsulating from start to finish. In a gripping narrative of trauma and horror, Edwards keeps the reader glued to the page, determined yet cautious to discover what has occurred, and what will happen next. With realistic characters who are far from the brave protagonists of a happier novel, Follow You Home slowly releases it’s truly terrifying nature to the reader. This is certainly not a novel for the light-hearted.

 

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