The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Book Cover Image

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: Stand-Out Thriller that Deserves the Hype

Rating: 5 stars

Category: Thriller

Synopsis:

Theo has just started a new job at The Grove, a psychiatric unit for violent female criminals. Top of the list of new patients he must take on is Alicia. Alicia seemed to have it all – a flourishing career as an artist and a loving husband – until the night she shot him in the head. Since that fateful night, Alicia has refused to speak a word.

Disentangling Alicia’s past and the motives for her crime is not going to be easy – especially when The Grove is hiding secrets of its own. Continue reading The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: Stand-Out Thriller that Deserves the Hype

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith Book Cover Image

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith: Unsettling and Subversive Crime Novel

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Crime Fiction

Synopsis:

“Did the world always mete out just deserts?”

Tom Ripley is struggling to make his way in New York City, chasing the elusive American Dream while treading the edges of illegality. When the father of an old acquaintance approaches Tom in the hope that he can persuade his son, Dickie Greenleaf, to come home from Europe and take on the family business, Tom leaps at the chance.

However, from the first, it becomes clear that Dickie has no intention of obliging his father. His life in the Italian village of Mongibello is everything Tom has ever dreamed of: wealth, status, a luxurious lifestyle. Tom will have to return empty-handed to his sordid life in New York – unless he takes measures increasingly more extreme. Continue reading The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith: Unsettling and Subversive Crime Novel

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier Book Cover Image

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier: Disturbing Gothic Enigma

Rating: 5 stars

Category: Gothic Romance

Content Warnings: Death of close family member, grief, capital punishment, terminal illness, violence, domestic abuse

Synopsis:

“Someday, somehow, I would repay my cousin Rachel.”

Ambrose has been like a father to Philip, raising him single-handedly ever since the death of his parents. They live undisturbed on their Cornish estate, surrounded entirely by men – not even a female housekeeper. So when Ambrose travels abroad for his health, only to send word he has fallen in love and married, it is understandable for Philip to be jealous.

His feelings of hatred towards this woman only increase when Ambrose dies in Italy, with his new wife by his side. Philip is left the grand estate, but no chance to say goodbye. However, this bitterness soon alleviates upon meeting Ambrose’s widow, the beautiful and enigmatic Rachel. He may be falling for her. And that may be exactly what she wants. Continue reading My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier: Disturbing Gothic Enigma

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie Book Cover Image

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie: The Mother of All Plot Twists!

Rating: 5 stars

Category: Crime Fiction, Classics, Mystery/Adventure

Synopsis: Shortly after confessing to a close friend that she is being blackmailed, Mrs Ferrars is found dead: the police conclude it was suicide. The case takes a much darker turn when that same friend is found murdered in his own study.

An unassuming newcomer to the village seems the last person the police will call upon for help. He spends his days fondly tending a vegetable patch. However, this newcomer is not your average hobbyist gardener, but a retired detective going by the name of Hercule Poirot… Continue reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie: The Mother of All Plot Twists!

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins Book Cover Image

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: Clever, Tightly Plotted Mystery

Rating: 3 stars

Category: Crime Fiction, Classics, Mystery/Adventure

Synopsis: A diamond is stolen from one of the most sacred shrines in India. A young lady receives an extravagant birthday present in the will of her deceased Uncle. A London philanthropist is attacked in what seems to be a case of mistaken identity.

Connecting all of these events is the superstition surrounding the diamond: that it will leave a trail of blood in the lives of all those in possession of it. As inexplicable events plague the family holding the mysterious heirloom, Franklin Blake seeks to record witness testimonies and find a rational cause for the occurrences.

The family and their connections each contribute their version of events, but suspicions are rife and nobody knows who to trust. Not even the reader… Continue reading The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: Clever, Tightly Plotted Mystery

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle Book Cover Image

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5) by Arthur Conan Doyle: Suspenseful Crime Fiction Classic

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Crime Fiction, Classics, Mystery/Adventure

Synopsis: Sir Charles Baskerville confesses to a close friend that he feels haunted by his family history. According to legend, his cruel ancestor Hugo Baskerville received recompense in the form of a hell-hound set loose on the moors to hunt him down.

A few days later, Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in his garden at the edge of the moor. There is only one detective who can separate fact from folklore in this case: his name is Sherlock Holmes. Continue reading The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5) by Arthur Conan Doyle: Suspenseful Crime Fiction Classic

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Book Cover Image

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: Encompassing Emotional Epic

Rating: 5 stars

Category: Emotional

Synopsis: Donna Tartt’s masterpiece The Goldfinch follows the story of Theo. Aside from his recently-gone-AWOL father, Theo is a relatively normal New York schoolboy. That is until his life is irrevocably shattered at the age of thirteen when he loses his mother in a suspected terrorist attack at a museum.

As a cast of wayward characters makes their way into and out of Theo’s life, he clings to the art his mother loved as a way of maintaining a connection with her. However, this remnant of stability will also be shaken when the art he treasures so much draws Theo into a spiral of criminal activity. Continue reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: Encompassing Emotional Epic

Theatre Review: Troilus & Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company)

My birthday treat this year was a pair of tickets to see a live-streamed production of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Troilus & Cressida. The play is a love story that unfolds in the midst of the Trojan war. With the Greek army camped at their walls, tensions are mounting in the besieged city. Troilus and Cressida must negotiate a tangle of betrayal and deceit if they are to remain true to one another. Continue reading Theatre Review: Troilus & Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl Book Cover

Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl: Dark, Quirky and Joyfully-Written Short Story Collection

Rating: 3 stars

Category: Short Stories

Synopsis: Roald Dahl is most famous for his children’s books, including Matilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. However, Skin and Other Stories is a lesser-known short story collection aimed at an older audience. Managing to be both unsettling and entertaining at the same time, this diverse collection will transport readers to strange new places with each tale… Continue reading Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl: Dark, Quirky and Joyfully-Written Short Story Collection

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes Book Cover

Archive Nostalgia: I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

I’m bringing back my review of I Am Pilgrim for those of you looking to get stuck into an addictive thriller this summer!

I’m not someone who normally goes for spy thrillers. I find that all too often they can be cliché, predictable and populated with gung-ho, rather arrogant heroes. Nevertheless, after being pestered by my entire family I relented and finally put my stuck-up literary nose into this ‘spy novel’. It turns out that I Am Pilgrim had me eating my words. Continue reading Archive Nostalgia: I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes