Killer Reads 2010 Summer Reads

After a typical British summer of meteorological highs and lows, the Killer Reads team have got together to bring you the top ten from our summer fiction. Whether you’re stay-cating or heading further afield, be sure to pack these in your suitcase or leave on your bedside table or use as a makeshift hat against the vengeful rain…

The Chosen One

By Sam Bourne

Out now in paperback

the-chosen-oneAfter fantastic reviews, this summer’s biggest thriller has not disappointed. This is one not to be missed under any circumstances!

The multi-talented Sam Bourne, author of the bestselling The Righteous Men, The Last Testament and The Final Reckoning returns with another gripping high-concept thriller.

Bruised by years of disappointments, political advisor Maggie Costello is finally working for a leader she can believe in. She, along with the rest of America, has put her trust in President Stephen Baker.

But suddenly an enemy surfaces: a man called Vic Forbes reveals one scandal about the new president, and quickly another. He threatens a third revelation – one that will completely ruin Baker.

When Forbes is found dead, Maggie is thrown into turmoil. Could the leader she idolizes have been behind Forbes’s murder? Has she been duped by his message of change and hope? Who is the real Stephen Baker?

On the trail of the truth, Maggie is led into the roots of a massive conspiracy that reaches back into history – and goes right to the heart of the US establishment…

Soul Murder

By Daniel Blake

Out now in paperback

soul-murderA great new crime fiction combo emerges with the arrival of author Daniel Blake and his hero Franco Patrese, homicide detective and an expert on religious crimes.

Daniel Blake formerly worked for a company specialising in kidnap negotiation and this is what gives his books such a unique insight and an authentic edginess.

In the first of this new series, Patrese and his partner are called out to a domestic dispute which leaves two dead. Patrese believes he’s got his killer but when violence erupts all over the city, he has to start again. The charred corpse of a brain surgeon is found in his lavish apartment. And then, a Catholic bishop is set alight in his confessional.

But these are just the first in a series of increasingly shocking murders which close in around Patrese himself. Couched in razor-sharp prose, and finishing off with a mind-boggling twist, this is a complete belter and an author to watch out for…

Pretty Little Things

By Jilliane Hoffman

Out now in paperback

pltFrom former state attorney Jilliane Hoffman comes another trademark psychological thriller – a chilling story for the Internet era…

Dozens of teenage girls are going missing in Miami. And for Special Agent Bobby Dees of Florida’s Crimes Against Children squad, their families’ grief is all too real. He understands the pain of losing a child, and he’ll do whatever he can to stop it from happening again.

So when thirteen-year-old Lainey Emerson doesn’t return from her date with ‘El Capitan’, a mysterious figure she met online, he vows to do everything in his power to get her back.

But then, the missing girls start to reappear as horribly mutilated corpses, with clues pointing to a collection of abductees. The killer is smart and leaves the police desperate for ideas. Bobby Dees has sworn to save Lainey – but how can he compete with a mind this warped?

Frankenstein: Lost Souls

By Dean Koontz

Out now in trade paperback

lost-souls-frankensteinThe great American storyteller powerfully reworks one of the classic stories of all time.

Dr Frankenstein lives on, seemingly indestructible, and more sinister than ever. With each new incarnation the technology he can use to build a new human race – which he will control – is vastly improved.

His first monster, Deucalion, has spent two hundred years locked in a struggle with his deranged maker. When the new Frankenstein clone, Victor Helios, emerges with his grotesque new creations, and financed by an enigmatic billionaire, Deucalion must hunt them all down and destroy them…


By Faye Kellerman

Out now in hardback

hangmanOne of the most highly regarded US crime authors, Faye Kellerman doesn’t disappoint with her latest dose of electrifying suspense featuring Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus.

LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker agrees to do a risky favour for old friend Teresa McLaughlin, knowing that it will bring her sociopathic husband Chris Donatti back into his life. But when Teresa goes missing and Donatti disappears, Decker must protect their son Gabe who has been left behind.

At work, Decker catches a case which seems simple on the surface – the suicide of a party-loving nurse – but it quickly becomes complicated and causes him to question all the evidence in front of him. At home matters are just as uncertain. Decker and his wife Rina Lazarus try to look after young Gabe, but with Donatti on the loose, no one can be safe. With lives hanging in the balance, Decker and his team need to find answers fast…

Time of Death

By Alex Barclay

Out now in paperback

time-of-deathAlex Barclay, best-selling author of Darkhouse, is back with another stunning Ren Bryce FBI thriller.


FBI agent Ren Bryce’s hunt for some of the country’s most dangerous killers is about to turn into a nightmare.


Someone close to Ren is murdered and secrets from her past look set to be revealed, throwing her into a world of fear, paranoia and danger.


Dark forces are at work and someone is determined to destroy Ren’s life. But time is running out and Ren must catch a killer before he catches her…

The Bricklayer

By Noah Boyd

Out now in paperback

the-bricklayerA bit of background if you didn’t know already – Noah Boyd is a former FBI agent who spent more than twenty years working some of the Bureau’s toughest investigations, from serial killers and drug-rings to the Highland Park Strangler case, which he’s credited with solving. When he’s not writing, he works away on unsolved ‘cold’ cases.

This is an absolute blockbuster of a book, written by a man who knows his stuff: introducing FBI maverick Steve Vail.

A trained killer and former agent, Vail despises authority and he’s never met a rule he didn’t break. These days he’s working as a bricklayer. But not for long, as Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Kate Bannon desperately wants his help.

Someone is killing federal agents in complex, subtle, twisted ways – and the body count is rising fast. And it might be an inside job – someone who holds a fatal grudge against the agency and wants a bloody revenge. To stem the tide of murders, Vail must re-enter a world he hoped he left behind long ago … his own past.

The Liar’s Lullaby

By Meg Gardiner

Out now in paperback

liars-lullabyMeg Gardiner has been touted by Stephen King as ‘the next suspense superstar … she is up there with Michael Connelly and Lee Child’. You should probably check out the article she wrote for Killer Reads too…

Tasia McFarland is a washed-up singer desperate for the break that will get her back to the top of the charts. As her star begins to rise again, the tabloids uncover that Tasia McFarland was the ex-wife of the US President; which is one reason the world takes notice when Tasia is killed by a bullet to the neck in front of a crowd of 40,000 adoring fans.

When video evidence proves nothing and the ballistics report comes up empty, the authorities call on Jo Beckett to do a psychological autopsy. As Jo sifts through the facts, she only finds more questions. Pouring over Tasia’s past quickly becomes a race to extinguish the conspiracy rumour mill before it incites a level of violence that reaches America’s highest corridors of power…

The Woodcutter

By Reginald Hill

Out now in hardback

the-woodcutterAfter his fully deserved Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction award at Harrogate, the first few reviews for this have been trickling in over the last couple of weeks and make no mistake – this is the real deal. I hope our competition winners are enjoying their copies of this totally absorbing, intensely psychological novel of revenge, regrets and murder.

But don’t take my word for it – see what the critics have to say:

‘An outstanding novel of force and beauty’ The Times

‘You’ll be hard pushed to find another crime writer with his verve … The result is an epic, unbeatable mystery’ Financial Times

‘A big, fat mystery which has the enduring power of a myth … Hill has never written a better book’  Evening Standard

‘Hill’s plotting is brilliant, the jokes first-rate, the prose supple’ Daily Telegraph

‘Reginald’s Hill’s books are as good as crime fiction gets and this one is as good as he gets’ Literary Review


By Dean Koontz

Out now in paperback

breathlessFrom the internationally bestselling ‘master of our darkest dreams’ (The Times), comes another hugely entertaining parable for our times.

In the Colorado mountains something miraculous is witnessed by Grady Adams, a strong, gentle man whose unhappy past has driven him to live out in the wild. When he sees it, he knows that one of Nature’s great mysteries has been revealed to him.

His friend Cammy Rivers, a scientist, is stunned and awed by the phenomenal presence. She sends photos to colleagues in far places to try and find a name for the wonderful beings. Before they know what is happening Homeland Security quarantine the wilderness around them and send in assorted scientists to track down and ‘neutralize’ the threat to the known world.

Grady and Cammy don’t stick around to merely witness this atrocity – determined to prevent it, they go on the run, and a pursuit of hair-raising suspense unfolds, with no happy ending in prospect…

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