Strangers on a Train/Patricia Highsmith.
A clever and simple idea for the perfect murder. Excellent portrayal of the relationship between the two main characters; the psychopath Bruno and his alter ego, Guy, who is the target of his corruption.
To Kill a Mockingbird/Harper Lee.
I love this for its focus on having the courage to stand up for what you believe in and for Atticus Finch with his burning sense of justice.
The Woman in White/Wilkie Collins.
Full of suspense, a twisting plot and great characterisation, especially the sinister Count Fosco. Chilling and very dramatic.
My Cousin Rachel/Daphne Du Maurier.
This tale of two men’s obsession with a mysterious woman they want to control keeps you guessing until the very end about whether Rachel is guilty or not … and then it keeps you guessing some more.
Original and with a terrific lead character, Patrick, who suffers from Asperger’s. I love the way the author switches from grimly bleak to darkly funny; a wonderful mix of darkness and light.
A Fatal Inversion/Barbara Vine.
A haunting story of how past sins cast long shadows. Very atmospheric as it moves between a long hot summer of lost youth when murder was committed, and ten years later when those involved fear revelation.
A delightfully creepy book and a great character study of a sociopath. All is very definitely not what it seems.
Catch 22/Joseph Heller.
Very funny and very sad. Great use of satire and black humour to highlight the insanity of war, the mendacity of political and military leaders, and the madness of human behaviour.
Apple Tree Yard/Louise Doughty.
Riveting tale of a successful, smart woman who makes one bad judgement which leads to terrible consequences.
The Mermaids Singing/Val McDermid.
Fast paced, tense and exciting. A compelling exploration of the tormented mind of a killer.