Father’s Day Book Recommendations from the KillerReads Team.

Category: Team piece

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Julia: I’d give my dad Trinity Six by Charles Cumming.  A wonderful mix of historical – the Philby, Burgess and MacLean scandal; the dying days of the Cold War in Germany – and contemporary drama with an academic on the track of a possible sixth member of the notorious Cambridge spy ring.  Charlie is amongst the best modern espionage writers around (he’s regularly touted as the heir to le Carre) and this story in particular weaves in fascinating detail from my father’s early life while giving him a genuinely edge-of-your-seat read.

Helen: Oh, have I got a recommendation for you. The single-most heart-stopping book I’ve read this year has got to be The Hunt by Tim Lebbon – a race against the clock thriller that your dad won’t be able to put down. If he can’t get enough of Taken or was hooked by 24, then you can’t go wrong with this edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Imagine one day coming back from your morning run and finding a man standing in your kitchen, making himself a cup of coffee. This is what happens to Chris. In the eerie quiet that follows, the stranger tells him that he works for an organisation called The Trail. They organise hunts for super rich clients – and their prey is always human…

The Trail have taken Chris’s wife and daughter – and now he has to run. If he’s caught and killed, his family go free. If he escapes, they die. And so starts one of the most epic chases I’ve read in I don’t know how long. Buy a copy for your dad and one for yourself – you won’t regret it.

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Hayley: I’m getting my dad Andrew Marr’s new thriller Head of State for father’s day (4th Estate). Dubbed to be as dark and twisted as House Of Cards with scandalous conspiracy theories, murders and tyrannical leaders, with Marr’s experience and insider knowledge it’s sure to be a witty and clever read. I can only hope Marr’s protagonist is as wicked as Frank Underwood to keep my dad entertained until season 4 is released…

Lucy: In my father’s eyes, the only character who rivals James Bond is Jason Bourne, so why not give him a cross between the two? Daniel Silva’s new thriller, The English Spy is the latest to feature the inimitable Gabriel Allon – legendary art restorer and spy. When an iconic member of the British Royal Family is murdered, Allon is called upon to track down the killer. There’s the usual blend of intrigue, thrills and exotic locations, including our very own United Kingdom!

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Marion: For Father’s Day, I would give my dad Greg Iles’s The Bone Tree. Firstly because I absolutely loved Natchez Burning and have been recommending the Penn Cage series to anyone who asks me for a new book to get stuck in. Also, since my dad was a Yankee-transplant in the South for the four years of my childhood that we lived there, I think Iles’s atmospheric writing would be a real treat to have alongside its haunting narrative.

Sarah: My Dad was a keen reader, and as someone who had a travel a lot for work, could often be found with the latest airport blockbuster in his hand luggage. He appreciated a well thought-out plot with plenty of twists and a satisfying ending. So if he was still around I don’t think I could do better than give him the great Jack Higgins’ latest high-octane thriller Rain on the Dead.

Mother’s Day Book Gift Ideas!

Category: Team piece

With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, we’ve rounded up the KillerReads crew to share some bookish gift ideas.

Lucy  My mum loves a bit of medieval crime, so I would recommend Bruce Holsinger’s latest novel, The Invention of Fire. There’s buckets of tension and intrigue as poet and trader in secrets John Gower takes to London’s labyrinthine streets to investigate a mysterious massacre; the victims’ bodies bearing wounds like none seen before. Geoffrey Chaucer also makes an appearance – an extra bonus as Mum is a huge Chaucer fan!

Marion  Mom, if you’re reading this–look away! With a mother born and raised in the South of the U.S., I know I’ll be getting her Natchez Burning by Greg Iles for Mother’s Day. She’s always asking me for suggestions on what to read next, and the 864 pages of unsolved Civil Rights era murders will fly by just as quickly for her as they did for me.

GIrl on TrainThe Sandman - Lars Kepler
Natasha  I’m rather late to this party, but I’ve just started reading Girl on a Train and am absolutely gripped. I couldn’t convince my mom (I’m from the Midlands so it’s mom, not mum) to read Gone Girl but I think the prose will be much more up her street. I’ll add it to her teetering mountain of books once I’ve finished!

Hannah  Mine would have to be The Sandman. Not because I want to scare my mum to death, no no no, but because it is all part of my cunning plan to be the perfect daughter. I’ll just pop this into her hands with a steaming cup of tea, and because she won’t be able to put it down (this is one of the most gripping reads I have read in a very long time) it will give me all the time I need to bake a cake and make dinner – and then we can talk way into the night about the tension, the ‘OH MY GOD’ scenes and the incredible skill that the couple who make up Lars Kepler, and of course the final question – is Jurek Walter really – ? (Oh wait, you’ll have to wait until you’ve read it to answer that one.) You can’t go wrong.

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Sarah  I’ll be giving my Mum a copy of The Book of You by Claire Kendal – mainly because she asked me to! I know she’ll be gripped by this tense, chilling tale of a woman fighting to escape the unwanted attentions of a colleague, while the beautifully drawn warmth of the relationship between Clarissa and her mother makes it appropriate for the occasion.

Julia  The Silent Boy–A superb historical crime novel set during the French Revolution, in which a young boy who has witnessed the Terror also holds the secret to a more personal crime – and is hunted across England by someone who would do anything to stop it being revealed.

Helen  The perfect present this Mother’s Day has to be one of our hot-off-the-press book proofs – something that my mum can read before anyone else has it. I’d give her Little Girl Gone, our big new debut this autumn; a superb psychological thriller that fans of Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep will love. When Estelle Paradise’s baby is taken from her crib, she doesn’t report her missing. A week later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car with a gunshot wound and no memory. She knows she holds the key to what happened that night – but what she doesn’t know is whether she was responsible. It’s one of the most suspenseful, thrilling books I’ve read to date, and I know my mum would love it as I do.

Kate  I’m actually exempt from this as it’s not Mother’s Day in NZ… but I would give my mum a copy of A Line of Blood, by Ben McPherson. This superb debut thriller explores the parent/child relationship – in the most chilling way imaginable. It starts with Alex Mercer and his son Max discovering the body of their neighbour in his bathtub. It turns out that Alex’s wife Millicent knew the neighbour well. And soon, a murder investigation is underway… A Line of Blood is about what happens when parents fail to protect their children from the harsh realities of the world. It’s about the damage that we have the power to inflict on those we love, and the knock-on effect this has through the generations. This story will blow your mind, and the voice will stay with you. The hardback will also look very striking on your (or your mother’s) bookshelf!

A Line of Blood comes out later this month but want it in advance? Comment on this post including if any of the books mentioned here have tickled your fancy and you’ll be entered to win a copy! We’ll announce the winners on Monday on Twitter so be sure to follow us there!


Header credit: Blanch Fisher Laite

Killer Reads’ Summer Reads

Category: Team piece

I like to think of reading as vacation from real life. You can escape down the narrow streets of Rome whilst speeding through The Da Vinci Code, enter the twisted minds of serial killers whilst on the tube and add up all the clues as a detective whilst you wait for your bath to fill up- but what about reading WHILST on holiday? Is that a holiday on a holiday?  It’s starting to get a bit too Inception for me…

Anyway, this summer has been no stranger to some great reads and us Killer Readers have been reading and holidaying a-plenty.

Here’s what the team have been reading whilst jetting off this summer!

Kate: Crime books I read on holiday (desperately casting my mind back…) include Fall from Grace, by Tim Weaver – the first of his that I’ve read, but am now keen to go back to the start of his series; and Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little, which I was given at Harrogate, and thought was very pacy and entertaining. Non-crime reads included Friendship, by Emily Gould, a witty, engaging story of two friends living in New York, and the ups and downs of their relationship as they try to make something of their lives; and We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart, which has a brilliant twist, and is a great beach read. I was also lucky enough to read the brand new Logan McRae novel from Stuart MacBride, The Missing and the Dead. Logan is back in uniform, in a new location, and you’re all in for an absolute treat when this comes out in January.

My photo was taken in Antalya, in Turkey. Had one night there on the way to Oympos, and came across one of my favourites on the bookshelf in the hotel! I get excited by small things…

Kate S hols

Katie loved The Missing and the Dead! You might too, order yours now http://amzn.to/1nDUsKK

Lucy: With trips to both Italy and Cornwall this summer, what better time to read S.J. Parris’s latest novel, Treachery? Set in Plymouth, Parris’s latest triumph is so atmospheric that I half-expected to be ambushed every time I walked down a back-alley. And imagine my delight when, in Italy, I spotted a street named after our very own Giordano Bruno! The holiday season also gave me the perfect opportunity to get stuck into Ben McPherson’s haunting and compelling novel, A Line of Blood (out next year), which I’d been excited about reading for ages. I was on holiday with friends at the time and I’m ashamed to admit that I spoke barely a word to any of them until I reached the end. Finally, I read Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm, which was every bit as good as the first in the series, and The Goldfinch by Donna Tart. At nearly 800 pages, it’s a pretty hefty tome but absolutely, totally worth it.

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Named after one of our Giordano Bruno!  If you want to check out Treachery by S. J Parris too, buy it here now!   http://amzn.to/1uyiuZA

Katie S: This year my husband and I took a very delayed honeymoon, travelling around the islands of Cape Verde for two and a half weeks. It feels like another lifetime ago, but it was really a wonderful holiday – we went hiking, saw whales from our hotel balcony, went to the beach… absolutely bliss! Here I am reading in the hammock outside our room at one of the hotels we stayed at. I got through a LOT of books while we were away (so many that I had to start raiding the hotel libraries everywhere we went), but the best book I read while I was away was definitely The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (AKA JK Rowling). I absolutely LOVED it. Such a great set of characters and so interesting to read something so different and SO good from the author of the Harry Potter series. If you haven’t read it yet, I thoroughly recommend it, and The Silkworm, featuring the same set of characters, and which might be even better!

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Katie M:I’m a little late to the party but I FINALLY read Gone Girl on holiday! I was immediately hooked and couldn’t put it down – my boyfriend pretty much got ignored for the whole day! I’m so excited for the film to come out next month, I hope it does the book justice.

 I also read Broken Monsters, the latest terrifying thriller from Lauren Beukes. I thought The Shining Girls was brilliant so had very high expectations for Lauren’s next novel – and I can safely say I was not disappointed. This dark tale set in Detroit has various plot lines, which weave together into one epic, page-turning, jaw-dropping novel! I love Lauren’s writing style, she brings the story so vividly to life – I’m just glad that I was reading it on a bright sunny beach with lots of people around me, otherwise I think I would have had some serious nightmares!

Katie m hols

Read ‘Broken Monsters’ by Lauren Beukes too and buy yours now! http://amzn.to/1uyiKrB

Yasmin: This summer, I enjoyed a staycation in a very sunny London, and an equally sunny Milan. Sitting on the River Thames, I devoured the Ice Twins – a tale of mistaken identity, lies, and a family trying to keep themselves together on the isolated Scottish Isle of Skye. I couldn’t put this one down and the sun was setting when I hungrily turned the last page! It also made me really want to go and visit the island which sound haunted but absolutely stunning too. Other great reads I holidayed from real life to this Summer include I am Pilgrim which read like a Hollywood blockbuster and Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid. The vampire inspired rewrite of Jane Austen’s classic from the Austen Project by Borough Press. It was such a fun read, and made me want to pick the original again to compare too.

Yasmin Hols

In a tiny little bookshop in Milan! Fancy something a bit lighter? Why not read ‘Northanger Abbey’ by Val McDermid now? http://amzn.to/1vst9Uo