DREAM GIRL by Laura Lippman (Faber £14.99, 320 pp)


by Laura Lippman (Faber £14.99, 320 pp)

There are thriller writers and there is Laura Lippman, an American who is fast creating a new genre-busting category full of remarkable writing and dazzling plot lines.

This book takes us inside the mind of Gerry Anderson, a grumpy, successful, ageing novelist who is bed-bound in his designer apartment while recovering from a freak accident.

He appears to be plagued by menacing messages and calls from the female character in one of his novels. The story revolves around Gerry’s reactions to his high-dose pain medicine, whether this female character can possibly be real and the trustworthiness of the other women in his life.

The seriously bendy plot is crammed with wry one-liners and brutal insights into the way a writer’s mind works — or begins to stop working.

You will never guess the ending. It’s delicious.


by Sarah Langan (Titan £8.99, 304 pp)

Of course, this is actually about bad neighbours. It starts out as a jaunty observational story about the smug residents of an upmarket, suburban U.S. neighbourhood called Maple Street, but quickly morphs into something darker and disturbing.

The Wildes, a quirky family, move into Maple Street and are soon rejected by its Queen Bee, Rhea Schroeder.

The plot explodes when a sinkhole suddenly appears in the park which leads to a tragedy and turns the whole community against the Wildes.

The story is very cleverly set in the near future, which allows the writer to play around with themes of environmental fervour, mob mentality and real questions of social justice.

It’s a thoughtful look at what being good neighbours might mean in years to come.

CABIN FEVER by Alex Dahl (Head of Zeus £18.99, 400 pp)


by Alex Dahl (Head of Zeus £18.99, 400 pp)

This story has all the props of a true Scandi-noir thriller. Kristina, a highly successful and rather-pleased-with-herself therapist, is lured into joining her client, Leah, at a cabin in a mysterious Scandinavian forest. Leah is a successful novelist who appears to have plans of turning the tables and taking control of Kristina.

When Leah disappears, Kristina sets off into the wilderness to find her. But it’s only when Kristina finds the manuscript Leah is working on that she realises how much danger she is in.

The descriptions of the forest are particularly powerful and the story spins off successfully in a variety of different directions, coming to a chilling and convincing conclusion.

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