I recently read (and loved!) my first-ever Christopher Brookmyre book, BLACK WIDOW - and thanks to Chris’ US publisher, Grove Atlantic, I’m thrilled to offer you the chance to check out his work for yourself! I’m giving away a Christopher Brookmyre Book Bundle today - one lucky US-based winner will receive Brookmyre’s three most recent crime novels: DEAD GIRL WALKING, BLACK WIDOW, and THE LAST HACK. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter - it’s easy!
What I Loved About BLACK WIDOW by Christopher Brookmyre
I had the chance to meet and interview Brookmyre for a "Meet the Author" style interview at the Bloody Scotland crime conference this fall, and walked away convinced that I needed to read his books. I'm so glad that I did - Brookmyre's writing is sophisticated, gritty, and totally engaging. You can read my full review of BLACK WIDOW here, but in case you need extra convincing that Brookmyre belongs on your TBR, here’s a brief snippet from my review!
Though it's about a year old now, BLACK WIDOW was a breath of fresh air to this reader: this is a psychological thriller that delves into the secrets of a marriage with the intelligence, masterful plotting, and psychological astuteness that define truly great crime fiction. On the surface, BLACK WIDOW is a standard domestic thriller: a story about a marriage gone horribly, horribly wrong, and an unveiling of the deadly secrets that existed between husband and wife. But there is so much more to this crime novel. BLACK WIDOW is a maze of deceit—it demands that the reader pay close attention as Brookmyre unravels the twisted web at its core. BLACK WIDOW is also a commentary on sexism in the workplace—a topic that is all too timely as I write this review, and one which Brookmyre navigates through his compelling main character, surgeon Diana Jager. BLACK WIDOW is complicated, complex, and impactful - in short, it's a standout.
Enter the Giveaway
One lucky winner will receive a Christopher Brookmyre Book Bundle: one hardcover copy of DEAD GIRL WALKING, BLACK WIDOW, and THE LAST HACK. Books are provided by Grove Atlantic.
- US Entrants Only
- Giveaway Closes Sunday, December 3rd
Please feel free to email me (email@example.com) with any questions or concerns. Good luck!! Xx
Summer might be winding down, but this season’s fantastic lineup of new crime fiction releases shows no sign of letting up. Whether you’re in the mood for a new psychological thriller, a serial killer novel set in Denmark, or a spine-tingling suspense novel with horror undertones, the end of summer 2019 has the book for you - and I’m rounding them up for you in this post! Here you’ll find three must-read late-summer thrillers from established masters of the genre and newcomers alike. Read on for book recommendations for your end-of-summer TBR!
Every summer, there’s one thing I look forward to arguably more than anything else: the newest novel by Ruth Ware. And every summer, without fail, Ruth Ware outdoes whatever brilliant novel she delivered the year prior. Ware’s 2019 release is no exception - THE TURN OF THE KEY is Ware’s best novel yet. Equal parts old-school gothic suspense and modern psychological thriller, THE TURN OF THE KEY seamlessly blends an homage to Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw with a page-turning story of surveillance, paranoia, and domestic drama. Following a young woman who accepts a nannying position at a state-of-the-art smart house in the Scottish Highlands, only to wind up imprisoned for the death of one of the children in her care, THE TURN OF THE KEY is one of the most binge-worthy, genuinely addictive suspense novels you will read this summer. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if Ruth Ware writes a suspense novel, yours truly will read it and love it, but THE TURN OF THE KEY blew even this die-hard Ruth Ware fan away. If you haven’t already picked up Ruth Ware’s newest, add it to your TBR immediately. I’m calling it right now: this is one of my favorite books of 2019.
If you’ve been a crime fiction fan for even a short while, there’s a very good chance you’ve heard of Lisa Unger—and if you haven’t heard of her yet, not to worry, today’s post will serve as the perfect introduction to this prolific author’s work. Lisa Unger is the New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels, including her forthcoming release THE STRANGER INSIDE. Lisa Unger’s novels have been published in twenty-six languages, and Lisa has received multiple Edgar Award nominations, among numerous other accolades. Her books have been selected as “Best of the Year” picks by the Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, IndieBound, and many, many more. I could go on, but you get the picture: Lisa Unger is a master of the suspense genre with a huge readership around the world. And today on CBTB, I’m so thrilled to spotlight Lisa’s forthcoming release THE STRANGER INSIDE, available September 17th from Park Row.
What do you get when you cross Scandinavian sensibility with psychological suspense? Enter Alex Dahl’s unputdownable, wholly original brand of Nordic psychological thriller. On the heels of 2018’s excellent The Boy at the Door, Dahl’s 2019 release THE HEART KEEPER delivers a story of motherhood and grief even more emotionally impactful and addictive than Dahl’s first US outing. In THE HEART KEEPER, tragedy strikes a Norwegian family, and their young daughter passes away. But somewhere else in Norway, another family’s life is changed for the better when their young girl receives the call that she’s been waiting for her whole life: a donor heart has been found for her, at long last. As the paths between the two families slowly but surely converge, a mother’s grief turns to dark obsession. THE HEART KEEPER is a slow-burn story, but don’t let its pacing fool you: this book is utterly riveting with just the right amount of juicy drama—the kind of novel you’ll find yourself turning off the TV just to keep reading. The visceral emotion on display in this story, and Dahl’s uncanny ability to write characters whose twisted actions do nothing to diminish our sympathy for them, make THE HEART KEEPER a Summer 2019 standout. Alex Dahl continues to distinguish herself for her compelling blend of Nordic and domestic noir, and THE HEART KEEPER is another feather in the cap of this up-and-coming crime fiction star.
Some books stick with you long after you’ve turned their final page. For me, Alex Dahl’s newest suspense novel THE HEART KEEPER was such a book—and I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Alex to CBTB today to discuss her intense, emotionally-resonant new release with us! If you’re not yet familiar with Alex Dahl’s work, consider this the perfect opportunity to dip into her world. Dahl is a Norwegian author whose books bridge the gap between Scandinavian sensibility and modern, razor-sharp psychological suspense. Dahl’s writing is easy to devour, but it’s got very sharp teeth; her books put womanhood under the microscope, wrapping resonant social commentary up in binge-worthy suspense plots. Dahl’s debut novel THE BOY AT THE DOOR released in the U.S. last year, and this week, she’s back. In THE HEART KEEPER, Dahl explores the powerful force of a mother’s love in the face of tragedy—and considers what happens when that tragedy drives an ordinary person to do unthinkable things. THE HEART KEEPER is in many ways a quiet novel - it’s not a story of rip-roaring action or shocking violence - but its underlying intensity and emotional charge make it utterly unputdownable. I loved Dahl’s newest novel, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to ask her a few of my most pressing questions about it!
Still on the hunt for the perfect domestic thriller to bring on your next vacation? Look no further: Sandie Jones’ THE FIRST MISTAKE is the book for you. Twisty and shocking, THE FIRST MISTAKE takes a relatively familiar suspense setup - a wife who fears her spouse is being unfaithful - and pushes it in addictive, jaw-dropping new directions. Sandie Jones made a splash with her debut novel The Other Woman, which was a selection for Reese Witherspoon’s book club and a New York Times bestseller… but I actually loved THE FIRST MISTAKE even more. This book is a perfect example of what I like to call “popcorn reading”: an utterly entertaining story that you’ll want to binge-read in one or two sittings. Fans of B.A. Paris, J.P. Delaney, and Shari Lapena will absolutely love the domestic drama, plot twists, and chilling suspense Sandie Jones serves up in THE FIRST MISTAKE. I’m thrilled to welcome Sandie Jones to CBTB today to talk all things THE FIRST MISTAKE! In this blog post, you’ll find all the details on Sandie’s newest release, an excerpt from my review of this deliciously addictive suspense read, and, of course, my conversation with Sandie.
I never re-read crime books… unless it’s a novel by Jo Nesbø, and then all bets are off. As I write this review, I’ve already read Nesbø’s newest - and arguably best - crime novel KNIFE twice, and between me and you, I’ll probably read it again before the year is out. A new Nesbø novel is always a cause for celebration (bonus when it’s released right after my birthday, as KNIFE was this year!), but KNIFE is something really special. It’s got everything Nesbø readers have come to expect from Scandinavia’s reigning crime fiction king: a layered plot, a gritty atmosphere, immersive pacing, plenty of very convincing red herrings, and, of course, our beloved troubled detective Harry Hole. But KNIFE is a departure from its immediate series predecessors, too, and it’s here that KNIFE really shines. By dialing back on the overt gore that defined 2017’s The Thirst, Nesbø gives his razor-sharp prose and superb character development room to shine in KNIFE. This is undoubtedly Nesbø’s darkest story yet, and it’s also his most emotionally affecting - a potent combination that will get under your skin as much as it will keep you turning pages. Nesbø is at his best when putting Norwegian detective Harry Hole through his worst, and KNIFE might just be the best installment yet in this exceptional crime series. Nothing will be the same for Harry - or Harry’s loyal readers - after KNIFE.
If you pack one book in your beach bag this summer, make it Riley Sager’s razor-sharp take on gothic suspense: LOCK EVERY DOOR, available July 2nd. You know those authors who just seem to get better and better with each new book? Sager is one of them, and LOCK EVERY DOOR cements him as a staple of any psychological thriller reader’s library. Blending horror tropes with spine-tingling suspense and juicy, just-one-more-page intrigue, LOCK EVERY DOOR invites readers inside one of New York’s most exclusive addresses—a place that might never let its readers - or its residents - go. Enter the Bartholomew: a (fictional) high-end apartment building overlooking Central Park. When down-on-her-luck protagonist Jules secures a position as an apartment-sitter in the Bartholomew, she can hardly believe her luck. But as Jules settles in and befriends a fellow apartment-sitter, she begins to worry that this beautiful building hides within its walls secrets darker than she could have ever imagined. In LOCK EVERY DOOR, Sager crafts a page-turning story of gothic suspense worthy of a place alongside the horror classics that inspired it. Protagonist Jules is a relatable and compelling millennial: a young woman struggling against the odds to make a life for herself, who just so happens to accept a job that might be her last. In the Bartholomew, nothing is as it seems. Enter at your own risk.
It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome M.T. Edvardsson to Crime by the Book today to give us the inside scoop on his first crime novel to come to the United States. A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY hits American bookstores today, June 25th, and what an absolute gem of a crime novel it is. Told in three distinct “parts,” A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY probes the limits of how far an ordinary family would go to protect one of their own. It might be set in Sweden, but what makes this story so impactful is its universality; the themes Edvardsson explores here will feel relevant whether you’re in Scandinavia like the story’s central family, in New York like I am as I write this, or anywhere in between. Edvardsson’s assured and thought-provoking crime novel is a little bit Nordic Noir, a little bit legal thriller, a little bit family drama—and when taken as a whole, it’s one of this summer’s most compelling suspense stories. I’m thrilled to welcome M.T. Edvardsson to CBTB today to give us an inside scoop on this outstanding new release! In today’s blog post, you will find plot details for a NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY, a selection of early praise the book has already received, a snippet from my review, and, of course, my conversation with the author. Huge thanks to the team at Celadon Books for facilitating this Q&A, and to M.T. Edvardsson for taking the time to answer my questions! A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY is available now at your favorite bookseller.
Sandie Jones made a splash last summer with her debut suspense novel THE OTHER WOMAN, a New York Times bestseller and a pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club—and she’s back this summer, and better than ever, with THE FIRST MISTAKE. A juicy, page-turning story of marital secrets, THE FIRST MISTAKE takes a familiar plot - a wife who suspects her husband might be hiding something from her - and turns it on its head. Following Alice, her husband Nathan, and her best friend Beth, THE FIRST MISTAKE unravels a layered story of deceit and betrayal… and I’m betting even the most seasoned suspense reader will be genuinely shocked by the twists author Sandie Jones has in store. Sophomore novels have a reputation for being particularly tricky to get right, but Sandie Jones has executed hers effortlessly; I thoroughly enjoyed last year’s THE OTHER WOMAN, but I liked THE FIRST MISTAKE even more. This book is pure pleasure reading. For readers of fan-favorite domestic thrillers Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris and Lie To Me by J.T. Ellison, THE FIRST MISTAKE is the perfect beach read: a story of what happens when happily ever after goes wrong.