At this time of year there’s truly nothing better than battening down the hatches and curling up on the sofa with a book that’ll… make you petrified to be home alone! The rise in popularity of the ‘kitchen sink’ psychological thriller, where the author makes a victim at their most vulnerable in the safest of places, continues to leave its mark on the bestsellers list and 2017 was no exception. Here are the 3 I think are most worthy of a read before the year is out:
1. the one with the sinister landlord
JP Delaney explores the creepy, obsessive compulsive culture of minimalism and asks: Would you live in a seemingly perfect apartment that demands you change the way you live your life entirely? Edward Monkford, the enigmatic architect of One Folgate Street, is insanely selective about who gets to live there. Every potential resident has to fill out a demanding questionnaire and adhere to a unique and expansive set of rules that require full acquiescence. Only two women have accepted the challenge so far: Emma (the girl ‘before’ of the title) and Jane – the first occupant since Emma was brutally murdered inside the flat. An elegantly executed and perfectly plotted psychological thriller where the apartment plays as sinister a part as the mysterious murderer.
2. the one where the stalker knows where you live
Last year’s The Couple Next Door (which I reviewed here) was a breakthrough hit for Shari Lapena. The plot of her second novel focuses on a wife who mysteriously leaves her marital home in a rush and becomes embroiled in both a car crash that gives her amnesia and places her near to a serious crime scene. Most of the action takes place in the couple’s house and switches perspective between Karen, her husband Tom and their neighbour Brigid – all of whom are unlikable and unreliable characters. A compelling and intriguing page-turner.
3. the one with the obsessive neighbour
Would you trust your new neighbours? When narrator Sara becomes acquainted with Gav and Lou, eccentric newcomers to her close-knit suburban street, sharing everything from dinner to childcare, it seems like the perfect new friendship. But is it all it seems? With shades of the middle-classes unraveling as seen in books like Apple Tree Yard, Notes on a Scandal and Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty, this book examines the price you may pay for making close neighbourhood friendships.