Jane Harper’s first book, The Dry, took us into the punishingly hot Australian outback. Now, Detective Aaron Falk and his new partner, Carmen, are sent into the heavy, close, jungle-like Giralang Mountain Ranges.
Alice Russell, one of five women on a corporate team-building trail retreat, has disappeared. Tensions between the returning survivors are high, and Aaron and Carmen must get to the bottom of what happened – as well as hope to find Alice in a race against time and nature.
I can’t convey how excellent Harper is at creating tension and atmosphere, and I can’t convey how masterfully she balances the mystery with a sense of simmering tension. I should also mention that each of her mysteries is impressively real. The situation and characters (and detectives!) all feel natural and organic – nothing far-fetched to be found.
Engaging, human mystery with a real sense of pervasive danger set against nature’s stunning (and vicious) backdrop – this should be on your reading list. (Submitted by Veronica)
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The story is centered in a middle eastern city called Khorasan, many years ago. It follows a teen girl named Shahrzad who is on a revenge seeking mission to kill the young king of Khorasan. The king has been marrying a different woman every night, and then having them murdered the next day for many months now, and he had Shahrzad’s best friend killed. Shahrzad is the first woman to volunteer to be the next bride sacrifice, and the king cannot help but wonder why this girl would give up her life. As the two start to spend more time together, Shahrzad begins to realize that there must be a reason why the king kills these women, and she is determined to find out why. I was so impressed with how strong the female characters were in the story, and how the author seemed to make a point that women are capable of saving themselves. The story has romance, suspense, action, humour, and it is a bit like Game of Thrones mixed with Aladdin but for Young Adults. A good book to read in the summer. (Submitted by Joy)
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This book came to my attention a few years ago but I didn’t have a chance to read it until now. I really liked it and I’m torn between being sorry that it took me so long to get to it and glad that I finally did.
It fits into so many categories, historical fiction, romance (I use this one cautiously), and a mystery though it isn’t classified as one. Notice I didn’t say it was a ghost story but it is loaded with atmosphere especially as it takes place in 18th century Cambridge, England. The author shows a cloistered, mostly male, world of the academics which was political, religious and blasphemous mix, but he also offers a glimpse into the life of the people who serve that world and the Cambridge of that time. I can’t wait to read more of this author’s works. (Submitted by Renee)
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A friend recommended The Silent Wife after I enjoyed reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.
The story is told in alternating voices of main characters, Todd, and his common-law wife Jodi. The couple’s seemingly perfect relationship, which includes flourishing careers and a luxury waterfront condo, unravels in the aftermath of Todd’s adulterous lifestyle.
Both characters are unlikeable. But the author’s meticulous account of Jodi’s unspoken turmoil, set against the picture perfect view from the calm of her tony surroundings, kept me turning the pages.
It is unfortunate that this Canadian author passed away from cancer just months before her first novel was published. (Submitted by TS).
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I was told to read The Martian by outside sources which initially made me resist the idea (as did the imminent movie and general dislike for mass consumption Sci Fi novels). This was a mistake. By far my favourite read of 2015, The Martian exceeded my expectations. Told through the voice of Mark Watney, a sarcastic Botonist/Astronaut/General Fix-it Man, the reader is swept into a survival story like none before: survival on Mars! Mark Watney is abandoned on Mars after a sandstorm separates him from his crew. He must employ his considerable skills to survive and possibly make it back to earth. Andy Weir manages to combine plausible science and edge of your seat drama to write this compelling tale. The constant cliff hangers and hilarious wit of Mark Watney made this not only a read all night book, but also a read twice in one week book! (Submitted by CB).
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This book was excellently written – it made a topic that I wasn’t too sure was all that interesting into a fascinating and page-turning true tale. Highly recommended. (Submitted by JF).
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A scam artist posing as a psychic latches on to one of her clients and gets much more than she bargained for in Gillian Flynn’s eerie, engrossing novella “The Grownup.” Fans of Flynn’s caustic wit, dark humor and very messed up female protagonists won’t be disappointed, and fans of ghost stories looking for a quick read will be satisfied as well. The story is fast paced (a very quick 63-paged read) and, in true Gillian Flynn fashion, full of twists. It leaves you on a “I’m not sure what I just read” kind of note. Recommended for a rainy evening or a long bus ride! (Submitted by Mandi).
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