Thrills. Heartache. And a happy-ever-after. All is good with our world. 

The Interview reads like a movie (and surely there will be one) … it’s all fast moving, tense, heart-pounding action from start to finish, with not even a tiny break for you to catch your breath. It starts off innocently enough … someone going for an interview for what appears to be a dream job. The meeting takes place on the 13th floor of a London skyscraper on a Friday shortly after everyone leaves for the weekend. Great offices, professional looking interviewer … all good. Until the questions start getting … well, odd. And the interview gets really disturbing. And then all hell breaks loose, really. It’s locked doors and nervous security officers and climbing up lift shafts and trying to break windows and NOTHING. IS. WORKING! You’ll read it in one breathless sitting … brilliant. If you haven’t read CM Ewan before *hangs head in shame*, read this, and then order his A Window Breaks and Safe House immediately! Macmillan, available from Exclusive Books.

Paris. 2015. A crowd gathers to watch as a wealthy family’s American au pair is led away in handcuffs. Her nine-year-old charge is dead, and the au pair is being blamed by the child’s mother. But who really was to blame. Amanda Bestor-siegal’s The Caretakers is set in the six weeks leading up to the event … and the truth lies with six women – a chilly socialite and reluctant mother, an isolated teen desperate for her mum’s attention, a French teacher struggling to support her young students, and three au pairs – one incompetent, one socially anxious and desperate to belong, and the one accused of the crime. Secrets, miscommunication, misunderstandings … all can have fatal consequences, and all play a part in the youngster’s death. Little, Brown, available from Exclusive Books

When Ruby was a child, she saw a boy from her school struggling against the ocean waves while his parents were preoccupied. Instead of helping him, Ruby dove under the water and held his ankle down until he drowned. She waited to feel guilty for it, but she never did. And, as Ruby will argue in her senior thesis while studying psychology at Yale, guilt is sort of like eating ice cream while on a diet. If you’re already feeling bad, why not eat the whole carton? Twenty-five years later, she’s in an interrogation room, accused of four murders, including that of her husband. But she’s only guilty of three! Will the one she isn’t responsible for her be the one to bring her down? Blood Sugar by Sascha Rothchild is darkly funny … murder has never been sweeter! Trapeze, available at Exclusive Books. • Gosh … love Sheila O’Flanagan, and haven’t read one of her novels for ages. What Eden Did Next is the story of Eden, who, after the death of her firefighter husband, Andy, knows life can change in an instant. Happy with life with her daughter, she meets someone new. But Andy’s mum has other plans for Eden. Funny, emotional, joyful, heartbreaking … all you’d expect! A lovely big Winter read. Headline Review, available at Exclusive Books

Three women. Three dates. One missing man. It’s Valentine’s Day. The first date’s a breakfast one … unusual, since Joseph usually only sees Siobhan late at night in her hotel room. The second’s at lunchtime, and Miranda’s hoping to show off about her new job, and feels, after five months, her romance with Carter is now serious. The third is planned for early evening, when Josef Carter’s agreed to be Jane’s fake boyfriend at an engagement party. The No-Show by Beth O’Leary is a clever romance to keep you (and the dates) guessing. Quercus, available at Exclusive Books



Here’s one we’ve been waiting for! A luxury resort with perfect sea and beautiful jungle. Two families on holiday. Everyone happy, despite the tension between the resort staff and locals, with violence threatening. But  there’s tension rising between the couples, too … and one person has a score to settle – and a sinister agenda. Alice Clark-Platts’ The Cove is all secrets and lies … a jolly excellent thriller. Raven Books, available at Exclusive Books

And let’s keep the thrill factor high. It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce is set on New Year’s Eve. A lavish party. Old friends together, setting the past to rights and moving on. Fireworks and champagne and celebrations. And one guest who’s there for one reason only. Revenge. Someone’s going to die! Wildfire, available at Exclusive Books

Steenberg Five Lives Red Blend 2019 – an exciting new Bordeaux-style wine – chronicles the life of Catharina Ras, their pioneering 17th century founder. Her imagined life of adventure is told in five chapters, each of which is narrated on the five back labels (you have to collect all five chapters to get the whole story .. how clever). The plush wine embraces the silky elegance of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, is medium-bodied and lush with a smooth, velvety texture. Expect notes of blackcurrant cassis, basil and plum underpinned by an earthy character. You’ll find it for around R175 on, or at leading bottle stores in your area.