Half a dozen reads



A kidnapped heiress, a robbery, an escape. And a 20-year-old cold case – the FBI has no leads, no clues, no success. Until two decades later, when a murdered man is found in his apartment, along with one of the stolen items and a suitcase with the initials WHL3. Windsor Horne Lockwood III. Or Win, as he’s called by his few friends. And what Win has, and the FBI doesn’t, is a personal connection to the case, a large fortune, and his own unique brand of justice. Harlan Coben, with his signature twists and turns, keeps the adrenaline going in Win, his latest, massively gripping thriller. Century. Available at exclusivebooks.co.za

A five-year-old child missing in the woods, his nine-year-old sister who’s known to stretch the truth. An imaginary friend, deceitful husband, and a best-selling author … all come together in a thriller that keeps you guessing from start to finish. To Tell You The Truth by Gilly Macmillan is another unputdownable read … one boasting a final page that leaves you desperate for more. Penguin.

Twisted. Dark. Suspenseful (oh, so suspenseful). Lisa Jewell’s books are always edge-of-your-seat, and The Night She Disappeared is a tremendous psychological thriller. From the very first page, you’re enveloped in a sense of doom … you just know there’s going to be no happy-ever-after ending. There’s a young couple who disappears after a night partying at a massive country estate, leaving a much-adored baby behind with his gran, a group of not-so-desirable youngsters who are meant to be their friends but are not terribly concerned or helpful, and two awful mothers who leave a lot to be desired. There are drugs and love, secrets and lies, cryptic clues and many, many twists and turns. Honestly, don’t start it at bedtime … you will not be able to put it down. Penguin

An isolated, luxury hotel high up in the Swiss Alps, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium where, years before, patients were treated (not always terribly humanely), is the setting of The Sanatorium. An uneasy atmosphere, an engagement party, a blizzard … and a missing fiancée. It appears someone is killing off guests, and his – or her – sadistic methods are similar to those used on the sanatorium patients years before. Fortunately, one of the guests happen to be a detective, but she’s got demons of her own to deal with. Dark, sinister, creepy … Sarah Pearse’s debut novel is a Gothic thriller that will scare the bejesus out of you. Penguin, available from Exclusive Books.

For a feel-good hedonistic read, you can’t beat Catherine Alliott … her books are always a treat. In Behind Closed Doors, she writes the story of Lisa Palmer … who has the perfect life with loving children, a dashing husband and a gorgeous home. But suddenly it’s all broken marriages, swopping snazzy London living for a rural farmhouse retreat, parents who are growing old disgracefully, and an old flame popping up unexpectedly. Great fun, really witty, a brilliant book for a lazy weekend. Michael Joseph / Penguin, available from Exclusive Books.

A small town in America, just filled with hate and secrets and abuse and despair. Tall Bones is Anna Bailey’s debut novel, and she writes like a dream …. sucking you into the lives of the characters, some indescribably awful, others who’ll break your heart. The story revolves around the mystery of a teenager who disappears after a party in the woods. There are unhappy families with appalling secrets, a fire-and-brimstone preacher who lords over his flock of God-fearing religious fanatics, a sheriff ‘who looks like he’s been carved from wood and then left out in the rain’, who’s also missing a few fingers on his bear-trap-mangled hand (he pretty much sums up the town, to be honest). You read with bated breath, as desperate as the townsfolk to discover what happened in the woods that night, a discovery that’s going to be the spark that sets this tinder box of small-town rage alight. An agonising ending for readers who like everything tied up in a neat little bow! Brilliant. Penguin.