The Silent Patient
by Alex Michaelides
Theo Faber, a young criminal psychoanalyst has been fascinated with Alicia’s case for years. He thinks that he can help Alicia so he leaves a good job to apply for a job at The Grove, the psychiatric hospital where Alicia is being kept. Theo has his own problems and his obsession with Alicia may just be his undoing.
This psychological thriller kept me reading. It has many layers, twists and turns and I didn’t see the ending coming. It is told through Alicia’s diary entries, flashbacks and Theo’s POV so the reader must pay attention to keep up with the story. The setting in a psychiatric center was interesting and the author said in an interview that at one time he worked in an institution like this and has a family member who is a psychiatrist.
I really enjoyed The Silent Patient and look forward to more books by this author.
by Dervla McTiernan
When Cormac Reilly was a rookie Irish Garda he was called to what he thought was a domestic violence case. Instead he found two young children, Maude and Jack Blake, in a crumbling house with their alcoholic mother, Hilaria, dead in an upstairs bedroom with a needle in her arm.
Twenty years later and now a detective, Cormac moves with his partner, Emma, form Dublin to Galway and is dismayed to find that he has been assigned to cold cases. However, one cold case from twenty years ago, the death of Hilaria Blake, does interest him.The death had been labeled an accidental overdose but new evidence suggests it might have been murder. What happened to Maude and Jack Blake after their mother’s death and why is this case being re-opened after twenty years? When another suspicious death occurs that is related to this old case, Cormac runs into a web of lies, possible police corruption and family secrets.
The Ruin is part police procedural and part mystery/thriller. Police procedurals aren’t usually my first choice but the ruin is dark, compelling and I really liked it. I will be reading more from this author. Dervla McTiernan is an Irish/ australian writer and she was just named an Australia Reads Ambassador. Aofie McMahon did a good job as the narrator.
The Turn of the Key
by Ruth Ware
I have read all of Ruth Ware’s books so I was looking forward to reading this one. The book begins with Rowan Caine writing a letter to a solicitor she hopes will take her case. She is in jail for the death of a child and she is pleading for him to help her. The story continues with her letters telling the solicitor what happened and how she ended up in jail.
Rowan is a child care worker in London looking for something else when she sees an ad for a job that catches her eye. It is for a live-in nanny to four children in the Scottish Highlands. The amount of money being offered is unbelievable so Rowan sends in an application. She goes to Scotland for the interview and can’t believe the luxurious, remodeled, Victorian house. The children seem to be a little bit undisciplined and she finds out that the parents are desperate to find another nanny because the last four have quit. Both parents are successful architects who travel for their jobs and they need a nanny right away. Rowan accepts the job and arrives when the parents are away working. The home is a “smart” home controlled by the Happy App and Rowan is on her own without any help except for the binder that the mother has left for her full of instructions about what the children can eat and other things.
The children are bratty and seem to resent her. She then hears that the people in the village think the house is haunted because a child died there many years ago. Weird things start happening, the Happy App malfunctions and Rowan begins to lose control of things. She does have a friend in the caretaker on the premises but she isn’t sure if he believes her when she tells him about all of the strange things that have been happening in the house.
Rowan isn’t perfect and we find out that she has lied about some things to get the job but did she murder a child? This twisty mystery has Gothic overtones and I enjoyed it. I’m not sure how I feel about the ending but you can decide what you think after you read it.
I enjoyed the narration by Imogen Church.
Beating About the Bush
by M.C. Beaton
I love Agatha Raisin so couldn’t wait to listen to this book. I have listened to all of them on audio and always enjoy them. This listen was a little bittersweet because M. C. Beaton died after finishing it so I am afraid that this is the final Agatha Raisin book. I have read that M.C, Beaton left notes for another book so maybe Agatha will continue. I hope so!
In Beating About the Bush, number 30 in this series, Agatha and Toni are hired to investigate a case of possible industrial espionage. It doesn’t take long for Agatha to figure out that there is a lot more going on with this case and that their employers are hiding something. The Agatha Raisin Mysteries are very character driven and Agatha encounters new characters including a bad tempered donkey named Wizz-Wazz that takes the spotlight away from her. Agatha’s love life is always in turmoil and in this book she is also fighting her growing feelings for Charles but Charles needs money to keep his estate going. He is courting an awful woman who has lots of money and she shows her true colors to Agatha. What is Agatha to do?
Beating About the Bush is another enjoyable book in the Agatha Raisin series. Penelope Keith who narrated the books many years ago is back in this one. I felt at times that her narration was too hurried but I still enjoyed this latest one.
by Jane Harper
This debut novel by Jane Harper is a stunning page turner that puts you right into the Australian outback. Twenty years ago when he was a teenager, Aaron Falk and his father left their hometown of Kiewarra under a cloud of suspicion.
Now Aaron lives in Melbourne and is a federal agent. He receives a letter from the father of his best friend, Luke. In high school Luke and Aaron were inseparable but when a school friend, Ellie, dies under suspicious circumstance, the people in the town thought that Aaron and Luke were involved. However they both said that they were fishing together at the time of her death. Now Luke has apparently killed himself and his family. His infant daughter is the only survivor. Luke’s father’s note says that he knows Luke and Aaron lied and he demands that Aaron return home for the funeral.
So, Aaron goes back to his hometown where he is met with hostility by almost everyone in town. However, Luke’s mother begs Aaron to investigate Luke’s death because she said that he would never have killed his family. Reluctantly Aaron agrees to stay for a few days to see what he can find out. It does seem strange to him that everyone in the family was killed except for his daughter. Why would Luke kill all of them but let her survive?
The whole region is suffering from one of the worst droughts in history. Farms and other businesses are failing. Against this backdrop of relentless heat Aaron uncovers lies, small town secrets and mean spirited residents who want Aaron to leave Kiewarra at any cost.
This is the first book in the Aaron Falk series and I .thoroughly enjoyed it. This novel has a strong sense of place and the reader can feel the unrelenting heat and despair of the residents of Kiewarra. The author deftly weaves the details of the death of Ellie into the deaths of Luke and his family. There are red herrings and I didn’t guess the ending. The narration by Stephen Shanahan was excellent too. If you enjoy crime novels, The Dry is a must read!