Mini Thoughts on Recent Suspense Reads

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During my recent flirtation with suspense novels I finished these three very different books. Here are my mini thoughts:

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon – This dual narrative novel has one part set in modern day and the other storyline set in the early 20th century. A young women returns home to find her mother missing and begins to unravel the truth about her family, her old house and the creepy woods on her property. It is part suspense, part horror and all chilling. I had to sleep with the light on the first night I was reading it because it introduced a zombie element that was crazy scary. If you like being frightened, this is a novel for you. It will be released in February 2014.

Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant – Narrated in the first person by Gaby Mortimer, a TV presenter who finds a woman’s dead body on her morning run, Under My Skin is a twisty tale that examines marital jealousy, the nature of fame and how childhood trauma can affect adults. I was surprised by the ending, but found this, overall, to be just an average suspense novel. Already out in the UK, it will be released in the US in February.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – Libby Day is a survivor. Her mom and sisters were murdered when she was just six and her brother was convicted of the killings. She’s never questioned that her brother did it until she’s nearing thirty and meets an amateur detective. His doubt and her desperation for money spur her to re-investigate the crime to uncover the real story about what happened to her family. Flynn’s writing is so brutally dark and unforgiving that I find it both exhilarating and revolting to read. She has a gift for plotting and for creating unforgettable characters so I’ll probably read her first novel, Sharp Objects, (I’ve already read Gone Girl) at some point. She is one of those authors I’m not sure I like, but I am fascinated by her work.

Have a wonderful Sunday – and a wonderful week!

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13 thoughts on “Mini Thoughts on Recent Suspense Reads

  1. Melissa

    The Winter People sounds good!!!

    Sharp Objects was my first Flynn experience and I did not particularly care for it — I read it about 5 years ago though so it’s possible I might enjoy it more now? I think I’ve become more accepting of unlikable main characters. She’s definitely a dark & twisty author! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts about it.

    Reply
    1. Anbolyn Post author

      The Winter People was pretty darn good – it actually scared me, which is hard to do these days.
      I think Flynn is a very talented author, but, dang, her characters are hard to like. There are really no ‘good’ people in her novels. Everyone is out for something or just plain mean. She has a bleak view of humanity – but it is riveting!

      Reply
  2. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Lovely to hear good things about Jennifer McMahon — I’ve had one of her books, obviously not this one but an older one, on my TBR list for years and years, and for some reason haven’t yet managed to read it. But I’m happy to know that it’s likely worth my time.

    Reply
  3. vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas)

    I never know what to do about reading more of a writer who, as you so well put it, fascinates but doesn’t make one feel a ‘liking’. I suspect that I persevere as I think that I am being challenged, and should rise to that challenge! I’ve not read any Flynn yet (too much current hype?) but I will eventually.

    Reply
    1. Anbolyn Post author

      Yes, I do feel challenged! Her dark view of the world is one that disturbs me, but does ring partly true. I will keep reading her – she crafts a wonderful tale.

      Reply
  4. Sunday Taylor

    I haven’t read any of these authors, and it sounds as if you weren’t especially thrilled with any of them. If you are in the mood for a Victorian suspense novel, try The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Love that one! Have a lovely week!

    Reply
    1. Anbolyn Post author

      I read The Moonstone a few months ago and loved it. In January I am reading The Woman in White with The Estella Society. I am really looking forward to it!

      Reply
  5. Kelly

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only person sleeping with lights on while reading The Winter People! I love creepy books (and movies…and tv shows) but then I pay for it because I can’t turn off the lights. Nice to know I’m not alone with that ;)

    Reply
  6. Charlie

    I like that last statement about Flynn. I’ve had Gone Girl for a few months now, not yet really ‘up’ to reading it, but what you’ve said has me really intrigued. Why do we like reading books that make sleeping normally impossible? Glad you enjoyed the books, I guess the phase was successful!

    Reply
  7. Jerri Kindig

    I have read a few of Flynn’s books. Yes she has a dark look at things, but I think it’s realistic to a point. Although most people read to get away from reality so I can see how her characters can put one off. As for another great romantic suspense read try Cassandra Bella, I just finished Playing With Fire, it was awesome. So if you are looking for something new, cassandrabella.net is her site that is how I came across her. She really has a great novel there.

    Reply

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