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There's a lot of killing but it's fiction, so it's fine...

  • Hazel Butterfield
  • 24 October 2023

'To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.' - W. Somerset Maugham, Books and You

There's a lot of killing but it's fiction, so it's fine...


Don’t Look Away – Rachel Abbott

Utterly brilliant, I couldn’t get enough! This was fast paced, addictive, beautifully descriptive and very dark.

When Lola goes missing on a family break staying in her aunt’s seaside cottage, following the death of her mother weeks earlier and only a few weeks before her dad dies in mysterious circumstances, Nancy, the sister left behind has lived under a constant cloud of blame, shame and immense trauma from all the unanswered questions regarding how her world imploded. Is she to blame for her sister’s disappearance and the insufficient care her mother received? Years later she returns to the very same cottage after her aunt dies leaving her the property, however during her visit a body is found in a local cave igniting a more comprehensive investigation into the town’s activities and disappearance of her sister.

Brace yourself, you will not want to put this down!


The Best Way to Bury Your Husband - Alexia Casale (Mar, 2024)

What Alexia has done with this comedic work of fiction is quite frankly remarkable. The issue of violence in the home against women is prolific but during covid the figures soared, horrifically so. The Best Way to Bury Your Husband looks at ‘what if’ a group of women in a similar predicament who unfortunately killed their husbands in self defence just happen to find each other during this unprecedented time. How resourceful, clever, intuitive and collaborative we can be, despite being relentlessly told otherwise, when survival and our loved ones are paramount. We rarely know what goes on behind closed doors or turn a blind eye for whatever reason has been deemed necessary. This book provides an interesting and comedic look at domestic abuse, serving as a conduit to highlight what is going on in an alarming number of homes.


Artificial Wisdom – Thomas Weaver 

An AI thriller that hit way too close to home in terms of where we look like we are heading as a global issue. It is 2050 and the effects of Global Warming, ignored for too long as an issue for the future, has left the world unrecognisable. California no longer exists, London is a flood transformed cesspit, Kuwait suffered an astronomical murderous heatwave that killed millions and the rich have moved to floating islands that are climate controlled and engineered to be a perfect solution for those that can afford it. A global dictator has to be elected to make all the important decision for the planet to prevent an apocalypse and the final 2 in the running are an ex US president and an Artilect, a fully AI commander who has successfully been managing the floating states for a decade. Politics are a dirty game at the best of times, but when global annihilation is at stake, we need truth tellers like journalist, Marcus Tully, to make sure everyone has all the information required to make an informed decision as to who is the best candidate to save the world…

The immaculate and creative detail that Thomas Weaver uses in Artificial Wisdom is not only intoxicating but terrifying.


Kill Show - Daniel Sweren-Becker 

When is our obsession with true crime going to turn into not just an obstruction of justice in uncovering the truth, but actually change the course of events to its detriment. To turn the case of a missing girl, into a kill show? The execs are always trying to push the envelope on reality TV, get the clicks, the viewing figs, be trailblazing. Daniel Sweren-Becker retells the story of a missing girl Sara Parcell through a series of ‘interviews’ from those involved both directly, indirectly and those who had an opinion on what unfolded as the nation got hooked and in some cases, felt personally invested in the outcome. The alternate perspectives throughout the retelling were brilliantly constructed and collaborated to keep you hooked.

When you try this and love it, give A Game of Lies by Clare Mackintosh a go next! 



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