FIRST BORN by Will Dean (Hodder £16.99, 384pp)
by Will Dean (Hodder £16.99, 384pp)
Since Dean, born in the East Midlands, went to live in the middle of a Swedish forest of elk, he’s become an increasingly better thriller writer.
Here he excels himself, even improving his own high standards.
Identical twins Molly and Katie couldn’t be more different. Molly is the shy and risk-averse who lives coyly in London, while Katie is the gregarious who moved to New York to live the fast lane. But they still talk every day.
Then Molly learns that Katie has died and rushes to New York to find out what happened and comfort her parents who were visiting her sister.
It turns out that Katie has been murdered and Molly’s life is transformed. But then comes the first in a series of twists that elevate this story into the class of Patricia Highsmith. The talented Mr Ripley would have enjoyed every moment of its twisting plot. There is no greater praise.
CITY ON FIRE by Don Winslow (HarperCollins £20, 384pp)
CITY ON FIRE
by Don Winslow (HarperCollins £20, 384pp)
The year is 1986. Danny Ryan is a 29-year-old longshoreman in Providence, Rhode Island, trying to quietly live his life as a good husband and loyal friend.
But he’s also muscle for the Irish crime syndicate that rules part of the city, while their Italian rivals are eager to take over their businesses and territory.
Enter a modern-day Helen of Troy, a young woman of spectacular beauty, on the arm of one of the Italian crew members. But then she switches sides and bonds with one of the Irish, and so a contemporary version of The Iliad begins and a Trojan War develops, with Danny caught in the heart of it.
It’s The Godfather of our time, brutal, fierce and yet rooted in family values - where blood is always thicker than water. It’s the first book in an epic trilogy centering on Danny, who finds himself forced to become the new Michael Corleone.
It’s haunting storytelling, with an emotional beating heart – unforgettable.
TELL ME YOUR LIES by Kate Ruby (Simon & Schuster £8.99, 400pp)
TELL ME YOUR LIES
by Kate Ruby (Simon & Schuster £8.99, 400pp)
Three very different women are at the heart of this modern tragedy – an impressive debut from one of British television’s most celebrated producers and screenwriters.
Lily is the perfect mother to her adult children, married to a successful real estate developer. But her daughter Rachel, who just turned 30 and was once a high-flying civil servant, struggles with a drug and alcohol addiction that threatens to topple her.
Desperate, Lily turns to a well-known therapist, Amber, to help her daughter deal with her demons. But this leads to unintended consequences as Amber sneakily pulls Rachel away from her mother and brings her under her own magical spell.
Still struggling to make sense of her life, Rachel doesn’t know which way to turn as the secrets of the family’s past slowly unravel into the light of day.
Based in part on the true story of a manipulative therapist, it’s a parable for our times: accomplished, eloquent, and quite terrifying.