The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Lo hopes the work-related cruise will help to shake the fear of the break in she suffered but within hours she realises that not only has her ex-boyfriend been invited but also, she has some serious mental scars leftover with the bruises. Somewhere in the Norwegian sea, everything starts to go wrong, and she doesn’t know who she can trust. It can only get worse.

Lo is the kind of character the reader likes, can identify with, but also wants to scream at. She can’t help but choose the wrong path every time and this is something we all recognise in ourselves from time to time. Her demise is inevitable and we read with a sinking feeling that is balanced by small rays of hope.

This thriller kept me reading but I can’t say it was a comfortable read. The confines of the boat were stifling and Lo’s anxiety was catching. I was on edge and because I couldn’t tell where the threat was coming from I felt almost as scared as the poor protagonist which is exactly what you want from a thriller.

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the woman in cabin 10

Dead Still (Dr. Annabel Tilson #1) by Barbara Ebel, M.D.

Annabel is excited and optimistic at being finally able to go on clinical rotation. Having spent years in the classroom she can’t wait to start putting the theory into practice. With her father being a well-known and respected neurosurgeon she has some big shoes to fill but she doesn’t expect any special treatment. Special treatment is a far cry from her actual experience and she becomes increasingly deflated with the idea of being a doctor at all and with patience dropping like flies she struggles to keep her composure. It isn’t until her life is on the line that things become a little clearer.

As thrillers go, this is an original and interesting one. A junior doctor fresh out of medical school and at the mercy of a jealous colleague is an unusual narrator, but it worked well. I thought the medical jargon and involvement was just right. I didn’t need a medical dictionary to figure things out and there was enough med-talk to keep it realistic.

Annabel was a likable, intelligent character and Ebel’s style was an interesting mix of thriller, romance, and detective. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Dead still

The Breakdown by B. A. Paris

Cass’s life had been wonderful until that fateful night but when she chooses the shortcut home, it changes the course of her life. Between the menacing calls and the constant forgetfulness, Cass doesn’t know where to go or who to turn to but she knows that she can’t keep her secret for much longer.

This thriller comes from a fragile woman’s point of view and it is terrifying because the reader feels Cass’s vulnerability and loneliness. It is an uncomfortable read which all thrillers should be and it certainly builds in suspense as the story moves forward.

I found the ending very satisfying, and I was quite relieved when Cass started eating again because food and drink had featured so prominently in the beginning. I like Paris’s ability to keep you guessing until the end.

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The Breakdown

The Sinner’s Touch (A Manwhore Series #2) by Apryl Baker

When Angel steps out of the bar for a breath of fresh air she has no clue as to what is waiting for her. An unfortunate case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time sends her life spiralling out of control when she comes face to face with Boston’s most notorious serial killer, body in hand. When the police arrive, she has to deal with her second shock of the day and she has no idea that her week is about to get a whole lot worse.

Angel is a sweet character who has a back story that won’t let her move on and Kade’s interruption to her life is an emotional one. Kade appears, at first, to be a little on the shallow side but when the events of the past unravel the reader gets to see the inner turmoil.

I like the way Baker has turned a thriller into a romance with a strong lead detective element. The Russian brothers are a nice change from the all-American boy and I look forward to hearing the rest of the Kincaid stories.

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The Sinners Touch

Only the Innocent (DCI Tom Douglas #1) by Rachel Abbott

Hugo’s wife, Laura, is the prime suspect for Hugo’s murder but she has a watertight alibi. The closer Tom gets to the case the more he realises that Hugo wasn’t the hero he was portrayed to be and any number of people would have good cause for wanting him dead. Can he solve the case and locate what Hugo has been hiding all this time or will his attraction to the suspect cloud his judgment?

I am already a fan of Tom Douglas having read the series out of sequence but aside from a few issues I’ve managed to keep up. Now that I’ve read the first book everything had slotted into place.

Abbott doesn’t choose light-hearted subjects, in fact, she takes the grittiest, most uncomfortable subjects and explores them in detail. Her detective style leaves you dangling in suspense until the very last minute, after the thrill of the ride, where you finally catch your killer, or not.

Abbott’s characters are realistic and have the regular flaws but they are also full of hope and love which balances the darker side to her subjects nicely. Tom’s vulnerability keeps me wanting to read because I genuinely like the DCI and he gives the reader a reprieve from the depravity of Abbott’s villains.

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Only the Innocent

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

While Amy is suspended in a long-term coma Alex struggles to go from day to day without letting her alcoholism take control of her life. When she stumbles upon a story far more exciting than the one her editor is expecting she reawakens a chance to solve Amy’s cold case.

This psychological thriller works backward from Amy’s narration and in the present from Alex’s. The parallels between them slowly close in as their lives become entangled together. Not only is Alex getting closer to the truth, but she begins to understand her own illness. The novel feels like it is two stories pulled together and it works. Alex’s struggle with alcohol reminds me of The girl on the Train in some ways and it highlights the problems that surround the topic.

I’m giving this book four stars because although I really enjoyed it I would like to have known more about the emotional and psychological state of the attacker.

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Try not to breathe

Black Widow (Jack Parlabane #7) by Chris Brookmyre

Diana has been married to her work for so long that relationships seem like an impossible inconvenience, that is until she meets Peter who seems to understand her in ways that no one else has. After a whirlwind romance cracks begin to show in their relationship and just as she’s starting to wonder if she’s rushed into the marriage he dies in a terrible car crash.

Parlabane gets sucked into this case and at first, it looks clear cut. Diana is obviously a cold psychopath with tunnel vision but as he delves deeper something else appears and Parlabane is shocked to his core.

Having not read any more from the series or any of Brookmyre’s work before I found the story difficult to follow but with perseverance I soon found myself hooked. The plot is intricate and dark and unfolds slowly towards a shocking finale. The characters are full and interesting but you get the sense that they never fully give up their secrets. I may have to start the series from the beginning because I think it has plenty to offer a thriller fan.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

Black Widow