Abigail Burdess (Headline)You’ll be blindsided by the twists in this dark, compulsive tale. Anna is struggling to keep it together when she is reunited with her birth mother, the woman who abandoned her as a baby. At first, all seems well, but Marlene turns out to be the mother from hell: eccentric, generous, malignant. And when Anna discovers she’s pregnant things get seriously weird.
AGE OF VICE
Deepti Kapoor (PRH)This blazing, high-concept thriller comes garlanded with praise from both sides of the Atlantic. Kapoor lays bare the teeming streets of Delhi, where money, power, and pleasure are everything, and family drives it all. With richly drawn characters — an ambitious servant, a playboy heir, a bright and proud journalist — it’s an intoxicating mix of gritty crime and human drama worthy of Mario Puzo, flaring with colour and glittering detail.
A DEADLY COVENANT
Michael Stanley (JBP)Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip are building an ardent following for their Detective Kubu books, set in Botswana. In this latest outing, the amiable policeman is drawn into a tangled and bloody feud when a skeleton is unearthed in the Okavango Delta.
A FLAW IN THE DESIGN
Nathan Oates (Serpent’s Tail) “The cleverest psychopaths hide in plain sight.” Creative-writing professor Gil Duggan detests his creepy, mendacious nephew Matthew, who was evil personified as a child. Now his parents are dead and Gil has to take him in, and his quiet life in Vermont is shaken to its very core.
CJ Tudor (PRH) There are many of us who wait impatiently for CJ Tudor’s next book. She’s a master of psychological suspense, usually with a faint supernatural element. Here, several pockets of survivors are trapped in a snowstorm, with none of them knowing how they got there: a cable car, a bus, a chalet full of friends. And then a killer begins to stalk them. Absolutely chilling.
ON THE SAVAGE SIDE
Tiffany McDaniel (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) With one of the most arresting covers currently on the shelves, this powerful novel delivers on its promise. It is inspired by the true story of the Chillicothe Six, a group of women on the margins of society who disappeared in Ohio in 2014. McDaniel centres the story on twin sisters Arcade and Daffodil, who are determined to escape their dismal environment.
THE DEAD OF WINTER
Stuart MacBride (Bantam) The king of “tartan noir” unveils an intriguing setting: a remote village in a Scottish national park that houses serious criminals who have served their time but can’t yet be released into the general population. A dead body and a blizzard effectively turn the village into the setting for a locked-room mystery. Dryly humorous and dark, MacBride’s a marvellous writer.
Gilly Macmillan (PRH) When Nicole and Tom win millions of pounds in the lottery they build a magnificent house and enter what they believe will be a fabulous life. Except that Tom is found dead in the pool with a gaping wound to his head. This is a tale told from multiple viewpoints, where nobody is who you expect them to be. And Nicole will realise there are many ways to fall.
• From the June edition of Wanted, 2023.