2017 Spotlight Titles

For the past six weeks, over on the Crime Files Facebook page, we've been shining the spotlight on some of our forthcoming publications for the first few months of 2017 - one book per week. In case you missed them, here's a recap of all the titles featured!

Posted on December 16, 2016 in Best of, Reviews, What We're Reading

HE SAID/SHE SAID by Erin Kelly

(Read and reviewed by Jo Liddiard)

‘I remember the day of the total eclipse of 2015 vividly – mostly because my then 5 year-old had a horrible stomach bug so rather than watching it outside we watched inside curled up on the sofa. Not quite the same experience. In Erin Kelly’s He Said/She Said her characters remember eclipses as vividly but for far more shocking and out of the ordinary reasons – the novel is structured around them, building and twisting to the Total Eclipse which comes close to the end. As you experience the story both in the past and in the present day through a variety of characters’ point of view, the suspense and tension is beautifully built up. And you are never quite sure who is telling the truth or at the very least the whole story. I’ve read a huge number of thrillers but was so impressed by Erin’s latest novel because it has the ability to properly surprise me and keep me turning the pages late into the night. And it’s really stayed with me too. I’d highly recommend it.’

Click here to read an extract.


(Read and reviewed by Naomi Berwin)

‘J. P. Delaney’s gripping debut is a dual narrative – Jane’s written in the present day and Emma’s written a couple of years previously. Jane and Emma are both tenants of what sounds like the most incredible house, but a house that has some very, very precise rules and regulations for its tenants put in place by its mysterious architect. Is the house really worth everything it asks of you if you live there, and what really happened to ‘the girl before’…? The book is being made into a film by Ron Howard and if he manages to capture its crazy levels of tension and menace it’ll be one hell of a watch!’

Click here to read an extract.


(Read and reviewed by Laura McKerrell)

‘As with all good commentary, I’m going to start by stealing words from somebody else. Erin Kelly has summed up Her Husband’s Lover by Julia Crouch perfectly by saying that it is “Totally unputdownable – until I got to the twist that made me drop the book”.

You cannot talk about this dark and addictive book without using the word ‘twist’. Like a jolting change in direction on a rollercoaster, Her Husband’s Lover’s brilliantly unpredictable twists and turns leave you in a constant state of tense anticipation. I found it to be an electrifyingly unnerving novel that holds you in its grip until the very last page and sticks in your mind for a long while after.

A must-have on the bookshelves of grip lit lovers next year!’

Click here to read an extract.

THE BINDING SONG by Elodie Harper

(Read and reviewed by Jeska Lyons)

‘I was really excited when I was asked by the Crime Files team to review Elodie Harper’s The Binding Song, because I’d heard some great things about this debut author whose writing had been given the seal of approval by Stephen King himself! Being a huge fan of the King, I was intrigued to read something by an author who’d caught his eye, and after reading this it’s (unsurprisingly) clear; the man’s got great taste! The Binding Song is a deliciously dark, unnerving sort of read, that transports you into a weird world that you can never fully make sense of. Harper brilliantly describes this bleak, unforgiving landscape in Norfolk where psychologist Janet moves to start a new job in a prison. You feel tense and uncomfortable reading the descriptions of the inmates, who appear strange and withdrawn. It’s not long before Janet hears whispers of a mysterious woman among the inmates, and more strange happenings force her to question her own sanity. With every chapter the tension grows, and you’re left with a real sense of unease when you close the page. An absorbing read that really gets under your skin, perfect for anyone who likes the tension of a good thriller novel, and the horror of a classic Stephen King!’

Click here to read an extract.


(Read and reviewed by Joe Yule)

‘I thought this is a superb psychological suspense thriller, with shades of Notes on a Scandal and Possession.

I was compelled throughout, but rather than being unputdownable I found I read it in short bursts. The relationship between Vivian and Olivia is so intense, so uneasy and so emotionally complex that I found myself wanting to escape their relationship, which can only be a testament to how immersive and real the book feels. The plots involving Olivia’s family are equally real, and you feel Olivia’s struggle to inhabit her many roles, as mother, wife, author, friend, dog sitter.

It has very clever observations on human frailty and the nuances of our relationships with each other. The characters are vividly drawn and the story is well-plotted. Completely recommended.’

Click here to read an extract.

MY SISTER by Michelle Adams

(Read and reviewed by Heather Keane)

“Irini was mysteriously sent away from her family as a young child and now returns to the family mansion as a middle-aged woman for her estranged mothers funeral. Like a ghost haunting the hallways in search of clues about why her parents abandoned her, she navigates this memory-laden setting with frequent disruption from the villain of the book: her own sister.

My Sister has a totally abnormal and unique plot, with universally recognisable elements the whole way through. Although the conflict between Irini and her sister escalates to physical violence and even drugging at one point, the siblings tiff at the heart of it is something weve all faced to some degree, and reading this eerie page turner is like one long reminder of how family drama can snap us all straight back to childlike tantrums, and of the irresistible power an older sibling can hold over you.”

Click here to read an extract.

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2 commments on “2017 Spotlight Titles”

  • Sarah McCrann says:

    I enjoyed the book but didn’t quite understand the ending – I got a bit confused

  • KEN VIVIAN says:

    Much of the new crime fiction being published is by female authors and appears to be targeted largely a female audience.

    I have nothing against female authors with Val Mc Dermid, Elly Griffiths and Belinda Bauer all amongst my very favourites but these authors seem to target a broader audience.

    Is this a real trend or is it my imagination?

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