Book Club

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And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie)

Ten strangers are invited to Soldier Island, an isolated rock off the Devon coast. Cut off from the mainland, with their generous host mysteriously absent, they are each accused of a terrible crime.

Then one of the party dies suddenly, and they realise there may be a murderer in their midst – a murderer who might strike again…and again…

And all the time, copies of a macabre nursery rhyme hang in each room, a nursery rhyme with an omen of death for all ten of them.

Death On The Nile (Agatha Christie)

The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything – until she lost her life.

Hercule Poirot recalls an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: ‘I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.’ Yet in this exotic setting’ nothing is ever quite what it seems…

Dark Matter (Blake Crouch)

Are you happy in your life?

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before the man he’s never met smiles down at him and says, ‘Welcome back.’

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? The answer lies in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything Jason could’ve imagined.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (David Lagercrantz)

Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist have not been in touch for some time.

Then Blomkvist is contacted by renowned Swedish scientist Professor Balder. Warned that his life is in danger, but more concerned for his son’s well-being, Balder wants Millennium to publish his story – and it is a terrifying one.

More interesting to Blomkvist than Balder’s world-leading advances in Artificial Intelligence, is his connection with a certain female superhacker.

It seems that Salander, like Balder, is a target of ruthless cyber gangsters – and a violent criminal conspiracy that will very soon bring terror to the snowbound streets of Stockholm, to the Millennium team, and to Blomkvist and Salander themselves.

The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye (David Lagercrantz)

Lisbeth Salander is an unstoppable force: Sentenced to two months in Flodberga women’s prison for saving a young boy’s life by any means necessary, Salander refuses to say anything in her own defence. She has more important things on her mind.

Mikael Blomkvist makes the long trip to visit every week – and receives a lead to follow for his pains. For him, it looks to be an important expose for Millennium. For her, it could unlock the facts of her childhood.

Even from a corrupt prison system run largely by the inmates, Salander will stand up for what she believes in, whatever the cost. And she will seek the truth that is somehow connected with her childhood memory, of a woman with a blazing birthmark on her neck – that looked as if it had been burned by a dragon’s fire…

Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)

It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. 

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation. 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle.

Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions – and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.

The Norfolk Mytsery (Ian Sansom)

Professor Swanton Morley needs help writing a history of England, county by county. His assistant must be able to tolerate his eccentricities – and withstand the attentions of his beguiling daughter, Miriam. Stephen Sefton is broke and looking for an adventure.

The trio begin the project in Norfolk, but when a vicar is found hanging from Blakeney church’s bell rope, they find themselves drawn into a fiendish plot. Did the Reverend really take his own life, or was it…murder?

The Cuckoo’s Calling (J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith)

When a troubled model falls to her death from a Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts and calls in private detective Cormoran Strike to investigate.

Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his private life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s world, the darker things become and the closer he gets to terrible danger…

Sirens (Joseph Knox)

Isabelle Rossiter has run away again.

When Aidan Waits, a troubled junior detective, is summoned to her father’s penthouse home, he finds a manipulative man, with powerful friends.

But retracing Isabelle’s steps through a dark, nocturnal world, Waits finds something else. An intelligent seventeen-year-old girl who’s scared to death of something. As he investigates her story, and the unsolved disappearance of a young woman just like her, he realises Isabelle was right to run away.

Soon Waits is cut loose by his superiors, stalked by an unseen killer and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman. He’s out of his depth and out of time.

How can he save the girl, when he can’t even save himself?

The Hypnotist (Lars Kepler)

Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm. Detective Inspector Joona Linna is faced with a boy who witnessed the gruesome murder of his family. He’s suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and is comatose with shock.

Linna’s running out of time. The police do not want him on the case.The killer’s on the run and there are seemingly no clues. Desperate for information, Linna enlists disgraced specialist Dr Erik Maria Bark, a hypnotist who vowed never to practice again.

As the hypnosis begins, a long and terrifying chain of events unfurls with reverberations far beyond Linna’s case.

Eeny Meeny (M.J. Aldridge)

The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it.

Days later, another desperate escapee is found – and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: kill or be killed.

Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?

Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors – living calling cards – who hold the key to the case.

And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die…

The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)

HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.

Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH

It’s a small story about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery.

ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW – DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES.

The Serpent Pool (Martin Edwards)

The Lake District’s cold case specialist, DCI Hannah Scarlett, is determined to uncover the truth behind an apparent suicide in the Serpent Pool some years ago. Why would Bethany, so afraid of water, drown herself? Hannah fears that her partner, bookseller Marc Amos, is keeping dark secrets. Does he hold the key to Bethany’s past – and why was his best customer burnt to death in Ullswater boathouse?

Hannah still carries a torch for Daniel Kind, who is researching Thomas De Quincey and the history of murder. Once Daniel and Hannah suspect connections between Bethany’s drowning and a current sequence of killings, death comes dangerously close to home.

The Girlfriend (Michelle Francis)

She loves your son. She wants your life. How far would you go to protect your son?

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but hasn’t led Laura’s golden life. And she wants it.

When tragedy strikes, a decision is made and a lie is told. A lie so terrible it changes their lives forever… 

Into The Water (Paula Hawkins)

In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help.

Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind.

But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped.

And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool…

Dead Scared (S.J. Bolton)

A Sspate of suicides. Each one a emale university student. Each one more shocking than the last.

The police know it cannot be coincidence. But they can’t prove it.

The only way to investigate is to send someone undercover. A young policewoman, as vulnerable as the others. As unprepared for the nightmare that will greet her.

Watch your back, Lacey Flint…

A Song For The Dying (Stuart MacBride)

He’s back…

Eight years ago, ‘The Inside Man’ murdered four women and left three more in critical condition – all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside.

And then the killer just … disappeared.

Ash Henderson was a Detective Inspector on the initial investigation, but a lot can change in eight years. His family has been destroyed, his career is in tatters, and one of Oldcastle’s most vicious criminals is making sure he spends the rest of his life in prison.

Now a nurse has turned up dead, a plastic doll buried beneath her skin, and it looks as if Ash might finally get a shot at redemption. At earning his freedom.

At revenge.

Pariah (Thomas Emson)

19th century London. A savage killer flees from a mob and plunges into the Thames, where he drowns. His soul departs his body, but even Hell rejects him. He is a pariah, bound forever by curses in the place he died – unless someone sheds blood in his name. Fast-forward 200 years, and the fabled killer is released once more.