Favorite Thriller/Mystery Books: The First Half Of 2019

Okay so this is exactly the same as the Scifi and fantasy lists, but with Mystery and Thrilers lol, I know, I know, I’m a creative genius. So this only includes books that I’d read up until June, so some may have come out earlier but I didn’t read them cause I was lazy or whatever, who knows.

[Reminder: These are 2019 releases only. At the end of the year I’ll compile lists of my overall favorites, no matter the year of publication]

These aren’t in any particular order than rating, and sometimes I enjoy a book that has a lower rating, idk, my rating system is very complicated. [ie: I don’t really know what I’m doing]

Clicking on the headline will take you to my review, and I’ve included GoodReads links!

 

6. Black Water

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GoodReads:
I killed the boy…
Jig loves football and his dog, hates school, misses his granda and knows to lie low when his ma’s blitzed on the vodka and tablets.
He’s just an ordinary boy on the mean streets alongside Dublin’s Grand Canal. Streets that are ruled by Ghost and his crew. And now Ghost- inked, vicious, unprincipled- has a job for Jig.
A job that no one can afford to go wrong- not the gangs, the police, the locals, and least of all not Jig.

 

 

5. In Search Of A Witch’s Soul

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GoodReads:
Human, private detective Anna Caill isn’t keen on the prohibition of magic enacted by the 18th Amendment, but she won’t deny it’s good for business. The coppers couldn’t care less about the witches’ problems, giving her any number of clients to choose from.
When mysterious witch Jesse Hunt saunters into her office, he and his case will test her limits. While a killer stalks the magical underworld, Anna is hired to find Jesse’s friend, the high priest of an ancient coven.
As her case unravels, Anna is forced to confront her addiction to a dark spell in this urban fantasy noir.

 

 

4. The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

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GoodReads:
‘We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn’t the one we were trying to recall to begin with.’
So begins Tikka Molloy’s recount of the summer of 1992 – the summer the Van Apfel sisters, Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – disappear.
Eleven and one-sixth years old, Tikka is the precocious narrator of this fabulously endearing coming-of-age story, set in an eerie Australian river valley suburb with an unexplained stench. The Van Apfel girls vanish from the valley during the school’s ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river. While the search for the sisters unites the small community on Sydney’s urban fringe, the mystery of their disappearance remains unsolved forever.
Brilliantly observed, sharp, lively, funny and entirely endearing, this novel is part mystery, part coming-of-age story – and quintessentially Australian. Think ‘The Virgin Suicides’ meets ‘Jasper Jones’ meets ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’

 

 

3. Without Out A Trace

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GoodReads:
Lily’s gone.
Someone took her.
Unless she was she never there…
A little girl has gone missing.
Lily was last seen being tucked into bed by her adoring mother, Nova. But the next morning, the bed is empty except for a creepy toy rabbit.
Has Nova’s abusive ex stolen his “little bunny” back for good?
At first, Officer Ellie James assumes this is a clear custody battle. Until she discovers that there are no pictures of the girl and her drawers are full of unused toys and brand new clothes that have never been worn…
Is Ellie searching for a missing child who doesn’t actually exist?

 

 

2. The Favorite Daughter

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GoodReads:
From the author of the page-turning domestic suspense Best Day Ever, comes another gripping novel of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community, for fans of B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena.
The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.
Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.
It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?
The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…

 

 

1. Miracle Creek

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GoodReads:
The “gripping… page-turner” (Time) hitting all the best of summer reading lists, Miracle Creek is perfect for book clubs and fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng
How far will you go to protect your family? Will you keep their secrets? Ignore their lies?
In a small town in Virginia, a group of people know each other because they’re part of a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions from infertility to autism. But then the chamber explodes, two people die, and it’s clear the explosion wasn’t an accident.
A powerful showdown unfolds as the story moves across characters who are all maybe keeping secrets, hiding betrayals. Chapter by chapter, we shift alliances and gather evidence: Was it the careless mother of a patient? Was it the owners, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? Could it have been a protester, trying to prove the treatment isn’t safe?
“A stunning debut about parents, children and the unwavering hope of a better life, even when all hope seems lost” (Washington Post), Miracle Creek uncovers the worst prejudice and best intentions, tense rivalries and the challenges of parenting a child with special needs. It’s “a quick-paced murder mystery that plumbs the power and perils of community” (O Magazine) as it carefully pieces together the tense atmosphere of a courtroom drama and the complexities of life as an immigrant family. Drawing on the author’s own experiences as a Korean-American, former trial lawyer, and mother of a “miracle submarine” patient, this is a novel steeped in suspense and igniting discussion. Recommended by Erin Morgenstern, Jean Kwok, Jennifer Weiner, Scott Turow, Laura Lippman, and more– Miracle Creek is a brave, moving debut from an unforgettable new voice.

 

[To be honest, Miracle Creek will probably be my ultimately favorite mystery/courtroom drama read of 2019, so, putting it at number one was no coincidence on this list lol.]

 

What are some of your mystery/thriller faves of 2019 so far? Anything you recommend?

 

Miracle Creek – Blog Tour


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Blurb:
My husband asked me to lie.
Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first…
Miracle Creek is a gripping debut for fans of Celeste Ng, Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult, and about how far we’ll go to protect our families… and our deepest secrets.
In rural Virginia, Korean immigrants Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine: a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that patients enter for ‘dives’, used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.
Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was seen smoking down by the creek? Was it a group of protestors agaist HBOT therapy, who were at the site that morning? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on the generous insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets in Miracle Creek – trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child abuse charges – as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people drive to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Book Information:
Title: Miracle Creek
By: Anige Kim
Publication Date: July 25, 2019
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Hardback
Price: £16.99

 

My Review

This book was unlike any other I’ve read. I’m a huge mystery/thriller fan but I’d yet to read a courtroom drama and this sets the bar exceptionally high now for the genre. Angie Kim throws a story at you where you’re forced to look at the darker side of people, but, not because they’re evil but because they are simply human. There are tough decisions to face, and even tougher consequences as ever action echoes a ‘what could have been’ had the person not made that choice. And that’s the best part, each character is held accountable to their thoughts and actions. You also face a harsher reality of what families/people face when they choose to try and better their families lives by moving to America.

There is the story of a Korean family and its choice to move to the USA and how it affects them, there are the choices of a husband and wife pushed to the point of breaking over cultural (in-laws) and lifestyle differences and what they do to ease the tension, for better or extremely worse, and there are the choices of women with children all different in their own way, and the difficulties that come from their parenting choices, their children and their needs, and outside pressure. Honestly, this book was superb in every way. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat to anyone wanting to read a gripping and dramatic contemporary work of fiction.

^^^ This was my original review on GoodReads, and you know what, reading it again in its beautiful hardcover format simply solidified just how much I LOVE this book.

Even the way it’s divided, by what day of the trial and the flashes of the past are tastefully done.

Angie Kim is not afraid to show the utter darkness that we all are capable of carrying, and how sometimes not even good intentions are enough to justify acts. There’s so much love, and heartache, and all in different ways, romantic, friendship, familial, and it’s important to recognize all of these in the larger scheme of this book.

This really has set such a high bar not just for courtroom thrillers, or even thrillers in general, but for all books that come out this year. It’s so far managed to stay at the top of my list for best reads of 2019.

Angie Kim has used her own experiences and her own education to craft a contemporary masterpiece. I know I’m gushing but I can’t help it.

The first time I read this, my notes said ‘gripping from the first page’ and it was still just as intense the second time.

Don’t believe me on how much I straight up adore this book? I also bought a copy for my sister for her birthday. This book impacted me, and all my casual lingo aside, it is a true work of art as far as novels go, like I said, a masterpiece in its own right. Why? Because it’s so honest in the way Angie Kim wrote it, it’s a true thriller and in-depth look at the flaws of humanity.

If you’ve never read a courtroom thriller or don’t typically read thrillers but find the blurb fascinating, please, please give it a read.

I expect Angie Kim to go far in her writing.

Content warning: Sexual assault, death, death of children, abuse, suicide

Thanks to Kate and Hodder Books for a chance to be part of this tour and a chance to gush about this book again. [My review has been given honestly and was given before taking part in the tour]

 

That was the thing about lies: they demanded commitment. Once you lied, you had to stick to your story.

About the Author

Angie Kim credit Tim Coburn

Angie Kim moved as a preteen from Seoul, South Korea, to the subrubs of Baltimore. She attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, then parcticed as a trial lawyer at Williams & Connolly.

Her stories have won the Glamour Essay Contest and the Wabash Prize in Fiction, and appeared in numberous publications including the New York Times, Salon, Slate, the Souther Review, Sycamore Review, the Asian American Literary Review, and PANK.

She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three sons. Miracle Creek is her first novel, inspired by her own experiences as a Korean immigrat, a trial lawyer, and mother of a HBOT patient. 

 

The Rest of the Tour Schedule

Twitter

 

 

Fixed Odds – Blog Tour

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Book blurb:
George ‘Genghis’ McCann has stolen – and lost – a priceless masterpiece. Snooker champion Oscar ‘The Showman’ Bowman is charged with betting fraud. With a second baby on the way, and promises of great rewards if he wins Bowman’s case and recovers the painting, defence lawyer Robbie Munro has never been so tempted to fix the odds in his favour.

Book Information:
Title: Fixed Odds
Series: Robbie Munro #5
By: William McIntyre
Publisher: Sandstone Press
Date Published: July 4, 2019
Pages: 304
Genre: Crime/Thriller

 

My Review

I have a confession, I hadn’t read any Robbie Munro before this one and I wish I had. McIntyre gives us a hilarious and believably flawed character in Robbie Munro, a lawyer who acts perhaps as we assume all defense lawyers do behind closed doors, but also just as a person who has a family and may not always follow what we consider a strict moral code.

This book got more chuckles out of me than anything else I’ve read this year so far. With Robbie’s dad getting death glares from his daughter in law for his old and sexist remarks on woman’s football, to Robbie being swayed by cash and having to deal with a new baby on the way, a brother who thinks it’s okay to ‘pimp’ out his solicitor services, and an annoyingly arrogant client.

Robbie tries to do what he thinks is best for everyone, not necessarily ‘right’ and when it comes to a winning a case, he doesn’t mind using tactics that have the opposing solicitors shaking their heads (or even scratching their heads as they’re puzzled by his behavior).

Some of my favorite parts dealt with Robbie in the courtroom or just dealing with his job in general. McIntyre truly knows how to be funny while writing a good thriller/mystery plot and that’s a rare talent.

If you want a really fun crime thriller that’s got a great pace and enjoyable ending, go ahead and give Fixed Odds a go. I plan on backtracking and reading the other Robbie Munro books, if they’re anything like this one, I’ll have a few chuckles to last me through the year.

Four Cups of Coffee from me!

Thank you to Ceris Jones and Sandstone Press for a chance to read and honestly review this, as well as being part of this blog tour!

 

About the Author

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William McIntyre is a partner in Scotland’s oldest law firm Russel + Aitken, specialising in criminal defence. He has been instructed in many interesting and high-profile cases over the years and now turns fact into fiction with his Robbie Munro legal thrillers. He is married with four sons.

 

The Rest of the Tour

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