When the car went into the river – accident or deliberate?

The Day of the Accident Book Cover The Day of the Accident
Nuala Ellwood
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Penguin UK
2019-02
400

Sixty seconds after she wakes from a coma, Maggie's world is torn apart.

The police tell her that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing.

When Maggie begs to see her husband Sean, the police tell her that he has disappeared. He was last seen on the day of her daughter's funeral.

What really happened that day at the river?
Where is Maggie's husband?
And why can't she shake the suspicion that somewhere, somehow, her daughter is still alive?

This is a story that draws you into its web of reality and unreality subtly but inexorably, until you really do need to know the truth of their lives.

So there was this car accident and a little girl was drowned. Her mother, Maggie, who wasn’t in the car at the time, tried to save her and nearly drowned herself.

As the story starts, the mother wakes up in hospital from a coma, in ICU, and very confused. She has amnesia and doesn’t remember the accident. Her life has changed dramatically whilst she has lain there very ill, in more ways than just the death of her child.

And then long buried secrets begin to spill out of Maggie’s life.

Compelling story telling. I didn’t want to go to sleep – just keep on reading….

Great twisty ending – very unexpected.

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Who is to be believed? That’s what the trial is for….

No Further Questions Book Cover No Further Questions
Gillian McAllister
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Michael Joseph
October 4, 2018
400

The police say she's guilty.

She insists she's innocent.

She's your sister.

You loved her.

You trusted her.

But they say she killed your child.

 

Who do you believe?

This is a heart-rending tale of a small baby dying and the subsequent trial when the post-mortem shows that she could have been murdered.

Two sisters are divided here as one was baby-sitting for the other, and it was in her care that the baby died, and thus she is on trial.

Would you believe that your sister deliberately killed your baby?

This book tells the struggle of the mother as she sits through the trial and the evidence mounts against her sister.

The trial felt very real to me.

The questioning of the witnesses and the way small things were built up into an overwhelming case of guilty.

A book where you need to keep on reading to find out what the verdict was and does she admit what really happened? Or do we never find out?

I thought it well written, with the complex science of the pathology explained simply enough for the reader to understand and the conclusions that thus could be drawn.

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A Very Close Familiy

The Roanoke Girls Book Cover The Roanoke Girls
Amy Engel
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Hodder Paperbacks
September 21, 2017
288

A gripping, provocative thriller about the twisted secrets families keep, perfect for fans of Good Me Bad Me and The Girls. 'Deeply, darkly twisted. I loved it.' Sarah Hilary, SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN 'Utterly addictive.' Lisa Hall, BETWEEN YOU AND ME 'Hauntingly beautiful... not for the faint-hearted.' THE BOOK BAG Beautiful. Rich. Mysterious. The Roanoke girls seem to have it all. But there's a dark truth about them which is never spoken. Every girl either runs away, or dies. Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents' estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing - and Lane has no choice but to go back. She is a Roanoke girl. Is she strong enough to escape a second time?

I found this book very disturbing and compelling. Just how did Yates justify his behaviour? What was it about his background that meant that his love for his sister and then all the girls got so twisted?

How can I critique this book without giving away the whole story? Except to say that it was very well written. The story was told in such a way that you understood the characters of the girls as they were introduced and you also understood their behaviour, and yet you wondered about the Grandmother. All the way through, her behaviour seemed at odds to what she must have known about. And then there was Charlie and Sharon also living in that household. What did they know and why didn’t they say anything?

The ties that bind – once you know something and don’t tell, then these ties get stronger and bind more tightly, and that was what happened at Roanoke. And by the way, Kansas summers sound awful! 7 months of the year when the temperature is above 20 and at least 3 of those above 30 degrees! And then a very cold winter.

 

 

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Watching who? And Who is watching?

Watching You Book Cover Watching You
Lisa Jewell
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Cornerstone Digital
(12 July 2018)

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow.

You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room.

That’s when you meet the man next door.

He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him.

All the time.

But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession.

Or that someone is watching you.

 

I was going to save this book for my hospital night-time sleeplessness – coming soon – but I couldn’t resist it. One of my favourite authors.

And in my opinion, her best novel yet.

Everyone is watching everyone else, and with good cause it turns out. But not always for the reason you originally thought! The plot twists enough times for all your assumptions to be turned upside down more than once.

I did make one correct guess about who had opened the photos but not why, or what they thought they were seeing!

Well plotted, with plenty of potential endings in the style of Agatha Christie. And stylistically concise and unsentimental with clean prose.

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Where computers go next

The Fear Book Cover The Fear
Robert Harris
Artificial intelligence, suspense, thriller, psychological
Random House
2012
400

A chilling contemporary thriller from Robert Harris set in the competitive world of high finance. Dr Max Hoffman is a legend. A physicist once employed on the Large Hadron Collider, he now uses a revolutionary and highly secret system of computer algorithms to trade on the world's financial markets. None of his rivals is sure how he does it, but somehow Hoffman's hedge fund -- built around the standard measure of market volatility: the VIX or "Fear Index" -- generates astonishing returns for his investors. Late one night, in his house beside Lake Geneva, an intruder disturbs Hoffman and his wife while they are asleep. This terrifying moment is the start of Robert Harris's new novel -- a story just as compelling and timely as his most recent contemporary thriller, The Ghost. Over the next 48 hours, as the markets edge towards another great crash, Hoffman's world disintegrates. But who is trying to destroy him?

So a rather chilling tale of just what happens when AI begins to get ideas for itself. It we are trying really hard to program autonomous units that can choose and optimise routes for delivery, routes for shipping and so on; and of course for hedging your bets. And this is where this story comes in. A computer system is devised that uses AI to hedge financial bets – ie work the stock market in the margins.

Which is great. No longer do you have to have really bright people working numbers. Instead you create algorithms that do this work for you. And you make money. Loads of it. Loads and Loads of it because you bet on the margins – which you can do if you start with a lot of money to begin with.

And this book stretches these ideas out. Into what is not a new concept of idea but used in a different field of application. What happens when the robots start to think for themselves?

A good book, but somehow not as chilling as it might be. I knew the answer by mid-way through, maybe because the book is 2011?

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