THE COMFORT OF MONSTERS by Willa C. Richards (Point Blank £8.99, 400 pp)


by Willa C. Richards (Point Blank £8.99, 400 pp)

The grisly murders of the real-life serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Milwaukee between 1978 and 1991 provide the backdrop for this story about Dee, a young woman who goes missing and whose family have never recovered from not knowing why.

Thirty years later, her still-traumatised sister, Peg, decides to employ a psychic investigator to solve the mystery.

The story is packed with a variety of ambitious themes — from toxic masculinity to the iniquities of the justice system when faced with the challenges of high-profile cases, such as Dahmer, and under-the-radar cases, like Dee.

Peg’s creepy obsession with her sister’s looks is verging on weird. But Richards pulls off her main intention, which is to keep us focused on the effects of crime on victims, with a fresh, persuasive, prose style and her serious intent.


by Sam Blake (Corvus £12.99, 400 pp)

There is something immediately comforting and familiar about this book, which shows a writer who has found her voice and loves telling stories.

When Cressida Howard hires a high-tech security investigator, Brioni, to check up on her cheating husband, she uncovers a lot more than the evidence she’s after for a speedy divorce.

As the deliciously twisted plot unravels against a glamorous, upmarket Dublin, it’s clear that Cressida and her teenage daughter’s life are actually in danger because of her husband’s business activities.

Brainy Brioni, who comes up with the idea of spying on Cressida’s husband via a webcam and computer, is a particularly well-drawn character.

There may be too much description of interior design for some (not for me). However, there’s a confident storyteller at work here who keeps us guessing right to the final page.


HER PERFECT TWIN by Sarah Bonner (Hodder Studio £14.99, 336 pp)

by Sarah Bonner (Hodder Studio £14.99, 336 pp)

Lockdown novels tend to be a bit Marmite — although this one does come up with a dilemma that would probably have floored even Jonathan Van-Tam at a press conference.

The problem Megan faces is how to maintain the double life she is leading during the pandemic?

This double life started when Megan killed her ‘perfect’ twin sister, Leah. They argued when Megan found compromising photographs of her sister on her own husband’s phone.

One thing led to another and Megan was left pondering how she’d get away with murder. Hence the double-life solution.

Sounds a bit slapstick when it’s boiled down, but it is actually quite a convincing and entertaining read, despite being set during lockdown.

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