2018 was another incredible year of debut novels, outstanding authors and stand-out psychological thrillers and reducing the 133 books I’ve read to a TOP TEN was so much harder than I thought it would be.
Just to give you a clearer picture of the choices I had – below are all the books I read this year. I’m not going to lie to you – a couple of them I couldn’t finish and some of them I really disliked, but overall 2018 was a great year for reading.
To read my full reviews on the books above – please click here
So, onto my TOP TEN. Some of these went STRAIGHT onto my list and some of them I’ve had to mull over and think about before realising how good they really are. So, in no particular order (except the date I read them) these are MY TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2018.
#1. Steve Cavanagh – Thirteen
THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL. HE’S ON THE JURY…
They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.
This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.
All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.
What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom? What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?
#2. Louise Voss – The Old You
Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…
Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface… and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed s mind playing tricks, or hers…?
#3. Aramina Hall – Our Kind Of Cruelty
This is a love story. Mike’s love story.
Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely life, before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job, he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.
It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his emails or phone calls.
It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.
It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move he’ll know just when to come to her rescue…
A spellbinding, darkly twisted novel about desire and obsession, and the complicated lines between truth and perception, Our Kind of Cruelty introduces Araminta Hall, a chilling new voice in psychological suspense.
#4. David Jackson – Don’t Make A Sound
You can’t choose your family. Or can you?
Meet the Bensons. A pleasant enough couple. They keep themselves to themselves. They wash their car, mow their lawn and pass the time of day with their neighbours. And they have a beautiful little girl called Daisy.
There’s just one problem. Daisy doesn’t belong to the Bensons. They stole her.
And now they’ve decided that Daisy needs a little brother or sister.
D. S. Nathan Cody is about to face his darkest and most terrifying case yet . .
#5. Adam Kay – This is Going to Hurt
Adam Kay was a junior doctor from 2004 until 2010, before a devastating experience on a ward caused him to reconsider his future. He kept a diary throughout his training, and This Is Going to Hurt intersperses tales from the front line of the NHS with reflections on the current crisis.
The result is a first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacrifice and maddening bureaucracy, and a love letter to those who might at any moment be holding our lives in their hands
#6. Elizabeth Haynes – The Murder of Harriet Monckton
The Murder of Harriet Monckton is based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation.
On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, was found murdered in the privy behind the dissenting chapel she had regularly attended in Bromley, Kent. The community was appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the autopsy revealed that Harriet was six months pregnant.
Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, the novel unfolds from the viewpoints of each of the main characters, each of whom have a reason to want her dead. Harriet Monckton had at least three lovers and several people were suspected of her murder, including her close companion and fellow teacher, Miss Frances Williams. The scandal ripped through the community, the murderer was never found and for years the inhabitants of Bromley slept less soundly.
This rich, robust novel is full of suggestion and suspicion, with the innocent looking guilty and the guilty hiding behind their piety. It is also a novel that exposes the perilous position of unmarried women, the scandal of sex out of wedlock and the hypocrisy of upstanding, church-going folk.
#7. Alex Michaelides – The Silent Patient
Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….
#8. Cara Hunter – Close to Home
They know who did it. Perhaps not consciously. Perhaps not yet. But they know.
When eight-year-old Daisy Mason vanishes from her family’s Oxford home during a costume party, Detective Inspector Adam Fawley knows that nine times out of ten, the offender is someone close to home. And Daisy’s family is certainly strange—her mother is obsessed with keeping up appearances, while her father is cold and defensive under questioning. And then there’s Daisy’s little brother, so withdrawn and uncommunicative . . .
DI Fawley works against the clock to find any trace of the little girl, but it’s as if she disappeared into thin air—no one saw anything; no one knows anything. But everyone has an opinion, and everyone, it seems, has a secret to conceal.
#9. Will Carver – Good Samaritans
One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach
Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.
#10. Rachel Abbott – And So It Begins
WHO WILL BELIEVE YOUR STORY IF THE ONLY WITNESS IS DEAD?
Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He’s managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife – but something about Evie just doesn’t feel right…
When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.
Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?