Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The synopsis for this book sounds like a love story – Mike has survived a difficult childhood to become a seemingly normal human being. But he wasn’t complete until he met Verity, she alone can make him happy, and so he does everything possible to make her life fabulous – a lovely home, the perfect job. How does Verity feel about all this? Is she breathless with joy? Not quite. This is one of the most twisted, frightening stories of obsession I have ever read, and readers will find an all to familiar element in this book, something all to similar to life in 2017.

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Losing Leah by Sue Welfare. Published by Mirror

It was just a stop to get coffee at a gas station near the Welsh Borders, but Leah never came back out of the shop. Her partner, Chris is terrified when he can’t find her and immediately contacts police. Did Leah leave with someone else? Or,as detectives Mel Daley and Harry baker wonder, was she ever really there at all? Is this some sort of elaborate hoax set up by Chris? Has he, in fact, dome away with Leah? This is a tense, nail biter, as police try to work out what really happened to Leah Hill

Meaty by Samantha Irby. Published by Knopf

This book has been sold with several different covers, but the one I was shown had a hedgehog on it. Combine that with the title and I knew I was on to something weird and disturbing. This is an irreverent and raw look at the world and how we, as women view it. Irby talks to you like an old friend, one who doesn’t care if she insults you or steps onĀ  your toes, but she’ll keep you laughing more than she’ll piss you off. There were parts of this book I identified so strongly with, I nearly fell out of my chair from laughing. My survival book in the age of Trump and all the other insanity

Keep Her Safe by Richard Parker. Published by Bookouture

A psychopath who calls himself the Babysitter is targeting mothers of very young children. He kidnaps their child and promises to return it, only if they break into the home of another mother with a young child and kill the mother. Terrified of losing their children, women have been playing his deadly game until one night Maggie is awoken by a woman intent on killing her to get her own baby back. But Melanie has dealt with the Babysitter before, and she doesn’t intend to let him win this time anymore than she did the first time. Two terrified women take on a killer to save themselves and their children in this twisted thriller

The Night Women by Sara Blaedel. Published by Grand Central

Originally released as Farewell, Freedom, this is a dark and gritty novel about human trafficking. Detective Louise Rick is investigating the murder of a young woman in Copenhagen when she gets a call from friend and journalist, Camilla Lind. It seems Lind’s son has found an infant abandoned on the street. The more Louise investigates, the more the clues point to a human trafficking ring in Copenhagen. Human trafficking is such an ugly topic, and Blaedel doesn’t pull any punches in her intense and gripping story

The Running Girl by Sara Blaedel. Published by Grand Central

For Detective Louie Rick, crime comes a little too close to home in this novel. Her son, Jonas is at a party when a group of thugs, intent on stealing money, booze and drugs breaks in. He calls his mother for help, and when Louise gets there, she finds a teen who has been run down by a car. The girl’s mother is, understandably angry and out for revenge. So when a local gang is targeted with violence, the mother is the first and best suspect. Only Louise believes otherwise, and it’s up to her to find the real guilty party before another terrible injustice occurs. Blaedel is excellent at creating stories that work on you – like a slow simmer leading up to a steady boil

I’ll Stay by Karen Day. Published by Kensington

It was supposed to be a fun Florida getaway for four college girls during their senior year, but it turns into a nightmare. Clare and her best friend Lee, are accosted by some men who clearly mean to do them harm. Lee pleads with them to let Clare go, saying she will stay if they do. The girls never speak of what happened that night, but it takes its toll on both of them, especially Lee. Lee has completely withdrawn from the world, giving up on everything she ever dreamed of doing. Clare feels she owes it to Lee to try to help her get over whatever happened that terrible night, but is it even possible?