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Despite really not enjoying McDermid’s last book Skeleton Road, I decided to read her latest offering simply because it seemed to be in every bookshop I entered. Was it good, bad or very ugly? Here are my thoughts.

Insidious Intent is a slightly different type of thriller, in that, despite being a story about a homicidal maniac with a soft spot for arson on top of murder, the reader is aware of who the killer is from the very beginning.

Having said that, we don’t actually know much about him. Just that its a he, a he that’s reacted particularly badly to beibg dumped rather abruptly by the woman he thought loved him. Instead of recovering from said breakup the normal way, through booze and bad decisions, he decides to go on a killing spree, choosing particularly brainwashable young ladies he scopes out while gate crashing weddings. I have to admit I did enjoy the way the killer changes his personality for each woman he chooses as his next victim, deciding beforehand what his personality,interests and past history are going to be to best melt her heart. The killers main motive is (for reasons I won’t disclose) to woo his victim and make them fall in love with him. Truly bizarre stuff.

Val McDermid did a fantastic job with the book and frankly, this could even be one way of looking at modern day relationships: it all goes down the drain the minute you go on holiday together. Ha ha ha..just kidding. Read the book, you’ll get the joke.

Hope you enjoyed that mini review, I enjoy crime fiction, especially when the killer turns out to be a complete psycho, tells you a lot about the authors creative ability. If you want some more, jeres the official synopsis:

Murdered people don’t kill themselves . . .’A quiet night on a country road. The stillness shattered by a car engulfed in flames and a burned body discovered in the driver’s seat. As the investigation unfolds, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill quickly realise that this is more than just a tragic accident. And so begins the hunt for a truly terrifying killer, someone who believes he is invisible, untraceable and untouchable. As other victims are found to have met the same terrible fate and with more women at risk, Tony and Carol are drawn into a dark and twisted web of fear and revenge that will force them to question their own ideas of justice . . .Discover the pulse-pounding new novel from the inimitable queen of crime and number one bestseller, Val McDermid, featuring two of the most iconic and unforgettable characters in crime fiction: Tony Hill and Carol Jordan.

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I discovered Keigo Higashino by chance, first trying out The Devotion of Suspect X, which I really enjoyed and was hooked to the Higashino style of suspense. The next natural step seemed obvious: buy everything else by the Japanese genius!

Higashino, an electrical engineer from Osaka, has been thrilling readers since 1985 when he won the Edogawa Rampo Prize for his first & unpublished mystery novel Hokago. He has also served as the President of the ‘Mystery writers of Japan’ for several years. Keigo Higashino is literally the king of mystery!

Book 1: Malice

This was the second book I picked up by Keigo Higashino and it’s a story that revolves around 2 authors and a mysterious death of one. It’s a head racking mystery which delves into the alibis of the 2 people who were the last to meet the victim. The story heads back and forth in time and kept me hooked throughout. If you enjoy psychological murder mystery.

Book 2: Journey Under The Midnight Sun

A lot longer than Malice or Devotion of Suspect X, this one involves a police officer following 2 children for 20 years as they carry on after both their parents die mysteriously. This one I found slightly less realistic than Higashino’s usual believable tales as there were a few too many convenient things that take place throughout. Having said that, its a pretty long book and I didn’t get bored at all. It’s definitely a page turner and despite all the twists and turns, the story remain coherent and very mysterious. For me the hardest thing was keeping track of all the Japanese names. Also, this one has some more violent stuff happening which may or may not suit some readers. I would sum up the story as  a mix of deception, revenge and love.

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The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

After hearing and seeing this book everywhere on Instagram and almost every global newspaper, I decided to pre-order this one. Its a domestic thriller which revolves a woman who may or may not be crazy.

And that’s the best part about The Woman in The Window: the unreliable narrator. Taking place in a boring suburb with families where nothing much happens, the story unfolds through her eyes, so you really don’t know whether you can trust what she is seeing or not. The woman, through her window, one day witnesses what may or may not be a brutal murder. But can you trust a woman who shows all the signs of having lost her grip on reality?

Bonus: get a pen and paper ready because so many wonderful noir films are mentioned throughout the book (the ‘woman’ loves to watch Hitchcock-ish flicks everyday. Although I had seen several of the ones mentioned, after finishing the book I looked up all the movies mentioned, because there are some gems in there. And someone had indeed made a list!).

Verdict: You would be crazy to miss this one and I can’t wait to see the movie adaptation, just hope they don’t botch it up like Girl on the Train, yikes that was a train wreck.

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