If I hadn't already read them, here are four of the 2012 crop of thrillers I would be happy to find wrapped under the Christmas tree this year.
SAY YOU'RE SORRY by Michael Robotham (Sphere, £19.99, hbk) is an unbearably tense and nail-biting race-against-time police search for two teenage girls missing for three years who had been presumed to be either runaways or dead but who now appear to have been kidnapped and imprisoned by a sex fiend.
Equally gripping is the sympathetically written TRUST YOUR EYES by Linwood Barclay (Orion, £18.99, hbk) in which a schizophrenic, map-obsessed idiot savant uncovers a political conspiracy that threatens his and his carer brother's lives.
I also unreservedly recommend the hugely atmospheric THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY by Louise Penny (Sphere, £12.99, tpbk), an ingenious, gripping and elegantly written mystery in which Quebec Sureté's Inspector Armand Gamache investigates a murder in an enclosed monastery famed for it's plainchant – an utterly magical read.
My final stocking filler would be Jeffrey Deaver's XO (Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99, hbk), featuring FBI special agent and body language expert Catherine Dance, a humdinger of a thriller intriguingly set in the spangle and buckskin world of country music in which an obsessed fan murders people close to top country star Kayleigh Towne.