Tuesday 12 December 2017

Have a chilling Christmas with these four stocking thrillers

'Make Me' by Lee Child is published by Bantam Press, €29.99.
'Make Me' by Lee Child is published by Bantam Press, €29.99.
'Red Light' by Graham Masterson.
'Spy Games' by Adam Brookes.
'The Silent Dead' by Claire McGowan.

Myles McWeeney

If it's a thriller you're looking for, here are four suggestions.

Make Me

Lee Child

Bantam Press, hbk, 432 pages, €29.99

His curiosity piqued by the town's name Mother's Rest, former Military Policeman turned wanderer and vigilante Jack Reacher gets off a train in a little halting in the middle of the American prairie. To his surprise he is met with deep suspicion that soon turns into outright hostility. He soon finds himself under attack by a ruthless gang of criminals who used the darker reaches of the world wide web in a sickening and violent conspiracy. Utterly addictive.

Spy Games

Adam Brookes

Sphere, hbk, 440 pages, €28.50

Brookes made a deep impression last year with his debut espionage novel Night Heron featuring journalist Philip Mangan as a reluctant and somewhat inept secret agent in China. Fearing for his life, Mangan has gone to ground in East Africa, but MI6 has a long reach and he finds himself drawn back into the game as an army faction in China attempts to foment revolution and uses him as a conduit to the western secret service agencies. Filled with intricate spy-craft detail and peopled with beautifully drawn characters, Brookes is a literate and worthy successor to the likes of John le Carré.

The Silent Dead

Claire McGowan

Headline, pbk, 374 pages, €22.10

PSNI forensic psychologist Paula Maguire finds herself in a race against time both personally and professionally after the body of Mickey Doyle, a suspected terrorist and member of the Mayday Five, is found hanging from a tree. The Mayday Five, accused of a terrible bombing atrocity but cleared through lack of evidence and police bungling, have all disappeared, and Paula, who is heavily pregnant, must help to find out who is holding them before more deaths occur and she gives birth. One of the most gripping Irish thrillers this year.

Red Light

Graham Masterton

Head of Zeus, pbk, 440 pages, €20.55

In a filthy flat in Cork city centre a vicious Somali pimp lies dead, mutilated and half his face shot away. Beside his decomposing body crouches a terrified half-naked girl barely in her teens. Supt. Katie Maguire is conflicted. He was a man she had been trying to convict for years, the world and Cork is a better place for his passing, so should she do her job or simply follow her conscience? A gritty thriller with a feisty principal character. Recommended.

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