a dark and twisted tide

Courtesy of Macmillan

One of the best things about mysteries, in my opinion, is how they immerse you in the thick of a plot and pull you along.  All the details come together to reveal the stark reality, however gruesome it may be.  Sharon Bolton’s novel A Dark and Twisted Tide follows Lacey Flint, former London detective who rejoins the police force on the marine unit.  She is living in a boat on the river Thames and swimming in the river every morning, a dangerous and thrilling pastime.  The river is a powerful force and when Lacey finds a body in the water the question becomes: Was it purely a coincidence that a body comes floating towards Lacey or did someone want Lacey to find the decomposing body?


5 Reasons to Read:

  1. Lacey is a classic loner  with few friends, but people are drawn to her–even killers–and you will be too.
  2. The Thames is a charismatic and deadly character in this Lacey Flint installment–its dark waters are the perfect backdrop.
  3. Although all written in the third person, Bolton tells the story from the perspective of Lacey, Detective Inspector Dana Tulloch, and other more mysterious points of view like The Killer, The Swimmer, and Nadia and Pari, two women far from home. This allows for Bolton to reveal a wide range of details and events in a complex, but systematic way.
  4. Bolton’s prose is at times unhurried and expressive, at other times swift and vigorous, much like the tides.  Either way, you’ll be swept away by her writing.
  5. This is a book to savor and reread–even once the murderer is revealed you’ll want to go back and unravel the intricacies of the story.

Keep reading…


THE POCKET WIFE by Susan Crawford

pocket wife

Courtesy of William Morrow

I have reviewed a few suspenseful books here on Skyline Book Reviews, but they have all ended up being very different.  There was Crooked River about two young girls whose father is accused of murder.  Also, Big Little Lies about a death at a elementary school fundraiser in Australia.  And Tina Seskis’ One Step Too Far told the story of Emily who leaves her old life behind only to be propelled back into it after a tragic death.  Susan Crawford’s cerebral debut, The Pocket Wife, involves a murder in a suburb of Paterson, NJ and is no exception.




The siren is inside her ears, inside the car.  It screams and pries inside her brain.  She opens the car door and steps outside. She’s forgotten her shoes, but she can’t feel the pavement.  She’s so light her feet are barely touching down.  She looks out at the cars toward the Hudson, and it shimmers, it hums, it sings, eclipsing the sound of the siren with its lovely, lilting song.


5 Reasons to Read:

  1. Crawford’s main character, Dana Catrall, is captivating during her descent into a mental breakdown in the wake of the violent death of her neighbor.
  2. The detective investigating the murder, Jack Moss, is not typical law enforcement–his dedication to his job, his desire to help Dana, and the guilt motivating him to protect his son is very real and multi-faceted.
  3. Crawford’s lyrical and phenic writing delves into Dana’s psyche as she discovers clues that push her closer to the edge.
  4. Clues are pieced together while Detective Moss investigates and Dana racks her memory until ultimately the truth settles to the surface amidst a storm of lies.
  5. This murder mystery won’t disappoint when it comes to suspense and unexpected outcomes.

Keep Reading…

What’s new: CROOKED RIVER by Valerie Geary

crooked river

Courtesy of William Morrow

This fall, we’re bringing to you our recs for the latest debuts  If you’re looking to take a foray into literary fiction this pick is tender, suspenseful, and crisply imagined. You’ll have no trouble getting into it, but here’s our advice: Read this book with the lights on and if you’re reading on the subway be careful because this is “miss-your-stop” good.

“The stars are so much brighter when you’re dead.  The dark, so much darker. The trees are whispering, but I do not feel any wind.  I want to feel the wind.”



5 reasons to read:

1. This book is so many things–a ghost story, family story, murder mystery–but mostly it is just plain masterful the way a river is strong and steady.
2. Told from sisters Sam and Ollie’s points of view, your heart will literally be racing by the end and tears may or may not be streaming down your face (guilty as charged).
3. The small town of Terrebonne, Oregon is the perfect backdrop for this story, with the distinctive river where Sam and Ollie find a dead body, the quiet meadow where their father lives in a teepee and keeps bees, and the town itself that seems to hold secrets for Sam and Ollie to uncover.
4. Geary’s debut novel is rhythmic, gripping, and raw. Just try to put it down.
5. This literary ghost story reminds us of The Lovely Bones or Beloved where the supernatural elements of the book are crucial to the story and propel the plot. Keep reading…