Summertime Crime: 10 Poolside Book Reads for Summer 2017

This month The Puppet Show is swanning off on a well-earned break, to indulge in cocktails, splashing in the pool and some good old-fashioned shade-bathing.

I did a little research to find some current crime, thriller and suspense reads to pack in my suitcase, but applied a couple of rules.

The book was published within 2017.

I wanted to make sure I was picking new books that I can review and recommend on my blog or to friends.

The book requires no pre-reading.

What I mean by this is that all of these are either standalone books or the first in series, so you aren’t starting midway through a trilogy for example.

They all cost less than £3 for Kindle.

I carry my books on my kindle (I know, I know – sorry book purists!) and as such have come to expect to only pay at most £5 for a crime read. I’m not saying that an author doesn’t deserve to be paid more than that, but this is how the market is currently working for ebooks. If you’re a strictly paperback kinda person, all of these are less than a tenner but coming up to summer you’ll find lots of offers on so grab them when you see them.


If you’re wondering, I found these by searching in the ‘crime, thrillers & mysteries’ section on Amazon, filtering by ‘under £5’ and ‘last 90 days’ for the publication date. I then looked through by average customer rating.


…here are the results!



Keep You Near

by Robin Roughley

Published 9th March 2017

The blurb:

How far would you go to find your missing sister?

A normal day in the park turns into a nerve shredding nightmare for eleven-year-old Marnie Hammond when she find herself in a desperate chase to stop the ‘bad man,’ from abducting Abby.

Fifteen years later, Marnie is a Detective Sergeant but the memory of her missing sister still haunts her dreams.

When it becomes clear that someone is stalking the streets of Kirkhead DS Hammond has her hands full, and after remains are discovered buried in dense woodland, Marnie fears the worst. But this is only the start of a nightmare that will unearth more bones, more victims and the terror that Abby might be among the dead.

To stop the monster Marnie knows she must break the rules, but when the twisted killer turns his attention on her it becomes a fight not only for the truth but for her sanity and her survival.

Can Marnie catch the murderer and solve her sister’s disappearance?

Buy it here for Kindle and here for paperback.


The Missing Ones

by Patricia Gibney

Published 16th March 2017

The blurb:

The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror.

The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’

When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.

Buy it here for Kindle and here for paperback.


The Escape

by C.L Taylor

Published 23rd March 2017

The blurb:

“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.

The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

Buy it here for Kindle and here for paperback.


Everything But The Truth

by Gillian McAllister

Published 9th March 2017

The blurb:

Do you ever check your partner’s phone?

Should you?

Are you prepared for the consequences?

It all started with the email.

Rachel didn’t even mean to look. She loves Jack and she’s pregnant with their child. She trusts him.

But now she’s seen it, she can’t undo that moment. Or the chain of events it has set in motion.

Why has Jack been lying about his past? Just what exactly is he hiding? And doesn’t Rachel have a right to know the truth at any cost?

Buy it here for Kindle and here for paperback.


The Abattoir of Dreams

by Mark Tilbury

Published 28th February 2017

The blurb:

The past is never far away.

Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.

Now an adult, Michael wakes up in hospital from a coma suffering from amnesia and paralysis. Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.

Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison.

With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in his hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand.

But then strange things begin to happen and his childhood comes back to haunt him.

Can Michael ever escape the past?

Will he ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?

And why is DI Carver so eager to make him suffer?

Buy it here for Kindle and here for paperback.


Sometimes I Lie

by Alice Feeney

Published 23rd March 2017

The blurb:

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.

  1. I’m in a coma
  2. My husband doesn’t love me any more
  3. Sometimes I lie

Buy it here for Kindle and here for paperback.


Silent Child

by Sarah A. Denzil

Published 22nd January 2017

The blurb:

In the summer of 2006, Emma Price watched helplessly as her six-year-old son’s red coat was fished out of the River Ouse. It was the tragic story of the year – a little boy, Aiden, wandered away from school during a terrible flood, fell into the river, and drowned.

His body was never recovered.

Ten years later, Emma has finally rediscovered the joy in life. She’s married, pregnant, and in control again…

… until Aiden returns.

Too traumatized to speak, he raises endless questions and answers none. Only his body tells the story of his decade-long disappearance. The historic broken bones and injuries cast a mere glimpse into the horrors Aiden has experienced. Aiden never drowned. Aiden was taken.

As Emma attempts to reconnect with her now teenage son, she must unmask the monster who took him away from her. But who, in their tiny village, could be capable of such a crime?

It’s Aiden who has the answers, but he cannot tell the unspeakable.

Buy it here for Kindle and here for paperback.



by K. L. Slater

Published 15th February 2017

The blurb:

What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace.

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter.

Buy it here for Kindle and here for paperback.


Sister Sister

by Sue Fortin

Published 6th January 2017

The blurb:

Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.

Clare: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.

Clare thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.

Alice thinks Clare is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.

One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac.

Buy it here for Kindle and here for paperback.


Trust Me

by Gemma Metcalfe

Published 10th March 2017

The blurb:

One phone call. Two lives. Their darkest secrets.

Lana needs to sell a holiday, fast. Stuck in Tenerife, in a dead end job, she never expected a response quite like Liam’s.

Thousands of miles away a phone rings. Liam never intended to pick up, he’s too busy choosing the quickest way to die. But at least someone should know the truth before he goes, even if that someone is a stranger.

As time runs out both are drawn to the other, expressing thoughts they never imagined they would share.

When you’re about to die will your secrets even matter?

Buy it here for Kindle.


Over to you


What are you reading this summer? Give me some recommendations!

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