Best Books of 2017

Lost time is never found again.

Hey Loves! I can’t believe 2017 is coming to an end, this year literally flew by so quickly – it’s completely insane! Today, I wanted to share with you my favourite books I’ve read this year. As you already know, the only genre I like to read is thriller, anything that includes mystery, suspense, crime, etc. (you get the gist of it) so if you’re interested then keep on reading!

best books of 2017 - new lune pic

Cradle and All by James Patterson

In Boston, a young woman finds herself pregnant–even though she is still a virgin.

In Ireland, another young woman discovers she is in the same impossible condition.

And in cities all around the world, medical authorities are overwhelmed by epidemics, droughts, famines, floods, and worse. It all feels like a sign that something awful is coming.

Anne Fitzgerald, a former nun turned private investigator, is hired by the Archdiocese of Boston to investigate the immaculate conceptions. Even as she comes to care about and trust the young women, she realises that both are in great danger. Terrifying forces of light and darkness are gathering. Stepping into uncharted territory where the unknown is just the beginning, Anne must discover the truth–to save the young women, to save herself, and to protect the future of all mankind.

This is the first book I’d read this year and it ended being one of my favourite books of this year. The theme of this novel is based on immaculate conception, god and devil but what intrigued me most about this book was the fact that it was something very different than what I’d expected. I can see that it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s a fiction book like similar to any other horror movies.

There was a twist in this book that I wasn’t expecting and the main plot revolves around the pregnancies of both women. It was definitely a good read for me but I don’t think I’ll watch it if a movie came out of this book, purely because I don’t think a movie could do justice to the plot and let’s be honest – it’s very difficult to make a good horror movie around this subject.

 

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son. There is just one thing Lydia craves to make her life complete, and she is determined that her husband will get it for her. The last thing she expects is that her obsession will lead to murder.

However, not even a dead body can stop Lydia in her tracks. If anything, it makes her more determined to get her own way – whatever the cost…

This book is what I call a dark psychological thriller, the ending is completely unexpected and the characters are in my opinion monstrous and you won’t be able to forget them anytime soon. I don’t want to reveal which character but one of them is so twisted that you can feel the tension building inside of you, I haven’t seen a character this manipulative in any books I’ve read so far.

Sometimes reading chapters narrated by various characters can be confusing but it isn’t in this case, you get to know the thoughts of each character and as the story unravels, you start to understand what’s going on inside the character’s mind. This one of the rare books which I didn’t like any of the characters, they’re very toxic in their own way.

 

Cut to the Bone by Alex Caan

One Missing Girl. Two Million Suspects.

Ruby is a vlogger, a rising star of YouTube and a heroine to millions of teenage girls.

And she’s missing…

But she’s an adult – the police aren’t too worried.

Until the video’s uploaded…

Ruby, in the dirt, pleading for her life.

Enter Detective Inspector Kate Riley; the Met’s rising star and the head of a new team of investigators with the best resources money can buy. Among them, Detective Sergeant Zain Harris, the poster boy for multiracial policing. But can Kate wholly trust him – and more importantly, can she trust herself around him?

As hysteria builds amongst the press and Ruby’s millions of fans, Kate and her team are under pressure to get results, and fast, but as they soon discover, the world of YouTube vloggers and social media is much darker than anyone could have imagined.

And the videos keep coming…

The scary part about this book is the fact it can happen in real life, we live in a society where everyone’s life is so invested on social media and sometimes we don’t know where to stop. I don’t think people realise how dangerous the online world is and how easy it is for people to access our lives. After reading this book, you’ll start to question all your relationships whether it’s online or in real life.

 

The Ice Child by Camilla Lackberg

January, Fjällbacka. A semi-naked girl wanders through the woods in freezing cold weather. When she finally reaches the road, a car comes out of nowhere. It doesn’t manage to stop.

By the time Detective Patrik Hedström receives word of the accident, the girl has already been identified. Four months ago she disappeared on her way home from the local riding school, and no one has seen her since. It quickly becomes clear that she has been subjected to unimaginably brutal treatment. And it’s likely she’s not the only one.

Meanwhile, Patrik’s wife, crime writer Erica Falck, is looking into an old case – a family tragedy that led to a man’s death. His wife was convicted of murder, but Erica senses that something isn’t right. What is the woman hiding? As Erica digs deeper, the past starts to cast a shadow over the present and Patrik is forced to see his investigation in a whole new light.

If I had to describe this book, I’d say it’s the most chilling and twisted book I’ve ever read! The characters in this book are quite complicated and trust me, when I’m saying it’s the most disturbing story I’ve read – I completely mean it! I really want to read other novels from this author since this one had such a huge impact on me.

 

Broken Heart by Tim Weaver

A woman drives to a secluded beauty spot on the Somerset coast. 
CCTV watches her enter but doesn’t see her leaving. 
In fact, Lynda Korin is never seen again.

How can someone just disappear?

Her sister calls missing persons investigator David Raker.
For him, the mystery of where she went is only the start. The real question is why a woman with no reason to run would choose to leave her entire life behind?

Was it her decision? Or did someone make it for her?

Raker is an expert at following the echoes of decades-old lies. But only Lynda Korin knows the most shocking secret of all – and she’s missing, presumed dead…

I love Tim Weaver’s novels so this one didn’t surprise me at all, it’s a great story and in fact, this was the first book I’ve read from him. You could definitely see the author has researched so much for the story. I couldn’t predict any twists from this book, the story is very tense and complex – and in some way tragic as well.

 

What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin

On June 28, 1980, Kelly Michelle Lund shoots and kills Oscar-nominated director John McFadden at a party in his home. For years, speculation swirls over the enigmatic seventeen-year-old’s motives. Convicted of the murder, she loses her youth and her freedom–but keeps her secrets to herself.

Thirty years later–and five years after her release from prison–the past has come back to haunt Kelly. Her father-in-law, movie legend Sterling Marshall, is found in a pool of blood in his home in the Hollywood Hills–dead from a shot to the head, just like his old friend John McFadden.
Once again, Kelly is suspected of the high-profile murder. But this time, she’s got some unexpected allies who believe she’s innocent of both killings. But is she?

This is another dark psychological thriller which I loved, this is one of the books where all the characters are quite strong and powerful. This books shows how secrets have huge effects and consequences, and as you unravel each secret – the story gets more and more sinister. The main theme of this book revolves around actors and Hollywood, and you get to see a different side of the film industry.

This book touches the theme of appearance and what you see on the outside isn’t really the truth on the inside, and obviously actors portray characters that aren’t themselves and completely contrasting to their personality so it was quite interesting to see both of these things together in this novel.

 

The Snow Rose by Lulu Taylor

Kate is on the run with her daughter Heather, her identity hidden and their destination unknown to the family they’ve left behind. She’s found a place where they can live in solitude, a grand old house full of empty rooms and dark secrets. But they’re not alone, for there are the strange old ladies in the cottage next door: Matty and her sister Sissy. They know what happened here long ago, and are curious about Kate. How long can she hide Heather’s presence from them?

When an eccentric band of newcomers arrive, led by the charismatic Archer, Kate realises that the past she’s so desperate to escape is about to catch up with her. And inside the house, history is beginning to repeat itself…

The story is very intense and beautifully written, the narrative switches between the present day and the house’s past which makes it very suspenseful. I wouldn’t really consider this book as a psychological thriller although there are some twists and turns, nevertheless it was a good read.

 

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.

Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.

I want it to hurt.

Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students.
She gave up her dreams so he could make it.
Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors.
And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.

She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing.
And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers.
It will be her greatest acting role ever.

Revenge is sweet.
Isn’t it?

I’d consider this book to be the most upbeat one compared to all the books I’ve read this year haha. At first, it was so delightful and entertaining and once you start to read it, you’ll forget everything going outside and you’ll be hooked to it. You get to read the book from different characters’ point of views and that what’s makes it even more interesting. I’m not going to lie, there are some twists in this book which are very predictable.

 

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard

The day Adam Dunne’s girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads ‘I’m sorry – S’ sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate – and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before. To get the answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground…

One of the things I loved about this novel is the Cork setting, most of the books I read have an American setting so it was great to read something set in England which was easy to picture in my head. Personally, it’s quite rare for me to get shocked at plot twists because I’ve watched and read so many thriller and horror books/movies, even when it comes to psychological thriller – it’s quite predictable for me but the plot twist in this book wowed me!

In addition, I was so surprised the book didn’t give it away anywhere which is definitely a thumbs up from me. The chronology of the story goes back and forth to the past and present of the two main characters, one which is Adam and the other one Romain (you’ve to read to see who it is..). I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise, I went once when I was little but now after reading this book, I can assure you I’ll NEVER step on a cruise in my life!

 

Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas

She can run
Libby Hall needs to hide, to escape from everything for a while. Which is why the house swap is a godsend. The chance for Libby and her husband Jamie to exchange their tiny Bath flat for a beautiful haven on the wild Cornish coast.

But she can’t hide
But before they can begin to heal their fragile marriage, Libby makes some disturbing discoveries about the house. And soon the peace and isolation begin to feel threatening. How alone are they? Why does she feel watched?

Because someone knows her secret
What is Jamie hiding? Is Libby being paranoid? And why does the house bring back such terrible memories? Memories Libby’s worked hard to bury. Memories of the night she last saw her best friend alive… and what she did.

This novel contains all the elements of a dark psychological thriller, it’s twisted, gripping and unpredictable. Ever since the first page, you feel a strange atmosphere between the couple and I kept on guessing what the ‘twist’ was going to be and mainly if these characters were telling the truth to each other. There are so many twists in this book, once one is revealed, the next one will catch your breath.

 

The Mayfly by James Hazel

When lawyer Charlie Priest is attacked in his own home by a man searching for information he claims Priest has, he is drawn into a web of corruption that has its roots in the last desperate days of World War Two.

When his attacker is found murdered the next day, Priest becomes a suspect and the only way to clear his name is to find out about the mysterious House of Mayfly – a secret society that people will kill for.

As Priest races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?

The characters in this book are quite interesting and as the story unfolds you get to know the characters a bit more. The main reason I picked this book was the fact it connected with the Second World War. For some reasons, I love any novels revolving around the WWII, the Holocaust and Nazis ever since I was in secondary school, I find it very interesting and I’m always drawn into it. The plot is very original, unique and gory, and it was an easy read for me.

 

The Caller by Chris Carter

After a tough week, Tanya Kaitlin is looking forward to a relaxing night in, but as she steps out of her shower, she hears her phone ring. The video call request comes from her best friend, Karen Ward. Tanya takes the call and the nightmare begins.

Karen is gagged and bound to a chair in her own living room. If Tanya disconnects from the call, if she looks away from the camera, he will come after her next, the deep, raspy, demonic voice at the other end of the line promises her.

As Detectives Robert Hunter and Carlos Garcia investigate the threats, they are thrown into a roller coaster of evil, chasing a predator who scouts the streets and social media networks for victims, taunting them with secret messages and feeding on their fear.

I’d hands down call this a gripping crime thriller, this book covers the dangerous side of social media and how scary the online world is. It’s a brilliant story and I’m so excited to read other books from this author.

 

A little side note, I’ve read 97 books this year so far! Can you believe NINETY SEVEN! This is literally my biggest accomplishment of this year!

In advance, I’m wishing you all a happy holiday and a Merry Christmas. Hope you’ve an amazing time with your loved ones – thank you so much for reading!

xo N

55 Comments

    1. Haha I know right!? I used to read a lot while I was in high school but I stopped reading for a while, now that I’m back into it – I can’t stop lol! 😂🙈

  1. Ahh we literally have the same tastes in books/genres!! I don’t read often enough though, but psychological thrillers/mysteries/crime is definitely my preferred genres. Funny, when I was a young teen, I really loved reading romance. Now I just cringe at the idea haha! But thanks for this – this gives me plenty of options.

    I sometimes read YA contemporary books too since the themes have gotten stronger over the years and not so sugarcoated but more raw.

    1. Ahh that’s great! I hate romance whether it’s a book or film, it’s not my cup of tea lol! I love reading YA contemporary books as well! You’re definitely right it’s not as sugarcoated as they used to be and for some books, the storyline is really good! x

  2. I love thrillers so I will be deffo checking some of these out! Some of them sound so interesting! Omg 97!! that is so good!! I have nearly read 30 that was my aim for this year, have a lovely christmas xx

    1. Hey Love! On a personal note get out this motel I have lived in since Oct of 2013 & that alone has several sub-goals to establish it with success. Merry Christmas!

    1. I was exactly like you at first! Especially while you’re at uni, it feels like an extra workload but now ever since I went back into it – I can’t stop it haha 😂 xx

  3. I can’t believe how fast this year flew by! I’m not sure if I’m ready to see it go lol. I don’t get much time to read, but if I did I would definitely add a few of these to my list!

  4. What a brilliant list, and so many I haven’t got around to reading so thanks for the reminder, I’ll have to add some of these to my to-read list myself (The Caller was one I picked up the other day and will look forward to after Christmas)! 🙂
    Caz x

  5. Last week, I saw an ad on MasterClass.com about James Patterson offering a class on how to write bestsellers. And here you are shortlisting his work for 2017. This is a great piece. Thank you.

  6. Oh I only read one from your list, Lying in Wait and also found it brilliant. I just received The Mayfly for Xmas so I will read that soon. Have you read The Surrogate by Louise Jensen. My favorite thriller last year!

    1. Ah I can’t wait for you to read The Mayfly! No, I haven’t read it but I just finished reading The Sister yesterday by the same author (what a coincidence!) so I’ll definitely check it out. Thank you for your recommendation x

  7. I just finished Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey, which I would classify as a thriller although it’s tamer than some of these. It’s about a woman in her 80s who is slowly slipping into dementia but is certain that there’s a mystery she must solve…and it turns out she’s right, but the mystery isn’t really what she thinks it is and takes so many interesting turns because her long-term memories are vivid but her short-term memories are so unreliable! Really interesting!

  8. These all look like great reads especially because I enjoy reading thrillers as well, that ks for recommending them😊

    1. I know it’s quite a lot of pages but as you said try to read a certain number first and then go from there. I’m reading “The Girl In The Ice” at the moment x

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