The Next Always (Nora Roberts)
The Next Always (2011), by prolific American romance queen Nora Roberts has themes familiar to Roberts’ legions of readers, romance, family ties and friendship. Typically, Nora’s heroines, Adelia “Dee” Cunnane (Irish Thoroughbred) and Rowan Tripp (Chasing Fire), are famously feisty and independent. Claire Brewster in The Next Always, is a shade different, a frazzled single parent, but no less individualistic. Her romance with Beckett is, thoroughly engaging and heart-warming.
Private Games (James Patterson)
The 2012 Olympic Games in London is under threat from a criminal mastermind. Two people join hands to stop him, top investigator Nigel Steele and news reporter Karen Pope. This action-packed thriller is on par with Patterson’s innumerable other detective novels (Kiss the Girls, Along Came a Spider, Women’s Murder Club), except that the canvas is wider
The Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguro)
Kazuo Ishiguro’s brilliant third novel, The Remains of the Day bagged the 1989 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and was adapted into a successful film. Like Ishiguro’s earlier novels, The Remains of the Day is narrated by the protagonist, here a loyal butler named Stevens. Enjoy Ishiguro’s mastery of his craft and his chilling insights into human nature.
Restless (William Boyd)
On the face of it, Restless is a spy thriller, a genre that’s typically considered good to kill time on long flights. But William Boyd is no ordinary purveyor of words. His spare, elegant prose and ability to tell a gripping story make Restless a spy tale that’s both engrossing and memorable.
Saturday (Ian McEwan)
Ian McEwan’s Saturday narrates the events of a single day in the life of Henry Perowne, brilliant neurosurgeon and family man, set against the backdrop of Britain’s largest demonstration against the Iraq war. Read this critically acclaimed novel for its complex and tightly structured plot that has all the intensity of a thriller and yet provokes philosophic contemplation on the ephemeral nature of life.
A Painted House (John Grisham)
John Grisham’s A Painted House (2001) is a coming-of-age novel, a different cup of tea from his better known legal thrillers. Partly autobiographical, A Painted House is set in Arkansas during the fifties. The narrator is Luke Chandler, a seven-year-old boy from a cotton farming family. As the story unfolds, Luke awakens from a simple, idyllic life to one filled with harsh, painful realities. The detailed, descriptive passages of rural life make for memorable reading.