Sep 07, 2022
#thrillers #summer reading #we recommend #escapetoparadise #aconversation offavorites #CharmaineandAbbey
Charmaine: I love this weather! Saturday afternoon hammock time is the best- I wish the summer would never end!
Abbey: I am NOT a heat person, so I’ll be inside with the AC on blast, living vicariously through characters this summer.
Charmaine: Summer heat, hot summer thrillers (literally and figuratively) are the best... the releases this season are incredible! One of my recent favorites was Hokuloa Road by Elizabeth Hand. Rachel Hawkins (author of the fabulous Reckless Girls) calls it “Twisty and dark ...easily one of the best thrillers I’ve read” and I so agree. When Grady decided to take a job as a live in caretaker for a luxe property in Hawai’i he soon realizes that something isn’t right. Between the islands numerous missing persons cases, the eccentric billionaire property owner (whose bird sanctuary houses many endangered species) and the ghosts he starts to see, Grady wonders if he is in over his head. The property is totally isolated, and Grady soon realizes that it harbours many secrets, and if he doesn’t figure out what is going soon, his life may also be at risk.
Abbey: Ooh. I love the sound of that. An isolated locked-property mystery. I have a book here that's sort of similar. It’s called The Retreat by Sarah Pearse, where a beautiful island off the English coast has slapped a wellness retreat on top of its dark reputation, hoping to erase its history and the chilling name locals have given it – Reaper's Rock. But when one woman is found dead – a woman that wasn’t supposed to be at the retreat in the first place – and another dies the very next day, detective Elin Warner finds herself in the midst of a chilling investigation. Who is targeting the guests on the island, why is the island’s gruesome history repeating itself, who is keeping secrets, and is the island truly cursed?
Charmaine: That book was amazing. Sarah Pearse is definitely an author to watch! These locked/private island thrillers are becoming a favorite genre for me. Speaking of which, have you heard of Allie Reynold’s The Swell? She is the author who wrote the winter thriller Shiver (a reunion gone wrong in the French Alps turn locked room mystery....). This book is incredible (one of those novels that you would totally read again). Kenna used to love surfing, but when her boyfriend drowned during a surfing accident she gave up the sport. Years later, her estranged best friend Mikki announces she is engaged to a surfer and invites Kenna to Australia to meet him. They go on a trip together to a secret surfing spot, where only a select few know of its existence (The Tribe). Here they love to surf, but when Kenna discovers several missing people have turned up here dead, she starts to worry. As she digs around, she uncovers more than she bargains for and realizes perhaps she was better off not knowing the truth....
Abbey: I love these scary stories set in idyllic places...it sort of reminds me of the “daylight horror” trope that Ari Aster’s movie Midsommar is built on (group of students head up to a beautiful part of rural Sweden where they’re high enough north for the sun to never set, staying with a community that loves dancing and smiling serenely amongst each other, only for chaos to ensue). Just like Midsommar, sometimes I like a thriller where I’m not really rooting for anybody, and I can just enjoy the rollercoaster of drama that unfolds without being overly concerned for any of the characters’ safety. One I came across recently is called Never Coming Home by Kate Williams. The top ten most popular influencers under twenty-one are invited to Unknown Island, the most exclusive island resort that’s marketed all over social media (Fyre Festival, anyone?). What these influencers don’t know is this island isn’t the luxury getaway they thought it was. Each one of them is hiding a terrible secret, but somehow, someone knows. And that someone wants revenge. This is very similar to And Then There Were None, only with a cast of bloggers, gamers, and makeup gurus.
Charmaine: That sounds really fun- kind of like the Prime show The Wilds, where teen girls think they are going on a luxurious vacation, only, it is everything but. From an intentional plane crash on a deserted island, they must pull together to figure out what happened and why they are there...
Abbey: And speaking of ‘deserted island’, I’ve come across an interesting read recently. This isn't your typical horror book, but it’s also not your typical...anything book. It’s called Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen, and it’s reminiscent of both King Kong and those reality romance shows you love to hate on Netflix. We’re on an island again in this book, only this time for a TV show called The Catch with women battling for the heart of one less-than-desirable bachelor – or rather, battling for the publicity the show will inevitably bring. Little do they know, the viewers at home aren’t their only audience. Lurking in the shadowy, rainy woods of this remote island lies...Patricia. Patricia wants a shot at a relationship of her own, which is difficult to do when you’re a large, Sasquatch-like cryptid. Filming for The Catch quickly goes awry, the cast and crew will have to do what they can to stay alive, but genuine connections may just be made after all. This is a great read if you’re wanting a break from bleaker books but are still looking for, well, let’s say something with ‘graphic flair’.
Charmaine: That sounds awesome, like a bachelor meets horror show! Sometimes you need a little something with flair for an escapist read!
I recently read The Island by Adrian McKinty – which could also be classified as an escapist thriller (and also has been optioned for a tv series with Hulu!) A working vacation in the Australian outback turns into a nightmare for the Baxter family. When they receive an offer for a private tour of a private Dutch Island (restricted to outside visitors) they jump at the chance for the once in a lifetime experience. They take the ferry over to the island, and all is great.. until there is an accident. Now the family is being hunted, with the island’[s inhabitants out for blood.... Will they survive the island and make it home alive? An edge of your seat thriller which will have you wondering-=- just who should I root for?
Abbey: Looks like I’ve found some books to add to my ‘to be read’ list that will hopefully keep me inside for the rest of Summer. There’s lots to read while I’m sitting around waiting for Spooky Season...