I am delighted to welcome novelist Mark Edwards with his list of terrific thrillers!
Best British Psychological Thrillers of the Decade (So Far)
The Girl on the Train, by London-based author Paula Hawkins, was an enormous hit worldwide, with the movie about to hit cinemas. Hawkins is just one of a large number of British psychological thrillers writers who are producing books with as many twists, shocks and OMG moments as our American counterparts. Here are some of the best from recent years.
Elizabeth Haynes – Into the Darkest Corner
In Haynes’ debut novel, which she wrote during NaNoWriMo, a young woman is in hiding after escaping the terrifying clutches of her new boyfriend. Suffering from OCD, she is struggling to go on with her life…and fears she is still very much in danger. An utterly compelling, sexy, complex masterpiece from one of the UK’s best crime writers.
Clare Mackintosh – I Let You Go
A woman flees to rural Wales after a hit and run accident that kills a child. Inspired by a real unsolved case, the first novel by former cop Clare Mackintosh has the most audacious, breathtaking twist in the middle – and then gets even better.
Sabine Durrant – Lie With Me
The quality of the writing in Lie With Me is a cut above most other thrillers. Durrant can craft sentences that make other authors weep with envy – including the ‘hero’ of this tale, a literary has-been who accompanies a group of old friends, and his new lover, on vacation and finds himself caught in a web of deception. Brilliantly atmospheric.
Alex Marwood – The Darkest Secret
Like Durrant, Marwood is a brilliant writer who is skilled at really getting inside the heads of her characters – in this case a group of awful narcissists who collude to hide a terrible secret. Years later, the shockwaves of their decision are still being felt. Superb writing and a killer ending.
Paula Daly – The Mistake I Made
Best described as Indecent Proposal set in England’s picturesque Lake District, this is another book with a flawed heroine, a physiotherapist who makes a bad mistake that comes back to bite her. I love this novel because Paula Daly has such a warm, conversational tone which makes this an effortless, fun read. It’s like listening to the confession of a good friend.
CL Taylor – The Missing
All three of CL Taylor’s psychological thrillers are great but this one just about edges it because it handles a difficult subject – family secrets and a missing teenager – with such imagination and sensitivity. This is also a masterclass in sleight of hand and misdirection. I defy anyone to figure out what happened before it’s revealed.
Emily Barr – The Sleeper
Another book about a girl (or rather, woman) on a train into London – except this was written before Paula Hawkins’ bestseller and is just as good. A woman who lives in the south-west of England takes a sleeper train every Monday morning, lives in London during the week – leaving her husband behind – and comes home Friday evening. Soon she finds herself living a double life in more ways than one – but is unaware that someone is manipulating her. This book is impossible to put down.
Helen Fitzgerald – The Cry
Fitzgerald is actually Australian – which is where most of this book is set – but she lives in Scotland so I’m making her an honorary Brit for the purposes of this list. What’s the worst scenario you can imagine yourself in? I bet it’s not as bad as the scenario in this searing book: a couple accidentally give their baby a fatal overdose on a plane, then try to cover it up. It’s dark, painful but humorous and hopeful in places too. Another one-sitting read.
Mark Edwards – The Devil’s Work
Can I include one of my own books on this list? Why not. The Devil’s Work is a psychological thriller set in the office from hell. When Sophie returns to work after taking a break to raise her daughter, she is full of hope and excitement. But somebody at work is out to get her – she just has to figure out who, and why, and how it connects to a dark secret from her college days…
About The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards
A gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies.
It was the job she had dreamed of since childhood. But on her very first day, when an unnerving encounter drags up memories Sophie Greenwood would rather forget, she wonders if she has made a mistake. A fatal mistake.
What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie’s predecessor? When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years.
As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job…before it kills her.
About Mark Edwards
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which terrifying things happen to ordinary people. His first solo novel, The Magpies (2013), reached the No.1 spot on Amazon UK as did his third novel Because She Loves Me (2014). He has also co-written various crime novels with Louise Voss such as Killing Cupid (2011) and The Blissfully Dead (2015).
Mark grew up on the south coast of England and starting writing in his twenties while working in a number of dead-end jobs. He lived in Tokyo for a year before returning to the UK and starting a career in marketing. As well as a full-time writer, Mark is a stay at home dad for his three children, his wife and a ginger cat.