- Post by Director of Suspense Molly Odintz
There are plenty of sharp-eyed, sober Miss Marples just waiting to witness a crime, but isn’t it rather more realistic to assume a boozy halo to the recollections of many a looker-on? Do we trust our own memories, or have they been warped by those who wish us harm? Unreliable narrators, disturbing domestic scenes, and the burden of witnessing are the hallmarks of Paula Hawkins’ runaway bestseller The Girl on the Train, and all are front and center in the books described below.
The Girl Before by Rena Olson
When the feds break into her home, arrest her husband, and take her daughters from her care, Clara Lawson has no idea why – after all, she’s always tried to follow the rules, even the strict and rather disturbing regulations that marred her childhood in what she thinks was a loving home. Through flashbacks and interrogation sequences, the reader and Clara together discover her memories, and the people she once called her family, cannot be trusted… You can find copies of The Girl Before on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
I’ll admit it – I’m a huge fan of locked-room mysteries, whether they be set on a country estate, on a moving train, or as in the case of Ruth Ware’s gripping second thriller, on a luxury cruise ship’s maiden voyage. A travel journalist joins a host of other travel professionals to celebrate a miniature Titanic’s first cruise around the fjords. When she witnesses a woman’s fall off the side of the ship, she alerts the other passengers, yet the ship’s owner is more interested in questioning her sobriety than tracking down a missing woman, especially one never on the passenger manifest to begin with. You can find copies of The Woman in Cabin 10 on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Blow-Up: And Other Stories by Julio Cortazar
Cortazar’s novel of a fashion photographer who may have accidentally photographed a murder was the basis for Antonioni’s emblematic 1960s film adaptation of the same name, and through comedic lineage, the fashion photographer scenes in the first Austin Powers film. Those who enjoyed the self-doubting witness of The Girl on The Train should enjoy the photographer’s agonizing over the maybe-murderous contents of his camera. You can find copies of Blow-Up: and Other Stories on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.