For anyone dipping into this blog for the first time, (or regulars who haven’t been paying attention) I review crime fiction for an e-zine. Four or five books a month, which introduces me to new authors and allows me to keep tabs on a few more. So what are the odds against this happening?
Two books, chosen from a list of about thirty, one by an author whose name was familiar, the other by someone I’d never read before. There was no indication of the theme or storyline, other than the single word Psychological in both case. As a general rule I like psychological thrillers by female authors, so they were obvious choices. And:
Both had damaged female protagonists.
Both were written in the first person, and present tense.
Neither had a murder at the centre of the plot.
Both began immediately after the natural death of the protagonist’s mother.
The basic premise in both cases was secrets that began to emerge after the mother’s death.
And oddest of all, it slowly became clear that both mothers had been harbouring exactly the same secret!
I ask again, what are the odds? It’s certainly never happened to me before. The books available for review are an eclectic bunch – police procedurals, accidental sleuths, PIs, psychological, gritty, cosy and all points between, and I try to choose a variety. I get a lot of pleasant surprises, discover quite a few new authors – well, new to me – and add backlist titles to my book wishlist all the time. Very occasionally I struggle, but I’ve only ever once failed to finish a book, and I must have reviewed close to two hundred over the years.
But never before have I read two books in quick succession with the same style and basic premise.
I haven’t written the review(s) yet, so it would be unethical to name them. Maybe in a few weeks, when my words of dubious wisdom are out there for public consumption. Suffice to say both are worth your attention if you enjoy a good psychological thriller. But maybe not one after the other...