Mirror Book Club reviews Antonia Hodgson, Denise Mina, Mark Billingham and more


In this week’s rundown of the week’s best reads, the Mirror Book Club’s reviewers look at the fourh instalment of Antonia Hodgson’s award-winning historical crime series.

It is beautifully written and packed with atmosphere, wit and historical details.

SJ Watson presents a compelling new thriller, as the author of  from the author of Before I Go To Sleep aims to surprise and excite once again.

While Mark Billingham is back in stores with a a gripping prequel to Sleepyhead.

And don’t forget to join the Mirror Book Club – details below.

The Silver Collar, by Antonia Hodgson

Hodder, £14.99

When Thomas Hawkins is set upon by a street gang in the autumn of 1728, he discovers there is a price on his head.

With the help of his ward Sam Fleet, son of a feared gang leader in Georgian London, his investigation leads to a fine house in Jermyn Street where the cunning Lady Vanhook resides with a little girl named Affie. However, he is unable to establish why Lady Vanhook wants him dead.

The Silver Collar, by Antonia Hodgson and The Less Dead, by Denise Mina

Then Tom discovers that Affie’s father Jeremiah Patience, an escaped slave, is also watching Lady Vanhook and is desperate to be reunited with Affie after she was stolen from him.

Meanwhile, magistrate Sir John Gonson sets out to reform Tom’s partner Kitty, owner of a disreputable bookshop.

But there is a sinister connection between these three seemingly disparate storylines and Tom, Kitty and Sam don’t work it out until it’s too late.

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So Tom eventually ends up facing his most cunning adversary yet.

Antonia Hodgson returns with the fourth instalment of her award-winning historical crime series that began with The Devil in the Marshalsea – though you don’t need to read the earlier instalments to enjoy The Silver Collar.

Beautifully written and packed with atmosphere, wit and historical details, I didn’t want it to end. And in shining and uncomfortable light on colonial slavery, it’s also timely and relevant.

BY JON COATES

The Less Dead, by Denise Mina

Harvill Secker, £14.99

GP Margo Dunlop is mourning her adoptive mother when she discovers letters from her real family. She arranges to meet her last remaining relative, her aunt Nikki, a former sex worker and heroin addict.

Margo discovers that her birth mother was also a sex worker who was murdered by a serial killer. But Nikki insists that, decades on, the killer is still threatening her.

And after Margo agrees to help Nikki nail the culprit they find themselves in grave danger.

Mina writes with wonderful wit and compassion.

BY JAKE KERRIDGE

Invisible Girl, by Lisa Jewell

Cry Baby, by Mark Billingham and Invisible Girl, by Lisa Jewell

Century, £14.99

Troubled teen Saffyre follows her therapist Roan closely, lurking outside his home and watching his comings and goings. Roan presents himself as a family man, but Saffyre knows his secrets.

After Saffyre goes missing, it is awkward neighbour Owen who is arrested. He was recently sacked from teaching for inappropriate behaviour, and he has also left a trail across online forums where men share misogynistic fantasies.

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But does that make him a killer? Or is it someone else?

An engrossing and compelling read.

BY CHARLOTTE HEATHCOTE

Final Cut, by SJ Watson

Doubleday, £12.99

In the compelling new thriller from the author of Before I Go To Sleep, Alex was found unconscious on a beach some years ago and remembers little about her life before then – but enough to know she doesn’t want to probe.

She has forged a career as a documentary maker, but her latest assignment takes her back to the Yorkshire seaside town where she grew up.

Final Cut by SJ Watson

She finds herself caught up in the disappearance of two teenage girls and trying to remember who she can and can’t trust.

BY JAKE KERRIDGE

Cry Baby, by Mark Billingham

Little Brown, £20

Seven-year-old Kieron is abducted while playing in woods with his best friend, but Detective Sergeant Tom Thorne vows to bring him home alive.

He is reeling from a previous case with a tragic ending which he feels he could have prevented, so he is determined to not make the same mistake again.

Then people on the fringes of the case start dying and Thorne knows they must be connected in some way.

Cry Baby is a gripping prequel to Billingham’s first Thorne novel, Sleepyhead.

BY JON COATES

Join the Mirror Book Club

The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett, is the Mirror Book Club’s read this month

There’s never been a better time to get lost in a good book… so we’d love you to join the friendly Mirror Book Club community on Facebook.

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Members share thoughts on the current book of the month, post other recommendations and exchange book news and views. There are regular giveaways too.

Mirror Book Club members have chosen The Dutch House by Ann Patchett as the latest book of the month.

Danny grew up in The Dutch House with big sister Maeve who has been a surrogate mother since their real mother walked out.

Then their father dies and Andrea, their wicked stepmother, forces the siblings out of the house. But they never shake off their obsession with the family home and the woman who wronged them.

We follow their fortunes over the decades as Maeve’s life stalls and Danny’s flourishes.

But their unbreakable bond is tested when the past comes back to haunt them. We’d love you to give The Dutch House a read and let the Mirror Book Club know what you think at  facebook.com/groups/mirrorbookclub. We’ll print your feedback on August 21.





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