Archive for the ‘Psychological Suspense’ Category
In Sophie Hannah’s THE ORPHAN CHOIR, forty-one year old Louise Beeston may be on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Her creepy next-door neighbor, Justin Clay, plays loud music late at night, usually every other weekend. Although Louise has repeatedly implored him to stop, Clay is indifferent to her pleas. (Louise’s husband, Stuart, is oblivious to the cacophony. Even if a freight train were to pass through their bedroom, Stuart would remain asleep.) Unfortunately, Louise has little hope that Clay, a pot-smoking party animal who enjoys living it up with his loud-mouthed friends, will change his ways.
In Christian Jungersen’s YOU DISAPPEAR, translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra, forty-two year old Mia Halling’s life will never be the same following a family vacation in Majorca. Mia notices that her husband, Frederik, who is at the wheel of their rental car, is speeding through hairpin turns like a madman. She implores him to slow down, to no avail. Although they crash, they manage to survive. What should have been a relaxing and enjoyable holiday nearly ends in tragedy.
February 4, 2014
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Identity, Married Life, Nan A Talese Â· Posted in: Character Driven, Contemporary, Denmark, Family Matters, Psychological Suspense, Translated, y Award Winning Author
Yvonne Carmichael, 52 years old, is a respected geneticist, married for many years with two grown children. She works for an esteemed institute called The Beaufort and is also an external examiner for graduate students. Her life is rich in many ways. Thus, it comes as a surprise to her that when she is scheduled to give a report at the House of Parliaments she notices a man who is giving her a come hither look and she begins to follow him. This begins an extraordinary affair. She doesn’t even know his name or what he does, though after some time she surmises that he is a spy of some type. This first time they have sex, he leads her to the Crypt Chapel on the House of Parliaments grounds and in the rank basement they make love. Yvonne thinks “From my empirical knowledge of you I know one thing and one thing only. Sex with you is like being eaten by a wolf.”
Marta Bjornstad is the chillingly robotic narrator of Emma Chapman’s psychological thriller, How to Be a Good Wife, a disturbing portrait of a woman whose mind may be playing tricks on her. After twenty-five years of marriage, Marta’s existence is tightly regimented: She shops, cooks, cleans the house, does laundry, and tends to her husband, Hector’s, needs. The title is derived from a book of the same name filled with platitudes about how a perfect spouse should behave. Marta’s controlling and overbearing mother-in-law, Matilda, presented the book to her sons’ young bride as a wedding gift, expecting Marta to dutifully memorize every page. One example of the book’s contents: “Your husband belongs to the outside world. The house is your domain, and your responsibility.”
Koren Zailckas’ Mother, Mother is a tale of psychological horror–a savage portrayal of a narcissist, Josephine Hurst, who lies compulsively, shamelessly manipulates her family, and tries to destroy anyone who crosses her. This disturbing story is told in alternating chapters by twelve-year-old William Hurst and his sixteen-year-old sister, Violet. William is mommy’s prissy little boy whom Josephine home schools (he has been diagnosed with autism and epilepsy) and infantilizes; Will is completely dependent on his mother and will do anything to stay in her good graces. Violet, on the other hand, is a rebel. She chops off her hair, takes mind-altering substances, and refuses to be intimidated by Josephine’s sick behavior. Josephine’s husband, Douglas, is, for the most part, an ineffectual bystander who gives his wife free reign. Missing from the picture is twenty-year-old Rose, whom Josephine was grooming to be a famous actress. Rose left home abruptly and never returned.
December 28, 2013
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Crown Publishing, Dysfunctional, Mental Health/Illness, Motherhood Â· Posted in: Debut Novel, Family Matters, Mystery/Suspense, Psychological Suspense
THE SLEEP ROOM by F. R. Tallis, is set in England in the 1950s. Dr. James Richardson is offered an opportunity to work with Hugh Maitland, a well-known scholar and “the most influential psychiatrist of his generation.” After he is hired, James travels to Wyldehope Hall, in rural Suffolk, a hospital with twenty-four beds and a narcosis room. Severely disturbed patients are given drugs to induce sleep for twenty-one hours a day…