Whether you’re a detective following an old lead or a sister plotting the perfect domestic crime, the ride isn’t going to be smooth with these books. Prepare for winding twists and unsettling moments where privacy is invaded and nothing can be trusted.
A Nearly Normal Family by MT Edvardsson
If the title isn’t enough to grab you, know that its complex, multilayered domestic drama will. Presented in three accounts from each family member, this emotionally gripping story is about a teen accused of the brutal murder of a shady businessman and what her parents—a pastor and an attorney—are willing to do in her defence. A slow burn character study, pushed through the initial recounting for insight into this dysfunctional Swedish household.
The Better Liar by Tanen Jones
When the only criterion to claim an inheritance is to receive it with her estranged younger sister, Leslie is left in a dilemma when she discovers that her remaining kin is dead. Firstly because she desperately needs the money, and secondly that lookalike Mary might just be able to help her pull it off. As the plot stews in the middle with red herrings aplenty, the story finishes neatly while bearing a deeper message on psychological self-harm.
Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
In a society where humans are divided into those who eat and those who are eaten, the premise of the world where cannibalism isn’t just sanctioned but a profitable commercial industry is dark and twisted, to say the least. Bazterrica is merciless in challenging your view on meat and cultural norms, and the ugly humanity in raw prose is truly a graphic and distressing mirror. Be warned: it’s really not easy to stomach.
The Whisper Man by Alex North
A crime debut that’s equal parts disturbing and suspenseful, the narrative of a serial child killer and what seems to be an act of a copycat murderer over 20 years later comprises several individual threads that eventually converge in the best way possible. Easily a one-sitting read with its eerie and atmospheric tone, and also an exposition on grief and the consequences of the actions it spurs.
In The Clearing by JP Pomare
Alternating between the perspectives of a teenage girl raised in a cult and an overly protective mother who has lost her first son, you step into their skins in this bendy read of how their lives collide. The sophomore creation from the Melbourne- based New Zealander writer is taut with tension and chillingly pragmatic in its depiction. Do not overlook the parts where the pace draws out because the embedded clues add up at the end.
All titles are available at Kinokuniya.