No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
Are you a fan of Thrillers? Check out all our Thriller book selections, read reviews, download extracts and you can order the book too!
July 2017 Book of the Month In a Nutshell: Lord of the Flies with added asteroid action A uniquely-premised psychological page-turner packed with darkness, death, and compelling conspiracy. Since the age of eight, Min has experienced the unthinkable. On each even-numbered birthday, she’s violently murdered by a strange man. The first time it happened, she arrived home just a few hours after the event, with all evidence of the murder erased. After the second time, she was diagnosed with a dissociative disorder and has been on medication ever since. Then there’s Noah, the popular, handsome son of the richest man in town. But, beneath his perfect façade, Noah struggles with deep-rooted self-doubt caused by his father’s lifelong deprecations, and with unbearably violent nightmares. As the two teenagers try to deal with their inner demons, an external demon looks set to hit the world – quite literally - in the form of a giant asteroid. While the population waits to discover whether The Anvil is going to strike Planet Earth, Min uncovers a web of lies in which both she and Noah are entangled. Crisscrossing genres (crime, sci-fi, psychological thriller) with dynamism and panache, this ambitious book – the first in a series – tingles with twists, suspense and originality. ~ Joanne Owen
Shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2018 | One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | In a Nutshell: Soaring soundtrack to resilience and love Real-life grit, gripping mystery, magnificent love story - this second novel from the highly-acclaimed author of Orange Boy is a mighty fine feast of contemporary YA. Sixth-former Indigo hasn’t had the easiest start in life, to say the least. She was only four when her dad murdered her mother, and she now lives with foster mum Keeley. But, while Indigo has a harrowing family history, nothing can suppress her wit and style. She has zebra-striped hair, loves Blondie, and Bailey is besotted with her. With his striking gingery-brown afro and musical talents, he’s no wallflower either, though their backgrounds couldn't be more different (Bailey has a teacher mum and social worker dad and lives in a “posh house” in Hackney). As they strike up a friendship - and more - Indigo is handed another rough deal when her sister announces that she’s going to cut all ties with Indigo, and then there’s the homeless man from her past, who asks Bailey to help him “make things right” for her. Before he knows it, Bailey’s up to his neck in the most difficult of decisions. From the first-rate dialogue that allows the characters’ hearts and souls to shine with authenticity, to the deftly-woven mystery, this is a life-affirming wonder. Londoners will love the in-the-know references to the likes of bus routes, and the music references are top-notch. Real-life grit, gripping mystery, magnificent love story - this second novel from the highly-acclaimed author of Orange Boy is a mighty fine feast of contemporary YA. Sixth-former Indigo hasn’t had the easiest start in life, to say the least. She was only four when her dad murdered her mother, and she now lives with foster mum Keeley. But, while Indigo has a harrowing family history, nothing can suppress her wit and style. She has zebra-striped hair, loves Blondie, and Bailey is besotted with her. With his striking gingery-brown afro and musical talents, he’s no wallflower either, though their backgrounds couldn't be more different (Bailey has a teacher mum and social worker dad and lives in a “posh house” in Hackney). As they strike up a friendship - and more - Indigo is handed another rough deal when her sister announces that she’s going to cut all ties with Indigo, and then there’s the homeless man from her past, who asks Bailey to help him “make things right” for her. Before he knows it, Bailey’s up to his neck in the most difficult of decisions. From the first-rate dialogue that allows the characters’ hearts and souls to shine with authenticity, to the deftly-woven mystery, this is a life-affirming wonder. Londoners will love the in-the-know references to the likes of bus routes, and the music references are top-notch. Joanne Owen
This feverishly fast-paced apocalyptic thriller, sequel to Remade, packs a seriously strong pathological punch. It’s eighteen months on from the horrific events recounted in Remade (“People dying in the goddamm street”, flesh coming away from their bones “like casserole beef from a T-bone”) and it looks like the devastating virus has been killed off. A further lifeline is thrown when Leon and Freya, “a pair of lonely scavengers”, see a message bearing news that civilian and naval vessels are waiting for survivors in Southampton, with medical and emergency supplies aboard. While “glass-half-empty type” Leon reckons that this rescue ship news might be old, “always upbeat, always optimistic” Freya thinks it’s worth investigating. But it’s not long before their worst nightmare re-rears its unimaginably ugly head…The virus is back, reborn in an evolved state with even greater powers of intelligence. The fight is on, and the stakes could not be higher. Ideal for fans of Darren Shan’s Zom-B books, and shows like The Walking Dead, this pithy page-turner is sure to set readers’ heart a-pounding and brains a-boggling. It’s tense, taut and tantalisingly twisty throughout, and the action couldn’t be more in-your-face-thrilling. ~ Joanne Owen
Shortlist for the UKLA Book Award 2019 | Winner of the YA Book Prize 2018 | Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2018 | In a nutshell: tense, super-suspenseful novel based on harrowing real life events | After the Fire was inspired by the Waco siege in Texas 1993 when 82 members of the Branch Davidian sect and four US government agents died in a fire fight after a long siege. It’s not a fictionalised version, but Hill imagines life in the camp and as a survivor. Moonbeam, his central character, is beginning to doubt the teaching of Father John and to comprehend the methods he uses to control his followers. A survivor, she’s being coaxed to tell the story of the events that led up to that deadly confrontation with ‘The Authorities’. The tension rarely abates, and Hill makes readers empathise with Moonbeam’s confusion and fear. He also makes us desperate to discover the secrets she’s keeping, and long for her to achieve the freedom that’s always been denied. One of the most gripping and suspenseful books you’ll read all year.
June 2017 Debut of the Month In a nutshell: breath-taking magical adventure on the banks of London’s underground rivers Hyacinth Hayward, newly arrived in the UK from the US, is already struggling with culture shock when her mum is kidnapped by the strangest postmen ever and she herself is plunged (literally) into extraordinary adventure. Amongst the mass of magical quest adventures, The City of Secret Rivers stands out and not just because of its cast of fascinating characters (unscrupulous sewer dwelling cockney criminals and a possibly malevolent but extremely polite giant pig included), or its singular setting (the banks of London’s underground rivers); the sheer invention and wit of author Jacob Sager Weinstein makes this a special read and every page crackles with originality and energy. Outlandish fun! ~ Andrea Reece Readers looking for more page-turning adventures that cleverly combine real historical places with rip-roaring adventure will enjoy the Defender of the Realm series by Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby.
In a Nutshell: Hyper-tense high school whodunit * Everyone has secrets… Five teens in detention are hit by a storm when one of them of dies. Outsider Simon, creator of the notorious Bayview High gossip app, wryly remarks that they’re all “walking teen-movie stereotypes” and casts himself as the “omniscient narrator” shortly before collapsing to his death. The question is, why was there allergy-inducing peanut oil in Simon’s water? And why were the EpiPens missing from the nurse’s office? His death seems anything but accidental and, since Simon had dirt on pretty much the entire school population, a whole lot of people might have wanted him dead. But when it emerges that he was about to reveal highly damaging secrets about his four co-detainees (we’re talking the kind of secrets that mess-up lives and destroy futures), they’re first in the frame for his murder. A snappy story of cover-ups, lies and unraveling lives unfolds amidst a hotbed of suspicion and the personal plights of the accused teenagers, including two storylines of a romantic nature that truly tug at the heart. Entertainingly addictive, sharply written, with a genuinely jaw-dropping twist, this first-rate thriller exposes the murky morality of social media salaciousness, and questions what lengths a person might go to in order to protect their darkest secrets. ~ Joanne Owen
In a nutshell: Cherub, signing off in a blaze of glory In the final book in his hugely popular series, Robert Muchamore reunites some favourite characters from previous books: James Adams, original Cherub lead, is back, and heading up a mission deep into ISIS territory in Syria - as ever the story is thoroughly contemporary. It’s not just the realistic backgrounds though, or the line-up of wish-we-were-them characters that make the books so successful, it’s the sheer pace and excitement packed into every chapter. Fans will be deservedly disappointed that this is the last in this series, but Muchamore signs the series off with exactly the sort of bang they’ve come to expect. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: gripping adventure that keeps readers tense and guessing As revealed in the first book in this spell-binding series, Wylie is one of a group of people known as Outliers, able to read people’s emotions and intentions. It’s a gift that’s already brought her into danger and in this new episode she’s even more exposed: there are creepy government agents tracking her, and she finds herself under lock and key more than once. And Wylie has other things on her mind too, like working out what really happened to her mother, apparently killed in a car crash. Wylie is a terrific central character, tough and determined, and her punchy first person narrative combined with the rising tension makes this unputdownable reading. ~ Andrea Reece
May 2017 Book of the Month | In a Nutshell: Devastating deceits and sanity-shattering set-ups | Tense, twisty thriller in which a girl’s disappearance spirals into a snare of manipulation and lies.. Fourteen-year-old Jude has gone missing from Port Glasgow. No one has heard from her until she texts Abbie, the novel’s narrator: “I want to come home,” it reads. Abbie says she has no idea why this was sent to her. They weren’t close. In fact, Abbie isn't close to anyone. She’s an observer who likes “watching things from a distance”, until she finds herself the focus of frenzied media coverage. But the nightmare really begins when Abbie suggests holding a candlelit vigil for Jude. It’s then that the story explodes into a terrifying tale of entrapment and harassment. The twists are truly unforeseeable, the mounting sense of paranoia is brilliantly evoked, and this authentically told tale will surely create a whole new generation of McPhail-ites. ~ Joanne Owen
Shortlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | A thought-fuelling thriller set in a gang-run neighbourhood near the border of Mexico and El Norte (America). The writing is poetically punchy. Exquisitely formed sentences are fired-off in smarting succession, and the juxtaposition of contemporary totems like Burger King buildings with the likes of folk saint shrines is smartly done. This is a richly layered novel in which important socio-political issues (gangs, poverty, corruption, migration, social divisions and dissonance) are made potently real through Arturo and Faustino’s predicaments. And alongside the enlightening Mexico-specific context, there’s much that is universal: friendship, loyalty, and searching for a sense of purpose. As paternal figure Siggy tells Arturo, “You just have to find out what it is you’re looking for.” Pacey and passionate, this truly exceptional book tells a tale that truly needs to be heard.