Buying a new book at the airport on your way to a beach holiday? Maybe not this year. The library is your next best port of call if you can’t make it to the beach. Organise a trip to the park for a lazy afternoon on a picnic blanket.
Whether you’re looking for something slightly spooky or downright horrifying, this diverse batch of beach reads has it all: YA psychological thrillers, unsettling supernatural mysteries, and page-turning whodunits.
You only have to look at mainstream TV listings or Netflix’s new-in section to see that the nation’s obsession with true crime and crime drama isn’t going anywhere. So, in all, the fascination for crime thrillers stems from the thrill of the vicarious entertainment and the intellectual rush of participating in a mystery that you almost feel you have helped unravel, apart from a deeper understanding of what makes the human mind function, soar, click or break.Mad by Chloé Esposito. Alvie Knightly is a trainwreck: aimless, haphazard, and pretty much constantly drunk. Alvie's existence is made even more futile in contrast to that of her identical and perfect twin sister, Beth. Alvie lives on social media, eats kebabs for breakfast, and gets stopped at security when the sex toy in her carry-on starts buzzing. Beth is married to a hot, rich Italian, dotes on her beautiful baby boy, and has always been their mother's favorite. The twins' days of having anything in common besides their looks are long gone.When Beth sends Alvie a first-class plane ticket to visit her in Italy, Alvie is reluctant to go. But when she gets fired from the job she hates and her flatmates kick her out on the streets, a luxury villa in glitzy Taormina suddenly sounds more appealing. Beth asks Alvie to swap places with her for just a few hours so she can go out unnoticed by her husband. Alvie jumps at the chance to take over her sister's life--if only temporarily. But when the night ends with Beth dead at the bottom of the pool, Alvie realizes that this is her chance to change her life.Alvie quickly discovers that living Beth's life is harder than she thought. What was her sister hiding from her husband? And why did Beth invite her to Italy at all? As Alvie digs deeper, she uncovers Mafia connections, secret lovers, attractive hitmen, and one extremely corrupt priest, all of whom are starting to catch on to her charade. Now Alvie has to rely on all the skills that made her unemployable--a turned-to-11 sex drive, a love of guns, lying to her mother--if she wants to keep her million-dollar prize. She is uncensored, unhinged, and unforgettable.Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King. Russell herself is feeling less than balanced, and the last thing she wants is to deal with the mad. However, she agrees to look into it, when her friend escapes. The pursuit leads her across Europe to Venice and finally to the Poveglia Island, a lunatic asylum build on the bones of centuries of plague victims. Russell takes a deep breath, and follows, only to find that the lunatics may be in charge of the asylum, and nothing is quite as it seems.Murder Gone Mad by Philip MacDonald. The first Golden Age detective novel to feature a serial killer with no rational motive - and surely impossible for Scotland Yard to solve? A long knife with a brilliant but perverted brain directing it is terrorising Holmdale – innocent people are being done to death under the very eyes of the law. After every murder a business-like letter arrives announcing that another ‘removal has been carried out’, and Inspector Pyke of Scotland Yard has nothing to go on but the evidence of the bodies themselves and the butcher’s own bravado. With clear thinking impossible in the face of such a breathless killing spree, the police make painfully slow progress: but how do you find a maniac who has no rational motive? Philip MacDonald had shown himself in The Noose and The Rasp to be a master of the detective novel. In Murder Gone Mad he raised the stakes with the first Golden Age crime novel to feature a motiveless serial killer prompted only by blood lust – inspired by the real-life case in 1929 of the Düsseldorf Monster – and this time without the familiar Anthony Gethryn on hand to reassure the reader.Galway Girl by Ken Bruen. The latest Jack Taylor novel from the Godfather of Irish noir. Jack Taylor has never quite been able get his life together, but now he has truly hit rock bottom. Still reeling from a violent family tragedy, Taylor is busy drowning his grief in Jameson and uppers, as usual, when a high-profile officer in the local Garda is murdered. After another Guard is found dead, and then another, Taylor's old colleagues from the force implore him to take on the case. The plot is one big game, and all of the pieces seem to be moving at the behest of one dangerously mysterious team: a trio of young killers with very different styles, but who are united in their common desire to take down Jack Taylor. Their ring leader is Jericho, a psychotic girl from Galway who is grieving the loss of her lover, and who will force Jack to confront some personal trauma from his past.My Girl by Jack Jordan. Paige Dawson: the mother of a murdered child and wife to a dead man. She has nothing left to live for ... until she finds her husband's handgun hidden in their house. Why did Ryan need a gun? What did he know about their daughter's death. Desperate for the truth, Paige begins to unearth her husband's secrets. But she has no idea who she is up against, or that her life isn't hers to gamble – she belongs to me.Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. Watch our how to video on Borrowbox. Members of other library authorities will need to log in using a different link.
“ Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me”
So begins this dark, suspenseful novel. From the beginning we are drawn through the iron gates of Manderley and down the drive towards this great house. We accompany the young heroine who is never given a name other than the second Mrs De Winter. Through her eyes we see the world of the first Mrs De Winter, the beautiful and accomplished Rebecca.
Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.The Collector is a 1963 thriller novel by English author John Fowles, in his literary debut. Its plot follows a lonely, psychotic young man who kidnaps a female art student in London and holds her captive in the cellar of his rural farmhouse. Divided in two sections, the novel contains both the perspective of the captor, Frederick, as well as that of Miranda, the captive.A dozen different schools of thought in literary criticism are chloroformed and bundled into the back of a van. The van is driven to a remote cottage and the literary theories are put into a room in the cellar. They are told to argue the meaning of The Collector by John Fowles with the last man standing given their freedom whilst the other theories must stay captive.After a week the cellar door is opened, a fog of cigar smoke immediately cascades through the door; Freudian literary theory stands alone triumphant.‘Alles klar. The author’s hatred of his Mutti and Papa is well documented. Herr Fowles saw his parents as philistines, he voz disgusted by their lack of taste and horrified by zer suburban crassness.'‘The hatred for die Eltern manifests itself in the dull, dangerous and uncultured Frederick Clegg who is obsessed with possessing the beautiful, caring and cultivated Miranda. However, when he achieves this ambition he realises that he does not understand the subject of his obsession which leads to Fredrick’s anger, confusion and unhappiness.'Freudian literary theory leaves the cellar, walks up the stairs but when trying to open the front door finds that it is locked. He is told that whilst the other literary theories have been set free he must stay prisoner. He returns to the cellar room where eleven different literary theories are being held against their will. They are told to argue the meaning of The Collector by John Fowles with the last man standing given their freedom whilst the other theories must stay captive.Again, Freudian literary theory triumphs but as he tries to open the front door it is again locked. The other theories are set free whilst the Freudian literary theory returns to the cellar where another group of different literary theories are being kept. Freudian literary theory deduces that he must fail in his argument to be set free. Yet a week later he finds himself triumphant in his arguments and finds himself unable to open the front door. The other theories are set free whilst he returns to the cellar: ad infinitum, ad absurdum.The Collector by John Fowles is available to download on Borrowbox. Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. Watch our how to video on Borrowbox. Members of other library authorities will need to log in using a different link.Submitted by Tom in Drumcondra Library.
During the lockdown, I came upon books in all sorts of ways. Once I had exhausted my supply of library books, I started swapping books with my neighbour, who was in turn, supplying half the street with books! Our very own neighbourhood library. And this was how I chanced upon Irish writer, Andrew Hughes’s, second novel – “The Coroner’s Daughter”. The book is set in Dublin in 1816, known as the year without a summer. A dust cloud (a result of a volcanic eruption in the East) has covered Western Europe leading to freezing temperatures, a permanent fog, and visible spots on the sun. Religious fervour is on the rise, and there are those who say the end of the world is nigh.Against this rather eery setting, a nursemaid is arrested for the murder of her newborn child, only to be found dead days later. This is followed by the discovery of a second body in Blessington Basin. Natural causes or a murderer on the loose? Someone is hiding something, and our heroine, Abigail Lawless is determined to find out who.Abigail is a great character. Only daughter of the city coroner, she is curious, clever, and a scientist at heart. Not character traits that were much admired in a woman in the 19th century. But this is a dangerous game she is playing, and there are those who wish to silence her for good.This book is a real page-turner, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical crime fiction. I particularly loved the descriptions of Dublin in the 19th century, and it was fascinating to read about areas of the city which are now utterly changed. Indeed, Phibsboro Library is just minutes away from much of the action of this novel!The Coroner’s Daughter is available to download on Borrowbox, or you can order it from your local library. Submitted by Lara in Phibsboro Library.Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. Watch our how to video on Borrowbox. Members of other library authorities will need to log in using a different link.
For the love of libraries: The Library Book by Susan Orlean
On the morning of 29 April 1986 a fire broke out in Los Angeles Public Library. It became the biggest library fire in American history: it raged for more than seven hours, destroying more than 400,000 books and badly damaging the building. The people of Los Angeles were distraught because they loved their library.When Susan Orlean, a writer and journalist with ‘The New Yorker,’ moved to Los Angeles in 2011, this crime was still unresolved: how did the fire start? Was it set deliberately and if so, why would someone want to burn down a library?Orlean was fascinated and launched her own investigation into the fire. She reviews the police files, studies the physics of fire and the investigation of arson while at the same time referencing the history of library fires. She re-examines the case of the potential suspect and talks about her own love of libraries, merging true crime with history, biography and investigative journalism.What she discovers is truly fascinating but ‘The Library Book’ is much more than just a crime story: it is a declaration of love for libraries.In trying to understand the fire and its impact on Los Angeles, Orlean delves into the world of libraries. She writes about all the things libraries do, the people who use them and the library staff who work there, introducing the reader to this ‘intricate machine, a contraption of whirring gears’ and the role it plays in the lives of people and communities.To me, this book feels like a warm hug for library lovers everywhere. I absolutely loved it. So if you are like me and love libraries and want to find more about them, this is the book for you.Submitted by Charlotte from Kevin Street LibraryAccess eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. Watch our how to video on Borrowbox. Members of other library authorities will need to log in using a different link.