Seven ‘Domestic Noir’ picks

HausfrauDid you like ‘Gone Girl’ ? It’s now the 25th bestselling adult fiction title of all time. So how about some new thrillers dealing with  toxic marriages, the darker side of love and domestic abuse and its fall-out. #LeedsReadsRecommends:

 The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer. Carmel Wakeford becomes separated from her mother at a local children’s festival, and is found by a man who claims to be her estranged grandfather. He tells her that her mother has had an accident and that she is to live with him for now. As days become weeks with her new family, 8-year-old Carmel realises that this man believes she has a special gift…While her mother desperately tries to find her, Carmel embarks on an extraordinary journey, one that will make her question who she is – and who she might become.

The girl on the train HausFrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum – Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno – a banker – and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift & increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises even her.


I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. At the scene of a tragic accident, life changes immediately for everyone involved. Finding it impossible to stay in Bristol, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, desperate to escape the past, but haunted by the accident, the loss of her son, and her own fears. DI Ray Stevens is determined to solve the case. The investigation takes him away from his family and he finds himself growing closer to Kate Evans, a young detective on his team. Jenna’s past is about to catch up with her, with devastating consequences

 The Crooked House by Christobel Kent. Alison is as close to anonymous as she can get: with no ties, no home, a backroom job, hers is a life lived under the radar. She’s a nobody; she has no-one and that’s how she wants it. But once Alison was someone else: once she was Esme Grace, a teenager whose bedroom sat at the top of a remote and dilapidated house on the edge of a bleak estuary. A girl whose family, if not happy, exactly, was no unhappier than anyone else’s – or so she thought.

 The Book of You by Claire Kendal. Clarissa is becoming more & more frightened of her colleague, Rafe. He won’t leave her The book of youalone and refuses to take no for an answer. Being selected for jury service is a relief. The courtroom is a safe haven, a place where Rafe can’t be. As a violent tale of kidnap & abuse unfolds, Clarissa begins to see parallels between her own situation and that of the young woman on the witness stand. Realizing that she bears the burden of proof, Clarissa unravels the twisted, macabre fairytale that Rafe has spun around them – and discovers that the ending he envisions is more terrifying than she could have imagined. How do you protect yourself from an enemy no one else can see?

 The woman upstairs: a novel by Claire Messud. Nora Eldridge is a good girl: a good daughter, colleague, friend, employee – reliable, patient and kind. Then Reza Shahid appears in her elementary-school classroom, and everything change. As Nora is drawn into the orbit of Reza’s glamorous, artistic family, her life seems transformed, and a wealth of possibility opens up before her. But this liberation is not quite what it seems, and she is about to suffer a betrayal more monstrous than any she could have imagined