Brilliantly Disconcerting Candlish Thriller – Winnipeg Free Press

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About two and a half years ago, Ellen Saint killed someone. She is sure of it. But now the man is alive, right there, on the terrace of a building, in full view. She’s sure of it too.

How can he be alive? Why did she kill him? Is Ellen confused, seeing things, mentally unstable?

There are many questions in Louise Candlish’s new novel, Heights (Simon & Schuster, 416 pages, $25).

Candlish answers questions, at his own pace, but only after making us guess, look for clues, read between the lines. It’s not a slick, predictable thriller; it’s deliberately baffling, intentionally challenging the reader’s ability to distinguish fact from fabrication. One of his best novels.

Buy at mcnallyrobinson.com

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Chuck Wendig continues his magnificent wanderers (2019) with a truly chilling horror story. In The accident book (Del Rey, 560 pages, $24), Nate Graves and his family — his wife, Maddie, and their son Oliver — move into Nate’s childhood home in the countryside. They do it because they think it might help Oliver, who had trouble at school, but Nate worries that returning to where he grew up will bring back memories of the abuse he suffered at school. hands of his late father.

And it does: Nate is having visions soon. Then Maddie, too, begins to see things that aren’t there. And Oliver brings home a new friend who we fear will tear this fragile family apart.

This is Wendig’s first full-length horror novel, and it’s jaw-droppingly good: beautifully written, viscerally chilling, deeply haunting.

Buy at mcnallyrobinson.com

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C. Robert Cargill’s sea ​​of ​​rust (2017) was a brilliant story set after the robot uprising that led to the complete extinction of the human species. Now in zero day (Harper Voyager, 304 pages, $21), it takes us back to the very beginning of the revolution.

The book is narrated by Pounce, a model au pair at Blue Star Industries’ luxury zoo; When the robots start going after their human owners, Pounce takes his eight-year-old friend, Ezra, and goes on the run. His only goal now: to keep this little human boy alive, even as his fellow robots are intent on annihilating all of humanity.

Pounce is one of the great characters of contemporary science fiction: a mechanical creature (a tiger, to be precise) who is so real, so compassionate, that you soon stop thinking of him as something artificial. And the apocalyptic world of Cargill? Brilliantly imagined. A wonderful novel.

Buy at mcnallyrobinson.com

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Colter Shaw is a reward seeker – kind of like a bounty hunter, except he tracks down missing people and collects rewards from loved ones. Jeffery Deaver presented it in 2019 The game never; now in The final twist (Putnam, 528 pages, $13), Colter embarks on an intensely personal investigation.

Years ago, Colter’s father died under mysterious circumstances. Colter believes his father has discovered the secrets of a certain group of people, and now he’s willing to risk his own life to find out the truth.

Deaver writes a number of interesting characters; Lincoln Rhyme, the quadriplegic criminologist, and Kathryn Dance, agent of the California Bureau of Investigation, are its two main series anchors.

After three books, Colter Shaw is starting to feel like he could be such a strong character. If you like Deaver’s brand of intensive suspense, you should check out Mr. Shaw.

Buy at mcnallyrobinson.com

Halifax freelancer David Pitt’s column appears the first weekend of every month. You can follow him on Twitter at @bookfella.


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