LEAVING TIME BY JODI PICOULT
The story follows a girl named Jenna who is searching for answers to the mysterious disappearance of her mother, Alice, from the tranquil elephant sanctuary that she and her husband (Jenna’s father) managed more than a decade ago. Jenna forms an unlikely alliance with Virgil Stanhope, the detective who worked on the investigation at the time, and Serenity Jones, a medium for missing people.
When I reached the end of the book my mind was left reeling. The effort and research that must have been poured into creating this masterpiece is something I truly appreciated. Jodi Picoult’s detailed descriptions of elephant behaviour ignited a fascination that I never before realised I had. It’s now on my bucket list to go to the Kruger National Park and see these beautiful, sensitive giants that I’ve only had the pleasure of watching on National Geographic.
THE HUSBAND’S SECRET BY LIANE MORIARTY
The blurb asks you to take a moment and imagine that you find a letter addressed to you by your husband beyond the grave. It then asks for you to imagine discovering that letter while he is still very much alive… Now I can be rather nosey if I feel I have a reason to be, so this book had me instantly intrigued.
We follow the lives of three women during a time when they are facing their own life challenges. Their paths eventually intersect when the husband’s long guarded secret leaves a lasting impact on them all.
BIG LITTLE LIES BY LIANE MORIARTY
Liane Moriarty once gain takes us on a journey following the lives of three women, each at a crossroads. And while we attempt to sort through the heap of scattered puzzle pieces that make up their lives, there is a murder investigation close to being solved. The author keeps you hooked right up until the very end – because you see, we are not only left wondering who the murderer could be; we are also trying to figure out who was murdered.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO BY STIEG LARSSON
This book follows Mikael Blomkvist, a once respected journalist who lost everything he’s worked incredibly hard to achieve. Just when he thinks there is no coming back, he is offered a peculiar opportunity to clear his name and once again bask in the glory of ground breaking journalism. He accepts the offer extended by the old-school titan, and agrees to the terms attached to the deal – to stay a year on the family island, and secretly investigate a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly 40 years. He appoints Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant investigator who does not care for the rules, as an assistant to help him with his research; and Mikael soon discovers that there is much, much more to the girl with the dragon tattoo.
The entire Millennium series is fantastic. The story line is gripping, and never gives too much away which is exactly what I want from a mystery novel. The books are quite long, but since it is so absorbing, you will have no problem completing the series in a few days.
DARK PLACES BY GILLIAN FLYNN
There are few people who are unfamiliar with Gillian Flynn’s dark and disturbing plots, especially since her books were turned into movies. Dark Places is as twisted as we’ve come to expect from this author, and follows Libby Day – a woman who survived the brutal murder of her mother and two sisters at the age of seven, and testified that her 15 year old brother was the killer. Twenty-five years later after her funds have been depleted; she is desperate to milk the last of her suffering and joins a secret society that is willing to pay her to reconnect with the people from her past to uncover the truth about what happened that horrifying night.
Like I said, this book is dark, twisted and truly gruesome. But it is also highly intoxicating and filled with mystery until the final page, which is why it is featured on this list.
NIGHT FILM BY MARISHA PESSL
Scott McGrath, a once renowned investigative journalist, is obsessed with the mysterious film director, Stanislas Cordova. So when Cordova’s daughter, Ashley, is reported to have committed suicide; McGrath jumps at the opportunity to uncover the truth behind the reclusive filmmaker who was the sole reason for all that he (McGrath) has lost years ago.
The book is written in the form of a detective case, with newspaper articles, interviews and internet research included all through the story; adding to the mystery and giving a chilling reading experience. More so, these elements successfully draw the reader into the investigation, as if taking part in clearing the distorted air which surrounds Cordova.
ANGELS & DEMONS BY DAN BROWN
In this brilliantly crafted mystery novel by Dan Brown, we follow Robert Langdon, a world-renowned symbologist from Harvard University, who is summoned to a Swiss research facility, CERN, in order to analyze a symbol that was seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. Upon arrival, Langdon becomes more enthralled with the events surrounding the murder and discovers a trail leading to the ancient secret brotherhood who calls themselves “The Illuminati”.
On Langdon’s quest to uncover the mystery, he uncovers a shocking truth – the fate of the Vatican Church now lie in his hands. In a bid to save the city, we search sealed crypts and abandoned cathedrals that follow a 400 year old path of ancient symbols hidden across Rome, all leading to the Illuminati Lair.