Paris Close’s May 2017 TBR: Fiona Barton, Paula Hawkins and More

“You know it’s thriller, thriller night.”

paris close may 2017 tbr list fiona barton the child

I’ve been wearing procrastination like a badge lately. (Thanks a lot, Hot Dudes Reading!)

What was intended to be a productive weekend—replete with concentration, and more importantly, drafting a fucking book review for once—turned out to be more like R&R for one. At Starbucks. Three days in a row. And yet, my relentless hope somehow prevails.

I think it’s okay to trail off into unknown genres but doing so has consequentially hindered my ability to read books as quickly as I’m used to. Nevertheless, I’m confident that won’t be the case this time around because all of the authors on my May 2017 TBR are faves of mine.

Paula Hawkins, Fiona Barton, and Ruth Ware have all had debuts which I’ve LOVED respectively.

Marlena, Julie Buntin

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Henry Holt and Co./ Nina Subiu

Synopsis: Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat is quickly drawn into Marlena’s orbit and as she catalogues a litany of firsts―first drink, first cigarette, first kiss, first pill―Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try again to move on, even as the memory of Marlena calls her back.

Thoughts: I befriended Julie Buntin on Twitter over our shared hatred disappointment in Michigan, but even before then, I thought Marlena sounded like a pretty crazy-ass book. (FYI, Crazy-ass: a pretty damn good book.) Not only has it been featured on BOTM’s March picks, Belletrist and NYLON have also nominated Buntin’s debut as their book club pick this month as well. Needless to say, I’ll be trying my damnedest to squeeze in some room for Cat and Marlena’s story this month.

The Child, Fiona Barton

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Bantam Press / Justyn Willsmore

Synopsis: As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…

Thoughts: Despite the single bone I had to with Kate Waters in Fiona Barton‘s debut The Widow last winter, I pled my allegiance to the author’s follow-up, The Child, which also happens to release next month, June 27. With thanks to our friends over at NetGalley and Berkley Books, I was able to receive a DRC copy earlier in the year. To say I am ecstatic that all my favorite thriller writers are returning this year would be an understatement, so I am very pleased to have a copy of Barton’s book on hand.

Into the Water, Paula Hawkins

paris close may 2017 tbr paperbackparis
Riverhead Books/ Anna Huix for The New York Times

Synopsis: A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

Thoughts: After the massive success with her debut novel, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins‘ thrilling reprisal with Into the Water has since been touted as the book to eclipse its forerunner. Those are pretty big shoes to fill if I should say so myself. I’m currently in between this one right now and anticipate finishing it over the weekend, so I should have a review prepared (by the grace of God that is.) While I cannot provide my initial thoughts as of yet, I can say that it starts off pretty slow. I can’t remember if this was the case with TGoT but I’m sticking with it.

*LIMITED TIME OFFER: Book of the Month Club is rewarding new members a free copy of Into the Water through May 21: Learn more.

Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware

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Gallery, Scout Press / Nick Tucker

Synopsis: In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

Thoughts: When I tell you I fucking loved that twist in In a Dark, Dark Wood! Up until reading her debut, I’ve heard a lot of hype about Ruth Ware‘s books but I didn’t have a lot of time to really read it. After a while, I lost interest, and unsurprisingly, the book was lost in the flush of hundreds of other books I’d hoarded in the last year.

Earlier this year, though, I did make time to read it in both audio and paperback but let me tell you something, not even I could have seen that twist coming. Ware is a crafty woman, I’ll tell you. And she’s also very sweet to us on Twitter, so I really cannot wait to dive into The Woman in Cabin 10 before her third thriller hits shelves in July. (Oh yeah, I just casually dropped that bomb on ya!)

Have you read any of the books on this list?!

Tell us which books you’re most looking forward to reading in the comments below!
Be sure to keep up with the Paperback Paris Team’s monthly TBRs!


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Written by Paris Close

Paris Close

Editor-in-chief at Paperback Paris. Saving myself for Andy Cohen. Give me Gillian Flynn, or give me death.