Hey there, reading friends! I’ve just read a couple of the BEST new fall thrillers and wanted to share with you. Each is a great book on its own, but they have some things in common.
Both books are set in the UK, and both have some twists that you likely won’t see coming. And a big similarity is that neither follow a traditional timeline, albeit in very different ways!
Read on to learn more about both of these books!
The first book is the latest offering from Ruth Ware. I haven’t met a book of hers that I didn’t love, and this one is no exception! The It Girl is told in a dual timeline, following Hannah’s university days a decade ago, contrasted against present day events:
April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.
Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.
Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.
Because of the dual timeline, we see how the characters have each changed over a decade’s time, and it’s interesting, especially approaching the end of the book, to consider whether our impressions of the college-age characters were accurate.
This had all the twists and surprises that Ruth Ware has become known for… as the book progressed, I found myself thinking: Could it be this person? No, that’s impossible. But what about him? What about her? And I promise that whatever you predict at first… you’ll marvel at the ending!
Now, when I say timeline-shifting… this book does it in a way I’ve never experienced! It follows Jen, who one evening witnesses something horrific and life changing… and then proceeds to work *backward* further and further in time to see how we got to that point!
Can you stop a murder after it’s already happened?
Late October. After midnight. You’re waiting up for your eighteen-year-old son. He’s past curfew. As you watch from the window, he emerges, and you realize he isn’t alone: he’s walking toward a man, and he’s armed.
You can’t believe it when you see him do it: your funny, happy teenage son, he kills a stranger, right there on the street outside your house. You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your son is now in custody, his future shattered.
That night you fall asleep in despair. All is lost.
Until you wake . . .
. . . and it is yesterday.
And then you wake again . . .
. . . and it is the day before yesterday.
Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. With another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lies an answer. The trigger for this crime—and you don’t have a choice but to find it . . .
This is told mostly from Jen’s point of view, but has some chapters sprinkled in from others’ perspective as well. It was amazing to see how those eventually wove together to give the reader answers!
Wrong Place Wrong Time was my first book by this author, but I doubt it will be my last. The story was revealed in pieces, each realization building on the one before. It was well done and intriguing, both in the concept of moving backward in time as well as the execution of the story. In my opinion, you don’t want to know too much more than the basic description going in, as it’s simply fun to discover how it unfolds.
These were both delightful and perfect for your fall reading list, so I hope you give one or both a try! Have you read either of these yet? If so, drop your thoughts (spoiler-free please) in the comments below. As always, happy reading!
Thanks to Net Galley and Gallery Books for a complimentary digital review copy of The It Girl. All opinions are my own.
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