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Book Bites: 15 July

The Sunday Times

The CraftsmanThe Craftsman
*****
Sharon Bolton, Orion, R275

Thirty years ago, Florence Lovelady made her name when she solved the mystery behind a series of teen coffin murders. But now their killer Larry Glassbrook is as dead as the children he buried alive. So when a teen goes missing, with the same tell-tale signs as Glassbrook’s work, Lovelady is forced to reopen the case. Is it a copycat? Or did she apprehend the wrong man 30 years ago? This chilling novel pulls readers in and does not let go as the story twists and turns. There are modern-day witches, devious cricket players and a wise grave digger, all with a fascinating role to play. Captivating. Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

Shame on YouShame on You
****
Amy Heydenrych, Bonnier, R270

This darkly humorous debut by South African writer Amy Heydenrych looks at the way social media can be manipulated and how it can turn around and bite you. Holly is a star blogger. Thin, sexy, fit and beautiful. Every woman wants to be just like her. So what is her claim to fame? She “cured” her breast cancer through healthy eating and her legion of followers are lapping it up and doing as she does. She’s published recipe books, has sponsorships and a business empire. But when she is attacked in the street by a stranger who slashes her face with a scalpel, her world starts to crumble. Is she living a lie? This soapie thriller gets more intriguing with every revelation the characters have about their online and offline lives. Gabriella Bekes @gabrikwa

Three Little LiesThree Little Lies
**
Laura Marshall, Sphere, R295

The title is in the spirit of the trendy thriller popularised by Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, which was made into the spectacular TV series with Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. It’s interesting enough at first: Ellen searches for her friend Sasha, who has gone missing. They’ve been BFFs since they were teenagers when the golden Sasha and her bohemian family, the Monktons, moved into Ellen’s suburban London neighbourhood. It opens with a rape trial – that of Daniel Monkton. It’s a she said, she said, she said and even though Marshall’s characters say the right thing about believing the victim, the story does not have the depth to explore such a weighty theme. Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

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