ENGLEWOOD — The good old summer time. There’s a song about that, which starts, “There’s a time each year that we always hold dear. Good old summer time with the birds in the trees and sweet scented breezes — Good Old Summer Time.” It’s also vacation time where we can lose ourselves in a good book with no pressing deadlines to distract us. The problem is what to pack and what books to choose. Well, I’m here to help you with some outstanding books that will thrill you.
• “Almost Midnight” by Paul Doiron
This is his newest mystery thriller. Game Warden Mike Bowditch learns of a deadly attack on one of Maine’s last wild wolves. While investigating the possible crime, he uncovers an even bigger criminal conspiracy. Mike will bend every law and break every rule to keep his loved ones safe and the true predators at bay. As the book says, “In the wild, the deadliest predator is the one you can’t see.”
• “In the Blink of an Eye” by Jesse Blackadder
How does a family return from the depths of unspeakable tragedy and loss? You find out as the Brennans, who have moved everything they had from one coast of Australia to another when disaster strikes — the youngest son, Troy, drowns in their pool. The entire family attempts to work through the devastation on their own, facing a sudden and frightening future. Author Laurie Frankel wrote, “At once heartbreaking but heartening, tragic but life affirming, its characters complex but familiar, its ending miraculous but well earned.”
• “The Hunting Party” by Lucy Foley
During the languid days of a holiday break, a group of 30-something friends from Oxford meet in a tradition they began as students 10 years ago. For this vacation, they chose an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands. Two days after they arrived, one of them is dead. One of these friends is a murderer, and one won’t make it out alive. Do you think you would like to join the party now?
• “The Long Call” by Ann Cleeves
I must say, I thought with her bestselling series on PBS, Shetland and Vera, I didn’t know how she could possibly crank out another series, but she did it. In North, Devon Detective Matthew Wenn was standing outside the church where his estranged father’s funeral takes place. But a call to investigate a murdered body found on the beach nearby brings Matthew back to the people and places of his past. The Globe and Mail said it all, “Readers who haven’t already discovered Britain’s brilliant Ann Cleeves are in for a treat.”
• “A Noise Downstairs” by Linwood Barclay
There are so many twists and turns in this psychological thriller in which a man is troubled by a sound for which there is no rational explanation — and it’s not what you think! USA Today lays it on the line. “Twist driven thrillers packed with emotion are the hallmark of Barclay’s career.”
According to Vogue these days, there’s some contention over what exactly constitutes “beach reads.” The genre may not be strictly defined, but the editors agree on one thing — a beach read is any book you look forward to reading when you finally have free time. These books I’ve shown you here are “Quality Trade,” not hard cover, and can be stuffed in a suitcase, carry-on bag, or your beach bag. If you Google “Best Vacation Books” you can find websites where you can browse many other books to fit your taste for reading. By-the-way, “The Good Old Summer Time” song was published in 1902 and is still with us today. Happy summer time reading, everyone!