Holiday reads and gift guide: thrilling reads

The holiday season is here and what better way to spend it catching up on some reading? Whether you are looking for a book to unwind with or a gift for the book lover in your life, we've curated a list of some of 2021's bestsellers, award-winners and must-read books.

From unthinkable global disasters to high-stakes thrillers and unsolvable murder-mysteries - keep turning the pages with the most thrilling and chilling books that will keep you gripped until the final page...


by Ken Follett

Book cover for Never

Visionary in scale and expertly researched, Never is a thriller that imagines an unthinkable global disaster. A stolen US army drone. A shrinking oasis in the Sahara Desert. A secret stash of deadly chemicals. Each is a threat to the delicate stability of global diplomatic relations, but when mishandled can create a catastrophic and international chain reaction that edges our world closer and closer to all-out war. An undercover spy in the Middle East, a Chinese spymaster and a weary US president must all work tirelessly and to their utmost limits to stop the worst from happening.
The only question is, in a game of brinksmanship can the inevitable ever be stopped?


by David Baldacci

Book cover for Mercy

Atlee Pine’s quest to find her missing sister reaches an explosive climax in this bestselling series from David Baldacci. FBI agent Atlee Pine is at the end of her long journey to discover what happened to her twin sister, Mercy, who was abducted when the girls were just six years old – an incident which destroyed her family and left Atlee physically and mentally scarred. She knew her sister and parents were out there somewhere. And she had to find them. Dead or alive.

Blood Trail

by Tony Park

Book cover for Blood Trail

Evil is at play in a South African game reserve.
A poacher vanishes into thin air, defying logic and baffling ace tracker Mia Greenaway.
Meanwhile Captain Sannie van Rensburg, still reeling from a personal tragedy, is investigating the disappearance of two young girls who locals fear have been abducted for use in sinister traditional medicine practices. But poachers are also employing witchcraft, paying healers for potions they believe will make them invisible and bulletproof. When a tourist goes missing, Mia and Sannie must work together to confront their own demons and challenge everything they believe, and to follow a bloody trail that seems to vanish at every turn.

The Heron's Cry

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Heron's Cry

The Heron's Cry is the eagerly-awaited sequel to The Long Call and the second book in the Two Rivers series. North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline, when Detective Matthew Venn is called to an elaborately staged murder – Dr Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed. His daughter Eve is a glassblower, and the murder weapon is a shard of one of her broken vases. Dr Yeo seems an unlikely murder victim. He’s a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter. Matthew is unnerved, though, to find that she is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband. Then another body is found – killed in a similar way. Matthew finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community and a case that is dangerously close to home...

State of Terror

by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny

Book cover for State of Terror

From the #1 bestselling authors Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny comes a novel of unsurpassed thrills and incomparable insider expertise - State of Terror.
State of Terror follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage. A series of terrorist attacks throws the global order into disarray, and the secretary is tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most. This high-stakes thriller of international intrigue features behind-the-scenes global drama informed by details only an insider could know.

A Gambling Man

by David Baldacci

Book cover for A Gambling Man

Evoking the golden age of crime writing with its 1940s California-setting, A Gambling Man is a must-read for fans of his previous books and lovers of historical crime thrillers. It's 1949 and Aloysius Archer is on his way to start a new job as a private investigator when he meets aspiring actress, Liberty Callaghan in a casino, and together they head west. Arriving in Bay Town, Archer discovers that the appointment of a top official is in jeopardy, and when two seemingly unrelated people are murdered at a burlesque club Archer must try to find out the truth from a tight-lipped community...