Belfast Telegraph

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Something thrilling in your Christmas stocking

There's nothing more hard-boiled crime and thriller fans would like in their Christmas stockings than a stack of the latest bestsellers from their favourite authors.

THE AFFAIR

Lee Child

(Bantam Press)

Jack Reacher is sent to Mississippi to hunt down a serial sex killer.

THE IMPOSSIBLE DEAD

Ian Rankin

(Orion)

The second of Rankin's new series about Inspector Malcolm Fox and his Internal Affairs squad is a story inspired by the real-life unsolved death in 1985 of Willie McRae, a prominent Scottish solicitor with terror links.

STOLEN SOULS

Stuart Neville

(Harvill Secker)

A thriller about the exploitation of sex workers in Belfast by eastern European gangsters.

THE FEAR INDEX

Robert Harris

(Hutchinson)

Part techno-thriller, part psychological drama, The Fear Index is a gripping tale from one of Britain's hottest authors about a computer genius whose radical software threatens the stability of the international financial system.

THE RETRIBUTION

Val McDermid

(Little, Brown)

Tension-filled from start to finish, unorthodox police profiler Dr Tony Hill and his close friend DCI Carol Jordanare threatened with maximum pain and suffering by an escaped serial killer they had convicted 12 years previously.

TAKEN

Niamh O'Connor

(Transworld Ireland)

The Sunday World's crime correspondent delivers a cracking thriller featuring Garda DI Jo Birmingham, a single mother peeling away layers of the underbelly of post Celtic Tiger Ireland in search of a kidnapped child.

FOR TEENAGE THRILL SEEKERS . . .

John Grisham's two Theodore Boone books, Kid Lawyer and The Abduction, featuring a super-smart 13-year-old who appears to know more about the law than any grown-up lawyer, are excellent entertainment.

So too is Harlan Coben's Shelter. Troubled teenager Mickey Bolivar is sent to live with his uncle, sports agent turned private detective Myron Bolitar. When Mickey's girlfriend Ashley goes missing, the teen is plunged into a seedy underworld.

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