Why You Need to Read “The Untamed State” Right Now!

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Roxane Gay’s debut novel is unlike your typical crime fiction thriller. “The Untamed State” will take you through an eye-opening chain of events surrounding the admirably strong Mirielle Duval Jameson- the novel’s sole heroine that we can assure you, you will never forget.

“Roxane Gay is a rock-star talent who’s already left her mark on the literary world, and her dazzling debut novel is certain to cement her place. . . . [a] haunting tale.”

—Morgan Ribera, Bustle

1. Mirielle Duval Jameson: An iron-willed protagonist.

A well-portrayed main character is crucial to a novel’s success- and Roxane Gay has certainly delivered with her task in doing so. We journey with Mirielle through this life-changing period of her life that begins with the dramatic day of her abduction to when she achieves self redemption. “They held me captive for thirteen days”, she relates, “they wanted to break me. It was not personal. I was not broken. This is what I tell myself.”

Mirielle is the daughter of one of Haiti’s wealthiest men. Her haunting account of the pain, abuse and torture endured for thirteen days in a cage, only goes to show her continued instinct for survival and her unexpected defiance meted out to the barbaric men behind the abduction.

She is, beyond doubt, a woman of exceptional bravery and fortitude, sure to be among the many other unforgettable female character known to us in fiction.


The character development of Gay’s protagonist, Mireille, is particularly well-crafted and nuanced; her portrayal of a woman who fights her strongest fight to resist being defeated by her captors is compelling and agonizingly felt by the reader. . . . This novel . . . will reward the reader.”

—Jim Carmin, Minneapolis Star Tribune

2. For better or for worse- a romance mingled with adversity.

Readers would agree that Mirielle and Micheal Jameson are a match made in heaven. From their first encounter in graduate school to his faithful companionship during Mirielle’s recovery- this love stands the test of time.

“When I tried to push him away, he only held on to me more tightly. I have always appreciated how he never lets me go. I need that. My natural instinct is for flight and the safety of solitude.”

Micheal embodies everything needed as a husband- a loyal partner, a devoted companion and an unflinching need to face the worst of circumstances to bring his wife to safety.

3. Roxane Gay’s talented storytelling

The Guardian mentioned the novel’s author Roxane Gay as “a writer of prodigious [and] arresting talent” and we agree wholeheartedly. Gay weaves this unforgettable story with a mix of romance, heartache, misery and a bit of humour as well. The fairytale element of her storytelling starts from the very beginning as she describes the day of Mirielle’s abduction; “Once upon a time, in a far-off land, I was kidnapped by a gang of fearless yet terrified young men..”

“An Untamed State” is a fierce read and the author’s insights into the world of Haiti’s underworld as well as the various ties that bind families together is also more reason for applause.


“My mother has often told me there are some things you cannot tell a man who loves you, things he cannot handle knowing. She adheres to the philosophy that it is secrets rather than openness that strengthen a relationship between a man and a woman. She believes this even though she is an honest person. Honesty, she says, is not always about the truth.”

“Once upon a time, my life was a fairy tale and then I was stolen from everything I’ve ever loved. There was no happily ever after. After days of dying, I was dead.”


We hope you enjoy reading the book as much as we did! Feel free to leave your thoughts on the comments below.

 

June Picks: Best of Crime Fiction

 

Detectives, homicides and mysterious disappearances- such are the stories that attract countless readers into the genre of crime fiction and mystery.

Here is our roundup of the the most gripping, fast-paced crime/mystery/thrillers, that are sure to keep you at the edge of your seat!



  1. 1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

    A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at
    other people’s lives.
    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

    And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

    Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

Tip: Perfect fit for fans of “Gone Girl” and “Pretty is”

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2. After Anna by Alex Lake

The real nightmare starts when her daughter is returned…

“The worst injuries are always self-inflicted, even if you do them for the best of reasons.”

A bone-chilling psychological thriller that will suit fans of Gone Girl by 25801299Gillian Flynn, Daughter by Jane Shemilt, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

A girl is missing. Five years old, taken from outside her school. She has vanished, traceless. The police are at a loss; her parents are beyond grief. Their daughter is lost forever, perhaps dead, perhaps enslaved. But the biggest mystery is yet to come: one week after she was abducted, their daughter is returned. She has no memory of where she has been. And this, for her mother, is just the beginning of the nightmare.

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3. The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

27245646

Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.

And now they are all his mother has left.

Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity.
When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son…
But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?

Or is he something far, far worse?

‘The most polished crime writer on the murder beat . . . Exhausting, exhilarating and damn scary, another 24-carat creation from the Queen of Thrills’

-Daily Express

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4. The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

On 24 November Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby set off on a29979730 journey across Northern Alaska. They’re searching for Ruby’s father, missing in the artic wilderness.

More isolated with each frozen miles they cover, they travel deeper into an endless night. And Ruby, deaf since birth, must brave the darkness where sight cannot guide her.

She won’t abandon her father. But winter has tightened its grip, and there is somebody out there who wants to stop them.

Somebody tracking them through the dark.

Tip: We got a lot of praise from our customers on this one! Rosamund Lupton is also the author of Sister, a book crime fiction fans may be all too familar with.

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5. The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North

Gripping and provocative, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark tells a story of fame, love, and legacy through the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic artist.

23281949“It’s hard for me to talk about love. I think movies are the way I do that,” says Sophie Stark, a visionary and unapologetic filmmaker. She uses stories from the lives of those around her—her obsession, her girlfriend, and her husband—to create movies that bring her critical recognition and acclaim. But as her career explodes, Sophie’s unwavering dedication to her art leads to the shattering betrayal of the people she loves most.


Told in a chorus of voices belonging to those who knew her best, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an intimate portrait of an elusive woman whose monumental talent and relentless pursuit of truth reveal the cost of producing great art, both for the artist and for the people around her.

“It’s hard for me to talk about love,’ she said. ‘I think movies are the way I do that.”

Tip: If you loved reading “The Girl on the Train”, this is a book you cannot miss!

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6. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school 23346377one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

“The best thing about In A Dark, Dark Wood is the eerie atmosphere it creates for this ill-fated weekend, never overwrought, just ominous enough, the glass house where the guests are trapped ‘dark and silent, blending into the trees, almost invisible.’”

-USAToday.com
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7. Agatha Raisin books by M.C Beaton

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Agatha Raisin is a frustrated, yet endearing, PR agent who retires from London to Carsley village in the Cotswolds, English Midlands and solves murders. In the first book, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (1992), Agatha is 53, and ages slowly, setting up her own detective agency in Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance (2004). Police, even her friend Bill Wong, see more bumbling luck than skill.

She lives in the village of Carsely, but her detective agency Raisin Investigations and the police headquarters where Bill Wong is based are in the nearby town of Mircester. Even though Carsely and Mircester are fictional, they are based on true places; she does, however frequent Evesham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden and other nearby villages quite often. Agatha’s first case came when she first moved to Carsely and heard about a quiche competition. She promptly bought a spinach quiche in London from a famous quiche shop and entered it as her own. She was outraged she did not win but later the judge, Reg Cummings-Browne, took another slice and died from cowbane poisoning. Frustrated, Agatha set out to find the poisoner and clear her own name.


8. Tell No Tales by Eva Dolan

Detectives Zigic and Ferreira must investigate a hit-and-run that leaves two migrant workers dead and a series of horrific killings, seemingly with a Neo-Nazi motivation, captured on CCTVTell No Tales- Eva Dolan

The car that plows into the bus stop early one morning leaves a trail of
death and destruction behind it. DS Ferreira and DI Zigic are called in from the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit to handle the hit-and-run, but with another major case on their hands, one with disturbing Neo-Nazi overtones, they are relieved when there seems to be an obvious suspect. But the case isn’t that simple and with tensions erupting in the town leading to more violence, the media are soon hounding them for answers.

Ferreira believes that local politician Richard Shotton, head of a recently established right-wing party, must be involved somehow. Journalists have been quick to acclaim Shotton, with his Brazilian wife and RAF career, as a serious contender for a major political career, despite his extremist views, but is his party a cover for something far more dangerous?

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9. The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey

16187115He meets women. He gains their trust. He kills them.

That’s all Maeve Kerrigan knows about the man she is hunting. Two women were strangled in their homes, and with no sign of a break-in, there’s no clue as to who might be responsible. Until there’s a third murder, and the finger is pointed at DCI Josh Derwent, Maeve’s colleague.

It isn’t the first time Derwent has been a suspect in a murder case, and these deaths bear an unsettling similarity to the last one he was accused of. Maeve refuses to believe he could be involved, but the secrets of his past begin to unravel. How well does she really know him?

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10. Hide and Seek by Jane Casey

‘If I hadn’t walked into the room at that moment, maybe everything would have 26006121worked out differently. Maybe everything would have been all right after all . . .’

Port Sentinel may be a beautiful seaside tourist trap, but in the short time Jess Tennant has lived there, it has seen its fair share of tragedy. Tragedy that somehow Jess keeps getting caught up in.

A schoolgirl from the town goes missing, leaving her diary behind and a lot of unanswered questions. Has she run away from her unhappy home or is there something much more sinister going on? And can Jess find her before it’s too late?

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11. The Missing by Jane Casey

7619060Jenny Shepherd is twelve years old and missing…Her teacher, Sarah Finch, knows better than most that the chances of finding her alive are diminishing with every day she is gone. As a little girl her older brother had gone out to play one day and never returned. The strain of never knowing what has happened to Charlie had ripped Sarah’s family apart. Now in her early twenties, she is back living at home, trapped with a mother who drinks too much and keeps her brother’s bedroom as a shrine to his memory.

Then, horrifically, it is Sarah who finds Jenny’s body, beaten and abandoned in the woods near her home. As she’s drawn into the police investigation and the heart of a media storm, Sarah’s presence arouses suspicion too.

But it not just the police who are watching her…

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12. After the Fire by Jane Casey

Arson, accident or murder?

After a fire rips through a North London tower block, two bodies are found24909778 locked in an 11th floor flat. But is the third victim that ensures the presence of detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad. It appears that controversial MP Geoff Armstrong, trapped by the fire, chose to jump to his death rather than wait for rescue. But what was such a right wing politician doing in the deprived, culturally diverse Maudling Estate?

As Maeve and her senior colleague, Derwent, pick through the wreckage, they uncover the secret world of the 11th floor, where everyone seems to have something to hide…

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Disclaimer: The book descriptions are extracts taken from the publishers of the respective books.