I’ve spent a lot of time curled up with 1930s detective novels, a safe and cosy world in which the worst thing that can happen is that you get stabbed with a jewelled antique dagger because someone is after your inheritance. I get it: this has been a weird time for literally everyone in the world. Sometimes though you need something better than a comfort read, which for me is where these books come in: a bracing breath of fresh air, a jolt to the nerves and to the thinking brain, a reminder that you need more than consolation in your life.
These books are all scary in their own way, but what they also have in common is absolutely blistering pacing, combined with a creeping tension that cranks higher and higher as you turn the pages. They’re all brilliantly entertaining, ultimately humane, and stuck with me for weeks after reading.