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Some Fabulous Reads for the Beach or Pool, Part 2

Cindy Burnett
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Hostage novel

Clare Mackintosh’s Hostage is an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a flight attendant faced with an impossible decision: saving her family or a plane of strangers.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about some good books for sitting poolside or at the beach. I had a great response to that piece, so this week I'm recommending more good reads to keep you company during the heat. These are fast-paced reads that will keep you entertained and flipping the pages. Here are four books that are perfect for beachside and poolside reading:

Death in the Family by Tessa Wegert – Tessa Wegert’s brilliant debut opens with an Agatha Christie-style premise – an isolated property, a missing man, a blood-soaked bed and room, and a defined group of people on the private island. The police are called out to the island just as a terrible storm is brewing, trapping the investigators in the house with a cast of unlikeable characters. As they attempt to determine what happened to the missing individual, people start dying. Terrifically atmospheric, Death in the Family is a solid and creative mystery with intriguing character development and a cliffhanger ending. This is the start of a promising new series that will have readers clamoring for the next installment.


In Five Years follows a woman who is haunted by a dream of her future, where she is living an entirely different life.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle – What would you do if you had a brief glimpse into the future and saw that you were living a completely different life than the one you were currently living? In Five Years tackles this topic when Dannie falls asleep and wakes up five years in the future with a different engagement ring, a new apartment, and another man in this new apartment. After spending an hour in the future, Dannie falls back asleep and returns to her regular, present-day life. She is shaken by this fateful hour in the future and struggles to return to her structured life, continually wondering if what she experienced was a dream, a vision or something else entirely. The premise for this book is highly original, and Serle’s execution of the concept is both clever and thought-provoking. 

Blush by Jamie Brenner – Perfect for a beach vacation, Blush will appeal to book lovers everywhere as the three Hollander women turn to books, specifically the “trashy” romance novels of the 1980s, to try and save their family vineyard and legacy. While very different, all three women, Vivien, Leah, and Sadie, bond over books written by Jackie Collins, Judith Krantz and others, and find inspiration and ideas for moving forward as long-buried family secrets are exposed and wounds form the past reappear. This highly entertaining book is a fun-filled and entertaining read.

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh – Hostage is a timely and fast-paced thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Flight attendant Mina is working the inaugural flight from London to Sydney, the first time a commercial plane will fly that distance (20 hours) without stopping. Once in the air, she receives a threatening note advising her to help hostages overtake the plane or her husband and child will be killed. Told in many alternating viewpoints, including Mina, her husband Adam, and numerous passengers, Hostage is clever, thought-provoking, and full of fabulous twists and turns. Advice on reading this one – do not go on Goodreads and read the reviews, because important parts of the story will be spoiled. It will be a much better read if you go in blind. 

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

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