Revealing what's inside this month's book subscription box

Discover our latest book of the month picks as we reveal what's inside our July Book Box.

This month we're reviewing The Rachel Incident by Caroline O'Donoghue, The Undetectables by Courtney Smyth and Patricia Highsmith's iconic psychological thriller, The Talented Mr Ripley.

Local Voices: The Rachel Incident by Caroline O'Donoghue

What's the craic?

Everyone in Cork remembers the Rachel Incident. But what really happened?

It's simple. It's complicated. It's about love, sex and friendship. It's definitely about betrayal. And, above all, it's the story of Rachel and James, two twenty-somethings who met at a bookshop, became best friends, and spent one unforgettable year screwing up and growing up.

Why we love it

Set in Cork during the recession in Ireland, this coming-of-age story perfectly captures all the awkwardness of life in your early twenties - that desperate desire to be cool, interesting and worldly, yet really just feeling uncertain, needy and insecure.

The story revolves around student Rachel, as she juggles friendship, family, work and college, as well as an inappropriate crush on a much older professor. 

Caroline O'Donoghue brilliantly captures Rachel's journey into adulthood, skilfully jumping from past to present to show us both the young, naive Rachel and the older, more cautious woman she grows into as a result of her experiences.

With just the right amount of nostalgia and sharp, witty prose, it's a book that once you start, you'll not want to put down. Perfect summer reading!

Order July's Local Voices Book Box Here

 

Science Fiction & Fantasy: The Undetectables by Courtney Smyth

What's the craic?

Be gay. Solve crimes. Take naps.

A magical serial killer is stalking the Occult town of Wrackton. Hypnotic whistling causes victims to chew their own tongues off, leading to the killer being dubbed the Whistler (original, right?). But outside the lack of taste buds and the strange magical carvings on the victims' torsos, the murderer leaves no evidence.

No obvious clues. No reason - or so it seems. Enter the Undetectables, a detective agency run by three witches and a ghost in a cat costume (don't ask).

They are hired to investigate the murders, but with their only case so far left unsolved, will they be up to the task? Mallory, the forensic science expert, is struggling with pain and fatigue from her recently diagnosed fibromyalgia. Cornelia, the team member most likely to go rogue and punch a police officer, is suddenly stirring all sorts of feelings in Mallory. Diana, the social butterfly of the group, is hitting up all of her ex-girlfriends for information.

And not forgetting ghostly Theodore - deceased, dramatic, and also the agency's first dead body and unsolved murder case. With bodies stacking up and the case leading them to mysteries at the very heart of magical society, can the Undetectables find the Whistler before they become the killer's next victims?

Why we love it...

Great characters, a fast-paced plot and witty, inclusive story-telling - what's not to love?!

I have a particular fondness for fantasy novels that involve the magical and mundane existing side-by-side (think Rivers of London) and the enticing world created here by Irish writer Courtney Smyth ticks every box.

The writing is tight and focussed throughout, with a matter-of-fact approach to world-building that keeps the story moving along swiftly. We instantly know this to be a society with a rich, complex history and culture without any excessive exposition to detract from the engrossing plot-line. 

A twisty, gripping story with authentic, interesting characters - perfect for anyone looking for a fun, fast summer read.

Order July's Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Box Here

 

Bucket List Books: The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith 

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith - our classic fiction book of the month pick for this month
 

What's the craic?

Tom Ripley wants money, success, and the good life - and he's willing to kill for it.

Struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors, and the law, Ripley leaps at the chance to start afresh on a free trip to Europe. But when his new-found happiness is threatened, his response is as swift as it is shocking.

Why we love it...

“His stories were good because he imagined them intensely, so intensely that he came to believe them.”

First published in 1955, this gripping psychological thriller was listed as one of the BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World and has inspired both an Academy Award-winning film, as well as a new Netflix series starring Andrew Scott.

The story is centred around small-time con-man Tom Ripley, who by chance and good fortune is offered a free trip to Europe at time when he desperately needs to escape his New York life. Ripley is soon drawn into the relaxed, carefree holiday lifestyle of the charismatic and wealthy Dickie Greenleaf, a lifestyle that he desperately wants for himself.

With a talent for mimicry and self-reinvention, Ripley is a clear psychopath and yet you can't help but root for him, just a little bit. All of Ripley's insecurities, fears and self-loathing are laid bare, thanks to Patricia Highsmith's incredible skill at bringing us right into Ripley's head and taking us on this journey across Europe with him.

An ideal summer read for anyone who's ever wanted to disappear off on an idyllic European adventure, though preferably without the mayhem and murder!

Order July's Bucket List Book Box Here

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