However, if an eight-book series sounds like too much of an investment might I recommend their latest standalone novel House of Correction. I’d be very surprised if it’s not adapted into a Sunday night TV series soon; if you enjoyed Broadchurch, this one's for you. It’s about a woman called Tabitha who has been arrested for the murder of Stuart Rees — a man discovered dead in her garden shed. Everyone in the village is convinced that Tabitha murdered him; there were witnesses who said she’d threatened him in the street the day before, and she’d recently returned to the area after fleeing several years previously. However, there’s a problem: Tabitha can’t remember if she killed him or not. She wants the truth just as much as anyone, so she begins her own investigation from inside her prison cell. I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this one; it is absolutely gripping.
Speaking of gripping, I listened to and loved West Cork, a true crime podcast about the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, created by Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde. It’s twenty-four years since that crime was committed and, infuriatingly, no one has been convicted of her murder. Author Louise O’Neill was equally intrigued by this and used that narrative as a jumping-off point for her latest novel, After the Silence. Her fictional story is set on a small island off the coast of Ireland, ten years after the death of one of its inhabitants, Nessa Crowley, and a documentary team from Australia have arrived to see if they can unearth anything new. It has one of my favourite plot set-ups: on the night of the murder, there was a storm, and all ferries to and from the island were cancelled, so the list of suspects is limited. The locals are convinced the protagonist’s husband, Henry Kinsella, is guilty, and O’Neill weaves themes of wealth, power and control throughout this text. This tale asks us: what exactly can you get away with, if you play society’s games?