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A couple make a fresh start in this week's Star Read by Susi Holliday – but are they safe?

By Margaret Chrystall

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Sometimes there is nothing as fascinating as what is right next door.

The Street by Susi Holliday.
The Street by Susi Holliday.

And in this week’s Star Read, a killer thriller The Street by Susi Holliday (Thomas & Mercer) takes a community full of secrets and investigates the charms, the terrors and the domestic bliss we all want to believe in through a couple with a mysterious past.

Actually, they are not the only ones, as the breathless reader finds, trying to keep up with the unfolding nightmare scenario of Anna and Peter who have had to leave everything behind to start a new life in a picturesque clique of homes in a new development set on the coast of the Firth of Forth. Where better to have a fresh start?

There’s a private beach and a view of Arthur’s Seat too...

And already you’ve got a sense of envy in your own mind and a heavy hint from the writer of something dark in this couple’s past: “The setting was glorious. She knew she should be grateful to be here. Not that she had any choice. After everything that happened … Swapping London for a small sleepy town … wasn’t what she’d hoped for. But she was just going to have to adapt.”

With the aid of a WhatsApp group of neighbours, sharing their views on these newbies, you quickly start getting the inside track on the lives behind these other doors.

And just as the blurb from Ian Rankin hinted, encouraging your hesitating hand to head for your money, “no-one can be trusted in this brilliant page-turner”. Deal sealed.

The Street is perfect for a holiday read – which by its nature is an escape from the day-to-day of home life – as Susi Holliday opens the trap-door on a headlong leap into another world. Airport delays, bickering family, dull domestic chores, lashing rain on the beach, all fade away. We can escape our real lives as the pages turn.

But can Anna and Peter lose their troubled past and still, somehow, find each other again?

First writing as Susi Holliday, the author wrote technothrillers The Last Resort (2020) and Substitute (2021) – then the two thrillers: The Hike (2022) and now Street (2023). But if you like the writer, look out for The Party Season which star Detectives Carmine and Greene and follows up on the world introduced in The Deaths of December. And when she was first writing – then as SJI Holliday, there are three mystery/noir/psychological novels set in the fictional Scottish town of Banktoun: Black Wood (2015), Willow Walk (2016) and The Damselfly (2017).

Thomas & Mercer is an imprint of Amazon Publishing, specialising in "...mysteries, thrillers, and true crime from debut, acclaimed, and bestselling authors".

The Street by Susi Holliday (Thomas & Mercer, £8.99).

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