Plot: Murder most foul leads to a most horrendous hunt.

Verdict: Best-selling author John Connolly was on to something when he said that Arlene Hunt may be the best female crime writer to have emerged from Ireland in recent years. Her seventh novel, The Chosen, grabs the readers’ attention right from the opening pages and her sharp, unpredictable plot refuses to let go.

In the first of her books to be set outside of Ireland, Hunt’s serial killer haunts Tennessee and North Carolina, where he robs the small town of Rockville of its peace and innocence. However, unlike the majority of psycho-killer tales, Hunt’s original crime is just the beginning of the nightmare for the novels’ heroine. A violent struggle ensues which sees her battle for her marriage, her sanity and her life.

This is the kind of eerily realistic novel, with convincing characters, that makes you wonder what you would do should you become The Chosen, and is certainly a story that would work on the big screen. The perfect January read.

Taragh Loughrey-Grant