Book Reviews

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NEW FICTION Zoo by James Patterson is published in hardback by Century, priced PS18.99. Available September 27.

A master of suspense, James Patterson times his novels down to the last beat.

Zoo is no different. The standalone story follows Jackson Oz, a university dropout, who has a theory. He has noticed a change in animal behaviour across the world.

On a whole it appears that creatures across the globe are changing to become hyperaggressive towards one particular animal - humans. He calls this theory HAC or Human-Animal Conflict.

Oz gets word from a contact in Botswana that a village has been wiped out by unprovoked lions. What has made these beasts act so out of nature? Soon it becomes apparent that it is not just large wild animals that are being affected as domestic pets and other smaller animals become increasingly aggressive.

Nothing and no one is safe anymore. This is a fast-paced and addictive biology-driven tale.

Breed by Chase Novak is published in paperback by Mulholland Books, priced PS13.99. Available now.

Breed is Scott Spencer's debut novel under the pen name Chase Novak. Here, he tells a story of horror and family secrets.

After three years of marriage, wealthy Alex and Leslie Twisden have tried everything for a baby, but without success. Their lives take a drastic turn when another childless couple suddenly become pregnant.

They then travel to Slovenia to undertake an experimental procedure which begins to affect them almost immediately. Soon they are celebrating the birth of twins.

At first, all is well in children Adam and Alice's lives, but as the years roll by, their parents begin to act strangely.

Night after night, they are locked in their room, but it is not long before the sounds from their parents' room get louder and louder.

Adam fears for his life and plans to get him and Alice out of the house. However, their parents have other ideas...

The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid is published in hardback by Little, Brown, priced PS16.99. Available now.

Steph Harker is travelling through security at Chicago's O'Hare Airport when the pins holding her shattered leg together set off the alarms.

She's taken into a Perspex box to be searched, leaving her son waiting outside - and then she witnesses him being led away by the hand of a man in uniform.

Thus begins the 26th novel from best-selling author Val McDermid. And if you think it sounds tame, then you're much mistaken.

As Steph tells her story to the FBI, it becomes clear that Jimmy isn't her child - and that her close relation with a reality TV star could hold the key to the identity of his abductor.

This is a standalone novel and although it is written with McDermid's customary flair for characterisation, the subject matter is a little different from her usual fare. …