An exciting new book from the author of Holes

Louis Sachar is an exciting author. He’s not prolific but when he does publish a book it’s always something to shout about. My first Louis Sachar book (and probably his most popular) was Holes, the story of Stanley Yelnats and Camp Green Lake. It totally grabbed me and is still one of my favourite books. His last, The Cardturner, was a fascinating tale of bridge and family secrets.  It’s been 5 years since his last outing, so I was very excited to hear about Louis Sachar’s new book, Fuzzy Mud.  After reading his previous books and having high expectations I wasn’t disappointed.

Cover of Fuzzy mudTamaya is on a scholarship to the prestigious Woodridge Academy and every day she and seventh-grader Marshall walk to school together. They never go through the woods. And when they arrive at school they stop talking to each other – because Marshall can’t be seen to be friends with a little kid like Tamaya. Especially not with Chad around. Chad-the-bully, who makes Marshall’s life utterly miserable. But today, hoping to avoid Chad, Marshall and Tamaya decide to go through the woods … And what is waiting there for them is strange, sinister and entirely unexpected. The next day, Chad doesn’t turn up at school – no one knows where he is, not even his family. And Tamaya’s arm is covered in a horribly, burning, itchy wound. As two unlikely heroes set out to rescue their bully, the town is about to be turned upside down by the mysterious Fuzzy Mud.

Fuzzy Mud is a weird, thrilling, suspenseful story about friendship, bullies and an experiment gone wrong.  Louis Sachar keeps you on the edge of your seat as the suspense builds right to the end. It’s slightly creepy and I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to end.

Like each of Louis’ books there are several strands to the story. What at first seems like just a school story about fitting in and bullies making life hell, soon becomes a quite different story with far worse problems. The tale of Tamaya and Marshall is interspersed by extracts from an inquiry into a place called SunRay Farm, a research facility not far from their school, that was creating an organism that would be used to make a bio-fuel to help save the planet. These extracts show you that their experiments didn’t quite go as planned. When Tamaya discovers the fuzzy mud in the forest when she is helping Marshall escape the school bully, the consequences are disastrous. Could an organism that was designed to help people actually harm or even kill them instead?

The book has got one of the coolest covers I’ve seen recently and it is sure to grab the attention of kids. The design of the book is very clever too. I wasn’t quite sure what all the dots at the top of the chapter headings were to start off with but this became clear as I kept reading. I think it’s kind of quirky and a nice touch.

Fuzzy Mud would be a great read-aloud for kids aged 10 and up. Not only is it a thrilling story that will keep kids entertained, but it’s also thought-provoking. What would you do if you found a weird substance in the forest? How would you react if the kid who was bullying you suddenly disappeared?

If you love Louis Sachar or just want a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, place a hold on Fuzzy Mud.

Thrillers and Suspense: picks from our November newsletter

In our November Thrillers and Suspense newsletter : Agent Scully from the X-Files debuts as an author and Sophie Hannah brings Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot back to life in a brand-new mystery.

Cover of Bitter Remedy Cover of The Day of Atonement Cover of A Vision of Fire Cover of The Golden Hour Cover of The Monogram Murders Cover of Hostage Cover of A Demon Summer Cover of The Prophet Cover of Trust Your Eyes

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For more great crime and thriller reads, check out our lists of winners of  the Crime Writers’ Association Awards and of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel.

Thrillers and Suspense: picks from our March newsletter

Some picks from our March Thrillers and Suspense newsletter:

Cover of The First BirdCover of Between Summer's Longing and Winter's EndCover of Beloved EnemyCover of A Darker Shade of SwedenCover of Shovel ReadyCover of The Lie of YouCover of The Winter PeopleCover of MercyCover of The Bat

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For more great crime and thriller reads, check out our lists of winners of  the Crime Writers’ Association Awards and of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel.

Thrillers and Suspense: picks from our February newsletter

Some picks from our February Thrillers and Suspense newsletter:

Cover of Three Graves FullCover of The Red Pole of MacauCover of Pietr The LatvianCover of The AscendantCover of The Good BoyCover of Hunt The FalconCover of Red 1-2-3Cover of The Andalucian FriendCover of Apple Tree Yard

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For more great crime and thriller reads, check out our lists of winners of  the Crime Writers’ Association Awards and of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel.

Thrillers and Suspense: picks from our December newsletter

Some picks from our December Thrillers and Suspense newsletter:

Cover of The Alligator ManCover of PurgatoryCover of The Silence of the WaveCover of Cry of the ChildrenCover of The October ListCover of Before I Go to SleepCover of The Burning AIrCover of The Never ListCover of The Abominable

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For more great crime and thriller reads, check out our lists of winners of  the Crime Writers’ Association Awards and of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel.

Thrillers and Suspense: picks from our November newsletter

Some picks from our November Thrillers and Suspense newsletter:

Cover of SpiralCover of Mortal BondsCover of The 500Cover of A Blind GoddessCover of The Final CutCover of Shadows of DeathCover of The Dead RunCover of Out of RangeCover of The Stranger You Know

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For more great crime and thriller reads, check out our lists of winners of  the Crime Writers’ Association Awards and of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel.

Thrillers and Suspense: picks from our October newsletter

Some picks from our October Thrillers and Suspense newsletter:

Cover of Then We Take BerlinCover of The HighwayCover of AlexCover of DownfallCover of The Stranger You KnowCover of The Widow's StrikeCover of OstlandCover of Ghosts of Bungo SuidoCover of The Edge of Normal

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For more great crime and thriller reads, check out our lists of winners of  the Crime Writers’ Association Awards and of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel.

Thrillers and Suspense: picks from our latest newsletter

Some picks from our September Thrillers and Suspense newsletter:

Cover of AftershockCover of The String DiariesCover of The Second Life of Amy ArcherCover of The Black CountryCover of The CrocodileCover of Dead Cat BounceCover of The Confessions of Al CaponeCover of Kind of CruelCover of The Hunter

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For more great crime and thriller reads, check out our lists of winners of  the Crime Writers’ Association Awards and of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel.

Thrillers and Suspense: picks from our latest newsletter

Some picks from our August Thrillers and Suspense newsletter:

Cover of Real WorldCover of The War Against Miss WinterCover of Eye for an EyeCover of FatherhoodCover of SlingshotCover of Massacre PondCover of  SovereignCover of The HealerCover of Her Last Breath

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For more great crime and thriller reads, check out our lists of winners of  the Crime Writers’ Association Awards and of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel.

Thrillers and Suspense: picks from our latest newsletter

Some picks from our July Thrillers and Suspense newsletter, including the latest by Stephen King and the third novel about Auckland detective Sean Devereaux, by young NZ author Ben Sanders:

Cover: Worthless RemainsCover: The DollCover: Red SparrowCover: Little GreenCover: Angel BabyCover: Only the DeadCover: The Shanghai FactorCover: Zero HourCover: Joyland

Subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and best picks straight from your inbox.

For more great crime and thriller reads, check out our lists of winners of  the Crime Writers’ Association Awards and of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel.