Reading allows us to take risks and enter spaces and lives which can be frightening and threatening. Reading disturbing books gives us both permission and opportunity to walk in the shoes of both the sinister perpetrator and the distressed victim. This is a great opportunity as it’s ultimately completely safe, you are in your bedroom or on your sofa when you finish up with your heart still beating fast. Readers often get a real buzz from the disconcerting in fiction – especially if our real lives are sedate and relatively trouble-free. We relish the sense of foreboding and the tingle of fear of impeding doom. If things get too real – too explicit or distressing – we have a get out clause, a safe word which allows up to close the book and move away from this dark and unsettling experience until we feel ready to return, or not. You must be the judge of your own limits – explore the covers, absorb the comments and sample the extracts before you make your choice from this selection.