So lately I’ve been doing my best to play catch up and clear my shelves of all the books I’d read but not reviewed yet and I’m finally getting closer. What better way to celebrate some spring cleaning and removal of the finished books than to add a bunch of new ones to read? And of course I have no self control so this will be part one of a two part post. 😁
The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.
Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.
In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.
Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.
Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.
As a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. At least, that’s what she’s been told. She can’t remember anything from that day. She’s pretty sure she didn’t mean to do it. She’s a victim too. But her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down. In Melody’s eyes, Cassidy is a murderer and always will be.
When Cassidy overhears what sounded like an abduction and Melody goes missing, Cassidy knows she should go to the cops, but… She recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned out the perfect way to do it. It’s up to Cassidy to figure out what really happened, because if she comes forward without a suspect, she knows people will point fingers at her. Again. And she can’t let that happen.
But the truth behind Melody’s disappearance will set the whole town ablaze.
In the aftermath of Headmaster Boddy’s murder, Blackbrook Academy has been thrown into Complete disarray. Half the student body hasn’t bothered to return to campus—but those who have include Orchid, Vaughn, Scarlett, Peacock, Plum, and Mustard, now warily referred to by the other students as the Murder Crew. When another staff member is found dead and an anonymous threat begins to target the group, each of the teen’s opportunistic reasons for sticking around come to light. Orchid’s identity comes under question while Vaughn’s family life takes a turn; Finn and Mustard grow closer; and Scarlett and Beth struggle to turn over new leaves. All of this comes to a dramatic head at Tudor House, with a cliff-hanger that will leave readers eager for the final installment in the series.
A stunning and timely debut from activist Dylan Farrow, Hush is a powerful feminist fantasy full of surprising insights, that casts a ray of light into the shadows of a society based on silencing and lies.
How do you speak up in a world where propaganda is a twisted form of magic?
In the land of Montane, language is literal magic to the select few who possess the gift of Telling. This power is reserved for the Bards, and, as everyone knows, the Bards have almost always been men.
Seventeen-year-old Shae has lived her entire life in awe of the Bards—and afraid of the Blot, a deadly disease spread by ink, which took the life of her younger brother five years ago. Ever since, Shae fears she’s cursed. But when tragedy strikes again, and her mother is found murdered with a golden dagger—a weapon used only by the Bards—Shae is forced to act.
With a heart set on justice, Shae journeys to High House in search of answers. But when the kind, fatherly Cathal, the High Lord of Montane, makes Shae an undeniable offer to stay and train as a Bard, Shae can’t refuse.
Through this twisty tale, Shae endures backbreaking training by a ruthless female Bard, tentative and highly-forbidden feelings for a male Bard with a dark past, and a castle filled with dangerous illusions bent on keeping its secrets buried.
But sometimes, the truth is closer than we think. We just have to learn to listen.
You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.
Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and suffering from dementia, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.
It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Paul learns that Detective Amanda Beck is investigating another copycat that has struck in the nearby town of Featherbank. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.
It wasn’t just the murder.
It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again…
It’s been eight long years since May Anderson’s high school sweetheart Tom Riley drove down Main Street in his truck, leaving Hillsboro—and May—in his rearview mirror. Now he’s back and, try as they might, the pair can’t avoid each other.
As Hillsboro prepares to host the prestigious North West Food and Wine Festival, Tom and May are reluctantly called in to plan the big event. Tom needs May’s help to repair his bad-boy reputation and, with the whole town counting on them, May and Tom need to learn to trust each other again.
May is determined to protect her heart, but a lot has changed since high school. She can’t help but notice how the skinny boy she used to know is now a man who perfectly fills out his button-down, and Tom can’t seem to tear his gaze away from May’s sweet smile. It’s clear old feelings are surfacing again, but there is a secret keeping them apart and, until they find the courage to face it, their second chance summer will be only that…
A heartwarming story about first love, family and the importance of second chances. Fans of Jenny Hale, Debbie Macomber and Robyn Carr will adore Sweet Pea Summer.
When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.
At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.
As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.
Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies that will bring their world crashing down.
Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies that will bring their world crashing down.
Nina and Marie were best friends—until Nina was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before she died, Nina asked Marie to fulfill her final wishes.
But her mistake was in thinking Marie was someone she could trust.
What Nina didn’t know was that Marie always wanted her beautiful life, and that Marie has an agenda of her own. She’ll do anything to get what she wants.
Marie thinks she can keep her promise to her friend’s family on her own terms. But what she doesn’t know is that Nina was hiding explosive secrets of her own…
Faith Finley has it all: she’s a talented psychologist with a flourishing career, a bestselling author and the host of a popular local radio program, Someone’s Listening, with Dr. Faith Finley. She’s married to the perfect man, Liam Finley, a respected food critic.
Until the night everything goes horribly wrong, and Faith’s life is shattered forever.
Liam is missing—gone without a trace—and the police are suspicious of everything Faith says. They either think she has something to hide, or that she’s lost her mind.
And then the notes begin to arrive. Notes that are ripped from Faith’s own book, the one that helps victims leave their abusers. Notes like “Lock your windows. Consider investing in a steel door.”
As the threats escalate, the mystery behind Liam’s disappearance intensifies. And Faith’s very life will depend on finding answers
After years together, the arrival of longed-for daughter Millie sealed everything in place. They’re a happy little family of three.
So what if Simon drinks a bit too much sometimes—Daisy’s used to it. She knows he’s just letting off steam. Until one night at a party things spiral horribly out of control. And their happy little family of three will never be the same again.
In Lies, Lies, Lies, #1 Sunday Times bestselling author Adele Parks explores the darkest corners of a relationship in free fall in a mesmerizing tale of marriage and secrets.
It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s pediatrician to confirm her upcoming “well-baby” appointment. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly’s never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there’s another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.
For days, Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can’t help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her.
Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose—taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.
It’s nothing short of inevitable that Cymbeline, GA, hosts an annual Shakespeare festival. But stage-struck Nina Fleet is about to learn that putting on an amateur theatrical production can be murder. Nina’s anticipating showbiz glamour and glitz when a community Shakespearean troupe arrives for a two-week stay at her B&B. But the lights dim when she learns the company’s director is her nemesis, struggling actor Harry Westcott–who still claims to be the rightful heir to Nina’s elegant Queen Anne home.
Meanwhile, the troupe members are not content to leave the drama upon the stage. Accusations of infidelity and financial malfeasance make a shambles of rehearsals. And then, two days into the troupe’s stay, the lead actor is found dead in Nina’s formal Shakespeare garden. Natural causes…or murder most foul?
Nina uncovers evidence that something is indeed rotten in the town of Cymbeline. Too bad Harry is the only one who believes that she’s not going completely off script. And exposing the truth isn’t easy when the remaining troupe members say the show must go on…particularly when all of them seemingly had a motive for wanting their fellow actor to permanently exit stage right. Determined to keep the killer from making a curtain call, Nina and her trusty Australian Shepherd, Matilda, join forces with Harry to sleuth out the murder plot. Will they succeed before someone else shuffles off this mortal coil? Find out in Anna Gerard’s delightful second Georgia B&B mystery.
The whispers may scare you . . .
In River Glen, Oregon, rumors are spreading about the Babysitter Stalker. One victim was fatally stabbed. A second fell—or was pushed—from a rooftop deck. High school sophomore Jamie Whelon, scheduled to watch the Ryerson twins tonight, isn’t worried. She’s more interested in the party she’ll go to later, as soon as her sister Emma arrives to take over babysitting duties. But nothing goes according to plan . . .
But the truth . . .
Twenty years after that night’s vicious attack, Emma remains scarred in body and mind. Jamie, back in River Glen after their mother’s death, still feels guilty over trading places that fateful evening. Then suddenly another young babysitter is attacked. Jamie, with a teenage daughter of her own, fears something much more twisted than coincidence.
Is even more terrifying . . .
Is this new nightmare connected with those long-ago crimes? Emma’s fractured memories may contain the answer. But the deeper Jamie digs, the darker the secrets waiting to be
uncovered—and avenged . . .
I count down the days until we can leave the city behind and return to the beach house. Where James and Katie can roam free over the dunes, like they did as children, and Peter will swap his 6 a.m. starts for the stacks of fluffy pancakes he lovingly serves up for our family breakfasts. These sun-drenched, golden days, just the four of us, are what I hold on to all year long.
But this summer Katie’s best friend will be coming with us. I tell myself the girls will have fun together, pushing aside the doubts I have about this uninvited guest. Isa. With her corn-silk hair and luminous skin, who manages to overshadow my daughter at every turn. Who has been dumped on us by her own parents, too caught up in their petty dramas to see what is right in front of them.
Because I can see it. There is something dangerous about Isa. Something more than a carefree girl, testing boundaries as she approaches adulthood. She threatens to cast storm clouds across my beach house days. I feel as powerless to stop her as I would in the face of a hurricane.
By the end of the summer, Isa will be dead. And I will have to face her mother. I don’t know if I will be able to find the words. How can I begin to explain that she never really knew her daughter at all?
A gripping story of the darkness than lurks beneath the surface of the most picture-perfect lives and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love. Fans of Big Little Lies, Kerry Fisher and Diane Chamberlain will be held totally in thrall by this emotional, twisty read.
These days, Della is a loving wife, a dedicated teacher, a woman trying to do her best. She has put her past far behind her. But she hasn’t forgotten the lessons she learned.
It’s just a regular morning when Della welcomes Zoey to her English class. She treats her like any other new student: assigns her a desk, hands out the work. But then she meets Zoey’s cold, calculating eyes and freezes as terrifying memories threaten to overwhelm her.
Della knows what evil looks like when it hides behind a confident smile. Her own brother, the town’s darling, couldn’t keep his true nature hidden for ever. Della has been watching out for people like him ever since, determined to stop them before it’s too late.
When a student is viciously attacked and Della is sent a detailed account of the crime, she’s more convinced than ever that Zoey has darkness inside her.
But to make people believe her, she needs proof. Will she risk everything to get it? And without it, can she be sure she’s right?
Prepare to be hooked by this dark, gripping crime thriller, perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter, Gillian Flynn and Rachel Caine.
As children, half-sisters Cassie and Julie were nearly inseparable, bonded through happy, lazy summers playing barefoot in the surf and sleeping out on the porch of their grandmother’s Hamptons beach house. Though from wildly different backgrounds, each magical summer the girls were as close as only best friends, accomplices, sisters can be. But they haven’t spoken in nearly fifteen years—not since the funeral of Cassie’s mother—and now there is only resentment and painful memories between them.
Successful and self-contained, Cassie is shocked to learn the requirements of their nana’s will—that she and Julie spend one final summer together in the Hamptons house in order to inherit. Cassie agrees reluctantly, she needs an excuse to leave Boston and give the growing rumors about her personal life a chance to die down.
And for Julie, who is discovering too late the cracks in her marriage, it is the chance to repair at least one damaged relationship. But for the two sisters to regain what they had, they will have to finally confront what happened the night Cassie lost her mother. With their Nana’s wisdom guiding the way, could this summer bring painful discoveries, and a new direction, for both sisters?
An emotional and absorbing novel full of family drama and dark secrets. Perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand, Emily Giffin and Mary Kay Andrews.
For Emily Rossi, life may not be perfect, but it’s pretty close. She has a great career, a house in the country, a solid marriage to Eric and two wonderful children—tennis superstar Daniel and quiet, sensitive Zara. But when her fourteen-year-old daughter brings home a toxic new best friend, Emily’s seemingly perfect family starts to spiral out of control.
Suddenly Zara is staying out late, taking drugs and keeping bad company. And just when Emily needs Eric to be an involved father, he seems too wrapped up with his job in London to care. What’s more, he’s started drinking again.
When a dark secret from the past emerges, Emily’s life is turned upside down. Struggling to protect the people she loves, can she save her damaged family? Doing so may mean keeping a secret of her own…
Jane Darrowfield is a year into her retirement, and she’s already traveled and planted a garden. She’s organized her photos, her recipes, and her spices. The statistics suggest she has at least a few more decades ahead of her, so she better find something to do . . .
JANE DARROWFIELD, PROFESSIONAL BUSYBODY
After Jane helps a friend with a sticky personal problem, word starts to spread around her bridge club—and then around all of West Cambridge, Massachusetts—that she’s the go-to girl for situations that need discreet fixing. Soon she has her first paid assignment—the director of a 55-and-over condo community needs her to de-escalate hostilities among the residents. As Jane discovers after moving in for her undercover assignment, the mature set can be as immature as any high schoolers, and war is breaking out between cliques.
It seems she might make some progress—until one of the aging “popular kids” is bludgeoned to death with a golf club. And though the automatic sprinklers have washed away much of the evidence, Jane’s on course to find out whodunit . . .
Carmen Alvarez is the reliable one. When her vulnerable father’s livelihood is threatened, she’s the person her sisters call. Abandoning her job in Seattle, Carmen races home to the family vineyard her dad built up from nothing to set things straight. But soon she’s fallen back in love with the dusty sage hills, the turquoise blue lake, the fragrant June orchards… Maybe she’s not just home for the summer?
Standing in the way of Carmen’s happiness is one very attractive obstacle: new neighbor Evan Hollister, who’s after her dad’s land. He’s arrogant, entitled and spoiled—everything Carmen hates—and she is all set to have a bit of fun driving him out of town so things can get back to normal. She isn’t ready for their relationship to get complicated…
But Evan is the least of Carmen’s worries. The business is falling apart and it starts to look like Carmen might lose much more than just her pride: employees have quit, the bank keeps calling and everything her father worked so hard for is slipping away. As she is pushed to breaking point, Carmen will learn that her true family are the people who will see her through the worst of times, and that love can be found in the most unlikely of places.
A heart-warming romance about embracing the unexpected, Summer at Orchard House will make you laugh, make you cry, and remind you that it’s never too late to start again. For fans of Robyn Carr, Carolyn Brown and Debbie Macomber.