Tracy has always felt better outside in the Alaskan wilderness than indoors in the cabin. She can hunt and survive just about anything except denying the hunger inside her. Her mom understands this strange affliction of her daughter's and tries to help Tracy by giving her simple rules to live by. The most important being - never make a human bleed. After Tracy is attacked in the woods she thinks she almost killed the stranger who attacked her and now fears his return. Then there are these new feelings toward Jesse the curious young drifter who her dad has hired and her ambitions to compete in the Junior Iditarod. This glorious hybrid is a combination of the wild beauty of Alaska, the harsh landscape and lifestyle of the people who live there and a bit of supernatural hyper-awareness that Tracy feels after succumbing to the hunger and filling the need for blood. This coming of age story in an unforgiving land will stay with you well after the last page.
Granny Mae is a no-nonsense North Carolinian mountain woman who dabbles in homemade remedies, says what she means and does what she feels like. She has raised her grandson, Rory who has returned from the war a crippled soul wishing he could leave the family bootleg business and chase his true passion - stock car racing. There always seems to be a feud brewing between the powerful families on the mountain and Rory having set his cap for a girl clearly off limits is adding fuel to the fire. Beautiful language against the harsh life and interesting family dynamics on the mountain. Quietly peaceful and violent at the same time but always powerful.
Worthy of a place near the great gothic classics, " The Broken Girls" creates an eerie environment from the first page and then keeps the suspense going until the secret of the haunted school is revealed. In rural Vermont deep in the forest sits the ruin of what used to be an all girls boarding school. Reporter Fiona Sheridan can't believe it when she hears that a wealthy investor has purchased the school and intends to re-open it as a boarding school even after Fiona's sister was found dead on the property and another body is found in a well. She is like a starving dog with a bone and will risk her relationship with a local cop (whose family won't accept her for her part in getting the presumed guilty boyfriend sent to jail) and her own safety as she tries to find out the real truth of what happened. The story then flips back to the 1950's as one of a group of friends at the school goes missing and no one seems to care. These girls were broken both emotionally and physically. From the first pages of a scary walk to the school at night to the heart-pounding conclusion, you will be up all night reading.
Mary is a likeable character even though her life is pretty common. It is a small town, a one train a week town, but Mary and her dad offer a needed service since they operate the only mortuary. Small towns offer security since you know everyone and their history but that also means that everyone in the small town knows all about you as well. Mary is quiet but sincere and her relationship with Robert is magical. This is not a page burner but one that should be read slowly so you can digest the beautiful picture of rural American life.
Amber is in a coma. Her sister and husband Paul are worried sick about her and Amber wants to come awake but can't. Did Paul cause the accident? Is he having an affair? Was she having an affair? Is she really in a coma? So many twists and turns and hidden identities that you need to keep a notepad nearby to keep it all straight. The story bounces between current day and diary entries from childhood. Why can't we figure out what happened to Amber? Because, Amber sometimes lies.
This is a one sitting thriller with a roller coaster ending that will leave you speechless.
A crumbling country estate falls into a young widow's hands in 1865 after her husband's unexpected death. Strange things begin to happen to Elsie almost immediately and seem to center around the lifelike cutouts that Elsie found in a locked room. Soon everyone, servants and family alike ,are spooked and it begins to look like Elsie is losing her mind. It all seems to feed back to the original occupants of the manor who first brought the silent companion cutouts into the estate in the 1600's and the hold they had over the youngest occupant. Laura Purcell does a masterful job of balancing the old story with the horrors of the current inhabitants, steadily increasing the tension and sense of foreboding. This deliciously creepy Gothic ghost story will have you jumping at shadows and things that go bump in the night.
Lilly did not have an easy life after her parents died and she was raised by her strict aunt and too familiar uncle. The only escape she had was dance and her benefactor, the man who felt responsible for the car accident that took away her family. It wasn't too much of a stretch when she ran off to dance in Las Vegas. This was the height of Vegas glamour with all the shine - The Rat Pack, the never ending lights of the strip and the non-stop party life. So Lilly had to make some hard decisions about what kind of dancing she was going to do. It was not the dance future that Lilly had envisioned but it was one that Ruby Wilde would make famous. Hard hitting, this book does not sugarcoat her experiences and bad choices nor does it make a judgement on the tough choices that she and others like her made. Wonderful historical fiction that makes you feel the lights of the stage, the noise from the casino and the feeling that young lives were made or broken in an instant.
Cassie is the epitome of an unreliable witness so when she wakes up next to a very dead man after a drunken binge blackout she knows she can't go to the authorities. What she does do, well meaning or not, is throw more suspicion on herself with every move. The FBI is onto her, her flight attendant co-workers don't trust her and even her sister won't trust her alone with the kids. The reason her date that night was killed remains a mystery and whoever killed him is sure to come after Cassie to shut her up. You will find yourself shaking your head at all the mistakes Cassie makes but then rooting for her to come out of it intact. There is also the undeniable feeling that any one of us could find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cassie has to hit bottom before she can find her way back to the surface. Heartfelt and human, this is one thriller to jump headfirst into.
One of this country's most dangerous natural disasters was the site of Tupelo Mississippi in 1936 after a horrific tornado touched down and dragged away the majority of the city and left nothing but heartache in its wake. The story is not just about the destruction but of the city and victims themselves - those counted and those left uncounted. The poor African-Americans who most likely accounted for at least half of the deaths and injurys were left to fend for themselves. Two families, connected by a violent secret, two babies blown out of arms and out into the storm and the many lives that were touched that day. The tornado did not choose its victims based on the color of skin, how wealthy or how old but instead became the great equalizer in destruction and loss of life. In suffering and loss we are not really different at all. Keep the Kleenex handy and scan the skies with this one.
David Mamet is a native Chicagoan who is in love with his city and its checkered past. This is a quick peek back in time to a dangerous part of the city's past - 1920's Chicago was fast women, fast violence, fast exchange of money and fast getaways. Mike Hodge is a reporter for the Chicago Tribune who wants to be taken seriously as a writer. He and his cohort Parlow know the underbelly of the city and it's inhabitants better than the upper crust. Against her family's wishes, Mike falls hard for Annie Walsh who is unlucky enough to be murdered in front of him while standing in his apartment wearing his coat. Who killed Annie Walsh and why keeps him angry, and hungry for the truth and revenge. This is a story of passion, politics, corruption and justice in a city and time sadly lacking in those things. David Mamet portrays Mike as the hard shelled reporter with the gift of eloquence who is trying to make sense of the violence around him.
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