The small Californian coastal town has seen much pain beginning with the hit and run accident that left a young girl dead and a local teen in prison for years. Vincent is out of prison and his best friend, Walk is now the Chief of Police wanting to believe in the best of his friends and trying to keep the peace any way he can. The murder of another of their friends leaves Vincent looking at going right back into the cell they just let him out of and Walk trying to do right by the victim's kids, the self-proclaimed outlaw Duchess Day Radley, and her young brother. Suddenly, everyone's sins past and present are coming to light. The tension ramps up dramatically and it feels like every character is just one errant lit match away from flaming out. Raw, violent, and gut-wrenchingly beautiful, the kids steal the show. Your heart will melt and bleed for the tough- as- nails- on- the -outside Duchess, innocence personified Robin and the kind heart of Thomas Noble. I can't wait for another book by this author. For any reader of soulful character-based thrillers the likes of Tana French, Jane Harper, and of WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING. I also listened to the audiobook which had perfect narration but the language does not make this a kid-friendly listen. 5 stars
One sitting, heart-pounding thriller joy! There is so much happening in this story at such a fast pace that you would think the author has no time to have us become invested in these characters or even take a breath before the next chaotic turn of events. But care we do, especially about Matt who has already been through so much having his older brother convicted and sent to prison for the murder of his girlfriend and the years of having the bandaid ripped off at each news story, parole hearing or false lead. This latest heartbreak is the loss of the rest of his family while on a last minute vacation to Mexico. You, lucky reader, gets to piece together whether it was a tragic accident or something more sinister. A dedicated FBI agent feels there is more to the story than Matt just having incredible bad luck. A tight, well- constructed mystery sure to delight fans of DEFENDING JACOB, Lisa Jewell, Karen Slaughter, Lisa Gardner and the other Killer Queens. Where other thrillers quietly seduce you in a slow tango, this book pulls you in like a screaming hard rock band at a rave. Be prepared for a full night reading. 4 1/2 stars
Brody is a good guy but he is struggling to make ends meet. There never seems to be enough to pay rent, buy enough food, and pay for the medicine that makes his disabled sister's life bearable. Desperate, he robs a convenience store and ends up in more trouble than he ever thought possible. He and his sister are on the lam, framed for a murder he didn't commit and being chased by one of the most sadistic mobsters around. Brody and Molly's only chance is to find any family or an old friend of the mom who deserted them when they were kids. Maybe things will work out if they can only stay alive long enough to find her. Lola is Sarah Conner from the Terminator on steroids - a badass killer with a soft spot and a whole lot of revenge on her mind. 4 violent action stars
3 sister wives and one dead husband. They all have a past they haven't shared and they all don't totally trust the other wives. Their husband had his secrets too. With every turn of the page I had a new suspect and then you go to the next wive's chapter and voila a new suspect. The deeper you delve into the world of polygamous marriages and crazy cults of some of the stranger sects of Mormons the stronger these women become in your eyes. Rachel is the first wife and she is no stranger to the devout and unusual level of faith her husband lives because she grew up on a secluded ranch run by a madman called "The Prophet" whose extensive harem and behavior left him in prison. Tina and Emily are new to the seclusion and strict rules but are adapting sort of. They all had a motive. The past never stays in the past and these women will need to form an alliance to get through this ordeal or figure out who is lying. Whiplash thriller that I can guarantee you won't put down once you start. 4 1/2 stars
Maple Drive in Long Island is under siege from Mother Nature and human nature. One family doesn't fit in. They don't act the same way, the dad (a former rock star) has long hair and the oldest kid is a troublemaker so it is only natural that they get blamed for everything - even when a giant sinkhole appears at a block party. From the moment the sinkhole opens the worst of everyone comes out and the gossip and the back-stabbing snowball begins rolling. BIG LITTLE LIES, LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, and A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD fans will eat this up.
It was a horrible storm with tragic results that took lives and left a few families minus a member. Kieran has lived with the guilt that comes from being a survivor and knowing that his brother and a friend's dad were coming to save him from the storm that day. Now he, his girlfriend and new baby have come home to help his mom pack up and move his father who is suffering from advanced dementia. While it is really good to see his mates he is not prepared for the awkward homecoming nor his dad's advanced condition. Another death takes place that brings up all the distrust, suspects and accusations from the past. It is true what they say - you can't go home again. Another gem from Jane Harper who excels at slow burn mysteries from down under that keep the flames up just high enough to keep us thinking we are getting warm and then killing the flame right before we burn. Fans of her previous mysteries will not be disappointed. 5 stars
Jason French is a haunted man. So are his younger brother, father and mother who are haunted by the death of Jason's older brother and the version of Jason after the war and now that he is out of prison it looks like the same broken version of Jason has come home. When a woman seen hanging out with Jason turns up brutally murdered and another goes missing all signs point to Jason. It doesn't matter that his dad is a decorated cop or his younger brother is convinced Jason didn't do it and just like that Jason is back in the same jail cell he just left. A prisoner who holds all the power wants Jason back and has the means to keep him there. Jason has his younger brother Gibby fighting for him but it will take all of his self control to stay alive and keep his younger brother safe. Just like his other books, this story is intense, violent but full of characters you can totally root for that are full of Hart. For fans of thrillers with flawed characters who are basically good but misunderstood, this is your kind of read. 4 stars
While their family story will make you cringe, you will be drawn in from the first page. Seven children abused and chained up locked away from the world until Girl A escapes. Fast forward and Alex's (Girl A) mom has died in prison making Alex her executor which includes a bit of money and the house they all tried so hard to leave behind. She must contact her siblings to get permission to use the house to do some good. As difficult as it was growing up there, coming back may just break them. It is the kind of story that is difficult to read but fascinating to see their scars and how they have dealt with things since getting out. Avoidance, addiction and even trying to make a profit retelling their nightmare story won't completely block the memories or dull the pain. This is ROOM on steroids told so truthfully and beautifully it hurts. A stunning debut from an author I will be looking forward to hearing more from. 4 stars
A beautiful story that blends Native American myths with a family trying to keep it together and heal.
The death of Maria and Ernest's son shattered their world and even now after 15 years the pain and grieving are still with them. Their other son ran away and is dealing with addiction and depression, their daughter has relationship issues and is also lost and Ernest is under the grips of Alzheimer's.
When Maria and Ernest agree to take in a foster boy they have no idea the memories that will surface and how much this boy is similar to the son they lost. It is as if a ray of light has come into the room as Ernest's disease does a turnaround and Maria feels more joy every day. Throughout the book, there are references to the Cherokee's Trail of Tears and many of the myths that have been shared through the generations. There is a hypnotic spiritual feeling to the writing even when dealing with grief and pain. Fans of Willy Vlautin, THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS, and WINTER COUNT will find much to enjoy here. 4 stars
A classic Victorian mystery steeped in dark gothic undertones. Gideon, a kind but misguided Cambridge student is searching for his uncle the Reverend who along with his ward (a young woman whom Gideon is hopelessly in love with) is missing. Teaming up with Inspector Cutter, the pair begin to piece together Gideon's missing people with several murder/suicides and the strange disappearance of young women. Also involved in an investigation of the disappearance of the women is a female reporter yearning to break from only covering the society pages. Spiritualism, good old fashioned Scotland Yard police work and wonderful wit pushes this book squarely into what I hope will become a new series. Any fan of Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes as well as modern stories of all things Victorian will find much to love. 4 1/2 stars
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