HER THREE LIVES by CATE HOLAHAN

Her Three Lives

“All human beings have three lives. Public, Private, and Secret” Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A very appropriate quote to start off the book. This standalone thriller is the latest from Holahan and it’s a twisty one.

Greg is a recently divorced architect who met Jade, twenty years his junior and fell head over heals for her six months ago. His ex-wife, Leah, got the house and the grown kids so Jade and Greg are living in a rental while their forever home is built and with Jade pregnant they will all be glad when things calm down.

Jade’s public life is pretty good. She’s a media influencer and designer. She is in love with Greg, having a baby and living the good life. Only divorce after 25 years and two kids is not going to be a love fest. The kids hate her and the ex is a nut.

Jade’s private life is complicated. When one evening she and Greg are going out. She is still in the bathroom when she hears the doorbell and then hears screaming. Running out of the bathroom she’s met by an intruder. While Greg survives, the baby does not. Someone deliberately made sure the baby did not live.

As they try to piece together what happened and why, I kept thinking someone was trying to gaslight them. But who? And why? Greg goes into full security mode and installs cameras in every room, alarms, and trackers. He’s also very paranoid.

Jade’s secret life is not as bad as she believes it to be, but when you leave it off of your dating profile, it becomes something that could hurt you.

With the ‘help’ of Violet, Greg’s daughter, he begins to doubt Jade. Is she trying to kill him for money? Was she even pregnant and why is she visiting a prison?

Oh what a tangled web this was. These kids were just vile and their mother a loon.

So what did I think? It was a good idea for a book, but to me there was no sense of urgency and Greg was a pretty limp character.

NetGalley/ April 20th, 2021 Grand Central Publishing

THE DROWNING KIND by Jennifer McMahon

Be careful what you wish for.

It’s 1929, and 37- year- old Ethel Monroe, watches her husband play with the local children and is desperate to give him a child of his own. She’s tried everything, including superstitious legends about keeping a robin’s egg in your bra. Nothing is working. Until her husband takes her to a fancy hotel in Vermont where there is a spring that seems to be able to cure the sick.

The fancy new resort caters to people coming to take the waters. Well, not the town people. They know all about the springs. When the owner befriends Ethel she also tells her a secret. The spring can grant wishes. But we all know nothing is free, there is always a cost. And the cost Ethel will pay will ensure that her family and their family will always be at the springs.

Cut to now and we meet Jax. Jax is a social worker. She works with trauma victims and children. Maybe she chose that path because her sister was haunted by mental illness. Lexie hasn’t been in touch with reality for a long time so when Jax finds nine missed calls from her sister and a voice mail that is scary and manic, she ignores them. The next day Lexie is found dead. Drowned in the pool full of spring water. Black as the devil’s soul and already quite crowded.

As she cleans up the house and all the paperwork and journals that Lexie had, she realizes that Lexie was researching not only the history of their family but the history of the property and the springs. Measuring them at different times and areas and recording the depth and what she saw. Now she wants Jax to join her.

McMahon is brilliant at ghost stories. Tales we tell around the campfire and scare ourselves silly. I am not ashamed to say I lost a fingernail to this book. Spooky, ghastly, ghostly, this one is twisted and horrific. Just the way I like them.

NetGalley/ April 06, 2021 Gallery Scout Books

THE WIFE UPSTAIRS by RACHEL HAWKINS

The Wife Upstairs

Jane is new to Alabama, running from a past she won’t discuss.

Sharing an apartment with a creepy guy and walking dogs in the ritzy neighborhood of Thornfield Estates. Your typical Macmansion homes with bored, gossipy, nosy housewives with way too much time on their hands to notice if a shiny thing or two goes missing.

Jane both looks down on them and wants to be them. The curse of the have nots.

There is a sadness in the little cul de sac, however. Two of the women have recently disappeared and are presumed drowned. Having been best friends for life they go out for a night boat ride and never return.

When Jane meets Eddie Rochester, whose wife Bea was one of the women who presumably drowned, she is in love. Here is a man who could give her everything she wants. And when he asks her to move in, odd things start happening. Thumps from upstairs. Feeling as if she is not alone and is being spied on she digs into Bea’s past and her friendship with her bestie.

What she finds will shock her and may just kill her!

A story with a wife in the attic?? You may think you know what and why, but I can assure you it is much worse!

Delightfully evil!


NetGalley/ January 5th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

AFTER ALL I’VE DONE by MINA HARDY

After All I've Done

Writing as Mina Hardy, New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart delivers a thrilling new psychological suspense for fans of The Woman in the Window and When the Lights Go Out.

Diana Sparrow was in a car accident five months ago that left her broken and missing quite a bit of her memory. She’s beginning to have nightmares that don’t make sense about that night. Nightmares that are so real they make her doubt everything she is told. 

The official story is she hit a deer and totaled her car. She is lucky to be alive. They say she has anesthesia amnesia. Maybe her memory will return and maybe it won’t. 

She has so many questions. Why is her best friend, Val, ignoring her? Everyone acts like they know something she doesn’t. And they do. Even her husband and his mother.

But Diana is not believing any of it. As fragments of her memory return, she also finds that everyone is lying to her. And she also finds out she isn’t a very nice person.
But then not one of them is. Harriet, the mother in law was terrifying to me. You could see crazy written all over her but I had no idea how this would end.  WHAT????

Well Done!

NetGalley/ November 10th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

LITTLE DISASTERS by Sarah Vaughn

Little Disasters: A Novel

A new emotionally charged, psychological suspense thrill ride from Sarah Vaughn.

Dr. Liz Trenchard is a pediatrician working in the pediatric ward. When she is asked to take a look at a baby in the emergency room who has a suspicious injury and the mother is being evasive.

When she arrives she finds a good friend of hers through the baby group and her baby girl. Liz is shocked at both Jess’s condition and the baby’s. This isn’t the same woman she knows. Jess is the one who makes motherhood look effortless, but this woman is nervous, on edge, and very cagey about what happened and when.

While the police investigate, Liz is dealing with issues of her own as she learns of secrets in her own childhood that will leave her stunned and wondering about another baby.

Full of mystery and suspense! A very real look at post-partum illness and how much more we need to learn about it.

Outstanding and very well written.

NetGalley/ August 18th, 2020 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

 

 

Until I Find You by Rhea Frey

Until I Find You

Rea Frey is a master at domestic suspense! This one may be the best one yet!

Rebecca Gray has had a time of it. Diagnosed in her twenties with an eye disease that will leave her totally blind, every day she can see a little less. Shadows, outlines, and soon there will be total darkness. To make matters worse, her husband is killed in an accident while she is pregnant with their son, Jackson.

Bec moves to the suburbs alone. In a home meant to be shared with her husband and son. She makes friends with a few other moms but suffers almost debilitating fear and anxiety over her ability to take care of and protect her son. Having lost her husband, she isn’t taking any chances with her only child.

But life in the burbs isn’t as idyllic as it sounds. And Bec finds this out in the most painful of ways. One day at the park she passes out. Her friends bring her to their house and talk to her about getting rest and taking better care of herself. With the aid of a friend’s sleeping pills, she gets some rest and wakes up only to find that the child in her crib is not Jackson.

 The police, as well as her friends, think she may be confused and still grieving her husband. Tiny babies all look alike. Except for their mothers. Mothers know their baby’s smell, touch, and every breath. And Bec knows this is not her child.

With help from a past love, she will move mountains to find out who took her child and who is this baby in the crib? And the ending will leave you speechless!

I have to say that as I was reading this I am recovering from my 4th eye surgery, so this was already a scary time for me. Reading this had me jumping at every noise! And my husband wondering if I was ever coming out of the bathtub!

Another Great Job!

NetGalley/ August 11th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Griffin

playing NICE by J P DELANEY

Playing Nice

What if you found out that your family isn’t yours at all? How far would you go to protect them? A gripping new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Girl Before. . . .

The day Pete Riley answers his front door to find a stranger standing there will lead to a nightmare that any parent would find unbearable.

Miles Lambert is the one giving Pete this news. Turns out Theo, Pete, and Maddies’ son is actually not their son at all. He belongs to the Lambert family and their son is actually Pete and Maddies.

Stunned and shell shocked, Pete and Maddie go along with Miles’ idea to sue the hospital as David, the other child will need life long care. And Miles is one pushy dude. He wants them to all get along and each get to know their own child. Or does he? Why can’t they just swap the children back? What does Miles know that they don’t?

Miles is a gaslighter. He gaslights his own wife, who is terrified of him. When Pete and Maddie begin questioning Miles’s motives, he sues them, threatening to take both boys until someone steps up and does the right thing. No more nice guys here. Now they are going to find out who stole the baby and what horrible things are going on in that house!

Domestic Suspense at it’s best!

NetGalley/ July 28th, 2020 by Ballantine Books

 

 

The Dilemma by B.A.Paris

The Dilemma

Livia has been planning her 40th birthday party for 20 years! She wants it to be perfect and make up for the wedding she never had when her parents disowned her for getting pregnant and married so young.

But life has been good to Livia and Adam. Their two children Marnie,19 and Josh, 22 are both good kids. Until Livia finds out one of them is not making such good decisions and she knows if she tells Adam he will go ballistic. So she keeps her secret until after her party and hopes Marnie doesn’t show up and blow things up.

Adam is determined to have Marnie come home for the party and surprise her mother. And now Adam has a secret. One that will tear the family apart and he can’t say a word. Nothing happens until Livia has had her day. But suddenly something happens that puts Adam in an awful position and wishing he had never asked Marnie to come.

Suspenseful and twisty, I wasn’t sure until the last minute if any of it was true. This was a wicked good domestic suspense.

Highly Recommend a read!

NetGalley/ June 30th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

SAVING RUBY KING by Catherine Adel West

Saving Ruby King

Family. Faith. Secrets. Everything in this world comes full circle.
Ruby King lives on Chicago’s South Side. Her best friend is Layla, daughter of the Pastor. Her mother and Ruby’s are life long friends.
Everyone in the church knows that Alice’s husband beats her so it isn’t shocking when she is murdered in her own home.
The police dismiss it as just more violence in this area. But Ruby has lost her mother and now her father takes his frustrations out on her.
Her father has dirt on the pastor so he isn’t helping Ruby. Everyone has secrets. Everyone is assuming a lot. There are awful secrets and in the end, no one can save Ruby but Ruby.

It is hard to believe this is a debut novel! We hear the viewpoints of all the main characters and their heartbreaking secrets. This one of the most honest and touching books I have read.
NetGalley/June 16th, 2020 by Park Row

LITTLE SECRETS by JENNIFER HILLIER

Little Secrets

From the author of Jar of Hearts comes this edge of your seat, domestic suspense thriller of a story!

Marin and Derek are living the perfect life. College love and two driven people. Marin owns a very successful chain of hair salons and Derek owns his own business as well. Money isn’t something they think about. They even have a perfectly lovely little boy, Sebastian.

But in the blink of an eye, Sebastian disappears from his mother’s hand and is gone. The video surveillance shows him happily walking out with a Santa.

Cut forward a year and you wouldn’t know this is the same woman. The leads are dead, no one seems to be looking for her child. She goes to therapy, a group of people with little in common except for the fact their children are all missing.

Marin has secretly hired a PI, Vanessa, to try and find Sebastian. What she finds is evidence of an affair Derek is having with some young tart.

Marin has been sleepwalking through life until now. Now she is clearheaded and out for blood! Who is this younger woman?

Kenzie is a graduate student and aspiring artist. She is famous. On IG. Derek isn’t her first rich catch. But Marin intends to make sure he is the last. Marin may not be able to do anything about her son, but Kenzie is one problem that she can deal with.

With help from a dear college friend, she finds someone to take care of that issue, only to find out Kenzie may know something about her son! And Derek isn’t exactly innocent either.

This book was like jumping into the deep end of the pool. No build-up, no ramping up gradually, nope, not at all. There were really good characters here. Slimy, yes, but good. People I didn’t want to like but did so grudgingly. People who were just like me and yet did not see what was right in front of their eyes.

I can say I was properly scared to death and I can’t wait to go back and savor it slowly this time!

 

NetGalley/  April 21st, 2020 by Minotaur Books