Told in two times, decades apart, by two women.
Maureen hasn’t had the best life up to now. With a drug addict mother, she has been fending for herself for a long time. Now she’s working as a carnival girl. Traveling from town to town. This isn’t the life she wants for herself. But it’s the life she has.
In 1985, they land at Opal Beach for the entire summer. In a town divided, Maureen is even outside the Townies group. But she makes a friend, falls for a wealthy family’s youngest son and believes she has found someplace she can put down roots.
But Maureen has misjudged the situation and one day she just isn’t there anymore. No one talks about it, but everyone knows about it.
Decades after Maureen, Allison Simpson is offered a house-sitting position for one of the wealthy couples in Opal Beach, after offering her husband and his girlfriend an umbrella while on the air doing the weather! Oh yes, our Allison has caught her husband cheating and isn’t afraid to air her dirty laundry in public. Even if it means losing her job. Which is a given.
Now she’s divorced, with no job and living with her sister. She has nothing to lose by digging into the local intrigue. And then odd gifts begin to show up at her door. Is Maureen alive? Does someone want Allison to investigate this?
What she quickly learns is these people have dark secrets and have no intention of letting her live to tell the tale!
Really good characters. Very human and scarily real.
NetGalley/ October 1st, 2019 by Graydon House/ Harlequin Mystery
In the New York Times, bestselling author Nevada Barr’s gripping standalone, a grandmother in her sixties emerges from a mental fog to find she’s trapped in her worst nightmare
Rose Dennis has always been quirky if that is what you call a woman who takes astral journeys and paints wild paintings that sell for big money. She married Harley later in life and when he died she was all of a sudden crazy.
But it takes Rose the entire book to figure out why. She wakes up from a drug-induced fog after suffering a severe case of the flu only to find out she is in some kind of mental institution. It’s really a Memory Care Unit for people with early-onset dementia or full Alzheimers. But why is she here? Now that the drugs keeping her compliant are out of her system and she has no intention of taking any more. Especially after hearing voices in the hall outside of her room saying she won’t last out the week.
Rose is a very self-sufficient woman. It doesn’t take long for her to sneak out and disappear into the woods. Unfortunately, she is found rather quickly and returned.
This only makes her more determined to get out and find out who put her here. So she’s faking taking her meds and stockpiling them. After a daring escape, she ends up back at her house. Just as she is doubting her own sanity, a man breaks into her house trying to kill her. Okay, so not crazy. But how is she going to prove that? And what about all of the other people left behind. Are they just drugged too?
Along with her 13-year-old granddaughter, Mel and her reclusive, cat-obsessed sister, Marion, who by the way is NOT a hacker (right) and Mel’s friend Royal they are determined to find out the truth. Is someone killing people for profit? And could Mel and Rose be next? Who is willing to kill to get their hands on Rose’s millions?
I thought this was a really good read. The characters were interesting and fun. I’ve seen some reviews talking about Rose and an elderly woman climbing a roof. First, 68 is not elderly. 88 may be elderly but the lady I box with is 68 and she can get on her roof and install new shingles!
NetGalley/September 17th, 2019 by Minotaur Books
All released today! Available everywhere books are sold! From Down’s to AI to Race and a twisty thriller!
It is 1969 and in Dover, Ginny has just given birth to a daughter, Lucy. But Lucy doesn’t get to hold her baby and take her home. Lucy has Down’s Syndrome and her father and grandfather just can’t have that.
They proceed to stick Lucy in Willowridge and assure Ginny it is for the best. It is not. It is a hell hole for unwanted children. When Ginny finally finds her backbone and rescues Lucy things got tense.
I had to keep reminding myself this was 1969. Times were different. But it was still the same poor woman can’t manage herself and can’t see that her husband is the bad guy.
I understood this was based on true events. If so I am happy things turned out well, but the story was lacking.
NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press August 6th, 2019
Natalie has left behind the Pacific Northwest and an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer, and fled to the Big Apple! She is an artist and between struggling to pay her rent, her tuition, and food, she isn’t left with much.
While her roommates’ plot to get her out of the apartment due to her constant lateness with the bills as well as bringing home guys. She is stretched as tight as she can be. When her bar job ends she is desperate to stay in school and stay in New York.
Her art school friends have lots of suggestions, but Nat needs money now. When she hears about Sugar Babies, she loathes having to go there, but go there she does.
All she has to do is hang out for a dinner or two and she gets paid. A part of her feels like a whore but the part that wants to have nice things and stay in New York wins over.
And that was where it went awry. The girl is 21. And not a big city girl. She talks so formally and the obsession comes so fast that it left me wondering if there was a deadline somewhere. In the end, they were all despicable people.
NetGalley/ July 30th, 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press
In this game, even winning can be deadly…
Amy Whey with her perfect husband, great step-daughter and baby Oliver, has a life she loves. A life she created. She has great friends, a job she loves teaching scuba lessons and a book club of friends. But her best friend is Char. They are a perfect little group of ordinary women.
Life is good until one day there is a new woman on the block. A woman with a fancy red sports car and a teenaged son. Angelica Roux. Even her name sounds seductive. When she insinuates herself into their lives by showing up at their book club, Amy’s internal alarm system is going off. This woman is dangerous. Instead of reading the book, she suggests a game of Never Have I Ever and Amy knows this creature knows her deepest, ugliest secret. One that could ruin everything she has built and cost her everyone in her life.
When Roux gets Amy alone she confirms Amy’s fears. But for the paltry sum of a quarter of a million dollars, Roux will quietly be on her way. Amy has no intention of giving Roux anything. And so begins Amy’s plan to find out just who Roux is and how she even knows about Amy. In a race against the clock, she takes a big gamble and tries to beat Roux at her own game.
This was a twisty one! Secrets, Lies, Betrayals, the sins of our youth coming back to haunt us. The closer I got to the end, the faster I read. She did what??? He’s who??? Oh my gosh!
NetGalley/ July 30, 2019 William Morrow
Summer is in full swing here. Lots of sun, sand, and water. And of course, a good book!
Some of my favorite reads this summer have been:
Oh, what a twisty puzzle this thriller was!
Mean Girls meets the PTA
This is an outstanding novel about freedom, racism, and family.
Another one that tugged at my heartstrings and made me cry!
What is everyone looking forward to reading? At the moment I am reading Campusland by Scott Johnson.
Have a good one! We are under a severe heat warning. I’ll be in the pool!