THE FINAL DECEPTION by HEATHER GRAHAM

The Final Deception

New York Confidential #5

How do you confront a threat that is hiding in plain sight? FBI agent Craig Frasier and psychologist Kieran Finnegan hunt an escaped serial killer in the latest explosive thriller in the New York Confidential series.

The gruesome murders confessed to by the killer called the Fireman have left their mark on Kieran and Craig.

Even locked away his name and his story are chilling. When Kieran is asked to consult with the man to see if he is insane or just plain evil, she is not prepared for the man she meets. 

But just days later there is another body. With the same MO and in a bizarre turn of events our serial killer escapes from prison and is now on the loose. While the body count rises, Craig and Kieran may be in the most danger as they chase an escaped killer and try to unravel a web of lies, greed and straight-up crazy!

Graham never fails to give us a good, twisty, thriller of a tale! This was like trying to untangle a Rubick’s Cube! So many threads to pull at and everyone had me thinking, “Oh, yeah, he did it. ” And every time I was wrong.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ March 31st, 2020 by MIRA

 

 

The Woman in the Mirror: A Novel by Rebecca James

The Woman in the Mirror: A Novel

They wanted her land. She didn’t want to give it. He made her fall in love with him. And then he labeled her a witch. She can hear the horses coming. She knows he has betrayed her. But if she is to die, it will be on her own terms and heaven help Ivan de Grey’s family and the cursed land where he will build his enormous Gothic home, Winterbourne Hall. On the bluff overlooking the sea, where once a woman had lived, loved and died.

And so it stood in Cornwall in isolation, looking gloomy and slightly scary.

In 1947, Alice Miller is living in London but can’t wait to get away. Memories of horrible things haunt her. When she sees the advert about a governess position at Winterbourne, she jumps at the chance. Her job will be to care for Captain Jonothan de Grey’s children. Twins, a boy and a girl, 8 years old and motherless.

Alice falls in love with the children as well as their father. The children seem to adore her but when they start behaving alarmingly like little demons and turn on her she is suspicious. The house seems to be cursed. When her one night with her boss leaves her pregnant and half-crazed, Jonothan tells her they are going to Paris. He drops her off with the nuns and hopes she will be safe there.

In the present day, Rachel Wright, just opening her gallery has also just received a letter for solicitors that her Aunt Constance has died and left Winterbourne and everything to her, her niece. Rachel is stunned. She was adopted as an infant and has been searching for her mother for a long time. She sees this as a chance to find out what happened to her mother and who was her father?

The answers she finds are alarming and sad. The house itself is dark and foreboding and you just know there is a dead body or two waiting to be found!

There are multiple timelines here. And we hear Alice’s and Rachel’s and someone or something else. Something malicious that wants them all to die.

Rachel gets answers and decides to stay in Winterbourne. After all, they have destroyed the mirror and the house does seem lighter, but you can bet this isn’t the end!

The timelines were a bit much but looking back, it was the only way the story could be told. And Oh what a story it is!

A good old fashioned ghost story! Witches, Curses, Women driven mad, Scary Children, I would say this one had it all!

NetGalley/March 17th, 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE OTHER MRS. by MARY KUBICA

The Other Mrs.

She tried to run, but she can’t escape the other Mrs.

Sadie and Will have moved from Chicago to a small town in Maine. One, they need a fresh start. Someone had an affair. Two, Will’s sister has died and he has inherited a large home and a surly teenager. Plus there was an incident with their son Otto at school.

Imogene is the one who found her mother dead and she is not happy about Will and Sadie and their two boys showing up. She is scary!

Shortly after they move in a neighbor, Morgan Baines, is killed in her home. A neighbor swears he saw Morgan and Sadie fighting, but Sadie has never met Morgan.

This is one messed up family! Every single character had some serious issues! And the twists and turns almost gave me whiplash! What??? I was on the edge of my seat the entire book!

February 18th, 2020 by Park Row/NetGalley

 

 

 

 

BLOG TOUR* AN EVERYDAY HERO by LAURA TRENTHAM* RELEASE DAY! EXCERPT!

An Everyday Hero cover image

Always a pleasure to read Laura Trentham’s work. And this was exceptional.

The Story:

Greer Hadley thought by now she would be a big star in Nashville. But after a long struggle with no success, her big moment has passed her by.  At thirty she is back in the town of Madison living with her parents and making bad decisions.

She’s hurt and behaving badly. And one of those lands her in jail and standing before her Uncle Bill in court. Sentenced to community service, Greer is angry and not planning to do anything but pick up trash. But her wise uncle sends her to volunteer at a musical rehab facility for vets and their families.

The problem is Greer has lost her joy in music. So how is she going to help anyone?

Her first two challenges are a 15-year-old whose father did not come home from war. Ally is angry, hurting and acting out. Her mother isn’t handling things very well either.

Emmett was the man in high school. Handsome, athletic and expected to do big things in the military, much like his father and grandfather. But Emmett came home missing more than a limb. He lost himself. Riddled with guilt that shouldn’t be his, he is full of rage and self-loathing. How is Greer supposed to handle that?

By a twist of fate, they all may be able to save each other. Three stubborn and hurting people. Will they get a second chance?

I am so glad I was home alone when I read this. I sobbed. It was painful and uncomfortable and I am so much better for having read this.

A Five Star Read!

Well Done!

NetGalley/February 4th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Chapter 1

 

“Disorderly conduct. Public intoxication. Resisting arrest.” Judge Duckett put down the paper, linked his hands, and stared over his reading glasses from his perch behind the bench with a combination of exasperation and fatherly disapproval.

 

Greer Hadley shifted in her sensible heels and smoothed the skirt of the light pink suit she’d borrowed from her mama for the occasion. “I’ll give you the first two, Uncle Bill—” The judge cleared his throat and narrowed his eyes. “Excuse me—Judge Duckett—but I did not resist arrest.”

 

“That you recall.” Deputy Wayne Peeler drawled the words out in the most sarcastic, unprofessional manner possible.

 

She fisted her hands and took a deep breath. The impulse to punch Wayne in the face simmered below the surface like a volcano no longer at rest. But ten o’clock on a Monday morning during her arraignment was not the smartest time to lose her temper, and she’d promised herself not to add to her string of bad decisions.

 

She sweetened her voice and bared her teeth at Wayne in the facsimile of a smile. “I recall plenty, thank you very much.”

 

Truth was she didn’t recall the minute details, but the shock of Wayne’s whispered offer on Saturday night to make her troubles go away for a price had done more to sober her up than the couple of hours spent in lockup waiting for her parents.

 

Dressed in his tan uniform, Wayne adjusted his heavy gun belt so often she imagined he got off every night by rubbing his gun. Giving him a badge had only empowered the part of him desperate for respect and approval. His nickname in high school, “the Weasel,” had been well earned.

 

Unfortunately, she was the unreliable narrator of her life at the moment and no one would trust her recollections. Judge Duckett, her uncle Bill by marriage until he and her aunt Tonya had divorced, rustled papers from his desk.

 

The ethics of her former uncle acting as her judge were questionable, especially considering they had remained close even after he’d remarried, but if nepotism is what it took to make this nightmare go away, then she wouldn’t be the one to lodge a complaint.

 

“A witness claimed you were sitting quietly at the end of the bar until a song played on the jukebox. What was the song?” Her uncle glanced at her over his glasses again, which made him look like a stern teacher.

 

“‘Before He Cheats’ by Carrie Underwood.” She forced her chin up.

 

His mouth opened, closed, and he dropped his gaze back to the paper. A murmur broke out behind her.

 

She would not cry. She wouldn’t. She blinked like her life depended on a tear not falling. Later, in the privacy of her childhood bedroom, she would bury her face in the eyelet-covered pillow and let loose.

 

Beau Williams, her cheating ex-boyfriend, was only partially to blame for her embarrassing behavior. It was a confluence of setbacks that had had her holding down the end of the bar. Hearing Carrie’s revenge anthem had hit a nerve exposed by the shots of Jack. Rage had quickened the effects of the alcohol, and that’s when things got fuzzy.

 

“Yes, well. That is a rather … Let’s move on, shall we? The witness also claims after a heartfelt, albeit slurred speech about the vagaries of relationships and how the moral fiber of the Junior League of Madison was frayed, you fed five dollars into the jukebox and played the same song for over an hour. ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline, was it?”

 

Ugh. She didn’t recall how much money she’d fed the machine, but it sounded like something she would do. “Crazy” was one of her favorite songs. A master class in conveying emotion through simple lyrics. She was just sorry she’d wasted five dollars on Beau. He didn’t deserve her money, her heart, or Patsy.

 

“No one can fault my taste in the classics.” Greer tried a smile, but her lips quivered and she pressed them together.

 

Her uncle continued to read from the witness statement, “You proceeded to throw two glasses on the floor, shattering them, and attempted to break a chair across the jukebox.”

 

She swallowed hard. A vague picture of a frustratingly sturdy chair surfaced. The fact the chair remained intact while she was falling apart had sent her anger soaring higher and hotter. A glance from her uncle Bill over the paper had her giving him a nod. She couldn’t deny it.

 

He continued, “A patron called 911. When Deputy Peeler arrived, he pulled you away from the jukebox and forced you outside. That’s where, he claims, you kicked him … well, you know where.”

 

“Wayne dragged me down the stairs—”

 

“Deputy Peeler, if you please.” Wayne sniffed loudly.

 

“As Deputy Peeler escorted me down the stairs, I lost my balance and fell. The heel of my shoe jabbed into his crotch. Sorry.” Greer didn’t make an attempt to mask her not-sorry voice with fake respect.

 

If she accused Wayne of misbehavior on the job, he would deny it and spin it somehow to make her look even more irresponsible. Lord knows, she’d embarrassed her parents enough for a lifetime. Anyway, seeing him rolling on the ground and cupping his crotch had been sweet payback.

 

“I sustained an injury where that spike you call a heel caught me.” Wayne half turned toward her.

 

Instead of playing it smart and soothing his delicate male ego, she batted her eyes at him. “I’m sure that’s left the ladies of Madison real upset.”

 

Wayne took a step toward her. “You are such a—”

 

The gavel knocked against the bench and her uncle stood, looming over them. “I’ve heard enough, Deputy. Sit down.”

 

Wayne turned on his heel and left Greer to face her uncle Bill. This was where she would promise such a thing would never happen again, and he would give her a stern warning before dismissing all charges.

 

“I’m striking the resisting arrest charge. It was an accident.”

 

Greer forced herself not to look over her shoulder and stick her tongue out at Wayne. That left only two misdemeanors, which her uncle could expunge with a swipe of his pen.

 

He settled behind the bench and picked up his pen, his gaze on the papers. “You will pay for any damages.”

 

“I’ve already reimbursed Becky.” Technically, she’d had to use her parents’ money, considering she’d crawled home from Nashville broke. “And apologized profusely. You can be assured there will not be a repeat performance. I’ve learned my lesson.”

 

“Good. As for the other charges…”

 

Her deep breath cleansed a portion of the tension across her shoulders, and a smile born of relief appeared.

 

“You will perform fifty hours of community service.”

 

Her smile froze on her face. It sounded like a lot, but she’d been stupid and immature and deserved punishment. “I understand. Clean roads are important.”

 

“Litter pickup? Goodness no.” He took his glasses off and smiled at her for the first time, but it wasn’t the jolly-uncle smile she was familiar with. “You have talents that would be wasted on the side of the road picking up trash, Ms. Hadley. You will spend your fifty hours working at the Music Tree Foundation.”

 

“I’m not familiar with it.” She swallowed. The mention of music set her stomach roiling. “Highway 45 was in terrible shape on my drive in last week.”

 

“The foundation is a nonprofit music program that focuses on helping military veterans and their families cope with the trauma they’ve endured serving our country. They’re in need of volunteer songwriters and musicians.”

 

“I can’t write or play anymore.” Her dream of hearing one of her songs on the radio had died. Not in a blaze of glory but from a slow, torturous starvation of hope. At thirty, she was resigned to finding a real job and cobbling together a normal life in the place she’d tried to leave behind.

 

“My decision is final. As far as I can determine, your brain—despite this lapse in judgment—is in fine working order. You can and will help these men and women heal through your gift of music. Unless you’d rather spend thirty days in county lockup?”

 

Would her uncle actually throw her in jail? For a month? “No, Your Honor, I don’t want to go to county lockup.”

 

“Good. Once you turn in your log with all your hours signed off by the foundation’s manager, your record with this court will be cleared.” He handed her file to a clerk. “Case closed. Next up is docket number fourteen.”

 

She stood there until he met her gaze with his unflinching one. “Go home, Greer.”

 

Her parents were waiting at the door to the courtroom. While they’d faced the horror of having to bail their only child out of jail stoically, her mother’s embarrassment and disappointment were ripe and all-encompassing. Greer wilted and trailed her parents out of the courthouse.

 

She felt like a child. An incompetent, needy child living in her old bedroom and dependent on her parents for emotional and financial support. She thought she’d hit rock bottom many times over the years, but her situation now had revealed new lows.

 

The silence in the car built into a painful crescendo.

 

“The tiger lilies are lovely this year, don’t you think?” Her mother’s attempt at normalcy was strained but welcome.

 

Her father’s hands squeaked along the steering wheel as an answer.

 

Greer huddled in the backseat and stared out the window, the clumps of flowers on the side of the road an orange blur. As a teenager, she’d chafed at her parents’ protectiveness and had wanted nothing more than to escape to Nashville, where she’d been convinced glory and fame awaited. Now she was home and a disappointment not only to her parents but to herself. Even worse, she hadn’t come up with a plan to turn her life around.

 

“Ira Jenkins is back in the hospital. I thought I’d run by and check on him. Since Sarah passed, he seems a shell of the man he once was.” Her mother turned to face the backseat. “Would you like to come with me? I’m sure he’d be happy to see you.”

 

“He won’t remember me, Mama.”

 

“I’m sure he will.”

 

Greer scrunched farther down in the seat. The last thing she wanted was to make small talk with a man she hadn’t seen in years.

 

“You’ll have to get out eventually and face the music.” Her mother’s smile wavered and threatened to turn into tears. “So to speak.”

 

Her mother was trying, which was more than could be said for Greer at the moment. Her parents deserved a better daughter. Someone successful they could brag on at the Wednesday-night potlucks at church. Not a daughter they had to bail out of jail.

 

“I will. I promise. Just not to see Mr. Jenkins.” Greer leaned forward and squeezed her mother’s hand over the seat, needing to give her something to hope for even if Greer wasn’t sure what that might be.

 

Her father cleared his throat. “You need to think about the future.”

 

He ignored her mother’s whispered, “Not now, Frank.”

 

“A job. Or back to school. We’ll put you through nursing or accounting or something useful.” He shifted to meet her gaze in the rearview mirror. “But you can’t keep on like you’re doing. You need a purpose.”

 

“I’ll start looking for a job tomorrow.” School had never been her wheelhouse. She’d been sure she’d make it in Nashville and had never formulated a backup plan.

 

They pulled up to her childhood home, a two-story brick Colonial on the main street of Madison, Tennessee. Oaks had been planted down a middle island like a line of soldiers at attention. They had grown to shade both sides of the street. It was picturesque and cast the imagination back to a time when ladies lounged on porches with their iced tea and gossiped with their neighbors to escape the heat of summer. Air-conditioning had altered that way of life.

 

At one time, as a kid, she’d known every family up and down the street well enough to knock on their door for help or run through their backyard in epic games of tag. Now, though, the houses were being bought up by people who used Madison to escape the bustle of an expanding Nashville. They built pools in the backyards and fences and weren’t outside except to walk their trendy dogs.

 

The march of progress through Madison added to her melancholy sadness. There was a reason not being able to go home again was a recurring theme in books and songs.

 

“We love you, Greer. You know that, don’t you?” Her mother’s voice was tight with emotion, but she didn’t turn around, thank goodness.

 

Her mother never cried and if Greer witnessed tears, she would burst into sobs herself and embarrass everyone.

 

“I know. Thanks for everything. I’m going to do better. Be better.” It seemed a wholly inadequate promise she wasn’t even sure she could keep, but it was all she could manage. She ducked out of the car and skipped around to a side door of the house that was always unlocked.

 

Her room was both a haven and a mocking reminder of the state of her life. Posters of album covers papered the wall behind her bed, the colors faded from the sun and the edges curling with age.

 

In high school, she’d gravitated toward indie folk artists and away from the commercially driven country-music machine located a few miles south. Joan Baez was flanked by Patty Griffin and Dolly Parton. Even though Dolly veered more country than Greer, no one could deny the legend’s songwriting chops. The guitar Greer had hocked for rent money had borne Dolly’s signature like a talisman. Sometimes Greer ached for her guitar like a missing limb.

 

The flashing glimpse of a woman in a pale pink suit stopped her in the middle of the floor. She turned to face the full-length mirror glued to the back of the closet door. God, it was like glimpsing her mom through a time warp.

 

Greer touched the delicate pearls that had been passed down to her on her eighteenth birthday. They were old-fashioned and traditional and stereotypical of a Southern “good girl.” Not her style. She’d left them in her dresser drawer when she’d left home the day after high school graduation.

 

A tug of recognition of the women who had come before her had her clutching the strand in her hand as if something lost were now found. Was it her circumstances or her age growing her nostalgia like a tree setting roots?

 

She turned around to break the connection with the stranger in the mirror, stripped off the pink suit, and pulled on jeans and a cotton oxford. Her mother would appreciate seeing her in something besides the frayed shorts and grungy concert T-shirts she’d lounged around in the last week. She reached behind her neck for the clasp of the necklace, but her hands stilled, then dropped to her sides, leaving the pearls in place.

 

She stepped out of her room and was enveloped in silence. Her father had returned to his insurance office and her mother must have set off for her hospital visit. The house took on an expectant quality, as if waiting for its true owners to return. She was no longer a fundamental part of this world. Not unwelcome, perhaps, but a loose cog in her parents’ lives.

 

She tiptoed downstairs to the kitchen and made herself a ham sandwich. May was too early for fresh tomatoes, but in another month or two her mother’s garden would make tomato sandwiches an everyday treat.

 

Craving an escape, Greer grabbed a book and settled in her favorite window seat. The rest of the afternoon passed in the same expectant silence. The chime of the doorbell made her start and drop her book. If she pretended no one was home, maybe whoever was on the front porch would go away. The last thing she wanted was to face one of Madison’s gossips masquerading as a do-gooder.

 

The creak of the door opening had her bolting to her feet.

 

“Greer? I know you’re home. Are you decent?” Her uncle Bill’s booming voice echoed in the two-story foyer.

 

She propped her shoulder in the doorway of the sunroom. “Letting yourself in people’s houses is a good way of getting shot around here.”

 

“While your mama would have liked to have shot me during the divorce with her sister, I hope we’ve made our peace.” He closed the door behind him and Greer did what she’d wanted to do in the courtroom—she threw herself at him for a hug.

 

He lifted her off her feet and spun her once around. Her laugh hit her ears like a foreign language. It had been too long since she’d laughed from a place of happiness.

 

“You could have just come out to the house. You didn’t have to get arrested to see me.” Bill let her go, and she led him into the sunroom.

 

“Do you want something to drink?” Greer asked, already turning for the kitchen and the fresh brewed pitcher of sweet iced tea.

 

“No, thanks. Mary has fried chicken ready to go in the pan, so I can’t stay long.”

 

Bill had divorced her aunt Tonya more than a decade earlier and married the choir director of the biggest black church in town. A scandal had ensued not because he’d married a black woman, but because he, a long-standing deacon in the Church of Christ, had converted to a heathen Methodist.

 

“How is Mary?”

 

“Always singing.” He shook his head, an indulgent smile on his face, as they settled into their seats.

 

His comment sprinkled salt on an open wound. She’d begged off going to church with her parents because of the questions she was sure to face and the hymns she couldn’t bring herself to sing. Some of her earlier happiness at seeing him leaked out. “Good for her.”

 

“I came to make sure you weren’t mad at me.”

 

“Why would I be mad?”

 

“I got the impression you expected me to dismiss the charges.” His smile turned into a wince.

 

“I wouldn’t have been upset if you had, but I get it. I was an idiot and deserve punishment.” She picked at the fringe on a decades-old needlepoint pillow and cast him a pleading glance. “I’d rather pick up trash, though, if it’s all the same to you.”

 

“It’s not the same to me.” He crossed his long legs and tapped a finger on the cherry armrest of the antique chair that looked ready to surrender at any moment to his bulk. “Do you remember Amelia Shelton?”

 

“Mary’s daughter? She was a couple of years ahead of me in school. We didn’t hang out or anything, but she seemed nice.” Greer couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen Amelia. Greer’s side of the family had skipped Bill and Mary’s small wedding ceremony; the acrimony between him and her aunt Tonya hadn’t faded at that point.

 

“Amelia is the founder and director of the Music Tree Foundation and is desperate for qualified volunteers. You’ve been playing and singing and writing music since you were knee high. It was meant to be.”

 

“It’s not meant to be. I’ve got to get a real job.”

 

Her uncle made a scoffing sound. “You’re too much like my Mary. You could never leave music behind.”

 

“Music dumped me on the side of the road, gave me the finger, and peeled out.” Greer shook her head and touched the string of pearls, her gaze on his polished black dress shoes. “I’m a mess, Uncle Bill. I have nothing to offer. In fact, I’ll probably make things worse for whatever poor soul I get paired with.”

 

She expected him to argue, but he seemed to be weighing the truth in her words like the scales of justice. His shrug wasn’t in the least reassuring. “Amelia has done something really special with her foundation. It might do you a world of good to focus on someone besides yourself.”

 

“Dang, that’s harsh.”

 

He patted her knee. “I’ve seen all kinds come through my courtroom. The ones who turn it around are the ones who quit feeling sorry for themselves.”

 

“But—”

 

“But nothing. Beau is an asshole. Not the first or the last you’re likely to encounter. Don’t you deserve better than him?”

 

“Yes?” She wished she’d been able to put more conviction into the word.

 

Beau was successful, nice-looking—even though a bald spot was conquering his hair day by day—and respected in their town. They’d known each other since high school, but had only started dating in the last year.

 

He was solid and steady and comfortable. Three things lacking from her life. Catching him cheating with the president of the Junior League had been another seismic shift in her world, leaving her unsure and off balance.

 

“If you can’t believe in yourself yet, then believe me. You are talented, Greer, and you have the ability to help people find their voice.” He slipped a card out of his wallet. When she didn’t reach for it, he waved it in her face until she took it.

 

A tree styled with musical symbols of all different colors decorated one side of the card. She ran her thumb over the raised black ink of Amelia’s name and an address on the outskirts of Nashville. “I don’t have much choice, do I?”

 

“Not if you want to stay in my—and the court’s—good graces. She’s expecting you tomorrow at three.”

 

“No rest for the wicked, huh?” Her smile was born of sarcasm.

 

Bill rose and ruffled her hair like he had when she was little. “Not wicked. Lost.”

 

Greer walked him out, brushed a kiss on his cheek, and murmured her thanks. She leaned on the porch rail and waved until he disappeared down the street.

 

I once was lost, and now I’m found. She’d sung “Amazing Grace” so many times that the lyrics had ceased to have an impact. But, standing on her childhood front porch, having come full circle, a shiver went down her spine, and goose bumps broke over her arms despite the heat that wavered over the pavement like a mirage. Her granny would have said that someone had walked over her grave. Maybe so. Or maybe change was a-coming whether she wanted to face up to it or not.

 

Copyright © 2020 by Laura Trentham

 

The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler

The Look-Alike

Thriller, Psychological Drama, and Mental Illness. It sounds like a recipe for staying up past your bedtime!

Erica Spindler is a master at twisty, mental thrillers.

Ten years ago Sienna Scott was taking a shortcut from the library at college. Wearing a white coat with the hood pulled low, she could barely see for all of the snow coming down. Until she sees the red that shouldn’t be there, and a dead girl wearing the same coat as Sienna.

Sienna’s mother has had mental health issues since shortly after Sienna’s birth. Paranoid delusions, fear of someone hurting her child. She has been locked up in her own house since Sienna left and is getting worse. But what if they really are out to get you? Are you still paranoid?

Sienna is still dealing with the thoughts she has that the girl’s death was meant for her. She just can’t shake that feeling and when her mother agrees with her, the seed is planted.

Shortly after the murder, she was sent to London to live with her aunt. Her father afraid she would turn out like her mother, asked her half-brother to look after her after his death. Since Sienna has been gone so long, he has mainly been taking care of her mother, but now he needs help and Sienna returns.

This was one crazy ride! I suspected everyone at some point. Compulsively readable, a cast of great characters and a great ending!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ January 28th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

THE DEAD GIRLS CLUB by DAMIEN ANGELICA WALTERS

The Dead Girls Club

 

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

It’s 1991 and Heather, her best friend Becca and their two other friends are obsessed with serial killers, and all things macabre.
Becca is the storyteller of the group and comes up with some seriously scary tales. But the one keeps coming back. The Red Lady. Once a witch murdered by her own town while not one of her friends speaks up for her. Revenge quickly follows with the entire town dying.

Becca believes the story and even makes a believer out of Rachel and Gia, the other girls in the Dead Girls Club. But Heather is sure there is no such thing. Until something happens and she begins to doubt herself and Becca.

With Becca believing all she needs is her best friends help her to prove the Red Lady is real, Heather swears to help her. And then Becca is dead and Heather will never be the same.

Fast forward 30 years and strange things are happening. Heather is sure she is being followed. When half of a BFF necklace shows up in the mail, Heather is sure of one thing. Someone knows what she did. Someone knows she killed her best friend and now they are coming for her.

This was a ghost story in the best way! A group of young girls, obsessed with Stephen King and Ted Bundy equally, mess with magic and a long-dead witch when the real horror is much closer and alive than they know.

I love a good ghost tale! And this one I read in 3 hours even eating dinner while reading. I had to know what was real and what wasn’t. And I never saw that ending coming at all! I suspected everyone and all for good reasons, but wow, that ending!

NetGalley/December 10th, 2019 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

 

WHAT ROSE FORGOT BY NEVADA BARR

What Rose Forgot

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!

Well Done!

NetGalley/September 17th, 2019 by Minotaur Books