THE FAMILY PLOT by MEGAN COLLINS

The Family Plot

Author of The Winter Sister and Behind The Red Door is back with another twisty, shocking thriller!

Twenty-six- year-old Dahlia Lighthouse is returning to her family home. A place she hasn’t been back to for years. Taking the ferry across to the island she was raised on with her twin brother Andy and much older siblings, Charlie and Tate. Their father has died and they are all coming home to bury him.

Not that they particularly want to. Raised in a mansion in the woods, the neighbors called it the Murder Mansion. Isolated and home-schooled, Dahlia is unable to get past the terrible things that happened here. Totally unprepared for life and afraid to live.

The mother is obsessed with true crime. The father goes along with it and the four children are brought up on the ABC murders instead of the alphabet. The house is filled with murder memorablilia. The town thinks they are insane. The police chief is suspicious and keeps hanging around. Everything about this place is creepy and just not right.

Dahlia spends all her time trying to find her twin brother who went missing on their sixteenth birthday. Dahlia knows he ran away because of their unnatural home life.

When they are all together there is just something not right with her sister or brother. What are they hiding?

As the handyman digs the grave for the father he is shocked, along with everyone else, to find the bones of Andy. With an ax. Every one of them handles this so differently. Dahlia knows someone killed him and she isn’t going to stop until she knows the truth.

I think you should find out the rest on your own. This was a disturbing story. My favorite kind. The mother was doing murder reenactments and the sister makes dioramas of the victims for Instagram. The brother, well he’s just nuts.

There were so many suspects in this. There is also a sub-plot going on as well. Also about murder. I stayed up way too late reading this. It was worth it!

NetGalley/ August 17, 2021 Atria




Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie

Songs in Ursa Major

Songs in Ursa Major is a love story set in 1969 through today. It is about so much more than the music industry in the ’70’s. Although that is a story that never gets old.

Jane Quinn lives on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. She sings with her band along with her friends. She lives with her Grandma Elsie and her Aunt Grace. Where her mother is is quite a mystery.

When Jane meets folk singer Jesse Reid who is recovering from an accident at the facility her aunt works at she begins a relationship that will push and pull them for years. Jesse’s star is on the rise and the nasty record company has decided Jane will be his girlfriend and her band will open for him. Fine, looks good. Until it isn’t. Jane wants to sing her own songs in her own way and she will sacrifice love for that.

When she discovers Jesse’s dark secret she is out of there. Black balled by a nasty producer, she returns home and tries to make peace with all of the secrets in her own life. Starting with her mother.

Obviously the music industry is cutthroat. The record company owns you and your music. What Jane does is brave and I love her character. This was a book for music lovers. The lyrics, the emotions, the love, the sacrifice! Oh my I loved this book so much!

NetGalley Review/22 June 2021 Knopf Doubleday

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

Little Threats by Emily Schultz

Little Threats

The year is 2008 and Kennedy Wynn is finally being released from prison. Maybe now she can find out if she is really guilty or not.

It’s the summer of 1993 and the Wynn twins, Kennedy and Carter are doing what every teen does and seeing just how much they can get away with. They don’t worry about money, they have plenty and are well known in their Richmond neighborhood.

But one night of partying leads to one friend dead and another accused but not remembering anything that happened.

This was a really slow burn for the longest time. When it finally all came together things heated up nicely and the ending was satisfying.

There are a lot of hard to read portions. But in the end I was glad I stuck with it!

NetGalley/ November 10th, 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons



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

 

 

Bronte’s Mistress by Finola Austin

Bronte's Mistress

This dazzling debut novel for fans of Mrs. Poe and Longbourn explores the scandalous historical love affair between Branwell Brontë and Lydia Robinson, giving voice to the woman who allegedly corrupted her son’s innocent tutor and brought down the entire Brontë family.

This is a tale of Branwell Bronte and Lydia Robinson, the mistress of Thorp Green Hall. It is 1843 in Yorkshire and Lydia has suffered not one but two devastating losses this year. Her mother and her youngest daughter.

She doesn’t get much sympathy from her husband, who all but ignores her and the children, and to be honest, she isn’t a very sympathetic character. 

She already has one Bronte sister tutoring her teenage daughters but now has hired a tutor for her only son. And Branwell is the lucky chap. Down on his own luck, at loose ends and fighting his own demons while dealing with his own rather odd family.

He is very passionate about life, the theater, and music and regales them with tales of his sisters, but under the surface, you can just feel the rather manic energy and short temper. As the two begin an illicit relationship, he gets more and more erratic and Lydia knows she must end things to keep her own reputation intact and before those pesky sisters get involved.

 

NetGalley Review/ August 4th, 2020 by Atria Books

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

THE WIFE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH by MICHELE CAMPBELL

The Wife Who Knew Too Much

From Michele Campbell, the bestselling author of It’s Always the Husband comes a new blockbuster thriller in The Wife Who Knew Too Much.

 

At first, I thought I was reading A Stranger on the Beach again. Nora, a very wealthy woman with a huge house on the beach has discovered a secret. And after her huge party tonight she is planning on confronting her cheating husband and his love.

But Nora is smart. She has a diary and records it all. Including the bit about her husband planning to kill her.

Meanwhile, for some reason, her cheating hubby, Connor, is in a small town his family used to come to on vacation. It’s there that he met and had a summer fling with a local girl, Tabitha. He was the one who got away for her. And when he walks into her diner, she falls hook, line, and sinker for his bull.

When she comes up pregnant and shows up at the big party at Nina’s house, Hoping to find Connor and give him the good news. But Conner is playing a different game with someone else hoping to get his hands on Nina’s money.

Tabitha is in her mid-thirties and should know better but she acts like a simple-minded child and it’s not a good look. Who is Connor? Does he care about her or anyone but himself? It’s not looking like it.

Honestly, I didn’t care for a single character. Not even Nina. In my own opinion, I felt like it was the same book as the last one with name changes.

Give it a try and see what you think.

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