THE ISLAND by ADRIAN McKINTY

From the Best Selling Author of The Chain comes a new and explosive new thriller. The Island grabs your attention on page one and doesn’t let up at all.

Heather Baxter is still getting used to being married. A girl from a small island, she moved to Seattle and became a massage therapist. This is where she meets Tom. A doctor whose wife died in a fall down the stairs of their home. He has two kids, Olivia who is fourteen but looks like sixteen, and Owen who is eleven. Oh, they hate Heather. They are rude and spoiled and for some reason, medicated.

When Tom is invited to Australia to speak at a convention of other doctors the kids beg to go and maybe this is what they need to come together as a new family. It is not.

The kids are bored, Heather is sick of them and Tom is sketchy from day one. When someone tells them about Dutch Island, the kids beg to go after being told of all the koalas on the island. But the island is not open for company. There is one ferry that takes people out and back. But only the family who lives on the island. But of course, they all beg to go, and soon a German couple is asking as well.

Shortly after landing, they are told to be back by a specific time. There are no phones or internet on the island and they need to be off the island. But a horrific accident puts them on a collision course with the insane clan who lives there and suddenly Tom is gone and Heather turns into John McClane of Die Hard.

Sick and tired of being underestimated, Heather takes control of the situation in a way that had me wondering if she was secretly CIA! There was so much tension in this book, you could feel the heat and smell the fear.

I loved Heather. They never saw her coming. It was thrilling!

Soon to be a Hulu series.

NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 Little, Brown & Company

DECIMATE by CHRISTOPHER RICE

Decimate

Claire and her brother, Poe, were on a camping trip with their father. The one who is passed out drunk in front of the fire. Poe insists on going into the woods to explore and Claire reluctantly goes along even though it is pitch black and they have no idea where they are going.

In the next minute, the Montana woods explode. A blinding light and a pulse of energy knock them down the mountainside leaving them injured and not at all sure what has happened to them. Their father is screaming aliens and after that their mother divorces him and keeps Claire while their Dad keeps Poe.

Even apart they feel connected somehow. Something has happened to them and they both handle it by self-medicating and ignoring the whole thing. Until a tragedy occurs and Claire must return to Montana for answers.

This is a story of life and death. Near-death experiences taken to the next level. What does happen at the moment of death? And what happened to them as kids? The answers will blow your mind.

Always a pleasure to read Rice.

NetGalley/ : May 10th, 2022 Thomas & Mercer

THE MURDER RULE by DERVLA McTIERNAN

First Rule: Make them like you.

Second Rule: Make them need you.

Third Rule: Make them pay.


They think I’m a young, idealistic law student, and that I’m passionate about reforming a corrupt and brutal system.

They think I’m working hard to impress them.

They think I’m here to save an innocent man on death row.

They’re wrong. I’m going to bury him. 

And with that, we know Hannah has an agenda. Right now she is a third-year law student in Maine. Living with her mother, Laura, who is a master manipulator and an alcoholic. Hannah understands her mother is damaged by things that happened to her in the past. Things Hannah has read in her mother’s diary that covers the summer things went horribly wrong.

First, Hannah needs to convince the head of Virginia’s law school that she is transferring there and wants to be a part of the Innocence Project. The group working to get Michael Dandridge out of prison. While the court has vacated his conviction, the local DA is refiling charges. The project is trying to get him out. Hannah is working to make sure he stays in.

Hannah had a plan and boy did she stick to it. She pretty much blackmailed the professor to let her in the project and then proceeds to sabotage the case. But the sheriff and the district attorney are in cahoots and are blackmailing pretty much everyone in the town and they don’t need her or the team snooping around and they aren’t above killing to ensure they stay don’t get caught.

The mother-daughter relationship was really well-done. We tend to want to make excuses for our mother’s behavior so we believe what they say. Until we don’t and then, it’s over. Hannah was a really good character. Smart in all the ways that count, but naive when it came to her mother. Secrets and lies, and a shocking ending! Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 10th,2022 by William Morrow & Company

DEATH OF THE BLACK WIDOW by JAMES PATTERSON AND J.D. BARKER

One Kiss and you’re dead!

A rookie never forgets his first case.  

Walter O’Brien is a young, green Detroit police officer. Along with his partner, he arrives at a murder scene that will change his life. What they find are a twenty-year-old girl and a dead man. From the scene it appears that the girl was held captive on a bare mattress, tied by rope and handcuffed but now is cowering under the sink in the bathroom. Walter is tasked with taking her in but who knew she was also an escape artist. For Walter, this is a case that will haunt him for life.

Moving forward Walter is promoted to Homicide Detective. And still, he hunts the elusive young woman. When bodies begin to pile up with the same m.o. as in the first case, Walter is obsessed with finding this woman, who must be much older now. One would think.

She enjoys toying with Walter and everyone else she comes in contact with dies. Why? What or who is she?

I’m always excited to see these two writing together. J.D.Barker is all over this one. Horror at its best. And the supernatural is a bit new for Patterson. This was smart, tense, and full of suspense and terror. Just the way I like it!

NetGalley/May 02,2022 Little, Brown & Company


 

 

THE CHILDREN ON THE HILL by Jennifer McMAHON

A genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, which brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us.

I was more than willing to go down the rabbit hole with this one. I do love a good ghost/horror story and with a Mary Shelley-inspired piece, who could resist?

Our narration goes back and forth between 1978/80 to 2019.

In 1978 the highly regarded psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is working with the mentally ill in Vermont. A beautiful place on the surface. Her unorthodox methods carry over to home as well. At home, she is just grandmother to Vi and Eric, whose parents were killed in a car accident.

The kids are homeschooled and their lessons may be unorthodox, but they are also brilliant. Gran has her lab in the basement and lets them play with the mice. Eric collects injured animals from everywhere, filling his room with crippled critters. Violet is more into fighting monsters.

They have their own Monster Hunters Club where they look for clues and look for monsters who walk among us. And they don’t have to look far.

One day Gran brings them home a girl. Iris. She looks rough and has obviously had some type of brain surgery. She doesn’t talk at all but after a bit, the kids get her interested in the world and the monsters. She and Vi become inseparable.

Fast Forward to 2019. Lizzy Shelley is the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us and is hunting an elusive monster in Louisiana when she receives an email from a mnstrgirl. Come home, to Vermont, and find me. Lizzy understands that her past has caught up to her and one of the monsters is calling to her. Only this time she knows the monster is real because it is her sister.

Lizzy heads to Vermont to find a missing girl that a monster supposedly has taken and killed. Against all of her better judgment, Lizzy dives in and finds out just what and who a monster really is.

This was a really good read. All those ghost stories told around the campfire have nothing on this scary tale. I was shocked at the end and that is the best ending!

NetGalley/ April 26th, 2022 by Gallery/Scout Press





THE PARIS APARTMENT by LUCY FOLEY

Such a good mystery here!

From the New York Times, bestselling author of The Guest List comes a new locked room mystery, set in a Paris apartment building in which every resident has something to hide…

Jess is ready to leave London. She has no money, and now, no job. She reaches out to her half-brother, Ben, in Paris, and he doesn’t seem overjoyed to have her come and stay for a bit, but he says yes and gives her the address, promising to pick her up at the station.

Ben is only half listening to Jess on the phone. He’s about to break a major story!

But Ben never shows up. Jess makes her way to the apartment building and wonders just how well he is doing to be living here in this huge space. She rings the bell but no one answers so she sneaks in and picks Ben’s lock. The apartment is huge but sparse and the cat seems to have blood on his fur which goes along with a spot on the floor.

When she discovers his phone and wallet, she is worried. So, she starts knocking on the doors of the other apartments. She finds a mixed bag of weirdness! Six apartments are in the building. As she knocks on their doors the reception she gets is one of shock and rudeness. Except for one seemingly nice guy. But no one admits to knowing Ben or where he may be.

The longer he is gone, the stranger things become. There is a little old lady living in a shed in the backyard. They call her the concierge. There is a socialite living in the penthouse with her husband. There is a timid and odd girl with a loose woman living with her. There is a drunk. And there is Nick, seems nice. Knew Ben in school and Jess feels that even he is hiding something.

Full of sketchy characters, hidden rooms, secret doors, and a whole lot of lies and liars. Everyone has something to hide and some are willing to kill to keep their secrets safe.

This was quite the puzzle! And I love that. Thrilling with nonstop action. Just my type of read.

THE YOUNGER WIFE by SALLY HEPWORTH

The Younger Wife

Sally Hepworth is back with another thriller of a tale!

This book is about two sisters. Tully and Rachel Aston. Both have issues they cope with in different but not especially healthy ways. Their adored mother has just moved into an Alzheimer’s facility. Forgetting things, even those closest to her. But there are some things she won’t forget.

Father, Stephen is getting married again. But he may want to get a divorce from his current wife, Pam,the one he placed in a care home.

When he springs Heather on the girls at a lunch, they are stunned. She’s almost the same age as them. And they are sure she is a gold digger. And to be fair, she is very full of secrets herself. And she has her own reasons for marrying the daddy.

As Rachel is cleaning out her mother’s things she finds of all things a hot water bottle full of a lot of cash and a slip of paper. Tully. Fiona Arthur. And this is enough to send Rachel and Tully digging through their mother’s life and figuring out maybe their father is a monster.

Even Heather isn’t quite sure if he is or isn’t. But at the wedding, it’s all handled quite nicely for them. But was it? Was he a monster or was this a misunderstanding? What a wicked ending!

I am looking forward to her next puzzling mystery!

NetGalley/April 5th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press





What Happened to the Bennetts by LISA SCOTTOLINE

Your family has been attacked, never again to be the same.
Now you have to choose between law…and justice.

The story:

The Bennett family is a typical suburban family. Dad, Jason, owns his own court-reporting business and does well. Mom, Lucinda, is a photographer. They have the required two children. A boy, Ethan, and a girl about to be sweet sixteen, Allison.

Coming home from a lacrosse game for Allison, the family is being followed way too closely on a dark road. When they try and speed up the vehicle slams them against the guardrail. Two men jump out with guns drawn, demanding the car. Jason willingly hands over the keys when suddenly their little dog jumps and one of the men shoots Allison. While Jason and the family are now in shock and trying to stop their daughter from bleeding out on the road, they hear another gunshot and watch in horror as one man kills the other, drops the gun, and leaves.

Finally, at the hospital with Allison in surgery, they are met by the FBI. This was not some random car-jacking incident. These men are organized crime members and the boss now believes Jason killed his boy. It’s witness protection for all of them now. Except for Allison.

As events unfold quickly, they realize they have no other choice but to go with the agents. Their entire lives were upended in one act of violence. But was it random? Jason is getting a strong feeling that not everyone knows everything.

As the family begins to go through their own private hell, Jason makes the decision to put their lives in their own hands. And after some shocking, and yes, I mean shocking, news, he goes rogue.

That is all I’m going to say about that. Scottoline has never heard of the shallow end of the pool. Nope, she throws you straight into the deep end and yells, “Swim!”. And that panicky, oh my gosh I’m going to die here, feeling begins on page one and ends on the final page.

If you have ever seen her in person you know this woman has more energy than anyone I know. It shows in her writing. The tension never lets up and after finishing the book I am now suspicious of everyone I know.

Always a pleasure to read this author.

xx Patricia





FEAR THY NEIGHBOR by FERN MICHAELS

Fear Thy Neighbor

Alison Marshall is twenty-nine and has been running from her past for most of those years. A foster kid who doesn’t even know who her parents are. She’s worked hard and has invested wisely all while trying to find a place she fits in.

Palmetto Island may be the place she is looking for. Small and the islanders are friendly for the most part. She even manages to make a friend. When she finds a small beach cottage in her price range, she buys it. And then finds a human bone.

A journalist from Miami shows up looking for information on a cult in the area and hopes of finding out what happened to his little sister years ago. When her friend’s child is found missing, things get weird.

And that was an issue for me. A lot of the storyline felt shallow and not finished. There was a bit of an unbelievable factor to the wrap-up as well.

NetGalley/ March 29th, 2022 Kensington

THE RESTING PLACE by CAMILLA STEN

The Resting Place

From the author who gave us The Lost Village comes another suspenseful and twisted tale!

I wanted this the minute it was on my radar. The Lost Village was such a good scary story.

This one did not disappoint! It had a mystery, an old house, secrets, suspicious deaths, and a very different protagonist. Eleanor has been working hard to keep her controlling and maybe crazy grandmother, Vivianne, at a distance. Lately, she has been receiving odd messages and calls from her and when she goes around for Sunday dinner, instead of a snarky Vivianne, a faceless person was stabbing her grandmother with scissors.

It isn’t like she can assist the police very much. Eleanor has prosopagnosia. Face blindness-when a person is unable to recognize even their own face. So the killer walked right by her. Does she know them? Who would know she would be unable to recognize them?

The horror of the situation has taken over everything in her life. Leaving her anxious and unsure of those around her.

After the death, she is told her grandmother left her a house. A huge estate located in Sweden. Way back in the woods. Supposedly her grandfather died in this house and it has remained closed since.

But Eleanor is determined to find answers so she and her boyfriend, Sebastian, pack up and head to the house. But her Aunt Veronika soon shows up insisting the house is hers. And then the odd things begin. Shadows, whispers, people who aren’t at all who they claim to be, and a secret that will blow your mind!

My heart was in the zone the entire time I read this book. I suspected every one of them but did not expect that ending.

This is another great novel full of horrible people, things and full of suspense! Don’t read this one in the dark!

NetGalley/Minotaur Books March 29, 2022