The Perfect Daughter by D.J. Palmer Publication Day! @djpalmerauthor @StMartinsPress Congratulations!

The Perfect Daughter

Another thriller from Palmer! And it is so good!

Some backstory: Grace and Arthur run the family pizza joint in town. They have two sons, Jack and Ryan. Grace though has always dreamed of being the mother to a daughter. So imagine her surprise when she finds a four-year-old little girl abandoned in the park.

The police have no idea who the child is and the child is not speaking to anyone. It’s obvious she has been traumatized but she’s kept quiet. With no family, Grace talks Arthur into letting them foster her which eventually leads to her being adopted and becoming a member of the family.

Jack nicknames her Penny and it sticks. She’s fine with it. But the question remains. Who is she? And when puberty sets in things get dark. Penny hangs around a known pyro, Maria, and they are both in trouble with the law soon. And when Arthur keels over dead at work with only Penny around, she is traumatized more. She is also blamed by Ryan for not calling 911.

Although things are tense and her behavior is odd, they finally get a diagnosis of DID. The last thing Grace thought she would see next was her teenager in jail, covered in blood, found holding a knife over her dead biological mother.

So who the heck is this kid and what has she done? Is she Eve? The kick-ass and take no names alter? Or Chloe? The perfectionist? Maybe Ruby? Although that British accent is off, she seems to be halfway decent.

While her daughter sits in an insane asylum waiting for her trial, Grace and Dr. Mitch will dig deep to find the truth, ending with both of their lives in danger.

But when ‘Penny’ takes the stand her testimony will blow your mind! Either this girl is a pro at lying or the cops are about to be very busy inside the courtroom!

Excellent as her last one!

NetGalley/ April 20, 2021, St. Martins Press

THE GOOD SISTER by SALLY HEPWORTH

The Good Sister

Fern and Rose are twins. And as different as two people could be. Rose is married and seems to be happy with life except for the fact that she can’t get pregnant.

Fern is more of a free spirit but has severe sensory issues. The world and it’s inhabitants are a bit too extra for her.

But they both have secrets. Rose protected Fern from their crazy mother. Or did she?

Rose manipulates Fern into having a baby for her. And as soon as she is pregnant Rose turns into someone Fern doesn’t know at all.

I loved Fern. She has all these issues but she finds love with someone who understands them perfectly. But in the end, will she be able to stand up to Rose? Or will her mother actually save the day and expose who is the sociopath here?

That was some ending! Did not see that coming!

NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

When the Stars Go Dark by PAULA McLAIN

When the Stars Go Dark

A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?

The beginning of this book had me imagining all kinds of reasons Anna is hiding out from her own past and present. A Detective in San Francisco, it’s obvious that something has happened to make her leave the city and head to Mendocino, where she lived as a kid.

The day she arrives the first thing she hears is about a missing girl in the area. This is bringing up a lot of emotions and flashbacks from her time living here with her foster parents. A girl went missing then as well. And that crime is still unsolved. When another girl goes missing Anna realizes she may be exactly where she is supposed to be at the moment. With all of her experience and knowledge of predators, she can’t help but get involved.

There are some true crimes and names here that you will recognize. There is a lot about trauma and human nature. This one had everything. I’m sure I bit my lip at least twice. What I loved about this book was the rawness of the emotions. There was no attempt to pretty up the facts. They tore at your heart to the very end.

When you are brave enough to face your demons, then maybe you can reclaim your life.

NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by Ballantine Books



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 LOST VILLAGE by CAMILLA STEN

The Lost Village

I do love Scandinavian Noir! And this one is creepy, scary, and oh so gory! Once I started reading it I could not stop. Okay, I could, but I didn’t.

Alice wants to make a documentary. She’s low on money and equipment but she has a good friend who will put up some money if he can come along. An old friend/enemy has also agreed to come and Alice hated asking her but she is good and interested.

Alice has been a bit obsessed with the residents who just vanished from the old mining town. In 1959 the mine closed and that same year her grandmother’s entire family disappeared. Sure people came in and looked around but all they found were empty houses and in the square one dead woman tied to a pole and in the school, a baby crying. They took the baby and the town was just forgotten. But not by Alice.

When her small team arrives the place is deserted. It looks as if people got up from dinner and never came back. From the first night, they all can feel something isn’t right. They are not alone here. As things heat up they don’t even trust each other. Every one of them has secrets and one is a real shocker.

Reading this book was like watching the Blair Witch Project. You wanted to turn away but you wanted to know the who and why of everything. I loved every scary, gory moment of this one!

NetGalley Review/ March 23rd, 2021 by Minotaur Books

A CALLER’S GAME by J.D.Barker

A Caller's Game

DIE HARD meets TALK RADIO in this heart-pounding, relentlessly fast-paced thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Fourth Monkey—master of suspense, J.D. Barker.

“I’m going to offer you a choice.”

J.D. Barker is truly a master of suspense and horror! Makes my black little heart all fluttery whenever I see his name on a book. This one is really scary because I can see this happening at any time.

Jordan Briggs is the female Howard Stern. Brash, in your face, controversial. A total bad-ass. She has no filter and doesn’t care in the least what she has to do to stay at the top of the ratings board. But this single- minded dedication to success has cost her. Her husband is now her ex. She hasn’t spoken to her mother in years. If not for Charlotte, her eleven -year -old daughter, she would be alone and she doesn’t seem too bothered about that.

If you get the impression she’s a pretty shallow and unpopular human being then you are correct.

Until… one day a caller asks if she would like to play a game. Angry because her boss has scheduled an interview with a rather shady senator, she decides to play along. And that sets into motion a series of events that lead to her past and the present colliding in awful ways.

Jordan has made some bad decisions in this business. Not very moral or ethical. And now she is about to pay for all of those. Consequences are always there waiting.

Is it odd to say I felt worse for the killer than Jordan? I understood his motivation although I didn’t agree with his deeds. You never know how your words and actions ripple out into the world until they find that one unstable person who is going to show you how much they matter.

Dare I say that I’ve replaced James Patterson with Barker? Well, I have.

NetGalley/ February 22nd, 2021 by Hampton Creek Press

The Unwilling by John Hart

The Unwilling

Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in New York Times bestselling author John Hart’s singular style.

This book had a little bit of everything in it. The Vietnam War, family secrets, misunderstandings,coming of age,gun running and even murder.

Gibson is the youngest of three brothers. His brothers Robert and Jason are twins. Robert and Jason both were drafted in the war and only one comes home. It’s not the one their mother wanted to come home and now Gibson is on lockdown. His mother controls his entire life. And isn’t about to let him get mixed up with Jason.

Jason wants a relationship with Gibson, but has no idea how to go about it. So they go behind their parents backs. Gibson is drawn to Jason and is determined to find out all he can about him. Spending an entire day with him and two young ladies seems like a good way however, one of whom is certifiable crazy. The day goes from bad to worse when the pass a prison bus and Tyra literally shows her bum. One person on the bus however, recognizes Jason and knows who will pay for that information.

Soon after Tyra is savagely murdered. And I do mean Savagely. There is nothing spared here. Jason is immediately a suspect and Gibson is under suspicion as well.

His brother does have a dark side and when he is caught with a lot of cash and weapons, he goes back to jail.

While he is there things become much clearer. There is a puppet master behind all of this and Jason will get out of jail when X says he can.

This was so twisty and insane I do hope there will be a follow up!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ February 2nd, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

A STRANGER IN TOWN by KELLEY ARMSTRONG

A Stranger in Town (Casey Duncan Novels Book 6)

A Rockton Novel Number 9

We’re back in Rockton with Detective Casey Duncan and Sheriff Eric Dalton, along with all the characters we’ve grown to love! But this time the entire town may be in danger.

When a badly injured tourist from a group of four bursts out of the forest screaming and hysterical, Casey and Eric take her back to Rockton’s clinic for April to examine her. At the same time a new resident shows up who understands the woman is speaking Dutch. Hm…

Are the hostiles at work again? Or is this something more sinister?

When one of the original founders flies in, they are suspicious that they aren’t being told everything. Why have they not had any residents in quite a while? Why is no-one getting an extension?

I am not about to tell you anymore, except we finally find out how Rockton began and if it will continue or not.

Kelley’s books are always a solid read with capable female leads and great stories. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

NetGalley/ Minotaur February 02,2021

INVISIBLE GIRL by LISA JEWELL

 

Invisible Girl

Twisty, Suspenseful, with a lot of psychological suspense.

There are three points of view in this exciting book. Saffyre Maddox is one. When she was ten she suffered something horrible. This is a dark part. Abuse, rape, dark themes here. She is on the outside of life. Lonely, odd, and living with a huge secret.

Even after therapy, she may look and sound better, but she is so not okay. And now she is a stalker. Stalking her former therapist and uncovering his secrets.

Owen. Well, Owen was just bad. Odd doesn’t even describe it. And when Saffyre goes missing, he is the first one suspected. But did he do something to her? Was it something else she stuck her nose into that has her missing?

This was a dark and twisty thriller that left me thinking about it for days!

Good Job!

NetGalley/ October 13th, 2020 by Atria Books

 

 

 

 

JAMES PATTERSON AND J.D.BARKER PRESENT THE COAST-TO-COAST MURDERS

The Coast-to-Coast Murders

Who is on the mark?

What does that mean? Remember it. Always know who is on the mark.

Michael Fitzgerald is a long-distance truck driver and he is about to have a really bad day. At least I’m pretty sure he wasn’t planning on finding a dead woman in his bathtub. But then there are things he doesn’t remember and unfortunately things he can’t forget.

Michael and his sister Megan were adopted by the Fitzgeralds Two shrinks in one house who should never have had any children. Ever. Megan is the only person Michael can trust. At this point he doesn’t even trust himself! He’s lost time before but he never understood why.

Meanwhile…Detective Hobbs and FBI Agent Gimble have joined up to work a murder that seems straightforward. They have a suspect in custody and that seemed easy. Until the next murder happens. When they figure out they have multiple murders that crisscross the map, the Fitzgeralds’ name comes up. But which one? The father is dead. Megan is trying to help Michael and while they suspect Michael, he is elusive and very organized.

When two of my favorite authors team up on a book, I am going to read it! This was a long book and every minute was pushing harder and harder to the end. The characters were so well done and the suspense was intense all the way to the end.

You won’t believe this ending! I’m still going WHAT???? This is Psychological Suspense at it’s best!

NetGalley/ September 21st, 2020 by Little, Brown & Company