WHERE THE TRUTH LIES by ANNA BAILEY

Where the Truth Lies

Teenagers, isolated small town, and lots of dirty little secrets make for a dynamite combination in this suspense novel.

The town of Whistling Ridge is off. There is just something not right about the people who live there. They have a lot of secrets to keep and they are about to blow up in a big way for some folks.

Emma and her bestie, Abigail are seventeen and think they know everything about each other. Emma is about to find out just how little she knows. At a party Abigail tells Emma to go home alone as she is meeting someone in the woods. Emma doesn’t know who and Abigail won’t say. All Emma sees is a guy in shadows.

So when Abi doesn’t make it home, Emma won’t let it go. The police think she ran away and with her family who would blame her? But Emma doesn’t believe that. And she isn’t about to let it go.

When evidence is found in the woods, people are scared. It seems everyone has a dirty secret. Everyone. My favorite character was Rat. A Romanian immigrant who is gorgeous and living at the trailer park, which you know is not going to end well.

Abi’s older brother Noah loves Rat and that is an issue. Their fathers violence is an issue. But no one says a thing. Why? Because the preacher is not preaching the gospel of a disciple, he’s preaching about violence and beating the sin out of people.

The more Emma digs, the more secrets she finds that Abi had. As more secrets come to light all of the pent up rage and hate will explode into a night that will change all of their lives forever.

There were the most vile of characters in this book. There were also the most innocent of characters in this book. I think I felt this book more strongly because of the political and social climate of today.

Great writing!

NetGalley/August 3rd, 2021 by Atria Books 




THE DARE by LESLEY KARA

The Dare

Lizzie and Alice have always been best friends. At 13, they are still there for each other. And as they leave for a walk in the country, a place they often go to jump the railroad tracks and argue and make-up and just be kids.

But this time one of them won’t come home. And one will have no clue what happened.

Lizzie has no memory of what happened. It’s all a nightmarish dream she can’t stop or make any clearer. As an epeleptic, she tries to figure out what happened before her seizure that day and deal with grief and uncalled for blame being placed on her by Alice’s sister.

Time goes on and twelve years go by. Lizzie is unpacking in the new place she and her fiancee have moved into when memories come flooding back and they still don’t make sense. As her fiancee, a GP, tries to be supportive he ends up hiring Alice’s sister as a nurse.

Now you know this isn’t going to end well, but oh my goodness, Kara strings you along until the last minutes! And what???

I loved every second of this one.

NetGalley/ August 3rd, 2021 PRHP-Ballentine

THE SINFUL LIVES OF TROPHY WIVES by KRISTIN MILLER

The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives

Welcome to the exclusive and gated community of Presidio Terrace in San Francisco. Small but very exlcusive. Home to rich husbands and their trophy wives.

Brooke is a mystery writer and also the newest trophy wife. Her hubby is a tech billionaire named Jack who is twenty-two years older and fresh as a daisy. So it seems. She demurs to her husband’s taste and desires. Or so it seems, but there is a lot more to this wifey. I mean, she is a mystery writer. Published.

The new place comes with an HOA with rules that are insane, to say the least, and the most neurotic of their neighbors, Erin, a local news anchor, is the head of this tightly controlled cul-de-sac.

Erin is married to Mason. Who is a liar and a wife beater. Erin is a control freak. And when she goes too far on live television, she gets the boot. Since she has made her career her life, she has little of her marriage left. In fact, she thinks her hubby is sneaking around so they go to therapy.

Erin’s BFF is Georgia “The Black Widow”, whose first two husbands died shortly after marriage. People whisper about her but no one is brave enough to challenge her to her face. Now Georgia is about to marry Robert, who loves her dearly until he disappears and the police come knocking on the exclusive community.

During the first part of the book, I was picturing a 90’s thing going on but then it became a puzzle to figure out. By the end of the book no one was what I thought they were and I was happy!

NetGalley/ July 20th, 2021 by Ballantine Books


STEEL FEAR by BRANDON WEBB AND JOHN DAVID MANN

Steel Fear

From the first chapter, I was hooked! This was a thrill ride from the beginning to the end. With no pauses!

I suspected everyone and I was wrong every time!

Navy SEAL, Finn, has just stepped foot onto the USS Abraham Lincoln, supposedly to catch a ride home after a particularly bad hitch in the Persian Gulf area. Details are sketchy, even to him. He knows something is off the minute he is onboard.

There is no leadership or communication. Morale is awful and getting worse. Just a few weeks before one of their helos crashed and everyone died. Monica, a helo pilot has lost friends and is losing more.

It appears there is a serial killer on board and the man in charge is oblivious. So with Finn and a few well -chosen allies begin to investigate, more people die. Of course, Finn is a suspect. Even in his own mind.

Only someone who has lived this could write a book so real you can hear the whine of the engines and smell the fuel of jets. And it appears these two have themselves a new career!

I can’t wait to see what is next!

NetGalley/ July 13th, 2021 by Bantam RHPG

Falling by T.J.Newman

Falling

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

So that was the scariest beginning ever! And trust me it gets faster, better, more terrifying as you go along!

What decision would you make if you found out you were flying a plane that had been hijacked basically before it left the ground? They have your family. Who lives? Who dies?

This story could have only been told by this author. It is a non-stop flight of terror from the beginning until the ending.

The characters were brilliant and brave. I read this so fast you would have thought it was a real news event!

I don’t want to give anything away, but this author has hit it out of the park on her first try!

NetGalley/July 6th, 2021, by Avid Reader Press / Simon Schuster

FAR GONE by DANIELLE GIRARD

Far Gone (Badlands Thriller, #2)

Badlands Thriller #2

From the USA Today, bestselling author of White Out comes a story of two heroines with shattered pasts and a town with blood on its hands.

This thriller is the second in the Badlands Series. In North Dakota, where Detective Kylie Milliard in their peaceful little town. Only she knows it’s not what it looks like.

Kylie hasn’t worked a homicide in a long time, but when a couple is shot in their own home, with a baby sleeping yards away, she’s back in business.

She has two bodies, but no baby. Just a smear of blood on the basket where the baby should be. So either the killer took the baby, or someone else was in the house.

The DNA on the blood smear is shocking. It’s not a killers blood. It’s not the baby’s blood. But it is a familial march to a crime that involved a local nurse at the hospital, Lily. Ten years ago she was held captive for over a year. Raped and traumatized. Part of her brain has blocked a lot of that time for her own sanity. But things are about to get dangerous for the detective and the nurse.

As for the poor girl on the run from a killer who knows she was there, Hannah, is one of the bravest characters I’ve seen. And Lily. That poor woman had the backbone of steel.

Everyone in this story had secrets. Some harmless and embarrassing, and some downright murderous. Everyone wants to know the truth, but there are some people determined to not let that happen.

This author is always on her game. I’m pretty sure I bit a fingernail off reading this one. Which I count as a really good tale!

NetGalley/ June 15th, 2021 by Thomas & Mercer



Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica is the writer who just pushes you right into the deep end on page one. I appreciate that. There is so much tension in this story! Everyone is shady. Everyone is lying. And the shocks don’t stop until the last page.

Meredith is a midwife. She has a lovely six-year-old daughter named Delilah and a husband who would rather not have his wife out at all hours of the night birthing babies.

When one of her clients goes missing after the baby is born, Meredith is suspicious of the husband. Then Meredith and Delilah go missing. Why? What do these two women have in common besides birth? When Meredith’s body is found without her daughter, the entire town is on the hunt. But with no luck.

Now, eleven years after the event, Delilah returns. Walking into town looking like she hasn’t seen daylight in a long time. While everyone wants to know what happened and where she has been, she is still shell-shocked.

This was a chilling one. However, I am missing a fingernail or two.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ 18 May 2021 Harlequin/Park Row

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

 

 

 

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