Don’t Look For Me by Wendy Walker

Don't Look for Me

People walk away from their lives every day. Especially when the pain at home is unbearable. But is that what happened to Molly Clarke?

When her car is found abandoned on the side of a road, out of gas, during a storm, the police and her family search everywhere for her. False leads and suspicious people make the search difficult.

A note is found at the only hotel telling her family not to look for her. But her daughter is not buying it. She is determined to find her mother. Believing there is no way she would abandon them.

Everyone in this little town is sketchy. I didn’t believe any of them. The suspense in this thriller built layer by layer until I was reading at warp speed!

This was a heartbreaking story of loss, guilt, insanity and what women will do to survive.

The question is what did happen to Molly Clarke? And will her daughter live to find out?

One very well done book!

NetGalley/ September 15th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

THE NIGHT SWIM by MEGAN GOLDIN

The Night Swim

True Crime Podcasts are all the rage at the moment. And Rachel Krall has become an overnight success with hers after helping to set an innocent man free. She receives tons of mail and e-mails begging for her help solving cases and while her voice is distinctive and recognizable, her face is not. Not everyone is a fan and she takes care to keep herself safe.

On her way to cover a rape trial in Neapolis, she finds an envelope under her windshield at an out of the way diner. Creepy. But it seems to be just someone going that extra step to ask for help.

In the meantime, she discovers the town is quite divided and secretive. The accused rapist is a swimmer on the way to Olympic greatness with a family who is very shady. The girl, the granddaughter of the former police chief.

Rachel is determined Season Three of her podcast will be a success and is determined to dig in and do her homework before the trial begins. But the mysterious letters keep appearing. In her locked hotel room, her car and Rachel is intrigued.

Hannah Stills is begging for Rachel to help find who killed her 16-year-old sister twenty-five years ago. Officials say she drowned. But there is no police report or autopsy report. Hannah was only ten years old when this happened and her mother died soon after. But she never forgot what she saw and heard. Or the threats.

When Rachel begins to ask questions she is met with silence. But when she uncovers similarities in the old case and the new one, she digs in to find justice for both girls and in the process may not have worry about Season 3!

Small towns have a way of protecting the rich and connected and demonizing anyone different. What these men did was horrific and unforgivable and the sad part is they may get away with it a second time.

Always a thrill ride with Goldin! I absolutely loved it!

NetGalley/ August 4th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

THE VACATION by T.M.LOGAN

The Vacation

Seven days. Three families. One killer.

Four women. Friends since college decide to join each other and their families for a week’s vacation in a lovely villa in France.

Things are tense from the start. It looks like everyone’s family is not quite as together as they would like one to think. Only one of them has not married and she’s acting sketchy. Heck, everyone was shady and keeping secrets!

To tell you the truth I did not care for even one of them. Maybe Daniel. But it doesn’t matter because the story was that good!

Someone is willing to kill to keep their truth secret. But is it who you think it is?

This is one vacation I’ll pass on. But I’ll take the book!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ July 21st, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

What You Wish For by KATHERINE CENTER

What You Wish For

Remember Things You Lose in a Fire last year? Well, Katherine Center is back and has once again knocked it out of the park.

There are many people who can tell a story well. There are not many people who can tell a story so well you feel as if you know the characters personally and are rooting for them all. One thing I love about her stories is they are everyday people living lives full of problems, insecurities, losses, and joy. You will cry, you will laugh and you will come away having learned more than one valuable lesson!

So let’s talk about who is who and what is what!

Sam Casey has had a hard road to travel. With help from the kind family who own the school where she is a Librarian, she is learning to embrace joy and kindness where she can.  She loves the school and the children and with Max as her boss and her landlord, she feels she has a sort of family.

But life has a funny way of reminding us we aren’t really in control of anything when Max drops dead at his 60th birthday party. Leaving his wife and friends devastated.

Obviously, they have to have a new principal, but never in any part of Sam’s mind did she think she would know him. Her crush from her former school. He was the fun teacher and she was not his type. Assumptions there!

The Duncan who shows up, however, is not her Duncan. This guy is in a three-piece suit instead of the flamingo pants Sam remembers. And he doesn’t seem to know who she is.

His main goal seems to be to turn her beloved school into a drab, gray prison for children. No fun, no joy, no field trips!! But Sam isn’t the mousey teacher she was before. Now she is actively seeking to take this guy out. But in doing so, she lets him in. And she finds out she has judged him too quickly and too harshly.

Will we find out who the bad guy really is? Will Duncan finally notice her? And more importantly, will he run when he finds out her secrets? Or will she run when she discovers his?

Very Well Done! Highly Recommend!

NetGalley/ July 14th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Second Home by Christina Clancy

The Second Home

Living in Wisconsin and summering on Cape Cod, the Gordon family has one more member this summer. Michael, a boy the same age as Ann, has been adopted by the family and while he has nothing but sisterly feelings for sister Poppy, his feelings about Ann are much more complicated.

Cape Cod is a world away from anything Michael has ever known and he is in love with the old cabin and the island. Ann is taking a babysitting job for one of the wealthy summer residents, watching their two sons means driving them to their many activities and spending time chatting with their mother. The father is a horrible man which is something Ann sees only much too late.

This summer will change all of their lives forever. Leaving them angry, hurt, and in the dark.

When their parents are killed in a car accident, they all must come together to make decisions about the cabin. But first, they all need to tell the truth. Maybe then they can begin to heal and love again.

I loved each and every flawed character in this book. Except for Anthony. Nope. The book emphasized the stereotypical caste system between the summer people and the islanders. But it also scraped a bit of luster off and showed us the everyday seediness inside.

On this island, no one is who they seem and nothing is what it looks like.

NetGalley/  June 2nd, 2020 by St. Martin’s

 

 

THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY by NATALIE JENNER

Chawton, England was the final home of the great Jane Austen. It’s little more than a bump in the road, but tourists come from all over the world in hopes of finding something of Jane there.

What is left is the great house, the grounds, and the cottage where Jane wrote. In the great house, Frances Knight lives with her ailing and horribly mean father. The house and her father are falling apart and Frances seems unable to anything but wait. With the cook, Josephine, and 16-year-old Evie Stone, she makes do.

Evie is scary smart. And for the past two years, she has been staying up all night to catalog the over two thousand books in the library, where she has found quite a few serious treasures and secrets!

In a series of events we end up with an odd group of people, brought together by their love of Jane Austen. An American movie star, a young widow, the village doctor, and a local laborer. There are wonderful supporting characters here as well. While this group at first has only one thing in common, their passion to preserve the legacy of Jane Austen. Ah, literature, the great equalizer of humanity!

Each of them has suffered horrible losses and unimaginable hardships and as they get to know each other in their pursuit of a common goal, they find they aren’t so different after all. And I did not see that ending coming! Well Done!

I absolutely adored this mix of fact and fiction! I can’t believe this is the author’s first published work. The characters were perfection and I will definitely read this one again!

NetGalley/ May 26th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews

Hello, Summer

Always a pleasure to read Mary Kay Andrews. And this should definitely be in your beach bag this summer. Also, it comes out on my birthday, May 5th, so it must be magical!

Sarah Conley Hawkins got out of her hometown before the ink was dry on her diploma. Ambitious, talented, and on the path to journalism greatness. Working for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been great, but when offered a job in D.C., she packs her meager belongings and is headed out the door when her sister sends her a message letting her know that the paper in D.C. has just shut its doors.

Conley, she dropped Sarah long ago, now has no job, no apartment, and finds herself back home living with her grandmother who is determined to put her to work at the family’s weekly newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, currently being run by her sister, the lawyer.

There is a lot of tension between the two. Running a newspaper wasn’t her sister’s dream. But she has had to step in and take over, so yes, she resents Conley for leaving and never returning.

Her first assignment will be working with the town gossip columnist. Who may be a few crayons short of a full box. She knows everything going on in the little town but has no idea how to write. So, for now, Conley is stuck making sense out of Rowena’s long-winded descriptions and over the top gushing.

Until she and her former bestie, Skelley, happen upon a horrible car crash. Unable to get the man behind the wheel out before the car explodes in flames, Conley has herself a story. The man was a U.S. Representative with a sterling reputation and a war hero to boot. Or so they say.

But Conley is suspicious. And soon is knee-deep in the investigation. The police may have written it off as an accident, but Conley knows it is not. Something is not right and she is going to get the truth even if it kills her. And it just may.

No one does the complications of family like Ms. Andrews. The secrets we keep thinking we are protecting the ones we love. The misunderstandings between sisters. And always, the hope, the love, and the redemption we all need.

Well Done!

NetGalley/  May 5th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

PRIDE of EDEN by TAYLOR BROWN

Pride of Eden

The enthralling new novel from the acclaimed author of Fallen Land, The River of Kings, and Gods of Howl Mountain

Little Eden is a wildlife sanctuary on the Georgia coast. Rather low rent and shabby. Much like the ruins of an entire development that failed when the interstate moved locations.

Anse Caulfield runs the place. We aren’t sure how he manages that financially but he is a character. A veteran of Vietnam, Jockey, and lover of all wild animals. Especially Henrietta, his prized cat that Anse loves fiercely. When she gets out and is killed, he is obsessed with finding more, saving more animals and righting wrongs.

Anse and Tyler, a vet, live together at the sanctuary and she worries endlessly about Anse.  When another former soldier and animal activist, Malay, shows up looking for work, Anse hires her. She feels the same respect for the animals and the rage at how they are treated. Along with local friend Lope, they take on the smugglers, the back alley sellers of rare cats who are soon abandoned and left to die.

But someone else wants one of the cats they saved. And for a reason, you won’t believe until you read it!

If you read The Gods of Howl Mountain, you know Brown has a gift for weaving stories and characters that is magical. For me personally, my family is from Sapelo Island and St. Simon’s Island. We grew up speaking Geechee and running wild much like the feral cattle left to roam the island. This was very personal to me. The cruelty of people to raise an animal by hand and then let men come in a fenced area to kill it is mindboggling. What kind of person does that?  Turns out, a lot of them.

Thank you, Mr. Brown, for another brilliant read!

NetGalley/ March 17th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE by GREER HENDRICKS & SARAH PEKKANEN

You Are Not Alone

Some people contend there are two primal fears. The first and most basic is the end of our existence. The second is isolation; we all have a deep need to belong to something greater than ourselves.”

Shay Miller is in her 30’s and has just been downsized. She’s been roommates with her best friend Sean forever and now he suddenly has a serious girlfriend who would rather not have Shay living there.

Jobless, homeless and alone. This isn’t how she planned her life but it’s how it turned out. She is a loner who wants to belong. To someone or something. She’s brilliant in her field of Data but nailing interviews isn’t her strong suit. You can tell there is going to be an interesting backstory here.

Jane and Cassandra Moore are sisters and own a successful business. They have tons of friends and are so what Shay wants to be. Or does she?

When Shay witnesses a woman jump in front of a subway train, the Moore sisters seem to be the answer to all of Shay’s problems. Since they appeared in her life things just work out. She desperately wants them to like her and that desperation may be exactly what gets her killed.

Whenever I see a new book on the NetGalley shelf by these two writers I am unable to resist asking for it! The flow, the characters, the twists, and turns will have you staying up long past your bedtime just to figure out this puzzle! Because if you are like me, you have an idea but oh my that ending!

Never disappoint!

NetGalley/ March 3rd, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

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