It’s THRILLER THURSDAY! Thank you @vanessalillie for my gifted copy of ‘For the Best‘ by Vanessa Lillie! (pub 9/8) . Suspected of a murder she can’t remember, a troubled woman takes an unusual approach to proving her innocence in this gripping thriller from the bestselling author of ‘Little Voices‘. . When Jules Worthington-Smith’s wallet is found next to a dead man, she becomes the prime suspect in his murder. After struggling for years to build the perfect family & career, she’s dangerously close to losing everything. Sure of her innocence, Jules is desperate to clear her name. But there’s one big problem: she was blackout drunk when the murder took place & can’t remember what happened.
Unsatisfied with the police’s handling of the case, Jules embarks on her own gin-fueled murder investigation. As she uncovers fresh clues, she starts a true-crime vlog that becomes a viral sensation, pushing her into the public eye. It’s not long before the ordeal forces Jules to confront her demons, including her turbulent childhood & excessive drinking. . The deeper Jules digs, the more dirt she uncovers about the murder & herself. Unexpected truths pile up until she’s buried so deep even finding the killer might not be enough to set her free. . After having enjoyed Lillie’s debut novel, ‘Little Voices‘, I knew her sophomore thriller, ‘For the Best’ would be another slam dunk…& it was all that & more! ‘For the Best’ is an edge of your seat, nuanced, & thought-provoking domestic/psychological thriller that I flew through & absolutely LOVED! The book held me captive from page 1! . Masterfully plotted, edgy, & tautly paced, ‘For the Best‘ is a suspense-filled thrill ride that keeps you guessing right up until the shocker of an ending! Get this on your TBR list & pre-order it today! While you’re at it, might I suggest adding ‘Little Voices’ to your cart, too, if you don’t already have it. It is equally amazing! ‘For the Best‘ comes out this Tues, 9/8.
Click HERE to add ‘For the Best‘ to your Goodreads. Click HERE to add ‘Little Voices‘ to your Goodreads. Click HERE to visit Vanessa Lillie on Instagram. Click HERE to visit MomLovesReading on Instagram & give my post a LIKE.
‘Little Voices‘ (2019): The voice in her head says he’s guilty. She knows he’s innocent. Devon Burges is in the throes of a high-risk birth when she learns of her dear friend’s murder. The police quickly name another friend as the chief suspect, but Devon doesn’t buy it—and despite her difficult recovery, she decides to investigate.
Haunted by postpartum problems that manifest as a cruel voice in her head, Devon is barely getting by. Yet her instincts are still sharp, and she’s bent on proving her friend’s innocence.
But as Devon digs into the evidence, the voice in her head grows more insistent, the danger more intense. Each layer is darker, more disturbing, and she’s not sure she—or her baby—can survive what lies at the truth.
Vanessa Lillie is originally from Miami, Oklahoma, where she spent a lot of time investigating local ghost stories at the public library. After college, she worked in Washington, DC, until moving to Providence, Rhode Island, which she calls home with her husband and dinosaur-aficionado son. Smitten with the smallest state, she enjoys organizing book events and literary happenings around town.
Happy Belated Pub Day & Thank you @williammorrowbooks for my gifted copy [partner] of ‘When No One is Watching‘ by Alyssa Cole! (pub 9/1)
Q: What was the last thriller you read that taught you about something you otherwise didn’t know much about?
‘Rear Window’ meets ‘Get Out’ in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed & NY Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…
Sydney Green is Brooklyn born & raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, & the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past & present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour & finds an unlikely & unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.
But Sydney & Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia & fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, & the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.
When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney & Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?
Cole has pivoted from writing romance novels to bring us one heck of an amazing suspense/thriller that is so much more than just an entertaining read. The first line of the book says it all: “History is f–king wild.”
Gentrification: the process of renovating or improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste. (Problem w/ this is property values increase thereby increasing cost of living in that area, while affordable housing decreases & lower income residents are displaced.)
Unflinchingly well-crafted w/ knowledge & insight, Cole gives readers a much needed history lesson on the aftermath of this process, having lived in neighborhoods like this in the past. With a keen sense of atmosphere, richly drawn narrative & characters, ‘When No One is Watching‘ is clever, riveting, eye-opening & twisty. Highly recommend!
Click HERE to add this book to your Goodreads list. Click HERE to visit Alyssa Cole on Instagram. Click HERE to visit ME on Instagram & give this post a LIKE.
Alyssa Cole is an award-winning author of historical, contemporary, & sci-fi romance. Her romantic comedy A PRINCESS IN THEORY is a NY Times notable book for 2018. Her Civil War-set espionage romance AN EXTRAORDINARY UNION was the American Library Association’s RUSA Best Romance for 2018, & also the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award Book of the Year. She’s contributed to publications including Bustle, Shondaland, The Toast, Vulture, & others, & her books have received critical acclaim from The NY Times, Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, & various other outlets. When she’s not working, she can generally be found watching anime w/ her husband or wrangling their menagerie of animals.
QOTD: Are you a fan of psychological suspense/thrillers? If so, then have a got a goodie for you!
Megan Collins returns w/ a darkly thrilling novel about a woman who comes to believe that she has a connection to a decades old kidnapping & now that the victim has gone missing again, begins a frantic search to learn what happened in the past.
When Fern Douglas sees the news about Astrid Sullivan, a 34-yr-old missing woman from Maine, she is positive that she knows her. Fern’s husband is sure it’s because of Astrid’s famous kidnapping—& equally famous return—20 yrs ago, but Fern has no memory of that, even though it happened an hour outside her New Hampshire hometown. And when Astrid appears in Fern’s recurring nightmare, one in which a girl reaches out to her, pleading, Fern fears that it’s not a dream at all, but a memory.
Back home in NH, Fern purchases a copy of Astrid’s recently published memoir—which may have provoked her original kidnapper to abduct her again—& as she reads through its chapters & visits the people & places within it, she discovers more evidence that she has an unsettling connection to the missing woman. As Fern’s search becomes increasingly desperate, she hopes to remember her past so she can save Astrid in the present…before it’s too late.
Featuring Collins’s signature dark, tension inducing & all-consuming prose w/ plenty of shocking twists, ‘Behind the Red Door’ is a suspense-filled thriller that will haunt you long after you turn the last page.
With well-drawn characters (some you will love to hate), this ominous, gripping, & psychologically harrowing page-turner was so hard to put down! I was utterly spellbound! If you haven’t already, get ‘Behind the Red Door‘ on your TBR lists, pre-order it & while you are pre-ordering, why not add Collin’s previous novel, ‘The Winter Sister’ to your cart as well? I got that one from Book of the Month last year & loved it! (Click HERE to join BOTM & get ‘The Winter Sister’ as an add-on book! Click HERE for more info on BOTM & why they are the BEST bookclub out there!).
More praise for ‘Behind the Red Door‘:
“In Behind the Red Door, Megan Collins has achieved something remarkable—a dark, disturbing story that is both elegant and fascinating. Exquisite writing, compelling characters and a story so captivating I finished it in a weekend. Few books live up to the word chilling, but this one does.” —Samantha Downing, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife
“Spellbinding, poignant and atmospheric, Behind The Red Door is one of those rare stories you can get utterly lost in. With writing so richly evocative I could vividly imagine every detail, this is a mesmerizing tale in which family bonds are broken, lifelong secrets are exposed, and a woman who suffers a debilitating anxiety disorder must find the truth about her connection to a decades-old kidnapping. Intensely moving, beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable, I can’t recommend this highly enough!” —Christina McDonald, USA Today bestselling author of The Night Olivia Fell
“Behind the Red Door isn’t just a gripping, finely-tuned thriller, it’s a masterful meditation on fear. Dark forests, crumbling cabins, and mutating nightmares all populate this New England landscape where one woman may hold the key to saving a kidnapping victim. But in order to do so, she’ll have to confront a lifetime of terror, including the ultimate fear: not knowing who can be trusted or where the monsters live. I was hooked from the first page.” —Mindy Mejia, author of Strike Me Down
“Collins nimbly orchestrates Fern’s growing sense of terror as she slowly sifts in echoes of long-repressed sounds and sights…a tricky mystery. Even in the final pages, Collins avoids any expected resolution, leaving the reader deliciously unsettled and disturbed. A dark psychological thriller riddled with twisted family dynamics.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Megan Collins is the master of emotionally resonant, deeply personal suspense fiction where the small details are just as chilling as the dramatic turns. Behind the Red Door is gripping and gorgeously-written and, like her stellar debut The Winter Sister, I’m certain this book will haunt me for years to come.” —Layne Fargo, author of Temper
“Taut, provocative, disturbing—Megan Collins’ sophomore novel is more than a thriller; it’s a dark and deeply compelling examination of the knife’s edge between trust and fear. With muscular prose and richly wrought characters, Behind the Red Door grabbed me, startled me, and didn’t let go until I’d torn through every chilling word.” —Andrea Bartz, author of The Lost Night and The Herd
“Atmospheric and haunting, Behind the Red Door is at once a chilling tale of complicated family dynamics and a riveting mystery. Elegant prose, intriguing characters and taut pacing make this book unputdownable.” —Daniela Petrova, author of Her Daughter’s Mother
“Harrowing… Collins plays her cards carefully to maximize suspense.” —Publishers Weekly
“Behind the Red Door is stunning in every way. Fern Douglas digs her fingers into your brain until you’re hooked and want more. I’m still reeling from this. Megan Collins is a masterful writer and this novel is full of twists you didn’t expect. It will leave you breathless and shaking in the best way.” —Amina Akhtar, author of #FashionVictim
A young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother & begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder. Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—& years later, her murder remains unsolved.
In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.
As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth really will set you free, once you can bear to look at it. ‘The Winter Sister’ is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we really know the people we love most?
Click HERE to add ‘Behind the Red Door‘ to your Goodreads TBR. Click HERE to add ‘The Winter Sister‘ to your Goodreads TBR. Click HERE to go to MomLovesReading Instagram page & give some LIKE love! Click HERE to find ‘Behind the Red Door‘ (& other books) at an indie bookstore using BookStoreLink.
Megan Collins is the author of ‘The Winter Sister’ & ‘Behind the Red Door’. She teaches creative writing in Connecticut, where she lives, & is the managing editor of 3Elements Review. A poet & fiction writer, her work has appeared in many journals, including Off the Coast, Spillway, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, & Rattle. Visit her at: TwitterFacebookInstagramWebsite
Thank you @stmartinspress for my gifted copy of ‘The Night Swim‘ by Megan Goldin! (pub 8/4). (Click HERE to see this post on Instagram & give it a LIKE, Comment or Save!)
After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation & set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―& the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.
The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a hs student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing & investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places.
Someone is following her, & she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister 25 yrs ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―& when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past & present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial & the lives of everyone involved.
I flew through this mystery/courtroom drama in mere hrs! It kinda gave me ‘Are You Sleeping‘ (fic) meets ‘Know My Name‘ (non-fic) vibes as it deals w/ the relevant issue of rape culture & a true-crime podcast. Goldin did handle the subject matter w/ care & respect & not exploitatively. I will warn you, there is some disturbing & graphic content that may be triggering or hard to read.
‘The Night Swim‘ is emotional, thought-provoking, heartbreaking & often cringey & uncomfortable to read, but it’s a great book if you can handle the subject matter. This book is also an August Book of the Month, so if you want to get it at a discount & you’re not a member, click on my referral link HERE & read my last Instagram post HERE for all the great benefits of being a BOTM member. This book publishes on 8/4.
Click HERE to add ‘The Night Swim’ to your Goodreads. Click HERE to look for this book (or others) at a local indie bookstore using BookStoreLink. Click HERE to give my Instagram post some LIKE love!
Praise for The Night Swim:
“Goldin’s prose is inviting, at times electrifying, and always sensitive in dealing with hot-button issues…well done.” ―Booklist (starred)
“Outstanding…[Goldin’s thriller] casts a searing light on small-town politics.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Remarkably strong.” ―Kirkus Reviews Praise for The Escape Room:
“The pages turn themselves…a sleek, well-crafted ride to a surprisingly twisty conclusion.” ―New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice
“THE ESCAPE ROOM works as the ultimate locked-room mystery…Goldin excels at illustrating the pressures of a Wall Street career.” ―Associated Press
“Addicting.” ―Time Magazine
“High wire tension from the first moment to the last. Four ruthless people locked in a deadly game where victory means survival. Gripping and unforgettable!” ―Harlan Coben
“Fantastic. One of my favorite books of the year.” ―Lee Child
“Amazing…a thriller set in an elevator [that explores] the vast territory of people’s worst natures. A nightmarish look inside ourselves. Simply riveting.” ―Louise Penny
“A shrewd, brilliantly structured thriller doubling as a takedown of corporate culture.” ―Shelf Awareness
“There is clearly no happy ending likely for the four colleagues trapped inside [the escape room]; but fans of JP Delany and Ruth Ware will want to be right in there with them…a nail-biting tale of a corporate team-building exercise gone horribly wrong.” ―Booklist
“Riveting…[a] tale of greed and revenge set on Wall Street…Thriller fans will eagerly turn the pages to see what happens next.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Cancel all your plans and call in sick; once you start reading, you’ll be caught in your own escape room―the only key to freedom is turning the last page!” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Smart and compelling… I devoured this novel!” ―Karen Cleveland, bestselling author of Need to Know
“A sharp, slick, utterly engrossing thriller. This knockout debut hooked me from the first page and didn’t let go.” ―Cristina Alger, USA Today bestselling author of The Banker’s Wife
Megan Goldin is the bestselling author of “The Escape Room”, praised by Lee Child as “one of my favorite books of the year”, as well as “The Girl In Kellers Way”, a critically-acclaimed domestic noir thriller nominated for Australia’s leading crime fiction awards. Megan worked as a journalist for Reuters, the Australian ABC and Yahoo! News before writing her debut psychological thriller The Girl In Kellers Way.
Are you looking for your next all-consuming, page-turner of a psychological suspense/thriller with some secret investigation/super twisty/revenge plot flare? Then look no further. There’s a reason this gifted writer has won 36 Emmy awards, has won many high honor writing awards, including the coveted Mary Higgins Clark award, & is the author of 12 thrillers w/ original, fresh plots & storylines…she is simply AMAZING! (Oh, & she’s an on-air investigative news reporter in Boston when she isn’t writing spellbinding thrillers…when does this Super Woman sleep??)
USA Today Bestselling & award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers another twisty, thrilling cat & mouse novel of suspense that will have you guessing, & second-guessing, & then gasping with surprise.
We all have our reasons for being who we are―but what if being someone else could get you what you want?
After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn’t know―she isn’t the only one plotting her revenge.
An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who must choose her new reality. Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?
Hank has knocked another one out of the park as I expected she would! Lies, twists, betrayal, family secrets, & some well-planned revenge, ‘The First to Lie’ is not your average, over-used thriller plot. Expertly paced, sharp as a tack writing, & flawlessly executed, I loved this book so much! It’s my 3rd HPR book & I am planning to get all of her earlier ones as well, giving her books some well-deserved shelf space in my home library.
‘The First to Lie‘ is fresh, masterful, brilliant, & keeps your guessing right up until the very end! Get this book on your TBR list, preorder it from your local indie bookstores & look for it this Tues, 8/4.
Click HERE to add ‘The First to Lie‘ to your Goodreads list. Click HERE to visit Hank Phillippi Ryan on Instagram. Click HERE to visit Hank’s website. Click HERE to give my Instagram post a LIKE.
Praise for The First to Lie:
“The First to Lie is a twisty, winding road of deception and secrets that starts with a bang and ends with an explosion. Put this one on your list because Hank Phillippi Ryan is at the top of her game.” ―Samantha Downing, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife and He Started It
“The First to Lie is a masterfully twisty tale full of all my favorite things: interesting women, family secrets, & well-plotted revenge. Start reading early, because you will tear through the pages of this breathless, keep-you-up-all-night thriller.” ―Jennifer Hillier, award-winning author of Jar of Hearts
“With flawless pacing and impeccable character development, Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers yet another powerful, relevant story of deceit, betrayal, and the extent to which someone will go to right the wrongs they have suffered. The First to Lie is a magnificent, intricately plotted thriller that will have you questioning everyone’s motives until the stunning ending.” ―Samantha M. Bailey, bestselling author of Woman on the Edge
“A taut, propulsive plot with twists that will take your breath away…book clubs will gobble up The First to Lie.” ―Sarah Pekkanen
“From one of our top thriller writers―a chilling tale of deception and revenge. Filled with sharp insights, The First to Lie is a house of mirrors, taking us on a thrilling ride of dizzying twists and shocking revelations.” ―Angie Kim, national bestselling author of Miracle Creek
“A must-read for thriller lovers–the compelling and twist-filled plot fearlessly delves into the intersections of revenge and family secrets.” ―Vanessa Lillie, bestselling author of Little Voices and For the Best
“Ryan delivers a mystery plotting masterclass …expert pacing, richly drawn characters, and seamless storytelling are just some of the ingredients that make this novel impossible to put down. Fabulous!” ―Hannah Mary McKinnon, internationally bestselling author of Sister Dear
“Ryan masterfully escalates the suspense in this smart, twisty thriller. With jaw-dropping discoveries, The First to Lie will shock even the savviest of suspense readers. Ryan’s best yet.” ―Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence
USA Today bestselling author HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN has won five Agatha Awards, in addition to the Anthony, Macavity, Daphne du Maurier, & Mary Higgins Clark Award for her bestselling suspense novels. As an investigative reporter, her work has resulted in new laws, criminals sent to prison, homes saved from foreclosure, & millions of dollars in restitution for victims & consumers. Along with her 36 Emmys & 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank has received dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. A former president of national Sisters in Crime & a founder of MWA University, she lives in Boston with her husband, a nationally renowned civil rights & criminal defense attorney. She is the author of The Murder List,Trust Me, & the Jane Ryland series (The Other Woman, The Wrong Girl, Truth be Told, What You See and Say No More). (**Author Photo Credit: Steve Bucci)