The woman in the shed, Emily, and Cecilia are all intimately connected by one man - Aiden. They call him by different names, and know different facets of his personality. Only one of them knows the dark secrets of what Aiden is capable of, and she is the one that doesn't know his name.
The Quiet Tenant is the story of a woman that is hiding behind the name of Rachel - she has been kidnapped by a man and kept in his shed for 5 years. During this time, she has learned the rules to survive, which include many repetitions of "I'm sorry" and not fighting back, and is fairly certain that he has killed others during her stay in his shed. She doesn't completely know why he decided to spare her, but strives to maintain the tentative equilibrium to stay alive. One day, he tells her that he has to move soon, and the woman in the shed fears for her life again. He seems reluctant to kill her, and she takes advantage of that by working to manipulate him to take her along. She repeatedly assures him that she will be good and cooperative in the new place, because she wouldn't be alive without him.
However, a complication exists in the form of his daughter, Cecilia. The man has to come up with a story to tell Cecilia about why he is bringing this strange woman into their home, as well as figure out new work arounds to contain her while keeping his daughter clueless as to the real arrangement. While this is going on, Aiden is also beginning a romantic relationship with Emily. Will Aiden be able to keep all of these separate pieces of his life apart and juggle the complexity of the situation he has created, or will one of these women discover the truth behind the others and bring everything crashing down?
The Quiet Tenant was an intriguing read for me, as although it was a novel about a serial killer, it was told from a very different perspective as it included people who loved him. This emphasized that although he was a monster, he could be quite loving, and that he had a multitude of facets to her personality. What was it about him that drove him to kidnap and kill? Why did he see different women in different lights? How did he choose his victims vs. somebody that he took care of? We do not get to see Aiden's perspective, but the narrative of all 3 women is woven together with great skill to paint the picture of a man that is unbelievably cruel, but a loving father, and reminds us that you never truly know everything about anybody.
Thank you to the Clemence Michallon and to Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, and Anchor Publishing the advance copy of The Quiet Tenant. It comes out on June 20th, 2023, and you'll want to scoop it up right away!
What the Neighbor's Saw tells the story of Alexis and Sam, who are young parents, looking to move on up in the world. They find their opportunity when a fixer-upper is listed in a prominent neighborhood, and jump on the chance to buy this home for their growing family. However, in working to fix up their new home, Alexis and Sam feel the strain of stretched finances, adding a second child to their family, and building relationships in their new neighborhood where Alexis doesn't quite feel she fits in as people continue to mistake her for the nanny.
The story is told through alternating viewpoints, primarily from Alexis and Blair's perspectives. Blair is a neighbor that has seemingly befriended Alexis and is the most welcoming to her of anybody in the neighborhood. However, early in their burgeoning friendship, Blair's husband is murdered. Police struggle to find the murderer, and a few other small yet troublesome events occur with neighbors traipsing through the nearby woods at night that cause Alexis to be worried about the safety of their new neighborhood.
Although this neighborhood is overall inhabited by wealthy families, they do not have the privacy and lack of drama that Alexis expected, and she begins to wish that they stayed back in their old neighborhood. Who murdered Blair's husband? Will Alexis and her family be safe?
Thank you to the Melissa Adelman and Minotaur Publishing for the advanced copy. Publishing on June 20th, definitely one to scoop up now!
In the Intern, Madison is a college student working her way through law school, and struggling to balance the necessities of her studies with her family's needs. Madison's brother is arrested, and her mother thinks that Madison has the connections to "fix" the situation that he has found himself in due to her knowledge of the law. However, Madison is trying to prepare for finals, and recently started an internship for a judge and doesn't want to rock the boat.
However, concerning events begin occurring while Madison is working at the internship, and things aren't quite adding up. Could the judge that Madison is interning for possibly be mixed up in some shady deals? Is there a connection between the judge's potential shady dealings and the fact that the judge was also the judge for Madison's brother's case? Madison finds herself sneaking deeper and deeper into the underpinnings of the judge's life to try to get to the bottom of the situation, for both herself as well as her brother. What she discovers may
The Intern was an interesting story and an enjoyable read. The sentence structure and writing style mirror the age and personality of the narrator, and it’s impressive how Michelle has altered her writing style to mimic the voice of her main character. I felt the voice was a bit young for me to connect completely with the character; however, I still enjoyed the storyline and the book overall.
Thank you to Michelle Campbell and St. Martin's Press for the advanced copy. If you've enjoyed Michelle Campbell's previous books, you'll enjoy The Intern. Grab a copy now!
How I'll Kill You is one to grab right away!! Thanks to Ren DeStefano and Berkley Books for the advanced copy, and read on for an excerpt from the book!
Ren DeStefano’s How I’ll Kill You is part love story and part horror. Throughout the tale, the reader knows who the “bad guy” is, but somehow Ren got me to empathize with one of our three murderers and I kept turning pages hoping that things would turn out differently for her.
Sissy is one of identical triplets that were abandoned soon after birth. They grew up in foster home and group homes, and unfortunately were often separated from each other and learned some hard lessons early on. After they aged out of the system, they were able to reunite and be a family. However, it’s not long before iris, the presumed oldest, falls in love and has an affair with a married man. When he refuses to leave his wife for her, she murders him in a fit of anger. Afterwards, she is devastated, but calls Sissy (who is an avid crime documentary watcher) to help cleanup so that the sisters can escape together without being caught. The sisters make a pact to kill each kill their first love, and travel around the country to find their mark.
Eventually, the sisters decide that Sissy needs to kill her first instead of only doing the clean up, as this will better bind her into their little family. However, Sissy falls in love and has doubts about killing him.
How I’ll Kill You is both a love story and a horror story, as you learn about the horrific acts the girls have committed, as well as the details of the cleanup and moving on. They are incredibly methodical and meticulous.
I really empathized with Sissy throughout the novel, and felt that she was “different” from her murderous sisters, especially since she had her to kill and was only helping them clean up. Only - ha! That is still a big deal. But she was not the mastermind and more like a wheel in the system. The man that Sissy falls in love with who is to be her first mark is also very engaging, and has been through hard times himself.
Disaster and murder follow the triplets wherever they go.
How I’ll Kill You is perfect for fans of Taylor Adams (No Exit) or Jennifer Hillier (Jar of Hearts, Things We Do in the Dark) in that it combines the element of intrigue with a bit of gruesomeness, but also has characters that the reader can identify with. This novel kept me on edge!
Thanks to Berkley Books and Ren DeStefano for the advanced copy. You’ll find How I’ll Kill You on shelves STARTING TODAY!!
“Just come,” she’d sobbed and then hung up. All of my calls went straight to voicemail. I sped the whole way over there, sure that someone had just climbed up the fire escape to murder her. But what I found was a different sort of violence.
Blood, deep and dark, pooled on her oriental rug, and splattered across the angel figurines.
She’d been sleeping with her old high school guidance counselor—a fifty-one-year-old married father of two. He strung her along for months, promising to leave his wife. He broke her heart a hundred times, and then Iris plunged a kebab skewer through his.
“You watch all of those crime shows,” Moody said, emerging from the kitchen with a bottle of bleach she’d found under the sink. “Help us make this go away.”
We moved with a practical calm, the three of us, and when it was through, Iris’s ill-fated lover was resting in six garbage bags, wound tightly with duct tape. If it were only one of us, or even two, I’m sure we would have been caught. We would have missed a detail. But we were a perfect team, the three of us.
After a lifetime of being torn apart, we were finally together, finally able to help one another in all the ways we never could when we were being jostled helplessly by the foster system. All those years of loneliness, of wanting, of being kept apart, had brought us to this desperate moment. Knee-deep in the water of the San Joaquin river in the velvet black night, we weighed the pieces of the man with rocks, and a promise started to form. In the coming days, it slowly became obvious what we needed to do.
We wouldn’t deprive ourselves of love, but our hearts would be weapons. We would love the men we found completely and without inhibition, put a lifetime into our brief time together. Live out every fantasy we desired. And then we would kill them.
There would never be another lover to break one of us. We would break all of them first.
“Excerpted from HOW I’LL KILL YOU by Ren DeStefano published by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2023 by Ren DeStefano”
The Other Mistress is heart pounding and jaw dropping!
Adira is a successful women that runs her own silk company. She has success and wealth, but is struggling with life, as her husband, Gabriel, is cheating on her. However, Adira decides that she isn’t going to put up with this, and reaches out to her husband’s mistress, Jocelyn, to tell her to leave Gabriel alone. In spite of the situation, Adira likes and envies Jocelyn’s internal fortitude and confidence, and they forge a strange sort of friendship when Adira discovers that Gabriel has yet another mistress. Perhaps they can team up to convince the other mistress to leave and to convince Gabriel to stay true to Adira.
In addition to the story alternating between Adira’s point of view and Jocelyn’s, we also get a 3rd storyline. At first, the reader doesn’t know how this 3rd point of view relates to the first two, but by the end, it’s crystal clear and shocking!
As Shanora William’s warns in her intro, there are elements of this book that deal with both child abused and sexual assault. They were important to the story, but did not take over the storyline or the majority of the book. The Other Mistress was a thrilling ride, and I recommend this to people who enjoy twisted psychological thrillers. Thank for to Kensington Books and Shanora William’s for the advanced copy! Pub day is June 27, 2023, you can preorder now!
Joshilyn Jackson stays true to her unique combination of mystery with a splash of horror in her latest novel, With My Little Eye.
Maribel is a single mom and an actress. As an actress, she’s often in the public eye, and she has picked up a stalker along the way. As the stalker is increasing the threats in his letters and the police are unable to do anything, Maribel decides to move across the country to protect her daughter, with the excuse/reason of a new job. However, her stalker doesn’t give up and seeks her out across the country. Maribel is scared for both her safety and the safety of her daughter, and turns to her neighbor, Cooper, for friendship and security.
As Maribel’s stalker continues to circle around her, we also get the story of Honor, Maribel’s autistic daughter. Maribel struggles with friendships, but has made a couple of friends since they moved. Although her mom is happy she has made some friends, the reader will have concerns about the quality of Honor’s friend group.
Things rapidly escalate, and soon Maribel is desperate to protect both herself and her daughter. However, there are dangers Maribel hasn’t seen yet; how can she possibly protect
Honor from danger she doesn’t yet know exists?
With My Little Eye weaves a tale of suspense throughout, as it is told in alternating viewpoints. I found Honor’s perspective as an autistic teenager interesting, and would love to know more about Joshilyn’s research into or experience with individuals on the autism spectrum to know how well this aligns with one possible autism experience. This is a great book to read if you’ve enjoyed Joshilyn’s other novels, or if you enjoy mysteries with a twist.
Thank you to William Morris Publishing and Joshilyn Jackson for the advanced copy. With My Little Eye will be out on April 25!
Gone Tonight, by Sarah Pekkanen, is a stunner of a novel that grips you from the beginning and continues to spin you around until the shocking conclusion!
Ruth is a single mom who raised a smart, successful daughter, Catherine. Now, Catherine is about to leave for a new job, but Ruth is diagnosed as having early onset Alzheimer’s. Catherine, as a nurse, hesitates to move for her new job and leave her mom when she knows the havoc this disease will wreck on their lives and the limited time she has with her mother. Ruth is Catherine’s only family, and Catherine knows next to nothing about those family history.
Desperate to learn more about her background and take care of her mother, Catherine decides it’s time to move past her mother’s refusal to talk about her past, and she starts digging into her mom’s history. However, things get weird quickly, and Catherine realized that Ruth isn’t who she claims to be and has lied about significant parts of her life.
What else is Ruth lying about? Is anything Catherine thinks she knows about herself or about her mother true?
Gone Tonight is told from multiple viewpoints, so the reader gets both Catherine and Ruth’s side of events. Chapters mostly alternate between the two narrators. The story of Ruth’s past and how it connects with her illness is doled out in tantalizing segments that keeps the reader rapidly turning pages.
Fans of Sarah’s previous books like The Wife Between Us will enjoy this newest book of hers. If you love mysteries in the style of Lisa Unger and Heather Gudenkauf, you will love Sarah Pekkanen’s writing and this book!
Thank you to Sarah Pekkanen and St. Martin’s Press for the advance copy! Gone Tonight comes out on August 1, 2023. This is one to scoop up in a pre-order, don’t miss it!
Peyote works in hell. Literally. And Sign Here is the story of his quest to sign one more soul to an eternity of damnation, and the trials and tribulations he experiences along the way. After all, when you live and work in hell, who can you trust?
Will Peyote be able to secure the last soul he needs for his promotion, or will he be thwarted by his coworkers and family?
Sign Here was humorous but dark, and had a great balance of humor with mystery. It’s told in multiple timelines, and at first the reader is not sure how they fit together. Which makes sense, because time has no meaning when you live in hell. Claudia Luxe did a wonderful job of marrying humor with mystery, and I enjoyed a good mystery with a touch of humor. Definitely one to check out!!
The Blame Game, Sandie Jones’ newest thriller, is a propulsive page turner! Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, Megan Miranda, and Freida McFadden.
Naomi is a psychotherapist with tragedy in her past. She’s worked hard to overcome her catastrophic childhood, and now has a successful career and happy marriage. Due to her childhood experiences, Naomi has a soft spot for victims of domestic abuse, and to the chagrin of her husband, goes beyond her professional duty to help her patients experiencing this. This time, somebody is out to get Naomi, and she is being framed for the disappearance of a patient who was living in a house that Naomi owns. Every way Naomi turns, she is pulled deeper into the quicksand that this mystery person has woven, and her small lies of omission wedge her in deeper. Can Naomi prove her innocence and save her life, career, and marriage?
The Blame Game is written in alternating timelines. This allows the reader to learn about Naomi’s tragic past while progressing through current events. Sandie does a good job of alternating these timelines to keep the reader engaged and propel the story forward. Since Naomi had significant professional accolades, I was surprised by her lack of professional boundaries with both patient confidentiality and friendships. However, the lack of boundaries was important to move the story forward. This can be accounted for by the collision of her tragic past and traumatic present day events.
I thoroughly enjoyed Sandie Jones’ The Blame Game and definitely recommend it!! Thanks for the copy - published August 16, 2022. Grab your copy now!!
All the Dangerous Things is a gripping novel about the love of a mother for her child, and the fallout that grief from losing that child has on her life.
Isabelle’s son disappeared for his crib one night, and has been missing for a year. Isabelle’s marriage collapsed in the wake of this tragedy, and her insomnia has had significant physical impacts on her as well. However, Isabelle won’t give up her search for her son, and is continuously traveling and attempting to draw attention to the case. As the story continues, we learn about Isabelle’s history with sleepwalking and tragedy from her childhood that make the reader question if Isabelle is to blame for her son’s disappearance. What happened to Mason? Is Isabelle to blame?
I enjoyed Stacy Willingham’s first book, A Flicker in the Dark, but All the Dangerous Things grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I read this book in a day and couldn’t put it down. As a mother, it tore at my heartstrings. This story is told in alternating timelines: present day, a few years ago when Isabelle met her husband to be, and when Isabelle was a child. These sections dole out just enough information to ratchet up the tension as you learn a little more, and then are shifted to another time. I would have loved to hear more about some details between the wrap up of the story and 1 year later, but those details weren’t necessary to the story.
Unputdownable, engrossing, and heart pounding! Don’t miss Stacy Willingham’s All the Dangerous Things!!
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