Written on My Heart by Morgan Callan Rogers. Published by Plume

The small coastal Maine village, the Point celebrates with native son and daughter FlorineĀ  Gilham and Bud Warner as they marry. They both look forward to their lives as a married couple, but wedded bliss takes a back seat when Florine begins to uncover clues about her mother Carlie’s disappearance when Florine was 12. She and Bud are determined to uncover the truth, no matter how unpleasant it might be. The mystery and Bud and Florine’s relationship are well written, but it’s the coastal Maine location that steals the show. And as a life long Mainer, that’s not a statement I make lightly

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The Girls by Lisa Jewell. Published by Atria

Pip and her older sister Grace have recently moved. They are happy in their new home even if they aren’t allowed to tell their father where they are after he burned down their family home. Their new home is in a lovely, homey enclave in London filled with families and gardens. But the happy families seem to be hiding dangerous and sinister secrets. One summer’s night, during a block party, Pip finds Grace bleeding and unconscious in the very same rose garden where a girl had once been murdered. Is there a connection? The past will come full circle in this deliciously dark thriller by master storyteller Jewell.

Ask Him Why by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Published by Lake Union

Ruth and little brother Aubrey idolize their older brother Joseph and are both proud and worried when he ships off to Iraq. Three and a half Moon months later he’s home with a dishonorable discharge. Ruth and Aubrey have been raised in a family where feelings and secrets are kept buried. It’s only later that they learn Joseph had disobeyed a direct order and had tried to convince his fellow soldiers to do the same. Branded a coward by the local community, Joseph leaves home. His father’s job is in jeopardy when clients refuse to do business with the father of a traitor. Told from both Ruth and Aubrey’s viewpoints, Hyde paints a portrait of the collapse of an American family and the consequences of war and conscience.

Hide Away by Iris Johansen. Published by St. Martins

Eve Duncan returns in an adventure that may cost her her marriage to Joe, if not her very life. Never really having gotten over the loss of her daughter, Bonnie, Eve becomes protective of Cara Delaney, a young woman with dangerous enemies who will stop at nothing to see her dead. Against Joe’s wishes, Eve and Cara escape to the Highlands of Scotland. Looking for a safe place to hide, the women find themselves caught up in the search for a legendary treasure. Johansen manages to keep the Eve Duncan series fresh with new characters and a beautiful new setting. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier. Published by Viking

In 1838, James and Sarah Goodenough and their family settle in Northwest Ohio. The land is resistant to being farmed, but the Goodenoughs must plant and cultivate 50 apple trees to stake the claim on their land. They have the help of a local man called John Appleseed, but it’s not an easy life and Sarah finds comfort in the applejack liquor they make from their harvests. Life for their children is nothing short of hell and years later, youngest child Robert has taken himself as far away from his family as possible. On the American West coast he finds peace amongst the redwood trees and makes a living sending seeds to collectors in England. Chevalier’s greatest strength as an author is her ability to transport readers to a place and time so thoroughly, they forgot where they are. Highly recommended

She’s Not There by Joy Fielding. Published by Ballantine

Carole and her husband Hunter were enjoying a romantic getaway in Mexico when he convinced her to leave their two young daughters alone in their hotel room while they ate an anniversary dinner at the resort’s restaurant. When they returned, two year old Samantha was gone. Crucified in the press and convicted in the court of public opinion, Carole has never given up hope that Samantha is still alive and that she will one day return. Now, 15 years later, Carole gets a phone call from a young woman who claims to be Samantha. Can it be true? Carole has reason to believe it could all be a scheme, but what if she’s wrong? Fielding makes a parent’s worst nightmare come true in this hair raising novel that mimics several real life mysteries

Smoke by Dan Vyleta. Published by Doubleday

In England in what may or may not be the Victorian England, Charlie and Thomas attend a prestigious boarding school. But the boys are closely monitored for signs of Smoke. In this England, people impure of thought and those lacking in moral fiber show their base nature through Smoke. The poor and downtrodden Smoke, the wealthy, upper classes do not. It is well known that a person’s character is easily determined this way. But what if the Smoke was more than an indicator? What if it was something malignant, something contagious? Something that could destroy and pervert all who came in contact with it? Thomas and Charlie will battle the establishment to prove their dangerous theory, if they live long enough. This is a hard story to categorize, it’s not steam punk , but it’s not alternate history either. I would just call it a wild and thoroughly engrossing read