Monthly Archives: January 2017

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay. Published by Simon and Schuster

Is all really fair in love and war? Police are holding Angela in an interrogation room, trying to prise information from her about her ex-wife, Saskia, who has disappeared. The detective on the case is sure Angela is holding back a critical truth, she either knows who took Saskia, or she did something to her ex herself? As she is questioned, the story of Saskia and Angela’s love affair, marriage and break-up comes to light. The intensity of first love, how we react when it goes wrong and the consequences are the meat of this dark and disturbing story

Advertisements

A Place of Stone and Shadow by Jane Nickerson. Published by North Loop

16-year-old Nicola O’Malley is leaving home (and she hopes, her ghosts behind) to begin school at the Wyndriven Female Academy in post Civil War Mississippi. unfortunately the venerable old school has seen a lot during its years, and the spirits of those who passed through its halls still remain. Still, Nicola makes friends with both the living, in the form of her new schoolmates, and the dead, in a charming 18th century man. Unfortunately, not all the spirits that wander the halls of the old school are so benevolent, as Nicola soon discovers. While this story is aimed at a YA crowd, its heroine and her narrative are intelligent enough to please an adult audience as well

The Substitute by Nicole Lundrigan. Published by Spiderline

Warren Botts, is a scientist who needs a break from his  lab work and takes on a long-term sub position as a science teacher in a  middle school . He’s a quiet, introverted man with the best of intentions who doesn’t always have an easy time dealing with his students, still he befriends a troubled young girl named Amanda. When Amanda is found dead in his backyard, Warren panics and takes flight. The small community is quick to vilify the teacher and brand him as both a pedophile and a murderer. Readers hear Warren’s story through a nameless narrator, who tells the story with great dispassion, leaving readers to guess at his identity.  This is a heart pounding read that delivered more than a few surprises.

The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro. Published by St. Martins

It’s the summer of 1992 on Avalon Island, an enclave for both the wealthy and the middle class workers who staff Gredder Aviation Factory.  The Gypsy moth infestation is causing havoc as caterpillars spill from trees onto everyone and everything. Leslie Day Marshall has arrived back on the island to take up residence in her family estate The Castle, and she’s brought her husband, an African-American and their bi-racial children with her. Their arrival has caused a stir in the island, with some people openly disapproving of their marriage. Maddie doesn’t care about any of that, she’s fallen head over heels in love with Leslie’s son, Brooks, and folks have plenty to say about that too. Of even greater concern, are the number of cancer diagnoses and deaths on the island. Some people believe it’s because of Gredder Aviation, but can the islanders turn their back on its main source of income? And if they keep quiet, what is the cost? A look at small town racism and economic uncertainty at the end of the twentieth century

The Ridge by John Rector. Published by Thomas & Mercer

I don’t know why John Rector is not on the top of the NYT bestseller’s list. His books, written is sparse, elegant prose, are some of the most believably creepy books I have ever read. Megan and Tyler Stokes were excited about their move to Willow Ridge, a tony suburb that promised to hold the start of a new phase in their lives. But Willow Ridge is not the pleasant, happy place it seems to be, and Megan realizes it almost right away. There is something very wrong with their neighbors and one neighbor in particular. When Megan is driven to confront the woman, she sets off a chain of events that becomes a nightmare of doubt, suspicion and madness. I guarantee you will never looks at your neighbors the same way again

The Measure of the Moon by Lisa Preston. Published by Thomas & Mercer

After being thrown from his horse in the woods of Washington, 8-year-old Greer begins the long walk home. He comes upon a scene straight out of a horror movie, as he sees a man trying to beat a woman to death. Picking up a gun he finds on the scene, he screws up his courage and orders the man to stop, giving the woman time to escape. The man promises Greer that if her ever reveals what he’s seen, he will come back and murder everyone the boy loves. In Seattle, photographer Gillian Trent is trying to forget about her crappy marriage by losing herself in her obsession to track down the truth about a Holocaust photograph of two boys in a forest. Gillian’s search will lead her, not only yo the truth about her own past but to the connection with  young Greer. Lisa Preston is a master storyteller, she writes such authentic characters they come to life and will be remembered long after readers finish this book

The Cleaner by Elizabeth Herrmann. Published by Bonnier Zaffre

In the 1980’s a worker in an East German orphanage finds a little girl wandering the hall one night. The girl says her name is Christel and that she wants her mommy. But the Stasi officers who visit the orphanage tell the worker that the girl’s name is Judith Kepler, and using some nasty persuasive techniques, they get the woman to go along with their ruse. Years later, Judith has grown up to be a crime scene cleaner – she makes sure that all the mess and gore left behind after a murder or suicide is erased. Bit this murder scene is different, the woman who was killed knew Judith’s real identity. Why was Judith real identity hidden and what really happened all those years ago? The Berlin Wall may have come down, but old tensions and threats still exist, as Judith looks to uncover the truth about her past. As tensions in our modern world increase daily, organizations like the Stasi take on a new and frightening guise. A riveting thriller