The Girl Who Lived by Christopher Greyson. Published by Greyson Media

Survivor’s guilt has driven Faith Winters a little mad. She survived when others did not, and even though the police and her therapist dismiss her as an addled drunk, she believes she saw the killer, who was never captured. Now the anniversary of the slayings is approaching, and Faith is back in her hometown where the murders took place. Released from a psych unit, she quickly spirals out of control and begins drinking again. Anything to dull the pain and repress the memories. Unfortunately for Grace, the booze isn’t working and in a last-ditch effort to rid herself of the guilt she has for surviving, she sets out to find her sister’s killer. Greyson does an amazing job of creating a character hellbent on her own destruction, somehow making her a character readers will cheer for. A terrific read

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The Balcony by Jane Dulury. Published by Little, Brown

I have often believed old buildings hold the impressions of those who lived there before. Dulury takes that premise and runs with it, in this case she follows the lives of people who have lived on an estate outside Paris, both an elegant manor house and a servants cottage. From the Belle Époque to the present, she links stories both beautiful and profane. From a servant who falls in love with the master of the house, to a Jewish couple hiding from the Nazis, the house and grounds, in particular a balcony, a pond and a rose garden stand in silent witness to decades of love, loss and, betrayal . Oh my, what a book! I had lost my electricity due to a windstorm, but I lost complete track of time as I entered this magical world that had me in tears more than once. Highly recommended

The Memory Detective by T.S. Nichols. Published by Alibi

Cole is a homicide cop who takes his job very seriously. It’s sometime in the future, and Cole is able to access the memories of a murder victim through a rather lengthy surgical procedure. He’s able to witness the victim’s death, and thus solve it, but at what cost? As he pursue the killer of his latest victim. he begins to believe he’s being watched, and he’s right. A powerful corporation wants to use the technology Cole uses to solve murders for their own nefarious purposes, and they won’t stop at killing one cop to get what they need. So much of our lives are in the public domain now, how frightening would it be if people could read our minds, mine our memories? Nichols taps into the fear we all have in an age when nothing is secret or sacred

City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston. Published by Grand Central

Pendergast and Lt. Vincent D’Agosta are reunited when the daughter of a billionaire tech giant is found murdered. Grace Ozmian’s body has been found, but her head is missing. It would appear no mere mortal has killed the woman, and that she is only the first of people to be brutally murdered and beheaded. With a seemingly invincible killer, or killers, on the loose, Pendergast and D’Agosta try to solve the case before the city erupts in panic. I love Preston and Child, I only like Pendergast. While the storylines are always exciting and entertaining, I find Pendergast to be a bit of a windbag. Maybe a book or two that doesn’t feature the FBI whiz?

The Undertaker’s Daughter by Sara Blaedel. Published by Hachette

After her parent’s divorce, Ilka and her mother left the U.S. to live in Copenhagen. Now an adult, Ilka make a living taking children’s school pictures. It’s not exciting, but it pays the bills. When her father dies, Ilka receives word that he has left her his business – a funeral home, it’s a surprise as she’s had no contact with him for years. She decides to go the U.S., to Racine, Wisconsin to see what her father has left her and to try to get some idea about what type of man her father was. The plan is to sell the business, but that gets put on fold when a man’s body is found, a man who was beaten to death. A man rumored to have killed his  high school girlfriend years ago. This is billed as suspense, but in truth, it reads more like straight fiction, as Ilka tries to come to grips with her own past. The end of the story does have an element of suspense and Blaedel is a wonderful writer – just don’t expect a thriller

I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke. Published by Grand Central

Eloise, wife and mother has disappeared from her London home. Her husband, Lochlan is desperate to find her…or is he? Despite telling the police his marriage was picture perfect, the reality is that is was anything but. Around the same time, a woman washes up on a beach in Greece. She has no idea of who she is or where she came from. Stranded on the remote island, she is forced to let a group of friends vacationing there take care of her. She senses that the group is holding something back. Could they know who she is? Could they have something to do with her memory loss and her appearance on the island? This story really had me flummoxed. Every time I though I knew what was happening, I turned out to be wrong. A satisfying, super twisted mystery

The Last Cruise by Kate Christensen. Published by Doubleday

Once, it was the only way to travel  – aboard a luxury ocean liner. with your finest gowns, jewelry and servants. But with those days long past, the Queen Isabella is about to make her final voyage for one last cruise from California to Hawaii. Aboard her are a somewhat motley crew (no children allowed), including former journalist, Christine Thorne, who intends to have the time of her life, living it up in an age of luxury. But the Queen is an elderly lady and she has plenty of maintenance problems, not to mention an underpaid, unhappy crew. When it becomes clear that the cruise line that owns the ship has cut corners it’s already too late for the crew and passengers. What follows is a test of character and bravery as the ship becomes imperiled at sea