For the Love of Books, a look at what's new and exciting in the world of reading

Archive for January 2019

Susan has been looking forward to her beach house getaway and some time sans children. Starting over in a new town with her family has been challenging, but now she’s looking forward to some R and R, and decides to invite her new neighbors along as a way of breaking the ice. She and her husband and two other couples start relaxing, using alcohol to help break the ice. Unfortunately the alcohol relaxes them a little too much and some nasty secrets are spilled. The next morning, one of them is dead. Finding the culprit falls to local detective Gabby Watkins, and it’s not am easy job, because it would appear that everyone at the beach house had a motive for the murder. This is a top notch thriller, the kind that will leave you guessing until almost the very end.


I am a sucker for a book that revolves around a shadowy house filled with secrets and ghosts, so I was eager to dive into Elliott’s newest book. Alisa carter has inherited an old Scottish manor house, well half a house. The other half belongs to her father, a man who disappeared over a quarter of a century ago. Still, that doesn’t keep Alisa from moving in to the house, which right away begins to spook her.  Strange sounds, the feeling of being watched and the fact that animals won’t even set foot onto the grounds all contribute to Alisa’s feelings that something is very wrong with the property. Elliott places the reader firmly inside this creepy old Scottish estate, using local dialect and characters that come to life in a way that both delights and unsettles.

Imogene Coulter is burying her father, a KKK leader and a man she wanted nothing to do with. As her final filial duty, she’s getting rid of all his dirty old secrets, stashed away in her father’s hideout, but she never expects the horror that she uncovers. A child is found living behind a door in the basement, a door that locks from the outside. Years earlier, a little girl named Beth disappeared from her own home and now Imogene must put together what happened to Beth all those years ago, while trying to protect herself and her family from the man poised to take her father’s place in the Klan. Shocking and impossible to put down, Roy demonstrates once again, why she has won two Edgar awards

I was 12 years old before I knew my paternal grandmother was Irish. My English-born and raised father loved his mother, but was so angry and disgusted by the IRA, he would not admit he had a drop of Irish blood in him.  So, the Troubles and the struggle for Irish independence was something I learned everything I could about and I could see how the anger and hatred has built up on both sides of the conflict, but it took a story like this to bring home how personal, how painful and how devastating this crisis really was. In 1972, Jean McConville was dragged from her home in Ireland by a group of masked men, leaving her young children all alone. No one dared say anything, but everyone knew the IRA was behind the kidnapping. Meanwhile, Jean’s oldest children tried to care for their younger siblings as best they could, but it wasn’t long before the authorities were brought in to care for the children, splitting them up in different foster care homes. There is no happy ending in this story, only a confirmation, years later when Jean’s remains are found. Keefe draws readers into a world of darkness and hate, where children were indoctrinated as “soldiers” and the end always justified the means. A remarkable book and one you will never forget

Mahalia, or Halia is doing a bang up business at her Sweet Tea cafe. A swanky hair convention in town has got everyone flocking to her restaurant for refreshment. The pop star Monique Dupree is found murdered, and there are plenty of suspects. It would seem no one really loved Monique as much as Monique did. That leaves Halia and cousin Wavonne (love that name!) to find the real culprit. This is a fun cozy mystery spiced up with soul food and sass

It changed her life. Isla Bell is a professor of criminal psychology, a profession that she was steered into after finding three murder victims leaning against Hadrian’s Wall when she was just a girl. She studies the minds of killers and psychopaths, trying to understand what drives some people to commit such horrendous acts. The Hadrian’s Wall killer, Heath McGowan, was caught by Isla’s own detective father, and has only now agreed to speak to her about the murders. Her husband, the only one of Heath’s victims to survive doesn’t want her going anywhere near the killer, but she can’t turn down this chance to further her research. When another body is found, the similarities to the earlier murders are impossible to miss. Did Heath has a partner, is a copycat at work, or was the wrong man imprisoned?  Wow! This novel is so twisted and so brilliantly plotted that you will be blown away. One of the best mysteries I’ve read in a while

Crime writer Julia Gooden is on the trail of a serial killer, one who abducts female joggers and murders them in old, unused churches. She has had the satisfaction of finding her brother’s killer after 30 years, and while anyone else would want a little space from murder and mayhem. Julia is on the case. She and Detective Raymond Navarro can’t help but notice that each of the victims resembles Julia in some way and when the killer contacts her, she knows she’s in trouble. The killer insists her immortalize him in her writing, and while she knows she has to play along to save lives, Julia begins an exhaustive search to uncover the killer.  Once I started reading this, I couldn’t put it down. Julia is a relatable, kick ass heroine that captivated me.