Monday, March 05, 2018


"Neighborly" by Ellie Monago is a true suburban thriller. Somebody said that the setting is like "Pleasantville" but already in full colour - and I can't find a better way of expressing it. Add intrigue and crime, and you have "Neighborly".

Some themes are truly disturbing, but they're handled in a way that doesn't scar.

Kat and Doug felt like Aurora Village was the perfect community. Minutes from the city, affluent without pretension, low crime with a friendly vibe—it’s everything Kat never had, and that she’s determined to provide for her infant daughter. Snagging a nice bungalow in this exclusive enclave was worth all the sacrifice. But everything changes overnight when Kat finds a scrawled note outside their front door.
That wasn’t very neighborly of you.
As increasingly sinister and frighteningly personal notes arrive, each one stabs deeper into the heart of Kat’s insecurities, paranoia, and most troubling, her past. When the neighbors who seemed so perfect reveal their open secret, the menace moves beyond mean notes. Someone’s raising the stakes.
As suspicious as she is of every smiling face and as terrified as she’s become of being found out, Kat is still unprepared for the sharp turn that lies just ahead of her on Bayberry Lane.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Emma in the Night

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker can be described as "intelligent suspense". There is a lot of psychoanalysis of the characters, and it adds to the plot rather than slow it down. I ended up liking even the not-so-likeable protagonists, and I was sorry when I ran out of pages to read.

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Look for me

"Look for me" by Lisa Gardner continues the story of detective D.D. Warren and survivor Flora Dane. Read it for the thriller part, or for the excellent commentary on social services and what it means to have a perfect family.

The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one—a sixteen-year-old girl—missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D. D. Warren is on the case—but so is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me. 

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

"Blame" - Jeff Abbott

Jeff Abbott is a new author for me, and I wish I could remember how I noticed his books (probably one of Amazon's suggestions), because whoever recommended it, got the match right with "Blame". I love suburban thrillers with small-town mentalities and big issues, and "Blame" did not disappoint.

Sometimes the person you thought you knew best...
Turns out to be someone you never really knew at all.

The crash that killed him
Two years ago, Jane Norton crashed her car on a lonely road, killing her friend David and leaving her with amnesia. At first, everyone was sympathetic. Then they found Jane's note: I wish we were dead together.

A girl to blame
From that day the town turned against her. But even now Jane is filled with questions: Why were they on that road? Why was she with David? Did she really want to die?

The secrets she should forget
Most of all, she must find out who has just written her an anonymous message: I know what really happened. I know what you don't remember...

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin

By the author of "Black-Eyes Susans", "Playing Dead" is a thriller set in Ponder, Texas. It's a fast-paced read, with characters you really care about, and some philosophical bits to think about afterwards. I can't wait for Julia Heaberlin's new book.

“Dear Tommie: Have you ever wondered about who you are?” 

The letter that turns Tommie McCloud’s world upside down arrives from a stranger only days after her father’s death. The woman who wrote it claims that Tommie is her daughter—and that she was kidnapped as a baby thirty-one years ago.

Tommie wants to believe it’s all a hoax, but suddenly a girl who grew up on a Texas ranch finds herselfĂ‚  linked to a horrific past: the slaughter of a family in Chicago, the murder of an Oklahoma beauty queen, and the kidnapping of a little girl named Adriana. Tommie races along a twisting, nightmarish path while an unseen stalker is determined to keep old secrets locked inside the dementia-battered brain of the woman who Tommie always thought was her real mother. With everything she has ever believed in question, and no one she can trust, Tommie must discover the truth about the girl who vanished—and the very real threats that still remain.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Secrets She Keeps

The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham is a skillfully-written page-turner. More than a thriller, more than a psychological study into the criminal mind's motives, this book asks the important questions:

  • what is a perfect life?
  • why would you forgive an affair?
  • what rights do biological fathers have?
  • what's the worst thing that can happen to you?
  • how does love happen?

And here's the blurb:

How far would you go to create the perfect family?

Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.

When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…

Friday, January 05, 2018

The Kind Worth Killing

"The kind worth killing" by Peter Swanson is a psychological thriller, the kind worth reading.

Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar. Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched - but are either of them being serious, could they actually go through with it and, if they did, what would be their chances of getting away with it?
Back in Boston, Ted's wife Miranda is busy site managing the construction of their dream home, a beautiful house out on the Maine coastline. But what secrets is she carrying and to what lengths might she go to protect the vision she has of her deserved future?