Safe in My Arms

Penguin Group Dutton

US Publication – July 27,2021

⭐⭐⭐1/2

Description

The latest novel from Sara Shepard, author of Reputation and the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series. When the principal of an elite California preschool is attacked, three moms—who feel like outsiders among the school’s manicured and ultra-wealthy community—must work together to uncover what she’s hiding, figure out who’s trying to frame them, and make sure their own secrets stay hidden.

Andrea, Lauren, and Ronnie all see themselves as good, loving moms who are trying their best, but they each arrive at the Silver Swans preschool Welcome Breakfast with something to hide. Andrea is running away from a past on the East Coast, which she cannot afford for the other parents to discover. Lauren is recovering from a postpartum condition her husband has warned her not to disclose. And Ronnie is hiding herself and her daughter from the one man who could at any moment appear in their lives and ruin everything she holds dear. They already feel like impostors among the school’s community of polished parents. But then notes appear in their children’s backpacks after the first day at school. Notes that indicate that someone knows their deepest, darkest secrets and needs them gone. Does someone not want them in the community? Or is it something more menacing—does someone know everything? 

When the principal of the school is the victim of an almost-fatal attack, it quickly becomes clear that the Silver Swans community is not as flawless as the brochures and website would have you believe. The three moms must band together to uncover the school’s many secrets before the other suspicious parents and town police close in and use their outsider status to blame them . . . and before they lose what they have worked so hard for.

My Thoughts

Lauren, Andrea, and Ronnie have all enrolled their children in the very exclusive and expensive Silver Swans Nursery Academy. These women are all new to the Raisin Beach, California area, and like so many other mothers, they want the best education for their kids. When they attend the Welcome Breakfast on the first day of school, not only does the school’s director Piper seems less than impressed, but the other mothers seem to be speaking another language. Andrea, Lauren, and Ronnie share some Bailey’s and become fast friends.

It is a good thing too since each woman has something to hide. Lauren is suffering from postpartum anger, Ronnie has a dark past, and Andrea’s family has pretty much disowned her because she is transgender. But someone seems to know their secrets and doesn’t think they or their children belong at this prestigious school. When Piper is attacked, they are all suspects and it appears that all of the things they are trying to hide will be exposed.

I was very interested in the story until shortly after Piper’s attack. It seemed to me like it lost some of its focus, and I wasn’t frantically flipping pages anymore. I did enjoy seeing how everything would work out, and Andrea was my favorite character. 3.5 stars.

I received a DRC from Penguin Group Dutton through NetGalley.

A Good Day for Chardonnay

St. Martin’s Press

US Publication – July 27,2021

🍷🍷🍷🍷

Description

From the New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones comes the second novel in her laugh-out-loud Sunshine Vicram mystery series, A Good Day for Chardonnay.

Running a small-town police force in the mountains of New Mexico should be a smooth, carefree kind of job. Sadly, full-time Sheriff—and even fuller-time coffee guzzler—Sunshine Vicram, didn’t get that memo.

All Sunshine really wants is one easy-going day. You know, the kind that starts with coffee and a donut (or three) and ends with take-out pizza and a glass of chardonnay (or seven). Turns out, that’s about as easy as switching to decaf. (What kind of people do that? And who hurt them?)

Before she can say iced mocha latte, Sunny’s got a bar fight gone bad, a teenage daughter hunting a serial killer and, oh yes, the still unresolved mystery of her own abduction years prior. All evidence points to a local distiller, a dangerous bad boy named Levi Ravinder, but Sun knows he’s not the villain of her story. Still, perhaps beneath it all, he possesses the keys to her disappearance. At the very least, beneath it all, he possesses a serious set of abs. She’s seen it. Once. Accidentally.

Between policing a town her hunky chief deputy calls four cents short of a nickel, that pesky crush she has on Levi which seems to grow exponentially every day, and an irascible raccoon that just doesn’t know when to quit, Sunny’s life is about to rocket to a whole new level of crazy.

Yep, definitely a good day for chardonnay.

My Thoughts

I really liked the first book in this series, A Bad Day for Sunshine, so I was thrilled to see the second book. Sunshine Vicram is back and I can honestly say it was good to spend time with her again. She is the sheriff in the town where she grew up, a place she ran from years ago. ( Read the first book to find out how this happened, though you won’t be lost if you don’t.) Fate and her parents’ intervention brought Sunshine and her daughter Auri home, and this boring little town isn’t exactly as quiet as she remembers.

This time, she is navigating bad blind dates, an extremely clever raccoon, old unsolved missing person cases, and her undying love for Levi Ravinder. Whenever something bad happens, you can count on Sunshine’s dialogue to make you laugh-out-loud, and don’t even get me started on the other secondary characters. They are as unique as Sunshine, and hands down there is one fictional town that I would love to visit. The sarcastic banter just kept me laughing and flipping pages, and I am sorry to say, the end came too soon. An engaging mystery, and even though I am not much of a romance reader, I’ve got my fingers crossed hoping that things work out for several of these couples. This series is just too enjoyable to pass up, and as lots of my Instagram book buddies always say, there is no bad day for chardonnay.

I received a DRC from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley.

Just One Look

July 27,2021

Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine

🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

Description

A young woman’s escalating obsession with a seemingly perfect man leads her down a dangerous path in this novel of suspense brimming with envy, desire, and deception.

Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul. Emails are.

Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking—love, friends, stability—and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.

While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.

Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.

Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle—she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.

My Thoughts

Just because Cassie Woodson spectacularly lost her job, doesn’t mean she deserved it. I mean look at Cassie now, using her once-prized law degree as a temporary worker. She has hidden in her apartment for the last six months, but her bank account is low, and how bad could it be reviewing documents for the legal firm of Levy & Strong. It isn’t as if her last employer handed her a letter of recommendation when they oh so politely asked her never to return.

The job is mind-numbing and a humiliating step to the bottom of the corporate ladder. But suddenly, it seems like someone is smiling at Cassie. Personal emails from the corporate lawyers upstairs start showing up mixed in with the documents. Forest Watts is a partner and his emails are full of details about his life. His perfect wealthy life and his perfect marriage to the beautiful and well-bred Annabelle.

Cassie is thrilled! The girl who has nothing now has an up-close and personal view of Forest and Annabelle’s world. Pretty soon she is obsessed with everything about them until she discovers that she might have the chance to be part of only Forest’s world. Could Cassie finally be getting everything she deserves?

Umm, creepy, obsessive, and more than slightly dangerous come to mind when describing Cassie. Details of her life are revealed little by little, and while I felt sorry for her at times, it never lasted. More than once I wanted to yell ‘run’ at every single person she looked at for more than a split second.

Did I think Just One Look would end well? No, I did not. Did I imagine what life in Cassie’s world would become? No, I did not. A sharply written, twisted tale of obsession, and if this doesn’t make you think twice about what your emails and social media presence reveal, nothing will. Loved it! Beach read approved! 4.5 stars.

I received a DRC from Random House Publishing Group- Ballantine through NetGalley.

The Book of Accidents

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine/Del Rey

US Publication – July 20,2021

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Description

A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers

“The dread, the scope, the pacing, the turns—I haven’t felt all this so intensely since The Shining.”—Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians

Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there.

Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have—and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.

Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.

Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.
 
And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.

This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family—and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another.

My Thoughts

Confession time. This is the first book I have read by Chuck Wendig, so I don’t know what kind of cave I have been living in. Once I started reading The Book of Accidents, I saw it everywhere, and I am not surprised.

The Graves family is about to make the biggest mistake of their lives. Before Nate’s estranged father dies, he has one final proposition for his son. For the grand sum of one dollar, Nate can purchase his childhood home. But why would he even want to considering his lousy upbringing courtesy of his abusive dad?

His wife Maddie and son Oliver see it differently though. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to move out of the city and build a better life. Nate can find safer work, Maddie can have her own art studio, and sensitive Oliver can escape all the noise that surrounds him. Even Nate starts to entertain the idea, and before I could scream, “no, don’t do it”, the moving van is pulling up to their new home. Did I mention a serial killer lived in this town and he just happened to maybe disappear while strapped to the electric chair? No, well this is but one of many, many unusual events that await this family.

Not even one day passes before strange things start happening. Nate sees his dead father, Maddie’s artistic skills are out of control, and Oliver makes a friend who may not be what he seems. I can’t say much more because of spoilers, but let me say this reminded me a lot of early Stephen King and Dean Koontz books, but with the author’s own unique take on this situation.

Did I like the ending? Well, yes and no. Most things were resolved but there was one thing that I wish had ended differently. Did I fly through all 544 pages without coming up for air? Why yes I did. If you are a horror and science fiction fan who loves great characters and a vast-reaching plot, I highly recommend this book.

I received a DRC from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine/Del Rey through NetGalley.

The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

US Publication – July 20,2021

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Description

Meet the trophy wives of Presidio Terrace, San Francisco’s most exclusive—and most deadly—neighborhood in this shrewd, darkly compelling novel from the New York Times bestselling author of In Her Shadow.

Mystery writer Brooke Davies is the new wife on the block. Her tech-billionaire husband, Jack, twenty-two years her senior, whisked her to the Bay Area via private jet and purchased a modest mansion on the same day. He demands perfection, and before now, Brooke has had no problem playing the role of a doting housewife. But as she befriends other wives on the street and spends considerable time away from Jack, he worries if he doesn’t control Brooke’s every move, she will reveal the truth behind their “perfect” marriage.

Erin King, famed news anchor and chair of the community board, is no stranger to maintaining an image—though being married to a plastic surgeon helps. But the skyrocketing success of her career has worn her love life thin, and her professional ambitions have pushed Mason away. Quitting her job is a Hail Mary attempt at keeping him interested, to steer him away from finding a young trophy wife. But is it enough, and is Mason truly the man she thought he was?

Georgia St. Claire allegedly cashed in on the deaths of her first two husbands, earning her the nickname “Black Widow”—and the stares and whispers of her curious neighbors. Rumored to have murdered both men for their fortunes, she claims to have found true love in her third marriage, yet her mysterious, captivating allure keeps everyone guessing. Then a tragic accident forces the residents of Presidio Terrace to ask: Has Georgia struck again? And what is she really capable of doing to protect her secrets?

My Thoughts

This book is publishing on July 20th, a perfect time since once I read the first chapter, I was thinking, beach read! The story isn’t one where you need to pay strict attention or miss some vital clue. Erin, Brooke, and Georgia live in the wealthy neighborhood of Presidio Terrace. A place where money can buy anything, except perhaps the truth.

Brooke and her husband have just relocated, but Erin and Georgia have been here for years. All the way back to when Georgia’s first husband, then her second husband died. Does she just have the worst luck with marriage or is her nickname, “Black Widow” well deserved. Rumors swirl around her, and the word murderer is used quite often. Maybe her engagement will quiet the grapevine, that is if her fiance lives.

Erin’s career and marriage are sinking faster than she can fill the holes in the boat. She isn’t sure if either is worth saving, but without them, how can she feel loved and appreciated. Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned, and Erin most definitely will not go down without a fight.

Brooke was an enigma. Married to an older, wealthy man, she is a writer and very curious about what is going on with Erin and Georgia. Maybe a little too interested, but then again, a writer needs the inspiration to write. Three women with secrets and you will need to read The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives to find out if any of them can be trusted.

Just a soapy, fun read that I flew through in a day. Were any of the twists OMG shocking moments? Mostly not, except for one. Some great dialogue and an enjoyable escape to a world that I wouldn’t want to live in, but was a fun visit.

I received a DRC from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine through NetGalley.

What She Knew

Inkubator Books

US Publication – July 18,2021

⭐⭐⭐.5

Description

Nine years ago, Stephanie’s best friend vanished. Now she’s back to haunt her.

Life has been good to Stephanie. Married to college professor, Oliver, with two adorable children, she lives in a lovely house, surrounded by beautiful things.

It hasn’t always been like this.

Nine years ago, Stephanie’s flatmate Alison vanished, presumed murdered. It was a horrible time, and Stephanie tries hard not to think about it.

But when a TV researcher working on a true crime series wants to interview her about the case, Stephanie is forced to confront the past and recognise that she has a deep need to answer one burning question – what happened to Alison?

It soon becomes clear that someone doesn’t want her digging for the truth and is willing to do anything to conceal a shocking web of lies. As her perfect life unravels, Stephanie realises that by opening a door into the past she has woken a sleeping monster. And now it’s her own life that is on the line…

What She Knew – the stunning psychological thriller from the best-selling author of The Visitors and The Arrangement.

My Thoughts

Stephanie suffered a painful loss when she was a college student. Her roommate Alison disappeared and even though her body was never found, there was enough evidence to convict someone. Stephanie was grief-stricken and blamed herself for ignoring Alison’s last call. She will never know if the story might have had a different ending if she had answered that call.

Vulnerable and not sure what she should do with her life, she becomes involved with a former professor, Oliver. The relationship moves at warp speed, and we now see them married with two children, Bea and Sam. For the most part, their life is good. Stephanie has finally stopped having nightmares about Alison, she lives in a beautiful home, and loves her family.

All that changes when an investigative journalist reaches out to her. He plans to reopen Alison’s case, and while Oliver is dead set against it, Stephanie wants to know if the wrong man is in jail. Soon, it becomes apparent that someone wants her to stop digging into the past, and more than one closet will fly wide open, revealing the skeletons of secrets and lies that were never meant to see the harsh glare of daylight again.

There were quite a few red herrings and I went down the wrong whodunnit path more than once. No spoilers, but one thing Stephanie did after Alison was gone rubbed me the wrong way and made me suspect her too. While I had more than one guess about what happened to Alison, the motive came out of  left field, and honestly surprised me. My first book by this author and I will gladly read more. 3.5 stars.

I received a DRC from Inkubator Books through NetGalley.

A Familiar Sight

Thomas & Mercer

US Publication – July 20,2021

🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪

Description

A shocking murder carries echoes of the past for a psychologist in a startling novel of suspense by a Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author.

Psychologist and criminologist Dr. Gretchen White is a specialist in antisocial personality disorders and violent crimes. She’s helped solve enough prominent cases for detective Patrick Shaughnessy that her own history is often overlooked: Gretchen is an admitted sociopath once suspected of killing her aunt. Shaughnessy still thinks Gretchen got away with murder. It’s not going to happen again.

When a high-profile new case lands on Shaughnessy’s desk, it seems open and shut. Remorseless teenager Viola Kent is accused of killing her mother. Amid stories of childhood horrors and Viola’s cruel manipulations, the bad seed has already been found guilty by a rapt public. But Gretchen might be seeing something in Viola no one else does: herself.

If Viola is a scapegoat, then who really did it? And what are they hiding? To find the truth, Gretchen must enter a void that is not only dark and cold-blooded, but also frighteningly familiar.

My Thoughts

A Familiar Sight might feature the most unusual main character ever. We meet Dr. Gretchen White at the home of her friend Lena, the now very dead Lena. While nothing suggests foul play, Detective Patrick Shaughnessy is not surprised to see Gretchen there. Her reason, she is the one who found the body. His thoughts, she winds up around a lot of dead bodies. She is a police consultant and a sociopath. Yep, Patrick relies on a sociopath to help him catch criminals with antisocial personality disorders.

The ties that bind Patrick and Gretchen together are shall we say complicated. Patrick has had his suspicions about Gretchen’s involvement in her aunt’s death, but he could never prove her guilt. Of course, that happened when she was only a child, and his belief that she was guilty has left her with the need to be near him, the need to push him, to prove him wrong. Hard to say how reliable of a narrator Gretchen is early in the story, but we will learn much more about what makes her tick as time goes by.

What really has Patrick’s attention though, is the fact that Lena was Violet Kent’s lawyer. Thirteen-year-old Violet has been charged with the murder of her mother, and it surprises…….no one. Violet has shown violent tendencies to everyone around her, and the most common comment from those who knew her was not if, but when. When would she cross the line from inflicting pain and suffering to those around her, to murder?

Gretchen could never figure out why Lena took Violet’s case. Lena didn’t represent losers, and the evidence clearly points to Violet. She starts digging into the life of the Kent’s and discovers that this wealthy family had more than one skeleton in the closet.

So Gretchen seems…..nice if you consider the fact that she has gone to great lengths to avoid killing anyone. Any little thing can set her off, and let me tell you, it was not always sunshine and roses being in her head. Thank goodness Gretchen knows how to stay on the right side of the law, after all, not all sociopaths are killers.

The murder mystery is well-plotted, Violet Kent is a piece of work, and there is more to grieving widower and father Reed Kent and his dead wife Claire than meets the eye. Almost impossible to put down and told from two distinctive voices and timelines, Gretchen’s and Reed’s, I guessed some of the twists but definitely not all of them. I don’t know if the author has plans for Gretchen White, but I for one would love to see her again.

I finished this book several days ago and I am still not sure if I feel sorry for Gretchen, or afraid of her. I loved this book.

I received a DRC from Thomas & Mercer through NetGalley.

Love People, Use Things

Celadon Books

US Publication – July 13,2021

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Description

“The Minimalists show you how to disconnect from our conditioned material state and reconnect to our true essence: love people and use things. This is not a book about how to live with less, but about how to live more deeply and more fully.”
—Jay Shetty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Like a Monk

AS SEEN ON THE NETFLIX DOCUMENTARIES MINIMALISM & LESS IS NOW

How might your life be better with less?

Imagine a life with less: less stuff, less clutter, less stress and debt and discontent—a life with fewer distractions. Now, imagine a life with more: more time, more meaningful relationships, more growth and contribution and contentment—a life of passion, unencumbered by the trappings of the chaotic world around you. What you’re imagining is an intentional life. And to get there, you’ll have to let go of some clutter that’s in the way.

In Love People, Use Things, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus move past simple decluttering to show how minimalism makes room to reevaluate and heal the seven essential relationships in our lives: stuff, truth, self, money, values, creativity, and people. They use their own experiences—and those of the people they have met along the minimalist journey—to provide a template for how to live a fuller, more meaningful life.

Because once you have less, you can make room for the right kind of more.

My Thoughts

I first saw this on Instagram and was intrigued. I also heard that the authors are rather well known and have a podcast, but I am a newbie when it comes to their ideas. The title was enough to catch my attention, as it seems like there are more than a few people I know who could reverse people and things in the title.

Whenever I read a nonfiction book, I tend to just read a chapter at a time, then think about it before moving on. The length of each one was between 30-40 pages, which worked well for me, as I am new to minimalism.

Joshua shared an amazing personal story that really resonated with me. When his mother died, he was tasked with emptying her home and discovered that she had held onto so much stuff. But it was all in sealed boxes, put away, and most likely never looked at again. He then decided to only keep the things that were necessary and to go home and declutter his own life too.

This really was a lightbulb moment for me, because I grew up with a mother who was just the opposite. She didn’t save anything. When she died, there were no pictures, or cards, or anything that I would consider having sentimental value. It kind of hurt to realize that anything I had ever given her was not deemed worthy of keeping, and though I am nowhere near being a hoarder, I think I have held onto more than I need. Thinking about what things I have and whether or not they are actually important was one of my main takeaways from this book. It is much more than a get your stuff in order book though, it is about getting your life and priorities straight. A really perfect read after a year of imposed social distancing as I think I will reenter society with a much greater appreciation for the people and not the things that define my life.

I received a DRC from Celadon Books through NetGalley.

Steel Fear

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Bantam

US Publication – July 13,2021

🚢🚢🚢🚢

Description

An aircraft carrier adrift with a crew the size of a small town. A killer in their midst. And the disgraced Navy SEAL who must track him down . . . The high-octane debut thriller from New York Times bestselling writing team Webb & Mann—combat-decorated Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and award-winning author John David Mann.

“Sensationally good—an instant classic, maybe an instant legend.”—Lee Child

The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincolnto hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board. Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption . . . if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him.

My Thoughts

Who knew how much I would enjoy a military thriller? Not me as I was intrigued by the description but not totally sold.

Steel Fear is set on the USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier. Since I am not very knowledgeable about these types of vessels, I really appreciated the detailed descriptions of the size and layout. I grew up in a very small town and I am fairly certain that this ship would hold every business and house and probably have room left over.

Finn is a Navy Seal who is catching a ride home on this ship under what seems to be some sort of a cloud. He is treated with respect by the crew and suspicion by command. Is he really on board to spy on how the ship is run or does he have some other agenda? When people start to go missing, the question is can Finn figure out what is going on, or is he the one responsible?

This was a very engaging mystery set in what to me was a unique location. No spoilers, but I was surprised by the whodunnit and two characters really stood out to me, Finn and Monica. When I reached the last page, I was excited to read a little bit from the next book in this series, Cold Fear.

I received a DRC from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine through NetGalley.

The Therapist

St. Martin’s Press

US Publication – July 13,2021

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Description

The multimillion-copy New York Times bestselling author B.A. Paris returns to her heartland of gripping psychological suspense in The Therapist—a powerful tale of a house that holds a shocking secret.

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

My Thoughts

When Leo buys a house in London and his girlfriend Alice moves in, it seems like they are on the verge of living happily ever after. Alice throws a party to get to know her neighbors, but her lovely future will be put in jeopardy when a stranger appears. This house has seen tragedy and the prior owners’ fates horrify Alice. Her obsession with finding out what really happened leads her down a path full of distrust. Satisfying her curiosity might also be the last thing she ever does.

The story is told mostly from Alice’s POV, with random chapters by “the therapist”. At first, I was certain of the identity of the patient, but as more and more suspects were revealed, I was no longer so sure. I was right to doubt myself and I wound up only giving a passing glance to the “bad guy” and was quite surprised to see how everything came together.

Alice was a unique character. She is suffering from past trauma and her moving to London was a huge step. Once she puts on her investigator hat, she veers off in numerous directions. Every action by her partner and new neighbors raises her suspicions, and at one point, I thought, okay, they all did it!

An engaging plot that kept me flipping pages, and if I didn’t read it during a rainy and cold Memorial Day weekend, I would have been happily devouring The Therapist at the beach.

 

I received a DRC from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley.