“Dad always says that if you’re going to do something wrong, at least be smart enough not to let anybody see you do it.” ― Freida McFadden, The Locked Door
Summary: Some doors are locked for a reason…
While eleven-year-old Nora Davis was up in her bedroom doing homework, she had no idea her father was killing women in the basement. Until the day the police arrived at their front door.
Decades later, Nora’s father is spending his life behind bars, and Nora is a successful surgeon with a quiet, solitary existence. Nobody knows her father was a notorious serial killer. And she intends to keep it that way.
Then Nora discovers one of her young female patients has been murdered. In the same unique and horrific manner that her father used to kill his victims.
Somebody knows who Nora is. Somebody wants her to take the fall for this unthinkable crime. But she’s not a killer like her father. The police can’t pin anything on her.
As long as they don’t look in her basement.
My Thoughts: Freida McFadden is an author who is becoming increasingly popular on BookTok. It is exciting to give trendy authors a try to see what all the fuss is about! This was the audiobook my husband and I chose to listen to on our way to Denver. We both found the story very interesting, and it made the time go by!
It was fun to pause and discuss our theories of “whodunnit”. It was fast-paced and hard to put down. Lots of red herrings to throw you off track and keep you guessing until the final twist. We finished this just as we were pulling into Denver, and neither of us guessed correctly how it would end! Although, I would say that the story wrapped up a little abruptly. It would have been better if the plot did not have so many storylines and if we could delve into more details, especially on Nora’s childhood.
“It made me realize that monsters don’t hide in the woods; they aren’t shadows in the trees or invisible things lurking in darkened corners. No, the real monsters move in plain sight.”
― Stacy Willingham, A Flicker in the Dark
Summary: When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as the serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.
Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she worked so hard to get.
And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid and seeing parallels that are not really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?
My Thoughts: I have never had so many guesses for how a book would end. It was fun to keep up with because I kept switching my prediction on who was guilty. The story is solid and structured in an interesting way, integrating Chloe’s past memories seamlessly into the current narrative, where she is either lost in thought, dreaming, or having flashbacks, rather than using the format of the past/present chapters.
I really liked all the characters. They were interesting, and each had something to hide. That helped add extra twists and turns. They all had a purpose, whether to confuse us or reveal more about Chloe’s past, traits, and fears.
Summary: When their grandfather dies, he leaves a dying wish. He wants his grandchildren to recreate and follow the same road trip they took together 20 years before. He wants his ashes taken with them and scattered in the desert where their trip ended.
Family road trips can be stressful. But made even more stressful when everyone is hiding a secret. However, in order to earn their inheritance, they must complete his request. Money is a motivator. So even with all the fighting and secrets they know they must finish the road trip at all costs.
My Thoughts: This book was messed up! It was one crazy twist after another. When you think you’ve seen it all you are proven wrong. At the end I kept flipping the page over because I couldn’t believe the book ended as it did. It was a wild ride. I did not like any of the characters. They treat each other terribly and most of the people they meet. It’s like watching a train wreck and you can’t look away. I had to know what was going to happen next. The one critique I had was the cigarette situation. It seemed so petty but that may have been the point. It made me dislike the characters even more.
I did like though that the sites they visit are real. Take a look. They are pretty neat actually. I would even add them to my next road trip.
Summary: Marcie Maddox has fought hard for the life she has. She is the second wife of a rich and successful Savannah lawyer. Lunch at the Country Club and a giant house is her new normal. However, when her husband’s business partner returns from England with a young new wife, life in her social circle gets turned upside down.
Keisha, a young girl from
London, married the rich William Radford IV. She is completely different
from his first wife. It seems like being a rich wife will be an escape
from her family and their poor life. But William plans to train her to
be the obedient wife.
As these two women meet and become friends
life starts to change for both of them. Weird appearances and pieces of
dark magic start to surround them. Who or what is trying to destroy
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this! I was
worried when I started it that it would not live up to my expectations
because of its low rating on Goodreads. But I was pleasantly surprised!
All the characters are awful. There is no one that is likeable. They are
all flawed and have dark pasts but that was one of the things I enjoyed
the most. I had to find out how it was going to end.
This is a
fun mixture of thriller, high society, and voodoo. What’s not to enjoy?
The beginning centers on establishing the characters. We meet everyone
and get snippets of what their lives have been to this point. And then
it all comes to a point. All the secrets are released. So many suspects
and theories. It was a wild ride that I highly recommend for a fast
One husband. Three wives. Sounds strange right? Well it is my life. I
am Thursday. They are Monday and Tuesday. One is the wife before me. The
other came after. But we have worked out a schedule. Until one day I
see that he has the receipt from a doctor’s office with a woman’s name
on it. Could this be one of them? I must find out.
This book. Such a roller coaster! First off, I cannot even imagine
living this woman’s life and being okay with the family situation. I
would definitely be her trying to find out everything I could about
these other women. How would it not eat at you and drive a person
crazy?! When I got to the half way point it seemed like the book had hit
its climax but I was wrong. Everything just got crazier from there.
jumped back and forth between reading and listening but when it got to
the last 50 pages I had to read it because I NEEDED to know how it was
going to end. It was a book that I had to set down and breathe a little
bit after. It took me on a crazy ride. I highly recommend this!
First line: It would be inaccurate to say that my childhood was normal before they came.
When Libby Jones turned twenty-five she receives and envelope telling
her that she has inherited a house from the estate of her dead parents.
She never knew who she was or where she came from but the answers are
finally being revealed.
Twenty-four years before the police were
summoned to a mansion along the Thames. Inside were the three dead
bodies and a baby girl in a crib. It appears to be a suicide pact as
part of a cult ritual. But neighbors reported seeing older children in
the house but none are found on the night in question. What happened at
16 Cheyne Walk that fateful night?
My Thoughts: I love
Lisa Jewell! Every book I have read by her has been a lot of fun. This
one is no exception. I really considered giving it a 5 star rating. It
flipped between three characters. Libby, the baby, who recently
inherited the house. Henry, who is telling the story of what happened in
the house. And Lucy, who is struggling to keep her family afloat while
living abroad in France.
Henry was by far my favorite chapters
because we got to see how life at 16 Cheyne Walk changed over time. His
story is told chronologically from the beginning to the end. It fills in
the gaps that Libby is trying to uncover. But his narrative is much
darker and more sinister than the others.
I struggled to
understand that point behind Lucy’s chapters. It seemed like they were
filler or a separate story. She lives in France with her children and is
trying to find a way to get back to England. It just did not seem to
fit with everything else.
But the ending. It literally gave me
goosebumps and sent a chill down my spine. What a way to close a book.
Great job again Ms. Jewell!
FYI: Perfect for fans of Shari Lapena and Gillian Flynn.
First line: It was Miguel who called 911 at 4:07 a.m. on an icy Sunday morning.
Vincent and his financial team from Stanhope and Sons is told to attend
a team building exercise on a Friday night. When they arrive they enter
an elevator that takes them up several floors where it stops and the
clues begin. As the team tries to figure out how to get out of the
escape room they realize that the clues are very specific. However, as
the clock clicks on they are not let out of the room. Tension begins to
mount and the team begins to let their fears and secrets come to the
surface. Will they survive the escape room?
Following a popular trend with thrillers now we have a book split into a
two part narrative. We meet Sara Hall, a young business school graduate
who is looking for a job. She lands the job of her dreams at Stanhope
and Sons in New York City. She works on big accounts and makes tons of
money. But the hours are long, the work is grueling and the people are
not very nice.
The other side is the team in the elevator. It is
a group of very unlikeable people stuck in a very tight space together.
I really enjoyed these scenes as their true personalities came to the
forefront. We find out what secrets they have and how truly terrible
they are. I could honestly say that I did not care for any of them but I
was very interested to see where their story ended.
Even though the ending was rather predictable it was loads of fun! Our staff did an escape room for our Christmas party last year. We had a great time. There are tons of clues and just a short amount of time to put them together. If you have a chance to try one you should but maybe not in an elevator. 😉
FYI: Great for fans of Ruth Ware and Shari Lapena.
First line: You’re having that dream again, the one where you and Tim are in Jaipur for Diwali.
When Abbie wakes up in a hospital bed she has no memory of how she got
there. There is a man who tells her she is his wife and that something
terrible happened to her five years before. And through his
determination and technological advancements he was able to bring her
back. She is the prototype for a new technology called CoBots.
Abbie acclimates to her new life she starts to wonder what happen to
the real Abbie. Using Abbie’s memories, old text messages and the built
in intuition she follows the clues to find out how and why Abbie
My Thoughts: This was a lot of fun. It was
modern day science fiction thriller. At the beginning there is a
separate narrative by an unknown character who gives us a look into the
past and the real Abbie. I was constantly trying to figure out who it
was and I never would have guessed. I like the idea of being able to
“bring back” someone who has died but it is also a little sad. I know
that there is one person I would love to “see” again but this may make
it harder too.
So many different scenarios were flying through
my head while trying to figure out the ending. There were lots of twists
and turns which make it a great psychological thriller.
First line: Dear Mr. Wrexham, I know you don’t know me but please, please, please you have to help me
Rowan Caine stumbles upon an advertisement for what appears to be the
perfect nanny job. It is for a family with four children, in a big house
in Scotland, and a yearly salary of fifty five thousand pounds. When
Rowan arrives for her interview she is blown away and a little
intimidated by the house. It is a smart house. Everything is connected
to apps that can be managed from a cell phone.
After her initial
interview she is offered the job which seems like a dream come true.
However, she does not realize that appearances can be deceiving. On her
very first day she is left alone with the three younger children while
the parents are at a weeklong conference. The adjustment for the girls
is not going as smoothly as she had hoped but she is trying her best to
When strange happenings start to disturb her
nights she begins look into the history of the house and what could be
causing these strange noises in the attic. With each new night she gets
less and less sleep as the mysterious sounds gradually increase. Will
she be able to make it through her first week or will she leave in the
middle of the night like the other nannies before her?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed Ruth Ware’s previous novel, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, but I think this one blew it out of the water. I seriously considered giving this 5 stars because it was very hard to put down. There was the perfect mixture of spookiness and suspense.
I love how the house
appears to be a big old Victorian but inside it is very modern. I love
the idea of a smart house but at the same time it is also a little
scary. I completely understand Rowan’s unease with the cameras and app
enabled features. And the fact that this house is basically out in the
middle of nowhere. Anyone could easily be spooked by any sounds in the
I enjoyed the way that the novel was laid out. It is done
in a series of entries in a letter from Rowan to a solicitor while she
is in prison for the death of a child. She eludes to what happens but we
do not get the full details until the end.
This is full of
twists and turns. When you think you have had the big reveal another one
appears. I loved every minute of reading this. I would highly recommend
this to anyone who is looking for something that they cannot put down.
Trust me. I had to force myself to sleep instead of reading one more
There are so many good book clubs out there! We have 3 here at the library. Joyful Page Turners, our longest running book club. Bemused Bibliophiles, our hot and popular book club. And last but not least, Hauntingly Good Reads, our paranormal book club. I love to see how each club is expanding, adding new members and picks a wide variety of books.
It is great that we have options but sometimes it is not always easy to make it to a meeting. Or you are an introvert who likes to read but not talk. I have found several online book clubs that I like to follow. I read the book and can chat on websites like Goodreads.com about my thoughts without leaving home. The most recent one I have checked out is Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club. Her book for November is The Other Woman by Sandie Jones.
First line: She looks beautiful in her wedding dress.
Summary: Emily thinks she has found the perfect man in Adam. He is handsome and smart. However, she has a rival. His mother, Pammie, is determined to keep Emily and Adam apart. Will Emily be able survive a mother’s love?
Highlights: Debut author, Sandie Jones, brings us a psychological thriller with the mother-in-law from hell! Emily meets the man of her dreams and everything seems perfect until she meets his mother. I immediately hated Pammie. She was terrible to Emily in every interaction. She was so smooth about everything. However, the closeness of Adam and Pammie seemed almost too close. I started to doubt my theories after each interaction. I was a little surprised by the ending. It was one of the options I had considered but it was still shocking to read it.
Lowlights: I kept getting mad at Emily too. Is he really worth all this mental torture from his mother? She keeps sticking around and taking it. Why? I did like it when she tried to stand up for herself rather than just letting it go.