THE THERAPIST by B.A. Paris


Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: July 13, 2021

After being in a long-distance relationship for a while, Alice and Leo take the plunge and move in together in an exclusive gated community in London. With only 12 houses in “The Circle,” most of the neighbors are already cozy, and Alice worries she won’t fit in.

Leo bought the house for a steal, and it’s not until after they’re settled in that Alice discovers why โ€” a tragedy befell the previous owners. While working at home alone as a translator, Alice becomes increasingly obsessed with Nina, a therapist who lived in the house before. Alice believes the police got the details of the case all wrong, and she’s determined to find out what really happened at #6 The Circle.

I love a group of neighbors with secrets to hide. The beginning of this book hooked me right away and had some pretty creepy moments. Was someone in their house watching them at night? Or just overactive imaginations? The middle slowed down a bit with Alice visiting with neighbors but never getting much out of them. Plus she was so gullible! The great thing about this book was that anyone could have been the culprit. I didn’t have it figured out until the very end.

Even though Alice could be frustrating and her constant fixation on Nina was unusual, I found THE THERAPIST to be tense and twisty domestic suspense. โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS by David Bell


Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: July 6, 2021

โœฆ Plagiarism, murder, and a mystery inside a mystery in a Kentucky college town. โœฆ

To save his tenure, Professor Connor Nye must publish a novel, which has proved impossible since the death of his wife and son left him numb and uninspired. When one of his students disappears leaving behind a brilliant thesis paper, Connor submits it as his own book. However, after the novel is released, the missing student returns looking to collect the money Connor received for her work โ€” or else.

But there’s much more to this layered story. What’s contained inside the plagiarized novel are words that could get certain people in a whole lot of trouble, including Connor. I enjoyed the conundrum he found himself in.

This is the 7th book I’ve read by David Bell, and I always know I’m in for a smart and twisty thriller when I pick one up. KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS had less family drama than some of his previous books, but there was still plenty of tension and emotion to pull me in. โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

WHAT’S DONE IN DARKNESS by Laura McHugh


Publisher: Random House
Release Date: June 22, 2021

WHAT’S DONE IN DARKNESS is a gripping dark mystery that made me super uneasy! I love that Laura McHugh sets her atmospheric thrillers in small towns around the Midwest, in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and now Arkansas โ€” technically a Southern state, but close enough for me.

The main character is Sarah/Sarabeth, a young woman who has endured A LOT. As a teen her parents joined a fringe religious group and moved the family to a remote farm in Arkansas. She is stifled by the strict rules and dreams of escaping. Just before her 18th birthday, she’s abducted by a masked man, but found a week later. This horrific experience ends up being her ticket out, but she won’t easily shake the trauma. The police have no leads, and her case eventually fades to the background.

Fast-forward five years, and Sarah is still dealing with scars from the past, but doing her best to move on. She’s contacted by investigator Nick Farrow who’s working on another missing persons case similar to her own and needs her help. Of course that means going back to the family farmstead to face her past, but is she ready for what might be revealed?

Sarah’s story is gut wrenching and really put me on edge. Chapters alternate between Sarah in the present and Sarabeth in the past, so readers can experience what she went through. I was engrossed in the mystery and the many dark secrets that were gradually revealed.

WHAT’S DONE IN DARKNESS is another gritty, fast-paced, and enjoyable thriller from Laura McHugh. The situations of unreported missing girls from the hollers presented in this book are probably more common than we think. Eye-opening!

So, Nick Farrow’s character. I pictured him looking and acting like Detective Colin Zabel from Mare of Easttown. (Have you seen that show? If not, you must watch.)

I love the mention of Lambert’s Cafe! I’ve never been there, but I see the billboards when we drive to the Ozarks โ€” “Home of the throwed rolls!” That’s so funny. I always wonder why someone would want rolls thrown at them in a restaurant. โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

LOCAL WOMAN MISSING by Mary Kubica


Publisher: Park Row
Release Date: May 18, 2021

I love Mary Kubica’s thrillers. She’s an auto-buy author for me, and her latest LOCAL WOMAN MISSING is one crazy ride! The prologue and first chapter were amazing, definitely hooked me immediately. The prologue sets up some fabulous ominous tension about what’s to come. And the first chapter that follows! Wow, it was one of the scariest, most nail-biting things I’ve read in a long time. My anxiety was on high alert (but in a good way)!

Overall, I thought the book was suspenseful and entertaining, however I had some issues with it. The premise is that three people have gone missing. First, it’s new mom Shelby Tebow. Then soon after, Meredith Dickey and young daughter, Delilah disappear. What happened to them? Over a decade passes, and suddenly Delilah reappears with a grim story to tell about her missing years, which reignites interest in the cold cases of the other two women.

My main gripe was that I did not buy the motivation behind the whole situation, I guess? The ending was so far out there, you must be able to suspend disbelief. Meredith’s character was particularly frustrating. Some of the things she hid from people or things she did/didn’t do were unbelievable. She’s a doula, after all, hired to advocate for people, but she couldn’t do that for herself??

Even with my quibbles, I’m glad I read it. Looking forward to her next book. (Purchased the Nook book.) โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช