DARK AND SHALLOW LIES by Ginny Myers Sain

A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in the bayou, where magic festers beneath the surface of the swamp like water rot, in this chilling debut supernatural thriller for fans of Natasha Preston, Karen McManus, and Rory Power.

La Cachette, Louisiana, is the worst place to be if you have something to hide.

This tiny town, where seventeen-year-old Grey spends her summers, is the self-proclaimed Psychic Capital of the World — and the place where Elora Pellerin, Grey’s best friend, disappeared six months earlier.

Grey can’t believe that Elora vanished into thin air any more than she can believe that nobody in a town full of psychics knows what happened. But as she digs into the night that Elora went missing, she begins to realize that everybody in town is hiding something — her grandmother Honey; her childhood crush Hart; and even her late mother, whose secrets continue to call to Grey from beyond the grave.

When a mysterious stranger emerges from the bayou — a stormy-eyed boy with links to Elora and the town’s bloody history — Grey realizes that La Cachette’s past is far more present and dangerous than she’d ever understood. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who she can trust. In a town where secrets lurk just below the surface, and where a murderer is on the loose, nobody can be presumed innocent — and La Cachette’s dark and shallow lies may just rip the town apart.

Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Source: Borrowed from the library

★★★

• YA Paranormal Mystery •

I started reading DARK AND SHALLOW LIES late last fall, but decided to stop to read some Christmas books. Six months later, I re-checked out the library eBook to finish, and the app actually remembered where I’d stopped reading. I thought returning it deleted bookmarks? Anyway!

The thing I loved most about this book was the setting. La Cachette, Louisiana, was a dark and complex character on its own. This is bayou country, surrounded by water, with its oppressive heat and eerie atmosphere. Psychic powers abound. Storms are threatening. And a teen girl is searching for her friend who went missing in the swamp months earlier.

The beginning grabbed my attention, and the ending was a wild, unexpected ride, but the middle part moved slowly. There was a big group of characters, none of whom I was all that invested in. I would’ve liked to have seen more character development and more action to move the plot ahead.

FAMILY OF LIARS by E. Lockhart

The thrilling prequel to the…New York Times bestseller WE WERE LIARS takes readers back to the story of another summer, another generation, and the secrets that will haunt them for decades to come.

A windswept private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
A hungry ocean, churning with secrets and sorrow.
A fiery, addicted heiress. An irresistible, unpredictable boy.
A summer of unforgivable betrayal and terrible mistakes.

Welcome back to the Sinclair family.
They were always liars.

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
Source: Purchased from B&N

★★★★★

I read WE WERE LIARS eight years ago and absolutely loved it. It was devastating, but also amazing. FAMILY OF LIARS is the prequel, but please read the original first to avoid any spoilers. The prequel is all about the previous generation of Sinclairs during their teen years (set in the 1980s), and we get a glimpse of why they are the way they are, and how their grief, guilt, and family dynamics affected their children years later. The writing is gorgeous. I do think the prequel is different in that it’s more of an atmospheric family drama rather than a mystery/thriller, though there are a few surprising twists along the way. I loved this book and didn’t want it to end!

See also: WE WERE LIARS [review]

TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY by Linwood Barclay

From the New York Times bestselling author of Find You First and Elevator Pitch comes a gripping psychological thriller about a formerly missing woman who has suddenly returned under mysterious circumstances.

One weekend, while Andrew Mason was on a fishing trip, his wife, Brie, vanished without a trace. Most everyone assumed Andy had got away with murder — it’s always the husband, isn’t it? — but the police could never build a strong case against him. For a while, Andy hit rock bottom — he drank too much to numb the pain, was abandoned by all his friends save one, nearly lost his business, and became a pariah in the place he once called home.

Now, six years later, Andy has finally put his life back together. He sold the house he once shared with Brie and moved away. To tell the truth, he wasn’t sad to hear that the old place was razed and a new house built on the site. He’s settled down with a new partner, Jayne, and life is good.

But Andy’s peaceful world is about to shatter. One day, a woman shows up at his old address, screaming, “Where’s my house? What’s happened to my house?” And then, just as suddenly as she appeared, the woman — who bears a striking resemblance to Brie — is gone. The police are notified and old questions — and dark suspicions — resurface.

Could Brie really be alive after all these years? If so, where has she been? It soon becomes clear that Andy’s future and the lives of those closest to him depend on discovering what the hell is going on. The trick will be whether he can stay alive long enough to unearth the answers.

Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
Source: Borrowed from the library

TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY is another brilliant psychological thriller from Linwood Barclay. He writes complex, flawed characters who get wrapped up in dreadful situations. The tension and sense of foreboding in this book had my stomach in knots. I love how it was intricately plotted with twists up until the very end. It seemed like everyone in this book had something to hide, and I kept guessing wrong as to who was responsible for what in this multi-layered mystery. I hesitate to mention anything about the plot because of spoilers, so I’ll just say that I would highly recommend this book to fans of family drama-thrillers. Loved it!