Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

Melanie gets an email from her old college friend, who she hasn’t talked to in years. Mel is in England and Abi has relocated to Los Angeles. But Abi is coming home because she is getting a divorce and needs a change of scenery. Mel decides to invite Abi to stay with her family. Mel lost touch with Abi while in college because Mel got pregnant after a one night stand.  Now happily married to Ben, they have two daughters and Mel’s 17-year-old son, Liam. Abi accepts the invite and is soon turning Mel’s world upside down. She is drinking more and just having a good time.

Abi ends up staying longer than a weekend and is soon a part of the family. Except Abi starts acting colder towards Mel. And has a secret boyfriend. When Mel finds out who the boyfriend is, she is shocked. What game is Abi playing? And could it have to do with a secret from Mel’s past?

This was a pretty good psychological thriller. It was a little bit predictable but the characters and story are worth giving this one a read.


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The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict

Kimber has just come home from a mini vacation. She is tired and is looking forward to being home. The only problem is her key doesn’t seem to work. And it looks like someone might be in her house. Kimber calls the police and they show up and a man answers the door. He claims Kimber is renting her house to him. Kimber is outraged but he has proof and is in the house so Kimber has to leave.  It turns out there is nothing that can be done. Kimber is going to have to show proof that she didn’t rent out her house.

Kimber doesn’t understand what is happening. Until the mystery man tells her he knows what she did. Kimber is determined to find out who this man is and how he knows about her past. And then her neighbor dies, her best friend is suddenly acting cold towards her, and she is in danger of losing her job. What is happening to her life and why is this man out to destroy her? Kimber needs to figure it out what is happening because it could mean her life.

I liked this book but couldn’t stand the main character. She is not a good person and kind of deserved what happens to her. I would recommend it for the story and twists.

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What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards

Sixteen year old Mallory has left home. She thinks her stepfather is emotional abusive and controlling. She tried to get her pregnant mother to leave with her but at the last minute her mom changed her mind. Now Mallory is on her own. The first week she stayed at her friend’s house but her friend’s mom is getting suspicion. Mallory needs to come up with a plan. She spends her days at the library and is now attending school online.

Spencer has been restless. He doesn’t know what to do with his future. He is being pressured by his wealthy family about choosing a college and basically deciding his whole life. When he gets caught doing something dumb he is given community service at the library. Spencer actually finds out he likes working there. He has also noticed Mallory.

Spencer and Mallory slowly become friends. Then weird things start happening at the library. It starts with a woman dying. Then there is black soot  and weird messages being written all over the library. Is there a ghost in the library or is something else going on?

I really liked this book. It held my interest and had a good mystery. I really couldn’t wait to find out who was causing all the mayhem in the library.

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I’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie

The five MacAllister children, Ryan, Margaux, Mary, Kate, and Liddie, have come back to Camp Macaw, the family owned summer camp. Their parents have died and they are going to have a memorial and will reading. At the reading, the five can decide if they want to keep or sell the camp. They also have to decide if Ryan should be apart of it or if the fifth vote should go to Sean, the caretaker of the camp.

Twenty years ago, 17-year-old  Amanda Holmes was found bludgeoned and Ryan was a suspect. To this day no one knows what happened to her. Except the MacAllister’s father believes Ryan did it and it is up to the daughters to decide if he is guilty. They have the weekend to decide. Long ago memories and secrets come to light. Did Ryan do it or was it one of the other MacAllisters?

I really liked this book. Each chapter was told by a different person including Amanda. As you read you think you have it figured out but you don’t. I read this one in one sitting.

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Nina Hill leads a very quiet life in East LA, and as an introvert with anxiety, that’s just fine with her. She has her job at the book store, and her trivia nights, her cat and of course her books. Everything is well ordered. That is until the lawyer shows up. The news that her very wealthy father has died takes Nina by surprise, since she never knew who he was. Now, all of the sudden, Nina is introduced to her father’s other children and the extended family, and not all of them are happy to learn about her existence. To complicate things further, Nina’s crush on one of her trivia team’s rival players, Tom, seems to be turning into something more…

Waxman has a definite knack for creating characters that are easy to identify with and immensely likable, and Nina is no exception. A perfect summer read for fans of Nina George, Jenny Colgan, and Christina Lauren.


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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

91kuLekAqYLIn I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killerauthor Michelle McNamara details her investigation into the numerous connected rapes and murders that occurred in the state of California in the 1970s and 1980s. For decades, the perpetrator of these crimes eluded identification and arrest, frustrating the police and McNamara. Formerly referred to as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker, McNamara renamed him the Golden State Killer.

McNamara is a truly gifted writer who handles the victims’ stories with sensitivity. In the book, she traces the beginnings of her interest in crime writing, sifts through mountains of evidence, and shares interviews with detectives. Sadly, before finishing the book, McNamara died suddenly in 2016. Her husband, comedian Patton Oswalt, compiled her draft and notes into what is I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. Although McNamara never identified the Golden State Killer in her lifetime, shortly after the book’s release in 2018, the killer was finally identified and brought to justice through use of a genealogy DNA website.

Gabra Zackman does an excellent job narrating the audiobook of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. This book is a must read for true crime fans! But I will warn readers–this book did give me nightmares and made me much more careful about locking doors.

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Looker by Laura Sims

Her husband has left her and she is lost. She lives alone with Cat, which is her soon to be ex husband’s cat. Good thing the actress lives down the street. It gives her something to fixate on. She goes from her teaching job to home. And in between watches the actress and her family.  She imagines ways that the actress and her could become friends. But when the opportunity arises, it does not end well for anyone.

I did not like this book at all. The ending is terrible and the characters are terrible. The concept of the unnamed narrator and obsession is a good one for a thriller but wasn’t execute well.