Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan

With the recent suicide of man convicted of murdering two young children twenty year earlier, filmmaker Cody Swift has always questioned if Sidney was really the killer. Sidney, a man with a development disability, was an easy target for DI Fletcher and had been in prison doing the time.

Cody was close friends with the slain boys, Charlie and Scott, but wasn’t out with them the evening they were killed. Now Cody has started a podcast to see if he can get the real killer to come forward after all these years.

Jessie Paige, Charlie’s mother, was just a teenager when she had Charlie and has rebuilt a new life for herself with a husband and daughter. Cody is determined to interview Jessie for the podcast even though she is trying to leave the past behind. There is a small time period where Jessie was unaccounted for the night her son was murdered. Did the cops miss looking at Jessie as a suspect?

I’ve really liked Macmillan’s previous thrillers, but this one was just okay for me. There is enough here to keep you interested, but I felt like the ending fell flat.


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Foe by Iain Reid

Henrietta and Junior live a quiet life on their remote farm where Junior tends to their fields and chickens. One evening Junior is surprised to see headlights coming down the drive. In the car is a man who introduces himself as Terrence. He works for a private firm contracted by the government, and he’s there to inform Junior he made the long list of people being considered for the “installation.”

If Junior is chosen, he will spend several years living far away where they are experimenting with life on other planets. And Junior doesn’t have a choice in the matter.

When Junior makes the short list, Terrence returns to live with them to help him prepare. What’s most distributing is that they will be creating a clone of Junior for Henrietta so she won’t miss him while he is away. And Terrence is determined to learn everything about Junior to create his replacement.

Strange and odd yet somehow engaging, Foe will leave you feeling uneasy much like Reid’s first novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things

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Our House by Louise Candlish

After Fiona Lawson caught her husband Bram cheating, the two have separated but agreed upon a “bird’s nest” arrangement for the sake of their two children. In this kind of arrangement with shared custody of the boys, the children will stay at their Trinity Avenue home, which is in a highly valuable and sought after neighborhood. When Fiona has custody of the boys during the week, she will live there with them while Bram stays at a flat they rented for just this purpose. And then vice versa when Bram has custody during the weekends.

Everything is going along swimmingly until Fiona returns to the Trinity Avenue home early one week to find a couple in the midst of moving in. All their furnishings are gone and the couple has proof that they purchased the home legally. Fiona is completely aghast and can’t locate Bram anywhere.

The story unfolds going back and forth in time from both Fiona and Bram’s perspective. The reader learns that Bram has got himself into a bit of trouble and had to come up with cash to stave off a couple of blackmailers.

The clever and entirely plausible premise will keep readers invested in the story, and I really enjoyed this thriller.

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Commander by Sienna Snow

Human rights attorney Tara Zain will soon become first lady when she marries tech billionaire and U.S. President Ashur Kumar. Ashur and Tara were sweethearts in their younger years but Ashur’s father’s disdain for her pedigree broke them apart.

Now Tara has agreed to marry Ashur under a contract that states he will provide funding for her humanitarian efforts while she promises to bear two children and be the dutiful first lady his administration needs.

Their passion is just as fierce as it was when they were younger, but Tara is not sure she can risk her heart again, especially with the secrets she is keeping. Tara is still very much active with Solon, a secret organization focused on stopping human trafficking, and is knee deep in a mission to save her best friend who is being enslaved oversees. If Ashur finds out, her involvement could blow up his political career and destroy the relationship with the only man she has ever loved.

Snow’s (Senator) third in her Politics of Love series hits the mark with intrigue and sexy love scenes. Politics are hot right now, and Snow has struck a chord here for romance readers.

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Breaking In

After her father’s death, Gabrielle Union, who plays Shaun Russell, a mother of two, is at her father’s Wisconsin house to get the estate ready to sell. Her father’s house is an expansive, secluded property tucked into a wooded area.

While sipping a glass a wine and waiting on hold to order a pizza, Shaun is attacked outside the house with her children stuck inside, but she isn’t going down without a fight.

The attackers are after $4 million dollars that is stored in a safe somewhere in the house. Shaun will stop at nothing to defend her family and her home.

This thriller isn’t bad, but there is nothing particularly memorable here. Rated R

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An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

In this third novel from Lapena, a group of guests find themselves stuck at an upstate New York hotel during a snow storm. Everyone has a different reason for being there, but on the first morning one of the guests, Dana, is found dead at the bottom of the stairs.

Some believe that they heard fighting in Dana and her fiance’s room and don’t believe Dana’s death was an accident. David, a criminal attorney, advises everyone that they need to leave the body alone until the police can arrive. Because of the storm, they don’t have power and the authorities have no way to get them.

As the guests wait for the storm to pass, the bodies begin to pile up. Could the murderer be an outside guest they haven’t yet met, or someone within their group?

A little bit Agatha Christie mixed in with Clue (without the humor), readers who like a solid mystery will find this latest to their liking.  This one isn’t as dark as Lapena’s previous psychological thrillers, A Stranger in the House and The Couple Next Door.

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Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Suzette and her husband have taken their daughter, Hannah, to a myriad of doctors to determine why, at age seven, she hasn’t spoken yet. There doesn’t appear to be anything medically wrong with her, so the problem could be psychological, and the doctors refer them to a child psychologist.

However, Hannah has in fact spoken, but only to Suzette, in a French accent and is pretending to be a witch who was burned at the stake centuries ago. Hannah is an intelligent child who loves to torture her mother. From giving her a box of spiders to creating a morbid collage, Hannah is determined to make her mother’s life miserable.

And for Suzette, she wants Hannah gone, but unfortunately Hannah gets kicked out of every school she has attended.

The chapters alternate between the perspectives of both Suzette and Hannah, so readers get a glimpse of the story from both sides. Even those who like their suspense dark might find this novel too cringe-worthy for their tastes. I only finished this book because I wanted to see how it ended, but I would leery to recommend it to most readers.