Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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The Playboy Prince and the Nanny by Donna Alward

After a car crash killing his sister-in-law leaves his niece and nephew motherless, Diego Navarro, the playboy Prince of the Mediterranean island of Marazur, returns home to attend to his family, even though his brother and father never trust him with the family business.

While his brother is knee deep in business and dealing with the loss of his wife, Diego hires an English nanny named Rose Walters to care for the children, to whom he is immediately drawn. They share a few tender moments, but Rose knows that crossing the line with Diego would cost her not only her job, but may also hurt the children in the process. And their lives are worlds apart: he is a Prince; she is the hired help.

When Diego capitalizes on an opportunity to prove his loyalty and save the family from scandal, Rose questions his intent and makes a sacrifice to help the family she has come to love, even if it means letting go of Diego.

In some ways reminiscent of a much lighter The Sound of Music, Alward (Somebody’s Baby) has crafted a fairy tale romance that doesn’t require gratuitous sex scenes to capture heartstrings.


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All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Nicolette Farrell has returned home to help sell the house she grew up in. While there a local woman goes missing. This brings back the memories from when Nic’s best friend, Corinne, went missing ten years ago. As she is packing up the house, memories and new clues about Corinne come up. Could her dad have had something to do with the disappearance?

This is a short review because I don’t want to give anything away! I listened to this book and the way it is written it was a little confusing to follow. The author starts in the present but then goes to day fifteen of Nicolette’s visit and then goes backwards. It is a neat concept but it is probably better to read then to listen! This was a good mystery and one I recommend.


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The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

Teenage Zoe is a child prodigy and a gifted pianist, as is her stepbrother Lucas. In the middle of their recital, a man storms in screaming in anger. You see, Zoe was the driver in a car accident that killed three people, and now her secret is no longer safe. The enraged man is the father of one of the people killed in the accident who has just learned of the concert and where Zoe now lives.

After serving her sentence in a juvenile detention center, Zoe and her mom, Maria, moved to Bristol to start their “second chance life.” This is where Maria met Chris, her new husband and Zoe’s stepfather, and had baby Grace. Maria never told Chris about Zoe and her past. The outburst at the concert puts into place a chain of events that begins with murder.

The story is told from the perspectives of Zoe, Tess (Zoe’s aunt and Maria’s sister), and Sam (Zoe’s solicitor from the car accident trial). Sam and Tess are having an affair, which only complicates matters when Zoe reaches out to Sam after the murder. Tensions build as the perfect family is torn apart, and both Zoe and Maria learn that they aren’t the only ones keeping dark secrets.

Another winner in the psychological suspense genre to add to your bookshelf that is not for the faint of heart, especially in regards to domestic violence.


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I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

In Bristol, England, five-year old Jacob is struck by a car and killed. The driver takes off without stopping to help. With very few witnesses or leads, DI Ray and his assistant Kate have very little to go on and the case eventually goes cold.

Jenna Gray has moved away to an isolated coastal Welsh village in hopes of a clean start. She has few material possessions and arrives by bus. She rents an old cottage from a farmer and tries to keep to herself but is befriended by the owner of the caravan park and the local vet, Patrick, who treats an abandoned dog she discovers on the side of the road. Jenna, a former sculptor, finds work by selling photographs of sand messages. Even though she harbors deep secrets, it seems as though her new life is finally coming together, that is, until the cops show up at her door.

Meanwhile, something is nagging at Kate and she can’t let the case go. Kate and Ray reopen the case, hoping for new leads or a stone left unturned to find justice for little Jacob.

My synopsis is intentionally vague because I don’t want to ruin any spoilers. The story goes back and forth in time and slowly unravels why Jenna is on the run. There is even a shocking revelation near that end that keep the pages moving. Mackintosh’s debut runs a close second to Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris and will appeal to readers of dark psychological thrillers who can stomach domestic violence stories.


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The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. On the day that his fiancée was killed, Anthony lost a treasured object that she had given him. Still in mourning 40 years later, he has made it his mission to reunite people with their lost objects. As an author, many of these objects have also found their way into his stories. As Anthony nears the end of his life, he fears that his work will be left undone, so he entrusts everything to his assistant Laura. Laura, still recovering from her divorce, feels a little lost herself, and Anthony’s bequest is overwhelming.  But she soon settles into Anthony’s home and the project at hand. She makes new friends, and with their help, begins the task of reuniting objects with their owners. Along the way, she also discovers the story behind Anthony and Therese, and the mystery of what was lost.

While this story isn’t quite a cozy mystery, it has a lot of the same elements that make it not only an easy read, but also very enjoyable. The characters are relatable and quirky, and while there are some serious bits, they are more than balanced out with a dash of humor. Perfect reading for a rainy day with a cup of tea.


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Celine by Peter Heller

Celine, a successful artist living in Brooklyn Heights, also has a side job. She works as a private investigator who specializes in reuniting families. When she is approached by Gabriela, whose father went missing 20 years ago, Celine is immediately intrigued by the case. Gabriela’s father was a famous photographer for National Geographic whose career took him to places all over the world. When he went missing, he was working on the border of Wyoming and Montana, and was assumed to have been the victim of a bear attack. Celine and her partner Pete head off to Yellowstone National Park, following a very cold trail. It soon becomes apparent that they’re being followed, and as they get closer to finding answers, more questions arise, along with the level of danger they’re facing.

Celine is one of the best P.I. characters to come along for awhile. She’s smart and elegant, and something of a mystery herself. At 68, she takes no nonsense from anyone, and she’s definitely a bit dangerous if you underestimate her. Peter Heller just keeps getting better. I don’t know if he intends to write more about Celine, but I sure hope he does! If you’re looking for something a bit different for your book club, give this one a try.


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The Child by Fiona Barton

Although not billed as a series, reporter Kate Waters from Barton’s debut, The Widowreturns as she begins to investigate when an infant’s bones are found on a construction site in London. A mother of two other children, Angela Irving’s baby, Alice, disappeared from the hospital in the 70’s and was never found. She is hoping that DNA samples will prove a match so that she knows what happened to her baby all those years ago. The police believe the body was buried sometime in the 80’s, which brings about more questions than answers.

Emma learns about the baby, whose remains were found in the garden of her old home, from Kate’s article in the paper. Although she was kicked out at sixteen, Emma harbors a dark secret from that neighborhood during the days she lived there with her selfish mother Jude and Jude’s boyfriend, Will.

Kate’s investigation has her confronting the major players in the neighborhood during that time period as she unravels what exactly happened to baby Alice.

A very well done dark suspense novel that is equal to, if not better, than Barton’s debut. There is a twist that this reader did not see coming that proves what a clever story Barton has weaved. If you are into the psychological suspense novels like me, this one is a sure bet.