Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

Although Kate’s ex-boyfriend, who committed suicide, haunts her nightmares, she is ready to go out on her own and agrees to an apartment swap with Corbin, a cousin who she never met. While Corbin stays at her London flat, Kate will live at his Boston place. Shortly after arriving, Kate learns that Corbin’s neighbor, Audrey, has been murdered in her apartment.

Police have searched Corbin’s apartment and haven’t found much to help in the investigation. Another tenant across the way, Alan, has been watching Audrey’s apartment and witnessed Audrey and Corbin being intimate, but Corbin says he really never knew her. Kate is approached on the street by a man named Jack who claims to be Audrey’s close friend, but something seems off.

As Kate is struggling with her own fears, she is caught up in investigating what happened to Audrey and doesn’t know who she can trust. Meanwhile, the reader learns about Corbin’s disturbing past that involves a “friendship” from his college days. He may not be as innocent as he claims.

This is the second Swanson thriller I’ve read, and it’s my favorite so far. There are enough plot strings to keep you engaged until the end. It is supposed to have a voyeuristic feel similar to Hitchcock’s Rear Windowso fans of Rear Window and A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window will find Her Every Fear to their liking.


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Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Amber is in a coma. She can hear her sister Claire and her husband Peter visit her in the hospital but can’t communicate with them. They appear to be bickering about something, and Amber learns she was in car accident, although she doesn’t believe she was driving.

The story unravels through a diary from their childhood, to the week leading up to her accident, to present day. As a child Amber always hated her mother.  And after her grandmother died, the only person she formed a bond with was her school friend, Taylor.  The reader learns, however, that her actions as a child make her into the psychotic individual she is today.

Meanwhile, Peter is a suspect in the accident, especially when they find marks on Amber’s neck. Amber knows her husband is innocent but cannot communicate to vouch for him. And then there is a doctor who visits her in the night who is making her even sicker.

Sometimes I Lie is a strong addition to the ever-growing psychological suspense genre. There is enough twists to keep the reader guessing, even at the very end. You will be left wondering what really happened.

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The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

In Ware’s (The Woman in Cabin 10, A Dark Dark Wood) latest, Isabel receives a text from her school friend Kate, who she hasn’t seen in a number of years. She takes her newborn baby with her as she travels back by train to Saltan in the English countryside where the school she attended after her mother died resides.

At school, she formed a close friendship with two other girls besides Kate – Fatima and Thea. The foursome would spend weekends at Kate’s house, where her father, Ambrose, a struggling artist, allowed them to behave as they wished. They also played a dangerous game where the goal was to get someone to believe some lie that they told.

Kate has called back all the girls to Saltan because she needs them. A bone of a man was found buried in the marsh. The girls helped to cover up a crime on that fateful night. How far will their lies go to protect one another?

I think most readers will enjoy the fast paced story, but this wasn’t my favorite by Ware. I felt it dragged on and could have been wrapped up sooner.

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The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Richard is a very successful New York hedge fund manager. His intensity mixed with a lot of charm makes him irresistible, and he seems like the perfect catch. He’s also got a penchant for a certain type of woman, and is ready to walk down the aisle with the next Mrs. Thompson. Vanessa is his ex-wife. She seems to be having a really hard time adjusting to her new circumstances, now that she’s living with her aunt and working at Saks on the sales floor. She is stalking Richard’s fiancée and is determined to stop the wedding at all costs.

I don’t want to give anything away, but I will tell you that I read this book in one sitting – I literally could not put it down. Yes, it does follow the “Gone Girl/Girl on the Train” formula, BUT, even if you’re getting a bit weary of that, I think you’ll find that The Wife Between Us delivers on intensity as well as thrills.

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The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn

Child psychologist and agoraphobe Anna Fox has been home bound for the last ten months. The only contact she has with the outside world are regular in-home appointments with her psychiatrist and physical therapist and the occasional visit from her tenant, David, who rents the basement apartment of her brownstone. Anna’s passions include overindulging in wine and prescription medications, old noir and thriller film and watching the outside activities of her Gramercy Park neighborhood.

Most interesting to Anna are the Russells, the new neighbors across the park, who are a husband and wife couple with a teenage son who moved here from Boston. When her house is egged by a bunch of kids on Halloween, Anna attempts to take her first steps outside but can’t make it and is rescued by Jane Russell. The women form a friendship when Anna invites Jane inside, and they spend the evening drinking wine and playing chess. When Anna sees Jane being attacked through the window, she suspects the woman could have been murdered. But the real Jane Russell is not the woman who she saw in the window. So who is she? Or is her dependence on pills and liquor having her fabricating events?

I don’t think Finn’s debut totally lives up to the hype, but keep in mind I’m a prolific reader of this genre and it takes a lot to impress me. However, readers who are fans of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and The Girl on the Train (and novels with unreliable narrators) will find The Woman in the Window to their liking.

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I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

Ella is on her way to a conference for florists in London. She is taking the train and is bored. She notices two teen girls, Anna and Sarah, and eavesdrops on them. They are soon joined by two older boys, who have just been released from prison. Ella keeps her eye on them and wonders if she should try to contact their parents, since she overheard their names and where they are from. Ella decides she is being a prude and does nothing. The next day on the news, Anna is reported as missing.

A year later, Anna is still missing and there are no leads. Ella had come forward at the time and the two guys were never found. Ella lives with the guilt that she could have done something.  Now she is receiving anonymous notes in the mail telling her she is being watched. Ella thinks it is Anna’s mother sending the notes. She hires a private investigator to find out what is happening. Also, around this time a new documentary about the disappearance is aired. This brings some new clues to light. Will Anna’s disappearance finally be solved?

This was a good psychological thriller. It kept me guessing until it was revealed what really happened to Anna. I eagerly am waiting for the next book by Teresa Driscoll that comes out in March, The Friend.

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The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Running away from her past, Amber has the perfect plan to get the life she deserves.  She stages a run in with Daphne Parrish at Daphne’s gym where she “accidentally” drops a magazine about Cystic Fibrosis.  The disease is an issue close to Daphne’s heart since she lost her sister of CF.  Amber constructs a false story suggesting she lost her own sister to CF as well.

Although they make an unlikely pair since Daphne comes from the rich society of Bishop’s Harbor along the Long Island Sound and Amber claims she comes from a small Nebraska town, the two become fast friends. They are so close that Amber becomes almost like the sister Daphne lost. When Amber loses her real estate job, Daphne is there to help by getting her a job at her husband’s prestigious Manhattan company.

As Jackson Parrish’s new assistant, Amber starts dressing differently, wearing more revealing and stylish clothes and not the mousy attire she used to sport. Amber believes that she can seduce the handsome and powerful Jackson and convince him to leave Daphne. Amber will finally get the luxurious lifestyle that is owed to her, and Daphne, who doesn’t appreciate what she has, will be left with nothing. However, things rarely go according to plan.

This was a page turner I couldn’t put down.  The characters’ actions are dark and shocking, but you’ll want to keep reading to see what she’ll do next and how it will all end.