Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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The Sleeping Beauty Killer by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

In this third entry from the dynamic duo Clark and Burke, “Crazy Casey” has just got out of prison for serving a fifteen year manslaughter sentence for shooting her husband, Hunter Raleigh. Despite the disapproval of her mother and cousin Angela, Casey is determined to clear her name and approaches Lorie Moran, producer of TV’s Under Suspicion, Datelinetype show that investigates cold cases, to help.

Lorie is not sure she wants to take on Casey Carter but finally relents, hoping that some of the new potential suspects she has identified might take the case in a new direction. Professing her innocence, Casey claims she had been drugged the night of the gala when Hunter died and that someone had planted the evidence in her purse. Other suspects that Lorie plans to interview include Hunter’s best friend who might have been embezzling money from his nonprofit foundation, Casey’s jealous ex-boyfriend, and Hunter’s father’s assistant, who he had despised for years.

The new episode isn’t the only challenge on Lorie’s plate at the moment. Now that Alex Buckley is no longer on the show, her supervisor has hired a new host and they have gotten off to a rocky start. At home, her romantic relationship with Alex is on hiatus as she figures out what she wants.

The Sleeping Beauty Killer is another solid, reliable entry in the Under Suspicion series. There is nothing really new to comment on here, but readers looking for a nonviolent suspense novel with enough intrigue to keep you engaged would find this series to their liking. These can be read in any order, as each book features the TV show investigating a different case.


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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

On the surface, the small village of Beckford is just a sleepy little town beside a river. But the river has always held some secrets, and has long been the source of a strange fascination for Nel Abbott. Nel is a single mom who grew up in the village, and she’s been working on a book about the river and its sordid past – the drowning of witches, the Drowning Pool, the suicides. When Nel herself is found in the river,  her estranged sister Jules returns to the village to care for Lena, Nel’s teenage daughter, whose best friend was also recently found in the river.  Jules finds herself caught between her duty to Lena and her memories of the past, as the mysteries of the two women’s deaths are unraveled.

In Beckford, Ms. Hawkins has created a creepily atmospheric little village where virtually everyone could have “done it”.  Although uneven in spots, there’s enough intrigue in the story to keep you reading. You might need a character chart though. There are a lot of people in the story – all of them unreliable, and it gets tricky at times to keep track. Definitely well worth reading if you enjoy the psychological genre.


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The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

British travel journalist for Velocity magazine, Laura “Lo” Blacklock, is asked to write up a piece about the Scandinavian boutique cruiseliner, the Aurora Borealis.  Although she is skiddish from an assault by a burglar in her flat, she isn’t going to say no to this important career opportunity. There are only 10 cabins on the ship, and the passengers are wealthy acquaintances of owner Richard Bullmer as well as Lo’s ex and coworker, Ben, who now works for another travel mag.

When getting ready for dinner, she realizes she forgot her mascara and knocks on cabin 10. The beautiful, young woman who answers gives her a mascara and tells her to keep it. Later that night back in her cabin, Lo hears a scream and a splash, which she believes was a body being thrown out of the ship. She reports it to hotel security but the room is now clear and the blood she saw on the privacy screen between their verandas has been wiped clean. To make matter’s worst, she is informed that Cabin was never occupied and the woman she describes has never been seen on the ship. No one is taking her seriously, especially when it leaks out that Lo takes anti-depressants and was drinking a little too much that evening.

Lo believes what she heard and begins to investigate on her own, not knowing who of the ship’s passengers and crew she can trust.  Even the threats she receives threats to “stop digging” won’t halt her determination to fight for the woman she knows she saw. But going too far might cost Lo her very own life.

An over-the-top cruise ship sailing on Norwegian waters is the perfect environment for Ware’s dark novel of psychological suspense.  Although I felt the ending was a bit unbelievable, readers of The Girl on the Train will find The Woman In Cabin 10 to be very much to their taste and should also try The Girl Before by JP Delaney.


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Find Her by Lisa Gardner

As a young college student, Flora Dane was kidnapped and held for 472 days. Locked in a box and completely broken down, Flora has worked hard after her release to take back control of her life – taking self-defense classes, learning everything she can about personal safety. But even with the support of her loving family and her FBI victim advocate, Flora knows she’s not the same girl she used to be. There are just some things she can’t let go…

Boston Detective D.D. Warren meets Flora at the scene of a crime – a dead man and Flora, who killed him. But was it self-defense or vigilante justice? As D.D. tries to track down the answers, the answer to this question becomes less clear. And when Flora herself goes missing, the investigation takes another turn – is Flora on the run or has she been taken? What is her connection to another missing woman?

The latest in the Det. D.D. Warren seriesFind Her is perfect for you if you like your suspense dark and twisty. It will definitely keep keep you up late – I didn’t want to put it down! And even though it’s part of a series, you don’t need to have read the others to enjoy the book – although after you finish it, you’ll probably want to back and read the rest. Lisa Gardner is a new author for me, and I can’t wait to do just that!

 

 


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Always Watching by Lynette Eason

“He’s mine,” she whispered. “He’s mine and you can’t have him. Go away.”

Wade Savage is a very popular psychiatrist and radio personality who keeps receiving gifts from some anonymous person.  When he fails to acknowledge the stalker’s attention this angers his stalker. Things escalate to the point of the stalker trying to take his life and harming a bodyguard that he was unaware he had hurt.

Olivia Edwards owns Elite Guardians and was hired by Wade’s father to protect his son. When Maddy, one of her partners, gets attacked and has her throat slit, Olivia steps in to protect their client, which is turning out to be a challenge.  Wade doesn’t want a bodyguard until his daughter gets threatened. Wade is also a gentleman and has a hard time letting Olivia put her life on the line.  Their unexpected mutual attraction only adds to the fray.

Will they catch the stalker before they succeed in taking his or his daughter’s life?

I really enjoyed this book. I am a total fan of books that keep you on your toes with a little suspense. It is also what I consider a clean book, no heavy romance scenes, no gory word pictures, etc. Lynette Eason is a Christian writer yet doesn’t get into religious politics.

 


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Don’t Breathe

dontAll Rocky wants to do is leave Detroit with her sister. Rocky, her boyfriend, Money, and their friend, Alex, have been robbing houses to make money to leave. Money gets word of a house that has $300, 000 in it. That would be enough for Rocky to finally leave. Alex doesn’t want to do it but is finally convinced. They soon find out that the owner is blind and they think it will be a cakewalk. Boy, were they wrong. Not only is his hearing heightened, he is a war vet who shouldn’t be messed with. He also has a secret. A secret kept in the basement.

This was one suspenseful, thrilling movie. There was one part that kind of takes a turn that wasn’t necessary but overall this is definitely one movie to watch. Starring, Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, and Dylan Minnette. Rated R

 


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All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

In this second entry in the “Under Suspicion” series, producer Laurie Moran and her crew are looking for the next cold case to investigate for her hit TV series. She has some potential possibilities but receives a call from a devastated mother who believes Laurie’s show can help her.

Five years ago, Susan’s daughter Amanda was to be married at the Crown Victoria resort in Florida but she went missing before the wedding ceremony. The media named her the “runaway bride,” and without any evidence of fowl play the case eventually went cold.

Laurie convinces the entire bridal party, including Amanda’s former fiance Jeffery who is now married to the maid of honor, Megan, to all meet at the destination wedding spot in Florida for their interviews for the show. This place hits close to home for Laurie, who visited the hotel with her husband Gregory, who was killed.

Laurie and attorney Alex’s investigations lead them to a reclusive intern for the photographer who was present that day, but it might be someone much closer to the bride who knows what happened.

This series provides entertaining suspense without a lot of swearing and violence, so it would appeal to a wide audience of readers. Please note that each book in the series centers on a different case so that these can be read in any order.