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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Truly Terrifying Reads

Looking for a spooky read to celebrate the scariest month of the year? Here are some of our  all time favorites!

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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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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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I’ve Got My Eyes On You by Mary Higgins Clark

High school senior Kerry Dowling is found dead in the pool of her parent’s Saddle River, NJ home, while they were away. It looks like she had a party that evening with her friends, but the motive for her death remains unclear.

Jamie, Kerry’s neighbor, who has a developmental disability, believes Kerry is just sleeping when he goes over to swim with her. Worried that the police will consider Jamie a suspect, his mother convinces Jamie not to tell anyone he was over at Kerry’s house the night of her murder.

Then there is Kerry’s boyfriend, Alan, who had gotten into a fight with Kerry shortly before she was murdered. The detective on the case is working with Kerry’s older sister, a counselor at the local high school, to see if they can locate the killer.

In typical MHC fashion there are a lot of characters to keep the list of suspects high. This is a short, simple novel of suspense that fulfills it’s purpose of being entertaining but there is nothing particularity lasting here.

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After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

On Easter Sunday, Maggie receives a phone call from her teenage daughter who is away at boarding school in Maine. This phone call is monumental since this is the first she has heard from Anna since she was an infant. Maggie was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis shortly after Anna’s birth, and her ex-husband had Maggie declared legally as unfit mother. As a result, she ultimately lost custody but always hoped one day she could get Anna back.

Anna is miserable at school, and with the death of her father, she wants to come live with Maggie in Pennsylvania. Noah, Maggie’s husband, and Caleb, Noah’s young son from his first marriage, can’t be more excited to have Anna join their family. But after Anna arrives, things go terribly wrong, and now Noah is on trial for Anna’s sudden and unexpected death.

High on courtroom drama, the story unfolds through Noah’s trial and before Anna arrived. Readers won’t suspect what actually happened once the truth is finally revealed. This is another enjoyable standalone from bestselling author, Scottoline!