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September 5, 2020

3 Thrillers to Read This Fall

by Susan Roberts

We are almost finished with the Dog Days of Summer and soon the weather will cool. A good suspense novel can be the perfect read on a cool, fall day. If you missed these books this summer, they will pair perfectly with your pumpkin spice latte.
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Little Deadly Secrets by Pamela Crane 

Little Deadly Secrets
August 2020; William Morrow; 978-0062984913
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); domestic thriller
"Lightly moving the covers aside, I took one last, long, lingering look at the man I was about to kill.  The man I had sworn to love and cherish until death do us part.  And yet I had kept my vow, hadn't I?  On the count of three I would forever alter my future - giving myself the freedom I needed, the sole choice I had never been given - to control my whole life."
(Loc 63)

Nothing could come between these three best friends . . .
Except for a betrayal.

Nothing could turn them against each other . . .
Except for a terrible past mistake.

Nothing could tear them apart . . .
Except for murder.

Mackenzie, Robin, and Lily have been friends since college.  They have shared secrets and heartaches.  Even now that they are married and living different lives, they still depend on each other to help them through their problems...until their secrets start to unravel and they have to decide if they can maintain their friendships or if it would be more emotionally healthy to end their relationship with each other.

Mackenzie has a beautiful life with her rich husband and her teenage daughter who she is very close to.  From the outside, her life looks perfect but is her husband too controlling, and is her daughter doing things that she shouldn't? How will she cope when the truth comes out?

Robin is married with three children.  But she is compensating for some lack in her life by buying things.  Her credit card statement is out of control and she knows she needs to hide it from her husband.

Lily is separated from the love of her life and has no children.  She drinks too much and takes too many pills and sleeps with the wrong men - but will she sleep with the husband of one of her best friends?

As the secrets unravel and the truths about each of them become known, will they be able to maintain their friendship?  And which one of them wants to commit murder?  It's a twisty, ever-changing plot that keeps you guessing until the surprising ending.  

Buy Little Deadly Secrets at Amazon

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

The Night Swim
August 2020; St. Martin's; 978-1250219688
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); psychological thriller
“When school kids are shot by a random shooter, nobody asks whether the victims should have taken more precautions. Nobody suggests that maybe the victims should have skipped school that day. Nobody ever blames the victims. So why is it that when women are attacked, the onus is on them?”

The Night Swim is the second book by Megan Goldin.  I loved her first book - The Escape Room and was looking forward to her second suspense novel. She didn't disappoint and I really enjoyed The Night Swim and think that this author will become a major force in this genre.  It was well written with believable characters and a plot that kept me turning pages to see how it would end.

Rachel Krall hosts a podcast on true crime.  In her previous season, she helped an innocent man go free and now she is working on season 3.  She goes to a small town coastal town in North Carolina to follow a rape trial that has the town in turmoil.   Scott Blair is a beloved town athlete and on the way to becoming an Olympian in swimming.  He has been accused of raping a high school student who is the 16-year-old granddaughter of the former chief of police.  As expected many of the people in the town don't want to see Scott's life ruined because the girl should have been wiser and not drinking at a party.  It all came down to a 'he said - she said' issue that had the town totally divided.  This is the first podcast that Rachel has done that follows a trial in real-time and she works very hard to get comments from families and lawyers regarding the crime.  While she is in town, she starts to get letters from Hannah - someone that she doesn't know who wants her help solving a murder in the same town twenty-five years earlier.

Hannah's story is the second point of view in the novel.  During her letters to Rachel, she tells her about growing up poor and about her life with her sister and mother before her sister died in what was determined to be a drowning accident.  Hannah knows that her sister was an excellent swimmer and that she was murdered but she needs proof to have the person brought to justice and she is hoping that Hannah will help her.  

Both points of view during different time periods twist together to make this a book that can't be put down.  It's a terse story that connects both time periods and in both cases, the reader is eager to see justice done.  It discusses the backlash many women receive when reporting rape and what they have to put up with to get their rapist convicted.   It was an emotional story about justice and I highly recommend it.

Buy The Night Swim at Amazon

Run Delia Run by Cindy Bokma 

Run Delia Run
June 2020; Indie; 979-8654056399
ebook, print (402 pages); suspense
"She didn't know the truth, not many people did.  How could they?  Who would ever suspect it of someone like him."
(loc 20) 

Delia lives in a beautiful mansion in Los Angeles with her husband, a famous movie producer, and their six-year-old son, Will.  From the outside, it appears as though she has gotten her happily ever after but in reality, she knows that she needs to escape from her abusive marriage.  She has carefully gotten new IDs for herself and her son and has an escape plan "designed down to the second".  She knows that her disappearance will cause press coverage and will enrage her husband but she doesn't feel like she has any choice if she wants to protect herself and her son.

Delia had moved from a lonely life in Ohio to Hollywood to become a star and when she realized that would never happen, she worked three jobs until she met Leo, a well-known producer.  He smothered her with attention until she agreed to marry him. Soon after their wedding, the abuse started.  She put up with the abuse as long as she could but she knew he would eventually kill her and she was worried that he would abuse their son, so she escaped into a new life with a new name.  The book is told in alternating chapters of PRESENT and PAST so that we understand why she left and if her escape was successful.

Delia was an interesting character.  She lacked self-confidence due to issues when she was growing up but when she felt like her son was threatened, she did all she could to protect him.  I was rooting for her to find happiness through the entire book.  

Buy Run Delia Run at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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  1. I've been struggling with finding thrillers that hold my attention for a while now. I'll have to check these out. The Night Swim catches my eye since I'm a North Carolina girl.