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February 2, 2024

2 Suspense Novels You Will Want to Read

by Susan Roberts

My sister mentioned Kiersten Modglin as one of her favorites so I read her two most recent books.  I really enjoyed them (thanks sis) and plan to read more of her backlist.

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Hemlock by Kiersten Modglin

book cover of suspense novel Hemlock by Kiersten Modglin
August 2023; Indie; 978-1956538489
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); suspense

She thought she’d escaped her poisonous past…

This book is advertised as suspense but I'd say it's more romance and chick lit.  Sure there is some suspense regarding the house that Maggie moved into but most of the story is taken up by the love triangle between Maggie - her high school boyfriend and her new boyfriend who only pretended to be interested to make the high school boyfriend jealous until he really was interested.  Maggie can't seem to make up her mind between her loser old boyfriend and the new guy who treats her like a queen.  I wanted to yell at her to open her eyes several times and pick the guy who treats her best.

The story is told in two timelines -- one thirteen years ago when she was in high school and as soon as she graduated, she left and planned to never return.  The second timeline is modern day when she ends up back in the small town buying a house that she had always loved.  The suspense involves her new home on Hemlock Street.  She feels like she's being watched in every room The strange sounds, odd smells, and bizarre occurrences only add to her paranoia. She tries to ignore the otherworldly occurrences but they continue to get more threatening.  Is the house really haunted or is there something else going on?

So this love triangle.  Her high school boyfriend was Clayton who left town after graduation to try his luck in Nashville.  He has now returned back to the small town to write music because his recording contract didn't really work out.  He kind of pursues Maggie but he runs hot and cold plus he has a fiancĂ©e/writing partner.  Then we have Tucker, the bartender at a local club who pretend dates Maggie to help make Clayton jealous. Tucker actually lives next door and is a contractor so he is helping Maggie do repairs on the house.  His pretend boyfriend's deal quickly changes from pretending to having strong feelings for Maggie.  Who will she choose?  Can she live in the haunted house?  Both questions are answered in the story.

A lot of the reviews say that this book is a real departure from this author's normal suspense stories.  I enjoyed this book but need to try another one to see if the reviews are correct.

Buy Hemlock at Amazon

Do Not Open by Kiersten Modglin

book cover of suspense novel Do Not Open by Kiersten Modglin
December 2023; Indie; 978-1956538502
audio, ebook, print (204 pages); suspense

On the day author Mari Morgan receives the email, she has little left to live for.

I'm happy that I tried another book by this author because it was suspense at its best and even kept me up past my normal bedtime.  This is the book that makes me want to go back and start reading her backlist (all 38 of them).

Mari is an author who is having trouble writing.  A little bit of vodka seems to help her through the day and wasting time reading email helps the time go past.  Until she reads an email from her number one fan.  She replies to the email - her first big mistake.  Soon after, she gets a notification that a Hollywood producer wants her to come to dinner to discuss making one of her books into a screenplay.  She isn't really sure that its legit but decides that dinner will be nice, the man's wife will be there and she can always leave if she's not comfortable.  These were all her assumptions and the truth ended up totally different.  She ended up drugged and woke up tied to a bed in a dusty old basement with her number one fan keeping her captive.  He wants to play out all of the scary parts of her previous books and always seems a step ahead of her.  Does she have the strength - both mental and physical to escape from her cruel captor?

I can't reveal anything else about the story because I don't want to spoil it -- but I will tell you that this story is a roller coaster ride that will keep you turning the pages as you speed toward the end.  This fast-paced book is full of twists and turns that will keep you biting your nails until the end.

Buy Do Not Open at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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