Saturdays at the Café is a weekly feature hosted here to talk about and discuss the books I’ve discovered during the past week, added to my shelf and am excited about reading. They may be new/scheduled releases I’ve seen on NetGalley, at the library, or from publishers or they may be older titles my friends have reviewed and shared on Goodreads or blogs.
It was summer in the mountains when five small children vanished from their nursery school picnic. The heat was stifling that day, the tinkle of an ice-cream van in the air.
Three and a half years later, in the dead of winter, the children are returned by their abductor… one by one.
All except for Ivy – the granddaughter of homicide detective Kate Wakeland. The other four children say Ivy is dead.
Speculation grows that the kidnappings were revenge for an offender that Detective Wakeland put in jail years before.
She engages in a battle of wits between herself, the kidnapper and the cold, vast expanse of mountains in between.
One of my Goodreads friends wrote a compelling review of this book and reeled me in. It ended up being free because of some credits I’ve accumulated on Amazon.
The Good Detective
Detective P.T. Marsh was a rising star on the police force of Mason Falls, Georgia—until his wife and young son were killed in an accident. Since that night, caught in a spiral of grief and booze, he’s lost the ability to see the line between smart moves and disastrous decisions. Such as when he decides to ’help out’ an exotic dancer by confronting her abusive boyfriend. When the next morning he gets called to the scene of his newest murder case, he is stunned to arrive at the house of a dead man, the very man he beat up the night before. He could swear the guy was alive when he left, but can he be sure? What he does know is that his fingerprints are all over the crime scene.
But the trouble is only beginning. P.T. and his partner Remy begin to suspect the murder is connected to a local arson and lynching; two days earlier, the dead body of a black teenager was found in a burned-out field, a portion of a blackened rope around his neck—and P.T. realizes he might have killed the #1 suspect of this horrific crime.
Amid rising racial tension and media scrutiny, P.T. uncovers something sinister at the heart of the boy’s murder—a conspiracy leading all the way back to the time of the Civil War. Risking everything to unravel the puzzle even as he fights off his own personal demons, P.T. races headlong toward an incendiary and life-altering showdown.
The Evil Men Do
A hard-nosed real estate baron is dead, and detectives P.T. Marsh and Remy Morgan learn there’s a long list of suspects. Mason Falls, Georgia, may be a small town, but Ennis Fultz had filled it with professional rivals, angry neighbors, and a wronged ex-wife. And when Marsh realizes that this potential murder might be the least of his troubles, he begins to see what happens when ordinary people become capable of evil.
As Marsh and Morgan dig into the case, it becomes clear that Fultz’s death was not an isolated case of revenge. It may be part of a dark web of crimes connected to an accident that up-ended Marsh’s life a couple years earlier–and that now threatens the life of a young child. Marsh veers dangerously off track as his search for clues becomes personal..and brings him to a place where a man’s good deeds turn out to be more dangerous than his worst crimes.
I was offered the second book in the Detective P. T. Marsh series for audio review and found the first book at my library. These look SO good and my weakness is a good police procedural series.
All Beth has to do is drive her son to his soccer game, watch him play, and then return home. Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the field, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her.
Why would Beth do that and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today—or ever again. But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora arrives and calls to her children Thomas and Emily to get out of the car.
Except … There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt, but they haven’t changed at all. They are no taller, no older. Why haven’t they grown? How is it possible that they haven’t grown up?
I’ve wanted to read something by this author for some time so when this one showed up at my library, I was drawn to this odd synopsis. I’m in the queue for the audiobook.
Former Navy SEAL Clarence Wolfe’s unit was taken out with a land mine. Injured and devastated, he hasn’t been quite right since. Worse, the tragedy was no accident. All Wolfe wants now is to take down the man responsible. In the meantime, he’s good with being the muscle for the Deep Ops team—and leading a steamy no-strings-attached personal life. Until one intriguing woman changes everything . . .
Reporter Dana Mulberry is on a mission to avenge the death of a fellow journalist. She’s finally hot on a trail—right to a sex club—where she runs into . . . Wolfe? It seems both their leads have led to the same spot. To keep from blowing their covers, they’ll have to at least pretend to have a little fun. Trouble is, they genuinely like each other. And that’s way too risky for Wolfe, especially when, to his surprise, Dana agrees . . .
Drawn to each other in ways they can’t understand, Wolfe and Dana keep it professional—until they’re shot at one night. And when their adventures land them both at the heart of corruption in D.C.—and at odds in their missions—they’ll have to dig deeper than ever to succeed in their quests—and with each other . . .
This is the third book in the Deep Ops series and I got this for audio review.
Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.
Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbor with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.
But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.
Well out of my comfort zone but I couldn’t resist this one when offered for audio review.
A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a helicopter crash. But that wasn’t Irene’s only shattering news: he’d also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.
Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life — and death — of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they’re about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures.
This second audiobook in the Paradise series showed up at my library and I finally rose to #1 in the queue.
When financier Gerald Cartwright disappeared from his home six years ago, it was assumed he’d gone on the run from his creditors. But then a skeleton is found bricked up in the cellar of Cartwright’s burned-out mansion, and it becomes clear Gerald never left alive.
As the sole representative of South Yorkshire’s Cold Case Review Unit, Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is not expected to get results, but he knows this is the case that might finally kick start his floundering career. Luckily, he already has a suspect. Unluckily, that suspect is Cartwright’s son, the man Tyler slept with the night before.
Keeping his possible conflict-of-interest under wraps, Tyler digs into the case alongside Amina Rabbani, an ambitious young Muslim constable and a fellow outsider seeking to prove herself on the force. Soon their investigation will come up against close-lipped townsfolk, an elderly woman with dementia who’s receiving mysterious threats referencing a past she can’t remember, and an escalating series of conflagrations set by a troubled soul intent on watching the world burn . . .
*sigh* A debut police procedural I couldn’t resist when offered for audio review. Read the synopsis and tell me you aren’t at least curious!
It’s 2038 and Jacinda (Jake) Greenwood is a storyteller and a liar, an overqualified tour guide babysitting ultra-rich vacationers in one of the world’s last remaining forests. It’s 2008 and Liam Greenwood is a carpenter, sprawled on his back after a workplace fall, calling out from the concrete floor of an empty mansion. It’s 1974 and Willow Greenwood is out of jail, free after being locked up for one of her endless series of environmental protests: attempts at atonement for the sins of her father’s once vast and violent timber empire. It’s 1934 and Everett Greenwood is alone, as usual, in his maple-syrup camp squat, when he hears the cries of an abandoned infant and gets tangled up in the web of a crime, secrets, and betrayal that will cling to his family for decades.
And throughout, there are trees: a steady, silent pulse thrumming beneath Christie’s effortless sentences, working as a guiding metaphor for withering, weathering, and survival. A shining, intricate clockwork of a novel, Greenwood is a rain-soaked and sun-dappled story of the bonds and breaking points of money and love, wood, and blood—and the hopeful, impossible task of growing toward the light.
This is my literary fiction contribution to my shelf. Christie is a new-to-me author whose previous novels have garnered lots of acclaim. So, I have this for audio review.
Trusting you was my first mistake. To Katherine, twenty-four-year-old Lily Lunt is a typical “snowflake.” Soft, entitled, unflaggingly earnest, the privileged, politically correct millennial will do whatever she can to make it big as a writer, including leveraging her family’s connections. She’s got it easy. To Lily, Katherine Ross, a career woman in her early forties, is a holdover from another era: clueless, old-fashioned, and perfectly happy to build her success on the backs of her unpaid interns.
When Lily is hired as the new intern at Leadership magazine, where Katherine is editor in chief, her arrival threatens the very foundations of the self-serving little world that Katherine has built. But before long, she finds herself obsessively drawn to Lily, who seems to be a cruel reminder of the beauty and potential Katherine once had, things she senses Lily plans to use against her. Is Katherine simply paranoid, jealous of Lily’s youth as she struggles with encroaching middle age? Is Lily just trying to get ahead in the cutthroat world of publishing? Or is there a more sinister motivation at play, fueled by the dark secrets they’re both hiding? As their rivalry deepens, a disturbing picture emerges of two women pitted against each other across a toxic generational divide–and who are desperate enough to do anything to come out on top.
As unsettling as it is provocative, Precious You cuts to heart of questions surrounding modern female rivalry, obsession and deceit. Helen Monks Takhar delivers an explosive take on the contemporary workplace and the disparate generations that power it, turning the professional roles women play on their heads in a razor-sharp, revenge-driven thriller for our age.
I went back and forth over this one and finally decided the possibility of a great payoff was too tempting to risk. I have it for audio review.
Written with grace and understanding and based on more than twenty in-depth interviews and stories as well as personal reflections from Schwarzenegger Pratt herself, The Gift of Forgiveness is about one of the most difficult challenges in life–learning to forgive. Here, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt shows us what we can learn from those who have struggled with forgiveness, some still struggling, and others who have been able to forgive what might seem truly unforgivable. The book features experiences from those well-known and unknown, including Elizabeth Smart, who learned to forgive her captors; Sue Klebold, whose son, Dylan, was one of the Columbine shooters, learning empathy and how to forgive herself; Chris Williams, who forgave the drunken teenager who killed his wife and child; and of course Schwarzenegger Pratt’s own challenges and path to forgiveness in her own life. All provide different journeys to forgiveness and the process–sometimes slow and thorny, sometimes almost instantaneous–by which they learned to forgive and let go.
The Gift of Forgiveness is a perfect blend of personal insights, powerful quotations, and hard-won wisdom for those seeking a way to live with greater acceptance, grace, and peace.
A short audiobook (about 4 hours), I opted for this because it promises positivity in a transformative way. I have it for audio review.
Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.
They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.
Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.
But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.
Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.
Honestly? I didn’t even read the synopsis. It’s John Marrs and that’s enough for me. Hoping to get this for audio review.
Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognizes the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof. The killer is still out there.
As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake…