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.
From the bestselling and award-winning author comes a wickedly clever and fast-paced novel of greed, revenge, obsession–and quite possibly the perfect murder.
Simon and Vicky couldn’t seem more normal: a wealthy Chicago couple, he a respected law professor, she an advocate for domestic violence victims. A stable, if unexciting marriage. But one thing’s for sure … absolutely nothing is what it seems. The pair are far from normal, and one of them just may be a killer.
When the body of a beautiful socialite is found hanging in a mansion in a nearby suburb, Simon and Vicky’s secrets begin to unravel. A secret whirlwind affair. A twenty-million-dollar trust fund about to come due. A decades-long grudge and obsession with revenge. These are just a few of the lies that make up the complex web…and they will have devastating consequences. And while both Vicky and Simon are liars, just who exactly is conning who?
Part Gone Girl, part Strangers on a Train, Look Closer is a wild rollercoaster of a read that will have you questioning everything you think you know.
Thanks to Marialyce @ yayareads for including this title in her message on last week’s post. After reading the description, I added it, too and recommended it for library purchase.
I should never have become friends with the couple upstairs…
The first time I step inside this cosy apartment with its sash windows, just minutes from the sea, I think it would be the perfect place for me and my partner Zac to start again. A chance to leave our troubled past behind.
Chris and Vanessa, the couple upstairs, are so welcoming: smiles, flowers, a home-baked cake. It’s strange how he does all the talking, and she seems so shy, but I’m just thrilled to have new friends nearby.
But everything starts to go wrong… my business begins to crumble, I can’t ignore the whispers at our housewarming party and loud arguments from upstairs keep me awake at night. I can’t sleep, I can’t think straight and I feel like someone is watching me in my own home.
And then Zac comes home one afternoon, his face clenched with fury, and says he knows what’s going on. He knows about my secret…
He won’t listen to me. He storms out and I’m left in tears, completely devastated.
Why has my life fallen apart since we moved here? Am I going mad? Or is someone trying to destroy us?
If only I’d known what I know now.
If only I hadn’t trusted the couple upstairs.
From the USA Today bestselling author Shalini Boland comes an absolutely heart-thumping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and The Wife Between Us.
The eBook was on sale for $.99 earlier this week and I bought it. However, I’ve also added the audio version to my Audible wishlist.
Chief of Police Kate Burkholder confronts a mysterious beast terrorizing the residents of Painters Mill in this new original short mystery from bestselling author Linda Castillo.
On a foggy spring night, an Amish man crashes his buggy after a large, unidentified animal spooks his horse. Kate Burkholder arrives on scene to find the man shaken and bleeding, claiming he was attacked by a large beast. But his description of the creature sounds like something straight out of the Amish folklore from Kate’s childhood. Throughout the night, more incidents of an aggressive animal on the loose are reported, putting the citizens of Painters Mill on edge. There’s a monster menacing the countryside, and Kate must follow its tracks into the dark woods along Painters Creek before violence tips over into tragedy.
A new novella in the Kate Burkholder series, scheduled for release in April. I’m reading the series with a Goodreads group and it’s a library hopeful.
Love ’em and Leave ’em Alice Kim and “Hot” Steve Lowell are perfect for each other. It’ll only take them ten years to figure that out.
Just because they throw the most bodacious wedding party ever…
Just because they’re perfect partners in pranks…
Just because they love all the same boss movies…
Just because they share one totally bangin’ night of sex together…
Does not mean they’ll break the One Time Rule.
Even if they do… they don’t do relationships.
And they’re never getting married.
In this friends-to-lovers, marriage-pact novella spanning the last decade of the 20th century, life forces a playboy and a playgirl grow up—and grow apart—before giving them a chance to create a happy-ever-after they can actually be happy about.
I’ve started this series and am collecting the books. This is currently free on Amazon.
Nola Trenholm is hopeful for a fresh start in the Big Easy but must deal with ghosts from her past—as well as new ones—in this first book in a spin-off series of Karen White’s New York Times bestselling Tradd Street novels.
After a difficult detour on her road to adulthood, Nola Trenholm is looking to begin anew in New Orleans, and what better way to start her future than with her first house? But the historic fixer-upper she buys comes with even more work than she anticipated when the house’s previous occupants don’t seem to be ready to depart.
Although she can’t communicate with ghosts like her stepmother can, luckily Nola knows someone in New Orleans who is able to—even if he’s the last person on earth she wants anything to do with ever again. Beau Ryan comes with his own dark past—a past that involves the disappearance of his sister and parents during Hurricane Katrina—and he’s connected to the unsolved murder of a woman who once lived in the old Creole cottage Nola is determined to make her own…whether the resident restless spirits agree or not.
It’s a new spinoff of the Tradd Street series! My library came through with the audiobook.
Helen Russell has researched sadness from the inside out for her entire life. Her earliest memory is of the day her sister died. Her parents divorced soon after, and her mother didn’t receive the help she needed to grieve. Coping with her own emotional turmoil — including struggles with body image and infertility — she’s endured professional and personal setbacks as well as relationships that have imploded in truly spectacular ways. Even the things that brought her the greatest joy — like eventually becoming a parent — are fraught with challenges.
While devoting a career to writing books on happiness, Helen discovered just how many people are terrified of sadness. But the key to happiness is unhappiness — by allowing ourselves to experience pain, we learn to truly appreciate and embrace joy. How to Be Sad is a memoir about living with sadness, as well as an upbeat manifesto for change that encourages us to accept and express our emotions, both good and bad. Interweaving Helen’s personal testimony with the latest research on sadness — from psychologists, geneticists, neuroscientists and historians — as well as the experiences of writers, comics, athletes and change-makers from around the world, this vital and inspiring guide explores why we get sad, what makes us feel this way, and how it can be a force for good.
Timely and essential, How to Be Sad is about how we can better look after ourselves and each other, simply by getting smarter about sadness.
My good friend Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog raved about this book last year, how it made such a difference for her. I never forgot her post and when it showed up at my library, I quickly grabbed the audiobook.
For fans of Where the Crawdads Sing, this powerful debut novel, set amid the lush landscape of the Florida wetlands, delves into past crimes, old memories, and the eloquent, limitless expanse of parental love.
Loni Mae Murrow’s life as a bird artist at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, is tidy, if a trifle constrained—until she’s abruptly summoned back home to the wetlands of northern Florida, where she grew up. Her mother, critical and difficult, has grown frail and been resentfully consigned to assisted living, and her younger brother, Phil, juggling a job, a wife, and two young children, needs her help. Loni may not be her mother’s only child, but there are some things only a daughter can do.
Going through her mother’s things when she returns, Loni finds a cryptic note from a woman whose name she doesn’t recognize: “There are some things I have to tell you about Boyd’s death,” it reads. Boyd is her father, a man who drowned in a boating accident out on the marsh when Loni was twelve and Phil just a baby. The circumstances of his death, long presumed a suicide, turn out to be murkier than anyone thought.
Against her better judgment, she finds herself drawn into a dangerous quest to discover the truth about how he died, struggling all the while to reconnect with her mother through the remnants of their past and to reconcile with her brother and his pushy, provincial wife. At last moved to avenge the wrongs done to her family, Loni has to decide whether to join the violence or end it.
The NetGalley emails strike again! This sounds so intriguing I quickly added. It’s scheduled for release in September and is an audio review hopeful.
They thought their marriage was over, but being stranded together for a weekend may change everything.
Emily Ferguson needs a break from navigating the divorce process. On a whim, she heads to the family’s lakeside cabin to say goodbye before selling it becomes yet another painful step in starting over.
Scott Ferguson couldn’t repair his marriage, but he can fix up the cabin before they have to put it on the market. Maybe physical labor will help him sweat out the emotions he can’t seem to express. He never expects to find Emily there by herself.
When a spring storm rolls across the lake, taking down trees that block the road, Emily and Scott have no way out. Isolated from the rest of the world, with only each other for company, they can’t escape the feelings still simmering between them.
I loved the author’s Kowalski Family series and quickly pre-ordered this upcoming novella for $.99. Right now it’s a standalone….
From the author of the acclaimed debut No Bad Deed, a twisty novel about the bond between two sisters—and the crimes one covers up to protect the other. For fans of Lisa Gardner and Harlan Coben.
Schoolteacher and single mom Frankie Barrera has always been fiercely protective of her younger sister, Izzy—whether Izzy wants her to be or not. But over the years, Izzy’s risky choices have tested Frankie’s loyalty. Never so much as on a night five years ago, when a frantic phone call led Frankie to the scene of a car accident—and a drunk and disoriented Izzy who couldn’t remember a thing.
Though six friends partied on the outskirts of town that night, one girl was never seen again . . .
Now, an AMBER alert puts Frankie in the sights of the local police. Her truck has been described as the one used in the abduction of a girl from a neighboring town. And the only other person with access to Frankie’s truck is Izzy.
This time around, Frankie will have to decide what lengths she’s willing to go to in order to protect Izzy—what lies she’s willing to tell, and what secrets she’s willing to keep—because the dangerous game that six friends once played on a warm summer night isn’t over yet . . .
This is also titled as Night of the Accident internationally. I really enjoyed her debut novel and accepted this for audio review.
What could be worse than your ex-boyfriend marrying your childhood best friend? Getting accused of her murder…
From the author of My Sweet Girl comes a dangerously addictive new thriller about a lavish Sri Lankan wedding celebration that not everyone will survive.
When Amaya is invited to Kaavi’s over-the-top wedding in Sri Lanka, she is surprised and a little hurt to hear from her former best friend after so many years of radio silence. But when Amaya learns that the groom is her very own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: She must stop the wedding from happening, no matter the cost.
But as the weeklong wedding celebrations begin and rumors about Amaya’s past begin to swirl, she can’t help but feel like she also has a target on her back. When Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, all evidence points to Amaya.
However, nothing is as it seems as Jayatissa expertly unravels that each wedding guest has their own dark secret and agenda, and Amaya may not be the only one with a plan to keep the bride from getting her happily ever after…
Another selection from that NetGalley email! This sounds SO good and is scheduled for release in August. It’s a library audiobook hopeful.
A riveting deep dive into the unsolved murder of two free-spirited young women in the wilderness, a journalist’s obsession, and a new theory of who might have done it
In May 1996, Julie Williams and Lollie Winans were brutally murdered while backpacking in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, adjacent to the world-famous Appalachian Trail. The young women were skilled backcountry leaders who had met—and fallen in love—the previous summer while working at a world-renowned outdoor program for women. But despite an extensive joint investigation by the FBI, the Virginia police, and National Park Service experts, the case remained unsolved for years.
In early 2002, and in response to mounting political pressure, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that he would be seeking the death penalty for Darrell David Rice—already in prison for assaulting another woman—in the first capital case tried under new, post-9/11 federal hate crime legislation. But two years later, the Department of Justice quietly suspended its case against Rice, and the investigation has since grown cold. Did prosecutors have the right person?
Journalist Kathryn Miles was a professor at Lollie Winans’s wilderness college in Maine when the 2002 indictment was announced. On the 20th anniversary of the murder, she began looking into the lives of these adventurous women—whose loss continued to haunt all who had encountered them—along with the murder investigation and subsequent case against Rice. As she dives deeper into the case, winning the trust of the victims’ loved ones as well as investigators and gaining access to key documents, Miles becomes increasingly obsessed with the loss of the generous and free-spirited Lollie and Julie, who were just on the brink of adulthood, and at the same time, she discovers evidence of cover-ups, incompetence, and crime-scene sloppiness that seemed part of a larger problem in America’s pursuit of justice in national parks. She also becomes convinced of Rice’s innocence, and zeroes in on a different likely suspect.
Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders is a riveting, eye-opening, and heartbreaking work, offering a braided narrative about two remarkable women who were murdered doing what they most loved, the forensics of this cold case, and the surprising pervasiveness and long shadows cast by violence against women in the backcountry.
I’d never heard of this book until it was offered for audio review. I love the true crime drama and this appears to be something unique. The reviews are off the chart and I’m going to try and squeeze this in right away.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?