Thursday, September 22, 2016

Home by Harlan Coben

When his best friend, Win, calls out of the blue and asks Myron Bolitar for his help in getting two kidnapped boys back, Myron knows he can't say no. One of the boys, Rhys, is related to Win. Rhys and his friend, Patrick, have been missing for ten years. While Myron and Win are able to get Patrick back, there is no sign of Rhys. Patrick isn't talking and his parents--just glad to have him home--have cut off access. With their take-no-prisoners attitude, Win and Myron decide to look back at the ten-year-old crime, hoping that it will lead them to Rhys, and the big question becomes whether or not Rhys is even still alive. After a five-year absence, Myron and his crew treat the reader to a fast-paced ride.

The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah Jefferies

In 1925, new bride Gwen travels from England to Ceylon to join her husband, Laurence, at his family's tea plantation. Life in Ceylon is not like home, with a different climate, customs, and foods. Even though her love for Laurence is strong, Gwen finds herself doubting their marriage, as she feels Laurence is holding back with her. She is also threatened by his friendship with Christina, with whom he was previously involved. The Tea Planter's Wife is a saga of Gwen and Laurence's marriage through periods of strength and weakness in a changing Ceylon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

When Mila Jackson's father, Sean, dies of a heart attack, she is forced to revisit all the trauma and dysfunction her family has to offer. Sean was a wealthy property developer who married four times and was an absent father to his daughters. Twelve years ago, during Sean's 50th birthday weekend, three-year-old Coco Jackson disappeared. Coco was Mila's half-sister and Sean's daughter and the media had a field day when she vanished. Now, with Sean's death, the mystery is brought up again. Mila finds herself in the middle when she agrees to bring Coco's twin, Ruby, to the services. Alternating with the contemporary story is the tale of Coco's vanishing, told from the point of view of Sean and his deplorable friends. The big question is--what really happened to Coco? Marwood spins a story of secrets and loss with a zinger of an ending.

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

When forty-four year old New Yorker Maribeth Klein has a heart attack, she realizes she needs to slow down, but with working full-time and being the mother to preschool-aged twins, she is finding it hard to do. Her husband, Jason, and mother, Evelyn, seem unable to take over most of the tasks of running a household, so Maribeth can rest and get better. Fed up, Maribeth, leaves her family and moves to Pittsburgh, to recover. Pittsburgh is also the city she was born in, and Maribeth, an adoptee, would like to find her birth mother. Will living there anonymously help her find her way home? Leave Me is very enjoyable novel full of heart and memorable characters. A perfect read-alike for readers of Katherine Center and Mouse-Proof Kitchen by Saira Shah. O Magazine compared the book to Anne Tyler...a good match.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hell Fire by Karin Fossum

Caregiver Bonnie Hayden, a single mother with a preschool son, Simon, is scraping by financially. When they are found viciously murdered in a neglected trailer, Inspector Sejer, wonders who might of wanted them dead, since Bonnie had no apparent enemies. The story of the investigation into the killings is alternated with the tale of the last six months of Bonnie's and Simon's lives. Fossum also adds a third storyline, that of loner Eddie Malthe, who lives with his mother, Mass. Eddie has a cruel streak and seems psychologically unstable. In Hell Fire, Fossum depicts the daily lives of these characters as they proceed to their shattering conclusions.  A heartbreaking tale of fate, love, and loss.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders

In 1850, middle-aged widow Laetitia Rodd makes a living doing investigative work for her brother, Frederick, who is a prominent London lawyer. She is hired by Sir James Calderstone to investigate the past of the woman his son, James, wants to marry. Sir James disapproves of the match and wants the marriage stopped. Mrs. Rodd agrees to take on the case, since it will provide her with a good income, but soon she finds herself immersed in violence and is determined to prove the innocence of someone accused of murder.  The Secrets of Wishtide features a lively main character in this debut historical cozy mystery.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood

Ava is still reeling a year after her husband, Jim, left her for another woman. She decides to join her friend Cate's long-running book group, figuring it might make her feel more connected. Over the next year, each book club member gets to choose the book that has mattered the most to them as one of the titles the group will read. Ava chooses a book from her childhood that soothed the sorrow she felt when her younger sister, Lily, and mother, Charlotte, died within a year of each other. Meanwhile, Ava's troubled daughter, Maggie, is studying abroad in Italy, but follows a lover to Paris, where she falls into her usual self-destructive behavior. Alternating the focus between Ava and Maggie, the novel explores the relationships between mothers and daughters, secrets, and learning to recover and heal when the unexpected happens.