Review: Someone We Know, by Shari Lapena

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Title: Someone We Know

Author: Shari Lapena

Series: none

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Publication Date: July 25th, 2019

Genres: Thriller, Adult

Maybe you don’t know your neighbors as well as you thought you did . . .

“This is a very difficult letter to write. I hope you will not hate us too much. . . My son broke into your home recently while you were out.”

In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses–and into the owners’ computers as well–learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.

Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?

In this neighborhood, it’s not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide . . .

You never really know what people are capable of.

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Review: The Kind Worth Killing, by Peter Swanson

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Title: The Kind Worth Killing

Author: Peter Swanson

Series: none

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: February 3rd, 2015

Genres: Thriller, Adult

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda’s demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.

Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

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Review: The Apartment, by K.L. Slater

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Title: The Apartment

Author: K.L. Slater

Series: none

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: April 28th, 2020

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

It’s an opportunity she can’t refuse. The woman before her tried…

Freya Miller needs a miracle. In the fallout of her husband’s betrayal, she’s about to lose her family home, and with it the security she craves for her five-year-old daughter, Skye. Adrift and alone, she’s on the verge of despair until a chance meeting with the charismatic Dr Marsden changes everything. He’s seeking a new tenant for a shockingly affordable flat in a fashionable area of London.

Adder House sounds too good to be true… But Freya really can’t afford to be cynical, and Dr Marsden is adamant she and Skye will be a perfect fit with the other residents.

But Adder House has secrets. Even behind a locked front door, Freya feels as if she’s being watched: objects moving, unfamiliar smells, the blinking light of a concealed camera… and it’s not long before she begins to suspect that her dream home is hiding a nightmarish reality. Was it really chance that led her here—or something unthinkably dark?

As the truth about Adder House starts to unravel, can Freya and Skye get out—or will they be locked in forever?

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Review: Her Every Fear, by Peter Swanson

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13047090Title: Her Every Fear

Author: Peter Swanson

Series: none

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publish Date: January 10th, 2017

Genres: Thriller, Adult

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

Soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves–until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? What about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself, so how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

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Review: Shutter Island

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13047090Title: Shutter Island

Author: Dennis Lehane

Series: none

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Publish Date: April 15th, 2003

Genres: Thriller, Adult

Links: GoodreadsAmazon • Barnes and Noble

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this remote and barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane relentlessly bears down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. But then neither is Teddy Daniels.

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Review: Stillhouse Lake

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13047090Title: Stillhouse Lake

Author: Rachel Caine

Series: Stillhouse Lake Series

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: July 1st, 2017

Genres: Thriller, Adult

Links: GoodreadsAmazon • Barnes and Noble

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

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Review: Girl in Snow

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13047090Title: Girl in Snow

Author: Tanya Kukafka

Series: none

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publish Date: August 1st, 2017

Genres: Adult, Thriller, Mystery

WHO ARE YOU WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING?

When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both. In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory.

Compulsively readable and powerfully moving, Girl in Snow offers an unforgettable reading experience and introduces a singular new talent in Danya Kukafka.

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Review: The Unseen (#3-4)

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Book Review13047090Title: The Unseen (#3-4)

Author: Richie Tankersley Cusick

Series: The Unseen Series

Publisher: The Penguin Group

Publish Date: 2003

Genres: Young Adult, Thriller

Too many deaths, too many terrifying visions and sleepless nights have taken their toll on Lucy Dennison. She wonders if she can trust anyone or anything anymore – even her own mind. Lucy knows there must be something, somewhere that can tell her why she was chosen to receive the terrible visions, why she feels the sinister presence all around her. As Lucy searches desperately for answers, she knows time is running out. Too many people have disappeared – or worse – and the constant feeling of being surrounded by something truly evil grows stronger each night. Can Lucy defeat the evil in time?

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Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

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Book Review13047090Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Series: Between Series

Publisher: Speak

Publish Date: August 15th, 2013

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery…who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

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Review: The Girl on the Train

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Book Review

TrainTitle: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Publish Date: January 13th, 2015

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Adult

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

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Review: Jackaby

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Book Review181309Title: Jackaby

Author: William Ritter

Series: Jackaby Series

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Publish Date: September 16, 2014

Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

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Rave-Worthy Recommendations (1)

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Whenever I finish an excellent book, I immediately wish that I could identify similar ones that I would also likely enjoy.  While Goodreads has a recommendation section, I find that it’s challenging to navigate and that not all of the books are specifically tailored to each reader.  Word of mouth is also an excellent option, unless it’s three in the morning and you are mid-fangirling about your new favorite book boyfriend.  Something tells me a very disgruntled friend would be hanging up on you if you tried to call them (I’m clearly not speaking from personal experience).  My apparent dilemma ultimately caused me to arrive at an idea for a new series of posts: Rave-Worthy Recommendations.  Hopefully this post will give you a few more books to add to your already lengthy TBR!

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Review: The Diviners

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Book Review7728889Title: The Diviners

Author: Libba Bray

Series: The Diviners Series

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publish Date: September 18th, 2012

Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Young Adult

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

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Sunday Stumper #31: Halloween Books

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Sunday Stumper

We’ve decided to introduce a new weekly meme here at Brewing Up Books…Sunday Stumper! Each Sunday, we’ll be posting a literary based challenge, puzzle, game, etc. that can be downloaded on a computer, tablet, or smartphone (or even printed out). The following week, we will post the correct solution to the puzzle, along with a new one. You can complete the puzzle at your leisure throughout the week, and, if you manage to finish it, you can email it to us (brewingupbooks@gmail.com) for a chance to be featured! The first person to correctly complete the puzzle and email it to us will have their blog or Goodreads account featured on our sidebar and will also be mentioned in our Sunday Stumper post the following week.

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Review: The Unseen (#1-2)

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13383074Title: The Unseen (#1-2)

Author: Richie Tankersley Cusick

Series: The Unseen Omnibus

Publisher: The Penguin Group

Publish Date: 2013

Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Fantasy

Out walking alone one rainy night, Lucy becomes convinced that someone – or something – is following her. Spooked, she ducks into a cemetery to try and lose her stalker. Panicking in the darkness, she slips and stumbles into an open grave – only to discover she is not alone in there. She manages to escape, but soon begins having terrifying visions and dreams – and she still can’t shake the feeling of an unseen presence, always watching, waiting… Who was the girl in the grave? And what did she do to Lucy?

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