The People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Parry

Synopsis: Subtitled: The True Story of a Young Woman [Lucie Blackman] Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo–and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up. Review: I have no idea what the title of The People Who Eat Darkness means, but that was the only thing I found unsatisfying about this riveting true crime read. Lucie Blackman was a British girl who went to Tokyo to pay off her debts working as a hostess, a paid entertainer to Japanese salarymen. She was not a prostitute or…

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The Female Ward by Debalina Haldar

Synopsis: Dishari is an engineering student in a university with a well-entrenched hazing system, but when one of her roommates attempts suicide, Dishari finds herself in prison, charged in a well-publicized crackdown on “ragging.” Review: The Female Ward had a really interesting premise–the way hazing transforms and undermines normal human relationships–and mostly succeeded in keeping me interested in Dishari’s plight. I did wish I had gotten more of an explanation of how the Indian legal system worked, because it seemed to me that Dishari was…

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The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn

Synopsis: Snowbound in a remote cottage filled with memories, a sister, her brother, her best friendm her ex, and her ex’s new girlfriend realize that something out there wants to eat them. Review: Ania Ahlborn’s The Neighbors was more quirky than horrific, but The Shuddering is straight-up terrifying and I loved every nail-biting moment. I did enjoy trying to guess who would be left for the endgame, given that there was a really great love triangle at play, and the monsters were genuinely frightening. Loved…

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The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales

Synopsis: Subtitled: “How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World.” Review: I was really glad I only paid $2.99 for The Bling Ring during a special Kindle promotion, because it didn’t give me much more than I already knew from reading about the spoiled Valley kids who robbed a bunch of celebrities’ homes, including those belonging to Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Orlando Bloom. Not that I was expecting anything particularly hard-hitting, but I felt like this was just an…

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Dead by Sunset by Ann Rule

Synopsis: The true crime account of the murder of a brilliant attorney by her sociopathically narcissistic husband. Review: I was looking for a quick and easy read and decided to return to an old favorite. Dead by Sunset is one of Ann Rule’s best books, offering an exquisitely detailed portrait of a narcissist and the destruction he created in the lives of his wives (5 of them), girlfriends (too numerous to count), kids (sadly he was a bad father to 6 kids), and business associates.…

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The Soldier Son Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Synopsis: A military cadet with a gleaming future is captured by magic and turned into a traitor against his own people. Review: I’ve already read the three books that comprise Soldier Son, but when I saw a Kindle deal for the trilogy all in one I decided it was time for a reread. Shaman’s Crossing comes first, then Forest Mage, and Renegade’s Magic completes the series. I love Robin Hobb but I remember feeling like this series wasn’t one of her best. My reread elevated…

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Joyland by Stephen King

Synopsis: It’s the summer of 1973 and Devin Jones has just signed on to work at a beachside carnival–that may be haunted. Review: Joyland is Stephen King at his most elegiac and nostalgic, ordinarily my least favorite mode of his, but this book really got me. I loved the carnival setting, the lingo, watching Devin learn the ropes. Sure, he was a little bit Mary Sue but it mostly worked. I felt that the plot faltered in the second half but I wasn’t expecting anything…

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Me on the Floor, Bleeding by Jenny Jagerfeld

Synopsis: After inadvertently slicing off the top of her thumb in sculpture class, Maja wants her mother to comfort her–but her mother is nowhere to be found. Review: Me on the Floor, Bleeding was a surprisingly funny coming of age story that took a lot of unexpected turns. It was a fun, easy read with a likable protagonist who kept me interested in her story. Great voice. Share on Facebook

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Lie Still by Julia Heaberlin

Synopsis: When pregnant Emily and her lawman husband move from New York City to a small, wealthy Texas town, she finds herself enmeshed in mean girl culture and doesn’t take it seriously until the town’s queen bee goes missing–and a mysterious package hinting at her own dark past shows up on her doorstep. Review: Lie Still is your next read if you liked Gone Girl–and if you did, this is probably all I need to say. Lie Still hooked me from the very beginning with…

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The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison

Synopsis: When her common law husband gets his mistress pregnant, a woman comes face to face with the choices she has made to keep silent about his infidelities, and as her anger surfaces, so does her desire for revenge. Review: The Silent Wife was a slow creep of a thriller. In some ways, it lacked a classic hook, but proved that suspense doesn’t need to be plot-driven. It reminded me a lot of Patricia Highsmith’s non-Ripley books, particularly This Sweet Sickness. I’m not sure I…

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