To start, No Exit by Taylor Adams is absolutely astounding.
The book narrates the story of of a young college student named Darby Thorne: On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, Darby gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.
Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.
Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?
There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?
Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape. But who can she trust?
With exquisitely controlled pacing, Taylor Adams diabolically ratchets up the tension with every page. Full of terrifying twists and hairpin turns, No Exit will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you breathless.
Liar Liar by bestselling James Patterson is another notable title: Detective Harriet Blue is a very good cop who has gone very bad.
In the space of a week, she has committed theft and fraud, resisted arrest, assaulted a police officer, and is considered a dangerous fugitive from the law.
It’s all because of one man, Regan Banks. He viciously killed the only person in the world who matters to Harriet-and he plans to kill her next. As she recklessly speeds toward the dark side-and finally crosses it-Harriet won’t stop until Regan pays for the many lives he has taken.
In The Suspect by Fiona Barton, the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow returns with a brand new novel of twisting psychological suspense about every parent’s worst nightmare (see our review here).
When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft, and frantic with worry. What were the girls up to before they disappeared?
Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth—and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, whom she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go traveling.
As the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think.
In Girls Of Glass by Brianna Labuskes, when the granddaughter of one of Florida’s most powerful judges disappears, it triggers a personal trauma for Detective Alice Garner: the kidnapping and murder of her own child.
As a flood of painful memories comes rushing back, Alice sees herself in the guilt-ridden and emotionally fragile mother Charlotte Burke, who has become the target of a rush to judgment.
All too familiar with Charlotte’s situation, Alice is reluctant to cast any blame. Her gut instincts tell her that Charlotte’s anguish is rooted in something else—somewhere too dark for the truth to be seen. And Alice believes that it’s hiding behind the facade of the illustrious and guarded Burke mansion.
But uncovering Charlotte’s past comes with a risk. For Alice’s own life is becoming entangled in the secrets and lies of the picture-perfect family—an image that is about to be shattered in so many unexpected ways.
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks which has become an instant NY Times bestseller, has an interesting plot: Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.
When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.
Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?
But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.
Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?
As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.
Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?
From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.
In Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles, On a balmy summer’s day in 1930 the great and the good of the county are out in force for the annual, much-anticipated tennis party at the Bickleighs, although not everyone has much enthusiasm for the game.
The tennis party exists for other reasons – and charmingly mannered infidelity is now the most popular pastime in the small but exclusive Devonshire hamlet of Wyvern’s Cross. desperately fighting to conceal the two things on his mind: a mounting passion for Gwynfryd Rattery – and the certain conviction that he is going to kill his wife.
As Long as We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney is unputdownable. The author’s wicked, masterful examination of a marriage gone very wrong, a marriage with lots of secrets.
“My wife! I think she’s dead!” Matt frantically tells park rangers that he and his wife, Marie, were hiking when she fell off a cliff into the raging river below. They start a search, but they aren’t hopeful: no one could have survived that fall. It was a tragic accident.
But Matt’s first wife also died in suspicious circumstances. And when the police pull a body out of the river, they have a lot more questions for Matt.
Detectives Loren and Spengler want to know if Matt is a grieving, twice-unlucky husband or a cold-blooded murderer. They dig into the couple’s lives to see what they can unearth. And they find that love’s got teeth, it’s got claws, and once it hitches you to a person, it’s tough to rip yourself free. So what happens when you’re done making it work?
In Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks, Charlotte was supposed to be looking after the children, and she swears she was. She only took her eyes off of them for one second. But when her three kids are all safe and sound at the school fair, and Alice, her best friend Harriet’s daughter, is nowhere to be found, Charlotte panics. Frantically searching everywhere, Charlotte knows she must find the courage to tell Harriet that her beloved only child is missing. And admit that she has only herself to blame.
Harriet, devastated by this unthinkable, unbearable loss, can no longer bring herself to speak to Charlotte again, much less trust her. Now more isolated than ever and struggling to keep her marriage afloat, Harriet believes nothing and no one.
But as the police bear down on both women trying to piece together the puzzle of what happened to this little girl, dark secrets begin to surface—and Harriet discovers that confiding in Charlotte again may be the only thing that will reunite her with her daughter.
This breathless and fast-paced debut—perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and The Couple Next Door—takes you on a chilling journey that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
Freefall by Jessica Barry is one of our favorites: When her fiancé’s private plane crashes in the Colorado Rockies, Allison Carpenter miraculously survives. But the fight for her life is just beginning. Allison has been living with a terrible secret, a shocking truth that powerful men will kill to keep buried. If they know she’s alive, they will come for her. She must make it home.
In the small community of Owl Creek, Maine, Maggie Carpenter learns that her only child is presumed dead. But authorities have not recovered her body—giving Maggie a shred of hope. She, too, harbors a shameful secret: she hasn’t communicated with her daughter in two years, since a family tragedy drove Allison away. Maggie doesn’t know anything about her daughter’s life now—not even that she was engaged to wealthy pharmaceutical CEO Ben Gardner, or why she was on a private plane.
As Allison struggles across the treacherous mountain wilderness, Maggie embarks on a desperate search for answers. Immersing herself in Allison’s life, she discovers a sleek socialite hiding dark secrets. What was Allison running from—and can Maggie uncover the truth in time to save her?
Told from the perspectives of a mother and daughter separated by distance but united by an unbreakable bond, Freefall is a riveting debut novel about two tenacious women overcoming unimaginable obstacles to protect themselves and those they love.
The Guilt We Carry by Samuel W. Gailey is a perfect pick for readers of The Girl on the Train and Winter’s Bone.
Since the tragic accident that brutally ended her childhood, Alice O’Farrell has been haunted by her past. Unable to bear the guilt of negligence that led to the death of her younger brother, fifteen-year-old Alice runs away from home.
She lives on the streets, makes one bad decision after another, and drowns her guilt in alcohol. But, everything changes when she stumbles upon a startling scene: a dead drug dealer and a duffel bag full of ninety-one thousand dollars in cash. Recognizing this as an opportunity for a fresh start, Alice takes the money and runs.
However, she soon finds herself fleeing from more than her own past―the dead dealer’s drug supplier wants his money back and will destroy her to get it. A merciless manhunt ensues, headed by Sinclair―a formidable opponent―relentless, shrewd, and brutal. As blood is spilled all around her, Alice is eventually faced with her day of reckoning. In the end, The Guilt We Carry is a story about redemption and forgiveness, but at what cost?