13 December 2019

6 December Thrillers Written by Women

The further we get into December the less interested I am in books that make me think. I want escape, and I want to be entertained. The most I want to ponder when I'm reading this month is along the lines of whodunit.

Here are a half dozen thrillers and mysteries that will suit me just fine. Which ones call to you?

review of A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini SinghA Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh (Berkley, Dec. 3): This is a missing person thriller set in a small town in New Zealand. The characters include an outsider big-city detective who ends up as the town's only cop and a prodigal daughter who's returned home after an eight-year hiatus. The two team up to search for clues and sort through the suspects, churning up old crimes and deep secrets among the villagers. The New Zealand countryside plays a role in this dark thriller in which everyone seems to be hiding something. Opening lines:

She returned home two hundred and seventeen days after burying her husband while his pregnant mistress sobbed so hard that she made herself sick. Anahera had stood stone-faced, staring down at the gleaming mahogany coffin she’d chosen because that was what Edward would’ve wanted. Quiet elegance and money that didn’t make itself obvious, that had been Edward’s way. Appearances above everything.
Audiobook: Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld (Penguin Audio; 10 hr; 59 min) [digital and audio copies provided by the publisher]

review of Reputation by Sara ShepardReputation by Sara Shepard (Dutton, Dec. 3): This thriller involves a small Pennsylvania college town, hacked email, and a murder. When tens of thousands of personal emails are dumped into a searchable public database, all hell breaks loose. When an investigative reporter returns home to help her newly widowed sister, they can't help but start looking into the husband's death, unearthing secret upon secret while a killer remains on the loose. Opening lines:
Maybe you got it at birth. Maybe you gained it through hard work. Perhaps you have yours because you’re charitable, or ambitious, or an asshole. It’s your reputation. Everyone’s got one. And if you think reputations don’t matter, you’re wrong.
Audiobook: Narrated by Lisa Flanagan, Allyson Ryan, Phoebe Strole, Brittany Pressley, and Karissa Vacker (Penguin Audio; 13 hr, 3 min) [digital and audio copies provided by the publisher]

Review of The Wives by Tarryn FisherThe Wives by Tarryn Fisher (Graydon House, Dec. 30): This psychological thriller is set in Seattle and is told through the eyes of a woman who is knowingly in a polygamist marriage, even though she has never met the other women. All is fine until it's not, and the legal wife discovers the identity of one of the other woman. She meets her, incognito, and discovers her mild-mannered husband may have a violent streak, and she begins to fear for her own safety. Opening lines:
He comes over on Thursday of every week. That’s my day, I’m Thursday. It’s a hopeful day, lost in the middle of the more important days; not the beginning or the end, but a stop. An appetizer to the weekend. Sometimes I wonder about the other days and if they wonder about me. That’s how women are, right? Always wondering about each other—curiosity and spite curdling together in little emotional puddles. Little good that does; if you wonder too hard, you’ll get everything wrong.
Audiobook: Narrated by Lauren Fortgang (Harlequin Audio; 9 hr) [digital and audio copies provided by the publisher]

review of All That's Bright and Gone by Eliza NellumsAll That's Bright and Gone by Eliza Nellums (Crooked Lane Books, Dec. 10): In this mystery, set in the Detroit area, six-year-old Aoife and her slightly older neighbor set out to find out what really happened to Aoife's dead brother, why her mother has been hospitalized, and what her lawyer uncle isn't telling her. The story, with themes of family, grief, secrets, and redemption, is told through Aoife's eyes. Opening lines:
I know my brother is dead. I’m not dumb like Hazel Merkowicz from up the street says.

Sometimes Mama just gets confused, is all.

Like every year on the feast of Saint Theodore, his birthday, Mama sets out an extra plate for Theo, with a candle on it instead of food because I guess Theo isn’t hungry. And Mama says, “Isn’t this nice? It’s like we’re all together again.”
Audiobook: Narrated by Jesse Vilinsky (Blackstone; 9 hr, 16 min) [digital copy provided by the publisher]

Review of Thin Ice by Paige SheltonThin Ice by Paige Shelton (Minotaur, Dec. 3): In this first in a new mystery series, a thriller author takes on a new identity and hides out in a small Alaskan town while police try to track down a man who kidnapped her. Settling into her new home, she agrees to help both the local police department and the newspaper, which gives her a good platform for researching her own assailant. Small, remote towns, however, are not always as safe as one would think. Opening lines:
The good thing about being suddenly overcome with fresh terror is that you forget everything else you were afraid of. At least temporarily.

The pilot next to me in the two-seat prop plane angled his almost toothless grin my direction and said loudly, “A little bumpy today. You’ll get used to it.”
Audiobook: Narrated by Suzie Althens (Dreamscape; 9 hr, 17 min) [digital copy provided by the publisher]

review of Good Girls Lie by J. T. EllisonGood Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison (Mira, Dec. 30): When a British high school student gets a scholarship to an elite boarding school in Virginia, she thinks she is leaving all her troubles and dark past far away across the ocean. But mean girls, secret societies, and shadowy corners of campus haunt her and any other girl who refuses to play along with the popular kids. Can our hero truly escape her past? Opening lines:
The girl’s body dangles from the tall, iron gates guarding the school’s entrance. A closer examination shows the ends of a red silk tie peeking out like a cardinal on a winter branch, forcing her neck into a brutal angle. She wears her graduation robe and multicolored stole as if knowing she’ll never see the achievement. The last tendrils of dawn’s fog laze about her legs, which are five feet from the ground. It rained overnight and the thin robe clings to her body, dew sparkling on the edges.
Audiobook: Narrated by Fiona Hardingham (Harlequin Audio; 11 hr, 53 min) [digital and audio copies provided by the publisher]


rhapsodyinbooks 12/13/19, 7:17 AM  

Nice to see a collection of thrillers by women!

bermudaonion 12/13/19, 8:03 AM  

I'd like to read all of them.

Vicki 12/13/19, 10:33 AM  

Great choices, I would probably like all of them.

Jackie McGuinness 12/14/19, 9:35 AM  

Great choices, I've added most of them to my TBR list.

shelleyrae @ book'd out 12/14/19, 11:35 AM  

A great list Beth! I enjoyed A Madness of Sunshine, I hope you do too

bookchickdi 12/18/19, 7:35 AM  

I’ve heard a lot of good things about The Wives.

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