All posts tagged: domestic thriller

Kelley Armstrong talks about her whip-fast, razor-smart thriller set in the Chicago suburbs about a missing child, her messy first drafts, how she loves ‘dive’ pizza joints and more in WHEREVER SHE GOES

By Leslie Lindsay Juicy, twisty, can’t-put-down psychological thriller about a child abduction, a questionable narrator with a dark past, and so much more in WHEREVER SHE GOES. I was completely smitten with WHEREVER SHE GOES (June 25, Minotaur Books) by New York Times bestselling author, Kelley Armstrong, whose work I’ve yet to read. Just how far would YOU go to save a child? How far would you go to prove to the authorities that you are not delusional, that you know what you saw and you are worried about a child in danger? That’s the overarching question of this book, where Aubrey Finch is just sure she saw a boy taken from the playground against his will. But the officers called onto the case say no one has reported a missing child; end of case. But Aubrey is insistent. She spoke with the boy and his mother just recently at that very park; they exist. The boy is missing. But Aubrey is recently separated from her defense attorney husband and she doesn’t have full custody of their daughter–in fact, she only …

Deliciously dark domestic debut from Samantha Downing will have you reading at break-neck speed and looking at your neighbors differently

By Leslie Lindsay  5 juicy stars to this tautly paced, all-encompassing deliciously dark domestic suspense, MY LOVELY WIFE (Berkley, March 26 2019) will capture and ensnare and have you looking twice at your neighbors.  Truly stunning, jaw-dropping, and so engrossing, you simply cannot look away. That’s what debut author, Samantha Downing, is so skilled at in her debut–this is a debut, people!–and you absolutely have to read it. Here’s the thing: it’s dark. It’s twisted, but on the surface, it’s oh-so-saccharine. Married for 15 years, Millicent and her unnamed husband, the protagonist/narrator have found themselves in a slightly boring marriage. They have two kids, a boy and a girl who are on the cusp of adolescence. It’s a nice life in a nice suburban area of Florida where everyone goes to work and then home for a pre-planned dinner. There’s soccer and tennis lessons and Millicent sells real estate. But MY LOVELY WIFE (Berkley, March 26) is a powerhouse of a novel. It’s about drama, a marriage, kids out of control, and the news media; it’s also about the folks next door, …

What if you stole someone’s identity then lied about it? Thomas Christopher Greene explores this, madness & despair in his stunning new novel, THE PERFECT LIAR

By Leslie Lindsay Gorgeously written, all-consuming, literary thriller had me flying through the pages to its disconcerting and haunting conclusion.  Thomas Christopher Greene has been a go-to for me for years. He has a seemingly effortless way with words, poignant insights into the human psyche, and his stories just naturally consume and propel. THE PERFECT LIAR (January 15, 2019 St. Martin’s Press), is no exception; I loved every minute. Max W. is a charismatic imposter living in Vermont. He recently accepted an appointment as an art professor at a local college and they ‘give them a house.’ What’s not to love? All along, Max W. (who was born Phil Wilbur) has carefully shrouded his meager origins in fraud–easily ‘borrowing’ the identity of a wealthy, unsuspecting art school graduate. He insinuates himself into Max W’s world and before you know it, he’s in too deep. But his wife, Susannah, has deep secrets of her own. She’s a young widow and a single mother who has married well, but then, disconcerting things start happening–menacing letters delivered to the home: I KNOW WHO YOU ARE and …

WeekEND Reading: Brad Parks on his new domestic thriller, CLOSER THAN YOU KNOW

By Leslie Lindsay  What if you went to pick up your child from daycare only to learn he has been taken by social services? That’s what was haunting Brad Park when he set out to write CLOSER THAN YOU KNOW; understanding the emotional arc of his female characters, how being stubborn is his greatest strength at the keyboard, plus Coke Zero & ice cream Brad Parks is back with another stand-alone domestic thriller with engaging characters, stunning twists, and chilling discoveries, this time focusing on Child Social Services, a drug bust and more.  CLOSER THAN YOU KNOW, the latest thriller from Brad Parks, is the perfect encapsulation of everything Parks does so well—shocking twists, compelling, true-to-life characters, and affecting emotional impact. So when the publishing house reached out to me with this one, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Plus, that cover! It’s so hauntingly typical. After a childhood spent bouncing between foster care homes, Melanie Barrick finally has the life she’s always wanted. But one day, Melanie goes to pick …

Wednesdays with Writers: Author-Editor Team Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen Pen First Psych Thriller Together, THE WIFE BETWEEN US, about exes, lies, perception, memory; plus friendship, movie deals and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay Spectacular, mind-bending, romantic thriller about all sides of a marriage, infidelity, betrayal, and more. When a copy of THE WIFE BETWEEN US (forthcoming, January 9 2018 from St. Martin’s Press) landed on my doorstep, I was immediately intrigued. It’s co-authored (Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen), which lends well to the ‘wife between us’ concept; that is, there’s always more than meets the eye when it comes to complex relationships like marriage. What calls to mind with THE WIFE BETWEEN US is a smart, edgy psychological thriller in the vein of THE LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE meets Gillian Flynn’s earlier work (SHARP OBJECTS), meets DEAR DAUGHTER (Elizabeth Little), a subtle twist in vein of HER (Harriet Lane) with a flavor of GIRL ON THE TRAIN (Paula Hawkins); but it’s probably not what you’re expecting. Vanessa’s seemingly perfect husband, Richard abruptly leaves her. She’s forced out of their four-bedroom Colonial and into her aunt’s apartment. She drinks. She worries after her aging aunt. She reluctantly takes a job as a sales associate at Saks. She …

WeekEND Reading: Kelly Simmons on her “dark & stormy” nights, why she hates the term ‘red herrings,’ the chasm between the supernatural and religious worlds in ONE MORE DAY & why she’s glad I didn’t ask about M&Ms

By Leslie Lindsay  ONE MORE DAY was so emotionally riveting, so devastating, and so well told that I couldn’t get enough. In fact, when I closed the book for the last time (after reading *everything* including the acknowledgements, discussion questions, and about the author), I still looked Kelly Simmons and her other books up on-line. That, to me, is the sign of good book.   The plot revolves around young Ben (2 years old) who goes missing from his car when his mother turns her back for just a brief moment to pay the parking meter. Sounds innocuous enough, right? But then we start getting glimpses that this mother just isn’t right, that there’s something ‘off.’ It was her flawed character (in fact, the *entire* book is brimming with flawed characters, from her mother, husband, friends, and more), and that’s very intriguing to me. Two-year old Ben is missing and no one knows where he is, and there weren’t very many witnesses. Plus, the mother’s alibi doesn’t exactly jive. It’s nearly a year later and …

Writers on Wednesday: Gilly Macmillan on the challenges of a sophomore novelist, finding inspiration from real-life, getting to the truth in fiction, never tiring of new ideas, and more in her domestic thriller THE PERFECT GIRL

By Leslie Lindsay  Last year, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gilly Macmillan burst onto the scene with her critically acclaimed and Edgar-nominated debut, WHAT SHE KNEW.  She returns this fall (William Morrow, September 6 2016), with THE PERFECT GIRL, her second hypnotic literary domestic psych thriller.  Set in Bristol, in the southwest corner of England, a beautiful young piano prodigy (Zoe) is living a privileged Second Chance Life with her blended family, consisting of her mother, step-father, step-brother (also a pianist) and new baby (half) sister, Grace. Lurking under the surface, however are some dark secrets Zoe Maisey and her mother are harboring. Though she has a genius IQ and can play the piano darn well, moments from the past continue to haunt both she and her mother, events so tragic the mother hasn’t even told her new husband–demanding Zoe to do the same. But the cat is out of the bag fairly early in the book when someone from Zoe’s past shows up at performance at a local church.Twenty-four hours later, …

Writers on Wednesday: Shari Lapena on ‘grip lit,’ letting characters tell the story…and being surprised, what’s on her nightstand, and the runaway success of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR

By Leslie Lindsay Wow. I just closed the cover of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR (August 23, Pamela Dorman Books/Viking) last night in one breathless sitting. This is the book to pull you through the late-summer doldrums or indulge in a little ‘me’ time as the frantic pace of fall is upon us. Because this book, like others in the ‘grip lit’ category will not let you go. The pacing is brilliant and relentless, a chilling psychological thriller of astounding shock and amazement.  And it’s a debut. I don’t want to give away too much—but here’s what you need to know: Anne and Marcos Conti have a new baby, a beautiful townhouse, and a growing software company with the right investors. One night, when the sitter cancels, instead of skipping the dinner party they’ve committed to—just next door—they decide to check on the sleeping baby every 30 minutes and bring the baby monitor. In the short time between their checks, Baby Cora is snatched. Taken. Without a trace. There’s a host of unreliable narrators. They all …

Write On, Wednesday: Carla Buckley talks about her forthcoming title, THE GOOD GOODBYE, juggling dinner plates, domestic fiction, and the search for the perfect bath towel

By Leslie Lindsay  “The first thing you should know is everyone lies. The second thing is that it matters.”  I love this line and it adequately summarizes the fourth novel from Carla Buckley, a spellbinding domestic thriller about an entwined family forced together in the eaves of an ICU in which both of their daughters, cousins-close-as-sisters lie in precarious prognoses. Today I am honored to have Ms. Buckley with us as we learn more about the dark secrets we all have buried within. Leslie Lindsay: Carla, I am so honored to have you join us today. I’m always interested in what ‘flipped the switch’ for you when you set out to write THE GOOD GOODBYE. What was your ‘ah-ha’ moment? Carla Buckley: Hi, Leslie. Thank you so much for having me; I’m delighted to be here today! My “ah-ha” moment for THE GOOD GOODBYE actually occurred several years ago, when I learned about a true event in two college girls’ lives. It made the national news at the time and the two families involved ended …