All posts tagged: psych suspense

What if you committed a heinous act as a teenager & it continued to haunt you? Emily Arsenault explores this & more in THE LAST THING I TOLD YOU

By Leslie Lindsay  Dark tale about a woman and her younger, troubled days, a murdered psychologist, and a small town cop. Plus, Emily chats about characters flirting with madness, staying disciplined as a mom-writer, and the books that stay with her. Dr. Mark Fabian is found murdered in his office. His patients are suspected: including former patient, Nadine Raines, and Johnny Streeter, now serving a life sentence for a mass shooting at a local retirement home. But Nadine and Johnny were patients over 20 years ago, in 1997…what could they possibly have to do with Dr. Fabian’s death? And why now? THE LAST THING I TOLD YOU (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2018) is an edgy small town whodunit with alternating POVs and time periods, mostly focused on Nadine and Henry, a police officer-newly-turned-detective. And of course, what happened to Dr. Fabian? At once a psychological thriller, THE LAST THING I TOLD YOU is also a slight deviation from Arsenault’s previous works as this one is also part police procedural. Emily Arsenault takes her readers into the dark folds of …

Michelle Frances on her debut–an International bestseller–THE GIRLFRIEND, multifaceted characters, possessive girlfriends, & more

By Leslie Lindsay  A slow-burn (and that’s a good thing!) literary domestic thriller with a very unlikable, conniving, master manipulator of a girlfriend. Plus, Michelle Frances talks about how her career writing TV scripts helped with the narrative, the mother-son dynamic, her summer plans, and what’s next for her. WOW. This girl. THE GIRLFRIEND is everything a mother of a son(s) would absolutely deplore. She’s from the ‘wrong side of the tracks,’ lies, lies, lies, and yet she’s sweet (at least to your face), gorgeous, and your son’s smitten. But something’s off. Does a mother intervene? That’s what THE GIRLFRIEND sets out to answer. At first Cherry is a bit endearing in her nervousness around ‘the parents,’ but how she quickly–and subtly–worms her way onto the dark side. This gal is sneaky, highly disturbed, and just fun to hate. I was absolutely blown away with audacity of this young woman and also it reminded me of how ‘love is blind.’ A bit on the plot: Daniel is in medical school. He was born into a wealthy family, but seems to be …

Special Pub Day Edition: Mary Kubica’s EVERY LAST LIE now in Paperback

By Leslie Lindsay  When Mary Kubica arrived on the scene in 2014 with her twisty, dark and obsessive THE GOOD GIRL, I was hooked. And I think it’s safe to say that many others are, too. She’s a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, making her summer books a quick read, and ones I look forward to every year. EVERY LAST LIE (June 27, 2017) takes a desperate and grieving young window to the edge. Clara Solberg is shattered when she learns her husband is suddenly killed in a car crash. She answers the door with her days-old infant son in her arms, wet spots on the front of her shirt. She hasn’t slept in days. Her 4-year old daughter, Maisie, also in the car at the time is unharmed. But Nick is dead. Maisie starts having nightmares and is talking in her sleep about ‘a bad guy.’ But the crash was deemed an accident; a one-car accident due to Nick’s speeding. Still, Maisie’s response has Clara concerned, and perhaps a little unhinged.  Could …

WeekEND Reading: Simon Lelic on his psych thriller, THE NEW NEIGHBORS

By Leslie Lindsay  What if the house you moved into has a story all its own? Simon Lelic talks about the ‘terrifying’ experience of house-hunting, how he wishes he kept more of his childhood books,writing advice & so much more… Dark, twisted U.K. thriller with undertones of paranormal and horror. I have such a soft-spot for tales of houses and so when THE NEW NEIGHBORS (Penguin Random House, April 10 2018) came across my desk, I knew I had to read it. Syd and Jack are a twenty-something couple seeking their first home together (they are not married) and when they come across the perfect London home, they make an offer. It’s low, but the owner wanted someone young. It almost seems too good to be true when their offer is accepted.  Once they move in, strange things start happening. For one, the previous owner left all of his furnishings, including taxidermy-ied animals. But the walls seem to permeate an odor and what’s with that stuff in the attic? Jack has been wary all along, but Syd is …

Wednesdays with Writers: Stunning Psychological Debut from Roz Nay OUR LITTLE SECRET

By Leslie Lindsay  Stunning Psychological Debut from Roz Nay about first loves, mother-daughter relationships, a disturbing twist and so much more in OUR LITTLE SECRET; oh and her TV obsessions, literary influences, those delicious almonds, and so much more. Stunning voice-driven psychological thriller explores first love and the dark recesses of a twenty-something’s mind.  High School. Oh, how we loathe to love. Or love to loath. It’s often a time complicated with first love, self-discovery, and parental angst. That’s where OUR LITTLE SECRET starts–with Angela Petitjean, a girl living with her high-achieving academic parents and feeling like she’s not really fitting in. Plus, her mother is a little overbearing and a little too enmeshed in her daughter’s life.  But back up a bit and the story actually begins in a starl interview room at a police station. The officer hounds Angela about a missing woman, whom she claims to have no knowledge of. What she ‘forgets’ to tell us is that missing woman is the wife of her first love, HP.  Angela promises the officer she will …

Wednesdays with Writers: What if you disappeared–intentionally–following a natural disaster? Could you deceive everyone and get away with it? That’s what Catherine McKenzie explores–and so much more–in her new domestic suspense, THE GOOD LIAR

By Leslie Lindsay  A Goodreads Hottest Thrillers of 2018 Selection When tragedy strikes in a Chicago building, three women’s lives are thrust together in a tale of secrets, lies, and grief, in THE GOOD LIAR (Lake Union Publishing, April 3 2018) A year ago, Cecily (Lily) Grayson became the poster child for a horrifying explosion the ripped a Chicago building apart on October 10th. The media is calling this Triple Ten because it occurred at ten in the morning. Cecily was supposed to have been in the building that fateful day, but she wasn’t; she was late for a meeting. Her husband, Tom, worked in that building, so did her best friend, Kaitlyn. They both died. Meanwhile, Franny Maycombe, a young woman in search of her birth mother, watched in horror as that building went up in flames. She was desperate to reconnect and now, it looks like she’ll never have that opportunity. Now, the anniversary of the explosion haunts the town. Documentaries are being made, memorials, and even a memory book, showcasing all 513 lives lost. …

Wednesdays with Writers: Debut author, A.J. Finn on his HOT bestselling psych thriller, WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, how he hates the ‘post-truth era,’ his favorite ear worm of 2018 (so far), lifting the stigma on mental health, plus those black & white films that inspired the book

By Leslie Lindsay  Intricate and suspenseful and utterly unputdownable, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is on-par with smart, psychological thrillers that will stay with you long after you close the book for the final time.  THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is the most widely acquired novel of all time. Prior to publication, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (William Morrow, January 2 2018) had been sold 38 territories around the world, and Fox 200, the makers of LIFE OF PI and HIDDEN FIGURES preempted the film rights, with Oscar winner Scott Rudin producing and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts writing the script. Stephen King loves it. So does Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware. Oh, and it’s a debut for A.J. But it doesn’t read like one. THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is smooth, rich, complex, and layered. 38 year old Anna Fox is a child psychologist by training but dealing with a severe case of agoraphobia herself.  Alcoholism plays a role, too and so does her faulty memory. Anna Fox has been a prisoner of her own …

Wednesdays with Writers: Janelle Brown on salty snacks and trashy magazines, writing everyday while her kids are at school; identity, the dark side of motherhood, how the ending of WATCH ME DISAPPEAR was changed three times, & so much more

By Leslie Lindsay  Tantalizing and twisty, this literary suspense is a clever meditation on what it means to be a family, to really know someone.  Billie (Sybilla) Flanagan, a beautiful, charismatic Berkeley mom goes on a solo hike in the Desolation Wilderness never to return. It’s been a year and…where is she? Picking up the pieces are her husband and 16 year-old daughter, Olive who are seeking a death certificate as she is now presumed dead (all that’s found of her is a lone hiking boot). Olive and Jonathan do the best they can, but they are shattered, confused, broken. Jonathan is a writer attempting a loving memoir about his wife and death, Olive attends a prestigious all-girls prep school. But then Olive starts having visions/hallucinations/waking dreams of her mother. Jonathan’s concerned about her emotional stability and schleps her to doctors trying to find the source of the problem. But secrets from Billie’s past surface, leading both Jonathan and Olive the person they once shared a life with.  Together–and somewhat reluctantly–Jonathan and Olive embark on a quest to discover …

Wednesdays with Writers: Is there a difference between justice and revenge? New York Times bestselling author of psych thrillers Lisa Unger talks about this, but also dreams, reality, starting the next project, renovating homes, and so much more in THE RED HUNTER

By Leslie Lindsay  One house. Two very different women. A history of abuse. THE RED HUNTER discusses the differences between justice and revenge in a way only Lisa Unger can do. I can always count on Lisa Unger’s books to propel me to the depths of the dark and twisted minds of…well, just about anyone. She has a knack for reaching into the tangled mess of one’s life and extracting the bits that make it dark and brittle. But be aware: if rape and violence are triggers for you, then select this book with caution. Therein lies the crux of THE RED HUNTER. It’s deep psychological suspense at it’s best. Lisa’s characters are well-drawn, multifaceted, flawed, and oh-so-relatable.  Claudia Bishop’s perfect life with hubby in NYC fell apart after she was brutally raped in her own home. She’s worked hard to rebuild that life, and is now looking for a fresh start at an old farmhouse in New Jersey, one that’s been in her family for some time. Zoey Drake—young and hip–but carrying around a …

Wednesdays with Writers: Can Someone Really Reinvent Oneself? Kate Moretti talks about that; her latest obsession with serial killers, secret passages, being a ‘mix’ of plotter vs. pantser, her newest novel THE VANISHING YEAR & so much more

By Leslie Lindsay  THE VANISHING YEAR (Atria Books, September 2016) is a stunning domestic psych suspense by Kate Moretti, one that delivers a modern, urgent, cutting-edge slightly different than her contemporaries. How is it different? Well, for one it’s a bit rags-to-riches where other, comparative titles are not. Zoe Whitaker is living a charmed life in NYC. She has a ‘golden boy’ wealthy husband, a marble penthouse, all the fancy clothing and jewels a girl could want…but she’s not superficial; her character comes across as very personable, yet flawed–you know the girl has secrets, but what are they? No one knows, but five years ago Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her. As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she—whoever she is—vanishes completely. The beginning pages read beautifully, I was enthralled with the world Zoe resides, her ‘secret,’ and the words Moretti strings together. Join me as I sit down with New York Times …