Thursday, May 26, 2016

Just Jennifer

Summer Reads coming in June:

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
Ten years ago, shortly after the disappearance of her best friend Corinne, Nicolette left her home town in Colley Ridge, North Carolina and made a new life for herself in Philadelphia.  Nic is now returning home to care for her father and just after she arrives in Cooley Ridge, another young woman, Annaleise, disappears, thrusting Corinne’s case back into the spotlight.  In an unusual, but very effective narrative, the story is told backwards from Day 15 to the day Annaleise disappears as Nic tries to figure out what happened to Annaleise and how it connects to Corrine’s disappearance and what Nic’s future will look like once she learns the truth.  Trust no one and nothing while reading this novel, not even what you think to know to by true.  Secrets are slowly revealed, some surprising, others not---as the truths hidden in Cooley Ridge for ten years slowly start to emerge.

Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry  
Nora is anxious to spend the weekend with her sister Rachel in the countryside outside of London but her world is torn apart when she arrives and finds Rachel murdered.  Soon Nora is suspecting everyone in her sister’s murder, not realizing that she is also a primary suspect.  As she begins to look for Rachel’s killer, secrets about Rachel, and about Nora, secrets about their relationship that the sisters kept hidden from each other and from the world begin to emerge, setting up a much different  story, though with the same, sad ending.  Shocked and afraid, Nora finds she cannot trust anyone, even the police, and sets out to find Rachel's killer herself.  Shutting herself off from her everyday life, Nora looks to the past, to a time when Rachel was assaulted, for answers, not knowing that the answers lie closer than she could have imagined.  Deceptively simple prose slowly builds tension as a true portrait of the sisters' relationship full of secrets and lies emerges slowly revealing a story from which you cannot look away.

They May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen Schine
Joy and Aaron Bergman have had a long life together and have built a family with their children Molly and Daniel.  Together they have witnessed their children’s journey to adulthood, the birth of a grandson and two granddaughters, the dissolution of their daughter’s marriage and her remarriage to a woman and her relocation from her home in Manhattan to Los Angeles.  Now faced with Aaron’s illness and eventual death, the Berman’s come together to grieve as a family, Molly and Daniel trying to help their mother get through her grief, forgetting that Joy’s grief is that of a widow’s, different from the grief they feel as children, and that sometimes that grief needs to be left alone so Joy can maintain her independence and make her own decisions on how she wants to live the rest of her life.

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
After a devastating fire takes away Pip and Grace’s home and father, their mother Clare finds a flat for them bordering on a communal garden in London, a place where her pre-teen daughters can be safe and heal; until Pip finds Grace unconscious in the garden after a neighborhood party.  Clare begins to search for who did this to her young daughter as she and her family wait for Grace to wake up hoping she can solve the mystery of what happened, leaving Clare to wonder if this place to which she has brought her children is as idyllic as she and her neighbors thought it to be.

We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley
Catherine West appears to have it all: a trust fund, a beautifully furnished and decorated West Village apartment and a card shop she treats like a hobby; the one thing that eludes Catherine is true love and a family of her own until William Stockton appears before her, sweeping her off of her feet.  As the two get closer, things don’t add up for Catherine and William is sometimes elusive; how much is Catherine willing to ignore in order to have her dream or learn the truth about William and risk giving it up?
Catherine and her charmed life may appear shallow to some: a personal trainer, weekly massages in her house, new 1,000 thread count pillowcases when she is feeling down, but others will recognize that deep inside Catherine is searching for something and as afraid of finding as she is of never having it.  She is certain her mother, suffering from early stages of dementia, can give her the answers she needs, if not wants, but at what cost?  Catherine’s sometimes desperation and helplessness is as palpable as her generous spirit and the feeling of disbelief she gets as her world starts to unravel.  Catherine is a compelling character first in her privilege and then as she slowly puts back together all that has come undone.

Collecting the Dead by Spencer Kope
The FBI has a new secret weapon in tracking down people: Magnus “Steps” Craig, aka “The Human Bloodhound”.  Steps has stopped over a dozen serial killers and found many missing people in his five years with the bureau.  Now he is tracking one of the most complex killers yet---one who changes the rule mid-stream.  While Steps tracks the latest killer using his special ability to see people’s “shine” he gets the feeling he is being taunted by an unsolved case from his past, a killer who continues to haunt Steps.  This first novel is astonishing in details and depth of all the characters, especially Steps---a character readers will be anxious for more of---and soon.  

If I Forget You by Thomas Christopher Greene
Henry thought he had tucked his love away twenty-one years ago and she for him.  A chance meeting on a Manhattan street reignites the pair’s love for each other stirring the feelings of “what might have been” as the story of how they came together and were pulled apart and what their futures might be is revealed in this tightly written meditation on love, loss and hope.

The Second Girl by David Swinson  
Frankie Marr is a former Washington, DC cop, now a PI with a drug habit, but also an uncanny knack for knowing just how far he can push people to get what he wants and needs.  After rescuing a teenage girl from a drug gang, he learns there is another missing girl who needs to be found and he knows that using orthodox police methods to find her may take too long or get her killed but with his connections and willingness to do what needs to be done Frank thinks he can save her if he isn’t’ shut down by the police.  Frank is a thoroughly damaged but complex character and the streets of Washington DC are a perfect back drop as the pomp of the nation’s capital stands in opposition to the grittier parts of the city.  Strong writing, fast-paced plotting and a character, flawed though he may be, that readers will be taken with add to a well-written thriller. 

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