The Only One Left by Riley Sager
“At seventeen, Lenora Hope… Hung her sister with a rope”
Reduced to a schoolyard chant, the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast one bloody night in 1929. While most people assume seventeen-year-old Lenora was responsible, the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial after the killings, she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she set foot outside Hope’s End, the cliffside mansion where the massacre occurred.
It’s now 1983, and home-health aide Kit McDeere arrives at a decaying Hope’s End to care for Lenora after her previous nurse fled in the middle of the night. In her seventies and confined to a wheelchair, Lenora was rendered mute by a series of strokes and can only communicate with Kit by tapping out sentences on an old typewriter. One night, Lenora uses it to make a tantalizing offer—I want to tell you everything.
As Kit helps Lenora write about the events leading to the Hope family massacre, it becomes clear there’s more to the tale than people know. But when new details about her predecessor’s departure come to light, Kit starts to suspect Lenora might not be telling the complete truth—and that the seemingly harmless woman in her care could be far more dangerous than she first thought.
Zero Days by Ruth Ware
Hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems, Jack and her husband, Gabe, are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. To add to her horror, the police are closing in on their suspect—her.
Suddenly on the run and quickly running out of options, Jack must decide who she can trust as she circles closer to the real killer.
Holding Pattern by Jenny Xie
Kathleen Cheng has blown up her life. She’s gone through a humiliating breakup, dropped out of her graduate program, and left everything behind. Now she’s back in her childhood home in Oakland, wondering what’s next.
To her surprise, her mother isn’t the same person Kathleen remembers. No longer depressed or desperate to return to China, the new Marissa Cheng is sporty, perky, and has been transformed by love. Kathleen thought she’d be planning her own wedding, but instead finds herself helping her mother plan hers—to a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur.
Grasping for direction, Kathleen takes a job at a start-up that specializes in an unconventional form of therapy based on touch. While she negotiates new ideas about intimacy and connection, an unforeseen attachment to someone at work pushes her to rethink her relationships—especially the one with Marissa. Will they succeed in seeing each other anew, adult to adult?
I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore
A teacher visiting his dying brother in the Bronx. A mysterious journal from the nineteenth century stolen from a boarding house. A therapy clown and an assassin, both presumed dead, but perhaps not dead at all . . .
With her distinctive, irresistible wordplay and singular wry humor and wisdom, Lorrie Moore has given us a magic box of longing and surprise as she writes about love and rebirth and the pull towards life. Bold, meditative, theatrical, this new novel is an inventive, poetic portrait of lovers and siblings as it questions the stories we have been told which may or may not be true.
Lucky Red by Claudia Cravens
It’s the spring of 1877 and sixteen-year-old Bridget is already disillusioned when she arrives penniless in Dodge City with only her wits to keep her alive. Thanks to the allure of her bright red hair and country-girl beauty, she’s recruited to work at the Buffalo Queen, the only brothel in town run by women. Bridget takes to brothel life, appreciating the good food, good pay, and good friendships she forms with her fellow “sporting women.”
But as winter approaches, Bridget learns just how fleeting stability can be. With the arrival of out-of-towners—some ominous and downright menacing, others more alluring but potentially dangerous in their own ways, including a legendary female gunfighter who steals Bridget’s heart—tensions in Dodge City run high. When the Buffalo Queen’s peace and stability are threatened, Bridget must decide what she owes to the people she loves and what it looks like to claim her own destiny.
Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin
Vivvy Bouchet, daughter of a known psychic, was ten when she saved a boy’s life by making an impossible prediction. Now she’s an astrophysicist in Texas, devoted to science, but the boy she saved has become a cop who continues to believe she can see things no one else can. When he begs for help on the high-profile cold case of a kidnapped girl, Vivvy steps back into the ocean of voices that once nearly drowned her.
She is forced to team up with detective Jesse Sharp, a skeptic of anything but fact. When Vivvy becomes the target of a conspiracy theorist podcaster, she fights back with both her scientific mind and her inexplicable gifts, hoping to lure a kidnapper, find a child who haunts her, and lay some of her own ghosts to rest.
The Brightest Star by Gail Tsukiyama
At the dawn of a new century, America is falling in love with silent movies, including young Wong Liu Tsong. The daughter of Chinese immigrants who own a laundry, Wong Liu and her older sister Lew Ying (Lulu) are taunted and bullied for their Chinese heritage. But while Lulu diligently obeys her parents and learns to speak Chinese, Wong Liu sneaks away to the local nickelodeons, buying a ticket with her lunch money and tips saved from laundry deliveries. By eleven Wong Liu is determined to become an actress and has already chosen a stage name: Anna May Wong. At sixteen, Anna May leaves high school to pursue her Hollywood dreams, defying her disapproving father and her Chinese traditional upbringing—a choice that will hold emotional and physical consequences.
After a series of nothing parts, nineteen-year-old Anna May gets her big break—and her first taste of Hollywood fame—starring opposite Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad. Yet her beauty and talent isn’t enough to overcome the racism that relegates her to supporting roles as a helpless, exotic butterfly or a vicious, murderous dragon lady while Caucasian actresses in yellowface” are given starring roles portraying Asian women. Though she suffers professionally and personally, Anna May fights to win lead roles, accept risqué parts, financially support her family, and keep her illicit love affairs hidden—even as she finds freedom and glittering stardom abroad, and receives glowing reviews across the globe.
The Quiet Tenant by Clémence Michallon
Aidan Thomas is a hard-working family man and a somewhat beloved figure in the small upstate New York town where he lives. He’s the kind of man who always lends a hand and has a good word for everyone. But Aidan has a dark secret he’s been keeping from everyone in town and those closest to him. He’s a kidnapper and serial killer. Aidan has murdered eight women and there’s a ninth he has earmarked for death: Rachel, imprisoned in a backyard shed, fearing for her life.
When Aidan’s wife dies, he and his thirteen-year-old daughter Cecilia are forced to move. Aidan has no choice but to bring Rachel along, introducing her to Cecilia as a “family friend” who needs a place to stay. Aidan is betting on Rachel, after five years of captivity, being too brainwashed and fearful to attempt to escape. But Rachel is a fighter and survivor, and recognizes Cecilia might just be the lifeline she has waited for all these years. As Rachel tests the boundaries of her new living situation, she begins to form a tenuous connection with Cecilia. And when Emily, a local restaurant owner, develops a crush on the handsome widower, she finds herself drawn into Rachel and Cecilia’s orbit, coming dangerously close to discovering Aidan’s secret.
The Spare Room by Andrea Bartz
Kelly’s new life in Philadelphia has turned into a nightmare: She’s friendless and jobless, and the lockdown has her trapped in a tiny apartment with the man she gave up everything for, who’s just called off their wedding. The only bright spot is her newly rekindled friendship with her childhood friend Sabrina—now a glamorous bestselling author with a handsome, high-powered husband.
When they offer Kelly an escape hatch, volunteering the spare room of their remote Virginia mansion, she jumps at the chance to run away from her old life. There, she finds that she loves living with them . . . and, much to her surprise, that she’s falling for both her enchanting hosts. Even more shocking: They say they share Kelly’s feelings and want to open up their marriage for her.
At first, the arrangement is blissful. But as their relationship deepens, Kelly begins to notice the cracks. The stories about their romantic past keep changing, and the more details she uncovers, the more things don’t add up. It’s only a matter of time before Kelly discovers the terrifying truth: They’ve done all this before . . . and the last woman is missing.
Watch Us Dance by Leila Slimani
It’s the 1960s, and the air is electric. On the cusp of adulthood, two biracial siblings—their father is Moroccan, their mother French—search for their place in a newly independent Morocco brimming with both possibility and peril.
Aicha, strong-willed and strait-laced, aspires to become a doctor and spends most of her time studying. Her free-spirited younger brother, Selim, falls in with the American and European hippies descending en masse on Tangier and Casablanca and Essaouira to do drugs and practice free love. Children of the revolution, now dreaming of a radiant future and experiencing the ecstatic first flush of desire against the backdrop of a country intoxicated by its own sense of freedom, Aicha and Selim soon find the ideals of their youth colliding with the realities of racism and corruption, as Moroccans once united against their colonizer make a grab for wealth and influence, and the national spirit of communal celebration gives way to elites telling everyone else to “watch us dance.”
What the Dead Know: Learning About Life as a New York City Death Investigator by Barbara Butcher
Barbara Butcher was recovering from addiction problems and unhappy relationships when she landed a job at the Medical Examiner’s Office in New York City. The second woman ever hired for the role of Death Investigator in Manhattan, she was the first to last more than three months. The work was gritty and demanding, sometimes dangerous. And she loved it.
In a voice full of attitude—a real New Yorker some might say—Barbara writes about what it was like not to go a day on the job without seeing a victim of homicide or some other violent crime. She investigated double homicides, gruesome suicides, and most heartbreaking of all, underage rape victims who had also been murdered. Butcher describes working at the world’s largest morgue following 9/11, where she and her colleagues initially relied on family members’ descriptions to help distinguish among the 21,900 body parts of the victims.
Butcher spent ten years in the field during which time she examined more than 5,500 death scenes, 680 of which were homicides. Perfect for fans of Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell, as well as true crime fans, What the Dead Know tells the stunning real-life story of a woman who, in dealing with death every day, learned surprising lessons about life—and how some of those lessons saved her from becoming a statistic herself.