Book Review: The Quiet Tenant by Clémence Michallon

Dark, disturbing, and utterly addictive.

CLÉMENCE MICHALLON was born and raised near Paris. She studied journalism at City University of London, received a master’s in Journalism from Columbia University, and has written for The Independent since 2018. Her essays and features have covered true-crime, celebrity culture, and literature. She moved to New York City in 2014 and recently became a US citizen. She now divides her time between New York City and Rhinebeck, NY.

This novel kept me up until the early hours of the morning. I couldn’t put it down, determined to find out the end and desperate for justice. I can safely say, this is one of my favorite thrillers of the year.

I loved the psychological element to this serial killer story, and thought it enhanced the depth of each character, focusing on the victims instead of the antagonist. This is one of the most fascinating tropes in suspense fiction, and a topic I always find interesting when reading survivor’s accounts in nonfiction too. The author succeeded in writing a very authentic story, and the use of second person POV for Rachel, the woman held captive, created a sense of dissociation further emphasizing a sense of isolation and paranoia. The chapters were short and easy to read, alternating at a rate that created enough tension to keep me turning the pages. After the midpoint I couldn’t put it down.

Alternating between the perspectives of his latest captive, Rachel, his 13-year old daughter, Cecilia, a young woman in town, Emily, and interspersed with his unnamed victims (one through nine), it provided an in depth look at his character from multiple angles, creating a disturbing visual on the types of predators who hide in plain sight. The chapters were short and tense, making this an easy and enjoyable read. I also loved the immersive setting of the Hudson Valley, somewhere I spent a lot of time when I lived on the east coast. The scene in the basement still haunts me when Rachel finds various taped up boxes, and pulls out the sweater she was wearing the day he abducted her. The thought that that could be the last piece of her to ever exist gives me goosebumps all over.

5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

For readers who enjoy psychological suspense, compelling female characters, and multiple POVs.


Aidan Thomas is a hard-working family man and a somewhat beloved figure in the small upstate 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.

Book Review: The New One by Evie Green

Eerie, suspenseful, and addictive.

CLICK HERE to read a short excerpt!

Evie Green is a pseudonym for a British author who has written professionally for her entire adult life. She lives by the sea in England with her husband, children, and guinea pigs, and loves writing in the very early morning, fueled by coffee.

This book hooked me from the first chapter. I felt awful for Tamsyn and Ed as their 14-year-old daughter, Scarlet, upended their lives after she ran away from home one night and was involved in a tragic accident. The time spent in the hospital recovering, and the uncertainty of whether their insurance would cover her treatment created realistic tension, pulling me further into the story. When they were presented with the option of an experimental medical trial in Switzerland it definitely felt too good to be true. Tamsyn’s suspicions and Ed’s blind optimism felt authentic when presented with the trial, and since they had a lack of options, it felt like the logical next step. The new technology mentioned in the book was interesting to learn about and I enjoyed the creative spin on the genre making it feel like The Stepford Wives meets M3gan. I didn’t care for Scarlet’s character in the beginning, especially her contempt for her parents and their humble life in Cornwall. The character I felt the worst for was Tamsyn, dealing with the accident and the shock of her new living situation, while also feeling estranged from her family.

I blew through the chapters as the plot unfolded and when the first big twist was revealed at the midpoint I was shocked. It was interesting to read about the AI and reanimation technologies, especially when introduced to supporting characters in the story. I found the whole concept disturbing but couldn’t put the book down. The writing was vivid and immersive, pulling me into each scene. I enjoyed the change in perspective, learning what each character remembered around the night of the accident and what secrets they were keeping from each other. The perspectives of the reanimations—including their telepathic communication—was an interesting layer to the story. The characters were believable and the dialogue easy to follow. As much as I enjoyed this book overall, I would have loved one final twist in the last chapter.


For readers who enjoy suspense books with a sci-fi element, interesting characters, and big twists.

Published March 28th, 2023


For Tamsyn and Ed, life is tough. They both work long hours for very little money and come home to their moody, rebellious daughter, Scarlett.
After a tragic accident leaves Scarlett comatose and with little chance of recovery, Tamsyn and Ed are out of options until a lifeline emerges in the form of an unusual medical trial. In exchange for the very best treatment for Scarlett, a fully furnished apartment, and a limitless spending account, the family must agree to move to Switzerland and welcome an artificial copy of their daughter into their home.
Suddenly their life is transformed. Tamsyn and Ed want for nothing, and the AI replacement, Sophie, makes it feel just like having their daughter back—except without all the bad parts. Sophie is engaged, happy, and actually wants to spend time with her parents.
But things take a turn for the worse when Scarlett makes a very real recovery and the family discovers that the forces behind their new life are darker than they ever could have imagined.

Book Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

An addictive thriller with dark twists!

Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine. Lynne and Valerie are national and international bestselling authors with over one million copies sold worldwide. Their books have been translated into 28 languages, are available in 33 countries, and are in development for both television and film. Their novels have been praised by USA Today, The Sunday Times, People Magazine, and Good Morning America, among many others. Their debut novel, THE LAST MRS. PARRISH, is a Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection.

When an ex con sets her sights on a successful real estate mogul and his beautiful wife she gets more than she bargained for. I love a good suspense/psychological thriller and had heard positive reviews of this book so my hopes were high going in. It did not disappoint! It felt like The Wife Between Us meets Sleeping with the Enemy.

The first half of the book intrigued me, told from Amber’s perspective, as she quickly befriends Daphne Parrish—wife of Jackson Parrish—in an attempt to snake her way into their lives and tear them apart for her own benefit (and twisted amusement). One of my favorite suspense tools in the thriller genre is structure, especially dual character and/or timeline. This book uses dual characters to shift the narrative perspective and it really pulls the rug out by the time you reach the midpoint. Amber is meticulous, cunning, and calculative when she befriends Daphne and eventually seduces Jackson, slipping into the role she’s always felt entitled to. The language was vivid and immersive, transporting me into the lives of the super rich as Amber becomes more entwined. Daphne’s perspective shift was so different and shocking, I ended up binging the second half of the book in a few hours.

In terms of the characters, I couldn’t stand Amber or Daphne in the first half. The author(s) did an amazing job at creating a false first impression of Daphne Parrish, and I even felt sorry for Jackson at one point. By the second half my opinion shifted dramatically, and I found myself rooting for Daphne, hoping she’d eventually be free and reunited with her mother. The dialogue flowed and I loved learning about the characters’ backgrounds. My favorite scene was in the second to last chapter when Daphne finally visits Jackson at his office in Midtown and drops off a little gift for him as a final act of defiance.

The only thing I would have liked, and it’s completely personal, is a final twist on the last page or last line—even though I found everything technically satisfying—it’s always that bit darker when a final reveal leaves you hanging at the end. In saying that, every loose end was tied up and character arc complete, and I thoroughly enjoyed every page.


For readers who enjoy domestic suspense, compelling female characters, and dark twists.

Published October 17th, 2017


Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted.

To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne—a socialite and philanthropist—and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces. 

Book Review: A Flaw in the Design by Nathan Oates

Terrifying, twisted, and full of suspense.

Nathan Oates is the author of the novel, A Flaw in the Design, and the short story collection, The Empty House. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including The Missouri Review, The Antioch Review, and the Alaska Quarterly Review. His stories have been anthologized in The Best American Mystery Stories (2008 and 2012) and Forty Stories (Harper Perennial). He teaches creative writing at Seton Hall University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

I can’t believe this is a debut novel. This story tapped into one of my deepest fears and hooked me from beginning to end. Very rarely does a book compel me to keep reading past midnight. It checked all the boxes and I flew through it, savoring every scene. The characters were compelling, and the dialogue was so well-written it was enviable. It was expertly paced, and completely immersive, making it a satisfying read from beginning to end.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit I enjoy reading about psychology in my spare timemore specifically, abnormal psychology. While reading this book I was impressed at how Oates expertly applied psychopathic personality traits to Matthew, the nephew of Gil, the story’s protagonist, portraying his erratic childhood behavior, callousness, and glib demeanor as an adolescent. The psychological effects he had on everyone around him as they fell for his charm, but in particular the emotional discord it caused Gil felt very authentic. Gil’s paranoia became more evident as he began following Matthew around, convinced he was responsible for the tragic deaths of his sister and brother in law (Matthew’s parents). It was very chilling to learn of their family history, and Matthew’s unstable childhood, especially when applying it to the present timeline in which he mostly portrays a cool exterior, occasionally revealing his true nature when his ‘mask’ slipsas observed by Gil on a couple of occasions.

I’m a sucker for these types of books and thoroughly enjoy stories set between New York City and sleepy suburbs in the northeast. I was immediately immersed in both worlds, curious by the stark comparison between the lavish lifestyle Matthew and his parents led in New York City, and Gil’s humble (and somewhat estranged) existence living and teaching as a professor in Vermont. The threat of Matthew’s character was constant, creating an impending doom as I tried to figure out his next moves and motives before it was too late. The last three chapters had me on edge and when I finally thought all hope was lost, that last page left me feeling optimistic that Gil might finally see justice done. Even if it would have to be in my own imaginings.


For readers who enjoy literary thrillers, suspense, compelling characters, and dark psychological themes.

Published March 21st, 2023


The cleverest psychopaths hide in plain sight.

Gil is living a quiet life as a creative writing professor in a bucolic Vermont town, when he receives some shocking news: His sister and her husband have been killed in a car accident, and their only son is coming to live with him and his family.
Gil and his wife are apprehensive about taking in seventeen-year-old Matthew. Yes, he has just lost both his parents, but they haven’t seen him in seven years—and the last time the families were together, Matthew lured their young daughter into a terrifying, life-threatening situation. Since that incident, Gil has been estranged from his sister and her flashy, wealthy banker husband. 

Now Matthew is their charge, living under their roof.
The boy seems charming, smart, and urbane, if strangely unaffected by his parents’ deaths. Gil hopes they can put the past behind them, though he’s surprised when Matthew signs up for his creative writing class. Then Matthew begins turning in chilling stories about the imagined deaths of Gil’s family and his own parents. Bewildered and panicked, Gil ultimately decides he must take matters into his own hands—before life imitates art.

Book Review: You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz

A slow-burning, psychologically twisted ride.

Jean Hanff Korelitz was born and raised in New York City and educated at Dartmouth College and Clare College, Cambridge. She is the author of the novels: The Latecomer, The Plot, You Should Have Known, Admission, The Devil and Webster, The White Rose, The Sabbathday River, and A Jury of Her Peers, as well as a middle-grade reader, Interference Powder, and a collection of poetry, The Properties of Breath. With her husband, Irish poet Paul Muldoon, she adapted James Joyce’s “The Dead” as an immersive theatrical event, THE DEAD, 1904. The play was produced by Dot Dot Productions, LLC, for the Irish Repertory Theatre and performed at New York’s American Irish Historical Society for seven-week runs in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Korelitz is the founder of BOOKTHEWRITER, a New York City based service that offers “Pop-Up Book Groups” where readers can discuss books with their authors. Events are now being held simultaneously in person in New York City (with participants vaccinated and masked) and online over Zoom. She and Paul Muldoon are the parents of two children and live in New York City.

I buddy-read this book after watching the series, The Undoing, on HBO because I’m always curious how closely shows follow the books they’re adapted from. The show definitely tightened up the scenes and propelled the action forward. It was also interesting to see Jonathan’s character on screen portrayed by the ever-charming Hugh Grant, instead of reading about him from other people’s perspectives and Grace’s memories.

I enjoyed the written style of the book and there was something eerily addictive about the uncertainties of Jonathan’s character that definitely created conflict for me, dithering between his guilt or innocence in connection to such a brutal crime-in spite of the fact that all evidence pointed at him. The idea that a respectable member of the community could have something to do with a heinous crime is always puzzling to those around them. But isn’t that always the case in real life? As Sylvia Steineitz says to Grace in the series, “It’s always the husband.” And I think the complexities of relationships, family, and the disruption of everyday life are something the author expertly highlights in this novel. Those themes kept me turning the pages, curious as to how these types of people so easily slip under the radar, how monsters are made, and how we can try to better spot them among usessentially (I imagine) what Grace’s self-help book, You Should Have Known, is supposed to shed light on.

The frustrating inner musings of Grace, who is in utter denial of her husband’s wrongdoings, concerned me for two reasons. Firstly, she is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in couples therapy, and second, she is on the brink of publishing a book titled, You Should Have Known, detailing all the ways in which women ignore the red flags in their relationships and ultimately fall under the spells of their dysfunctional counterparts. At first, the idea that Grace was blindly unaware of the troubles in her own marriage made me question her character’s authenticity. As my buddy reader said, “what kind of New Yorker doesn’t have a healthy dose of paranoia and suspicion about absolutely everything?” and I agree, also having lived in the city. But after giving it some thought, I couldn’t help but think of the private complexities in relationships like Grace and Jonathan’s, or of any marriage, for that matter. The idea that the people we choose to spend our lives with are not always who we think they are, or who they portray themselves to be is thought-provoking. Further to that, it creates an even more terrifying portrayal of just how slippery sociopaths and psychopaths are, especially when a trained professional such as Grace can’t spot one right in front of her. Often described as charming, friendly, do-gooder types; pillars of the community, presidents of their church, or bright young men embodying above-average intelligence. It seems they’re everywhere in modern society today.

With the exception of Grace’s childhood friend, Vita, and lakehouse neighbor, Leo, I didn’t find any of the characters particularly likable, including Grace. But I also think that was the point. However, I did come to understand her more as the novel progressed and she reconnected with the people from her past whom Jonathan had successfully isolated her from. That revealed a side of her character I initially didn’t see. The women she chose to surround herself with in the city were vile, and the relationships she nurtured were few and far between. My favorite part of the novel began when she left the city and moved to her family’s lakehouse in Connecticut, where she and Henry finally began to piece their lives back together. It seemed as though things would work out for them, and there was even an allusion to future romance for Grace in spite of everything she’d been through. I loved learning that in spite of everything, Grace’s publisher was not ready to drop the book deal, and interestingly, wanted to push back its publication and rewrite the forward, using the crime as fuel to drive sales which provided a glimpse of hope for Grace’s future.

Even though the pace was slow and the cast of characters was morally ambiguous, I can’t stop thinking about this novel. I recommend reading it even if you have watched the HBO series because there’s so much more to the characters than the on-screen version could possibly depict. I’m intrigued to read her other books, especially The Plot, which is being adapted into a limited series by Hulu.


For readers who enjoy slow-burning, psychological suspense, and twisted families with dark secrets.

Published February 25th, 2014


Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. Devoted to her husband, a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital, their young son Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice, her days are full of familiar things: she lives in the very New York apartment in which she was raised, and sends Henry to the school she herself once attended.

Dismayed by the ways in which women delude themselves, Grace is also the author of a book You Should Have Known, in which she cautions women to really hear what men are trying to tell them. But weeks before the book is published a chasm opens in her own life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only an ongoing chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself.

Book Review: Mothered by Zoje Stage

Intense, dark, and claustrophobic!

Zoje Stage is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of BABY TEETH, WONDERLAND, GETAWAY, and MOTHERED. A former filmmaker with a penchant for the dark and suspenseful, she lives in Pittsburgh. Zoje Stage’s debut novel, BABY TEETH was a USA Today and international bestseller. It was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and named one of the best books of the year by Forbes MagazineLibrary JournalPopSugar, Barnes & Noble, Bloody Disgusting, and BookBub. Her follow-up novel, WONDERLAND, was described in a starred review from Booklist as a “beautifully choreographed and astonishing second novel.” And with her third book, GETAWAY, the New York Times declared her “a writer with a gift for the lyrical and the frightening.”

Grace agrees to let her newly-widowed mother stay with her as Covid cripples the world, but past wounds come back to haunt her nightmares, raising questions about the past and causing tensions to rise.

The prologue blew me away. As the story developed, the line between Grace’s dream state and her childhood memories blurred, and it was unclear what was actually going on. I found those scenes the most disturbing, and could relate to having nightmares early on in the pandemic, which made the book all the more dark for me. Grace’s relationship with Jackie, her mother, was very uncomfortable and I often found myself jumping back and forth between feeling sorry for them while also suspecting each of them of the younger sibling’s murder. The flashbacks of psychological abuse and emotional neglect Grace endured at the hands of her mother were awful however, the fact that Grace was so unreliable threw her recollection of the past into question, right up to the last chapter. The pace of the story was steady, the suspense slower than I usually read, but the characters were fleshed out and flawed making it interesting to delve into. I particularly enjoyed the friendship between Grace and her friend, Miguel. The action in the prologue kept me turning the pages until the end, determined to find out how it all played out.

There are a few scenes that stick out to me but one of the worst was of Grace’s dream/flashback (I still don’t know) in which she returns home with her sister, Hope, after being injured playing on the street with the neighborhood kids. Jackie comes out to greet them, sees Grace bleeding, and completely ignores her needs focusing on Hope instead. After which she leads Hope inside, closing the door on Grace in her time of need. This is one of the more subtle examples of abuse that really got under my skin and I felt terrible for the main character.


I recommend to readers who enjoy slow-burning suspense, family secrets, and dark psychological vibes.

Published March 1st, 2023.


Grace isn’t exactly thrilled when her newly widowed mother, Jackie, asks to move in with her. They’ve never had a great relationship, and Grace likes her space—especially now that she’s stuck at home during a pandemic. Then again, she needs help with the mortgage after losing her job. And maybe it’ll be a chance for them to bond—or at least give each other a hand.

But living with Mother isn’t for everyone. Good intentions turn bad soon after Jackie moves in. Old wounds fester; new ones open. Grace starts having nightmares about her disabled twin sister, who died when they were kids. And Jackie discovers that Grace secretly catfishes people online—a hobby Jackie thinks is unforgivable.

When Jackie makes an earth-shattering accusation against her, Grace sees it as an act of revenge, and it sends her spiraling into a sleep-deprived madness. As the walls close in, the ghosts of Grace’s past collide with a new but familiar threat: Mom.

Book Review: All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham

Slow-burning suspense with dark twists!

Stacy Willingham is the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of A Flicker in the Dark and All The Dangerous Things. She earned her BA in magazine journalism from the University of Georgia and her MFA in writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Before turning to fiction, she was a copywriter and brand strategist for various marketing agencies. Her books are being translated into over 30 languages. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, Britt, and Labradoodle, Mako, where she is always working on her next book.

Told in a dual narrative, when we first meet Isabelle Drake, she’s a mother on the edge of sanity. It’s been one full year of insomnia since her son, Mason, was taken from his bed in the middle of the night, and police have no leads. But Isabelle’s childhood is shaded by a similar tragic event—the ‘accidental’ death of her little sister—and no matter how hard she tries, she can’t shake her past or the secret her parents’ made her promise to keep. The past timeline adds a nice layer of complex detail to her character adding the possibility of mental illness as a hereditary condition.

This book tapped into one of my worst fears, hooking me on page one and slowly leading tying up every single loose end. I felt like there were so many layers to this story, and as each piece unraveled, I was pulled deeper into the mysterious world of motherhood and mental health—two topics that fascinate me. I enjoyed the author’s ability to immerse the reader into the dark southern vibes and eerie setting of Savannah, Georgia. The memory flashbacks were vivid and dreamlike, leading me to believe that Isabelle might be capable of something very dark, making the twist at the end even more satisfying. Her characters were fleshed out and real—all messy and conflicted—and I had no issues distinguishing between them. This novel is definitely slower-paced than I’m used to, but there was enough tension to keep me turning pages. However, there were so many details to unravel, that if the pace had been faster the story probably would have been harder to follow. The only thing that didn’t work for me was a scene in the final act in which the protagonist commits a heinous crime. I found it to be completely out of character for her and her true nature which was a little disappointing.


I recommend to readers who enjoy domestic thrillers with unreliable narrators, and slow-burning suspense.



One year ago, Isabelle Drake’s life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her―literally.

Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year.

Isabelle’s entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster―but his interest in Isabelle’s past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guessing who she can trust… including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth, no matter where it leads.

Book Review: The Things We Do to Our Friends by Heather Darwent

Dark and clever, this book will leave you feeling creeped out…👀

Heather Darwent is an author based just outside of Edinburgh near the sea. Her debut novel, The Things We Do to Our Friends, will be published by Penguin in January 2023.

Since I was born and grew up in Edinburgh, this story personally appealed to me. The author’s descriptions were accurate and immersive. I loved reading about the places I frequent often when I’m home and thought it was clever how the setting was used to create an eerie suspense throughout. The Things We Do to Our Friends follows Clare who, after moving to Edinburgh for school (and to reinvent herself), juggles student life, a part-time job, a boyfriend, and most importantly, finding a new group of friends. An unusual bunch from the University befriends her, quickly inviting her into their inner circle where they enjoy lavish dinner parties and trips to the French countryside. She wants nothing more than to be accepted, to finally belong. But at what cost? When Tabitha, the leader of the group, invites Clare to be part of a secret business venture called, ‘Perfect Pieces’—a honeytrap service for cheating spouses—she accepts, no questions asked. But things quickly take a sinister turn, and Clare is left with no choice but to distance herself from the group.

The cast of supporting characters is unique, and I enjoyed trying to figure out who the real enemy was. It was obvious to me that Clare had an inner strength that was unshakable, I just didn’t expect it to be so dark. I found the scenarios in which the girls found themselves very tense, especially one particular scene set in a remote house in the highlands. A risk they took and one Clare unknowingly agreed to take part in. Afterward, the confrontation between the girls left me shocked and ultimately left the book on a very dark note—something I loved. This book is definitely more of a slow burn but I enjoyed it and was gripped throughout.


For readers who love revenge, dark academia, and slow-burning suspense.

Published January 10th, 2023


Edinburgh, Scotland: a moody city of labyrinthine alleyways, oppressive fog, and buried history; the ultimate destination for someone with something to hide. Perfect for Clare, then, who arrives utterly alone and yearning to reinvent herself. And what better place to conceal the secrets of her past than at the university in the heart of the fabled, cobblestoned Old Town?

When Clare meets Tabitha, a charismatic, beautiful, and intimidatingly rich girl from her art history class, she knows she’s destined to become friends with her and her exclusive circle: raffish Samuel, shrewd Ava, and pragmatic Imogen. Clare is immediately drawn into their libertine world of sophisticated dinner parties and summers in France. The new life she always envisioned for herself has seemingly begun.

Then Tabitha reveals a little project she’s been working on, one that she needs Clare’s help with. Even though it goes against everything Clare has tried to repent for. Even though their intimacy begins to darken into codependence. But as Clare starts to realize just what her friends are capable of, it’s already too late. Because they’ve taken the plunge. They’re so close to attaining everything they want. And there’s no going back.

Reimagining the classic themes of obsession and ambition with an original and sinister edge, The Things We Do to Our Friends is a seductive thriller about the toxic battle between those who have and those who covet—between the desire to truly belong and the danger of being truly known.

Book Review: One of Those Faces by Elle Grawl

Vivid, suspenseful, with surprising twists!

Elle Grawl is a lawyer by day and writer by night. After obtaining her B.A. in English Literature, she took a detour into law before returning to her love of writing. Her lifelong interest in true crime and experiences as an attorney have provided her with plenty of writing material. Elle enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and their two dogs. 

Her debut psychological thriller, ONE OF THOSE FACES, is coming December 1st, 2022 with Thomas & Mercer.

An insomniac artist discovers a shocking truth about a recent spate of murders in her city: the victims all look just like her.

I love psychological thrillers and this one definitely kept me guessing right up until the very end. Harper, a fragile survivor, and the book’s protagonist tries to uncover the killer behind a series of gruesome murders after one of the victims is found in the alleyway across the street from her apartment. The worst part is, they all look like her. Grawl did an awesome job at keeping the stakes and tension high throughout. There were so many scenes that forced me to keep turning the pages and reading into the late hours of the night. All I wanted was for Harper to succeed. But after a brutal upbringing, it was clear her unhealthy patterns were carried from childhood into her present relationships. There was so much going on in this book between each character and yet, it was easy to keep up with every single twist and turn Grawl introduced. The world she built was immersive, her characters realistic. The pace was quick and the subject matter dark, perfect for a fall read.

One of the most disturbing scenes for me saw Harper enter Jenny’s apartment only to be caught by a man who mistook her for Jenny. He proceeded to kiss her inside the closet, pinning her against the wall. The only option she had to escape was to play along until she could figure out a way to leave without alerting him of her true identity.

I would have liked more clarity around some of the deaths in the book. More specifically, Jenny’s, and if Harper had anything to do with it. That always had me on edge given her history and problematic memory.


For readers who enjoy unreliable narrators, psychological suspense, and compelling female characters.

Published December 1st, 2022


Years after escaping her abusive childhood, Harper Mallen has only ever known sleepless nights—or terrifying nightmares. She’s struggling to survive as an artist in a trendy Chicago neighborhood, getting by on freelance gigs, when she’s suddenly confronted with the worst fears from her past.

A young woman is killed outside Harper’s apartment—a woman who chillingly resembles her. As Harper searches for information about the victim, she discovers unsettling links to two other murders. Upon discovering another doppelgänger, Harper realizes her life is not the only one hanging in the balance.

As her obsession and paranoia deepen, everyone is a suspect: the handsome stranger in the café, customers at the painting studio, and even the ghosts from her past. The closer she comes to unraveling the truth behind the murders, the more Harper realizes there is no one she can trust—not even herself.

Book Review: Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari

Dark academia at its best, with a truly disturbing ending.

Katie Lattari is the author of two novels, DARK THINGS I ADORE (September 2021), her thriller debut, and AMERICAN VAUDEVILLE (2016), a small press work. Her short stories have appeared in such places as NOO Journal, The Bend, Cabildo Quarterly, and more. She lives in Maine with her husband Kevin.

A clever revenge tale with a twist you won't see coming!

I waited to read this book in the fall for the full effect and it didn’t disappoint. With a hot drink and a warm blanket, I settled in to read this dark psychological thriller. Dark Things I adore is split between two timelines, thirty years apart, three narratives (Audra, Max, and Juniper), while also using an art thesis as a structural device (something I’ve never seen before). The story follows Audra, a naturally gifted art student who extends an invitation to Max, her highly respected art professor, to view her thesis work at her private home in Maine. Max is quick to say yes, having somewhat of an obsessive attraction to her, and the two embark on a flirtatious journey to a remote location where Audra has prepared the perfect trap.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was definitely rooting for Audra, the protagonist, drawn to her fiery, vengeful personality. For having a large cast of supporting characters, the author made it easy and interesting to follow along, creating a rich history that was deeply satisfying when all the details fell into place. It was a slow burn with a deeply immersive world, one that was essential in order to fully understand the motives behind Audra’s actions. The scenes between her and Max were particularly tense, and I was gripped from beginning to end as the reasoning behind her plans was revealed, proving to be of a much darker and more personal nature.

The scene that sticks with me is the climax between Audra and Max. After realizing what her thesis work represented, and how it tied into the past timeline, it was especially disturbing to picture as everything unfolded. I was definitely gripped throughout, and even though the book is on the longer side, it was necessary in order to understand the full impact of each timeline and carefully reveal how the characters related to each other.


For readers who love revenge, dark academia, and slow-burning suspense.

Published SEPTember 14th, 2021


Three campfire secrets. Two witnesses. One dead in the trees. And the woman, thirty years later, bent on making the guilty finally pay.

1988. A group of outcasts gather at a small, prestigious arts camp nestled in the Maine woods. They’re the painters: bright, hopeful, teeming with potential. But secrets and dark ambitions rise like smoke from a campfire, and the truths they tell will come back to haunt them in ways more deadly than they dreamed.

2018. Esteemed art professor Max Durant arrives at his protégé’s remote home to view her graduate thesis collection. He knows Audra is beautiful and brilliant. He knows being invited into her private world is a rare gift. But he doesn’t know that Audra has engineered every aspect of their weekend together. Every detail, every conversation. Audra has woven the perfect web.

Only Audra knows what happened that summer in 1988. Max’s secret, and the dark things that followed. And even though it won’t be easy, Audra knows someone must pay.