Hello book lovers!! Welcome back to Bookstr’s Three to Read. I have got three amazing new books this week covering a wide range of topics, as ever, under the Hot Pick, Beach Read and Dark Horse titles. I’m only realizing, as I type this, that there is a common thread of life and death across each book this week, which might go against the lightness of summer, but I digress! Let’s get into it.
by Megan Collins
image via amazon
When Fern Douglas sees the news about Astrid Sullivan, a thirty-four-year-old missing woman from Maine, she is positive that she knows her. Fern’s husband is sure it’s because of Astrid’s famous kidnapping—and equally famous return—twenty years ago, but Fern has no memory of that, even though it happened an hour outside her New Hampshire hometown. And when Astrid appears in Fern’s recurring nightmare, one in which a girl reaches out to her, pleading, Fern fears that it’s not a dream at all, but a memory.
Back at her childhood home to help her father pack for a move, Fern purchases a copy of Astrid’s recently published memoir—which may have provoked her original kidnapper to abduct her again—and as she reads through its chapters and visits the people and places within it, she discovers more evidence that she has an unsettling connection to the missing woman. With the help of her psychologist father, Fern digs deeper, hoping to find evidence that her connection to Astrid can help the police locate her. But when Fern discovers more about her own past than she ever bargained for, the disturbing truth will change both of their lives forever.
Whether you’re a thriller veteran, or just looking for something to escape the monotony of quarantine life, this is the page-turner you have been looking for. Harrowing and suspenseful, the pacing is taut, which will have you racing to the end to get the answers about what happened. It is a tightly written and twisty mystery, and one that you definitely don’t want to miss.
“Behind the Red Door isn’t just a gripping, finely-tuned thriller, it’s a masterful meditation on fear. Dark forests, crumbling cabins, and mutating nightmares all populate this New England landscape where one woman may hold the key to saving a kidnapping victim. But in order to do so, she’ll have to confront a lifetime of terror, including the ultimate fear: not knowing who can be trusted or where the monsters live. I was hooked from the first page.”
—Mindy Mejia, author of Strike Me Down
by Helene Dunbar
image via amazon
In the town of St. Hilaire, most make their living by talking to the dead. In the summer, the town gates open to tourists seeking answers while all activity is controlled by The Guild, a sinister ruling body that sees everything.
Dec Hampton has lived there his entire life, but ever since his parents died, he’s been done with it. He knows he has to leave before anyone has a chance to stop him.
His best friend Russ won’t be surprised when Dec leaves—but he will be heartbroken. Russ is a good medium, maybe even a great one. He’s made sacrifices for his gift and will do whatever he can to gain entry to The Guild, even embracing dark forces and contacting the most elusive ghost in town.
But when the train of Annie Krylova, the piano prodigy whose music has been Dec’s main source of solace, breaks down outside of town, it sets off an unexpected chain of events. And in St. Hilaire, there are no such things as coincidences.
Found family, ghosts, friends, small-town secrets, Prelude for Lost Souls has it all! This is a wonderful YA fantasy that will resonate with a wide range of readers. Particularly for fans of The Raven Cycle, Dunbar’s romantic, ghoulish mystery is a surefire hit for your summer reading list. The characters are unforgettable, and the Guild are an ominous presence in both the town and the narrative, raising the stakes for all involved!
“Ghost story, love story, and mystery in equal measure, Helene Dunbar’s Prelude for Lost Souls is filled with unforgettable characters who reveal the many ways a life can be haunted. Perfect for fans of The Raven Boys. ” –Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician series
by Randall Silvis
image via amazon
Former Sergeant Ryan DeMarco’s life has been spent in defiance—he’s defied death, loneliness, and betrayal all while fighting the worst parts of humanity. He’s earned a break, and following the devastation of their last case, DeMarco and his girlfriend Jayme want nothing more than to live quietly in each other’s company. To forget the horrors they’ve experienced and work on making each other whole again.
But dreams of a peaceful life together are shattered when two bodies are discovered in a smoldering car in the woods, and another is found brutally mutilated nearby. Much as he’d like to leave the case to his former colleagues, dark forces are at play and DeMarco cannot escape the vortex of lies, betrayal, and desperation. He and Jayme are dragged back into the fray, where they must confront the shady dealings of a close-knit rural community.
Perfect for fans of murder mystery books and suspenseful thrillers alike, No Woods So Dark as These explores the atrocities humans are capable of when pushed to their limits. In this highly-anticipated addition to Randall Silvis’ books, Ryan DeMarco is forced into a case that might break him for good.
This is part of a wider Ryan DeMarco series, but bear with me here even if you’re unfamiliar, as this can be read as a standalone, too. In this gritty, exciting story from Silvis, Ryan’s story is out in all its gory glory. From burnt out cars to mutilated bodies, the subject is far from airy, but the narrative is still light in all the right places. You’ll be on the edge of your seat throughout, and rooting for DeMarco more than ever!
“The rare crime novel infused with both darkness and light. The characters are so real I expected to meet them for a drink at the end of the day.” – Kelly Simmons, international selling author of Where She Went and One More Day
That’s that! Three to Read for another week. You can catch the video in full here:
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Catch you next week!