I’m not going to lie to you all…I struggled a lot deciding what to put in my to maybe read pile for September. I’m still feeling some summery thrillers, but I’m also itching for more dystopian reads. Basically I wanted to read everything and this is what I came up with!
I’m definitely not going to get to all of these, but there are a few that have high priority including two ebooks not pictured.
How’s the month going so far? I’ve got about 20 pages left in A Song of Isolation, which I’ll be sharing a review for tomorrow. I’ve started Furious Hours, which I’m planning a hybrid read/listen for. Next up I’m looking to start When No One is Watching and tackle the first chunk of Wolves of the Calla for my King buddy read.
Do you see anything you’ve read and loved? Anything you think I should bump up higher on my list?
A SONG OF ISOLATION by Michael J. Malone: In this breathtakingly brutal and intensely topical psychological thriller, a man is accused of child sexual abuse, and his life and that of his actress girlfriend are thrown into turmoil…
Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job. The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went? Any hope the furor will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press witch hunt quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country.
While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the center of the story, is isolated ; a child trying to make sense of an adult world.Breathtakingly brutal, dark and immensely moving,
A Song of Isolation looks beneath the magpie glimmer of celebrity to uncover a sinister world dominated by greed and lies, and the unfathomable destruction of innocent lives … in an instant.
FURIOUS HOURS by Casey Cep: The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird.
Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.
Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more working on her own version of the case.
Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South.
WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING by Alyssa Cole: Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…
Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.
But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.
When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?
WOLVES OF THE CALLA (Dark Tower #5) by Stephen King: IN THE THRILLING FIFTH INSTALLMENT of Stephen King’s remarkable fantasy epic, Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World. Their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis, a tranquil valley community of farmers and ranchers on Mid-World’s borderlands. Beyond the town, the rocky ground rises toward the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is slowly stealing the community’s soul. The Wolves of Thunderclap and their unspeakable depredation are coming. To resist them is to risk all, but these are odds the gunslingers are used to, and they can give the Calla-folken both courage and cunning. Their guns, however, will not be enough.
THE NINJA’S BLADE by Tori Eldridge: Lily Wong–a Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja–has more trouble than she was bargaining for when controlling grandparents arrive in Los Angeles from Hong Kong at the same time she goes undercover in the dangerous world of sex trafficking in this second book in the series. As she hunts for a missing high school girl, a kidnapped prostitute, and a sociopathic pimp, the surviving members of a murderous street gang hunt for her. Life would be easier if Lily knew who to trust. But when victims are villains, villains are victims, and even family is plotting against her, easy is not an option. All Lily can do is follow the trail wherever it leads: through a high school campus polarized by racial tension or the secret back rooms of a barber/tattoo/brothel or the soul-crushing stretch of Long Beach Boulevard known as The Blade. She relies on her ninja skills to deceive and infiltrate, rescue and kill–whatever is necessary to free the girls from their literal and figurative slavery. If only those same skills could keep Lily’s conniving grandparents from hijacking her future.
PARABLE OF THE TALENTS (Earthseed #2) by Octavia E. Butler: In 2032, Lauren Olamina has survived the destruction of her home and family, and realized her vision of a peaceful community in northern California based on her newly founded faith, Earthseed. The fledgling community provides refuge for outcasts facing persecution after the election of an ultra-conservative president who vows to “make America great again.” In an increasingly divided and dangerous nation, Lauren’s subversive colony–a minority religious faction led by a young black woman–becomes a target for President Jarret’s reign of terror and oppression.Years later, Asha Vere reads the journals of a mother she never knew, Lauren Olamina. As she searches for answers about her own past, she also struggles to reconcile with the legacy of a mother caught between her duty to her chosen family and her calling to lead humankind into a better future.
THIS IS MY AMERICA by Kim Johnson: Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?
BLACKTOP WASTELAND by S.A. Cosby: Beauregard “Bug” Montage: husband, father, honest car mechanic. But he was once known – from North Carolina to the beaches of Florida – as the best getaway driver on the East Coast. Just like his father, who disappeared many years ago.
After a series of financial calamities (worsened by the racial prejudices of the small town he lives in) Bug reluctantly takes part in a daring diamond heist to solve his money troubles – and to go straight once and for all. However, when it goes horrifically wrong, he’s sucked into a grimy underworld which threatens everything, and everyone, he holds dear…
THE GRIM SLEEPER by Christine Pelisek: In 2006, Christine Pelisek broke the story of a terrifying serial killer who went unchecked in Los Angeles for decades, killing the most vulnerable women in one South Central neighborhood. Two years later, in her cover article for L.A. Weekly, Pelisek dubbed him “The Grim Sleeper” for his long break between murders. The killer preyed on a community devastated by crime and drugs and left behind a trail of bodies—all women of color, all murdered in a similar fashion, and all discarded in the alleys of Los Angeles.
The case of the Grim Sleeper is unforgettably singular. But it also tells a wider story about homicide investigations in areas beset by poverty, gang violence, and despair; about how a serial killer could continue his grisly work for two decades in part due to society’s lack of concern for his chosen victims; and about the power and tenacity of those women’s families and the detectives who refused to let the case go cold.
No one knows this story better than Pelisek, the reporter who followed it for more than ten years, and has written the definitive book on the capture of one of America’s most ruthless serial killers. Based on extensive interviews, reportage, and information never released to the public, The Grim Sleepercaptures the long, bumpy road to justice in one of the most startling true crime stories of our generation.
THE OBELISK GATE (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin: This is the way the world ends… for the last time.
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.
DEATH ON THE NILE (Hercule Poirot #17) by Agatha Christie: The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish, and beautiful. A girl who had everything…until she lost her life.
Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: “I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.” Yet in this exotic setting nothing is ever quite what it seems.
HOW TO SAVE A LIFE by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke: Dom is having a very bad day—one he literally can’t escape.
When Dom bumps into Mia, his ex-fiancée whom he hasn’t seen in almost a decade, he believes they’ve been given a second chance and asks her out. When Mia dies tragically on their date, Dom makes a desperate wish: to be given the chance to save her life. And when he wakes the next morning to the shock that she’s alive, he thinks his wish may have been granted. But day after day, no matter what he changes about their time together, she still meets a terrible fate.
Dom frantically searches for answers to save his beloved Mia and rekindle their former love. But the further he digs, the more obsessed he becomes, making him realize that slowing down time may be the only way to see things clearly. As he’s forced to confront the truth about himself and those he’s closest to, Dom vows that he’ll watch Mia die a thousand times if it means he can save her once.
THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by T.J. Klune: A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.
FRACTURED TIDE by Leslie Lutz: Lost meets Stranger Things in this eerie, immersive YA thriller, thrusting seventeen-year-old Sia into a reality where the waters in front of her and the jungle behind her are as dangerous as the survivors alongside her.
Sia practically grew up in the water scuba diving, and wreck dives are run of the mill. Take the tourists out. Explore the reef. Uncover the secrets locked in the sunken craft. But this time … the dive goes terribly wrong.
Attacked by a mysterious creature, Sia’s boat is sunk, her customers are killed, and she washes up on a deserted island with no sign of rescue in sight. Waiting in the water is a seemingly unstoppable monster that is still hungry. In the jungle just off the beach are dangers best left untested. When Sia reunites with a handful of survivors, she sees it as the first sign of light.
Sia is wrong.
Between the gulf of deadly seawater in front of her and suffocating depth of the jungle behind her, even the island isn’t what it seems.
Haunted by her own mistakes and an inescapable dread, Sia’s best hope for finding answers may rest in the center of the island, at the bottom of a flooded sinkhole that only she has the skills to navigate. But even if the creature lurking in the depths doesn’t swallow her and the other survivors, the secrets of their fractured reality on the island might.
THE CIRCLE by Stephen J. Galgon: IMAGINE YOU HAD ALL THE MONEY YOU EVER WANTED at the push of a button. The power to control law enforcement, politicians at the highest levels, the judicial system as a whole. To have what you want when you want it, whatever it is. All you have to do is kill someone . . . before someone kills you.
MEMBERS of THE CIRCLE don’t have to imagine such a life. They live it. The liberation of being both hunter and hunted. The salvation that comes with such freedom. A chance to feel truly alive. A chance to savor each precious moment. Because in THE CIRCLE any moment could be your last.
DOUGLAS GOODWIN isn’t rich. He isn’t powerful. What could the sacred society of THE CIRCLE possibly want with him—just a regular guy with a regular job leading a regular life? What would drive them to coerce a young man who has always valued integrity over hedonism into their midst? And why would Doug agree to submersion in a world of secrecy and murder? It’s unthinkable.
THE HARSH REALITY? Doug has been inducted into an institution where friends become enemies overnight, loyalty is a nothing more than a punchline, and conscience is a burden. Where he will be hunted and expected to hunt other members to their death. With no escape from THE CIRCLE’s ubiquitous influence and domination.
HOW FAR WILL DOUG GO? How much will he sacrifice to preserve his way of life? Will he be swayed by the money, the women, the power? Or will THE CIRCLE consume him, as it has hundreds of others before him, and leave nothing but another nameless corpse in its wake?
This book is available to buy from: Amazon
THE SAFE PLACE by Anne Downes: Emily is a mess.
Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.
Emily is desperate.
Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.
Emily is perfect.
Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn’t play along, the consequences could be deadly.
Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downs’s debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.
Welcome to paradise…will you ever be able to leave?
THE SEVEN DOORS by Agnes Ravatn: When the tenant of a house that university professor Nina owns with her doctor husband goes missing after an uncomfortable visit, Nina starts her own investigation … with deeply disturbing results. The long-awaited new thriller from the bestselling author of The Bird Tribunal.
University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her difficult daughter are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.
When she discovers that she and her husband still own a house she thought had been sold years earlier, things take a very dark turn. The young woman living there disappears, leaving her son behind, the day after Nina and her daughter pay her a visit.
With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.
Exquisitely dark and immensely powerful, The Seven Doors is a sophisticated and deeply disturbing psychological thriller from one of Norway’s most distinguished voices.
THE SINS OF THE MOTHER (Caitlin Bergman #2) by August Norman: Caitlin Bergman’s mother is dead. That’s what the award-winning journalist has told everyone for the past forty years. Easier to lie than explain how Maya abandoned her only daughter before dropping off the map forever.
But when a rural sheriff invites Caitlin to the woods of coastal Oregon to identify her mother’s remains, Caitlin drops everything to face the woman she’s spent a lifetime hating. Unfortunately, the body–abandoned on the land of a reclusive cult, the Daughters of God–was left faceless. Instead, Caitlin finds the diary of a woman obsessed with the end of the world, one that hints the cult’s spiritual leader knows the identity of Caitlin’s real father. She’s not the only one looking for clues in her mother’s writing. Johnny Larsen, a violent white supremacist whose family runs the county, thinks the Daughters of God kidnapped his teen-aged daughter–and will do anything to get her back.
At the top of a hill, an army of women wait for the end of days. In the town below, the Larsens plot to purify their county. Caught in the middle, Caitlin must decide which is more important–learning the truth about her past, or saving Mama Maya’s chosen daughters from the end of the world.
Disclosure: A huge thank you to William Morrow, Orenda Books,Minotaur Books, Lake Union, Books Foreward PR, Stephen J. Galgon, and Casey Cep for sending me free copies of these books in exchange for my honest review.
Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.