#Ghostwritten by @RonaldMalfi

BOOKS CAN BE DEADLY

From the bestselling author of Come with Me, four standalone horror novellas set in a shared universe!

In The Skin of Her Teeth, a cursed novel drives people to their deaths.

A delivery job turns deadly in The Dark Brothers’ Last Ride.

This Book Belongs to Olo sees a child wielding dangerous control over an unusual pop-up book.

A choose your own adventure game spirals into an uncanny reality in The Story.

Full of creepy, page-turning suspense, these collected novellas are all about books, stories, and manuscripts. The written word has never had sharper teeth…

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‘We’ve got a problem’ said Jack Baer.

THE SKIN OF HER TEETH

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(@TitanBooks, 4 October 2022, e-book, 464 pages, ARC from the publisher via @NetGalley)

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I loved the novellas in this collection. I especially liked the fact you gradually learn that the stories are linked. For example, the same character appears in more than one novella. The novella are quite dark at time, but well-written and gripping. I loved this book. The best novellas are The Skin of Her Teeth, This Book Belongs to Olo and The Story.

A Brighter Flame by @christinenolfi

She’s always wanted a sense of belonging. The last place she expects to find it is home.

Vale Lightner’s dreams turn to ash when the Pittsburgh bar she owns goes up in flames. Just like the past she escaped, very little seems salvageable. Facing unavoidable change, Vale returns to her hometown of Philadelphia to stay with her grandmother.

She knows that returning also means facing everything she left behind: a mother and stepfather who shunted her into the background from the day they married, and her charmed and favoured half-sister, Blythe, who has abandoned a perfect marriage and is now at a crossroads of her own. Everyone has their secrets, and this reunited family racked by them is about to reach a crisis point.

For a mother and her two daughters, this reunion is a chance for closure, newfound love, and forgiveness. As each of them reassesses her own memories of the past, only the truth can bring them together—in ways that could last forever. From the bestselling author of The Passing Storm comes a poignant novel about family secrets, healing, and the hope of second chances.

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Vale awoke to the scream of sirens.

CHAPTER 1

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(Lake Union Publishing, 27 September 2022, e-book, 301 pages, #ARC from the publisher via @NetGalley)

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I loved A Brighter Flame. This is a book that made me cry a lot and gave me all the feels. Vale is a great character. She’s not perfect but she’s strong-willed, tough, and very relatable. I cried a few times reading this. I loved the way the author explores family relationships in the book especially Vale and her sister Blythe. This is a powerful novel. I’d highly recommend it.

#Happyish by @AuthorEscudero

It was supposed to be a good day.

On the one-year anniversary of her divorce, Alex Martinez is getting closure—and margaritas with her two best friends. But just before the celebratory meetup, Alex is clobbered by life once again. Damping the cheer is the diagnosis of a brain tumour she can’t pronounce, a procedure she’d rather postpone, and the prospect of what to say to an already heartbroken mother. Not that Alex plans to tell her anything anytime soon.

Going from blissful to blindsided in one afternoon, Alex has other plans: to be impulsive and embark on an adventure she’ll never forget. Expected destinations: the Grand Canyon, Puerto Rico, and zip-lining through Costa Rica. Unexpected companion: a hiker named David who’s found a woman after his own heart. But no matter how enriching the journey, how long can Alex keep running? It’s time to accept past griefs, reconnect with her mother, and find her way back to happy. For Alex, whatever the future holds, maybe everything she really needs to face is right where she left it.

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I’m a feminist.

PROLOGUE

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(Lake Union Publishing, 20 September 2022, e-book, 250 pages, #ARC from the publisher via @NetGalley)

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I loved Happyish. It’s the kind of book that makes you laugh, cry and infuriates you all at the same time. Alex is a great character. She’s so real I felt like I got to know her really well. Her behaviour frustrated the hell out of me at times. Why did she need to make everything so hard? She was so hard on herself. I wanted to hug her and shake her at the same time. Her decision-making process is not the best but understandable. She was so human and real and flawed. I’d highly recommend this.

#TheDeathofJaneLawrence by @see_starling

Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town.

Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man―one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him. By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to.

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Dr. Augustine Lawrence’s cuffs were stained with blood and his mackintosh had flailed against the persistent drizzle.

CHAPTER 1

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(@TitanBooks, 20 September 2022, e-book, 464 pages, #ARC from the publisher via @NetGalley)

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I really loved The Death of Jane Lawrence. It’s got that good old fashion horror story feel to it plus dark gothic overtones. The book starts off innocently enough with Jane’s practical proposition to Dr Lawrence. She doesn’t know him or his past so has no idea what she’s getting into. Things start to take a dark turn when she’s forced to spend the night at his family estate, a place he has told her is out of bounds, piquing her curiosity. I was hooked within a few pages and couldn’t wait to find out the dark secrets or Dr Lawrence and Lindridge Hall. This is a fantastic read.

#NotGoodforMaidens by Tori Bovalino

A witchy, bloody blend of supernatural horror and modern gothic. This is Salem’s Lot meets The Darkest Part of the Forest in a horror-fantasy retelling of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”.

Louisa doesn’t believe in magic, until her teenage aunt Neela is kidnapped to the goblin market.

The market is a place of magic, where twisting streets, succulent fruits, glimmering jewels, and death are on offer to the unwary human. An enticing place that her mother and aunt barely escaped seventeen years ago, paying a terrible price.

With only three days before the market disappears, Lou must navigate the treacherous market, controlled by bloodthirsty goblins who crave vengeance against her family. She must learn the songs and tricks of the goblins to save Neela, or the market might just end up claiming her too.

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May had ways of coping.

PROLOGUE

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(@TitanBooks, 13 September 2022, e-book, 368 pages, #ARC from the publisher via @NetGalley)

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I really loved this book. I love books about magic and goblins and dark things. The book reminds me of the Shadowhunter books and the Practical Magic series. I liked the fact there are flashbacks to what happened 18 years ago when May almost lost herself to the Goblin Market and how the author gradually reveals the link between this and Neela being taken. It’s quite dark at times as the market is not a pretty place. I loved this book.

#ThingsHaveGottenWorseSinceWeLastSpokeAndOtherMisfortunes by @hystericteeth

Three dark and disturbing horror stories from an astonishing new voice, including the viral-sensation tale of obsession, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. For fans of Kathe Koja, Clive Barker and Stephen Graham Jones.

A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s—a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires. 

A couple isolate themselves on a remote island in an attempt to recover from their teenage son’s death, when a mysterious young man knocks on their door during a storm…

 And a man confronts his neighbour when he discovers a strange object in his back yard, only to be drawn into an ever-more dangerous game.

 From Bram Stoker Award finalist Eric LaRocca, this is devastating, beautifully written horror from one of the genre’s most cutting-edge voices.

 What have you done today to deserve your eyes?

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I was going to begin with some absurd comment about the irony of posting about an apple peeler in a queer discussion forum when most of us are probably upset by the mere mention of the word ‘fruit’.

THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE SINCE WE LAST SPOKE

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(@TitanBooks, 6 September 2022, e-book, 288 pages, #ARC from the publisher via @NetGalley)

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I loved the title story for this collection. It’s a staggering piece of fiction. It starts off innocently enough with two lonely women finding each other online and developing a relationship. The relationship becomes intense and the story gets darker and darker. The last few pages were almost unbearable to read. This is a corker of a story. I enjoyed the other two stories as well though they weren’t quite as good as the title piece. This is a writer to look out for.

#MyOtherHusband by @DorothyKoomson

What if your murderous fantasies start to come true?

Someone is trying to frame me for murder.

They’re hurting people in the ways I write about – and making sure I’m the prime suspect.

I think I know why.

But I can’t tell the police or even use my rock-solid alibi . . .

Because then I’d have to confess about my other husband.

A series of terrifying murders. A set of complex lies.

And a woman with no way to clear her name.

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‘Cleo Forsum Pryce, I am arresting you on the suspicion of attempted murder’.

PROLOGUE

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(@headlinepg, 18 August 2022, e-book, 432 pages, copy from the publisher via @NetGalley)

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I’m a huge fan of the author and have read all of her books. I couldn’t wait to read The Other Husband and had high hopes for the book. Thankfully, I loved it. It has everything I’ve come to expect from the author; seemingly innocuous domestic setting, action, drama, plenty of thrills and a lot of twists and turns. I kept changing my mind about what Cleo’s secrets were and discovered I was way off track when all the cards were laid on the table. This is a terrific domestic thriller.

Broken Summer by @joeyverse

A death, a lie, a secret. For twenty-six summers he didn’t have the courage to face the past.

Lee Hanjo is an artist at the peak of his fame, envied and celebrated. Then, on his forty-third birthday, he awakens to find that his devoted wife has disappeared, leaving behind a soon-to-be-published novel she’d secretly written about the sordid past and questionable morality of an artist with a trajectory similar to Hanjo’s. It’s clear to him that his life is about to shatter and the demons from his past will come out. But why did his wife do it? Why now?

The book forces Hanjo to reflect on a summer from his youth when a deadly lie irreversibly and tragically determined the fates of two families.

From master storyteller J. M. Lee, one of Korea’s most renowned authors, comes an unforgettable novel of hidden truths, denials, and their inevitable repercussions. Everyone still left standing from that terrible summer so long ago must finally reckon with the deceptions that started it all and, twist after shocking twist, reap both the suffering and the vindication that comes with revenge.

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The people of the city knew him well.

HANJO

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(Amazon Crossing, I September 2022, ebook, 251 pages, bought from @AmazonKindle, #AmazonFirstReads)

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This is a new author for me. Broken Summer appealed to me the most from this month’s titles. I thought this was a terrific book. I loved the way the events move between the past and present gradually revealing Hanjo’s dark secrets and what they have to do with his wife and her book. There are a lot of twists and turns and misdirection in the book and I was never sure the direction things would take. This is well worth a read.

The Rising Tide by @AnnCleeves

Vera Stanhope, star of ITV’s Vera, returns in the tenth novel in number one bestseller Ann Cleeves’ acclaimed series.

Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island, forging a bond that has lasted a lifetime. Now, they still return every five years to celebrate their friendship and remember the friend they lost to the rising waters of the causeway at the first reunion.

Now, when one of them is found hanged, Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then, and now…

But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface, and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible.

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Philip was the first of the group on the island.

CHAPTER ONE

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(@panmacmillan, 1 September 2022, ebook, 384 pages, #ARC from the publisher via @NetGalley)

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I’ve read a few of the Vera books and tend to enjoy them. I loved The Rising Tide. I cried at the end as Vera suffers a tragic loss. You need to read this fantastic book to find out what happens. Like other books in the series, the events are slow to unwind but the pace is still quite fast as Vera urges her team to find answers, complicated by the fact that her own boss is on the perimeter of the investigation so they need to tread delicately. I loved the chapters set on Holy Island, they are gripping and atmospheric. This is a terrific book.

#TheBookEaters by @Blind_Nycteris

Hidden across England and Scotland live six old Book Eater families.

The last of their lines, they exist on the fringes of society and subsist on a diet of stories and legends.

Children are rare and their numbers have dwindled, so when Devon Fairweather’s second child is born a dreaded Mind Eater – a perversion of her own kind, who consumes not stories but the minds and souls of humans – she flees before he can be turned into a weapon for the family… or worse.

Living among humans and finding prey for her son, Devon seeks a cure for his hunger. But time is running out – for her family want her back, and with every soul her son consumes he loses a little more of himself…

This is a story of escape, a savage mother’s devotion and a queer love that will electrify readers looking for something beguiling, thrilling, strange and new.

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These days, Devon only brought three things from the shops: books, booze and Sensitive Care skin cream.

DEVON BY DAY

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(@HarperCollinsUK, 18 August 2022, e-book, 304 pages, #ARC from the publisher via @NetGalley)

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I chose The Book Eaters at random from my approved titles on NetGalley because I liked the cover and the title. I really loved this book. It’s a horror and there are some truly horrific moments as the nature of Devon and her tribes are revealed. I loved the world building and the way the author brings the history of the Families and the book and mind eaters to life. It made fascinating reading. I also loved the characters especially Devon. I loved this book.

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