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THE HUNTER'S DAUGHTER

First-timer Solvinic provides more questions than answers in a messy, compelling tale.

Or The Killer’s Daughter, since the heroine’s father was executed years ago for strangling 27 women.

That’s a formidable legacy to deal with, and Det. Lt. Anna Koray, of the Midwestern Bayern County Sheriff’s Office, has always struggled to keep her head above water. After her father, Stephen Theron, was identified as the Forest Strangler and arrested and her mother, Sheila Fredericks Theron, put her up for adoption and went into the Witness Protection Program, Elena Theron took the name of her loving foster parents and continued what turned into years of therapy with psychiatrist Barbara Richardson. The demons she’s kept at bay come roaring back when, called to a scene of domestic abuse, she kills the husband who’s already shot his wife to death and tries to do the same to Anna. The attendant trauma leads to uneasy reunions with Nick Kohler, an ER doctor who’d wanted more than she could give, and with Dr. Richardson, who succeeds in unlocking the vault of Anna’s repressed memories. All this is a prelude to the main event: the discovery of another series of female corpses arranged as ceremoniously as Stephen Theron’s victims. Are these murders the work of a copycat killer, or of Veles, the Forest God? Since the rare DNA variant Theron carried has turned up on the new crime scenes, is it possible that he wasn’t executed after all but escaped? Or could Anna, who’s surely carrying that variant herself, be unwittingly channeling the spirit of her father or of Veles?

First-timer Solvinic provides more questions than answers in a messy, compelling tale.

Pub Date: May 14, 2024

ISBN: 9780593639726

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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HOME IS WHERE THE BODIES ARE

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

Three siblings on very different paths learn that their family home may be haunted by secrets.

Eldest daughter Beth is alone with her fading mother as she takes her final breath and says something about Beth’s long-departed brother and sister, who may not have disappeared forever. Beth is still reeling from the loss of her mother when her estranged siblings show up. Michael, the youngest, hasn’t been home since their father’s disappearance seven years ago. In the meantime, he’s outgrown his siblings, trading his share of the family troubles for a high-paying job in San Jose. Nicole, the middle child, has been overpowered by addiction and prioritized tuning out reality over any sense of responsibility, much to Beth’s disgust. Though their mother’s death marks an ending for the family, it’s also a beginning, as the three siblings realize when they find a disturbing videotape among their parents’ belongings. The video, from 1999, sheds suspicion on their father’s disappearance, linking it to a long-unsolved neighborhood mystery. Was it just a series of unfortunate circumstances that broke the family apart, or does something more sinister underlie the sadness they’ve all found in life? In chapters that rotate among the family’s first-person narratives, the siblings take turns digging up stories and secrets in their search for solace.

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9798212182843

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Blackstone

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE

A weird, wild ride.

Celebrity scandal and a haunted lake drive the narrative in this bestselling author’s latest serving of subtly ironic suspense.

Sager’s debut, Final Girls (2017), was fun and beautifully crafted. His most recent novels—Home Before Dark (2020) and Survive the Night (2021) —have been fun and a bit rickety. His new novel fits that mold. Narrator Casey Fletcher grew up watching her mother dazzle audiences, and then she became an actor herself. While she never achieves the “America’s sweetheart” status her mother enjoyed, Casey makes a career out of bit parts in movies and on TV and meatier parts onstage. Then the death of her husband sends her into an alcoholic spiral that ends with her getting fired from a Broadway play. When paparazzi document her substance abuse, her mother exiles her to the family retreat in Vermont. Casey has a dry, droll perspective that persists until circumstances overwhelm her, and if you’re getting a Carrie Fisher vibe from Casey Fletcher, that is almost certainly not an accident. Once in Vermont, she passes the time drinking bourbon and watching the former supermodel and the tech mogul who live across the lake through a pair of binoculars. Casey befriends Katherine Royce after rescuing her when she almost drowns and soon concludes that all is not well in Katherine and Tom’s marriage. Then Katherine disappears….It would be unfair to say too much about what happens next, but creepy coincidences start piling up, and eventually, Casey has to face the possibility that maybe some of the eerie legends about Lake Greene might have some truth to them. Sager certainly delivers a lot of twists, and he ventures into what is, for him, new territory. Are there some things that don’t quite add up at the end? Maybe, but asking that question does nothing but spoil a highly entertaining read.

A weird, wild ride.

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-18319-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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