A gripping and thoughtful psychological tale.


A thriller focuses on a family’s struggle to survive when a small town’s technology abruptly stops working.

At first it seems as if it’s just one car not starting. But soon, all the phones, electricity, radios, and internet suffer a power failure in the town of Harpursville, New York. The residents wonder if the outage has also affected the entire country—or even the whole world. Their theories range from sunspots and electromagnetic pulses to terrorist attacks (“To hear some tell it, the Russians, Chinese, or ISIS would be rolling in to enslave the good people of the US of A any minute”). Kevin Barton thinks the situation is likely temporary, while his wife, Monica, worries about their dwindling food supply. Her fear gnaws at her day and night. Monica becomes concerned about the family’s safety and survival, especially with her daughter’s beautiful best friend, Dina McCray, getting stranded at the Bartons’ house, eating their food, and taking up space. An attempt to walk Dina home goes awry, leaving Kevin feeling humiliated and making the girl’s stay permanent. As time passes and chaos starts to spread, one man steps up to coordinate the town’s response, his organizational approach deemed visionary by many, including Kevin. Then a request is made that tears Monica and Kevin apart, the former growing increasingly paranoid and the latter preparing to do everything he can to save his family. O’Handley’s novel is a tense literary thriller that skillfully examines the line between survival and decency, fear and safety, power and impotence. Kevin is an average man who must deal with a growing feeling of powerlessness throughout the story, while Monica takes the lead early on regarding the family’s safety. Their different psychological reactions to the events taking place send them in opposite directions while the townspeople’s restlessness mushrooms around them, adding further pressure on the family. It’s in the microcosm of the Bartons’ house that the insidious drama of the unknown versus the known plays out and is brilliantly developed until the fitting conclusion.

A gripping and thoughtful psychological tale.

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2022


Page Count: 370

Publisher: Breaking Night Press

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2022

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A compelling take on the classic whodunit.

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The shocking murder of a public figure at a high-end hotel has everyone guessing who the culprit might be.

Twenty-five-year-old Molly Gray, an eccentric young woman who's obsessed with cleaning but doesn't quite have the same ability to navigate social cues as those around her, loves working as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. Raised by her old-fashioned grandmother, who loved nothing more than cleaning and watching Columbo reruns, Molly has an overly polite and straightforward manner that can make her seem odd and off-putting to her colleagues despite her being the hardest worker at the hotel. After her grandmother's death, Molly's rigid life begins to lose some of its long-held balance, and when the infamous Mr. Charles Black, a rich and powerful businessman suspected of various criminal enterprises, is found murdered in one of the rooms she cleans, her whole world gets turned upside down. Before Molly knows what's happening, her odd demeanor has the police convinced she's guilty of the crime, and certain people at the hotel are a little too pleased about it. With the help of a few new friends (and while fending off new foes), she must begin to untangle the mystery of who really killed Mr. Black to get herself off the hook once and for all. Though the unusual ending might frustrate some readers, this unique debut will keep them reading.

A compelling take on the classic whodunit.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35615-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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A unique story of transcendent love.


An aimless young musician meets the girl of his dreams only to have his newfound happiness threatened by several inexplicable—and possibly supernatural—events.

The story opens as Leeds Gabriel meets with a detective while his girlfriend, Layla, is restrained in a room one flight above them. Through the interview, readers learn that Leeds was wasting both his time and his musical talent playing backup for a small-town wedding troupe called Garrett’s Band when he spied Layla dancing her heart out to their mediocre music at a wedding. When Leeds approaches Layla, their connection is both instant and intense. A blissful courtship follows, but then Leeds makes the mistake of posting a picture of himself with Layla on social media. A former girlfriend–turned-stalker wastes no time in finding and attacking Layla. Layla spends months recovering in a hospital, and it seems the girl Leeds fell for might be forever changed. Gone is her special spark, her quirkiness, and the connection that had entranced Leeds months before. In a last-ditch effort to save their relationship, he brings Layla back to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. When they get there, though, Leeds meets Willow, another guest, and finds himself drawn to her in spite of himself. As events unfold, it becomes clear that Willow will either be the key to saving Leeds’ relationship with Layla or the catalyst that finally extinguishes the last shreds of their epic romance. Told entirely from Leeds’ point of view, the author’s first foray into paranormal romance does not disappoint. Peppered with elements of mystery, psychological thriller, and contemporary romance, the novel explores questions about how quickly true love can develop, as well as the conflicts that can imperil even the strongest connections. Despite a limited cast of characters and very few setting changes, the narrative manages to remain both fast-paced and engaging. The conclusion leaves a few too many loose ends, but the chemistry between the characters and unexpected twists throughout make for a satisfying read.

A unique story of transcendent love.

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-0017-8

Page Count: 301

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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