What Allie is reading
“for what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. i hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, i hope you have the strength to start all over again.” -f. scott fitzgerald
Allie says: "Aimee Sinclair is an actress with a seemingly perfect life until her husband goes missing. She also has a stalker who knows about her secret past. Switching from past to present, Aimee's life unravels before our eyes. Is she going crazy? Does she remember the past correctly? And who knows about the horrible things she's done? Just like Alice Feeney's first book, Sometimes I Lie, this psychological thriller has some crazy twists and a totally shocking ending. Definitely great if you love Megan Miranda, Gillian Flynn, and Lexie Elliot!"
Allie says: "Alicia is a painter who killed her famous fashion photographer husband. When police arrived he was dead and tied to a chair, the gun was on the floor, and Alicia was covered in blood. Since then she has not spoken, even at her trial, and now is housed at Grove Psychiatric Hospital. Theo Faber is a Psychotherapist obsessed with getting her to talk and figuring out what happened. He begins an investigation into her past, amid personal issues in his own life. This debut novel is dark, twisted, suspenseful, and just in general unputdownable. The ending caught me off guard for sure!"
Allie says: "Maddie and Jo are best friends from high school who end up living in Eastern Europe at the same time. Enter Ian, a British soldier turned bodyguard. Ian flirts with Jo first, and then sets his sights on Maddie. After 9/11 Maddie moves back to the states, and even though years pass and a rift with Jo has occurred, Maddie ends up marrying Ian and they have a baby boy together. Told in fragmented pieces, we realize that not all is well. Ian has PTSD. Maddie suffered a severe accident on a camping trip and soon starts to worry that Ian may have been involved, since she can’t remember what happened. She begins seeing a therapist who encourages letter writing, and we become even more scared for Maddie and what may happen. Chapters jump from past to present, culminating in The Day of the Killing, when police show up to their beautiful house after a 9-1-1 call. Will Jo help save Maddie? Is Ian going crazy? Or is there something even more sinister going on? A total page turner!"
Allie says: "I got this book from being part of a virtual dinner party hosted by Abrams. I really love the recipes and creativity. An added bonus is that there are also frozen cauliflower pizza crusts you can order online from Cali'flour. They are amazing and make these recipes much easier and faster!"
Allie says: "A fractured tale about two best friends after an accident that happened in college. Lucy shows up in Tangier to see Alice and her husband with no warning. Soon Alice begins to remember the night of the accident and what her controlling best friend may have done. Once Alice's distant and philandering husband goes missing, her whole world begins to unravel and Lucy's sinister motives are revealed. I loved all the exotic imagery from Morocco. Great for fans of The Talented Mr. Ripley, Genuine Fraud, and The Wife Between Us."
Allie says: "This debut novel about ancient magical places and the modern plight of Syrian refugees captivated me from the beginning. Full of colorful descriptions and lyrical writing, you will love this book if you are a fan of anything Khaled Hosseini has written. This novel also helped me understand the Syrian refugee crisis in a different, more empathetic way. Highly recommend!"
Allie says: "The May Mothers meet twice a week with their babies who were all born in May. One night the group goes out for drinks in NYC and the worst thing possible happens. Midas, Winnie's son, is abducted from his crib. Was it one of the May Mothers or even Winnie herself? Not everyone is who they claim to be and many bombshells are exposed in the search for Midas. Very suspenseful!"
Allie says: "Great recipes! I got this book Abrams and absolutely adore the pictures, stories, and food. So far I've made the Salmorejo and it was delicious! Highly recommend!"
Allie says: "Seven teens go camping one night and only six leave alive. Thirty years later the body of Aurora is found right where they were camping, along with a stash of drugs. Only the teens knew this hiding place, so it stands to reason that one or more of them killed her. But who? Detective Jonah Sheens grew up with this group and now has to find out who did it. A riveting thriller! I read it in two nights and am excited this author will be writing more books and creating a series."
Allie says: "Salt Houses was a very compelling tale about a Palestinian family. Love, war, religion, displacement and secrets weave three generations together. Great for fans of The Kite Runner. I enjoyed the character development and the back and forth of time and place."
Allie says: "This was an amazing novel. Some of the best character development I've encountered in quite a while. I loved the weaving of a love story, mystery, nature, and historical fiction. Loved this book!"
Allie says: "Juliette is far from the perfect girlfriend. She could more accurately be described as the worst ex-girlfriend. Ever. She becomes an airline stewardess to keep tabs on her ex-boyfriend, Nate, who is a pilot. Stalker vibes are strong in this voyeuristic thriller. Great for fans of Ruth Ware.
Allie says: "Henrietta lives with her husband in a cute little neighborhood outside of Boston. They go over to their neighbor's house and Henrietta spots something in her neighbor's study that deeply unsettles her. It is a trophy that is tied to a murder. Henrietta has a history of mental illness so the police don't believe her. Is her neighbor Matthew a innocent man who is now the target of Henrietta's obsessive nature, or is he really a serial killer with something terrible in store for Henrietta? Peter Swanson does it again with this suspenseful novel!"
Allie says: "Janice is married to Matt. Matt is cheating on her and Janice dies under mysterious circumstances. Flash forward to 2018 and Matt is married to another woman who is presumed dead after a fall in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. Detectives on the case start to investigate, and more and more details start falling short. What happened to his first wife? Did Matt kill both his wives or are they somehow both alive? This dizzying thriller will keep you guessing until the end. Very twisted and unexpected... I really enjoyed this book! Great for fans of Peter Swanson."
Allie says: "I absolutely loved this debut novel about addiction, family, and the immigrant experience in the United States. Beautifully written and heartbreaking, this book is great for fans of Salt Houses and A Thousand Splendid Suns."
Allie says: "Ailsa's mother has died, so now she is the half owner of a house called the Manse in the Scottish countryside. The other half belongs to her father, who has been missing since she was a child. He went missing during a diamond buying trip, and most people think he made off with the diamonds. Ailsa heads to the Manse with her half sister to try and get her father legally declared dead so she can sell the house. This thriller is full of sketchy and ethereal townspeople, strange happenings that take place inside the Manse boundary walls, and Ailsa's own theories about her father. A woman who has a mental disorder that keeps her from being able to tell time lends an eerie, almost fantastical air to the novel."
Allie says: "This biography tells the story of Oleg Gordievsky, the KGB agent turned British spy responsible for the largest operational download in MI6 history. Informative and captivating, Macintyre's non-fiction tale is full of in-depth interviews and other supplementary research, giving readers a vivid portrayal of a scary and uncertain time."
Allie says: "This is my favorite book of poetry by Lang Leav. I loved the prose and the themes of love, loss, and redemption. Great for fans of Rupi Kaur."
Allie says: "Yrsa Daley-Ward's haunting and lyrical memoir is one of my favorite autobiographies to date. Her unusual story and voice, and her unique life story make for a great read. Her journey is also a great example of how to get up after you have fallen, and to love everything that got you to where you are, even the most terrible things."
Allie says: "Hendricks and Pekkanen have really honed their co-author craft in this thriller! Told through the eyes of two women, the story of Jessica and her therapist, Dr. Sheilds begins innocently enough when Jessica signs up for a psychology study. She is quickly sucked into the mysterious and twisted world of Dr. Sheilds and her husband. Do they just have a messed up marriage or is there something way more sinister going on? And will Dr. Shields discover something about Jessica that will force her to go along with her twisted plan? Great for fans of Peter Swanson and Gillian Flynn."
Allie says: "Mercer's husband and daughter have been killed in a car accident. Mercer is asked by her former editor to write a true crime novel about the Baby Boston murder and the accused killer, Baby Boston's mom. Ashlyn (the mother) is somehow found not-guilty for Tasha's murder, which means Mercer has to write a different kind of story even though she is convinced Ashlyn is guilty. Truth and innocence seem hard to find in this twisting thriller, where nothing is as it seems. Is Ashlyn innocent or just a very convincing sociopath and liar? Is Mercer in grave danger from shadowy forces, or has Ashlyn just gotten into her head? Read and find out!"
Allie says: "Ben's brother Eric disappears from the grocery store when Ben is supposed to be looking out for him. He spends years trying to find him to no avail. His dad is struggling to make ends meet and his step-mother never recovered from Eric's disappearance. Ben gets a job at the same grocery store and begins to realize something is not right. This disturbing thriller has a fever dream quality to it and the ending is extremely unsettling. Makes for some great horror reading."
Allie says: "Twenty years ago four kids are exploring in the woods, trying to find the home of a local urban legend, the Bone Keeper. After going into a dark tunnel only three emerge. The boy's body was never found. Twenty years later a woman is found wandering the streets, mutilated, and singing the Bone Keeper song. Police don't believe that she escaped this ghost story until a body turns up. And another. Is the nightmare legend of the Bone Keeper actually true? Horrifying and addicting, this suspense novel will be sure to keep guessing until the very end."
Allie says: "Heartbreaking and relevant. This beautiful picture book should be required reading, and not just for children."
Allie says: "Set in England, this domestic noir thriller has many twists and turns.It was very creepy and kept me entertained. A depressed husband, a wife who cheats, a stalker, and secrets that can't be kept hidden: what more could you want?"
Allie says: "Lapena's newest thriller is set in the Catskills. Everybody arrives at the inn during a snowstorm and are completely isolated when the snowstorm cuts off the electricity. The next morning one of the guests is found murdered. They are being picked off one by one. Will they survive the weekend and find the culprit?"
Allie says: "Wow! I knew I liked Miranda's writing after her first adult novel, but this one exceeded my expectations! Leah moves to rural Pennsylvania after she ruins her career and begins teaching at the local school. Her friend Emmy is the one who convinced her to move and had just gotten out of a destructive relationship. After a vicious crime occurs Leah realizes that Emmy has gone missing and that she knows very little about her friend. Police get involved and Leah is now the main suspect. Did Emmy ever really exist? Is Leah crazy? This was the perfect thriller to read on a stormy night! Great for fans of Ruth Ware and Shari Lapena."
Allie says: "Lisa is a single mother who works hard to make a good life for her teenage daughter. Her daughter Ava loves her mom, but is frustrated with how overprotective she is. One day Ava rescues a child who fell into the water and their lives change forever. Lisa is recognized in the news and her dark past comes to light. Who has Lisa been hiding from all these years and did she really commit the atrocious act she was charged with? This twisted thriller with several unexpected turns is sure to resonate with fans of Paula Hawkins and Ruth Ware."
Allie says: "Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his grandfather, the Vice President of the United States. Marlon Bundo meets his life partner, another boy bunny! The stink bug tells them they can't marry, but they still do! A portion of the proceeds from this book go to the Trevor Project and AIDS United. Great for children and kids."
Allie says: "Louise Penny does it again! Armand is still on suspension in the 14th Armand Gamache novel. He gets a peculiar letter asking him to go to an abandoned farmhouse; being curious and maybe a little bored, he goes. A woman has passed away and in her will named Armand and two other strangers as executors (one of them is a bookseller, yay!). None of them have ever met this lady and when a body turns up soon after, the plot thickens. Like with other Louise Penny books, there is a mystery within a mystery. Armand is also trying to secure the lost drugs that got him suspended in the first place. The end of this book is sure to pack a wallop for Penny fans. Make sure to pre-order this book, brush up on the previous books in the series, and get ready to dive back into the world of Armand Gamache and Little Pines!"
Allie says: "Angela Wong's remains are found fourteen years after she disappeared in high school. Geo is a successful business woman until she is charged with being an accessory to Angela's murder. Kaiser Brody, a town cop, was also best friends with Angela and Geo. When Geo gets out of jail and moves back in with her father, more dead bodies start appearing. These murders have similarities to Angela's, but Geo's high school boyfriend and Angela's killer, Calvin, is still in jail. Does he have anything to do with these deaths, and if so, how? Alternating narrative perspectives and flashbacks make for a fast-paced thriller with an unbelievable ending. I read this book in a day and highly recommend it to suspense novel fans."
Allie says: "Claire is a doctor obsessed with figuring out where her missing father is. He stands accused of killing her babysitter while trying to kill her mother when she was very little. She, along with her mother and brother, changed her last name and cut ties with her father's titled family. She becomes secretly entwined with the family friends who helped her father escape. This thriller is based on real events; a British member of the royal family is accused of murdering his wife and has yet to be found. I liked this book even more than Flynn's award-winning debut novel."
Allie says: "You've got a decades old mystery, a missing mother, an elite boarding school, old money families, and a secret society that ties it all together. I loved this book! If you like thrillers this is for you. Also, Reese Witherspoon is a fan and her production company has already bought the rights to this property."
Allie says: "Mark is an investment banker who has just lost his job and Erin is a documentary filmmaker who is following three prisoners on their journey back to the outside world. Their last splurge for the foreseeable future is a dream honeymoon vacation to Bora Bora. Mark convinces Erin to go scuba diving with him and what they find at the bottom of the ocean changes their lives forever. Do they keep their discovery a secret or tell the truth? Does somebody already know? And how does one of Erin's documentary subjects fit in? This book is Reese Witherspoon's newest favorite pick and is sure to be a summer favorite."
Allie says: "Finding Winnie is one of my favorite picture books, so when I found out this team decided to write a chapter book I just had to read it! This story is about Winnie, a girl cub, who travels from Canada to wartime Europe with Captain Harry Colebourn, and finally to the London Zoo where she became the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh. This is such a sweet story and really showcases Winnie's loveable nature and her special relationship with Colebourn and his fellow soldiers. Excerpts from Colebourn's diary and interactions with other animals really elevates the story. This is the perfect book for young readers and families alike."
Allie says: "I love it when storybooks rhyme! This enchanting tale of what happens when you wake a Yeti is sure to become a family favorite. Adult approved!"
Allie says "Such a sweet and moving book about the power and meaning of love! It was a delight hearing Matt read it out loud in the fall."
Allie says: "In this sweet story a mother tells her son about how her great-grandfather rescued a bear cub in 1914. This story is the real inspiration for A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh. I love this story; the writing and illustrations are superb and it is a great bedtime story book and an excellent baby shower gift option. One of my all-time favorite picture books."
Allie says: "Seriously loved this book. Read it in one sitting. Set in England and France, this suspense thriller had me hooked until the very end. Ten years after Kate and her friends go to France on vacation, the body of the girl who disappeared while they were there is found. This discovery reveals secrets, lies, and betrayals that have long stayed buried. But that's not the only issue; Kate and her friends are suspects in their French neighbor's murder. One of the best thrillers I've read since The Weight of Blood."
Allie says: "Harry comes home after his father commits suicide only to be told he may have been murdered. His young and beautiful step-mother becomes very attached to him, but as the story progresses Harry starts to wonder if she had something to do with his father's death. Several stories emerge and intertwine in this suspense novel, which has become part of Swanson's signature, along with complex female characters. This novel has everything; suspense, obsession, murder, sociopathy, mistaken identities, and a little bit of pedophilia. Highly recommend if you are a fan of Gillian Flynn, Megan Miranda, and earlier works by Peter Swanson."
Allie says: "I can usually guess where a book is going, and I was totally wrong. Love being surprised! Amber regains consciousness in a hospital, but she can't move or speak and she can't remember how she got there. Her husband is in the hospital room, but did he have something to do with her present state? Amber's sister is also in the hospital room, and Amber begins to suspect there is something going on between her and her husband.The book alternates between the hospital room, the week before her accident, and childhood memories told through a diary. It's amost impossible to know who is telling the truth. The ending was the perfect amount of twisted."
Allie says: "I read this on the plane and it kept me guessing until the end! Loved the perspective shift. For fans of Gillian Flynn and Peter Swanson. I just love a twisted female lead!"
Allie says: "Loved this! Unputdownable - read it in one night! Set in Vermont, this novel is part thriller and part ghost story. Fiona wants to find out the truth about her sister's murder. Her body was found twenty years ago on the Idlewild Hall property. Idlewild Hall, the abandoned boarding school, has been bought by a rich family with hopes of being reopened. As construction begins another body is found on the property from the 1950s. Are both the murders linked? What about the ghost of Mary Hand, the girl who haunts the Idlewild Hall grounds, where her dead baby is supposedly buried? Fiona races against the clock to solve both mysteries and her own life."
Allie says: "I've been waiting for this book since I finished Luckiest Girl Alive! Loved it. Very original and fresh, and of course, super twisted! Rivalries abound on the reality show Goal Diggers, where ladies revel in their #girlboss status. Unfortunately, this perfect sisterhood is only for show. Brett has died (although how isn't revealed until the end) and her sister makes the choice to stay on the show and explore the new story line. This read like a mix between the Real Housewives series and some old-fashioned psychological suspense. I will be highly recommending this book!"
Allie says "Inspiring stories from leading women. Great as a coffee table book, and perfect for reading a story a day!"
Allie says: "In the first chapter we find out that the nanny has killed her two charges and then killed herself. The rest of the book details how her mental state deteriorated, explores motherhood, parenting challenges, and family dynamics. Very disturbing and mesmerizing. Definitely recommending this to everyone!"
Allie says: I loved McHugh’s debut novel set in a fictional southern town. This thriller focuses on two disappearances a generation apart; that of Lucy’s mother and her friend Cheri who had been missing for a year until her dismembered body is found. This novel explores the ties of blood and what one is willing to do for family. The dual narrative keeps you guessing until the end. Suspenseful, captivating, mysterious and all-consuming, I read this book in one night. If you are a fan of Gillian Flynn, this book is for you!"
Allie says: "Loved this young adult twisted mystery! Gone Girl meets Martha's Vineyard and the upper crust of the world. Suspense and class issues make this thriller A+!"
Allie says: "Although I knew how the story would end, this retelling through the eyes of Patroclus was emotional and heart wrenching, and I was more invested with these characters than any in Homer's Iliad. A great book that I could read over and over again!"
Allie says: "Local(ish) author Joann Chaney debuts her writing skills with this fast-paced thriller about a copycat loose in Denver. Following the damaged detective Hoskins, Sammie the has-been reporter, and the original serial killer’s wife, Gail, around Colorado made for an enjoyable read. You can’t go wrong with a suspenseful who-done-it (again) story!"
Allie says: "I personally think that Cheryl Strayed can do no wrong. Her insightful writing gets me every time. What an origin story! Already read Wild? Check out Tiny Beautiful Things by Strayed for some uplifting wisdom and inspiration."
Allie says: "Everybody knows I love a good murder-thriller so it is no surprise that I loved Sharp Objects. What was a surprise? The ending. Really. This was Flynn's debut novel and I liked it better than Dark Places and Gone Girl."
Allie says: "I saw Piper Kerman speak in Breckenridge and got to meet her, so of course I had to read the book. I loved it! Insightful and funny and real. Definitely read it before you see it. That being said, she is one of the creative geniuses behind Orange is the New Black on Netflix, so also check that out!"
Allie says: "This novel was both heartbreaking and powerful. We follow the Abulhega family, who is forced from the ancient village of Ein Hod into a refugee camp by the newly formed state of Israel in 1948. In the same vein as A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kite Runner, and The Septembers of Shiraz."
Allie says: "A portrait of a tortured boy soldier in Africa. This one will give you all the feels. Great piece of non-fiction from a man who overcame atrocities we cannot even fathom."
Allie says: "Vance kept me enthralled from page one. A necessary read for today's current political climate."
Allie says: "Rupi Kaur does it again. Everything she writes is pretty much magic, read it now!"
Allie says: "A beautiful book of poetry that explains the female experience perfectly."
Allie says: "When Adichie comes out with a book, you read it. Short and powerful, this is an important manifesto for women today."
Allie says: "These coming-of-age friends use chalk drawings to communicate until disaster stikes. Cut to 20 years later and still nobody knows the truth. One of the most unexpected last pages I've read in a while, and I read a lot of twisted books!"
Allie says: "This much anticipated second novel from Hawkins did not disappoint. This psychological thriller takes place in a small town full of secrets, with a river that has a long history of drowned women. I liked this book even more than her debut and read it in one evening (with some help from cupcakes and wine). Great airplane, beach, or cozy afternoon read!"
Allie says: "Stalkers, sociopaths, and murder in Swanson's third novel kept me up all night! Split between London and Boston, with different points of views, this might be my favorite novel of his yet."
Allie says: "Possibly one of my favorite non-fiction reads ever. Following Adario (New York Times war photographer) through her career and around the world was mesmerizing and addicting... I read this book in a day!"
Allie says: "This book felt like coming home. I was so happy to be back at Hogwarts! Read it, you won't regret it, I promise."
Allie says: "This suspense novel reminded me of The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine. Two authors made for an interesting read. The first half of the book makes you think one thing is going to happen, but second half really surprises you. Put this on your list if you like a good suspense novel!"
Allie says: "The main character's agoraphobia and a little problem with alcohol creates almost a fever-dream quality to this novel. Could not put it down. Great for fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins."