Review: The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

Title: The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea
Rory Moore/Lane Phillips Series Book Two
Publisher: Kensington Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A chilling murder in a prestigious prep school is at the heart of this riveting new novel from acclaimed author Charlie Donlea, featuring forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore and her psychologist partner, Lane Phillips.

Inside the walls of Indiana’s elite Westmont Preparatory High School, expectations run high and rules are strictly enforced. But in the woods beyond the manicured campus and playing fields sits an abandoned boarding house that is infamous among Westmont’s students as a late-night hangout. Here, only one rule applies: don’t let your candle go out—unless you want the Man in the Mirror to find you. . . .

One year ago, two students were killed there in a grisly slaughter. The case has since become the focus of a hit podcast, The Suicide House. Though a teacher was convicted of the murders, mysteries and questions remain. The most urgent among them is why so many students who survived that horrific night have returned to the boarding house—to kill themselves.

Rory, an expert in reconstructing cold cases, is working on The Suicide House podcast with Lane, recreating the night of the killings in order to find answers that have eluded the school, the town, and the police. But the more they learn about the troubled students, the chillingly stoic culprit, and a dangerous game gone tragically wrong, the more convinced they become that something sinister is still happening. Inside Westmont Prep, the game hasn’t ended. It thrives on secrecy and silence. And for its players, there may be no way to win—or to survive. . . .


The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea is a chilling mystery. Although this newest release is the second installment in the Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series, it can be read as a standalone.

Forensic reconstruction Rory Moore joins her partner, psychologist Lane Phillips in Peppermill, IN. Lane has been asked to assist on a podcast for the year old murders  at Westmont Prep School. Two students were murdered by a teacher at the school and several of the students connected to the victims have since committed suicide. Just as Lane begins working on the case, he is injured so Rory is doing a lot of the legwork by herself.  Will Lane and Rory figure out the truth about what happened to the students before it is too late?

Rory is looking forward to time off but she is too intrigued by Lane’s case to stay away. Her arrival in Peppermill  is fortuitous and under the circumstances, she begins looking into the deaths a little slower than usual. Rory always notices what everyone else misses and her first discovery is a game changer. Additional help arrives from unexpected sources and this new information proves to be invaluable to her. Utilizing Lane’s algorithm and his connections provide additional pieces of the puzzle but will these important details lead to the truth?

Weaving back and forth between present day and the previous summer, The Suicide House is a riveting mystery with a clever storyline. Rory and Lane are vibrantly developed, three-dimensional characters that are quite appealing.  The investigation is multi-layered and each revelation brings Rory and Lane closer to unmasking a particularly adept murderer.  Charlie Donlea brings this riveting mystery to an exciting, edge of the seat conclusion. Old and new fans are going to love this latest addition to the  Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series.

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Filed under Charlie Donlea, Contemporary, Kensington Books, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Rory Moore/Lane Phillips Series, Suspense, The Suicide House

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