Category Archives: GP Putnams Sons

Review: The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne

Title: The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 299 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


She thought she’d buried her past. But what if it’s been hunting her this whole time?

From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Marsh King’s Daughter comes a startling novel of psychological suspense as two generations of sisters try to unravel their tangled relationships between nature and nurture, guilt and betrayal, love and evil.

You have been cut off from society for fifteen years, shut away in a mental hospital in self-imposed exile as punishment for the terrible thing you did when you were a child.

But what if nothing about your past is as it seems?

And if you didn’t accidentally shoot and kill your mother, then whoever did is still out there. Waiting for you.

For a decade and a half, Rachel Cunningham has chosen to lock herself away in a psychiatric facility, tortured by gaps in her memory and the certainty that she is responsible for her parents’ deaths. But when she learns new details about their murders, Rachel returns, in a quest for answers, to the place where she once felt safest: her family’s sprawling log cabin in the remote forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

As Rachel begins to uncover what really happened on the day her parents were murdered, she learns–as her mother did years earlier–that home can be a place of unspeakable evil, and that the bond she shares with her sister might be the most poisonous of all.


The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne is a mesmerizing mystery with an eerie setting.

Twenty-six year old Rachel Cunningham  has been in a mental institution for the past fifteen years.   She is convinced she killed her mom, Jenny, which in turn led to her father Peter killing himself in despair.  Rachel’s memories of the day of their deaths is fragmented and there are also questions about what happened to her in the aftermath of their deaths.  But when aspiring journalist Trevor Lehto asks her for an interview, Rachel learns shocking information that turns her perception of what happened upside down. Determined to find answers, Rachel checks herself out of the mental hospital and returns to the family’s isolated lodge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Will Rachel finally remember what happened to that fateful day?

Years earlier, Jenny convinces Peter to leave his teaching position to live on his family’s 4000 acre lodge.  With their daughter Diana in tow, they soon settle into their new life. Jenny is a biologist who studies the bears the that roam  through their woods.  But all is not well in their household because Diana is not your typical child. But Jenny and Peter hope the isolation will help them manage their willful daughter.

After Rachel’s birth, Jenny’s sister Charlotte moves in with them to help care for her nieces. She is soon quite close to Diana and Jenny completely trusts her sister is following their wishes regarding her care. However, Charlotte secretly gives the girls much more freedom than either of their parents would approve of. And when Jenny make a stunning discovery about Diana, what will she and Peter decide to do?

Rachel is correct in her supposition that returning home will help fill in her memory gaps. With help from unexpected sources,  she tries to understand what these new recollections mean. Rachel is also trying to fly under the radar, but can she outwit her sister and aunt?

Seamlessly moving back and forth in time,  The Wicked Sister is a riveting mystery with a chilling storyline.  The characters are well-developed but some are more likable than others. The setting is incredibly atmospheric and springs vibrantly to life. With diabolical twists and turns, Karen Dionne brings this clever mystery to an exciting conclusion. Absolutely loved and HIGHLY recommend this engrossing mystery to fans of the genre.

Comments Off on Review: The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne

Filed under Contemporary, GP Putnams Sons, Karen Dionne, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Wicked Sister

Review: The Daughters of Foxcote Manor by Eve Chase

Title: The Daughters of Foxcote Manor by Eve Chase
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 365 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


An isolated forest estate.
A family with a terrible secret.
The discovery that changes everything.

England, 1970. On the one-year anniversary of the Harrington family’s darkest night, their beautiful London home goes up in flames. Mrs. Harrington, the two children, and live-in nanny Rita relocate to Foxcote Manor, ostensibly to recuperate. But the creeping forest, where lost things have a way of coming back, is not as restful as it seems. When thirteen-year-old Hera discovers a baby girl abandoned just beyond their garden gate, this tiniest, most wondrous of secrets brings a much-needed sunlit peace, until a visitor detonates the family’s tenuous happiness. All too soon a body lies dead in the woods.

Forty years later, London-based Sylvie is an expert at looking the other way. It’s how she stayed married to her unfaithful husband for more than twenty years. But she’s turned over a new leaf, having left him for a fresh start. She buried her own origin story decades ago, never imagining her teenage daughter would have a shocking reason to dig the past up–and to ask Sylvie to finally face the secrets that lead her back to Foxcote Manor.


The Daughters of Foxcote Manor by Eve Chase is an atmospheric, twist-filled mystery.

In 1971, Rita is the Harrington family nanny. She is young but she loves thirteen year old Hera and six year old Teddy Harrington. Following a tragedy, Walter Harrington insists she, his wife Jeannie and the children spend a few weeks at Foxcote Manor, the family’s dilapidated house in the forest. Much to her discomfort,  Rita is expected to keep detailed notes about Jeannie’s behavior for Walter. The forest is eerie but the children love spending time exploring their surroundings. Rita is concerned about Jeannie but an unexpected visitor helps raise her spirits. As does the discovery of an abandoned baby girl that  she insists on keeping despite Rita’s unease.  With Walter’s visit fast approaching,  Rita grows increasingly concerned about the situation at the Manor.

In the present, Sylvie Broom is making much needed changes in her life. Unfortunately eighteen year old Annie is not exactly pleased with her mum’s choices. Just as she is trying to settle into her new routine, Sylvie is devastated when her mum is seriously injured in an accident.  At the same time, changes in Annie’s situation lead to an exploration of their family’s past.  After years of avoiding delving into her  history, Sylvie finally decides it is time to look into the secrets her mum has been very reluctant to reveal.  But is she prepared for the revelations awaiting her?

Weaving back and forth in time, The Daughters of Foxcote Manor is a compelling mystery. Rita is a delightful young woman but she soon finds herself out of her depth. Sylvie is finally breaking free of the inertia that has prevented her from finding happiness.  The suspense builds with each passing chapter and  Eve Chase weaves past and present into a very satisfying conclusion.

Comments Off on Review: The Daughters of Foxcote Manor by Eve Chase

Filed under Contemporary, Eve Chase, GP Putnams Sons, Historical, Historical (70s), Mystery, Rated B, Review, Suspense, The Daughters of Foxcote Manor

Review: All the Broken People by Leah Konen

Title: All the Broken People by Leah Konen
Publisher: G.P Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Domestic Mystery, Suspense
Length: 367 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


A woman in search of a fresh start is about to get more than she bargained for in this twisty and addictive domestic thriller for fans of The Couple Next Door.

Fleeing Brooklyn with little more than a suitcase and her trusty dog, Lucy King heads to rustic Woodstock , New York, eager to lose herself in a quiet life where her past can never find her. But when she meets Vera and John, the alluring couple next door, their friendship proves impossible to resist. Just as Lucy starts to think the worst is behind her, the couple delivers a staggering bombshell: they, too, need to escape their troubles–and the only way they can begin their new life is if Lucy helps them fake John’s death.

Afraid to lose her newfound support system, Lucy reluctantly conspires with them to stage an “accidental” death on a hike nearby. It’s just one little lie to the police, after all, and she knows a thing or two about the importance of fresh starts. But what begins as an elaborate ruse turns all too real when John turns up dead in the woods the morning after their hike. Now, Lucy must figure out who she can trust and who’s pulling the strings of her tenuous new life . . . before she takes the fall for murder.


All the Broken People by Leah Konen is a mesmerizing domestic mystery.

Fleeing an abusive boyfriend, Lucy King moves to Woodstock, NY. Despite warnings from other neighbors, she becomes close friends with Vera Abernathy and John Nolan. Spending many evenings together drinking and dining together, Lucy is closely entwined with the couple. Despite their closeness, Lucy is curious about the whispers circulating through the small town and warning letters her friends are receiving from an unknown person. 

After a chance encounter with someone from her past, Lucy becomes (willingly) ensnared in her neighbors’ plan to escape and start over.  She and Vera tell their contrived story about John’s accidental fall to the authorities. But the next day, Lucy is stunned when she discovers John has been murdered. Under intense scrutiny from Ulster County Detective McKnight, Lucy continues to guard her secrets while also trying to figure out the killer’s identity.  Is the murderer someone from her past? Or is it someone in town who is out for revenge?

Lucy has carefully planned her escape from her long term boyfriend Davis. Although their relationship is originally idyllic, over the past three years, Davis began systematically controlling and abusing her. Lucy carefully documents where everything is in her rental house, but she still doubts herself when little things begin happening.   When Lucy fears Davis has found her, she does everything she can to keep Vera and John in her life. But after John’s murder, Lucy reluctantly talks to Detective McKnight who makes no effort to hide his certainty that she lying to him.

After John’s death, Lucy becomes absolutely frantic to escape.  Certain her worst fears are about to comes to fruition, she clings even more tightly to Vera. But as she makes stunning discoveries in her own home, Lucy becomes suspicious of everyone around her. Is someone trying to make certain she is arrested for John’s murder? Can she unmask John’s killer before it is too late?

All the Broken People is an outstanding mystery with an innovative storyline and engaging characters. Lucy’s fears of her ex finding her are palpable as is her desperation to protect her newfound friendships.  The investigation into John’s murder is a slow burn with Detective McKnight remaining tight-lipped about evidence and leads. With a series of dizzying twists and shocking turns, Leah Konen brings this brilliantly plotted domestic mystery to an astonishing conclusion.  HIGHLY recommend to readers of the genre.

Comments Off on Review: All the Broken People by Leah Konen

Filed under All the Broken People, Contemporary, Domestic Mystery, GP Putnams Sons, Leah Konen, Rated B+, Review, Suspense

Review: Lost River by J. Todd Scott

Title: Lost River by J. Todd Scott
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 446 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


A blistering crime novel of the opioid epidemic–and its cops, villains, and victims–written by a twenty-five-year veteran of the DEA.

Angel, Kentucky: Just another one of America’s forgotten places, where opportunities vanished long ago, and the opioid crisis has reached a fever pitch. When this small town is rocked by the vicious killing of an entire infamous local crime family, the bloody aftermath brings together three people already struggling with Angel’s drug epidemic: Trey, a young medic-in-training with secrets to hide; Special Agent Casey Alexander, a DEA agent who won’t let the local law or small-town way of doing things stand in her way; and Paul Mayfield, a former police chief who’s had to watch his own young wife succumb to addiction.

Over the course of twenty-four hours, loyalties are tested, the corrupt are exposed, and the horrible truth of the largest drug operation in the region is revealed. And though Angel will never be the same again, a lucky few may still find hope.


Lost River by J. Todd Scott is a gritty, atmospheric mystery.

Angel, Kentucky is in a deep economic decline but the drug business is booming for the Glasser family. They have deep roots in the area and the newest generation continues their lawless tradition. While local law enforcement ignores them, the DEA has been trying to build a case against them for quite some time. Special Agent Casey Alexendra and her partner Van Dorn arrive on the brutal scene where it appears the entire Glasser family and their cohorts have been horrifically gunned down.  

Casey convinces paramedic in training Trey Dorado that it is in his best interest to help her locate people who might aid in the investigation. Van Dorn’s long standing ties to the town lead them to the former Chief of Police Paul Mayfield who is in the midst of his difficulties.  Will the assistance of the town’s insiders lead them to the one person they believe might have escaped the carnage at the Glasser property?

Casey is dealing with her own ghosts as she doggedly works this newest case. Fighting her own demons, she  tenaciously digs in her heels when Van Horn would rather regroup. She is a hardened  and tough woman but she is also surprisingly compassionate and caring.

Van Dorn is a veteran DEA Agent who favors a more nuanced approach to uncovering information. He has cultivated many ties in the local area and despite his reservations, he turns to Mayfield for answers. The former police chief  willingly answers their questions, but  Casey is not so sure he has been completely honest with them.

Unfolding from different points of view,  Lost River is a riveting mystery that is quite poignant. The setting is stark with the town’s struggles with poverty and drug addiction always at the forefront of the story. Casey is a force to be reckoned with as she convinces Van Horn to continue their hunt for the elusive Glasser who appears to have escaped death. The storyline is well-developed and  J. Todd Scott brings the novel to an explosive conclusion.

An outstanding novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.

Comments Off on Review: Lost River by J. Todd Scott

Filed under Contemporary, GP Putnams Sons, J Todd Scott, Lost River, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense

Review: The Poison Flood by Jordan Farmer

Title: The Poison Flood by Jordan Farmer
Publisher: G.P. Putnum’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Crime Fiction
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


A captivating, gritty, and tender story of a reclusive musician and the environmental disaster that threatens his small town and changes his life forever.

Hollis Bragg lives on the fringes. The hunchbacked son of a West Virginia hill preacher, he now resides in rural isolation next to the burned-out husk of his father’s church, and earns his living ghostwriting songs for a popular band that left the poverty and corruption of Appalachia and never looked back. It’s the life he prefers, free from the harsh glare of the spotlight and attachments that lead only to heartbreak.

Then, much to his consternation, he’s discovered by Russell Watson, a local musician and fan who also happens to be the rebellious son of the local chemical company magnate. When a devastating toxic spill at the Watson chemical plant poisons the local water, it sets off an unpredictable series of events as Hollis witnesses a murder, faces a shocking betrayal, and begins to come to terms with his body and his past. Soon Hollis will find that in losing his anonymity and reclaiming his music, he can transform his future; and in opening himself up to the world, he might find redemption.


The Poison Flood by Jordan Farmer is an atmospheric crime drama that is quite introspective.

Hollis Bragg lives alone in a dying West Virginia town.  Due to his severe hunchback, bullying and abuse from his father, Hollis suffers from low self-esteem despite his success as a songwriter and guitar player. Hollis is on the cusp of ending a deal with musician Angela Carver when he is recognized by Russell Watson who is the son of a wealthy chemical owner.  His uneasiness with Russell and his friend Victor Lawton  increases after Hollis meets photographer Rosita Martinez.  In the aftermath of a horrific chemical spill, Hollis comes face to face with his past.

Hollis is a gifted songwriter and guitar player who never quite felt comfortable in the limelight. At the first sign of trouble years earlier,  he returned to Coopersville, where he keeps a very low profile. Always expecting the worst when he meets someone for the first time, Hollis harbors doubts when he first meets Russell. Through Russell, he meets Rosita. Hollis is drawn to her yet he becomes  suspicious of her motives over the course of time.

The Poison Flood is a reflective novel that features colorful characters and a unique storyline. Hollis is a damaged yet well-drawn character who is ready to make changes in his life. The novel’s pacing is rather languid as Hollis wrestles with his past and present choices. Jordan Farmer brings this interesting novel to a satisfying conclusion. A thought-provoking story that I enjoyed and recommend to readers of the genre.

Comments Off on Review: The Poison Flood by Jordan Farmer

Filed under Contemporary, Crime Fiction, GP Putnams Sons, Jordan Farmer, Rated B, Review, The Poison Flood

Review: You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Title: You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Comedy
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


For fans of The Hating Game, a debut lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about two unhappily engaged people each trying to force the other to end the relationship–and falling back in love in the process.

Naomi Westfield has an Instagram-perfect life, including the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family every bride dreams of being a part of. They never fight, complain, or disagree. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And they are miserably and utterly sick of each other.

Tired of contorting herself to fit the ridiculous standards demanded by Nicholas’s family, Naomi wants out of the relationship. But there’s a catch: Whoever calls off the engagement will have to foot the enormous bill for the wedding. When Naomi finds out that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of wills to see who can annoy the other into surrendering through pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves. They’re having so much fun getting on each other’s nerves that it starts to feel like something else entirely. As Naomi discovers hidden feelings for Nicholas buried under three years of simmering resentment, she wonders if he feels the same way. Suddenly, the countdown to the wedding that may or may not come to pass feels more like a race to mutual destruction–and Naomi doesn’t want to be left alone at the finish line.


You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle is a laugh out loud debut about an engaged couple whose upcoming wedding hangs in the balance.

Naomi Westfield lives with her fiancé Nicholas Rose and the shine has definitely worn off their relationship. She is inching closer to calling off the wedding, but her future monster in law will make Naomi to reimburse her for expenses. So she devises a plan to try to force Nicholas to end their engagement, but she soon believes he  is trying to push her into calling it quits.  An absolutely hilarious game of one upsmanship begins but Nicholas ups the stakes considerably when he begins making out of character decisions.  Can Naomi and Nicholas salvage their troubled romance?

Naomi is a bit annoying initially as she keeps her resentment to herself and plots ways to torture Nicholas. Despite her discontent, she continues to present their relationship as picture perfect to everyone in her life. Naomi is tired of trying to keep the peace with her overbearing  future mother-in-law and much to Nicholas’ consternation, she does little to hide her bitterness. Zany antics ensue as Naomi’s filter is ripped away and she says whatever pops into her mind.

By all appearances, Nicholas is no prize as he ignores Naomi yet jumps to his mother’s bidding.  He refuses to say no to her and he treats her like a delicate flower.  Nicholas never defends Naomi when his mother attacks her nor has he stopped her from completely overtaking their wedding plans. After an unexpected confrontation with Naomi, Nicholas makes an impetuous choice that could make or break their fragile relationship.

While the first half of the novel is all about revenge and pushing buttons, the second half is more serious as Naomi becomes a little more reflective and less self-absorbed. She makes few startling admissions to herself as she contemplates her own choices and knee-jerk reactions.  She is rather surprised at the changes in Nicholas’ behavior but she remains suspicious he is sincere. Their days gradually become more peaceful as they become reacquainted and appreciative of one another, but will Naomi and Nicholas decide to stay together?

You Deserve Each Other is a witty romance that is a bit superficial in the beginning but hits its stride at about the halfway point. After the pranks finally end, Naomi and Nicholas settle into vibrantly developed, multi-layered characters who are quite appealing. Naomi allows her vulnerabilities to show and Nicholas proves to be thoughtful and caring.  Sarah Hogle brings this charming romance to a heartwarming and uplifting conclusion.  A fun read that I enjoyed and highly recommend.

Comments Off on Review: You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Filed under Comedy, Contemporary, GP Putnams Sons, Rated B+, Review, Sarah Hogle, You Deserve Each Other