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The Blind by A.F. BradyPsychological Suspense. Despite her successful career as a psychologist in a Manhattan mental institution, Samantha "Sam" James has some serious personal problems -- namely, she's an alcoholic trapped in an abusive relationship. But it's only when a challenging new patient arrives that her carefully constructed façade starts to crumble; once he's discovered her secrets, there's no closing Pandora's box. With straightforward, crisp writing and a pervasive sense of gloom (the institution is not well-funded), The Blind is a fast-paced character study of a woman who's fast losing her way.
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv ConstantinePsychological Suspense. Amber Patterson wants one thing: to leave behind her poor, humdrum background and land a wealthy husband, in this case, Jackson Parrish. The fact that there's already a Mrs. Parrish doesn't bother her too much, and in fact she hopes to use Daphne Parrish to get to Jackson. Things don't quite go to plan, and as the narrative shifts from coldly manipulative Amber to Daphne -- who's not as naive as she first appears -- the story heats up. Fans of the villainous characters in Gone Girl will want to give this one a try.
White Bodies by Jane RobinsPsychological Suspense. Though Tilda and Callie Farrow are twins, they couldn't be more different -- Tilda is glamorous where Callie is mousy and always in her sister's shadow. Now, though, Callie is increasingly worried about her sister's husband, Felix. Tilda rejects any allegations of abuse, but Callie is not convinced, and soon falls down a rabbit's hole of obsession through an online support group for victims of abuse. Narrated by Callie, this debut opens with Felix's death and, through flashbacks, vividly illuminates the dynamics of sisterhood.
Best Day Ever by Kaira RoudaPsychological Suspense. From the outside, Paul and Mia Strom have a picture-perfect life, with a strong marriage, successful careers, and handsome sons. But as the couple drives to their Ohio lake house for the weekend, doubts will arise in the minds of the readers -- why isn't Mia feeling well? What's with the tension in the car? And why is Paul being so evasive? Increasingly chilling and with plenty of surprises for a tale that unfolds over only one day, Best Day Ever is "darkly funny, scandalous, and utterly satisfying" (Kirkus Reviews).
Domestic Suspense: When Trouble Begins at Home
The Marriage Lie by Kimberly BellePsychological Suspense. Will and Iris Griffith have a good life together, which is why Iris is shocked to hear that Will has died in a plane crash en route to Seattle when he's supposed to be in Florida for work. What other secrets had he been keeping from her? Quite a lot, as it turns out. As Iris learns more about the man she married, she moves from grief and disbelief to suspicion and anger. If you like stories in which happy marriages turn out to have been built on a bedrock of lies (Deb Caletti's He's Gone, Lisa Unger's Die For You, Heather Gudenkauf's Missing Pieces, and a whole host of others), don't miss this tense, fast-paced take on a popular theme.
Watch Me Disappear by Janelle BrownPsychological Suspense. Billie Flanagan has always had an independent streak, leaving her husband and daughter regularly for solo hikes and trips away. But it's been a year since she last disappeared, and most people presume she's dead. However, her teenage daughter, Olive, fervently believes that Billie's still alive, while her husband Jonathan is beginning to think he never knew his wife at all. More focused on family drama than on any actual danger, this is a good choice for readers looking for an emotional take on a damaged marriage.
Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman KochPsychological Suspense. Opening in the aftermath of a wealthy patient's death, this unnerving novel is narrated by a Dutch doctor who caters to celebrities. Looking back on his relationship with the patient, the doctor untangles the events of the previous summer, when their two families had summered together with disastrous consequences. Ethical lapses, the misreading or ignoring of certain situations, and the constant pulse of contempt and desire makes for a compulsive read, with characters that just beg to be disliked.
Pretty Baby by Mary KubicaPsychological Suspense. Chicago literacy tutor Heidi Wood wants to help the homeless teen mom she's seen on her commute, so she invites Willow and her tiny daughter back to the condo she shares with her family (to her husband's horror). Their arrival leads to a spectacular deterioration of the relationships within the home, all told from the rotating perspectives of Heidi and her husband, as well as flashbacks from Willow herself. This narrative technique ramps up the suspense -- it's clear that something devastating happens, but the details...well, you'll have to read the book to find out. (You can follow it up with Every Last Lie, author Mary Kubica's most recent page-turner).
The Secrets She Keeps by Michael RobothamPsychological Suspense. Agatha stocks shelves at a London grocery store; Meghan is a chic and successful customer. The only thing they have in common is that they're each pregnant, and that shared experience is what leads to an acquaintanceship that seems poised to shatter both of their lives in far-reaching and surprising ways. With "brilliantly rendered characters, reckless tension, and numerous plot twists" (Publishers Weekly), The Secrets She Keeps is a must-read for fans of Harriet Lane's Her.
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