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Psychological

School Mom or Sociopath? Harding’s “Her Pretty Face”

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Robyn Harding, author of the dark domestic novel The Party (Gallery/Scout Press), has given us yet another pulse-quickening read, set within a seemingly normal friendship of mothers. In Her Pretty Face (Gallery/Scout Press), Harding follows the overweight, insecure Francis Metcalfe as she struggles to fit in with the other Forrester academy mothers. Francis is miserable and desperate for a friendly face, but her chances dwindle as her son is drawn into an event at school that spells social suicide for him. When the gorgeous, confident, charismatic Kate Rudolph chooses to befriend Francis over all others, Kate cannot believe her luck. As these women grow closer, secrets are revealed and it becomes clear that one of these women is hiding behind a wall of…

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We All Have a Dark Side: 8 Thrillers from Joyce Carol Oates

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Few authors have been as prolific as literary powerhouse Joyce Carol Oates. Since publishing her first book in 1963, she’s written over 40 novels, nabbed every award imaginable, and earned a coveted endorsement from Oprah Winfrey—all the while experimenting with different formats and genres. One such genre is psychological suspense, for which she frequently writes under the nom de plume “Rosamund Smith.” In Oates’ hands, the darkest corners of humanity are brought to life, turning our worst nightmares into page-turners and New York Times bestsellers. From sex and vengeance to murder and obsession, the Joyce Carol Oates books below are a taste of the National Book Award winner’s most chilling works. And if you love them as much as we…

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Review: Dive Into Psychological Mystery on Peregrine Island

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Tolstoy said that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Diane B. Saxton, the debut author of Peregrine Island (She Writes Press, August 2, 2016), would probably agree. Her new novel dives into a memorably dysfunctional family, the Peregrines, living on the titular private island on Long Island Sound. Three generations of women live there: Winter, the calculating matriarch, her rebellious adult daughter, Elsie, and her child daughter, Peda. The novel alternates between these three very distinct viewpoints – giving readers the impression of an isolated family wrapped up in years of internal angst. This serves to heighten the sense of mystery when the main story comes into play. It’s hard to describe what’s going on in Peregrine…

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The Girl on the Train: Is Paula Hawkins’ debut the new Gone Girl?

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“With great power comes great responsibility.” Wait, that’s life advice for Peter Parker (and Spider-Man). For authors, particularly debut authors like Paula Hawkins in The Girl on the Train, it’s more like “with weighty comparisons to bestselling novels come often insurmountable expectations.” Even if you’re not a crime fiction fan—and this is surely part of the book’s enduring appeal almost two years after its release—you’ve probably read (or at the very least know) the basic gist of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Girl meets boy in New York. Girl and boy get married. Girl and boy live seemingly happy life for a few years. Girl and boy move to Missouri. Girl and boy are about to celebrate five-year anniversary but girl…

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