North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher's life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women's Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets. North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn't expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder. What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?
My rating: 4 out of 5 starsGoodreads rating: 3.99 with 798 ratings (as of 1/3/2020) Goode girls don’t lie… Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential,... Continue Reading →
200-word review of Labyrinth (FBI Thriller #23) by Catherine Coulter My rating: 4 out of 5 stars Goodreads rating: 3.82 with 17 ratings (as of 10/10/2019) On a dark night, Agent Sherlock is driving along circuitous mountain roads in West Virginia when her car is suddenly T-boned at an intersection. As her car spins out of control, a man’s body slams against her windshield and then—blackness. When she finally comes to, Sherlock has no memory of the accident, nor of the moments that led right up to it. But what she does know is that the man she hit is a local CIA analyst…and now he’s missing. Meanwhile, in the small town of Gaffer’s Ridge, Virginia, Special Agent Griffin Hammersmith has just rescued a kidnapped woman who claims her captor admitted to the murder of three teenage girls. However, the man she accuses is related to the local sheriff and a member of a very powerful family. Special Agent Hammersmith reaches out to Sherlock for help, and they soon realize that the disappearance of the CIA analyst is actually connected to the string of murders. But how?
200-word review of The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars Goodreads rating: 4.05 with 16,632 ratings (as of 9/09/2019) When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.
Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland My rating: 4 out of 5 stars Goodreads rating: 3.49 with 972 ratings (as of 7/20/2019) Stephanie Maddox makes tough decisions every day. She has her hands full heading the FBI's Internal Investigations division, policing wrongdoers within the Bureau. But, as a single mother, the most important thing in her life is her teenage son Zachary, who's anxiously awaiting college acceptance letters. So when she discovers a gun concealed in Zach's room, her world reels. And then an FBI agent on the domestic terrorism squad shows up at her door and utters three devastating words: "It's about Zachary. . . ."