The clear sky burst into flames of peach and gold, illuminating the small body leaning against the rocks. He looked even smaller than he had in the photos, purple marks blemishing his neck. His eyes were open, staring ahead at the vastness of the still water. When three nine-year-old boys go missing on a field trip to Lakemore’s annual spring festival, panic tears through the small town. Detective Mackenzie Price and her partner Nick Blackwood lead the search, but no trace of the boys is found—until one of them is found murdered, a note stuffed down his throat. “Find Johnny’s killer, or they all die.”Johnny was supposedly a victim of Jeremiah, a serial killer Nick helped put behind bars nearly a decade ago for the murder of ten young boys. But when Mack and Nick pay him a visit, he claims that he knows nothing—and that he remains innocent of Johnny’s murder.Then a second boy is found, another clue left on his body, leaving just one left alive.Desperate to save the last boy’s life, Mackenzie and Nick comb over Jeremiah’s case, only to discover proof of a shocking cover-up—and a killer who will stop at nothing to right the wrongs of the past. Little Lost Boy is by Ruhi Choudhary.
A Body At The Tea Rooms is by Dean MacDonald. Meet Kate Palmer! A semi-retired nurse with a sweet tooth for cake and a talent for solving crimes. Kate Palmer is most disappointed when renovations at her sister Angie’s new tea rooms are derailed after a body is discovered in the cellar. She was looking forward to clotted cream teas with a seaside view. Instead she has another murder mystery to solve… If the village gossip is to be believed, the unfortunate man was connected to the wealthy Hedgefield family. Kate is reluctant to get caught up in the investigation but a curious card in the victim’s jacket pocket sparks her interest. Not to mention the ridiculous rumour Angie is somehow involved! Keen to clear her sister’s name so she can finally eat cake in the charming tea rooms, Kate teams up with handsome retired Detective ‘Woody’ Forrest to untangle the baffling case. After quizzing the locals over copious cups of tea, Kate begins to realise the Hedgefields, who live in a grand mansion and own half the village, are not as perfect as they make out. They’re hiding a long-buried family secret and plenty of people have a grudge against them, including a number of their ex-employees. But who could have murdered a member of Lower Tinworthy’s most enviable family? Was it the old gardener? The seemingly sweet cook? Or the bitter maid? Just as she inches closer to the truth, Angie goes missing. Does amateur sleuth Kate have what it takes to get to the bottom of this extraordinary puzzle and save her sister at the same time?
Twisted Lies is by Angela Marsons. Her stomach lurches as she sits in the windowless room. He throws her phone to the ground, grinds it against the floor with the heel of his shoe and brings his face closer to hers. There was no turning back now, her life as she knew it was gone. When the lifeless body of a man is found on an industrial estate, Detective Kim Stone arrives on the scene and discovers he’s been tortured in the worst way imaginable. But as she breaks the devastating news to the victim’s wife, Diane Phipps, Kim can’t help feeling that something isn’t quite right about the woman’s reaction. Twenty-four hours later, the victim’s family disappears into thin air. Then a second body is found staked to the ground in a local nature reserve. Desperate to crack the case open quickly, Kim and her team unravel a vital clue – a fiercely guarded secret that links both victims and could cost even more lives. A secret that some police officers are also protecting. Faced with deceit from those she should be able to trust, family members who won’t talk, and local reporter, Tracy Frost, opening a can of worms on the case of a woman murdered by her husband a year ago – Kim is in deep water like never before. Kim must find the motive if she is to find the killer who is systematically targeting and torturing his victims. But can she unlock the shocking truth and stop him before he strikes again?
Someone wants Jake Parker dead. He’ll find out why, or die trying… Ex-army, ex-police, widowed husband, estranged son. Jake Parker has no family, no one to care if one of the government-contract jobs he takes goes wrong. So he’s shocked to get a phone call from his father as he’s pursuing an anomaly from his latest mission. But his dad isn’t calling for a chat, he’s issuing a warning: stop digging around, let this job go. Jake barely has time to register the news that his father has been keeping tabs on him before a bomb tears apart his apartment, and he barely escapes with his life. Now he’s injured, on the run, and determined to find out who wants to silence him, and why. The more he digs, the more drastic the attempts on his life become, but Jake won’t be beaten at this game. When he gets hold of one of the thugs trying to take him out, Jake learns that he’s treading on the toes of an illicit arms deal and now he may be the only person who can stop a cargo of weapons getting into the hands of international terrorists. Terrorists with their eyes on the US and who seem to have a hold on his father. Now Jake has to make the ultimate choice: allegiance to his family, or to his country…? He can only save one. False Allegations is by Nick Thacker.
The young woman’s mouth is slightly parted, as if waiting to speak. Her body is frozen in ice and her blue eyes stare at the sky, perhaps wanting to look at the stars one last time… When the body of a woman is found in the frozen Neponset River, just where it meets the sea, Jessie Nova and her partner Detective Sam Dallas rush to the scene. When Jessie sees a flash of a familiar silk scarf, she’s shocked to realize the girl in the ice is Sheila Logan, who she worked closely with for years at Boston City Hospital. Jessie desperately wants to find out how this young and talented nurse ended up an innocent victim. But who would want to kill her? As she digs into Sheila’s past, Jessie realizes she was having an affair with a colleague and may even have been pregnant. Was her lover unwilling to be a father to her child? The pain of Sheila’s death threatens to tear open Jessie’s old wounds—Jessie’s own mother walked out on her when she was just a baby and never looked back. She can’t change her own past, but she’s determined to get justice for Sheila. When Sheila’s neighbor is found dead, also wearing a distinctive scarf, Jessie sees a lethal pattern forming. Next, someone breaks into Jessie’s car and she knows she’s being warned off the case. But with the killer in her sights, will she take the deadliest risk of her life? Can Jessie catch him, before he catches up to her? The Frozen Girl is by Roberta Gately.
Ten years ago he killed my son. Today I married him. Ten years ago my darling son Jesse was murdered and our perfect family was destroyed. My strong, handsome boy, so full of life, became a memory, a photo I carried with me everywhere. But today I’m finally close to finding happiness again. My ash-blonde hair has been curled into ringlets. Carefully placed white flowers frame my delicate features. The small, drab chapel has been prettied up with white satin, and there are tiny red hearts scattered on the small table where I will soon sign the register with my new husband. The man who killed my son. My friends and family can’t understand it. My neighbours whisper in the street whenever I walk past. How can I love a man like Tom? They don’t really know me at all… The Marriage is by K L Slater.
The Playdate is by Victoria Jenkins. Arranging the playdate was easy. Child’s play. Preparing the house was more difficult. It was only now she realised how many photographs there were: the picture-perfect unit. Wife, husband, child. All of it a lie. I made a new friend at playgroup today. She’s different from the other mothers. She feels like someone I can trust. Someone I can confide in. But there are some things I can’t tell her. Things I can’t tell anyone. Because I have a secret that no one else knows. One that still haunts my dreams, wakes me up in a cold sweat at night. Even another mother would never understand.Unless, of course, she’s hiding something too…
Stumbling through the pitch-black forest, twigs scratching her bare feet, she sobs as she imagines her children crying for their mommy to put them to bed. By now everyone will know she is missing. Please, please let me find the way home. Before he comes back. As Agent Nadine Finch rushes to investigate the murder of newlywed Nikki Darnell in Ocala National Forest, Florida, fear floods her body. She swore she’d never set foot here again, not since the case fifteen years ago which tore her life apart. But taking in the triangular cuts scarring Nikki’s perfect pale skin, she knows she must put her own traumatic past aside to find justice for Nikki’s inconsolable husband. Discovering water in Nikki’s lungs, and certain the triangular wounds were made by arrowheads, Nadine must convince her team of her terrifying theory: that Nikki was hunted down and drowned before being left for them to find. But what monster would do such a thing? And why? Then another woman, a mother of two, is discovered in the woods, tell-tale arrow marks all over her body. Recognizing the victim as a local waitress, Nadine fears the killer has started attacking women known to her. And the moment she traces the arrow heads to a nearby outdoors store, her own partner disappears. Frantic, Nadine follows the trail to a lonely cabin deep in the Florida wetlands where she finally learns the heart-stopping truth. To save one of her own, she must confront a deadly hunter obsessed with the case that’s haunted her whole career. Will Nadine have to make the ultimate sacrifice to stop him taking more innocent lives? The Hunted Girls is by Jenna Kernan.
A Good Mother is by Sam Hepburn. I see my son’s scooter lying in the undergrowth. Time stands still. Where is he? Deafened by my own heartbeat, I keep looking but I can’t see him. This is all my fault. My punishment for the things I did, and the things I should have done. All I ever wanted was to keep my son safe. I married the perfect husband, built the perfect home. I’ve tried to give Finn the life I never had. Everything was going so well. Until now. It’s just small things at first – a punctured tyre, an open gate that I'm sure I locked. But then I see the photograph of two young girls, and a night I’ve tried to forget. I know I have to stop pretending that nothing is happening. I can’t escape the truth. Someone knows my secret. But what do they want from me?
One of them is missing… One of them did it… The Thanksgiving retreat was meant to be a time for them to get away from it all, miles from the secrets that threaten to tear their family apart. But they’re each hiding something: Rose hopes the pretty house overlooking the sea is just the break her family needs. But as she gazes at the water and remembers her own childhood, she is utterly terrified. Brandon knows his wife Rose has barely forgiven him for his affair. He’s started drinking again, a road that led him to disaster once before. Brianna, Rose’s sister-in-law, is recovering from her fifth miscarriage, and when she looks at her adorable niece, she can’t help but see the daughter she deserves. Then three-year-old Lily disappears from her bed in the villa. Isolated in what should have been paradise, it quickly becomes clear that one of them took her. As one by one their secrets are uncovered, who will be destroyed next? The Vacation is by M M Chouinard.