There are a few more weeks of summer! Here are a few more books to get through August!
Book 1: The Quiet Tenant By: Clemence Michallon
Anyone else out there a crime documentary fanatic? Watch seasons of CSI non-stop at all hours of the day? Have your parents questioned why all the books they ordered off your Christmas list have to do with murdering someone? Well, let’s chat. Recently I’ve been following the news about the Gilgeo Beach serial killer on Long Island, so when I saw this read coming around with great reviews, I had to grab it myself.
The Quiet Tenant tells a story that rotates around a serial killer in Upstate New York, a perfectly-mannered but lightly scruffy handyman named Aidan, who can do no wrong. Imagine the best guy to bring home to your parents, the one you’ve told your friends you’ve waited your whole life for – that’s Aidan. However, that same man has the whole town fooled as he spends his free time kidnapping and murdering. I liked that this book was told from the point of view of the women in the book – focused mostly on his young daughter, his new girlfriend (a local bartender) and the woman he has locked on his property. I appreciated the chapters by his daughter as it gives an angle to what’s going on in the home and some of her father’s actions behind the scenes. They really highlight the dual lives that a person can lead – a person can be a great father and a serial killer. The girlfriend, much like so many of us, considers Aidan the person she’s been waiting for but didn’t expect. Her attraction overcomes his mystery, but it’s part of the page-turning as she starts to question some of his behaviors. I feel like we always see these people on the news and ask “Didn’t they notice anything!?” And lastly, readers will be on the edge of their seats as they read the chapters from the point of view of the “woman in the shed.” We learn how she got there, and the delicate dance she must partake in to stay alive.
My quick review is that I thought this was one of the creepiest books I’ve read all year and I highly recommend (if you’re into serial killers and such). It’s scary to think who we know or don’t know.. And that there are people who are locked away.
Book 2: Grab One To Watch, By: Kate Stayman London
If you’re a faithful fan of The Bachelor and the Bachelorette but also roll your eyes when the pool always looks the same. The main character, Bea, is a plus size fashioned blogger who’s not afraid to share her opinion on social media about her favorite show “Main Squeeze” – often criticizing the lack of diversity in its casting. When one of her posts goes viral, producers reach out to offer her the chance to be the one at the mansion and the fantasy suites! Of course, the internet takes off with supporters of a woman looking for love who is the same size as most of America – but the trolls and haters spew every offensive comment known to man. Some of it was hurtful to even read, but I thought the author kept it realistic – that IS what happens online. It flip-flops between regular chapters, snips of emails, transcripts of episodes, text messages and blog posts. It pushes the book along at a quick pace, and I consider it a true fluffy read.
Book 3: None Of This is True By: Lisa Jewell
One of my favorite sets of books is The Family Upstairs and The Family Remains by this author, so I had to grab this August release. I’m sure you’ve seen Lisa Jewell’s books at your local bookstore, on the front page of Amazon, at the airport and all over Instagram. Her books deserve those spots because they’re the perfect thrillers to grab for the beach or the commuter rail. None of This is True was highly anticipated and many of the advanced readers gave it rave reviews.
Anyone obsessed with stalkers? Obsessive characters? Ones that give you the creeps, but you need to know what happens next? Characters that you feel bad for, but you’d stay far away from? Here you go! Josie (unfortunately this disastrous character has my name) runs into a popular podcaster named Alix – at a neighborhood bar in London – where they are both celebrating their birthdays; they’re birthday twins! This sets off an obsession for Josie with a woman she knows only through social media and her podcast. Slowly, but surely she creeps her way into Alix’s home – initially with the idea that she wants to “re-start” her life and share her story to Alix’s listeners. At first Alix agrees, it’s a likely extension of interviews she’s already done so it makes sense and she welcomes the content.
But Josie starts to release information about her past, her mother, her husband, her children…. She accuses her husband (significantly older now) of grooming her as a child and now she is upset he’s basically flatlined. One of her children ran away and the other hasn’t been seen outside of her bedroom in ages. Josie just leaves pureed food on a tray outside of her daughter’s room – often just listening outside the door and kissing her fingers to it. She doesn’t know what to do, but knows that she wants something different and thought that the random encounter with Alix was a sign to take the leap. Between Josie’s podcast interviews and her behavior in Alix’s house – you will be stressed reading this. Alix becomes suspicious. I became suspicious. I’m stressed writing this. This blurb is all over the place because that’s how I felt about the book- I was creeped out, I was grossed out, I was screaming for Alix to figure things out, I was yelling “what is going on” everytime Josie shared. Therefore, it was a great read (haha!) and I hope you think so too.
If you got this far, thank you! Let us know what you think via the comments on @caughtinsouthie or catch me at @glossinbossin / @josiegl on Instagram.