Karen's Staff Picks

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The House We Grew Up In: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476776866
Availability: In Stock at Our Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - April 28th, 2015

A page turning melodrama about a highly dysfunctional family and all the tip-toeing the members do around the family matriarch.

Lorelei & Colin Bird are the truest definition of opposites attract.

Lorelei is whimsical, flakey and immature at best in both her actions and personality.

Together they start a family of 4 children.  Chapters flip back and forth between past and present and most are centered around Lorelei’s favorite holiday, Easter.
Celebrations change after many years and everyone grows apart, but strange things start happening over time. Tragedy strikes and more things change.

This is a mix of coming of age, family dysfunctions and severe mental illness/behavior.  A very different pace from this author’s normal suspense but well worth the read.

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The Stranger in the Mirror: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062967329
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Published: Harper - July 6th, 2021

A jaw dropping twisty thriller that starts out as a slow burn tale of a woman struggling to remember who she is.  Meanwhile several hundred miles away, a well respected physician struggles to raise his 7 year old daughter on his own, after his wife disappeared two years prior.

Through a bizarre opportunity the amnesiac woman’s life crosses paths with the prominent doctor and life quickly spins out of control.


Shocking twists and gasping moments help propel this outstanding summer thriller as a MUST read.
Great character building, well researched material for basis of the plot, easy to connect with characters and empathize with them.

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The Book of Accidents: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399182136
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Published: Del Rey - July 20th, 2021

Epic storytelling! What does a child abuse survivor, a convicted serial killer and an empathetic teen have in common? Ghostly apparitions, odd occurrences, sleepless nights and the feeling that something is very wrong.

Nate Graves is a survivor of his own horrific childhood and as a married man and father he wants to put away his past fears and start over; second chances have to count for something. Moving back into his childhood house of horrors, Nate must face the demons of his past and become challenged with new terror as he is son, Oliver takes on a new friend and things become a whole lot creepier.

A Chuck Wendig story that will stay with you, long after you have finished. Relatable characters placed in precarious situations that will have you rooting for the underdog every time! Throw in a creepy 1900’s coal mine and sinister behavior and you’ll find yourself steeped in this horror/ mystery story all the way to the last page. Try it, I dare you!

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Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525562641
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Published: Anchor Books - March 2nd, 2021

A unique and fascinating exploration into schizophrenia.  Is it genetic? Chemical? Or environmental?

The Galvun family depicted in this non fiction piece is a classic display of a severely dysfunctional family. Parents turning against one another, a military father whose washed his hands of helping raise the 12 children he helped create while the mother grew angrier and more frustrated that she had to give up her dreams.

Six of the 10 boys were all diagnosed with schizophrenia; all in varying stages/degrees. The remaining children were left vulnerable and afraid, abused and verbally attacked by their siblings.

A well written/documented piece for anyone searching for information on mental illness.

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Golden Boy: A Murder Among the Manhattan Elite Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250271020
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Published: St. Martin's Press - July 20th, 2021

Thomas Gilbert Jr. was raised in an affluent lifestyle by wealthy parents who held him accountable for nothing. A family history of mental illness hides in the background and is shunned by his parents, even when it becomes blatantly obvious his paranoid delusions/behavior have ramped up. It was far more important to let him get by on his good looks and charm and the family name then be ostracized by the community and his peers. Tragically sad ending which could have been avoided if the necessary steps had been taken by the parents.

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Dark Horses: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982133849
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Published: Gallery/Scout Press - February 16th, 2021

An intensely dark read that is not for the faint of heart.

Monty Montgomery is a character you will love to hate.  Monty is a three time Olympian champion for horsemanship, he now spends his time coaching and raising his only daughter Roan.  He is a perfectionist, domineering, demanding and an all out questionable parent.

Everything he does, he claims is for his daughter’s future.

As you read on, his parenting skills are extremely warped; threatening Roan with severe consequences for any signs of retaliation or disobedience.  Cutting remarks and a disgusting physical prowess that will raise more than an eyebrow.  There are numerous accounts of why didn’t Roan tell someone what was going on.  As you continue to read, you will see that Monty was conditioning his daughter in the same way he trained his horses.

Roan, at the beginning is an impressionable 15 year old, willing to please her daddy but as time marches on, it is pleasant to see her mature and awaken to possibilities that she may take.
This was an emotional journey to read, hard to take on some pages but the author delivers a gut punching story that is impressive for its taboo subject.

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Never Saw Me Coming Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778311553
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Park Row - September 7th, 2021

A fascinating foray into the study of psychopaths through a fictional portal.

7 students specifically chosen to be studied and possibly “fixed” by a professor whose had decades of practice and research in the field of psychology.

But what happens when 7 students arrive in the same college campus?

One student, Chloe, has been building what she believes is a foolproof plan to wipe out another students life and get the revenge she’s been yearning for, since she was 12.  Along the way, two of the psychopaths meet their untimely end and the pressure cooker is on to discover who is wiping out these dangerous individuals.  Time is running out for Chloe, whose attracted the wrong kind of attention from a stalker. Is it another psychopath from the program? Why is someone killing the program students? And finally, will Chloe be able to exact her revenge?

An absolutely brilliant and wholly unique subject matter that is tantalizing to fans of dark twisty thrillers.

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The Therapist: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250274120
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Published: St. Martin's Press - July 13th, 2021

A new relationship, new city, and new friends starts this fantastic thriller, set in London.

Alice Dawson & Leo Curtis move into a posh neighborhood community known as The Circle.

Struggling to fit in and make friends, Alice hosts her own welcome-to-the-area party and finds that not everyone who shows up wants her there, and not everyone who shows, was actually invited.
Through neighboring gossip and the uninvited guest she learns that 18 months before her house was the scene of a grisly murder.

With nothing but time on her hands, Alice decides to investigate on her own; some neighbors share information, others do not. Warnings come from others that she needs to be careful and to not trust anyone. Who can she trust? The closer she gets to solving the mystery, the creepier life at home becomes.  Someone is sneaking into her house. Who murdered the previous tenant? Who can she trust?

To find out, Book your appointment with The Therapist and start reading! B.A. Paris’s BEST novel yet.

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The Perfect Father: The True Story of Chris Watts, His All-American Family, and a Shocking Murder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250782687
Availability: Backordered - Availablilty Will be Delayed
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks - March 30th, 2021

A most recent crime as of late 2018; father, Chris Watts & the disappearance of his pregnant wife & 2 toddler aged daughters.
Shown as a power couple by wife, Shanann’s constant media postings; but behind closed doors is a whole other side of what toxic love is.
Did Chris snap? Or were his actions premeditated? John Glatt is an excellent journalist/author for capturing the true sides of evil & presenting his findings in books that read like fictional mysteries.

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Whisper Down the Lane: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781683692157
Availability: In Stock at Our Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quirk Books - April 6th, 2021

Spectacular storytelling!
What appears to be is a small town in Virginia that starts out quaint & quiet turns quickly into chaos. midway through, the pieces start falling into place. A fabulous introduction that leads into both past/present of a “make believe” town. Crazy plot twists that kick this story into the WOW factor.
A terrific blend of horror & a psychological thriller.

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Such a Quiet Place: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982147280
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Published: Simon & Schuster - July 13th, 2021

Intriguing, engaging and overall, spectacular!

A fast paced whodunit, covering about 10 days timeframe; summer break for the members of this idyllic neighborhood whose occupants all maintain employment through the local college.
Ruby Fletcher was tried & convicted of killing one couple on her street and sent away; however, the conviction was overturned and Ruby returns to the scenic neighborhood which throws everyone for a loop, including her former housemate.
Secrets are bountiful in this neighborhood & everyone has something to hide & fear.  As the days kick off with Ruby’s return, tensions build and secrets flush to the surface. This was a fabulous mystery within a mystery and Ruby is a character you will grow to despise.

Did Ruby kill The Truett’s? Or was she framed? Everyone is a suspect in this story, can you figure it out?!

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The Sanatorium: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593296677
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Published: Pamela Dorman Books - February 2nd, 2021

Mystery, intrigue & high suspense set the tone for this debut novel.  A dark & ominous dust jacket gives off a haunted feeling that appeals to fans of gothic horror & those interested in solving secrets.
Conflicts between familial characters, heightens the tension in this spine tingling page turner which begs absolution.
Is Le’ Sommet really a grand 5 star hotel, with its clinical interior approach? Or is it hiding sinister secrets of its previously dark past as the “hospital of horrors”?  Solving the mysteries, are guests who were invited to celebrate an employees recent engagement, only to be trapped inside during an avalanche!
A fabulously frightening suspense novel that was intensely satisfying with surprising twists near the end. Brilliant debut.

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Thick as Thieves Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538751947
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - August 25th, 2020

An intense fast paced romantic suspense story that shocks you with twists and turns and some fabulously written characters.

The growth of the characters is a wonderful experience within the schemes running throughout this thriller.

Rusty is one of the best written villains I have come across in a long time; he is menacing, vindictive, sneaky & underhanded and he keeps this story hopping.

I was floored by the ultimate twist at the end! I did not see that one coming.

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The Grace Year: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250145444
Availability: In Stock at Our Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wednesday Books - October 8th, 2019



This book is superbly written with ideas and themes that seem familiar but are written in a unique way that leaves the reader in awe when the book ends.  Combining both adventure and dystopian themes, this story covers a society that pushes the boundaries of leaders and followers, the strong against the weak, those who will survive, and those who may or may not.  Characters whom are very realistic in their mannerisms, some we love, and others we grow to despise as the pages fly.


It’s about magic & illusions, coercion, controlled environments & so much more.


Tierney is the main character & this is her story. She is a beautifully written character, watching her grow throughout the story was like the opening of a chrysalis.  Kiersten, another character, is someone to despise, maybe even hate.  If you are a fan of Lord of The Flies, Harvest Home, and The Village this is the perfect, modern day version and you simply must read this!

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The Invited: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101971864
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Published: Anchor - January 28th, 2020

Hands down, The Invited is Jennifer McMahon's best book to date.  She deftly weaves a blend of history, mystery, and some good old-fashioned ghostly effects into this tale of builing your dream home on a questionable property.  Every spare minute you have will be spent glued to the pages as you peel back the layers, only to realize there are multiple mysteries hidden within.  Great for fans who enjoy a little haunting!

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Theme Music: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781524744700
Published: Dutton - July 23rd, 2019

This debut novel is a recipe of: horror, suspense, heady characters, and sheer terror that could possibly hint at possession.


The main character, Dixie, is clear thinking in the beginning but as the story continues, it seems we the reader are witness to her psychosis; intriguing for sure.  Is it possible for victims of a gruesome and untimely death to remain behind as spirits? To be confused as to their altered state and act out against those still amongst the living? Or is it all hopefulness & projection? 


Was Dixie’s choice to move back into her house to solve her family’s tragic past the right one?

If you want to know the secrets that lie within these pages you must grab yourself a copy, but keep a few lights on!

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The Sun Down Motel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780440000174
Published: Berkley - February 18th, 2020

This was one of the most engaging and entertaining reads that smoothly blends terror, suspense, horror, and the supernatural all centered around a strange motel.  Undertones are dark and ominous, similar to the creepy feeling of the Bates Motel & "The Twilight Zone" but with a whole new category of weirdness.


The story is told to us by two striking viewpoints of Viv (past) & Carly (present), and the back-and-forth meshed together so evenly, that it was actually refreshing.  While not giving away anything, this story has a little bit of everything: disappearances, murders, unsolved cold case crimes, small towns with really big secrets. Unusual sounds and scents increase the intensity as you fly through the pages in hopes that we, the reader, can guess the ending without being too scared.


My favorite line in the book is: “What could go wrong?”  And in order for you to find out, you’ve got to grab yourself a copy of this book and dive in!!

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The Woman Inside: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781524744533
Published: Dutton - January 14th, 2020

This explosive and intense psychological thriller keeps you guessing all the way to the end.


Characterizations are phenomenal as the authors pull the reader in with little tidbits of information chapter by chapter until you get the full picture towards the end, and this is what builds the tension and suspense throughout the story.


Subjects covered throughout this story are: miscommunication within marriages, lying/cheating, severe mental health issues, bribery, drugs and alcohol and a ton of assumptions that really mess with the characters minds.
Those listed above are just a few of the issues contained within but there is so much more; but I do not believe in spoiling anything!  Fabulous multiple plot twists.


I am really grateful for the opportunity to read such a treasure!

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Necessary People Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316451727
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Published: Back Bay Books - May 19th, 2020

5 out of 5 stars for this psychological thriller!


A story of 2 friends who are very different in personalities that "click" in college and move on in life, until they aren't friends.

Greed for the limelight, each driven with ambition; who's more important? The girl from the big bucks, old-school, moneyed family who takes nothing serious except her booze, drugs & parties; or the gal from a poor broken home who works severely hard to do the righteous things?


Who really wins when the relationship is disgustingly toxic from the beginning?


Stella is a heady, egotistical character that you will love to hate & Violet is the proverbial girl next door that gains confidences throughout but this story provided some excellent twists and turns and at least 2 shocking "oh my" plot twists... Necessary People was an excellent title for the escapades in this book.


I am definitely interested in reading more by this author!

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The Family Next Door: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250217639
Availability: In Stock at Our Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks - October 29th, 2019



5 out of 5 stars for this phenomenal novel that was fast paced and filled with twists and turns and an explosive plot twist towards the end that through my theory right out the window!

"Nothing is as easy as it seems" would be the closest phrase I can coin for this storyline.

A cast of heady " too perfect to be true" characters all trying to outdo one another on the "whose the best mom" on the cul- de-sac.  A unique twist of a story that was surprisingly awesome.

If you're a fan of twisty stories that involve issues of: trust, family, mental health issues & a big ole surprise, then you need to read this one for sure.