Tazewell County Public Library

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The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

Reviewed by Lynne Bartlett

If you have ever wanted to go on a hiking and river rafting adventure in the wilderness with your closest friends, you might want to think twice!  This story could change your mind.  Four women set out into the Maine wilderness for a guided hike, camping, and river rafting experience.  Three of these friends had to be convinced by their more adventurous, athletic fourth friend that this would be great fun.  They are guided by a young man who is very convincing about his ability to guide them but a few of the women are skeptical.   Find out what happens in this frightening, bite-off-all-your-nails kind of story.  It’s a story that explores the bonds of friendship during extreme situations and raises questions of what is considered “civilized” in our current times.

Available at TCPL: Book  

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Posted by jwilkes on


Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

Reviewed by Tammy Powers

Everything You Want Me To Be is a story about the year in the life of 17 year old Hattie Hoffman told by her, the county Sheriff, Del and her English teacher, Peter. Hattie is an amazing actress, planning to go to New York City after her senior year in high school. She has always played the parts of the good daughter, good student, good girlfriend, and good employee. She has played these parts to the point that she has lost touch with who she really is and what is important in life. All she knows is that she wants more, wants to be more, wants to discover herself. Living in a small farm community in Minnesota doesn’t offer her the excitement she craves. She begins an online relationship with a married man who is lonely, disenchanted with his life and craves more. After she is found brutally murdered in an abandoned barn, her family and community are in shock. Who would murder the well-loved and perfect Hattie? Was it the boyfriend? The secret lover? A stranger?  The story is full of twists and turns, revealing secrets that no one wants told. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves suspense, drama, and a mesmerizing story.

Available at TCPL: Book | Overdrive Audiobook

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Posted by jwilkes on


The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Reviewed by Tammy Powers

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer is a must-read for fans of suspense and thrillers. The main character, Alex, is a doctor who previously worked for the US government in a secret agency. She is a specialist in chemically-induced confessions and in gathering information from suspects. The government agency decides she knows too much and must be eliminated. After years of trying and failing, they decide to use her for one last operation. They promise she will be free if she succeeds. The only problem is, she falls in love with the suspect and finds out that what she thought was true, was a lie. This is an excellent book, full of surprises, twists, and has a very strong female character.

Available at TCPL: Book | Overdrive eBook

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Posted by jwilkes on


The Couple Next Door by  Shari Lapena

Reviewed by Tammy Powers

the-couple-next-door

The Couple Next Door is a riveting suspense novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The novel revolves around a couple, Marco and Anne Contis, and their infant daughter, Cora. Marco and Anne are invited to a birthday dinner party next door, the first since the birth of their daughter. The babysitter cancelled at the last minute, so they decide to go to the party, take the baby monitor and physically check on Cora every 30 minutes. The baby is fine the last time Marco checks, but she is gone when they return from the party. The police suspect the parents, but the truth is much more complicated. The journey to find Cora is filled with shocking truths and secrets. Did Marco fake the kidnapping for ransom to save his ailing business? Did Anne, who is suffering from postpartum depression, kill Cora?  Personal and family secrets are revealed in twists that keep you guessing as to what happened to Cora and who is responsible. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys suspense and thrillers.

Available at TCPL: Book | Large Print

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Constant Fear by Daniel Palmer

Reviewed by Kathy Buchanan

Constant Fear book cover

Constant Fear by Daniel Palmer is a suspenseful thriller that leaves the reader on the edge of his or her seat until the last page is turned.

Jake Dent’s dreams of becoming a major league pitcher end after he is involved in an accident and his pitching arm is injured. His wife leaves him and Andy, their young diabetic son, soon after the accident. In an attempt to re-focus his life, Jake becomes a student of survivalism. Over the years Jake trains Andy to be prepared for the unexpected.

With the help of his brother, Jake got a job as head of maintenance at Pepperell Academy, an exclusive private high school. Jake’s job enables Andy to attend Pepperell tuition free. Andy is exceptionally bright and he and several of his friends started a computer club called the Shire. The club members become modern day Robin Hoods and, with their computer skills, steal small amounts of money from the wealthy parents of their fellow students and give the money to the poor. However, one of the members stole $2 million dollars worth of bitcoins from a South American drug cartel. The leader of the cartel hires someone to find his stolen bitcoins and when he learns who has them, he sends Fausto, his enforcer, to get them back.

After staging a hazardous waste accident to evacuate the school, Fausto kidnaps the Shire members and holds them hostage at the school. Jake discovers the kidnapping and he uses his survivalist skills and knowledge of the school’s buildings to free the hostages.

Who has the bitcoins? Will Jake successfully rescue all of the hostages? You will have to read Constant Fear to find out. Be prepared – you won’t want to put the book down until you reach the end. Daniel Palmer is a master of the suspense/thriller genre.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Posted by jwilkes on


Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Reviewed by Jade Crabtree

Mr Mercedes book cover

In a distressed American city a crowd of people were waiting for the opening of a job fair when a stolen Mercedes emerged from the early morning fog. The car plowed throw the crowd then backed up and plowed through them again killing eight and leaving many more injured before speeding off. Bill Hodges was the lead detective on the case until he retired a few months ago. Now he spends his days eating, watching T.V. and thinking about ending it all. At least he was, until he received a letter from someone claiming to be the killer that the press has dubbed Mr. Mercedes.

Brady Hartsfield is a forgettable person. A young twenty-something man living with his mother and working two jobs to keep their little family afloat. He is also hiding a few scary secrets. The biggest one is that he is Mr. Mercedes. He writes to the retired detective hoping to engage in a very satisfying game of cat and mouse; but when his plans start to go awry he decides he needs a big finish. Brady is going to go out in a blaze of glory and he means to take as many people with him as he can. It is up to Bill Hodges and his two unusual companions to stop him before his grand finale.

Available at TCPL: Book | Large Print | Audiobook | Overdrive eAudiobook

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Off the Grid by C.J. Box

Reviewed by Lena Powers

Off the Grid Book Cover

Off the Grid is the latest novel in the Joe Pickett series by C. J. Box.  Joe is a game warden in Wyoming. His friend, Nate Romanowski, is off the grid recuperating after he was shot while setting up a falconry.  While recuperating, he is contacted by a special team charged with getting rid of a terrorist cell located in the Red Desert. Joe Pickett and his oldest daughter are drawn into the action. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it and any of the books in the series.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Posted by jwilkes on


Room by Emma Donoghue

Reviewed by Erica Hall

Room book cover image

5 year old Jack has lived his entire life in the same room. As far as he knows, that room is the entire world. Unbeknownst to him, the same room is a prison to his mother. “Ma” was kidnapped by a man at 19 years old and has spent the last 7 years of her life as his prisoner in the room. She protects Jack from the realities of their situation as much as possible, to the extent that he does not realize that there is an outside world at all. As Jack grows older and starts asking questions, he and his mother form a plan to escape to the outside. If they make it out, both of them will have to adjust to their new lives post-Room.

Told from the perspective of a child, this book takes an innocent tone on what would otherwise be a very heavy subject. The movie adaptation of Room, starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, has been nominated for and has won numerous awards this year.

Available at TCPL: Book | Digital Audiobook

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Runner by Patrick Lee

Reviewed by Kathy Buchanan

Runner book cover image

Action adventure, thriller, suspense – these are just a few words that can be used to describe Patrick Lee’s novel Runner.  Sam Dryden is an ex-Special Forces soldier living in a small town on the California coast.  Still recovering from the loss of his wife and daughter, he lives a quiet live and keeps to himself.  While out for a run late one night, he literally runs into a scared young girl. Her name is Rachel and she is on the run from a group of men trying to kill her. In an instant, Sam’s Special Forces training kicks in and he and Rachel are in a race for their lives.

Why are men trying to kill her and to what extent will they go to reach their goal?  What secrets does she have? Join Sam and Rachel on the run – their adventure will keep you on the edge of your seat with several startling twists and turns in their story.  This book will appeal to readers of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, as well as David Baldacci’s John Puller, Will Robie and Amos Decker (Memory Man) series.

Available at TCPL: Book | Digital Audiobook

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Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

Reviewed by Tammy Powers

Beside Myself Book Cover

Beside Myself is a fiction novel revolving around identical twin girls, Helen and Ellie. Helen is the favorite twin, loved by all. Ellie is always in trouble, friendless, and despised by her sister. One day the bored sisters decide to switch clothes and hair styles to try to trick people. The trick works too well and once Ellie sees how different her life could be, she refuses to switch back. Helen’s identity, friends, clothes, etc… now belong to Ellie. No one will believe Helen about the switch and she withdraws into herself. The result is mental illness and criminal behavior. Over time she starts to question whether the switch ever happened. Twenty-five years later, her sister is involved in a car accident and is in a coma. Suddenly Helen has to confront the past and the consequences of the switch.

This is an excellent book. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys suspense and psychological drama. This is a debut novel by the author and is being compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I agree with those reviews and hope the author writes another novel soon.

Available at TCPL: Book

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