Looking for suspense books that will spook you (but not too much)? These two new releases kept me turning pages (and checking behind me) late into the night.
I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
Looking for a Book to Spook You?
These books might just spook you while you read them. I don’t normally choose books with words like ‘haunting’ or ‘haunted’ in them. I don’t mind suspense, but I try to stay away from the supernatural. Don’t worry, these books are both written by Christian authors who skillfully weave in real struggles that Christians face into their plot lines and characters. And, they’ll spook you!
by Jamie Jo Wright, Bethany House Publishers, September 2020, 393 pages.
Although women received the right to vote when she was eight, Pippa Ripley’s father and fiancé don’t seem to realize that women have brains…or hearts. Abandoned on her parent’s doorstep by persons unknown as an infant, Pippa longs for a father’s love and a purpose (other than ornamental) in life.
While her father co-owns the Bonaventure Circus with her fiancé, both men insist that she stay away from the circus wintering grounds and the nearby train depot. But someone from the circus watches her, leaves her notes, and insinuates that she belongs—she calls him The Watchman.
When she screws up her courage to break out of the mold she’s found herself in, Pippa launches herself on a journey of self-discovery with consequences she never imagined.
A century later, Chandler Faulk’s uncle purchases an abandoned train depot in Bluff River, MI, she arrives on the scene to evaluate the project. She struggles with an autoimmune disease, and fears losing her son—the light of her life. As a single parent, she’s had to work harder to finish school, find recognition at work, and make a name for herself in her field.
It doesn’t help that she fears her parents. If they find out about her illness, will they someone gain custody of her son? Bluff River seems like a perfect haven—despite the quirky landlord and his stealthy nephew. Chandler finds the perfect caregiver for Peter and sets about on her project.
Only strange things start happening. Mysterious lights in the depot, boxes strewn about in an upstairs storage room, an unsolved disappearance and a serial murderer from the past all raise Chandler’s stress level. Having a local Real Estate agent who believes in ghosts doesn’t help either.
Why I Love This Book
Jamie Jo Wright ranks high on my list of favorite authors. Her flawed and quirky characters always capture my imagination. I can relate to the ordinariness of the protagonists and the questions they pose about identity, value, and God’s involvement in our lives. But there’s nothing ordinary about her books. She skillfully draws the reader in and keeps her on the edge of her seat from cover to cover.
Wright’s books are the kind I read more than once. Once to find out what happens, and once, more slowly, to savor the words.This book was haunt you (in a good way), entertain you, and make you think. Don't miss #BonaventureCircus! #amreading #suspense Click To Tweet
By Rachel Dylan, Bethany House Publishers, October 2020, 320 pages.
CIA analyst Layla Karam loves her job as an analyst. She finds connections and solves puzzles using her unique skill sets of languages and cultural knowledge. But someone wants her to get field experience—which means leaving the safety of her desk. It also means learning how to fight and shoot—skills Layla never thought she’d need in an analyst’s position.
She joins a joint operation with the DEA against a dangerous drug cartel, and the mission goes off without a hitch. But then someone starts threatening the lives of each team member. A bombing, a break-in, danger lurks everywhere. The CIA doesn’t seem to think the action against the cartel and the events back in D.C. have anything to do with each other.
Layla gets sidelined when her boss tells her someone has initiated an internal investigation against her. Her friends at the DEA bring in a private investigator to help solve the messes. Only Layla doesn’t want help from the last man she could trust with her life—Hunter McCoy—the man who broke her heart.
Hunter McCoy knows he broke Layla’s trust, but he wants to save her career—if she’ll let him. As a well-connected PI, his unique credentials allow him to be read in on everything. And because he doesn’t work for an agency, he can negotiate the alphabet soup and help untangle the web pulling Layla down.
If the two of them make it out alive.
Why I Love this Book
Book Two of Rachel Dylan’s Capitol Intrigues series keeps the reader turning pages from scene to scene. In addition, Dylan addresses issues readers may have experienced—competition at work, personal integrity, sexual assault, and betrayal by a loved one–with wisdom and compassion. On a side note, the book includes non-graphic scenes and descriptions of physical and sexual assault, so beware of triggers.
Dylan’s characters work through their trauma with a healthy combination of professional help and a personal relationship with God. I also love how Dylan based the main character, Layla, on her own life experiences as a half-Lebanese U.S. citizen. Bravo to Bethany House for including own-voices authors and heroines.Don't miss the second book in the Capitol Intrigues series by @dylan_rachel! This own-voices suspense book will keep you hooked from page one. #amreading #ownvoices #suspense Click To Tweet