Club Culture | Mystery & Suspense, Dec. 2019

This dark suspense is a fine addition to LGBTQ and multicultural collections; the plot is suspenseful but the character development is weak. Overall, a moderately decent psychological thriller with a touch of the supernatural

Heard, Wendy. The Kill Club. Mira: Harlequin. Dec. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9780778309031. pap. $15.99. SUSPENSE
Jazz knows her diabetic 13-year-old brother Joaquin is desperate for insulin. Growing up in foster care was brutal, and now that she is on her own and their dogmatic foster mother, Carol, has adopted Joaquin, Jazz no longer has access to him. She’s thwarted at every legal turn, so when an anonymous caller suggests that Carol can be made to disappear, her desperate love for Joaquin sets off a frantic chain of events. All Jazz needs to do is kill someone in order for Carol to be killed. As the bodies accumulate, the stymied police see no connection between the murders dubbed the Blackbird killings. When the murder Jazz plans fails, she must run from the police and the merciless mastermind behind the attacks. Then Joaquin disappears.
VERDICT Heard (Hunting Annabelle) offers an exhilarating plot of quid pro quo. Biracial Jazz is a scrappy boxer, loyal to friends and family, who only wants to offer her smart younger brother a chance to make it in life. This dark suspense is a fine addition to LGBTQ and multicultural collections.—Gloria Drake, Oswego P.L. Dist., IL

Walters, Damien Angelica. The Dead Girls Club. Crooked Lane. Dec. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9781643851631. $26.99. SUSPENSE
DEBUT Child psychologist Heather Cole receives an envelope containing half of an old heart-shaped "Best Friends Forever" pendant, and her secure and happy life begins to unravel. She believes the necklace belonged to her childhood best friend Becca, who was killed 30 years earlier. When they were in middle school, Heather, Becca, Rachel, and Gia loved talking about anything gruesome, from true crime to making up their own ghastly stories. A natural artist and storyteller, Becca created the Red Lady, a witch who would avenge those who have been wronged for a price. The lines between reality and imagination became blurred by Becca’s obsession with the Red Lady, and Heather was caught up in the frenzy. Now, as reminders of her past begin to infiltrate her life, Heather must protect herself from someone who knows the truth of what happened that summer and is out for vengeance.
VERDICT Horror short story author Walters offers up her first novel in the crowded psychological thriller field. The plot is suspenseful but the character development is weak. Overall, a moderately decent psychological thriller with a touch of the supernatural.—Joy Gunn, Paseo Verde Lib., Henderson, NV

 

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