River Road by Carol Goodman

25111007

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

It didn’t  take me long to become thoroughly engrossed in this story and it’s characters. I have never read anything by Carol Goodman, but now I can’t wait to!

Nan Lewis was still grieving the death of her young daughter 6 years earlier, a death which she still blamed herself for. She had gone inside to write down an idea for her new novel and she didn’t see when Emmy ran into the road and was hit by a car. Nan no longer wrote but she was dedicated to the students in her creative writing classes at Acheron College. Her job was her whole life. So she was horrified when one of her favorite students was killed by a hit and run driver and even more horrified when she realized she was a prime suspect. She was determined to find out what really happened that night – a night when she was very upset because of being denied tenure, had a little too much to drink, had hit a deer on her way home and had passed out sitting on a log in the woods near where the hit and run occurred. All of a sudden friends, students and colleagues were all suspect and Nan began to question her own actions before the horrible accident. River Road is a beautifully written, atmospheric psychological thriller where everyone is harboring a secret but only one person is guilty!

The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert

25110927

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

“The Children’s Home” is a dark and intriguing tale that begins when abandoned children begin appearing at Morgan Fletcher’s country estate, a man disfigured from an accident that’s left him psychologically scarred, ashamed and withdrawn.

Isolated from society because he sees himself as a monster, Morgan lives with his housekeeper Engel when abandoned children begin turning up on his kitchen step. When they begin finding weird objects in the attics in the mansion and disappear as if they never existed when the Ministry of Welfare shows up looking into rumors that he’s harboring children. Morgan begins to look for answers to the puzzle along with the children.  Leading to a dark hole, they find more than they bargained for.

“The Children’s Home” is a fascinating and interesting story where Morgan steps out of the tragedy of his past and away from the handicap that seems to define him with every brave action he takes, and in the end finds healing. This is a brilliantly crafted piece of storytelling that I couldn’t put down until the end.  This was a strange tale that I was not expecting when I started reading!

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

23719481

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

With not only an interesting book cover, this was an entirely interesting book!

Mr. Splitfoot alternates between two different story-lines. The first tells the story of Ruth and Nat who live at the Love of Christ foster home. Two teenagers stuck in a religious group home in upstate New York. Unsure what they’ll do when they turn 18 and ‘age out’ of the Love of Christ! facility, Ruth is ready to consider desperate measures to find some kind of future for herself and her best friend. An option turns up when the two meet a traveling con man, Mr. Bell, who suggests that they start profiting off Nat’s reputed ability to speak to the dead – one he’s so far only used to scare and entertain the fellow foster kids at the home. Mr. Bell also comes from an unusual religious background, we learn – his father was the leader of an apocalyptic cult. Is this commonality of experience the reason he’s drawn to Ruth and Nat, or is there a different agenda behind his seeking them out?

The second story-line is told simultaneously with the first, but it takes place years after the first. This story follows Cora, Ruth’s niece. Cora is impregnated by a sleazy acquaintance she keeps named Lord. Shortly after Cora gets pregnant, Ruth shows up wanting Cora to follow her. Something’s different this time though, Ruth just shows up with no car or anything, and she is completely mute, but it’s clear that Ruth wants Cora to come with her. Cora and Ruth set off, on foot, across New York State.

Mr. Splitfoot is a great original story that’s well worth the read if you’re in the mood for something a little bizarre, and that will keep you guessing till the end!