Every Wednesday, we here at Criminal Element will put together a list of Staff Picks of the books that published the day before—sharing the ones that we are looking forward to reading the most!
This week, a new Bailey Weggins novel from Kate White and the fourth Otter Lake Mystery by Auralee Wallace highlight an awesome week of books! See what else we're reading:
Even If It Kills Her by Kate White
Bailey Weggins’ great new friend in college, Jillian Lowe, had everything going for her. Pretty, popular, and whip-smart, she lit up any room that she walked into. All of that dramatically changed during her sophomore year, when a neighbor became unhinged and murdered her family. Jillian immediately left school, and ever since, Bailey has felt guilty for not staying in closer contact and being a greater support to her friend.
Now, sixteen years later, Bailey is shocked to see Jillian at her book event, and even more stunned when her still-gorgeous friend approaches her with a case. The man accused of murdering her family is on the brink of being cleared of the crime through new DNA evidence. With the real killer walking free, Jillian is desperate for Bailey’s help to identify him and allow her the closure she yearns for.
As the two women return to Jillian’s childhood town to investigate, it doesn’t take long for their sleuthing to cause shock waves. Someone starts watching their every move. As they uncover deeply-guarded secrets, so shocking that they make Jillian rethink her entire relationship to her family, Bailey and Jillian find themselves in great peril. They must decide just how much they’re willing to risk to finally discover the truth about the Lowe family’s murder.
Ring In the Year with Murder by Auralee Wallace
It’s been a tough year for Erica Bloom. And with hours left on the clock and a killer crashing the party, it’s not over yet…
This New Year’s Eve, Erica’s resolution is to have a great night—even if it kills her. She is, after all, at the party to end all parties: a Great Gatsby—themed gala sure to be the talk of Otter Lake, New Hampshire. With her perfectly finger-waved hair, borrowed pearls, and scarlet flapper dress, Erica is determined to be unflappable, despite the presence of her ex, Sheriff Grady Forrester, and his hot date, a bubbly blonde who has a hard time holding her drink. Literally…
In a plot twist as bizarre as a game of Clue, Grady’s girlfriend almost drops dead after her drink is poisoned. Who put the killer ingredient in her appletini? Suddenly the tables have turned and the sheriff has become the prime suspect. Now Erica has until midnight to clear the man she still loves—and in so doing just maybe win him back. That’s if the killer doesn't pop the cork again … and turn a New Year’s smooch into a kiss of death…
Death, Taxes, and a Shotgun Wedding by Diane Kelly
For IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway, this case is personal…
Wedding bells are ringing as Tara and her soon-to-be-husband Nick prepare for their big day. But along with all the RSVP cards are a series of death threats from an unknown source. The culprit must be someone from an earlier investigation—a white-collar criminal with a red-hot grudge—but Tara has run across too many lawbreakers to narrow down the search. And time, like her biological clock, is ticking.
Now, while dodging attempts on her life, Tara also finds herself embroiled in a rental scam in which a heartless crook is ripping people off left and right. Will she be able to track down the con artist and make it down the aisle in one piece? Or will “til death do us part” come before Tara can even say “I do”?
The Kill Circle by David Freed
When retired senior CIA analyst Rico Perris plunges off a cliff in his vintage Porsche while speeding through the mountains of Colorado late one snowy night, the local sheriff rules it an accident. CIA officials, however, suspect otherwise. Their suspicions are soon heightened after two other former intelligence analysts turn up dead under questionable circumstances. All three victims were once assigned to the same top-secret project an internal review of the CIA's long-rumored involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Now, with a Congressional mandate about to go into effect compelling the CIA to release long-secret files relating to the assassination, there is growing concern that a shrewd and ruthless killer is on the loose, one who will stop at nothing to prevent the public from discovering the truth of what happened that tragic day in Dallas in November, 1963.
Veteran pilot, aspiring Buddhist and ex-government assassin Cordell Logan has little interest in helping his former comrade-in-arms, Buzz, who still works in the intelligence community, investigate what looks increasingly like a vexing conspiracy. Content to operate his small civilian flight school in the swanky seaside resort of Rancho Bonita, California, Logan would just as soon be left alone that is, until Buzz introduces him to Layne Sterling, a brilliant and beautiful CIA agent assigned to the case. Logan is instantly drawn to her. Working together while pretending to ignore their simmering mutual attraction, they soon find themselves caught up in a high-stakes, high-altitude cat-and-mouse game, one that in the end could destroy them both.
Parting Shot by Linwood Barclay
If you made a mistake that took someone's life, you'd remember it … wouldn't you?
After a tragedy rocks the community of Promise Falls, Cal Weaver is asked to investigate the threats being made to the accused's family. He's heard all about it on the news: the young man who drank too much, stole a Porsche and killed a girl, and who claimed afterward not to remember a single thing. The whole town is outraged that he got off lightly, but for reasons Cal can't explain, he accepts the job. Then Cal finds himself caught up in a vicious revenge plot, chasing someone set on delivering retribution. In Cal's experience, it's only ever a matter of time before threats turn into action.
A gripping thriller packed with scandal, from the master of the twist you never saw coming.