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10 / 30 books. 33% done!

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56 / 104 books. 54% done!

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Mysteries/Thrillers on My TBR With Houses and Water on Their Covers

Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is a simple one: Water. There are so many ways to go with this theme, but the first thing that came to mind for this mystery/thriller lover is books with pictures of houses on their covers. Have you ever noticed how many of them include water—usually crashing ocean waves—to enhance their moody, broody vibes? Not only does the inclusion of water create a sinister sense of isolation, but it also taps into the fear a lot of us have of the mysterious deep. These types of covers always send a thrilling little chill down my spine, which makes me instantly want to add the book to my TBR pile! There's just nothing like a (potentially) haunted house to pique my curiosity, whether the place is inhabited by actual ghosts or just ringing with the echoes of a secret past or whispering premonitions of an ominous future to come...

Before we get to that, though, take a minute to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give some love to our fabulous TTT host, Jana. If you want to hop on the TTT party bus (and you do!), you'll find everything you need to know on her blog.

Top Ten Mystery/Thrillers on My TBR With Houses and Water on Their Covers

1. The Only One Left by Riley Sager—I'm still on the very long library waiting list for this thriller. It concerns a teenage girl who allegedly killed her parents and sister at their cliffside mansion in Maine. Now an elderly woman debilitated by a series of strokes, Leonora is finally "speaking" out about the crime by writing her story on an old typewriter. As her home health care aide reads the pages, they become increasingly alarmed. Is the old woman as innocent as she seems or is she as guilty as sin?

2. Lakeview House by Helen Phifer—In desperate need of a new start, Maddy Hart impulsively accepts a position as a live-in caretaker at an imposing house on the shore of Lake Thirlmere. She's never been there before, but something about the place feels eerily familiar. Maddy tries not to be spooked by all the creaks and strange noises she hears while she's cleaning out the house, but the more time she spends there, the more creeped out she becomes. Are the sinister stories she's been hearing about the home's last resident true? Is Maddy in some kind of danger? Isolated and alone, she fears the worst...

3. What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline—I've never read anything by Scottoline, but I'm intrigued by the premise of this one. Jason Bennett is a regular dad whose ordinary suburban life takes a wild, unexpected turn one night as he's driving his family home from a lacrosse game. They become victims of a violent carjacking that puts them in the center of a dangerous FBI case. Encouraged to go into witness protection, the Bennetts are thrown into an entirely new life. As their peace of mind slowly unravels, new facts in the case come to light, convincing Jason that it's up to him to get the justice his traumatized family deserves.

4. The Death of Us by Lori Rader-Day (available October 3, 2023)—Fifteen years ago, Liss Kehoe responded to a late-night knock on her door and was shocked to be handed a newborn. The baby's mother, Ashley Hay, then disappeared. Liss has raised the boy she thinks of as hers, always fearful that Ashley will return and demand her son back. When the missing woman's car is found submerged in a quarry pond on Liss' property almost two decades later, it provides more questions than answers. What really happened to Ashley? Was it suicide, an accident, or something much, much more sinister?

5. The Nesting by C.J. Cooke—Tom Faraday is an architect bent on finishing the home he's building on a fjord in Norway, even though that's where his wife took her own life. He hires Gaia to be a nanny for his two young children. Although she loves the kids, she senses that something is very off in the Faraday household. Odd things are happening, leading Gaia to believe that Mrs. Faraday's death did not come by her own hand...

6. You Never Know by Connie Briscoe—In spite of its mixed reviews, I'm curious about this thriller. It revolves around a deaf woman who is delighted when she meets the man of her dreams. Not only is he charming and successful, but Marcus is also fluent in American Sign Language. It doesn't take long, though, before he seems to become a completely different person. Some sleuthing on her part reveals that her husband's first wife is missing, presumed dead. Then, Marcus himself disappears. Who is the stranger she married, really? And where has he gone?

7. The Midnight House by Amanda Geard—This triple-timeline mystery revolves around Blackwater Hall, a graceful, secret-filled home in County Kerry, Ireland. Will a modern-day disgraced journalist be able to solve its mysteries?

8. Into the Dark by Fiona Cummins—Something odd has happened at beautiful, windswept Seawings. The home's occupants—two parents and two teens—have vanished. When a friend enters, she finds a radio playing, phones charging, cars in the garage, and no one home. A sinister message scrawled on one of the bedroom walls hints that something unspeakable has happened, but what?

9. The Engagement Party by Darby Kane—Twelve years ago, a young woman went missing from her posh school and one of her classmates, a boy no one really knew, took his own life. One text indicated there was a connection between them, which closed the case for the police. Now, a group of college friends have gathered on a private island in Maine to celebrate an upcoming wedding. Someone is using the party as a chance to force out the truth about what really happened a dozen years ago. As the tension ramps up, so does a storm that will strand them all with a killer who has already gotten away with murder once.

Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose—This cover is a bit of a departure from the others, but it's got a house and water so it counts, right? The story is about a group of moms in an Irish village whose lives are shattered when one of their own is found murdered in her home. Ciara's Instagram-worthy life seemed absolutely perfect, so who could possibly have wanted her dead? A whole lot of people as it turns out...

There you are, ten mystery/thrillers I want to read that have covers featuring a house and water. Have you read any of them? What did you think? Which others can you think of that fit with the theme? I'm always looking for recs! What did you do for this watery prompt? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. I also reply to comments left here.

Happy TTT!

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