There are three new novels out that are sure to excite, thrill and get your mind going: The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine; The East End by Jason Allen; and Blood Echo by Christopher Rice.
The Last Time I Saw You
By Liv Constantine
Harper, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers; hardcover, 309 pages; $26.99; available Tuesday, May 7
The murder of a philanthropic heiress sends shockwaves through an old-money Maryland enclave, and dislodges the web of deceptions, lies, and betrayals simmering beneath its picture-perfect facade in the new novel, The Last Time I Saw You.
This is breakout sensation Liv Constantine’s second novel, on the heels of her blockbuster debut, The Last Mrs. Parrish, which was also a foray into a gilded world of wealth, privilege, power, and danger.
The Last Time I Saw You centers on Kate English, who, while going through grief, tries desperately to maintain her usual composure at the funeral of her beloved mother, Lily Michaels, whose brutal death has shaken her exclusive community.
Kate calls upon the steely reserve that serves her so well as a heart surgeon to greet mourners, among them, her former best friend Blaire Barrington. Growing up, the two were inseparable after meeting at an elite boarding school. That friendship became strained when Blaire voiced her disapproval of Simon, Kate’s handsome and arrogant fiance, and they soon became estranged.
During the mourning process, the women reestablish their bond, much to Simon’s dismay. Blaire, who was always the alpha in the relationship, resumes the part as if no time has elapsed.
Kate, who is already vulnerable and worried about her young daughter’s wellbeing, needs Blaire’s unwavering support when she starts to receive menacing messages. Is Lily’s murderer toying with his or her next victim, or is there another agenda behind the threats to Kate’s sanity and safety?
At one time looked down upon by her blue-blooded peers, Blaire is back in town a glamorous success, the celebrated coauthor of a lucrative mystery series. She always felt like a member of the Michaels family, so she also feels like she has lost a mother.
With the police investigation at a dead end, Blaire uses her professional expertise to play the deeply personal role of avenging angel. As suspicion starts to hit closer to home and trust becomes a casualty of fear, the search for the truth might unleash an avalanche of consequences for everyone in its path.
The Last Time I Saw You is a razor-sharp story about female friendship, the complexities of marriage, and maternal love, complete with a mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Author appearance: Liv Constantine will be at the BookMark Shoppe in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – 8415 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209; (718)833-5115, bookmarkshoppe.com
The East End
By Jason Allen
Park Row Books; hardcover; $26.99; available Tuesday, May 7
In Jason Allen’s debut novel, The East End, a terribly tragedy unearths a fateful chain of events for two families from starkly different worlds in a breathtaking new tale of suspense that doubles as a razor-sharp take on class conflict in today’s America.
Allen constructs a multi-layered story about the powerful and the powerless, about love and loss, about self-destruction, and the possibility of redemption. It is set in the Hamptons, a place where dreams of escape drive potentially catastrophic decisions, over an explosive holiday weekend.
The story is told through multiple perspectives and The East End opens with the countdown to Memorial Day underway and recent high school graduate Corey Halpern in need of a fix. A local who resents the affluent “invaders” who come to the community in the summer months, he takes care of his frustrations by breaking into their lavish mansions and pulling harmless pranks.
Corey is facing a bleak future, with his college hopes fading. However, he can’t disappear, not when his troubled mother, Gina, is barely making ends meat, trying to get away from an abusive, deadbeat husband, and chasing pills with too much booze. She is trapped in a downward spiral as Corey and his brother look on helplessly.
One night, Corey makes one last stop at the massive lakeside estate where he and Gina work. He intends to commit his first-ever robbery there, but nothing proceeds according to plan. Married billionaire CEO Leo Sheffield shows up to his ultra-exclusive Gin Lane property early, accompanied by his much-younger lover, Henry.
Everything changes in an instant, as Henry is the victim of a fatal poolside accident. Unfortunately for Leo, who is distraught over what happened, Corey saw it, as did someone else.
Leo’s very existence now depends on containing the collateral damage as his overbearing wife and three grown children will be arriving soon, as well as a house full of high-maintenance guests. Desperate to preserve his fortune and his freedom, Leo takes irrevocable steps that expose him to scandal and far worse.
Over the ensuing tension-filled days, hidden entanglements, unexpected opportunities, and clashing loyalties propel Corey, Gina, and Leo to extremes, and eventually, to shocking outcomes that nobody will see coming.
Blood Echo: The Burning Girl, Part 2
By Christopher Rice
Thomas & Mercer; hardcover, $24.95; trade paperback, $15.95
Christopher Rice, the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Bone Music, is back with a page-turning thriller about a conspiracy that promises bloodshed and the only woman who can stop it collide in the new book, Blood Echo, part of the
The story centers on Charlotte Rowe, who was kidnapped and raised by serial killers, suffered an ordeal that made her infamous. Everyone in the world knew who she was, but no one in the world has any idea what she’s become.
Charlotte is an experiment – and a weapon. Enabled by a superpower drug, she’s partnered with a shadowy pharmaceutical company to hunt down and eliminate society’s most depraved human predators. However, her latest mission goes off the rails in a horrifying way.
Unsettled by her own capacity for violence, Charlotte wants some time to retreat so she can work on her new relationship with Luke, a sheriff’s deputy in the isolated central California town she now calls home – if only the threats hadn’t followed Charlotte there.
Something sinister is evolving in Altamira, California—a massive network of domestic terrorists with ties to Charlotte’s influential and corrupt employers. As a vast and explosive criminal conspiracy grows, the fate of Charlotte’s hometown hangs in the balance.
With everyone she cares about in danger, Charlotte has no choice but to bring her powers home. She has been triggered, and now she must take things into her own hands.