Women are turning up dead in the river that runs through the small Town of Beckford in Paula Hawkins’ (“The Girl on the Train”) spellbinding new read, “Into the Water.”

A single mother and a helpless teenage girl both meet their demise and are discovered in the treacherous waters near the stone building of Mill House. Rumors abound that both women died by suicide, that their lives were fraught with dark secrets.

Some residents have a different story to tell the police. These so-called witnesses say they’ve seen things in the night, and heard voices by the water’s edge. If those tales are true, then the suicide theory might have been spoken if for no other reason than to feed the hungry rumor mill.

Different sides of the story begin to fuel the rumormongers’ dire need for further scandal and attention, as lies and truths are distorted and ignite like wildfire around the small town, impeding the investigation.

What really happened that night by the river? Was it cold-blooded murder or is some other sinister incident responsible for the loss of these women?

Told from many different points of view, “Into the Water” is a deeply satisfying and multi-layered thriller culminating in a devastatingly compelling climax. Hawkins pulls the wool over the readers’ eyes and delivers a shockingly twisty new novel about the unkind behavior of the human condition.

 

'THE FOURTH MONKEY'

J.D. Barker’s (“The Forsaken”) latest thriller, “The Fourth Monkey,” takes readers on a devilishly disturbing journey through the mind of a sociopathic killer.

Women are being abducted, tortured and murdered at the hands of a man the media has dubbed the Four Monkey Killer. Over the course of five years, the residents of Chicago have lived in fear, locking themselves behind doors and not venturing too far outside after nightfall, terrorized they might be the killer’s next victim.

A shift in the case alters the investigation when the man known as the Four Monkey Killer is hit and killed by a bus. Detective Sam Porter receives the early morning call and rushes to the scene.

Porter discovers a terrifying piece of information on the man’s dead body. Left behind is a diary with a final message that has Porter and the rest of his squad scrambling to find the remains of one of the killer’s victims — someone, according to the diary, appears to still be alive.

A sadistic game ensues, and Porter and his team race against the clock to find what may or may not be the end of the killer’s brutal performance.

Intense, disturbing and relentlessly suspenseful, “The Fourth Monkey” is a dark and wildly entertaining novel. It is the first in a planned series of three books. The next two, currently untitled, are scheduled for publication in June 2018 and June 2019.

 

'THE ONLY CHILD'

Author Andrew Pyper continues in the same vein as his previous novel (“The Demonologist”) and conjures another dark gothic page-turner in the atmospheric realm of Bram Stoker’s famous creation “Dracula,” with a chilling new monster read, “The Only Child.”

Dr. Lily Dominick is a forensic psychiatrist who has seen her fair share of psychotic patients.

When Dominick arrives at her work at the Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center, she is assigned a fresh, freaky case involving a nameless new client with a penchant for removing his victims’ ears with his hands.

At first meeting, the patient looks like an ordinary man sitting behind the steel table, his legs shackled to the floor. But after reading her client’s background file, Dominick struggles to make eye contact with him because of his long list of brutal offenses.

Dominick has seen a lot of violent people in her years at the institute, but nothing like the man staring back at her.

Half way through the meeting, Dominick discovers something menacing about the man, and she flees from the room in panic, and attempts to hide from her latest nightmare. The rest of the story is fast-paced, terrifying and highly addictive. Pyper is at his most unsettling with this newest novel. Recommended for horror fans.

 

Thomas Grant Bruso is a Plattsburgh resident who writes fiction and has been an avid reader of genre fiction since he was a kid. Readers and writers are invited to connect and discuss books and writing at www.facebook.com/thomasgrantbruso.

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