No, we didn’t dream of Manderley again. Romantic suspense in the twenty-first century has moved far beyond the gothic and settled nicely into the suburbs. This modern take on romantic suspense is less about
finding love in a tense situation and more about all of the
varying relationships the heroine has—with family, friends,
and with herself. These books all take place in the comfortable land of the suburbs. Those leafy trees and oversize
garages hide the best secrets, after all.
Doors. By B. A.
Paris. 2016. St.
The marriage of
Grace Harrington and
Jack Angel seemed
perfect, except for
what went on behind
closed doors. On their honeymoon,
Grace’s new husband, Jack, reveals his
psychopathic nature, using Grace’s deep
love for her special-needs sister, Millie, as
leverage in concocting a depraved scheme
that will ruin both women.
Come Sundown. By Nora Roberts. 2017.
St. Martin’s, $27.99 (9781250123077).
Alice Bodine turns up at her family’s
Montana ranch and luxury resort battered, bruised, and with no memory of
her old life, 25 years after running away.
Her niece puts Alice’s return together with
the recent murders of two women and
suspects that someone very twisted may
be living nearby.
The Couple Next Door. By Shari Lapena.
2016.Viking/Pamela Dorman, $26
Anne and Marco Conti take their baby
monitor with them to dinner at their
next-door neighbors’ house and check on
baby Cora in her crib every half hour. But
when the Contis return home, their front
door is open, and Cora is gone. The po-
lice are suspicious: Anne is suffering from
postpartum depression, and Marco’s busi-
ness is in financial trouble. The couple
turns to Anne’s wealthy parents for help,
as the events behind the child snatching
are gradually unveiled.
The Fifth Letter. By Nicola
Moriarty. 2017. Morrow, $26.99
Joni, Deb, Trina, and Eden have been
best friends since high school, and they
know all of one another’s secrets. Or
do they? In an effort to reconnect,
Joni suggests a game
of confession, with
each of the four
women revealing her
deepest secret in an
to the others. The
game takes a dark
turn when Joni finds
a fifth letter admitting a long-hidden
obsession by one of them that may put
“Set in the 1930s, this
romantic mystery combines
the teetering elegance of
Downton Abbey and the
staid traditions of Pride and
Prejudice with a bit of spunk
and determination that
suggest Jacqueline u
Winspear’s Maisie Hobbs.”
Book 2 in the Henrietta and
Inspector Howard series
A Redbook and POPSUGAR
“Best Book of Spring”
Published by She Writes Press and distributed
by Ingram Publishing Services
Not your mother’s romantic suspense.
BY REBECCA VNUK