Sunday, July 19, 2020

Review: The Suicide House (Rory Moore/Lane Phillips #2) by Charlie Donlea

The Suicide House
A Publishers Weekly Summer Reads 2020 Editors' Pick

A chilling murder in a prestigious prep school is at the heart of this riveting new novel from acclaimed author Charlie Donlea, featuring forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore and her psychologist partner, Lane Phillips.

Inside the walls of Indiana's elite Westmont Preparatory High School, expectations run high and rules are strictly enforced. But in the woods beyond the manicured campus and playing fields sits an abandoned boarding house that is infamous among Westmont's students as a late-night hangout. Here, only one rule applies: don't let your candle go out--unless you want the Man in the Mirror to find you. . . .

One year ago, two students were killed there in a grisly slaughter. The case has since become the focus of a hit podcast, The Suicide House. Though a teacher was convicted of the murders, mysteries and questions remain. The most urgent among them is why so many students who survived that horrific night have returned to the boarding house--to kill themselves.

Rory, an expert in reconstructing cold cases, is working on The Suicide House podcast with Lane, recreating the night of the killings in order to find answers that have eluded the school, the town, and the police. But the more they learn about the troubled students, the chillingly stoic culprit, and a dangerous game gone tragically wrong, the more convinced they become that something sinister is still happening. Inside Westmont Prep, the game hasn't ended. It thrives on secrecy and silence. And for its players, there may be no way to win--or to survive. . . .

Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2020
by Kensington Publishing Corporation
3.5/5 stars

The Suicide House is the 2nd book in the RoryMoore/Lane Phillips Series.  I have not read the previous book, Some Choose Darkness, and feel this works fine as a stand-alone.  However saying that I will definitely be reading the previous book as my curiosity to Rory's past is begging for an answer.

The title, cover and blurb give enough clues that this will be a dark story. Especially when an abandoned house plays center stage.  I read this in a matter of days, having the need to find out what was going on.  The chapters aren't long making it perfect for JustOneMoreChapter.

The Suicide House is a complex story with many layers, characters and even time periods. Yes, I kept notes.  It's a slow-paced story with a couple of mysteries on the go, though in the end it mostly works out. Yea there were a couple of things that didn't sit well.  But all in all, this was well written and intricately pieced together.  The author kept me entertained with some of his metaphors. I liked Rory and Lane but didn't feel they got enough time with this story. Having not read book #1 so I can't say if this is the norm.

Charlie Donlea is a new author to me, one I've been hearing good things about.  Will be reading more of his books.

My thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

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