Most Anticipated

On My Radar: April 2023

It’s the end of the month which means it’s time to look forward to all the new releases coming out in April. As usual this is a pretty big list and a few I have preordered, some I will get through the library, others I will get when out shopping, and a couple I have review copies of.

April 4

A summer in Greece for three best friends ends in the unthinkable when only two return home in this new novel from Ella Berman. . . .

Ten years ago, after a sun-soaked summer spent in Greece, best friends Bess and Joni were cleared of having any involvement in their friend Evangeline’s death. But that didn’t stop the media from ripping apart their teenage lives like vultures.

While the girls were never convicted, Joni, ever the opportunist, capitalized on her newfound infamy to become a motivational speaker. Bess, on the other hand, resolved to make her life as small and controlled as possible so she wouldn’t risk losing everything all over again. And it almost worked. . . .

Except now Joni is tangled up in a crime eerily similar to that one fateful night in Greece. And when she asks Bess to come back to LA to support her, Bess has a decision to make.

Is it finally time to face up to what happened that night, exposing herself as the young woman she once was and maybe still is? And what happens if she doesn’t like what she finds?

Get ready for a thrilling, addictive novel about marriage, betrayal, and the secrets that push us to the edge in Sally Hepworth’s The Soulmate.

There’s a cottage on a cliff. Gabe and Pippa’s dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Night after night Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge. Until he doesn’t.

When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral…Did the victim jump? Was she pushed?

And would Gabe, the love of Pippa’s life, her soulmate…lie? As the perfect facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel.

April 11

A mystery about a group of former classmates who reunite to mark the tenth anniversary of a tragic accident—only to have one of the survivors disappear, casting fear and suspicion on the original tragedy.

Seven hours in the past. Seven days in the present. Seven survivors remaining. Who would you save?

A decade ago, two vans filled with high school seniors on a school service trip crashed into a Tennessee ravine—a tragedy that claimed the lives of multiple classmates and teachers. The nine students who managed to escape the river that night were irrevocably changed. A year later, after one of the survivors dies by suicide on the anniversary of the crash, the rest of them make a pact: to come together each year to commemorate that terrible night.

To keep one another safe.
To hold one another accountable.
Or both.

Their annual meeting place, a house on the Outer Banks, has long been a refuge. But by the tenth anniversary, Cassidy Bent has worked to distance herself from the tragedy, and from the other survivors. She’s changed her mobile number. She’s blocked the others’ email addresses. This year, she is determined to finally break ties once and for all. But on the day of the reunion, she receives a text with an obituary attached: another survivor is gone. Now they are seven—and Cassidy finds herself hurling back toward the group, wild with grief—and suspicion.

Almost immediately, something feels off this year. Cassidy is the first to notice when Amaya, annual organizer, slips away, overwhelmed. This wouldn’t raise alarm except for the impending storm. Suddenly, they’re facing the threat of closed roads and surging waters…again. Then Amaya stops responding to her phone. After all they’ve been through, she wouldn’t willfully make them worry. Would she?

And—as they promised long ago—each survivor will do whatever he or she can do to save one another. Won’t they?

From World Fantasy Award-winning author Fonda Lee comes Untethered Sky, an epic fantasy fable about the pursuit of obsession at all costs.

A Most Anticipated in 2023 Pick for Polygon Book Riot 
Paste Magazine

Ester’s family was torn apart when a manticore killed her mother and baby brother, leaving her with nothing but her father’s painful silence and a single, overwhelming need to kill the monsters that took her family.

Ester’s path leads her to the King’s Royal Mews, where the giant rocs of legend are flown to hunt manticores by their brave and dedicated ruhkers. Paired with a fledgling roc named Zahra, Ester finds purpose and acclaim by devoting herself to a calling that demands absolute sacrifice and a creature that will never return her love. The terrifying partnership between woman and roc leads Ester not only on the empire’s most dangerous manticore hunt, but on a journey of perseverance and acceptance.

A powerful coming-of-age novel about a twenty-something Black musician living in predominantly white Portland, Oregon, playing in a rock band on the verge of success while struggling with racism, romance, and the legacy of his strict religious upbringing.

Julian Strickland is seemingly the lone Black man in the hipster dreamland of Portland, Oregon. To his friends, he’s the coolest member of the scene: the soulful drummer from Chicago in an indie rock band that’s just about to break through. But to himself, he’s a sheltered Christian homeschool kid who used to write book reports on Leviticus. A virgin until the night of his marriage, divorced at twenty-four, he’s still in disarray two years later—pretending to fit in, wondering if any of his relationships are real, estranged from his family, and struggling to reconcile his relationship with God.

Then he meets Ida Blair, a Black painter at the start of a promising career. They begin a tentative relationship, and Ida seems to offer Julian relief from his confusion. But suddenly she stops responding to his texts. Things only get worse when Julian’s best friend mysteriously turns on him, his house burns down, and the band considers breaking up on the eve of their most important show yet. It seems the only thing Julian has left—the only thing he’s ever had, really—is the weight he is carrying.

Jeff Boyd’s beguiling first novel is a piercing exploration of faith, racial identity, love, and friendship—woven of acid humor, disarming vulnerability, and unforgettable poignance.

April 18

From bestselling author Teresa Driscoll comes a chilling thriller of past secrets and present terror. Deep in a rural hideaway, it’s only the owls watching them…right?

After a betrayal that sent their marriage into freefall, Hannah and Sam are desperate for a fresh start with their eight-year-old daughter Lily—and where better than picture-perfect Owl Cottage in beautiful Cornwall. But something about the holiday home stirs dark memories for Hannah…

When she finds dead creatures on the doorstep and hears mysterious knocks at the door, Hannah can’t help wondering whether someone is messing with her—or whether the past she’s been running from has finally claimed her sanity.

As the disturbing events at Owl Cottage seep out into the local community and the police become involved, Hannah turns to Sam for help, but when he dismisses her worries, she wonders if she was wrong to ever trust him. Are the memories making her paranoid, or is this something more sinister than she dares imagine?

April 25

A couple who broke up months ago make a pact to pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry.

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.

They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?

In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots–fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe. 

The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio-a past spent hunting humans. 

When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio’s former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic’s assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming. 

Along the way to save Gio, amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?

Author TJ Klune invites you deep into the heart of a peculiar forest and on the extraordinary journey of a family assembled from spare parts.

After posting a negative book review, a woman living in a remote location begins to wonder if the author is a little touchy—or very, very dangerous—in this pulse-pounding novel of psychological suspense and terror from the critically acclaimed author of No Exit and Hairpin Bridge.

Emma Carpenter lives in isolation with her golden retriever Laika, house-sitting an old beachfront home on the rainy Washington coast. Her only human contact is her enigmatic old neighbor, Deek, and (via text) the house’s owner, Jules.

One day, she reads a poorly written—but gruesome—horror novel by the author H. G. Kane, and posts a one-star review that drags her into an online argument with none other than the author himself. Soon after, disturbing incidents start to occur at night. To Emma, this can’t just be a coincidence. It was strange enough for this author to bicker with her online about a lousy review; could he be stalking her, too?

As Emma digs into Kane’s life and work, she learns he has published sixteen other novels, all similarly sadistic tales of stalking and murder. But who is he? How did he find her? And what else is he capable of?

For three years, women have been disappearing—and eventually turning up dead in the small bayou town of St. Augustine, Louisiana. Police detective Beau Hebert is the only one who seems to care, but with every witness quickly silenced and a corrupt police department set on keeping the cases unsolved, Beau’s investigation stalls at every turn.

With nobody else to trust, Beau calls in a favor from his friend on the FBI’s Mobile Response Team. While LAPD detective Kara Quinn works undercover to dig into the women’s murders and team leader Matt Costa officially investigates the in-custody death of a witness, Beau might finally have a chance at solving the case.

But in a town where everyone knows everyone, talking gets you killed and secrets stay buried, it’s going to take the entire team working around the clock to unravel the truth. Especially when they discover that the deep-seated corruption and the deadly drug-trafficking ring at the center of it all extends far beyond the small-town borders.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Never Have I Ever comes the hair-raising story of a mother who moves herself and her daughter across the country to lose a dangerous stalker—only to discover that it will take more than distance to escape him.

It started with the letters…

For actress Meribel Mills, disturbing fan mail is part of the price of fame. So when she starts getting creepy letters written in fruit-scented marker she is mostly unphased and diligently files them along with her other messages from unhinged fans. After all, she’s a single mom approaching forty, not the kind of hot young celeb who sparks dangerous obsessions. But there’s something different about Marker Man…

He’s been in her home…

Meribel’s sheets smell of unfamiliar cologne, and objects have gone missing around the house. Plus, the letters have become more perverse, with drawings of a naked Meribel tied up or chopped into pieces. While the police insist that stalkers hardly ever escalate to violence, Meribel has played the dead girl one too many times on TV to risk becoming her in real life. She and her daughter move from Los Angeles to Atlanta for a fresh start—but no distance is great enough.

He’s watching her…

Years of being in front of a camera have given Meribel a superpower—she can feel eyes on her, a creeping sensation like bees inside her skin. And someone definitely has her in their sights. Could Marker Man have followed her all the way across the country?

Who else might be watching—her ex-husband? The lover she left behind in LA? Her new neighbor? Suddenly, every man in her life is a suspect, but she can’t keep herself and her daughter safe from a monster she can’t identify. When the paths of all of these men collide, Meribel will find herself alone in the fight of her life, desperate to protect those she loves as danger closes in from all sides.

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