The Newcomer – Mary Kay Andrews

Letty Carnahan is on the run with nothing more than the clothes on her back after finding her sister Tanya dead and her young niece, Maya, alone in her sister’s townhouse, with Tanya’s warning burning in her mind. “If anything bad happens to me—it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”  Fleeing with nothing but the clothes on her back and some money in a jump bag that Tanya had stashed away, Letty heads south with her niece, leaving New York and her sister’s murderer behind. With no real plan as to where she’ll go, Letty opts on a small hotel that Tanya had circled in a magazine tucked in with the cash – a small motel on the coast of Florida. 

Arriving at the Murmuring Surf motel, Letty learns there’s no vacancy at the moment. With all of the long termers down for the winter, there’ll be nothing available anytime in the hear future either. But the motel owner Ava DeCurtis, sensing Letty’s distress, offers her a small efficiency, primarily used as a storeroom, if she’s willing to clean it out.  But Ava’s son is not so sure. A member of the local police force, Joe is a bit suspicious of Letty and her seeming arrival from nowhere.  

As Letty & Maya settle in, they start to meet some of the motel’s long term winter tenants, who are none-too-happy to have a small child wandering in their midst. Miss Ruth & Miss Billie are quick to let her know that that they’ve been hotel visitors for years and expect things a certain way, Mr. Jensen who likes to sneak his smokes right outside of Letty’s door, and a comical cast of other octogenarians who make Letty’s life interesting. Meanwhile, Joe is increasingly attracted to Letty, who remains fearful of being discovered. 

Back in New York, Evan’s investigator is getting ever closer to finding Letty & Maya. Can Letty count on Joe and his family to keep her safe? 

This was a sweet, nostalgic story, and most definitely a sit-by-the-pool, or day-at-the-beach kind of read! It also brought back many fond memories of a time long ago when my grandparents would bring me to The Florida Gulf Coast for the winter and we’d stay in a place much like the motel depicted here. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I know you will too!! 

No Going Back – TR Ragan

Sawyer Brooks returns in another thriller, and this story picks up on the heels of where the second book ended. 

For those unfamiliar with this series, Sawyer is a crime reporter for the ‘Sacramento Independent’ and in the last novel, she had just begun to investigate an attack and slaying of a man by a group of women vigilantes known as the ‘Black Wigs’.  This novel opens with a murder taking place, and a nearby security camera that catches a slender intruder leaving the house. An impromptu meeting with the deceased’s ex-wife leads her to believe that this man was not a victim of the Black Wigs, but if not them, then who?  A copycat killer?

The Black Wigs, with two attacks to their credit and another suspect individual missing, appear to be targeting rapists. A victim of incestual rape herself, Sawyer has been captivated by this case from the beginning. As she digs into the new victims’ background, she can find no evidence that he was ever accused of rape. But via an impromptu interview with his ex-wife, she learns that he was abandoned as a child and grew up in an orphanage that has since burned down. Intrigued by the possibility of a copycat, Sawyer begins to dig into his past, aided by her younger sister, Aria.

Meanwhile, a co-worker at the paper wants ‘in’ to Sawyer’s Black Wigs investigation after her niece and her friends are caught mimicking the actions of the Wigs and assault a teenaged boy.   Forming an uneasy alliance, Sawyer & Lexi begin to work together and share their resources. But unbeknownst to Sawyer, her sister Harper – code name Malice – is an active Black Wigs team member…and they have just selected their next trio of victims… 

As the bodies pile up, Sawyer & Lexi remain determined to find the answers – is this one group of killers? Or are there quite possibly two? 

If it’s even possible, this book was even better than the last! I adore Sawyer’s character, she’s feisty, she’s lovable and, like most of us, she’s flawed, and she struggles within her own present relationships as a result of her past. This can be easily read as a stand-alone novel, but if read as a series you get a full flavor for character development and the situations that have made each character who they are today.  Fabulous read and series from TR Ragan!! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit and start reviewing books today!!