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Bookreporter.com Bets On...

With thousands of books published each year and much attention paid to the works of bestselling and well-known authors, it is inevitable that some titles worthy of praise and discussion may not get the attention we think they deserve. Thus throughout the year, we will continue this feature that we started in 2009, to spotlight books that immediately struck a chord with us and made us say “just read this.” We will alert our readers about these titles as soon as they’re released so you can discover them for yourselves and recommend them to your family and friends.

Below are all of our selections thus far. For future "Bets On" titles that we will announce shortly after their release dates, please visit this page.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

August 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed THE TURN OF THE KEY by Ruth Ware. When it opens, we know that a young woman is in jail, being held for having caused the death of a child. The story is told in her words as she seeks justice in her case. There is no reason for her to have committed this act, and, in fact, there is every reason for her not to have. And throughout these pages, Ruth will unfold a very solid case as to just what really happened.

Chances Are... (Audiobook) by Richard Russo

August 2019

I enjoyed listening to the audiobook of Richard Russo’s CHANCES ARE..., read by Fred Sanders, via my Bluetooth headphones. This was the perfect thing to do as I worked my way through the endless weeding of our garden, and then later I enjoyed listening in the pool while floating. In it, three men who were college friends in the '60s gather on Martha’s Vineyard. One is now a commercial real estate broker, another a small press publisher, and the third an aging musician. They are reminiscing about life, including the disappearance of a woman on this island back in 1971 right after their graduation. What did happen to Jacy Rockafellow?

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

August 2019

I started listening to THE ESCAPE ROOM by Megan Goldin on CD while I was running around town doing errands. I came home and plucked a copy of the galley from my shelf (my other choice was to play the CDs over our outdoor speaker system, and I could not see my music-loving husband going for that), and spent a lovely afternoon in the pool reading this fast-paced story. Before I knew it, I was 200 pages in and wrapped up reading it that same night.

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

August 2019

A few weeks ago, I had a thought that if someone broke into a house, they would not need to take anything physically. If they had access to computers, they could steal a lot. In SOMEONE WE KNOW by Shari Lapena, a teen is breaking into houses in his neighborhood. His mom learns about this and sends some anonymous notes to victims, hoping to keep him out of trouble, but then someone in one of those houses is found dead. And from there, he could be a suspect.

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

August 2019

In NEVER HAVE I EVER, Joshilyn Jackson is exploring a new genre, and she clearly shows that she has strong writing chops in the craft of penning suspense/thrillers.

The book opens at a neighborhood book club discussion. The usual suspects are there, but in wanders the woman who is staying at the neighborhood rental house. Hmmmm that has not happened before. She’s cooler than the rest of the women who have gathered to talk books. Angelica Roux quickly takes charge of the night and gets everyone involved in a drinking game: “Never Have I Ever.” The game seems tame at first, but then it abruptly takes on a new tone.

The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis

August 2019

Longtime readers know that I have loved all of Fiona Davis’ books. In THE CHELSEA GIRLS, she has ratcheted up her craft to a new level, tackling a thorny topic that few may know about, as well as offering her usual look at an iconic New York building. For those who may not be familiar with it, the Chelsea Hotel is a popular home to actors, singers, artists and musicians. The folks at the Chelsea are artsy, and the vibe of the place is edgy and cool.

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger

August 2019

I took a look at our review of THE GIFTED SCHOOL by Bruce Holsinger, which prompted me to read it. I love when that happens. In this novel, a school for gifted children is opening in the Denver area, and parents are vying to get their kids in. The moms are much like those we saw in BIG LITTLE LIES. They have befriended each other because of the children, but the competition for these slots is pitting them against one another in that oh-so-special way that privileged folks can twist things up.

Whisper Network (Audiobook) by Chandler Baker

July 2019

I had seen lots of buzz about WHISPER NETWORK by Chandler Baker. So I quickly grabbed the audiobook, which is narrated by Almarie Guerra, and found it to be one really well-done listen. The book is set at a sportswear company called Truviv, where three women --- Sloane, Ardie and Grace --- have worked for years. The man in line to become the company’s new CEO following the sudden death of his predecessor is Ames Garrett, who women in the company had identified as “trouble.” No, it’s not about his business dealings, but rather about his “women dealings.”

The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess

July 2019

Set on Cape Cod in 1987, THE LAST BOOK PARTY by Karen Dukess is a brisk, smart summer read and a coming-of-age story. And if that’s not enough to entice you, it’s set in the world of publishing, giving readers a fun insider look at what unfolds behind the scenes in the book world.

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger

July 2019

Last summer, I read THE BANKER’S WIFE by Cristina Alger and quickly picked it as a Bets On, noting that she was an author I needed to keep an eye on. So I was quick to snag a copy of GIRLS LIKE US when it came into the office. The book is set in Suffolk County, New York, but the places we know and think of in the Hamptons are not the ones depicted here. Instead, we are on the other side of the tracks where life is a lot grittier than glittery.