Little Cruelties by Liz NugentWhat it's about: the toxic sibling rivalry between three deeply flawed Irish brothers and the tragic consequences of childhood trauma, which has resulted in decades of simmering resentment.
Starring: Eldest brother William, an arrogant film producer; youngest brother Luke, a washed-up pop star; stoic middle child Brian, who works as Luke's manager; and Melissa, a narcissistic former singer who made them each the men they are today.
Is it for you? Little Cruelties is a bleak story, and the details of the brothers' upbringing can be disturbing at times.
The Lady Upstairs by Halley SuttonWhat it is: a gritty and moody noir debut about the shadow side of Hollywood and one woman's quest to get even with the power brokers who keep the corrupt system going.
Starring: Vigilante blackmailer Jo, an unapologetic woman whose job at a staffing agency is just a front for her true mission: the entrapment and extortion of some of the most powerful and most deplorable men in the entertainment industry.
What goes wrong: Jo's latest scheme goes horribly awry, leaving her on the hook for a murder charge and owing thousands of dollars to a mysterious and dangerous figure.
The Lies You Told by Harriet TyceStarring: attorney Sadie Roper, who reluctantly returns to her childhood home in London after the sudden end of her marriage; Robin, Sadie's ten-year-old daughter and the newest student at the elite Asham Girls School.
The problem: Asham alum Sadie hated her own time there, but the stipulations of her controlling mother's will tie possession of the house with enrollment in the school. The environment at Asham has gotten even more toxic over the years, but the mean-girl students have nothing on their catty and competitive parents.
The Fixer by Joseph FinderWhat it is: a fast-paced, intricately plotted financial thriller about how a simple home renovation ends up undermining the foundation of one man's already crumbling life.
Starring: Rick Hoffman, who returns to his childhood home after losing his job as a journalist, the apartment he can no longer afford, and the girlfriend who prized them both more than she did Rick.
What goes wrong: While fixing the house up, Rick finds a large stash of money hidden in the wall. When he decides to move the money, he ends up uncovering a tale of political corruption that many people would rather stay buried.
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn JacksonWhat it's about: Despite her difficult past, devoted wife and mother Amy Whey is living an idyllic life in suburban Pensacola. But when her new neighbor Angelica Roux shows up at Amy's book club, it's soon obvious that Angelica knows something about her past that could ruin it all.
Read it for: Amy's compelling but unreliable narration; the atmospheric Southern Gothic tone.
Reviewers say: "Readers will devour the twisty, consuming story" (Library Journal).
The Half Sister by Sandie JonesTwo's company: Stay-at-home-mom Lauren and her gossip columnist sister Kate have very different lifestyles, but they always make time to come together for a Sunday lunch where those differences fade away.
Three's a crowd: Their normal Sunday afternoon is interrupted by a strange young woman named Jess who claims to be their half-sister; her presence begins to undermine the idealized image Kate and Lauren have of their deceased father and the foundations of the life each sister has worked so carefully to build.
The Dilemma by B.A. ParisWhat it is: an intricately plotted tale of flawed but well-meaning characters and the secrets they hide from each other.
What happens: Adam Harman is preparing a lavish 40th birthday party for his wife Livia, to make up for their teenage courthouse wedding. When a tragedy preempts the arrival of a surprise guest, Adam wrestles with how much to reveal, not knowing that his wife is also hiding secrets about the same person.
For fans of: Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door, which also centers on a couple hiding secrets from each other on the eve of a large social event.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Manatee County Public Library System
1301 Barcarrota Boulevard West
Bradenton, Florida 34205