The Fourth Child by Jessica WinterWhat it's about: Troubled empty-nester Jane Brennan adopts a toddler traumatized by the notorious Romanian orphanage system, an action that will have drastic consequences for her biological children and initially reluctant husband.
Is it for you? Jane is compellingly complex, although her membership in a radical anti-abortion group may alienate some readers.
Reviewers say: author Jessica Winter "deftly depicts all-too-human inconsistency" (Booklist).
The Secretary by Renee KnightWhat it is: a menacing and intricately plotted psychological thriller about ruthless ambition, betrayal, and the consequences of codependent self-sacrifice.
Starring: prominent businesswoman Mina Appleton, who will do anything to expand the supermarket chain started by her father; Christine Butcher, Mina's indispensable personal assistant for almost 20 years whose need to be needed drives her but also ruins her life.
You might also like: Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes, in which unhealthy dynamics develop between an assistant and her employer's family after the lines between her personal and professional lives start to blur.
29 Seconds by T.M. LoganThe premise: Adjunct professor Sarah Hayward is disgusted when her slimy department head Alan, a well-connected serial sexual predator, suggests that she could finally get a tenure by sleeping with him.
No good deed: Stumbling upon what appears to be an attempted kidnapping, Sarah's instincts take over and she saves the victim, the young daughter of shady businessman James Grosvenor. In gratitude, Grosvenor lets Sarah know that he has ways of making anyone disappear without a trace, if she's interested.
Why you might like it: The narrative's rip-roaring plot and action-packed scenes mix interestingly with Sarah's inner turmoil.
The Furies by Katie LoweThe setup: Sixteen-year-old Violet Taylor is worried about fitting in at Elm Hollow Academy, an elite English boarding school, but it's not long before she falls in with a close-knit trio of girls who share an obsession -- the mysterious 17th-century witch trials that took place nearby.
What happens next: After Violet suffers a traumatic assault, the four girls band together to exact revenge on her attacker through unusual channels and their actions have unexpected consequences for everyone involved.
For fans of: iconic teen movies that mix vintage glamour with darkness, like The Craft, Heathers, and Jawbreaker.
Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnonWhat it's about: While mourning the man she thought was her father, Eleanor Hardwicke discovers she’s the daughter of wealthy Stan Gallinger, who warns her to stay away from his family. But Stan has underestimated her, and driven by a deep need to connect, Eleanor decides to find another way into their lives...
Read it for: the shocking contrast between the Gallinger family's picture-perfect image and the way they really live, and Eleanor's journey of self-discovery as she gets pulled deeper into their web.
You might also like: The Half Sister by Sandie Jones, another suspenseful look into the fallout of discovering secret half-siblings after a parent's death.
Contact your librarian for more great books!