Ashley Winstead • In my dreams I hold a knife (2021)

In my dreams I hold a knife • Ashley Winstead • Sourcebooks Landmark • Août 2021 • 368 pages

A college reunion turns dark and deadly in this chilling and propulsive suspense novel about six friends, one unsolved murder, and the dark secrets they’ve been hiding from each other—and themselves—for a decade.

Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent—not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year. Ten years ago, everything fell apart, including the dreams she worked for her whole life—and her relationship with the one person she wasn’t supposed to love.

But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.


Encore un thriller psychologique autour des universités et écoles prestigieuses ! In my dreams I hold a knife est un de ceux que j’ai préféré lire. Il est absolument incroyable d’un bout à l’autre.

In my dreams I hold a knife est un thriller qui a pour objectif d’élucider un meurtre qui a eu lieu au sein d’un groupe d’amis à l’université. L’auteur alterne entre deux temporalités : le passé et donc leurs années d’études et le présent. Cette partie se déroule surtout durant une soirée des anciens élèves… Soirée qui ne va pas du tout se passer comme prévu puisque le frère de la victime a décidé de confondre le coupable. J’ai vraiment apprécié l’alternance des temps qui apporte beaucoup à l’intrigue. En effet, le lecteur en apprend beaucoup plus sur les relations entre les personnages et tout n’est pas rose entre eux. Le lecteur découvre de nombreuses rivalités (à la fois amoureuse, pour les études ou des questions d’argent…), de jalousie. Cela pose déjà certains jalons pour la suite.

Ce livre se concentre surtout sur les personnages et leurs personnalités, leurs caractères, qualités et défauts, mais surtout sur leurs rêves et leurs objectifs. De faire des points sur le passé permet vraiment de comprendre les différents protagonistes et leurs évolutions. J’ai aimé qu’aucun d’entre eux ne soient tout blanc ou tout noir. Ils sont tous complexes, avec leurs zones d’ombre et leurs secrets. Jess, le personnage principal, est un exemple parfait. Cela brouille d’autant plus les pistes sur l’identité du coupable. Au fur et à mesure que les pages se tournent, le lecteur, comme les personnages, accusent l’un ou l’autre. Ils semblent tous avoir un mobile, une raison de tuer leur ami. Lequel d’entre eux est réellement passé à l’acte ?

Le mystère est mené d’une main de maître par Ashley Winstead. C’est un roman qui m’a happé du début à la fin. Tout au long de l’intrigue, on croit connaître le coupable. Cependant, l’auteur nous transporte de rebondissements en révélations sans nous laisser une seconde de répit. Les événements s’enchaînent à un rythme effréné, et le lecteur n’a pas le temps de reprendre son souffle. J’ai adoré ce rythme haletant, le livre est impossible à mettre de côté ne serait-ce que quelques secondes. Mes pensées y revenaient sans cesse, car à chaque chapitre, mes certitudes vacillaient. Ashley Winstead signe ici le parfait page-turner. La tension monte crescendo jusqu’au final explosif. Ce dernier m’a laissé sans voix. Il est véritablement à la hauteur du reste, de ce à quoi l’auteur nous a préparé depuis le début.

Je ne connaissais pas du tout cet auteur avant de me lancer dans ce roman. Ce n’est sûrement pas le dernier que je lirai d’elle. Ce thriller est un coup de coeur. J’ai été étonnée par la complexité des personnages, la manière dont l’intrigue se développe.

Kirsten Miller • Don’t tell a soul (2021)

Don’t tell a soul • Kirsten Miller • Delacorte Press • 384 pages • Janvier 2021

People say the house is cursed.
It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims.
In Louth, they’re called the Dead Girls.

All Bram wanted was to disappear—from her old life, her family’s past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left to go is Louth, the tiny town on the Hudson River where her uncle, James, has been renovating an old mansion.

But James is haunted by his own ghosts. Months earlier, his beloved wife died in a fire that people say was set by her daughter. The tragedy left James a shell of the man Bram knew—and destroyed half the house he’d so lovingly restored.

The manor is creepy, and so are the locals. The people of Louth don’t want outsiders like Bram in their town, and with each passing day she’s discovering that the rumors they spread are just as disturbing as the secrets they hide. Most frightening of all are the legends they tell about the Dead Girls. Girls whose lives were cut short in the very house Bram now calls home.

The terrifying reality is that the Dead Girls may have never left the manor. And if Bram looks too hard into the town’s haunted past, she might not either.


Don’t tell a soul est un roman sorti en janvier 2021 et qui a tout de suite attiré mon attention : des fantômes, des secrets et histoires de famille avec une maison hantée en prime… Je suis souvent au rendez-vous pour ce type d’intrigue.

L’intrigue démarre fort, car, dès les premiers chapitres, des petits mystères surgissent. Quelle est cette présence dans la forêt ? Pourquoi Bram ne peut-elle pas garder la chambre rose ? Qui est entré dans sa chambre pendant qu’elle dormait ? Q’est-il réellement arrivé à la fille de nouvelle compagne de son oncle ? Ils ne cessent de s’étoffer et d’autres mystères viennent se rajouter progressivement à la liste. Au point que je me suis demandée quand l’auteur allait s’arrêter et commencer à résoudre ceux en cours. Je referme toutefois le livre avec le sentiment que toutes les questions qui ont été posées durant toute la lecture ont trouvé leurs réponses.

Don’t tell a soul est un très bon thriller psychologique. Le premier chapitre est déjà envoûtant et j’ai été happée dès ce dernier. Une fois commencé, j’ai eu bien du mal à le mettre de côté. J’ai déjà évoqué les nombreux mystères présents dans l’intrigue, mais Kirsten Miller a également une écriture dynamique. Elle maîtrise très bien le suspens. Les révélations interviennent au bon moment et j’ai surtout apprécié qu’elles n’arrivent pas en même temps. Tout n’est pas forcément concentré vers la fin et il y a une certaine progression. En revanche, certaines ne constituent pas des surprises. En étant un peu attentive, j’ai très rapidement deviné les raisons de la disparition du père de Bram, par exemple. Globalement, l’auteur joue beaucoup sur l’adage « Il faut se méfier des apparances« .

Par ailleurs, j’ai beaucoup aimé ce point de départ avec la disparition de ces filles et de vouloir trouver ce qui leur est arrivé. Quels sont les responsables ? Au début, il y a beaucoup question de leurs fantômes qui hantent encore la maison. Cet aspect un peu fantastique ne m’a pas déplu, car il vient renforcer l’atmosphère étrange qui règne dans cette maison et cette petite ville. Gros point positif pour cette dernière. Elle est vraiment creepy à souhait au début et, progressivement, elle devient plus étouffante au fur et à mesure que l’étau se resserre et que le ou les coupables sortent de l’ombre. J’ai vraiment lu les dernières pages en retenant mon souffle.

Bram a été un personnage principal intéressant à suivre. Elle a aussi ses propres fantômes qui la suivent. Le lecteur apprend à les découvrir progressivement. J’ai vraiment aimé le fait que les personnages ne la croient pas et qu’elle-même ne sache plus réellement ce qui est vrai ou si c’est son imagination. J’ai adoré suivre son évolution au fur et à mesure. Les premières pages oscillent vraiment entre fantastique et réalité et, durant la première moitié du roman, je ne savais pas de quel côté la balance pencher. Les deux directions m’auraient parfaitement convenue.

Ce roman n’a pas forcément été un coup de coeur, mais j’ai vraiment passé un très bon moment de lecture avec. Une très belle découverte.

Sorties VO • Janvier 2022

The girl in the lake • India Hill Brown • Scholastic Press • 224 pages • 24 janvier

Celeste knows she should be excited to spend two weeks at her grandparents’ lake house with her brother, Owen, and their cousins Capri and Daisy, but she’s not.

Bugs, bad cell reception, and the dark waters of the lake… no thanks. On top of that, she just failed her swim test and hates being in the water-it’s terrifying. But her grandparents are strong believers in their family knowing how to swim, especially having grown up during a time of segregation at public pools. Without the opportunity to learn, Grandma’s sister drowned when they were kids.

But soon strange things start happening, like Celeste’s cousins accusing her of waking them up in the middle of the night. But Celeste hasn’t been awake during the night-she knows she’s been fast asleep because she’s been having terrible nightmares about drowning!

Things at the old house only get spookier until one evening when Celeste looks in the steamy mirror after a shower and sees her face, but twisted, different…

Who is the girl in the mirror? And what does she want?

The Latinist • Mark Prins • W.W. Norton Company • 442 pages • 4 janvier

Tessa Templeton has thrived at Oxford University under the tutelage and praise of esteemed classics professor Christopher Eccles. And now, his support is the one thing she can rely on: her job search has yielded nothing, and her devotion to her work has just cost her her boyfriend, Ben. Yet shortly before her thesis defense, Tessa learns that Chris has sabotaged her career—and realizes their relationship is not at all what she believed.

Driven by what he mistakes as love for Tessa, Chris has ensured that no other institution will offer her a position, keeping her at Oxford with him. His tactics grow more invasive as he determines to prove he has her best interests at heart. Meanwhile, Tessa scrambles to undo the damage—and in the process makes a startling discovery about an obscure second-century Latin poet that could launch her into academic stardom, finally freeing her from Chris’s influence.

A contemporary reimagining of the Daphne and Apollo myth, The Latinist is a page-turning exploration of power, ambition, and the intertwining of love and obsession.

Antoinette’s Sister • Diana Giovinazzo • Grand Central Publishing • 400 pages • 11 janvier

Austria 1767: Maria Carolina Charlotte—tenth daughter and one of sixteen children of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria—knows her position as a Habsburg archduchess will inevitably force her to leave her home, her family, and her cherished sister, Antoinette, whose companionship she values over all else. But not yet. The Habsburg family is celebrating a great triumph: Charlotte’s older sister, Josepha, has been promised to King Ferdinand IV of Naples and will soon take her place as queen. Before she can journey to her new home, however, tragedy strikes. After visiting the family crypt, Josepha contracts smallpox and dies. Shocked, Charlotte is forced to face an unthinkable new reality: she must now marry Ferdinand in her sister’s stead.
 
Bereft and alone, Charlotte finds that her life in Naples is more complicated than she could ever have imagined. Ferdinand is weak and feckless, and a disastrous wedding night plunges her into despair. Her husband’s regent, Tanucci, a controlling and power-hungry man, has pushed the country to the brink of ruin. Overwhelmed, she asks her brother Leopold, now the Holy Roman Emperor, to send help—which he does in the form of John Acton, a handsome military man twenty years Charlotte’s senior who is tasked with overseeing the Navy. Now, Charlotte must gather the strength to do what her mother did before her: take control of a country.
 
In a time of political uprisings and royal executions and with the increasingly desperate crisis her favorite sister, Queen Marie Antoinette, is facing in France, how is a young monarch to keep hold of everything—and everyone—she loves? Find out in this sweeping, luxurious tale of family, court intrigue, and power.

Waking Romeo • Kathryn Barker • Flatiron Books • 384 pages • 4 janvier

Year: 2083. Location: London. Mission: Wake Romeo.

It’s the end of the world. Literally. Time travel is possible, but only forward. And only a handful of families choose to remain in the “now,” living off of the scraps left behind.

Among them are eighteen-year-old Juliet and the love of her life, Romeo. But things are far from rosy for Jules. Romeo lies in a coma and Jules is estranged from her friends and family, dealing with the very real fallout of their wild romance.

Then a mysterious time traveler, Ellis, impossibly arrives from the future with a mission that makes Juliet question everything she knows about life and love.

Can Jules wake Romeo—and rewrite her future?

Devil House • John Darnielle • MCD • 416 pages • 25 janvier

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That’s what his mother always told him.

Now, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success–and movie adaptation–to his name, along with a series of subsequent lesser efforts that have paid the bills but not much more. But now he is being offered the chance for the big break: To move into the house–what the locals call « The Devil House »–in which a briefly notorious pair of murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected 1980s teens. He begins his research with diligence and enthusiasm, but soon the story leads him into a puzzle he never expected–back into his own work and what it means, back to the very core of what he does and who he is. 

At the end of everything • Marieke Nijkamp • Sourcebook Fire • 400 pages • 25 janvier

The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is ironically named. No one has hope for the delinquent teenagers who have been exiled there; the world barely acknowledges that they exist.

Then the guards at Hope start acting strange. And one day…they don’t show up. But when the teens band together to make a break from the facility, they encounter soldiers outside the gates. There’s a rapidly spreading infectious disease outside, and no one can leave their houses or travel without a permit. Which means that they’re stuck at Hope. And this time, no one is watching out for them at all.

As supplies quickly dwindle and a deadly plague tears through their ranks, the group has to decide whom among them they can trust and figure out how they can survive in a world that has never wanted them in the first place.

The girl who could breathe under water • Erin Bartels • Flemming H. Revell Company • 352 pages • 4 janvier

When Kendra Brennan moves into her grandfather’s old cabin on Hidden Lake, she has a problem and a plan. The problem? An inflammatory letter from A Very Disappointed Reader that’s keeping her from writing her next novel as long as its claims go unanswered. The plan? To confront Tyler, her childhood best friend’s brother–and the man who inspired the antagonist in her first book–in order to prove to herself that she told the truth as all good novelists should.

What she discovers as she delves into the murky past is not what she expected. Facing Tyler isn’t easy, but facing the truth of her failed friendship with his sister, Cami, may be the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.

Award-winning novelist Erin Bartels searches the heart with this lyrical exploration of how a friendship dies, how we can face the unforgiveable, and how even those who have been hurt can learn to love with abandon.

Just like the other girls • Claire Douglas • Harper Paperbacks • 400 pages • 11 janvier

CARER/COMPANION WANTED FOR ELDERLY LADY
YOUNG FEMALE PREFERRED
COMPETITIVE SALARY
ROOM AND BOARD INCLUDED
She thought she was safe. So did the others . . .

At loose ends after the devastating death of her mother, Una Richardson responds to an advertisement for a ladies’ companion, a position that leads her into the wealthy, secluded world of Mrs. Elspeth McKenzie.

But Elspeth’s home isn’t the comforting haven it seems.

Kathryn, her cold and bitter daughter, resents Una’s presence. More disturbing is evidence suggesting two girls lived here before her.

What happened to the young women?

Why won’t the McKenzies talk about them?

What are they hiding?

As the walls begin to close in around her, Una fears she’ll end up just like the other girls

The Paris Bookseller • Kerri Maher • Berkley Books • 336 pages • 11 janvier

When bookish young American Sylvia Beach opens Shakespeare and Company on a quiet street in Paris in 1919, she has no idea that she and her new bookstore will change the course of literature itself.

Shakespeare and Company is more than a bookstore and lending library: Many of the prominent writers of the Lost Generation, like Ernest Hemingway, consider it a second home. It’s where some of the most important literary friendships of the twentieth century are forged–none more so than the one between Irish writer James Joyce and Sylvia herself. When Joyce’s controversial novel Ulysses is banned, Beach takes a massive risk and publishes it under the auspices of Shakespeare and Company.

But the success and notoriety of publishing the most infamous and influential book of the century comes with steep costs. The future of her beloved store itself is threatened when Ulysses‘ success brings other publishers to woo Joyce away. Her most cherished relationships are put to the test as Paris is plunged deeper into the Depression and many expatriate friends return to America. As she faces painful personal and financial crises, Sylvia–a woman who has made it her mission to honor the life-changing impact of books–must decide what Shakespeare and Company truly means to her.

Anatomy • Dana Schwartz • Wednesday Books • 352 pages • 18 juin

Edinburgh, 1817.

Hazel Sinnett is a lady who wants to be a surgeon more than she wants to marry.

Jack Currer is a resurrection man who’s just trying to survive in a city where it’s too easy to die.

When the two of them have a chance encounter outside the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society, Hazel thinks nothing of it at first. But after she gets kicked out of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham’s lectures for being the wrong gender, she realizes that her new acquaintance might be more helpful than she first thought. Because Hazel has made a deal with Dr. Beecham: if she can pass the medical examination on her own, the university will allow her to enroll. Without official lessons, though, Hazel will need more than just her books – she’ll need bodies to study, corpses to dissect.

Lucky that she’s made the acquaintance of someone who digs them up for a living, then.

But Jack has his own problems: strange men have been seen skulking around cemeteries, his friends are disappearing off the streets. Hazel and Jack work together to uncover the secrets buried not just in unmarked graves, but in the very heart of Edinburgh society.

Beautiful Little Fools • Jillian Cantor • Harper • 336 pages • 4 janvier

On a sultry August day in 1922, Jay Gatsby is shot dead in his West Egg swimming pool. To the police, it appears to be an open-and-shut case of murder/suicide when the body of George Wilson, a local mechanic, is found in the woods nearby.

Then a diamond hairpin is discovered in the bushes by the pool, and three women fall under suspicion. Each holds a key that can unlock the truth to the mysterious life and death of this enigmatic millionaire.

Daisy Buchanan once thought she might marry Gatsby—before her family was torn apart by an unspeakable tragedy that sent her into the arms of the philandering Tom Buchanan.

Jordan Baker, Daisy’s best friend, guards a secret that derailed her promising golf career and threatens to ruin her friendship with Daisy as well.

Catherine McCoy, a suffragette, fights for women’s freedom and independence, and especially for her sister, Myrtle Wilson, who’s trapped in a terrible marriage.

Their stories unfold in the years leading up to that fateful summer of 1922, when all three of their lives are on the brink of unraveling. Each woman is pulled deeper into Jay Gatsby’s romantic obsession, with devastating consequences for all of them.

A letter to three witches • Elizabeth Bass • Kensington • 288 pages • 25 janvier

Nearly a century ago, Gwen Engel’s great-great-grandfather cast a spell with catastrophic side-effects. As a result, the Grand Council of Witches forbade his descendants from practicing witchcraft. The Council even planted anonymous snitches called Watchers in the community to report any errant spellcasting…

Yet magic may still be alive and not so well in Zenobia. Gwen and her cousins, Trudy and Milo, receive a letter from Gwen’s adopted sister, Tannith, informing them that she’s bewitched one of their partners and will run away with him at the end of the week. While Gwen frets about whether to trust her scientist boyfriend, currently out of town on a beetle-studying trip, she’s worried that local grad student Jeremy is secretly a Watcher doing his own research.

Cousin Trudy is so stressed that she accidentally enchants her cupcakes, creating havoc among her bakery customers—and in her marriage. Perhaps it’s time the family took back control and figured out how to harness their powers. How else can Gwen decide whether her growing feelings for Jeremy are real—or the result of too many of Trudy’s cupcakes?

The other family • Wendy Corsi Staub • William Morrow & Company • 384 pages • 18 janvier

It’s the perfect home for the perfect family: pretty Nora Howell, her handsome husband, their two teenage daughters, and lovable dog. As California transplants making a fresh start in Brooklyn, they expected to live in a shoebox, but the brownstone has a huge kitchen, lots of light, and a backyard. The catch: its previous residents were victims of a grisly triple homicide that remains unsolved.

Soon, peculiar things begin happening. The pug is nosing around like a bloodhound. Nora unearths a long-hidden rusty box in the flowerbed. Oldest daughter Stacey, obsessed with the family murdered in their house, pokes into the bloody past and becomes convinced that a stranger is watching the house. Watching them.

She’s right. But one of the Howells will recognize his face. Because one of them has a secret that will blindside the others with a truth that lies shockingly close to home–and to this one’s terrifying history.

A flicker in the dark • Stacy Willingham • Minotaur Books • 368 pages • 11 janvier

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to get. Sometimes, though, she feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, and seeing parallels that aren’t really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?

Camilla Sten • The lost village (2021)

The lost village • Camilla Sten • Minotaur Books • Mars 2021 • 352 pages

Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has been obsessed with the vanishing residents of the old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village,” since she was a little girl. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and ever since, the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left—a woman stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned newborn—have plagued her. She’s gathered a small crew of friends in the remote village to make a film about what really happened.

But there will be no turning back.

Not long after they’ve set up camp, mysterious things begin to happen. Equipment is destroyed. People go missing. As doubt breeds fear and their very minds begin to crack, one thing becomes startlingly clear to Alice:

They are not alone. They’re looking for the truth… But what if it finds them first?


Mes lectures durant les mois de septembre, octobre et novembre ont beaucoup tourné autour des thrillers psychologiques. Le résumé de ce roman suédois m’avait totalement conquis avec cette idée de documentaire sur une ville fantôme…

Ce n’est pas sans rappeler le Projet Blair Witch, film qui m’avait marqué dans les années 2000. On y retrouve des éléments : le film documentaire, une ambiance bizarre et l’impression de ne pas être seul dans cette ville abandonnée. L’objectif de l’équipe de tournage est de découvrir ce qui s’est passé. Plusieurs points m’ont plu dans ce roman.

En premier lieu, l’idée de départ. Elle peut paraître classique à certains, mais pour moi, elle sort quelque peu de ce que je peux lire dans ce domaine. Je l’ai trouvé bien exploité tout au long du livre. L’auteur l’entoure de beaucoup de mystère et de tension qui rendent le roman impossible à mettre de côté ne serait-ce que quelques minutes. J’ai toujours voulu en connaître davantage. Que s’est-il réellement passé ? Sont-ils vraiment seuls dans ce village ? The lost village est un excellent page-turner.

À cela s’ajoute une très bonne ambiance, bien retranscrite. Tout comme les personnages, j’ai été constamment sur mes gardes, à l’affût d’un autre drame. Elle est pesante et renforce le sentiment d’insécurité. Sur certains aspects, je m’attendais pas à ce que Camilla Sten aille aussi loin. C’est plutôt une bonne surprise. Je n’en dis pas plus pour ne pas en dévoiler de l’intrigue, mais ça m’a vraiment bien plu.

Ce côté Projet Blair Witch se retrouve aussi dans le style d’écriture. Il est très cinématographique, très visuel. Le lecteur n’a aucun mal à imaginer les scènes, à voir l’équipe évoluer devant lui. J’ai presque eu le sentiment d’être celle qui tenait la caméra et qui documentait l’expédition de l’équipe. D’une certaine façon, j’ai eu l’impression d’être encore plus investie dans l’intrigue et avec les personnages. L’écriture est également très dynamique. Il n’y a aucun moment de répit et tout s’enchaîne très vite, jusqu’aux dernières pages.

C’est là où réside ma déception. En effet, pour moi, la fin manque cruellement de réalisme et de cohérence par rapport au reste de l’histoire. Pour une partie, le lecteur peut s’en douter, grâce à l’alternance des points de vue entre le tournage et les derniers instants du village. Elle m’a semblé abrupte avec une révélation finale qui m’a semblé peu plausible, même encore aujourd’hui quand j’y pense. C’est vraiment très dommage, car pendant tout le roman, on est sur du très bon. La tension monte crescendo, tout comme l’horreur et, puis, il y a cette fin qui donne un arrière-goût amer qui gâche un peu tout.

The lost village aurait pu être un coup de coeur s’il n’y avait pas eu cette fin, qui change radicalement mon appréciation de l’ensemble. À croire que l’auteur ne savait pas comment terminer son livre et c’est extrêmement frustrant.

Top 5 Wednesday • Cinq livres que j’aimerai trouver sous le sapin

Le programme du jour pour le challenge Il était neuf fois Noël est de présenter nos idées cadeaux pour nos proches ou nos envies pour Noël. J’ai choisi ce dernier sujet avec les cinq livres que j’aimerai trouver sous le sapin. Quels seraient les vôtres ?

Je sais déjà que l’un d’entre eux se glissera sous le sapin, mais le mystère reste entier. J’avais donné une petite liste à mes proches. Ces dernières semaines, quelques unes de mes autrices préférées ont publié un nouveau roman, et je ne les avais pas acheté en prévision de Noël.


Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere. 

September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale is found at the scene. She is covered in blood from head to toe, and at first she’s mistaken for a survivor. But not a drop of the blood is hers.

Michael Jensen, son of the local sheriff, yearns to become a journalist and escape his small-town. He never imagined that the biggest story in the country would fall into his lap, or that he would be pulled into the investigation, when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to. 

As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies? 


Exiled to a far-flung island by the whims of the gods, Medusa has little company except the snakes that adorn her head instead of hair. But when a charmed, beautiful boy called Perseus arrives on the island, her lonely existence is disrupted with the force of a supernova, unleashing desire, love, betrayal and destiny itself.

Filled with glorious full-colour illustrations by award-winning Olivia Lomenech Gill, this astonishing retelling of Greek myth is perfect for readers of Circe and The Silence of the Girls. Illuminating the girl behind the legend, it brings alive Medusa for a new generation. 


A city divided. When the Berlin Wall goes up, Karin is on the wrong side of the city. Overnight, she’s trapped under Soviet rule in unforgiving East Berlin and separated from her twin sister, Jutta.

Two sisters torn apart. Karin and Jutta lead parallel lives for years, cut off by the Wall. But Karin finds one reason to keep going: Otto, the man who gives her hope, even amidst the brutal East German regime.

One impossible choice… When Jutta finds a hidden way through the wall, the twins are reunited. But the Stasi have eyes everywhere, and soon Karin is faced with a terrible decision: to flee to the West and be with her sister, or sacrifice it all to follow her heart?


As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?


As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.

Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.

Présentation de ma pile à lire pour Il était neuf fois Noël

Cette année, je participe au challenge Il était neuf fois Noël. Le chalet ouvre ses portes le 29 novembre, pour ne les refermer que le 2 janvier. La nouveauté de cette année, ce sont les semaines thématiques.

Du 29 novembre au 5 décembre : Les Noëls du monde

Du 6 au 12 décembre : Si Noël m’était conté

Du 13 au 19 décembre : Noëls mystérieux

Du 20 au 26 décembre : La magie de Noël

Du 27 décembre au 2 janvier : Noëls blancs

Les organisatrices proposent également tout un programme, qui peut être trouvé ici, par exemple. Aujourd’hui, je présente donc ma pile à lire pour le challenge. Ce sont des livres que j’espère pouvoir lire et présenter durant le mois.

Ma PAL

Pauvre Andy Warner. L’ex-star contestataire des morts-vivants a passé une année entière soumis à des tests expérimentaux dans un laboratoire de recherches sur les zombies dans l’Oregon. Heureusement, un miracle se produit : à quelques jours de Noël, il parvient à s’échapper et fausse compagnie à ses poursuivants en enfilant un costume de Santa Claus. Le déguisement parfait… À deux réserves près : des collègues de décomposition le reconnaissent et exigent de lui qu’il soit leur chef ; et une adorable fillette solitaire le suit partout, convaincue qu’il est vraiment le père Noël… Une comédie horriblement délicieuse à lire sous le sapin.

There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms. When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn.

Un Noël à la campagne dans le Gloucestershire. La perspective est séduisante pour un groupe de jeunes mondains, un peu las de la routine londonienne, qui décident de séjourner à proximité du domaine de Lady Bobbin et de ses enfants.

Multipliant péripéties invraisemblables et dialogues mordants, Nancy Mitford dresse un portrait décalé de la société anglaise dans les années 1930.

Habituellement, Basile, neuf ans, rentre de l’école avec son père ou un autre parent d’élève. Mais ce jour-là est un peu particulier… Ce jour-là, la maîtresse a reçu un coup de téléphone qui l’a forcée à abandonner sa classe plus tôt que prévu. Ce jour-là, le petit garçon a décidé que rentrer à pied pour aller voir les décorations de Noël était une bonne idée. Ce jour-là… c’est le jour où Basile va faire la connaissance d’un jeune homme d’apparence sympathique, et accepter sans le savoir de conduire un agresseur à sa victime…

Aux Galeries Hartmann, les Féeries sont le plus gros événement de l’année. Alors quand sept jours avant leur lancement, le nouveau directeur exige que la décoration de Noël soit intégralement refaite, le sang d’Agathe ne fait qu’un tour : personne ne touchera à son travail, et surtout pas cet arriviste arrogant. Mais le grand magasin est désormais sous la responsabilité d’Alexandre Hartmann, et aussi talentueuse que soit Agathe Murano, c’est avec lui qu’elle devra traiter. Lui et personne d’autre. Ces deux-là auraient préféré ne jamais se rencontrer, mais puisqu’un père Noël et son chat magique viennent d’être embauchés pour exaucer les souhaits, pourquoi ne pas en profiter pour s’amuser ? Mais aux dépens de l’un comme de l’autre, bien sûr…

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.

But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy—Jacob Greenberg.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently… Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

Lors d’une terrible nuit d’hiver, la petite ville de Coventry fut frappée par une tempête de neige d’une rare violence, qui fit de nombreuses victimes et disparus, laissant une marque indélébile sur l’esprit des survivants. Douze ans après, alors que la vie a repris son cours à Coventry, se produit une série d’événements étranges : les disparus de cette fameuse nuit maudite semblent être de retour… et une nouvelle tempête s’annonce, cette fois-ci prête à tout dévaster sur son passage.

Jack, dix-sept ans, part à la conquête du Grand Nord pour devenir chercheur d’or. Plus intéressé par l’aventure que par la richesse, il espère se mesurer aux rigueurs du climat et affronter la nature sauvage. Mais Jack est loin de s’attendre aux obstacles qui se dresseront sur sa route: des bandits sans scrupules, prêts à tout pour faire fortune, et surtout des créatures redoutables qui incarnent ce que l’homme abrite de plus sombre en son coeur. Son animal-totem, le loup, l’aidera à traverser les épreuves… pourvu que Jack reste en vie.

Quand Mariah Ellison reçoit en guise de cadeau de Noël un boulet de canon sur le pas de sa porte, elle se rappelle un meurtre, survenu il y a vingt ans, qui a brisé l’une de ses plus fortes amitiés. Comprenant que cette vieille affaire refait surface, elle se rend dans le Surrey dans l’espoir de se réconcilier avec son amie et de résoudre enfin le crime qui les a séparées.

Sorties VO • Décembre 2021

Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny • Ann Marks • Atria Books • 7 décembre • 368 pages

Vivian Maier, the photographer nanny whose work was famously discovered in a Chicago storage locker, captured the imagination of the world with her masterful images and mysterious life. Before posthumously skyrocketing to global fame, she had so deeply buried her past that even the families she lived with knew little about her. No one could relay where she was born or raised, if she had parents or siblings, if she enjoyed personal relationships, why she took photographs and why she didn’t share them with others. Now, the full story of her extraordinary life is explored by the only person who has been given access to her personal records and archive of 140,000 photographs.

Based on meticulous investigative research, Vivian Maier Developed reveals the story of a woman who fled from a family with a hidden history of illegitimacy, bigamy, parental rejection, substance abuse, violence, and mental illness to live life on her own terms. Left with a limited ability to disclose feelings and form relationships, she expressed herself through photography, creating a secret portfolio of pictures teeming with emotion, authenticity, and humanity. With limitless resilience she knocked down every obstacle in her way, determined to improve her lot in life and that of others by tirelessly advocating for the rights of workers, women, African Americans, and Native Americans. No one knew that behind the detached veneer was a profoundly intelligent, empathetic, and inspired woman—a woman so creatively gifted that her body of work would become one of the greatest photographic discoveries of the century.

The Women of Pearl Island • Polly Crosby • Park Row • 7 décembre • 352 pages

When Tartelin answers an ad for a personal assistant, she doesn’t know what to expect from her new employer, Marianne, an eccentric elderly woman. Marianne lives on a remote island that her family has owned for generations, and for decades her only companions have been butterflies and tightly held memories of her family.

But there are some memories Marianne would rather forget, such as when the island was commandeered by the British government during WWII. Now, if Marianne can trust Tartelin with her family’s story, she might finally be able to face the long-buried secrets of her past that have kept her isolated for far too long. 

Smile and Look Pretty • Amanda Pellegrino • Park Row • 28 décembre • 368 pages

Online they’re the Aggressive One, the Bossy One, the Bitchy One and the Emotional One. In real life, best friends Cate, Lauren, Olivia and Max all have one thing in common–they’re overworked, overtired and underpaid assistants to some of the most powerful men in the entertainment industries. When they secretly start an anonymous blog detailing their experiences, their posts go viral and hundreds of other women come forward with stories of their own. Confronted with the risks of newfound fame and the possibility of their identities being revealed, they have to contend with what happens when you try to change the world.

Inheritance of Secrets • Sonya Bates • Harper Collins • 14 décembre • 432 pages

No matter how far you run, the past will always find you.

Juliet’s elderly grandparents are killed in their Adelaide home. Who would commit such a heinous crime – and why? The only clue is her grandfather Karl’s missing signet ring.

When Juliet’s estranged sister, Lily, returns in fear for her life, Juliet suspects something far more sinister than a simple break-in gone wrong. Before Juliet can get any answers, Lily vanishes once more.

Juliet only knew Karl Weiss as a loving grandfather, a German soldier who emigrated to Australia to build a new life. What was he hiding that could have led to his murder? While attempting to find out, Juliet uncovers some disturbing secrets from WWII that will put both her and her sister’s lives in danger…

The Sorority Murder • Allison Brennan • Mira Books • 28 décembre • 448 pages

Lucas Vega is obsessed with the death of Candace Swain, who left a sorority party one night and never came back. Her body was found after two weeks, but the case has grown cold. Three years later while interning at the medical examiner’s, Lucas discovers new information, but the police are not interested.

Lucas knows he has several credible pieces of the puzzle. He just isn’t sure how they fit together. So he creates a podcast to revisit Candace’s last hours. Then he encourages listeners to crowdsource what they remember and invites guest lecturer Regan Merritt, a former US marshal, to come on and share her expertise.

New tips come in that convince Lucas and Regan they are onto something. Then shockingly one of the podcast callers turns up dead. Another hints at Candace’s secret life, a much darker picture than Lucas imagined–and one that implicates other sorority sisters. Regan uses her own resources to bolster their theory and learns that Lucas is hiding his own secret. The pressure is on to solve the murder, but first Lucas must come clean about his real motives in pursuing this podcast–before the killer silences him forever.

Hidden Treasures • Michelle Adams • William Morrow • 7 décembre • 384 pages

Then…

Once upon a time, in a small village in southern France, a pretty, willful English girl is falling in love.  Francis Langley has fallen under Benoit’s romantic spell, so sure is she that he is everything she’s ever wanted—a self-assured, sexy man, experienced and just a little bit mysterious. But Francis is hiding a secret—one that would surely separate them if he ever knew the truth. And to hold on to his love, she is willing to do anything for him, even put herself at risk by hiding a precious object, stolen by the Nazis decades before.

Now…

Years later, Francis’s son, Harry, opens the door of his late mother’s home, never expecting to see Tabitha—the lost love of his life—on the other side. Their angry parting had broken his heart, but  now she holds a letter, sent by his mother just before her death, begging the pair to search—together—for a priceless jewelry box, hidden somewhere in her little Cotswold cottage.

Harry quickly dismisses the search, but as an art historian, Tabitha cannot risk the chance to recover something so valuable that was long thought to be lost. And so they embark on a journey of discovery, but soon find themselves searching for much more than a missing piece of art. Together they learn that the true riches are not those buried in the clutter of Francis’s cottage, but are instead the treasures they each hold, buried deep inside their hearts.  

A History of Wild Places • Shea Ernshaw • Atria Books • 7 décembre • 368 pages

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it… he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

The Ballerinas • Rachel Kapelke-Dale • St Martin’s Press • 7 décembre • 304 pages

Fourteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she’s been away…and some secrets can’t stay buried forever.

Moving between the trio’s adolescent years and the present day, The Ballerinas explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside––all culminating in a twist you won’t see coming, with magnetic characters you won’t soon forget.

The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe • Matthew Gabriele • Harper • 7 décembre • 320 pages

The word “medieval” conjures images of the “Dark Ages”—centuries of ignorance, superstition, stasis, savagery, and poor hygiene. But the myth of darkness obscures the truth; this was a remarkable period in human history. The Bright Ages recasts the European Middle Ages for what it was, capturing this 1,000-year era in all its complexity and fundamental humanity, bringing to light both its beauty and its horrors. 

The Bright Ages takes us through ten centuries and crisscrosses Europe and the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa, revisiting familiar people and events with new light cast upon them. We look with fresh eyes on the Fall of Rome, Charlemagne, the Vikings, the Crusades, and the Black Death, but also to the multi-religious experience of Iberia, the rise of Byzantium, and the genius of Hildegard and the power of queens. We begin under a blanket of golden stars constructed by an empress with Germanic, Roman, Spanish, Byzantine, and Christian bloodlines and end nearly 1,000 years later with the poet Dante—inspired by that same twinkling celestial canopy—writing an epic saga of heaven and hell that endures as a masterpiece of literature today.  

The Bright Ages reminds us just how permeable our manmade borders have always been and of what possible worlds the past has always made available to us. The Middle Ages may have been a world “lit only by fire” but it was one whose torches illuminated the magnificent rose windows of cathedrals, even as they stoked the pyres of accused heretics.  

Blood at the Root • Ciahnan Darrell • Atmosphere Press • 10 décembre • 258 pages

College student Christopher Fairchild, the son of a white billionaire, disappears, and is next seen being savagely tortured in a video that surfaces online. When it comes to light that he planned the incident as a sacrifice of atonement for America’s racial sins, the news detonates a bomb that rips through a country already rife with demonstrations and social unrest.

Blood at the Root tracks the fallout from Fairchild’s video through a lush universe populated by drug dealers, priests, police officers, civilians, and a talking pretzel bag. With the city on the precipice of chaos, the lives and livelihoods of individuals come under threat, forcing them to go to extremes in the name of self-preservation. The novel explores the human capacity for endurance in a society haunted by the ghosts of George Floyd, Andrew Goodman, Clementa Pickney, Erik Salgado, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, and so many others.

Accidental Gods: On Men Unwittingly Turned Divine • Anna Della Subin • Metropolitan Books • 7 décembre • 480 pages

Ever since 1492, when Christopher Columbus made landfall in the New World and was hailed as a heavenly being, the accidental god has haunted the modern age. From Haile Selassie, acclaimed as the Living God in Jamaica, to Britain’s Prince Philip, who became the unlikely center of a new religion on a South Pacific island, men made divine—always men—have appeared on every continent. And because these deifications always emerge at moments of turbulence—civil wars, imperial conquest, revolutions—they have much to teach us.

In a revelatory history spanning five centuries, a cast of surprising deities helps to shed light on the thorny questions of how our modern concept of “religion” was invented; why religion and politics are perpetually entangled in our supposedly secular age; and how the power to call someone divine has been used and abused by both oppressors and the oppressed. From nationalist uprisings in India to Nigerien spirit possession cults, Anna Della Subin explores how deification has been a means of defiance for colonized peoples. Conversely, we see how Columbus, Cortés, and other white explorers amplified stories of their godhood to justify their dominion over native peoples, setting into motion the currents of racism and exclusion that have plagued the New World ever since they touched its shores.

Learwife • J.R. Thorpe • Pegasus Books • 7 décembre • 304 pages

Word has come. Care-bent King Lear is dead, driven mad and betrayed. His three daughters too, broken in battle. But someone has survived: Lear’s queen. Exiled to a nunnery years ago, written out of history, her name forgotten. Now she can tell her story.

Though her grief and rage may threaten to crack the earth open, she knows she must seek answers. Why was she sent away in shame and disgrace? What has happened to Kent, her oldest friend and ally? And what will become of her now, in this place of women? To find peace she must reckon with her past and make a terrible choice – one upon which her destiny, and that of the entire abbey, rests.

Sorties VO • Novembre 2021

Nouveau mois, nouvelles sorties VO… Encore des secrets de famille, des lectures fantastiques et de l’historique…

The Haunting of Leigh Harker • Darcy Coates • Poisoned Pen Press • 1 novembre • 272 pages

Sometimes the dead reach back…

Leigh Harker’s quiet suburban home was her sanctuary for more than a decade, until things abruptly changed. Curtains open by themselves. Radios turn off and on. And a dark figure looms in the shadows of her bedroom door at night, watching her, waiting for her to finally let down her guard enough to fall asleep.

Pushed to her limits but unwilling to abandon her home, Leigh struggles to find answers. But each step forces her towards something more terrifying than she ever imagined.

A poisonous shadow seeps from the locked door beneath the stairs. The handle rattles through the night and fingernails scratch at the wood. Her home harbours dangerous secrets, and now that Leigh is trapped within its walls, she fears she may never escape.

Do you think you’re safe?

You’re wrong.

Parting the veil • Paulette Kennedy • Lake Union Publishing • 1 novembre • 368 pages

Some houses hold secrets that are meant to be kept forever…

When Eliza Sullivan inherits an estate from a recently deceased aunt, she leaves behind a grievous and guilt-ridden past in New Orleans for rural England and a fresh start. Eliza arrives at her new home and finds herself falling for the mysterious lord of Havenwood, Malcolm Winfield. Despite the sinister rumors that surround him, Eliza is drawn to his melancholy charm and his crumbling, once-beautiful mansion. With enough love, she thinks, both man and manor could be repaired.

Not long into their marriage, Eliza fears that she should have listened to the locals. There’s something terribly wrong at Havenwood Manor: Forbidden rooms. Ghostly whispers in the shadows. Strangely guarded servants. And Malcolm’s threatening moods, as changeable as night and day.

As Eliza delves deeper into Malcolm’s troubling history, the dark secrets she unearths gain a frightening power. Has she married a man or a monster? For Eliza, uncovering the truth will either save her or destroy her. 

The London House • Katherine Reay • Harper Muse • 2 novembre • 368 pages

Caroline Payne thinks it’s just another day of work until she receives a call from Mat Hammond, an old college friend and historian. But pleasantries are cut short. Mat has uncovered a scandalous secret kept buried for decades: In World War II, Caroline’s British great-aunt betrayed family and country to marry her German lover.

Determined to find answers and save her family’s reputation, Caroline flies to her family’s ancestral home in London. She and Mat discover diaries and letters that reveal her grandmother and great-aunt were known as the “Waite sisters.” Popular and witty, they came of age during the interwar years, a time of peace and luxury filled with dances, jazz clubs, and romance. The buoyant tone of the correspondence soon yields to sadder revelations as the sisters grow apart, and one leaves home for the glittering fashion scene of Paris, despite rumblings of a coming world war.

Each letter brings more questions. Was Caroline’s great-aunt actually a traitor and Nazi collaborator, or is there a more complex truth buried in the past? Together, Caroline and Mat uncover stories of spies and secrets, love and heartbreak, and the events of one fateful evening in 1941 that changed everything.

Seven dirty secrets • Nathalie D. Richards • Sourcebooks Fire • 320 pages

I know seven secrets:
One caused the fall. One did nothing. One saw it all.
One didn’t care. One used their head. One played the hero.
One was left for dead.

On her eighteenth birthday, Cleo receives a mysterious invitation to a scavenger hunt. She’s sure her best friend Hope or her brother Connor is behind it, but no one confesses. And as Cleo and Hope embark on the hunt, the seemingly random locations and clues begin to feel familiar.

In fact, all of the clues seem to be about Cleo’s dead boyfriend, Cyrus, who drowned on a group rafting trip exactly a year ago. A bracelet she bought him. A song he loved. A photo of the rafting group, taken just before Cyrus drowned. And then the phone calls start, Cyrus’s voice taunting Cleo with a cryptic question: You ready?

As the clock on the scavenger hunt ticks down, it becomes clear that someone knows what really happened to Cyrus. And that person will stop at nothing to make sure Cleo and her friends pay. Can they solve the hunt before someone else winds up dead?

Watching Darkness Fall: FDR, His Ambassadors, and the Rise of Adolf Hitler • David McKean • Saint Martin’s Press • 2 novembre • 416 pages

As German tanks rolled toward Paris in late May 1940, the U.S. Ambassador to France, William Bullitt, was determined to stay put, holed up in the Chateau St. Firmin in Chantilly, his country residence. Bullitt told the president that he would neither evacuate the embassy nor his chateau, an eighteenth Renaissance manse with a wine cellar of over 18,000 bottles, even though “we have only two revolvers in this entire mission with only forty bullets.”

As German forces closed in on the French capital, Bullitt wrote the president, “In case I should get blown up before I see you again, I want you to know that it has been marvelous to work for you.” As the fighting raged in France, across the English Channel, Ambassador to Great Britain Joseph P. Kennedy wrote to his wife Rose, “The situation is more than critical. It means a terrible finish for the allies.”

Watching Darkness Fall will recount the rise of the Third Reich in Germany and the road to war from the perspective of four American diplomats in Europe who witnessed it firsthand: Joseph Kennedy, William Dodd, Breckinridge Long, and William Bullitt, who all served in key Western European capitals―London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Moscow―in the years prior to World War II. In many ways they were America’s first line of defense and they often communicated with the president directly, as Roosevelt’s eyes and ears on the ground. Unfortunately, most of them underestimated the power and resolve of Adolf Hitler and Germany’s Third Reich.

The Churchill Sisters: The Extraordinary Lives of Winston and Clementine’s Daughters • Rachel Trethewey • Saint Martin’s Press • 23 novembre • 320 pages

Bright, attractive and well-connected, in any other family the Churchill girls – Diana, Sarah, Marigold and Mary – would have shone. But they were not in another family, they were Churchills, and neither they nor anyone else could ever forget it. From their father – ‘the greatest Englishman’ – to their brother, golden boy Randolph, to their eccentric and exciting cousins, the Mitford Girls, they were surrounded by a clan of larger-than-life characters which often saw them overlooked. While Marigold died too young to achieve her potential, the other daughters lived lives full of passion, drama and tragedy.

Diana, intense and diffident; Sarah, glamorous and stubborn; Mary, dependable yet determined – each so different but each imbued with a sense of responsibility toward each other and their country. Far from being cosseted debutantes, these women were eyewitnesses at some of the most important events in world history, at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. Yet this is not a story set on the battlefields or in Parliament; it is an intimate saga that sheds light on the complex dynamics of family set against the backdrop of a tumultuous century.

Gilded • Marissa Meyer • Faber & Faber • 2 novembre • 512 pages

Cursed by the god of lies, a miller’s daughter has developed a talent for storytelling – but are all of her tales as false as they appear?

When one of Serilda’s stories draws the attention of the devastating Erlking, she finds herself swept away into a world of enchantment, where ghouls prowl the earth, and ravens track her every move. The king locks Serilda in a castle dungeon and orders her to spin straw into gold, or be killed for lying. In despair, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious young man to her aid. And he agrees to help her, for a price. But love wasn’t meant to be part of the bargain.

All of us villain • Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman • Tor Teen • 4 novembre • 400 pages

After the publication of a salacious tell-all book, the remote city of Ilvernath is thrust into worldwide spotlight. Tourists, protesters, and reporters flock to its spellshops and ruins to witness an ancient curse unfold: every generation, seven families name a champion among them to compete in a tournament to the death. The winner awards their family exclusive control over the city’s high magick supply, the most powerful resource in the world.

In the past, the villainous Lowes have won nearly every tournament, and their champion is prepared to continue his family’s reign. But this year, thanks to the influence of their newfound notoriety, each of the champions has a means to win. Or better yet–a chance to rewrite their story.

But this is a story that must be penned in blood.

Top 5 Wednesday • Back to school

Le thème de cette semaine s’intitule Back to school. Le sens peut être très large, puisque sont acceptés les livres lus durant les études ou ceux parlant d’écoles, de lycées, d’universités… C’est plutôt dans ce sens-là que j’ai axé ma sélection. Les romans que je vous propose ont tous été lus.

The Assignment • Liza Wiemer

SENIOR YEAR. When an assignment given by a favorite teacher instructs a group of students to argue for the Final Solution, a euphemism used to describe the Nazi plan for the genocide of the Jewish people, Logan March and Cade Crawford are horrified. Their teacher cannot seriously expect anyone to complete an assignment that fuels intolerance and discrimination. Logan and Cade decide they must take a stand. As the school administration addressed the teens’ refusal to participate in the appalling debate, the student body, their parents, and the larger community are forced to face the issue as well. The situation explodes, and acrimony and anger result. What does it take for tolerance, justice, and love to prevail?

They never learn • Layne Fargo

Scarlett Clark is an exceptional English professor. But she’s even better at getting away with murder.

Every year, she searches for the worst man at Gorman University and plots his well-deserved demise. Thanks to her meticulous planning, she’s avoided drawing attention to herself—but as she’s preparing for her biggest kill yet, the school starts probing into the growing body count on campus. Determined to keep her enemies close, Scarlett insinuates herself into the investigation and charms the woman in charge, Dr. Mina Pierce. Everything’s going according to her master plan…until she loses control with her latest victim, putting her secret life at risk of exposure.

Meanwhile, Gorman student Carly Schiller is just trying to survive her freshman year. Finally free of her emotionally abusive father, all Carly wants is to focus on her studies and fade into the background. Her new roommate has other ideas. Allison Hadley is cool and confident—everything Carly wishes she could be—and the two girls quickly form an intense friendship. So when Allison is sexually assaulted at a party, Carly becomes obsessed with making the attacker pay…and turning her fantasies about revenge into a reality.

In my dreams I hold a knife • Ashley Winstead

A college reunion turns dark and deadly in this chilling and propulsive suspense novel about six friends, one unsolved murder, and the dark secrets they’ve been hiding from each other—and themselves—for a decade.

Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent—not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year. Ten years ago, everything fell apart, including the dreams she worked for her whole life—and her relationship with the one person she wasn’t supposed to love.

But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.

Métamorphoses, Vita Nostra • Marina et Sergueï Diatchenko

Vita nostra brevis est, brevi finietur…
« Notre vie est brève, elle finira bientôt… »

C’est dans le bourg paumé de Torpa que Sacha entonnera l’hymne des étudiants, à l’« Institut des technologies spéciales ». Pour y apprendre quoi ? Allez savoir. Dans quel but et en vue de quelle carrière ? Mystère encore. Il faut dire que son inscription ne relève pas exactement d’un choix : on la lui a imposée… Comment s’étonner dès lors de l’apparente absurdité de l’enseignement, de l’arbitraire despotisme des professeurs et de l’inquiétante bizarrerie des étudiants ?

A-t-on affaire, avec Vita nostra, à un roman d’initiation à la magie ? Oui et non. On évoque irrésistiblement la saga d’Harry Potter et plus encore Les Magiciens de Lev Grossman. Mêmes jeunes esprits en formation, même apprentissage semé d’obstacles. Mais c’est sur une autre terre et dans une autre culture, slaves celles-là, que reposent les fondations d’un livre qui nous rappellera que le Verbe se veut à l’origine du monde. Les lecteurs de fantasy occidentale saturés d’aspirations à l’héroïsme tous azimuts en seront tourneboulés.

My dark Vanessa • Kate Elizabeth Russell

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of RoomMy Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself. 

Sorties VO • Septembre 2021

Seven visitations of Sydney Burgess • Andy Marino • RedHook • 28 septembre • 304 pages

Sydney’s spent years burying her past and building a better life for herself and her eleven-year old son. A respectable marketing job, a house with reclaimed and sustainable furniture, and a boyfriend who loves her son and accepts her, flaws and all. But when she opens her front door, and a masked intruder knocks her briefly unconscious, everything begins to unravel. 

She wakes in the hospital and tells a harrowing story of escape. Of dashing out a broken window. Of running into her neighbors’ yard and calling the police. What the cops tell her is that she can no longer trust her memories. Because they say that not only is the intruder lying dead in her guest room, but he’s been murdered in a way that seems intimately personal. 

When she returns home, Sydney can’t shake the deep darkness that hides in every corner. There’s an unnatural whisper in her ear, urging her back to old addictions. And as her memories slowly return, she begins to fear that her new life was never built on solid ground-and that the secrets buried beneath will change everything. 

These toxic things • Rachel Howzell Hall • Thomas & Mercer • 1 septembre • 415 pages

Mickie Lambert creates “digital scrapbooks” for clients, ensuring that precious souvenirs aren’t forgotten or lost. When her latest client, Nadia Denham, a curio shop owner, dies from an apparent suicide, Mickie honors the old woman’s last wish and begins curating her peculiar objets d’art. A music box, a hair clip, a key chain―twelve mementos in all that must have meant so much to Nadia, who collected them on her flea market scavenges across the country.

But these tokens mean a lot to someone else, too. Mickie has been receiving threatening messages to leave Nadia’s past alone.

It’s becoming a mystery Mickie is driven to solve. Who once owned these odd treasures? How did Nadia really come to possess them? Discovering the truth means crossing paths with a long-dormant serial killer and navigating the secrets of a sinister past. One that might, Mickie fears, be inescapably entwined with her own.

The slow march of light • Heather B. Moore • Shadow Mountain • 7 septembre • 368 pages

In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Aware of the many whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help East Germans escape across the Berlin Wall and into the West.

Bob Inama, a soldier in the US Army, is stationed in West Germany. He’s glad to be fluent in German, especially after meeting Luisa Voigt at a church social. As they spend time together, they form a close connection. But when Bob receives classified orders to leave for undercover work immediately, he doesn’t get the chance to say goodbye.

With a fake identity, Bob’s special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany, identifying possible targets for the US military. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere, and the danger of being caught and sent to a brutal East German prison lurks on every corner.

The Collector’s Daughter • Gill Paul • William Morrow • 7 septembre • 384 pages

Lady Evelyn Herbert was the daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon, brought up in stunning Highclere Castle. Popular and pretty, she seemed destined for a prestigious marriage, but she had other ideas. Instead, she left behind the world of society balls and chaperones to travel to the Egyptian desert, where she hoped to become a lady archaeologist, working alongside her father and Howard Carter in the hunt for an undisturbed tomb.

In November 1922, their dreams came true when they discovered the burial place of Tutankhamun, packed full of gold and unimaginable riches, and she was the first person to crawl inside for three thousand years. She called it the “greatest moment” of her life—but soon afterwards everything changed, with a string of tragedies that left her world a darker, sadder place.

Newspapers claimed it was “the curse of Tutankhamun,” but Howard Carter said no rational person would entertain such nonsense. Yet fifty years later, when an Egyptian academic came asking questions about what really happened in the tomb, it unleashed a new chain of events that seemed to threaten the happiness Eve had finally found.

The Matzah Ball • Jean Meltzer • MIRA • 28 septembre • 416 pages

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.

But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy—Jacob Greenberg.

Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah—and Jacob—in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze.

The Corpse Queen • Heather Herrman • GP Putnam • 14 septembre • 320 pages

Soon after her best friend Kitty mysteriously dies, orphaned seventeen-year-old Molly Green is sent away to live with her « aunt. » With no relations that she knows of, Molly assumes she has been sold as free domestic labor for the price of an extra donation in the church orphanage’s coffers. Such a thing is not unheard of. There are only so many options for an unmarried girl in 1850s Philadelphia. Only, when Molly arrives, she discovers her aunt is very much real, exceedingly wealthy, and with secrets of her own. Secrets and wealth she intends to share–for a price.

Molly’s estranged aunt Ava, has built her empire by robbing graves and selling the corpses to medical students who need bodies to practice surgical procedures. And she wants Molly to help her procure the corpses. As Molly learns her aunt’s trade in the dead of night and explores the mansion by day, she is both horrified and deeply intrigued by the anatomy lessons held at the old church on her aunt’s property. Enigmatic Doctor LaSalle’s lessons are a heady mixture of knowledge and power and Molly has never wanted anything more than to join his male-only group of students. But the cost of inclusion is steep and with a murderer loose in the city, the pursuit of power and opportunity becomes a deadly dance. 

The Magicians • Colm Toibin • Scribner • 7 septembre • 512 pages

Colm Tóibín’s new novel opens in a provincial German city at the turn of the twentieth century, where the boy, Thomas Mann, grows up with a conservative father, bound by propriety, and a Brazilian mother, alluring and unpredictable. Young Mann hides his artistic aspirations from his father and his homosexual desires from everyone. He is infatuated with one of the richest, most cultured Jewish families in Munich, and marries the daughter Katia. They have six children. On a holiday in Italy, he longs for a boy he sees on a beach and writes the story Death in Venice. He is the most successful novelist of his time, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, a public man whose private life remains secret. He is expected to lead the condemnation of Hitler, whom he underestimates. His oldest daughter and son, leaders of Bohemianism and of the anti-Nazi movement, share lovers. He flees Germany for Switzerland, France and, ultimately, America, living first in Princeton and then in Los Angeles.

The Girl behind the wall • Mandy Robotham • Avon • 7 septembre • 416 pages

A city divided. When the Berlin Wall goes up, Karin is on the wrong side of the city. Overnight, she’s trapped under Soviet rule in unforgiving East Berlin and separated from her twin sister, Jutta.

Two sisters torn apart. Karin and Jutta lead parallel lives for years, cut off by the Wall. But Karin finds one reason to keep going: Otto, the man who gives her hope, even amidst the brutal East German regime.

One impossible choice… When Jutta finds a hidden way through the wall, the twins are reunited. But the Stasi have eyes everywhere, and soon Karin is faced with a terrible decision: to flee to the West and be with her sister, or sacrifice it all to follow her heart?

The last legacy • Adrienne Young • Wednesday Books • 7 septembre • 336 pages

When a letter from her uncle Henrik arrives on Bryn Roth’s eighteenth birthday, summoning her back to Bastian, Bryn is eager to prove herself and finally take her place in her long-lost family.

Henrik has plans for Bryn, but she must win everyone’s trust if she wants to hold any power in the delicate architecture of the family. It doesn’t take long for her to see that the Roths are entangled in shadows. Despite their growing influence in upscale Bastian, their hands are still in the kind of dirty business that got Bryn’s parents killed years ago. With a forbidden romance to contend with and dangerous work ahead, the cost of being accepted into the Roths may be more than Bryn can pay. 

All these bodies • Kendare Blake • Quill Tree Books • 16 septembre • 304 pages

Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere. 

September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale is found at the scene. She is covered in blood from head to toe, and at first she’s mistaken for a survivor. But not a drop of the blood is hers.

Michael Jensen, son of the local sheriff, yearns to become a journalist and escape his small-town. He never imagined that the biggest story in the country would fall into his lap, or that he would be pulled into the investigation, when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to. 

As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies? 

Summers Sons • Lee Mandelo • Tordotcom • 28 septembre • 384 pages

Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers for him. 

Cloud Cuckoo Land • Anthony Doerr • Scribner • 28 septembre • 640 pages

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.