Melissa’s Summer Reading List

Since my list is posting late in the summer I’ve already finished most of these. 😀

KDKill Devil by Mike Dellosso
Publisher:  Tyndale
Publication Date:  June 1, 2016

What’s it about:
Jed Patrick is convinced he’s doing all it takes to keep his family safe―new names, new location, new identity. But just when he thinks he finally has his life back, trained men claiming to be CIA agents break in and threaten his wife and daughter, proving once and for all his family will never truly be safe until he eliminates the agency dead set on hunting him down.

Not knowing if Karen and Lilly are better off by his side or in hiding, Jed is determined to protect them while finding a way to use the classified information that he possesses to dismantle the Centralia Project. But he soon learns that eliminating Centralia may require compromising his own values. As danger escalates, Jed isn’t sure whether there’s anyone or anything he can trust―including his own senses.

Melissa’s Thoughts:  Mike Dellosso is one of my favorite authors.  I love his blend of spiritual truth combined with fantastic suspense.  Kill Devil is a follow up to his novel Centralia and features some of the same great main character, Jed Patrick.  The unsettling technology adds a nice psychological aspect, making Kill Devil one of my favorite books this summer.


Rise the DarkRise the Dark by Michael Koryta
Publisher:  Little, Brown, & Company
Publication Date:  August 16, 2016

What’s it about:
Mark Novak’s greatest mystery may be his own…

Rise the dark. These were the last words written in Lauren Novak’s notebook before she was murdered in a strange Florida village. They’ve never meant anything to the police or to her husband, investigator Markus Novak. Now the man he believes killed her is out of prison, and draws Markus to the place he’s avoided for so long: the lonely road where his wife was shot to death beneath the cypress trees and Spanish moss in a town called Cassadaga.

In Red Lodge, Montana, a senseless act of vandalism shuts the lights off in the town where Sabrina Baldwin is still trying to adjust to a new home and mourning the loss of her brother, who was a high voltage linesman just like her husband, Jay. As the spring’s final snowstorm calls Jay deeper into the mountains, chasing the destruction on the electrical grid, Sabrina is abducted by Garland Webb, the man Markus Novak believes killed his wife. Drawing them all together is a messianic villain who understands that you can never outpace your past. You can only rise against the future.

Melissa’s thoughts:  I love Michael Koryta’s books.  They’re moody, with a touch of darkness, but mainly they are just fun to read.  I love the mystery, adventure, investigations, and so much more that he adds to his novels.  So Rise the Dark, which is a follow up to Last Words, is a no brainer for me.  As expected, it’s a fantastic summer read full of mystery and a chilling walk into Mark Novak’s dark past.


Ben-HurBen-Hur by Carol Wallace
Publisher:  Tyndale
Publication Date:  July 19, 2016

What’s it about:
As one of the bestselling stories of all time, Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ has captivated and enthralled millions around the world―both in print and on the big screen. Now Lew’s great-great-granddaughter has taken the old-fashioned prose of this classic novel and breathed new life into it for today’s audience.

Coming to theaters in August 2016 as Ben-Hur, a major motion picture from MGM and Paramount studios, the story follows Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman whose childhood friend Messala betrays him. Accused of trying to murder the new Roman governor in Jerusalem, Judah is sentenced to the galley ships and vows to seek revenge against the Romans and Messala. But a chance encounter with a carpenter from Nazareth sets Judah on a different path.

Melissa’s thoughts:  Before I read this edition of Ben-Hur, all I knew of the story was the chariot race.  Turns out there is a LOT more to this story than the chariot race.  I adored this book!  I thought about it for weeks after I finished it and it is definitely on my favorites list for this year!


You will know meYou Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
Publisher:  Little, Brown, & Company
Publication Date:  July 26, 2016 

What’s it about:
How far will you go to achieve a dream? That’s the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful, compete. For the Knoxes there are no limits–until a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community and everything they have worked so hard for is suddenly at risk. 

As rumors swirl among the other parents, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself irresistibly drawn to the crime itself. What she uncovers–about her daughter’s fears, her own marriage, and herself–forces Katie to consider whether there’s any price she isn’t willing to pay to achieve Devon’s dream. 

From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl” (Janet Maslin), You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of parental sacrifice, furtive desire, and the staggering force of ambition. 

Melissa’s thoughts:  I’m a little nervous about this one.  I read Megan’s The End of Everything several years ago and it was quite disturbing.  It was brilliantly written; there is no doubt about Megan’s talent and ability to make the reader feel her stories.  However, I felt more than I wanted to and the end result was that I wanted a ‘hot bath’ to scrub away the story when I was done.  It was quite the disturbing coming of age novel.  But she’s such an amazing writer that I’d like to give her work another chance.  Hopefully this time I’ll be better prepared mentally and therefore more capable to enjoy her amazing writing skills.


When Death Draws NearWhen Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: August 2, 2016

What’s it about:
Gwen Marcey takes death in stride. Until she’s faced with her own mortality.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others.

Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the “accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her there, Gwen turn her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity there—a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

In a thrilling race against time, When Death Draws Near plunges us into cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects.

Melissa’s thoughts:  I discovered Carrie’s books last year and I’m hooked.  Her Gwen Marcey series is smart, highly entertaining, and has endless possibilities.  When Death Draws Near takes an interesting peek at the practice of serpent handling.  It was a little creepy for this snake phobic reader, but a truly terrific summer read.


Revenge in a Cold RiverRevenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Publication Date:  September 6, 2016

What’s it about:
Master of mystery and historical intrigue Anne Perry once again transports readers to the banks of the Thames in Victorian London for her thrilling new William Monk novel. In Revenge in a Cold River, Monk faces his darkest hour ever as he spars with a quarry hell-bent on vengeance.
When Commander Monk of the Thames River Police is called to investigate the drowning of an escaped prisoner, he’s forced to contend with customs officer McNab, who clearly bears a bitter grudge against him. But the reason is a mystery in itself. Monk’s memory loss—a secret he guards closely—leaves him vulnerable to repercussions from his missing past, especially his exploits overseas in the tumultuous Gold Rush days of San Francisco. And now McNab, as icy and unfathomable as the steel-gray Thames itself, appears intent on using whatever damning facts he can find to his advantage to ruin Monk’s future as an officer of the law.
As Monk explores the possibility of a conspiracy, McNab’s game of cat and mouse escalates, with veiled threats and cryptic insinuations. Snared in an unforeseen trap, a desperate Monk must turn to his wife, Hester, and friend and attorney Oliver Rathbone for help, as his life literally hangs in the balance.
With razor-edged suspense and shocking twists and turns, Revenge in a Cold River is Anne Perry at her most intense—and most satisfying.

Melissa’s thoughts:
  I’ve never read one of Anne Perry’s books, but saw this one while browsing Netgalley.  It sounds like a fun, historical mystery, so why not give it a try? 🙂

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