cover image The Suicide House

The Suicide House

Charlie Donlea. Kensington, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2715-2

Donlea’s gripping sequel to 2019’s Some Choose Darkness finds Chicago forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore, who specializes in cold case homicides, investigating a string of bizarre deaths at a prestigious Indiana prep school. A year after two students are murdered in an abandoned boarding house near Westmont Preparatory High School and an implicated teacher commits suicide, those who witnessed the brutal aftermath of the carnage begin taking their own lives. A popular true crime podcast focusing on the unexplained deaths shines a new light on the school, and Rory becomes obsessed with solving the mystery. With her love interest, former FBI criminal profiler Lane Phillips, sidelined after being injured in a blast that killed the podcast’s host, Rory is largely on her own. Multiple intertwining story lines keep the pacing brisk and the tension high throughout. But the book’s real strength is the idiosyncratic Rory, who suffers from OCD and is on the autism spectrum, a deeply developed character readers can’t help rooting for. Hopefully, she’ll be back soon. Agent: Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary. (Aug.)