Available Dec 31, 2019
In Paperback Format
A modern master of suspense, critically acclaimed author Charlie Donlea returns with a taut, gripping novel about the deadly secrets hiding in plain sight . . .
The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more.
In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before they could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. But the cryptic file Rory finds in her father’s law office suggests there is more to the case, and Angela Mitchell, than what was fed to the public, the details of which have been buried for four decades.
Rory’s talents are tested as she begins reconstructing Angela’s last days. Making one startling discovery after another, Rory becomes helplessly entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell and what happened to her. Drawing connections between the past and present, Rory uncovers dark truths about the reclusive victim, her father, and the man called The Thief that send her down a twisting trail where things may not be as they appear. As she continues to dig, even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . . Read More
Coming July 28, 2020
A chilling murder in a prestigious prep school is at the heart of this riveting new novel from acclaimed author Charlie Donlea, featuring forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore and her psychologist partner, Lane Phillips.
Inside the walls of Indiana’s elite Westmont Preparatory High School, expectations run high and rules are strictly enforced. But in the woods beyond the manicured campus and playing fields sits an abandoned boarding house that is infamous among Westmont’s students as a late-night hangout. Here, only one rule applies: don’t let your candle go out—unless you want the Man in the Mirror to find you. . .
One year ago, two students were killed there in a grisly slaughter. The case has since become the focus of a hit podcast, The Suicide House. Though a teacher was convicted of the murders, mysteries and questions remain. The most urgent among them is why so many students who survived that horrific night have returned to the boarding house—to kill themselves.
Rory, an expert in reconstructing cold cases, is working on The Suicide House podcast with Lane, recreating the night of the killings in order to find answers that have eluded the school, the town, and the police. But the more they learn about the troubled students, the chillingly stoic culprit, and a dangerous game gone tragically wrong, the more convinced they become that something sinister is still happening. Inside Westmont Prep, the game hasn’t ended. It thrives on secrecy and silence. And for its players, there may be no way to win—or to survive. . . . Read More
From the author of the bestselling The Girl Who Was Taken comes another novel of suspense chocked full of breathtaking twists, and a haunting, surprise ending Donlea’s novels are known to deliver…
The Girl of Sugar Beach is about to become the most watched documentary in television history. The ten-part true-crime serial centers on the burning question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend while on Spring Break vacation, or is she the victim of a shocking miscarriage of justice? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and now she’s reaching out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a final, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.
As Sidney begins researching the story, she is shocked by what she finds. And when the first episodes go to air, exposing startling new evidence and additional suspects, the series quickly becomes a rating's juggernaut — and makes Sidney a celebrity in her own right —as millions tune in each week to find out what new clues have been discovered about the mysterious woman at the center of a grisly crime. As Sidney rushes to stay one episode ahead of her television show’s weekly airings, jetting from network meetings in New York to the scene of the murder at a luxurious resort on the island of St. Lucia, to the prison where Grace Sebold waits for exoneration, a troubling picture of the truth unfolds.
With each new episode, public outcry grows louder for officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, and Sidney dives deeper into Grace’s past, she uncovers layer after layer of deception that makes her wonder if she’s helping an innocent woman or actually working to free a ruthless killer. And as she edges closer to the real heart of the story, Sidney must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career . . . even her life.
The night they go missing, high school seniors Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are at a beach party in their small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. Police launch a massive search, but
Two abducted girls—one who returns, one who doesn’t.hope is almost lost—until Megan escapes from a bunker deep in the woods. . . . A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has made Megan a celebrity. It’s a triumphant story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing.
Nicole’s older sister, Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found and her sister’s fate determined. Instead, the first clue comes from another body—that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan to learn more about that fateful night. Other girls have disappeared, and she’s increasingly sure the cases are connected.
Megan knows more than she revealed in her book. Flashes of memory are pointing to something more monstrous than she described. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Set in a small, picturesque North Carolina town, Charlie Donlea’s suspenseful debut novel tells the haunting story of a murdered law school student, the reporter assigned to her story—and the intimate connection that comes when the living walk in the footsteps of the dead.
“No suspects. No persons of interest. Just a girl who was alive one day and dead the next.”
Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is that kind of place, with charming stilt houses dotted along the pristine water.
But two weeks ago, Becca Eckersley, a first-year law student, was brutally murdered in one of those houses. The daughter of a powerful attorney, Becca was hard-working, accomplished, and ambitious. Now, while the town reels with grief and shocked residents gather to share their theories, the police are baffled.
At first, investigative reporter Kelsey Castle thinks of the assignment as a fluff piece. But the savagery of the crime, and the determined efforts to keep the case quiet, all hint at something far more than a random attack by a stranger.