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The Suicide House

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Member Reviews

Thank you so much o net galley for sending me a copy of this book. I didn’t read the first book because it didn’t really sound interesting but this plot really intrigued me! It wasn’t the best book I read but it was entertaining!

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This book was what I wanted and more , it completely captivated me from the beginning.. I love when a book confuses me and plays with my mind where I don’t know where I’m going.I loved the premise , the boarding school setting , the podcast setting. A teacher is charged with a crime of brutally murdering two students. A year later other students who were present are commuting suicide one by one. Doesn’t that catch your attention?

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THE SUICIDE HOUSE by Charlie Donlea, is a creepy murder mystery set at a prestigious prep school. Though a teacher has been convicted of the two grisly murders, questions remain. The most alarming among them is why so many students who survived the horrific night have returned to the same location— to kill themselves. ⁣

The premise is interesting and binge-worthy, but I’m struggling a bit with how many points of view there are. So far the character names have included Ryder, Rory, Mack, and Marc. I can’t keep them straight!⁣ I also found the pacing to be somewhat irregular. The first couple of chapters hooked me, but at about a thrid of the way in, not much more had happened. Instead, we went down a lot of side tangents in character's lives that felt unnecessary to the main plot.

While this wasn't a hit for me, if you enjoy slightly gruesome murder mysteries with a bit of podcast solve-it-yourself aspect in there, you may like this one!

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Thanks to the publisher for the complimentary ecopy of The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea. I did not realize when I requested it that it was a sequel to another book, Some Choose Darkness, which I had not read. I have a bit of a compulsion about reading series in order, so it took me a while to get to The Suicide House since I first had to read Some Choose Darkness. (For what it is worth, I now realize that they could absolutely each be read as standalones.)

I'll start by saying I really like the two lead characters of The Suicide House, Rory and Lane. Rory is what could be called neuro-diverse character, likely on the autism spectrum. She keeps her anxieties at bay and her brain less frantic by working out the puzzles of cold cases. Lane is her lover/partner who has been by her side for over 10 years....a youthful middle-aged former FBI profiler who developed a computer program that has been used to identify common characteristics in murders to track down/identify serial killers.

The case they are working on in The Suicide House involves a gated boarding school where a massacre once occurred, and where since that time, students are taking their own lives at an alarming rate. Add to the mystery that a podcaster who was doing a series on the murder/suicides at the school dies in an arson fire while recording the podcast, and you have a thriller that is both intriguing and timely.

I have now read all of Charlie Donlea's books and I just really really like all of them. The Suicide House was an excellent entry into his catalogue of novels. I am so excited to read whatever he writes next.

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I loved this! When I read it I didn’t realize it was a sequel. That being said it read fine as a standalone but I did go back and read the first one. I love a good creepy, twisty, dark academia story.

Thank you to the Publisher and Netgalley for the advanced e-reader copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

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I of course am late posting my reviews for all the books I have read.

I loved this book so much, murder in a prep school!! I mean that shouts read me!!

I love a good thriller and so far this one has really topped the cake for me.

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Fantastic storytelling as usual by Charlie Donlea. This mystery has hints of dark academia mixed in with a truly shocking ending. I absolutely loved it.

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The Suicide House

by Charlie Donlea

Thrillers are not generally my cup of tea, but Charlie Donlea’s books are good examples of the fine line between thrillers and classic mysteries. His The Suicide House is a solid mystery with multiple murders, many possibilities of felons, quirky investigators, and threads crossing each other at odd angles. The Suicide House also has a psychological edge, journal writings that will send chills up your spine, and spooky settings, thus moving it along the continuum with a thriller bent.

Upper grade students at the renowned Westmont Preparatory School all know something about the school’s secretive, selective society whose initiates undergo dangerous rites of admission involving The Man in the Mirror. Dangerous turns gruesomely deadly in 2019, followed by several student suicides, but no one is talking. Eventually Rory, an autistic forensic deconstructionist, is invited to conduct an unofficial investigation at the same time her partner Lane, a forensic psychologist, is persuaded to consult with a podcaster who is producing shows that garner a wide following. Neither Mack, the show’s producer, nor anyone else who has investigated, is totally convinced that the accused teacher, Charles Gorman, committed the crimes. There is no physical evidence that he did, and there also is blood from a fourth unidentified person at the crime scene.

My favorite character is Rory who channels her various quirks into finding solutions to cold cases by identifying with those involved and by making connections garnered from the evidence she finds. She is highly intelligent, but her special abilities and what the author calls her “afflictions” make life difficult for her. She finds relief in the details of her work and through reconstructing antique dolls. Her main social contact is Lane who knows her well and goes the extra mile to adjust circumstances to meet her needs.

I recommend this book as an exciting and complex mystery and a bit of a thriller. It goes back and forth by chapter in time frame, setting and perspective. Not particularly good for bedtime reading, The Suicide House will keep you puzzling, guessing, and turning those pages up to an exciting revelation. Four more chapters will bring closure and leave you with a satisfied smile.

I would like to extend my thanks to Netgalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery and Thriller

Publication: July 28, 2020—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

Every day brought a funneling twister of emotions. It was how her brain waves fired. If she wasn’t worrying, she was obsessing. And if she was’t obsessing, she was planning. Her mind never really settled down. There was always a low hum of activity going on in her head.

As they made their way through the forest, their steps were fueled by a steady dose of trepidation and curiosity. They had only the seniors to deal with, the summer to get through, and initiation to conquer.

The files represented the case that had woken him up at three in the morning the previous summer. He hadn’t gotten a good night’s sleep since.

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The Suicide House is the second book to feature Rory and her partner Lane. This time around, they are investigating what is really going on at Westmont Preparatory High. Several students who were involved in a tragedy the year before have been committing suicide. While it works fairly well as a stand alone, I think you would benefit from Some Choose Darkness, the first book. It really gives the reader a sense of who Rory is and how her mind works and was shaped form childhood. Events from the first book are eluded to in this sequel but they actually don't reveal anything that would spoil the first one.

I love how Rory's mind works through puzzles. She is such an interesting character. I also love her relationship with Lane. He really gets her and it's wonderful. I found the mystery really interesting. There were a lot of surprises that I didn't see coming. The story has some threads that don't seem to fit together, but it makes sense in the end. This was an excellent sequel and I highly recommend it.

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I haven't read anything else by Charlie Done before, but found this an interesting read. I' wasn't pulled in enough to read further entries in this series.

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Charlie Donlea is an incredible storyteller, and I am going back and reading all of his work!

The Suicide House follows the novel Some Choose Darkness. I read them out of order but still immensely enjoyed both and appreciated that they could be read independently of each other and still made sense.

The two main detectives in this book, Rory Moore and Lane Phillips, are incredible characters. I love how unique Rory is and how well they compliment each other. In The Suicide House, they are investigating murders that happen at an elite private school that have a connection to a secret society. The reader is given some insight into the killer's thoughts via journal entries that are shared throughout the book. I was not able to identify the killer and found myself quite surprised at the reveal. I hope to see more of Rory and Lane in the future- they are such likable, relatable characters!

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The Suicide House was a winner for me. I really enjoyed the storyline. The characters were a little hard to keep straight but after I had them down, I really enjoyed the story. The chapters were fast paced and I loved the setting of the story. Can't wait to read more from this author.

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Rating: 3.5 stars (so close to a 4!)

I went into this book with fairly low expectations, having never heard of this series or author before and requesting this ARC on a whim. I'm happy to say that my expectations were exceeded. The mystery in this story was gripping, and I enjoyed our two main characters. I might have to revisit Rory's story in the first book in the series (the author notes you do not have to read the series in order) to hear her backstory and see how her background shaped her. Seeing how Rory's mind worked was what really made this an enjoyable read for me.

I will say the first 100 pages or so were a bit slower and confusing for me. I had trouble with all of the characters and the chapters where it was unknown who was speaking. I think maybe this was intentional, as to throw you off a bit, but it made for a difficult reading process. The last half to a third really picked up for me and was the most enjoyable part.

I do think some of the twists were a bit predictable (even though some red herrings held me off of the main assailant until closer to the reveal). There also seemed to be some inconsistencies with plot points (though I'd have to go back and reread to make sure I didn't misunderstand things in the beginning) as well as a few things for which I needed to suspend disbelief. I won't get into specifics to avoid spoilers.

With all that being said, I'm glad I finally read this book. This is my first book from Donlea, but I don't think it will be my last.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an EBook of this title in exchange for an honest review. This book came out last July (I apologize - I was putting it off!), so it is available now.

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I have read a book before by the author, but that did not grab my attention as much as this one did. I must admit I gravitated towards this, thanks to a multitude of positive reviews on the blogosphere. Time and again, I have talked about the difference in popular opinion and my own reaction to 'thrillers', but I am happy to say that this time around, I found it a breeze to read and was utterly taken aback by the ending. Only the very last chapter before the reveal had me making the correct guesses.
We have a lot of narrators to perfectly muddy the waters. For almost the first 1/4th of the narrative, I was unsure of the lead voices. When we begin, we follow two reporters, each with a different approach and backing into the deaths at a school. Then the story shifts to another two people who are part of the investigative unit, each with their own way of handling cases and their own baggage. Every few chapters, we are taken to the people actually at the school-both in the year of the events and the current 'now' of the book. Hardly any of the people are likeable, but that goes with the territory of this kind of set-up.
The story moves at different paces during the unravelling, something that I found new. I was not given any time to form bonds with the suspects or the investigators. The ending suggested quite a long possible engagement between all the various characters. If given a chance, I will continue to follow the adventures they are bound to have.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley, the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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Twists, turns and more details than I knew what to do with but I enjoyed the in-depth look into the lives of the characters. I was able to get a good feel for them and often felt as though I was living the story with them.

Wonderful read and I can't wait for more from this author.

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I had an ARC, so I am unsure if they made edits prior to publication. That said, I really enjoyed this book, with a few caveats. I have never read a Charlie Donlea book before, so I read this as a standalone. There was a LOT going on. I felt some parts were a bit repetitive, which is why this wasn't a 5 star for me. He went into a LOT of detail about Rory's dolls.

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I was able to read this book thanks to NetGalley. I am a huge thriller fan snd this was a great one. It was fast paced with many twists and turns. The writing and story were fantastic. It’s a must read for all thriller lovers. I can’t wait to read more books by this author in the future. I will be recommending this one to my friends. Thanks again to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book

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Creepy good. Very twisty. I enjoyed this book- as other reviewers have said, I did not realize it was a sequel, but thought it read find as a standalone. The premise is around the gruesome murders of a couple of kids during what seems to be some kind of hazing/initiation ceremony at a prestigious prep school

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Starting out, I was so confused about it so many characters being introduced. I had a hard time keeping people straight. But as the story progressed, it got easier. I had been wondering why so many characters were necessary. I soon figured out that they were. I loved how even though there were a lot of characters, their story was woven together so nicely. Charlie Donlea has such an awesome way of telling a story. I loved how it would go from past to present, character to character. It really made the story pop. The great thing about this book is that even though it’s the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone. Though, I do recommend starting with Some Choose Darkness just to get more of a backstory.

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I didn't realize this was the second in a series, but that didn't affect my reading too terribly much. This novel was engagingly written and surprising. I will recommend it to my customers!

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