Cover Image: The Suicide House

The Suicide House

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Member Reviews

This was a quick read that follows the story of murders and suicides at a boarding school. Everything might not really be as clear as it seems. The characters are well developed although it felt like the author spent too much time reviewing Rory’s quirks. We get it. This was my first book by this author, and I am interested in reading some others.

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Kept my interest and well written. Mystery with a few story lines running thru it. Had some thrilling portions. Enjoyable read.

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Charlie Donlea is a new author to me. I enjoyed his writing style. He kept the plot interesting and there were enough twists and turns to keep you guessing with great characters.

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I love all Charlie Donlea’s books and this one did not disappoint again! Fast paced story with twists and just really well written.

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I feel like I picked this book up at the perfect time of year for it. Fall days call for slightly creepy thrillers just like this one! Last year I read (and loved ) Some Choose Darkness by this author. This book would actually be considered to be the sequel as it focuses on the same characters but the author stated at the end of this book that he intentionally wrote it so you could read this one as a standalone. Do I think you should read them both (and in order)? Definitely! Only because they are both SO good so it's definitely worth your time! I'm going off on a tangent here but I love how the author tied the other books he has written together at the end in that same author's note. It makes me want to go back and catch up on everything else that he has written. This book though was such a great read! I picked it up and just couldn't set it down. The combination of a boarding school, a secret society, the legend of the Man in the mirror, and then all of the mysterious death surrounding that abandoned house had me completely hooked! The bonus to all of that (which totally would have been enough for me to pick this book up based on all of that alone) was getting to read more about Rory and Lane. Rory's character is so unique and I was happy to get to read another book focused on her. We also got to get to know Lane a bit more which was an added bonus. There is also a true crime podcast aspect to this book that I think that readers will enjoy. This book was such a page turner! It's told from multiple viewpoints with short chapters which meant I just kept reading to see what happened next. There hits one point though where - wham - the author completely pulled the rug out on me and I was here for it! I loved that I didn't see that piece of the storyline coming at all! I did feel like I had an idea of who was behind it all halfway through the book but I didn't mind. There was just enough that I wasn't certain and let me tell you that I was completely compelled to see how it would all turn out regardless. I really loved this one and cannot wait to read more by this author!

Overall, I definitely recommend checking this one out! It was just SO good! I'm really looking forward to going back and reading this author's backlist after enjoying both of the books I've read by him so much. If you enjoy thrillers that keep you turning the page, this book is one to check out! Highly recommended!

Bottom Line: A five star read for me! That should tell you everything you need to know!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I read a copy courtesy of my local library. Honest thoughts are my own.

CW: Suicide, domestic abuse, violence, murder

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This was a really good book and also great for the spooky season, I loved the mystery of the book. Thank you netgalley and the publisher for sending me an e arc for my honest review.

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While reading this book, I simply could not put it down. I read this one in one sitting, and by the time it was done, I was ready to pick up another one and continue on with the story.

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The Suicide House started off creepy and suspenseful. It opens up with a journal entry which are scattered throughout the book and were the most interesting parts. We then learn about teenagers brutally slaughtered at a boarding school. The survivors eventually return to the same location one by one to kill themselves. This all sounded very intriguing and just the title alone was enough to interest me!

I wasn’t as sucked in as I hoped I would have been. Donlea is a good writer, there is no doubt about that but I didn’t think all the POVs were necessary with multiple plot lines. It made it a little longer to just get to the point but perhaps it was to build suspense. That just personally doesn’t work for me. I felt it took awhile to get to the big reveal and the ending was kind of a flop. Our MC’s investigating the murders also host their own podcasts. Now, this is a personal preference but I think that the podcast thing is getting a little played out. Just a little overrated and I don’t think it necessarily relevant to any of the plot. I thought this was just an okay read but I would recommend this for fans of slow burn crime novels.

Thanks to Netgalley and to the publisher for sending me a digital copy of this book for review!

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I love a good preppy school mystery novel and this was the definition of that. It felt like "Dead Poet's Society" meets "Pretty Little Liars" meets something else that is really scary.

You're first introduced to the Westmont Prep killings without Rory or Lane being introduced... it is very gory, very detailed but very enticing. The story seems pretty straight forward at first and I wasn't totally convinced the teacher didn't do it, especially when you get halfway through the novel and something mind-blowing is revealed. It didn't seem to make sense of how this was going to end.

However, once the killer is revealed, you see it all come together and it truly blew my mind. It was one of the most insane twists I've ever read *I've read a lot of twists* and the ending... with how it was figured out, it was creepy, gross, and jaw-dropping.

I loved how the novel took us from past to present, through many different POVs because you got even more chances to try to figure out who killed the kids... and why the person killed them. What could cause such gruesome harm to teenagers? We do get a peek inside the killer's POV, but at the time, you don't even realize it's the killer.

The way this book was organized and put together really made all the difference. It kept you on your toes but was easy to follow and understand the storyline.

If you couldn't tell, I highly recommend reading "The Suicide House".... with a gentle trigger warning because there is suicide mentioned in the novel.

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This novel is high-octane suspense. Once I read the first twenty-five pages, I was hooked. I devoured this novel in two-sittings. The Suicide House is a podcast that brings the slaughter of two students to fame. What initially is reported as a closed case, actually leaves behind questions and suspicious holes in the narrative. Is the case actually what it was reported to be? Is it actually solved, a shut and done deal?
The final third of the novel is as tense as you can imagine and hope to expect in a well-executed thriller.
This is an author I haven't read before, but will definitely be checking for again in the future.

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EPIC! Intense, Bold, and Superbly Written!

A massive fan of internationally bestselling author, Charlie Donlea since I read his debut, Summit Lake —then The Girl Who Was Taken, and Don’t Believe It.

However, when I read Some Choose Darkness with the introduction of the character, Rory Moore, the author's writing moved to an even higher level. With the dual timelines, elevated sophisticated and detailed forensics, fans of Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner will find a lot of love here!

I was hoping Rory Moore would return and was delighted when I heard Charlie chose to bring her back with her partner, Lane Philipps, in THE SUICIDE HOUSE.

These characters are complex, intriguing, and well developed. I would highly recommend reading SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS before reading THE SUICIDE HOUSE. You really need to know the backstory of these characters. You also will find Gus Morelli, the wise detective we met in Don’t Believe It. I always love revisiting familiar characters.

Like Karin Slaughter’s popular series characters—Will Trent, Lisa Gardner’s D.D. Warren and Flora Dane, and Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch—Rory Moore and Lane Phillips I predict will become household names. More books, please!!! I want an entire series.

Donlea sets the mood with the creep factor and the dark vibes. From the eerie and chilling setting, we go into an elite boarding school, Westmont Preparatory High School, where things are kept secret behind the walls.

The school has a past and present—the two meet. Someone has an agenda. There is a killer we meet, and Charlie takes us inside the psychopath’s mind through amusing journal entries.

Journal Entry: The Tracks: "I killed my brother with a penny. Simple, benign, and perfectly believable."

There is a cool podcast about the murders. Who is the killer? Why are the murders still occurring today? Who is the Man in the Mirror?

Forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore and her FBI partner Lane Phillips must solve the case. From the creepy woods, the old boarding house, and the deserted railroad tracks.

Someone is killing people, but why?

Rory must recreate the night long ago to solve the case. Someone is playing a dangerous game and must be stopped. From secrets and lies and more twists than you can imagine!

If you are a Rory fan, then I think by the ending we may see her again in the future. (fingers crossed) The author writes about smart, intelligent women in his novels, and if you have not read his books, what are you waiting for? These characters are flawed, and their lives have been tough, but they are courageous and survivors.

If you enjoy cold cases, THE SUICIDE HOUSE is for you. For fans of Michelle’s Campbell’s, "The Quiet One" and J. T. Ellison’s, "Good Girls Lie" and Michael Robotham’s Cyrus Havens series, "When She was Good."

Donlea is a master storyteller, and THE SUICIDE HOUSE is both plot and character-driven —Top Books of 2020—a riveting top suspenseful psychological crime thriller. Donlea again proves himself as a top thriller writer.

Move this one to the top of your reading list! You will want to learn more about the complex and brilliant forensics reconstructionist, Rory Moore.

Gripping, gruesome, and emotionally compelling. Children raised by monsters often turn into bigger monsters. Get to know Rory and Lane. I cannot see what Charlie delivers next!

A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.


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This was an excellent thriller. The author expertly used red herrings to throw the reader off. I love being surprised by a book, and I was surprised by this one. It was a deliciously creepy read and I loved the characters of Rory and Lane. I really enjoyed reading this.

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4,5 Stars

When i read Some Choose darkness last year i was hoping it wouldn't the last i will read about Rory Moore and Lane Phillips. And i'm happy my wish came true.
The suicide House is a very fascinating story that shows the twisted side of a very clever and dangerous killer. But more than that, in this story i found that there wasn't really any 100% innocent character, each of the them had a small dark side to them. And it was brilliant.

Horrific murders happened one night during the summer break in a prestigious school. The victims were students, the suspect one of the teachers. The case seemed an easy enough one, quickly closed. Except for one small detail. During the following year, some on the students who survived went back to the house where the murders happened, and committed suicide.
And that's when Rory and Lane came into the pictures to find answers about that night and the following suicides.
Needless to say that i was surprised by the end, although i could piece some small parts of it together, it still came as a surprise.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot and i would recommend it to my friends.

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Today she would walk through the crime scene-the abandoned boarding house tucked into the forest at the edge of the Westmont Prep campus, where two students had been killed one short year before. She knew what was coming. She knew what waited there. It was the same thing that waited at every crime scene she analyzed-the souls of those who had lost their lives. Rory's goal was to feel them and connect with them so that eventually she could communicate with them in her own subtle way. Her connection with the victims was not a physical one, and her communication was not verbal. To those lost souls, Rory made one simple promise- to lead them to a proper place of rest where peace and calm would be found. This far into her career as a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore had never broken a promise.

When you find a an author such as Charlie Donlea, you run to Amazon, your favorite book store and you pick up his new thriller! This one touches on his past characters in subtle ways but the main one Rory and her significant other Lane are the stars of this thriller. There is no waiting for the prep, you don't know who he is but his character is developed in how he became who he is. A narcissist killer that could be anyone, you just don't know who. It's almost like you feel him breathing down you neck.

Rory and Lane make a great working couple along with they get each other. They are both different but they are endearing. How they work out the crime scene, the mind of the killer, and those that they come in contact. I liked this one from start to finish and I can't wait for the next one. The series has tremendous opportunities.

A special thank you to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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YES! I love books about private schools / secret societies - the elite and private worlds of people that I will never actually be involved in in real life. And I love podcasts so overall was super excited about the concept of this book! I did not read the first book so was unfamiliar with the character at first, but I feel like that was okay. There was a lot going on which I would say might be my biggest complaint, a bit hard to follow but overall this was really engaging and interesting if slightly predictable. All my questions were answered - it was a great book!

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This book was a wild ride. Told in multiple POV, including a podcast, this story is viewed from all angles. There is so much to take in, but it really brings the story to life.

Rory is a Forensic Reconstructionit. Her idocincrecies allow her to see things that most people would not, making her the perfect person for the job of finding out what really happened at The Suicide House and why people are still comiting suicide there. I really loved Rory's character! Not only did the author show us her skills as an investigator, but also her meticulous skills at doll reconstruction. It was so interesting to see the world through her eyes and I loved how this story for her concluded.

You get parts and pieces from a a person reading from a journal that tells of this person's enjoyment of killing since they were a young. From a family member to perfect strangers, it is a game that they have played and planned for years. The one things that they thought was their saving grace from a childhood murder ends up being their biggest downfall. It was really interesting watching this part of the story play out. At times you think you know who this person may be, and then you find something else out that changes your mind.

You get the story from the remaining kids involved with the original murders. You can see how they struggle with wanting to do what's right and wanting to follow the rules of the game. It seems whenever someone's conscience gets the better of them, someone dies. This was also interesting since you get snippets of the story through their confession to someone that you also don't know who they are.

The story was so well written with never a dull moment from start to finish. It sure as hell will keep you on your toes not wanting to miss any information. A truly well rounded story!

Let's say I was a huge fan I'm going to have to chek out other works by this author!

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review

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Gruesome murders take place near an abandoned boarding house on the grounds of a prestigious prep school in Indiana, a teacher is found to be the murderer, survivors start committing a suicide, and a popular podcast generates consistories there is more than what’s being told. Will Forensic Reconstructionist Rory Moore and her Psychologist partner, Lane Phillips discover secrets left untold, or will everyone take their secrets to the grave?

This was a fun read. Although the murders were gruesome, I feel like the details left a lot to imagination, so it wasn’t overly graphic. Rory Moore is a delightful lead character, I love how she is perfectly flawed. I enjoyed her, Lane, and Gus’s characters the most, I’m looking forward to learning more about them in the author’s other books. I felt everyone else, even though played an important role, were largely undeveloped, but served their purpose.

Criticisms: I wish the podcast would have had a more prevalent role or maybe some of Ryder Hiller’s previous role in the Westmont Prep murders, I really wanted more Ryder. There was so much background work done, but it was kind of glossed over. I also felt there was very little character development, outside of Rory, so even though I put the puzzle together, I feel like the whodunit breadcrumbs were hard, because there was very little revealed about the other characters personal lives.

Accolades: First off, I loved the premise. Growing up on teen-slasher films at an all too young age, I always love a good boarding school slaughter. Especially when everything isn't quite what it seems. The story was well paced, kept me intrigued, kept me guessing, and second guessing. It was a lot of fun connecting all the dots. Not only did I love the whodunit, the reveal, and the conclusion of all the chaos at Westmount Prep, I also loved how Donlea gave us a few Easter eggs of what might be in store for some of our favorite characters in books to come… Which is always fun with recurring characters.

This would make for a perfect read for mystery/thriller fans looking for some fun fall reads. Thank You NetGalley, Kensington Books, and Charlie Donlea for the eARC in exchange for my fair and honest review, all opinions are my own.

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This was my first book by Charlie Donlea but I don’t think it will be my last!

One year ago a brutal murder takes place on a prep schools campus. It seems like a pretty open and shut case, until the survivors start dropping dying one by one.
Did the original investigation get it wrong?

This book follows several characters point of view and I will be honest it was a little hard to follow in the beginning but by the end when it all came together it was actually one of my favorite part of the book.
I liked our main character/investigator. I can’t wait to read more books following this character.

I can’t say this one was shocking, or super ground breaking but I found it very entertaining and I definitely will be checking out this authors back list!

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"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...

This is book 2 in a series by Charlie Donlea. It is my 1st read by this author but the description had me hooked. I enjoyed the twist in terms and this book and I highly recommend.

Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for the eARC!

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A friend of mine posted a review of this book and her words of "Prep Schools" drew me in as well as her review. I have never read anything of Mr. Donlea's before and this will be rectified immediately. I enjoyed the character of Rory very much and I found the author's way of describing how she sees things in the world and processes it. Her relationship with Lane was interesting and I am hoping something comes further down the road with the two of them looking for more cases to solve. If you enjoy a good mystery I would recommend you add this to your list. Thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

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