Cover Image: The Suicide House

The Suicide House

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The Suicide House was a wonderful whodunnit/police procedural/creepy read of a book! The books by this author are somewhat a series, but can all be read as standalone (which I did, and wasn't ever confused about characters or backstory) I liked the creepiness factor of the book. Had a very supernatural vibe to it. I will read more by Charlie Donlea.

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This book has all the elements that I typically don’t enjoy in a book, and yet, I was enthralled, devoured it, and really enjoyed it.

Last year, two students were killed in a grisly murder in the woods behind Westmont Prep. A teacher was convicted, but questions remain. Which sparks The Suicide House, a true crime podcast about hat may have really happened in the woods, and what could happen next. Did the school legend, The Man in the Mirror really have something to do with the murders, or is the convicted teacher simply guilty? That’s what Rory, an expert in reconstruction cold cases, is trying to find out. At least she was, until this cult podcaster took over everything. The deeper the story gets, the more questions she’ll have. Is something supernatural really going on?

This book hooked me from the first chapter. I do not enjoy true crime (unless there are supernatural or “fun” conspiracy elements to the story), but I do love the format of investigative podcasts. The format is really cool to me, and I’ve seen some books do some really cool stuff with this motif. I’m also not a huge fan of thrillers and mysteries, but perhaps because of the potential supernatural elements, I was drawn to this one. I’m a sucker for psychological thrillers and ones that have me guessing if it’s ghosts or just really screwed up people.

This one played the suspense well, I think. It didn’t drag on so long that I got bored, but it wasn’t so tense I wanted to jump out of my seat the entire time. It’s a difficult and delicate balance. One that Donlea got right, in my opinion.

My only endorsement is that I don’t like these types of books, and I enjoyed this one. I devoured it in under 24 hours, and I’m excited to see what else Donlea has coming down the pipe. It’s out in print and audio now, and I suggest the audio if you’re into horror podcasts or audiobooks. It further enhances the podcast theme of the story.

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Thank you to Kensington Publishing Corp and also NetGalley for sending me a copy of The Suicide House! This was a crazy book for sure! It was a bit long for me with some repetition but I still enjoyed it but I definitely think some of it could have been left out. I have never read anything by this author so that was nice to discover a new one which he did a pretty good job. Each chapter is different with the characters or just a different part of the story which was nice and gave you different perspectives. There were a lot of characters which I am not a big fan of so that kinda made my rating go down a bit as well. When there are too many characters its hard for me to keep track sometimes. Overall it was a good book and I think a lot of people would like this thriller! Definitely check it out!

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“I killed my brother with a penny...”
Ok, wow, what an opener! I loved the prologue and first few chapters but as the book progressed I did get confused with all the viewpoints and storylines. There is a suicide, a murder, and a secret society involved in this book and it was a lot to keep track of!

This is my first Charlie Donlea book, and he did keep me on the edge of my seat several times, so maybe I’ll like more from this author in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley, Kensington Publishing, and Charlie Donlea for providing me a review copy.

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EXCERPT: I killed my brother with a penny. Simple, benign and perfectly believable.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: 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. . . .

MY THOUGHTS: I haven't read 'Some Choose Darkness' #1 in the Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series. If you haven't either, it's not a problem. Both books are written as stand-alones although they feature the same main characters. But, first thing Monday I am off to the library to get a copy of Some Choose Darkness. I want to read it and am annoyed with myself that I missed it when it came out.

There's a lot that goes on in this book and it takes a little while for it to start to tie in together. One thing is for sure - I never wanted to go away to school, and The Suicide House has reinforced that decision! Secret societies, dangerous pranks, dares and hazing form the background for this story of death and a dangerous obsession.

The two characters around whom this book is centred don't actually feature as prominently as I expected they would. The Suicide house begins with a rather enigmatic journal entry by a boy who has killed his brother, and gotten away with it. These journal entries continue sporadically throughout the novel.

The timelines are split between Summer 2019 when the murders occur and August 2020, at which time we meet broadcaster Mack Carter and journalist Ryder Hillier, who are both independently working on the Westmont Prep School Murders.

August 2020 is also when we meet Dr Lane Phillips, forensic psychologist and criminal profiler. I found it quite hard to get a handle on his character, another reason I want to read the preceding book. His partner, Rory Moore, is a forensic reconstructionist specializing in cold-case homicides, with a passion for the reconstruction of antique dolls. I found it quite disappointing that more use was not made of their skills.

While I really enjoyed this read, there are a few things that don't make much sense to me. There seems to be a point to most secret societies, but with the one at the centre of The Suicide House, there doesn't seem to be any point other than to participate in game of 'The Man in The Mirror'. Missing man, Marc McEvoy, was an unnecessary distraction and overcomplicated the storyline.

A new character, Gus Morelli, is introduced towards the end of The Suicide House, and I hope that we see more of him in the future.

The Suicide House certainly held my interest from start to finish. There's a few relationships between characters that didn't quite sit right for me and left me with a few questions about the resolution, therefore only a 4 star rating rather than 5 stars.

Definitely a series I want to read more of. I have enjoyed everything I have ever read by this author, and The Suicide House is no exception.


THE AUTHOR: Charlie Donlea resides in Chicago with his wife and two young children.

He spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where the roads end and lakes are accessible only by floatplane. These majestic trips to “God’s Country” inspired the setting for his first novel, Summit Lake.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage

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I’ve been on kind of a mystery/suspense kick lately. Whether historical or gothic or just plain old edge of your seat thriller. This is a new to me author and the cover caught my eye. Then the blurb sealed the deal for me.

Let me just say this, if shifting POVs isn’t your thing, I would skip this book. The POV shifts between 6 or 7 characters, depending on where we are in The are also fluctuations in the time between past and present. It worked for me and even though many of these characters appear in other books by this author, I never felt lost or like I should have picked up those other books first. I think some of the changes in POV and timeframe actually gave this mystery more oompf and kept me engaged.

This was a very well done mystery. A bit gory and very dark, but well done. Lots of twists and turn, but so tightly plotted that I never felt bored or like I wanted to set my Kindle down and stop reading. I especially enjoyed getting to know Rory, a forensic reconstructionist, and Lane, a forensic phycologist and criminal profiler. I would definitely like to visit with them again.

I very much enjoyed my first book by Charlie Donlea and look forward to more suspenseful reads from him in the future.

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At a private boarding school hidden in the woods of Indiana, students are dying. Two students have been murdered, one teacher tries to kill himself, and several other students jump in front of a train, ending their own lives. A year after the original murders, there are still people who do not believe the case was truly solved, so behind the scenes, several professionals attempt to uncover what happened on the night that the Man in the Mirror game was played, resulting in this string of deaths.

Thriller and mystery books are the way to my heart, and 'The Suicide House' fulfilled every dream I could ever have when it comes to those genres. It was spooky and dark, and I was hooked from the very first journal entry that opened up the book. There were so many plot twists that I was not expecting, and the psychological aspect of the book kept me guessing from beginning to end. I would highly recommend this book!

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing an ARC of 'The Suicide House' by Charlie Donlea!

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I had the pleasure of receiving a physical copy of this book through Bookish First, as well as an electronic copy through NetGalley. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

When murder at Westmont Preparatory High School leads to a rash of suicides, the circumstances are such that forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore and her psychologist partner Lane Phillips are brought in to solve the puzzling situation. As Rory and Lane get closer to the truth, will they be putting themselves into harm's way?

With all of the subplots and the time shifts, the story thread is hard to follow at times. It seemed like all of the characters had their own issues and the inclusion of this muddied the plot. I wanted to like this novel, as I liked the previous one that featured Rory Moore, but I was not blown away by the premise or the pacing of the story. Overall, The Suicide House was readable, but not as good as I was expecting.

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I enjoyed this book but found it confusing trying to follow the plot. I found there to be too many characters to follow.
Thank you for giving me the chance to read this.

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The Suicide House is a great follow-up to Some Choose Darkness, even though the latter was much better, in my opinion. Still, I really enjoyed this one, it’s dark, creepy and includes the right amount of suspense.

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Thank you NetGalley, Publisher & Author for this gifted ebook.

I don't know what to say about this book.
It was beyond fabulous. Amazing.
I couldn't get enough. The writing was crazy good.
I loved it.

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Rory Moore, a forensic reconstructionist and Dr Lane Phillips, a forensic psychologist and criminal profiler, are part of an investigation into a series of bizarre murders and apparent suicides at Westmont Preparatory High School in Peppermill, Indiana. This exclusive boarding school was the scene of the grisly murders of two teenagers, as well as suicides that might have been related to their deaths.

At the time, the case was concluded quickly since the police had evidence that a teacher murdered the students and then later, tried to kill himself. But many unanswered questions still remain, and as Rory and Lane learn more about the troubled students, the stoic culprit, and a dangerous game gone tragically wrong, they become ever more convinced that something sinister is still happening...

In The Suicide House the author affects complex, dark, disturbing and highly suspenseful storytelling that drew me in easily. He does an amazing job in providing an authentic portrayal of autism with Rory's wonderful character, making this crime read stand out from others in the genre. As the compelling tale switches smoothly between then and now, dangers lurk amongst the clues, misdirections and red herrings. The dynamics between Rory and Lane are enriching and highly entertaining. I highly recommend this exciting and worthy read to lovers of crime fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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Very interesting book with great characters and an intriguing storyline. It grabbed my attention and held it throughout the whole book.
I definitely recommend it.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias.

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An intriguing book bringing to life 21st century issues and media such as podcast. it was a bit hard to keep track of the many POV and story lines within the elite prep school. Overall, enjoyable book if you are able to keep track of the many storylines POV etc.

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"𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰 𝘤𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘶𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦?"⁣

𝗠𝘆 𝗦𝘆𝗻𝗼𝗽𝘀𝗶𝘀⁣

Westmont Preparatory High School is the type of school parents would kill to get their kids in...until two students are found slaughtered outside the old faculty house. When a teacher is convicted of the murders, everyone thinks the worst is over. Well...except the others that were present that night. One by one they have been returning to the scene of the crime and ending their life, but no one knows why. A podcast with a shocking revelation fuels the story coming back to the spotlight and it's obvious this case isn't closed. ⁣

𝗠𝘆 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄⁣

This is such a difficult title to review. I had difficulty staying interested because of the frequent repetition, but in hindsight this is a great thriller for those constantly on the go. I also think the repetition is why I was able to guess the ending so early on - but I also thrive on the thriller genre and it's a rarity for me not to guess the ending. Rory is an amazing character and I loved every chapter that was from her perspective, but other characters I felt were a bit stereotypical and lacked depth. The plot was strong enough to read from start to finish, but I can't go as far to say I couldn't put it down. I would recommend to those that want a thriller that juggles multiple plot points and character perspectives but is not overwhelming. ⁣

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In this next book of the series Lane is asked to be a part of a podcast that talks about the deaths of several students who attended the elite Westmont Preparatory High School. You see a year ago two students were killed in a gruesome way. The survivors of that night have very little to tell and a teacher is convicted of said murders in the end. When several of the survivors commit suicide the story is brought back to the forefront in the media. Lane asks Rory if she would help recreate that night in hopes of finding some answers to all the many questions that still remain. Trouble soon finds the pair leaving Rory to investigate at a faster pace than normal. Will she be able to figure out just what happened that night before something even worse happens or will the truth be lost in the end?

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Review: The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea and reviewing for Netgalley.
A who done it and detective mystery of sorts but not really down my alley. I was hoping for more twists and turns but it was fairly straight forward. Decent story line though. ★ ★ ★ three stars.

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Well dang! Charlie Donlea has done it again! I was hooked from practically the first page and just didn’t want to stop reading. Talk about a book hangover! I love how all of these characters develop throughout the book. I only somewhat thought I knew what the twist/ending would be and just kept flipping pages to see if I was right. (I wasn’t.) Thank you to Charlie Donlea, Kensington Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest opinion. Now that I know some characters overlap in a shared universe I cannot wait to read all of the Donlea books. I give this one ALL THE STARS.

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The minute I began reading this book a chill went down my spine. It is one of those thrillers you don’t want to put down, you want to hurry to see how it ends, but you also want to savor the narrative.

The two main characters are misfits mostly but with remarkable skills that complement each other as well as the story. Murders, a year ago on an exclusive prep school campus will lead the investigators on a twisty, malevolent trail of a killer so sinister it will make your skin crawl. Wait until you find out who it is......

Highly recommended!

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A prep school with a secret society that plays a deadly game. This deadly game has attracted a podcaster and a forensic reconstruction expert, to solve what happened at Westmont Preparatory High School. I enjoyed all the twist and turns this book took! I would give this book 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️’s!!! Thank you so much NetGalley for a copy of this book!

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