Book picks similar to
Deadly Dining by William Manchee


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Mayhem, Murder and the PTA


Dave Cravens - 2019
    When a key source vanishes on a politically toxic story, this single mother of three finds herself at the center of a media storm and out of a job. Ready to reset, Parker moves her family back to the rural town where she grew up. But a gossip-filled PTA, a tyrannical school principal and a gruesome murder make adjusting to the "simple life" anything but. Parker Monroe is about to chase the story of her lifetime...

South of Good (Hardin Steel #1)


Randall Reneau - 2014
    Twice divorced, with a bit of a drinking problem, he’s now dating Rory Roughton, a fiery sixth-generation Texan who’s as rich as she is beautiful—and hell-bent on keeping Steel on the straight and narrow. But then his best friend, Wes Stoddard, is nearly shot down flying in a load of pot, Rory is kidnapped by a Russian mercenary working for the most dangerous cartel in Mexico, and the Cuban Mafia decides they’d like the former DEA agent—dead. Steel is forced to take unsanctioned, unconventional—and mostly illegal—action in order to save himself and those closest to him . . .

Lawyers Gone Bad


Vincent L. Scarsella - 2014
    In this case they’re investigating the local District Attorney, who may have committed the ultimate ethical wrong - murder.Novelist Vincent Scarsella draws on his over 18 years of real life experience as head of the Eighth Judicial District Grievance Committee in Buffalo, New York to craft a gripping, suspenseful novel about lawyers gone bad.But the story is more than a crime novel. It concerns friendship, loss, unrequited love, and ultimately, justice. It seeks to answer the question, does what goes around, come around?

In Our Blood: A Jake Hawksworth Thriller


William J. Goyette - 2018
    Nearly thirty years ago, Detective Jake Hawksworth and best-selling author Drew McCauley were brought together by a horrific crime. Jake, still reeling from the unsolved hit-and-run death of his wife, and Drew will be reunited once again when a crime from Drew's novel-in-the-making becomes a devastating reality. Is the kidnapping of Drew's son somehow linked to the murder Jake is investigating? Was Jake's wife's death really an accident? And could the person who has haunted both men for decades be responsible for these seemingly unrelated events? As Jake races to protect Drew's family, they find themselves on a collision course with fate - derailed by a series of breakneck twists and turns that culminates at an isolated, snow-ravaged house. It is here that long-buried secrets are unearthed and Jake realizes, to his horror, that his hunches are not always right. That the keys to solving his wife's death and a heinous, decades-old crime have been under his nose all along.

The Candle Room


Daniel K. Gentile - 2016
    His first client was a transient who just learned that he was the sole beneficiary of his estranged brother’s multi-million dollar estate. His brother was brutally murdered and the alleged killer was on trial in what appeared to be an open and shut case. Zach observed the riveting courtroom drama as the case unfolded and in the process, discovered a dark, deadly secret left by the murder victim. He soon learned that he was way over his head in his new practice and that his first case could cost him not only his career but his life.

White Heat


Paul D. Marks - 2012
    Duke Rogers finds himself in a racially charged situation. The case might have to wait... The immediate problem: getting out of South Central Los Angeles in one piece during the 1992 Rodney King riots and that's just the beginning of his problems.Private investigator Duke Rogers finds an old "friend" for a client. The client's "friend," an up and coming black actress, ends up dead. Duke knows his client did it. Now, feeling guilty, he wants to find the client/killer. He starts his mission by going to the dead actress' family in South Central L.A. - and while there the Rodney King riots ignite. And while he tries to track down the killer he must also deal with the racism of his partner, Jack, and from the dead woman's brother, Warren. He must also confront his own possible latent racism - even as he's in an interracial relationship with the murder victim's dead woman's sister.

Family Money


Chad Zunker - 2022
    They have two daughters and a beautiful home, and Alex’s startup business is about to explode thanks to massive private funding from his compassionate and supportive father-in-law, Joe. With millions more to come, all is perfect—until Joe is abducted and murdered during a family trip in Mexico.Alex’s world is about to be turned upside down. He can’t bear to tell his grieving wife why. The man they’ve both idolized has been keeping secrets. The pledged millions are nowhere to be found. The source of the original investment is a mystery, even to Joe’s financial adviser. No one, it seems, has any idea who the man they knew, loved, and trusted really was.As Alex digs deeper into Joe’s shadowy life, the most shocking surprises are yet to come. Deadly ones, too, because every lie that Alex uncovers in Joe’s dark past puts his family in more danger.

After the Execution


James Raven - 2012
    He's lost everything - his wife, his dreams, his future. He finally enters the death chamber at the famous 'Walls' prison in Texas. He's strapped to a gurney and given an injection of lethal drugs in front of witnesses. Minutes later he's pronounced dead. But that's not the end of it. After the execution comes the shocking revelation - Jordan is still alive. And to stop him talking he has to die all over again - before he brings down the entire American justice system.

Rooked


Caitlin Sara - 2018
    . . Despite her desire for control, Ara Hopkins has always felt like a pawn—constantly being maneuvered by those surrounding her. Carrying a riddled past of abandonment by her mother, a jealous step-sister and exploitation by men she was supposed to be able to trust, Ara craves a social media certified life. So, when she meets her husband, a New York congressman’s son, she believes she’s finally won her game. Secure in a life her mother would approve of—and having firmly shut the door on her chaotic and miscalculated past—Ara feels she’s thriving. Until the night her husband is murdered. Thrust into a game of deceit and lies, Ara realizes that nothing is as it seems and that the past can quickly return to the present. The facade crumbles as relationships are tested and family boundaries crossed. Faced with losing it all, she discovers what a person is really capable of. Because in this game of life, it's either rook or be rooked. An intricately braided plot with unforeseeable twists and a sucker-punch ending, Rooked is a captivating thriller that shatters all perceptions.

Night Terrors III


Theresa DillonPaul Tremblay - 2014
    A wave of sinkholes appears on the anniversary of a rural tragedy, and local residents begin to hear the voices of the dead. A woman encounters a predator from her youth—and a chance to turn the tables. A child’s inner beast takes on a sinister life of its own. An undetectable serial killer raises tensions on a college campus. Experimental physics reveals another world, and it might mean the end of ours. Shrouded in darkness, lurking in the shadows, NIGHT TERRORS III awaits you. The third installment of the chilling Night Terrors anthology series includes stories from Jack Ketchum, Steve Rasnic Tem, Dennis Etchison, Taylor Grant, Eric J. Guignard, Aric Sundquist, Jennifer Brozek, John McNee, Simon McCaffery, Patty Templeton, and many more!

Discretion


David Balzarini - 2013
    Natalie’s father, a local politician, uses the opportunity to further his career by starting a media storm, causing panic in the area. Colin and his father, a retired NBA star, come under the microscope as the sheriff investigates. All anyone expects to find is a dead body. Colin’s friends support him, but with no answers to Natalie’s whereabouts and time running out, Colin makes a wreak-less move to find her–he seeks help from a mysterious source, leading him to the truth behind Natalie’s disappearance. Colin has to make the hardest choice of his life: commit a crime or lose her forever.Fifteen years later, Colin lives the good life with a high-profile career and a trophy wife in the waiting. When three new serial murders bring the FBI to the cold Natalie Merian case, Colin must answer questions about what happened at Lake Apache. He will reckon with the past. And his sins.

The Gender Experiment


L.J. Sellers - 2016
    After discovering they were born at the same clinic two decades earlier, she investigates further and uncovers a startling list. With the realization that more gender-fluid people are targeted for elimination, Taylor kicks her investigation into high gear. But the researchers who conducted the experiment aren’t about to let anything interfere with their plans. Soon Taylor is in deep trouble and needs the help of FBI Special Agent Bailey. As Bailey scrambles to track down leads, events spin out of control and she finds herself blocked at every step by powerful military forces. With the clock ticking on Phase 2 of the experiment, can Bailey and Taylor uncover the truth in time to save the other subjects?

The Mask Collectors


Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer - 2019
    Classmates are shocked to find journalist Angie Osborne suddenly dead. The medical examiner’s report isn’t what anyone expects. Oddly, the death scene reminds anthropologist Duncan McCloud of a thovile, a Sri Lankan ritual he’s spent years studying.When Duncan’s new employer, a pharmaceutical giant, sends him overseas under shadowy pretenses, and his wife, Dr. Grace McCloud, starts to receive anonymous warnings to doubt everyone and everything, the threads of a sweeping conspiracy begin to unravel. Risking more than their own lives, Duncan and Grace embark on a treacherous journey through occult ceremonies and their own hidden pasts to discover a secret worth killing for.In taut, precise language, Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer’s debut novel The Mask Collectors tells a story about deception, the power of belief, and what is left unspoken between husbands and wives.

The Girl Who Cheated Death


Alan Baker - 2018
    Ironically, recovering from her emotional and physical scars is not her biggest challenge. She is also haunted by Azrael, the angel of death. On the morning of the accident, Alex watches as Azrael takes the souls of her family. And the visions keep coming. A man with oily black hair in a pinstripe suit appears to Alex in the hospital, outside her high school, and in the woods near her campsite. She worries that she’s crazy, though Azrael appears to be just as threatened by her ability to see him. She confides in her doctor and friends and, while they appear to believe her, they are unable to help Alex banish death. Midway through the book, the narrative takes an unexpected twist and Alex’s recovery is overshadowed by the realization that she could bring her family back to life. But Azrael is determined to stop Alex’s meddling and she must enlist the help of her remaining family and friends if there is any hope for success.The Girl Who Cheated Death placed as a Semi-Finalist in the 2018 Faulkner Wisdom Competition

The Eagle and the Tiger


Tim Davis - 2015
    The deceptive, crooked path that led him to today began a few months back. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, nineteen-year old Fleming was a professional baseball pitcher with the Chicago White Sox. His successful first year in the minor leagues was waylaid when he received his draft notice. Through a series of misadventures, he ended up enlisting for four years in an elite unit called the A.S.A. or Army Security Agency; the army’s equivalent to the N.S.A. or the National Security Agency. Once in the army, Fleming learned that the recruiter had manipulated him with a host of untruths. Then, to his dismay, he learned that the army had lost his orders and he was placed in an infantry unit. Once in Vietnam, Platoon Sergeant, Levine questioned Fleming and dragged out of him the sad story of how he had enlisted for four years and ended up in an infantry unit. He became the butt of the platoon’s jokes and underwent vicious ribbing by the other platoon members. That day, the platoon was ordered back to their base camp: L.Z. English. Before leaving, they endured a mortar attack and then a ground probe. Fleming’s foxhole mate was critically wounded. Fleming did everything he could to save the man but his wounds were too severe and he died in Fleming’s arms. Repulsed by the ordeal, Fleming was left wondering if he could endure a whole year of this. Twelve-year old Van Phan Duc and his two friends twelve-year old Hoi Anh Vanh and Dan Tri Quang lived happily in their village until the day a N.V.A. invaded and forced them to join their struggle and fight the invading Americans. They were then assigned to a Viet Cong unit where they met Sergeant Chi, the man who would train them to be soldiers for the revolution and lead them into battle. Three American soldiers had been captured. Chi ordered the three boys to participate in brutally torturing the Americans. Dan embraced the torture and it turned him into a brutal fighting machine, much to Chi’s satisfaction. On the other hand, Hoi was repulsed by the events and a part of him died that day. He performed the torture but it wasn’t to Chi’s satisfaction. Van, a devout Buddhist, was also repulsed. He realized that life, as a soldier was three hundred and sixty degrees opposite of Buddha’s spiritual path. The 173rd’s area of operations was the Central Highlands. The 173rd’s home base was in and around the town of Bong Son, but they patrolled all over the province of Binh Dinh. For the next few months, Fleming and Van’s units met on numerous occasions. The first time they engaged each other in combat was in a simple ambush that lasted only two minutes. Both men were left repulsed by the carnage that could take place in only two minutes. Right after the ambush, Fleming’s company was deployed in a battalion-sized operation located in the Dak To mountain range. It was an area where numerous North Vietnamese soldiers infiltrated into South Vietnam from neighboring Cambodia and Laos. Fleming’s company was dropped into an area far from Dak To and the men were forced to march (hump) to their final destination. During the trek, they had to carve their way through impenetrable jungle and cross leach infested rivers to reach their destination, all the while suffering under Vietnam’s oppressive heat. Van’s Viet Cong unit was sent to the Dak To mountain range to do battle with Fleming and his company. Months passed with Van and Fleming’s units constantly meeting. Both men had similar personalities. Both men overcame their initial shock at war’s brutality and became highly competent soldiers who bravely fought the enemy. Both men were ultimately made into squad leaders. Both men continued to hate the war, yet were entrapped in the insanity that was war. They both recognized what war was—a brutally insane series of events where lives were lost and where dreams died.