This week we have some new and exciting thrillers at The Field Library where women are the focus, as witnesses to crimes, as investigators of crimes, as potential or actual victims of crimes.

Christina Dodd’s new book, The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream, starts off with an intriguing (and somewhat disturbing) title. Merida Falcon, the protagonist, lost her voice due to a traumatic accident in her past.  After the incident, she was married to a rich, elderly man who treated her as a trophy wife, there to adorn his arm and do his bidding without question.  After nine years of marriage, her husband died, and she deliberately moved, changed her name and set out to reinvent herself, with the unspoken goal of finding and getting revenge on the man she’d loved who betrayed her.  Disappearing, though, isn’t as easy as she’d thought: it turns out that the sheriff of Virtue Falls, her new home, is someone Merida knew in her school days, and a former lover is searching for her.  More disturbing, someone is stalking and slashing women in the town to death, and she’s beginning to wonder whether this person might have something to do with her injuries, and if he or she is out to get her now, when she doesn’t know who, if anyone, she can trust.

Have you ever considered going for a hot-air balloon ride?  Well, if you have, you may change your mind after reading Dead Woman Walking, by Sharon Bolton.  The story begins with Jessica and her sister, Isabel, among a group of people taking a ride on a hot-air balloon, which Jessica chose as a special treat for her sister.  As they’re riding on the air currents, the people in the balloon witness a man on the ground below beating a woman and then shooting her.  Jessica actually takes pictures of the murderer, and he sees her doing so.  When the balloon crashes, killing everyone on board except Jessica, the thrills really begin.  The killer knows she’s still alive, and he wants to eliminate the last remaining witness. Both the police, investigating the crash, and the killer, responsible for the crash, are looking for Jessica, and she’s trying to keep alive, but can she actually trust anyone in these circumstances?  

Milly, the protagonist of Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land, also has some issues with trust, which are perfectly natural in the circumstances.  Milly’s mother is a serial killer.  Milly realized she was the only one who could stop her mother, by informing on her, and ultimately testifying against her at her trial.  For her protection, Milly is given a new name, a foster care placement with an affluent family, and a spot in an exclusive private school.  But things aren’t simple or straightforward even in these circumstances: her foster sister bullies her, one of her teachers betrays her trust, and her new friend tempts her to behave badly, and, with the trial coming up, Milly has to wrestle with her situation: is she bad by nature, or by nurture?  Does she have the ability to be a good person or is she in fact her mother’s daughter?


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