Halloween is right around the corner, and if you’re looking for some spooky reads, check out these black books.
Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…
Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.
But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.
When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?
All the Sinners Bleed
A Black sheriff. A serial killer. A small town ready to combust.
Titus Crown is the first Black sheriff in the history of Charon County, Virginia. In recent decades, quiet Charon has had only two murders. But after years of working as an FBI agent, Titus knows better than anyone that while his hometown might seem like a land of moonshine, cornbread, and honeysuckle, secrets always fester under the surface.
Then a year to the day after Titus’s election, a school teacher is killed by a former student and the student is fatally shot by Titus’s deputies. As Titus investigates the shootings, he unearths terrible crimes and a serial killer who has been hiding in plain sight, haunting the dirt lanes and woodland clearings of Charon.
With the killer’s possible connections to a local church and the town’s harrowing history weighing on him, Titus projects confidence about closing the case while concealing a painful secret from his own past. At the same time, he also has to contend with a far-right group that wants to hold a parade in celebration of the town’s Confederate history.
Charon is Titus’s home and his heart. But where faith and violence meet, there will be a reckoning.
Jane Doe Black
She dedicated her life to working for the justice system, but when she needed it most, it didn’t work for her.
On the eve of trial, Assistant District Attorney Lainey Abbott gets a disturbing phone call. Her baby sister, Stephanie, who should have been back at her college dorm after visiting for the weekend, never arrived. At first, she isn’t too worried, because she’s a system insider and has plenty of resources available to locate her sister quickly, including Russ Sanders, the police detective she’s been on and off with for years. It’ll take a couple days, tops. They’ll find Steph and give her a piece of their mind for being so irresponsible.
But a year later, Stephanie still hasn’t been found.
And what’s worse, the system Lainey once had so much faith in, no longer seems inclined to look. Reeling from the loss, her career and personal life are in freefall, and most days she can’t even bring herself to care.
Until another case surfaces, of a girl who’s gone missing under strikingly similar circumstances to Steph’s …
They All Fall Down
Rachel Howzell Hall
It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.
Delighted by a surprise invitation, Miriam Macy sails off to a luxurious private island off the coast of Mexico with six other strangers. Surrounded by miles of open water in the gloriously green Sea of Cortez, Miriam is soon shocked to discover that she and the rest of her companions have been brought to the remote island under false pretenses—and all seven strangers harbor a secret.
Danger lurks in the lush forest and in the halls and bedrooms of the lonely mansion. Sporadic cell-phone coverage and miles of ocean keeps the group trapped in paradise. And strange accidents stir suspicions, as one by one . . .
They all fall down
The Weight of Blood
Tiffany D. Jackson
When Springville residents—at least the ones still alive—are questioned about what happened on prom night, they all have the same explanation . . . Maddy did it.
An outcast at her small-town Georgia high school, Madison Washington has always been a teasing target for bullies. And she’s dealt with it because she has more pressing problems to manage. Until the morning a surprise rainstorm reveals her most closely kept secret: Maddy is biracial. She has been passing for white her entire life at the behest of her fanatical white father, Thomas Washington.
After a viral bullying video pulls back the curtain on Springville High’s racist roots, student leaders come up with a plan to change their image: host the school’s first integrated prom as a show of unity. The popular white class president convinces her Black superstar quarterback boyfriend to ask Maddy to be his date, leaving Maddy wondering if it’s possible to have a normal life.
But some of her classmates aren’t done with her just yet. And what they don’t know is that Maddy still has another secret . . . one that will cost them all their lives.
The Quiet Ones
Twenty-five years ago, a jealous ex-boyfriend murdered Mallory Steele’s mother. With no close family to take in Mallory and her older sister, the girls became wards of the state–and were soon ripped apart, sent to live with different foster families.
Taken in by loving parents, Mallory went on to a successful career as an investigative reporter at an Atlanta newspaper. She hasn’t been able to find her sister despite her best efforts–until she discovers a promising connection on a genealogical website. Hoping for a reunion, Mallory sets off for the small town in rural Georgia where she believes her sister lives.
BUT NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME
There, at Sanctuary, an old antebellum mansion deep in the murky backwoods, Mallory discovers her sister’s new family: a reclusive clan led by a secretive man known only as “Father.” Skeptical of Father’s revelation about her sister, Mallory plunges into the most important investigation of her life…but to unravel the mystery of her sister’s fate and the terrible secrets lurking in Sanctuary, Mallory must decide: is finding the truth always worth the price?
Anywhere You Run
Wanda M. Morris
It’s the summer of 1964 and three innocent men are brutally murdered for trying to help Black Mississippians secure the right to vote. Against this backdrop, twenty-one year old Violet Richards finds herself in more trouble than she’s ever been in her life. Suffering a brutal attack of her own, she kills the man responsible. But with the color of Violet’s skin, there is no way she can escape Jim Crow justice in Jackson, Mississippi. Before anyone can find the body or finger her as the killer, she decides to run. With the help of her white beau, Violet escapes. But desperation and fear leads her to hide out in the small rural town of Chillicothe, Georgia, unaware that danger may be closer than she thinks.
Back in Jackson, Marigold, Violet’s older sister, has dreams of attending law school. Working for the Mississippi Summer Project, she has been trying to use her smarts to further the cause of the Black vote. But Marigold is in a different kind of trouble: she’s pregnant and unmarried. After news of the murder brings the police to her door, Marigold sees no choice but to flee Jackson too. She heads North seeking the promise of a better life and no more segregation. But has she made a terrible choice that threatens her life and that of her unborn child?
Two sisters on the run—one from the law, the other from social shame. What they don’t realize is that there’s a man hot on their trail. This man has his own brand of dark secrets and a disturbing motive for finding the sisters that is unknown to everyone but him . . .
A Praying Wife vs. A Preying Woman
They wouldn’t call it betrayal if it didn’t come from a friend…
For lack of a better word, Destiny’s life is perfect.
She met the man of her dreams her first week in college. Her grades are stellar, and she’s got the lead role in the choir.
But someone in her circle isn’t happy for Destiny’s success.
And that person won’t stop until she meets her demise.
Des always gets the short end of the stick.
She fights with everything she has to be noticed, but she’s always overlooked.
Her roommate, Destiny, always seems to come out on the winning side. Things reach a head when Destiny sails by on a cloud of joy the same day Des faces the worst rejection of her life.
Out for blood, Des zeroes in on her so-called best friend.
Time to knock her down a peg or two.
The Wife Before
Samira Wilder has never had it easy, and when her latest lousy job goes south, things only promise to get harder. Until she unexpectedly meets a man who will change her life forever. Renowned pro golfer Roland Graham is wealthy, handsome, and caring, and Samira is dazzled. Best of all, he seems to understand her better than anyone ever has. And though their relationship moves a bit fast, when Roland proposes, Samira accepts. She even agrees to relocate to his secluded Colorado mansion. After all, there’s nothing to keep her in Miami, and the mansion clearly makes him happy. Soon, they are married amid a media firestorm, and Samira can’t wait to make a fresh start—as the second Mrs. Graham . . .
Samira settles into the mansion, blissfully happy—until she discovers long-hidden journals belonging to Roland’s late wife, Melanie, who died in a tragic accident. With each dusty page, Samira comes to realize that perhaps it was no accident at all—that perhaps her perfect husband is not as perfect as she thought. Even as her trust in Roland begins to dwindle and a shadow falls over her marriage and she begins to fear for her own life, Samira is determined to uncover the truth of Melanie’s troubled last days. But even good wives should know that the truth is not always what it seems . . .