The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

The Suicide House
Series: Rory Moore/ Lane Phillips #2
Author: Charlie Donlea

Published: July 28, 2020
368 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Read: August 20-September 3, 2020

Book Description:

A chilling murder in a prestigious prep school is at the heart of this riveting new novel from acclaimed author Charlie Donlea, featuring forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore and her psychologist partner, Lane Phillips.

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. . . .

Jessica’s Review:

YES!  A thriller I really enjoyed and have been lacking in that lately!  From the first two sentences, you know you are in for a gory ride: I killed my brother with a penny. Simple, benign, and perfectly believable. 

We have all kinds of dynamics that make this one super interesting:  The setting of a prestigious prep school and a teacher kills some students!?!?!  And a year later the survivors start killing themselves?!?!?!   Something else must be going on! 

We have three different sections of the book: Journal entries, the time period of June 2019, and present day of August 2020. Better yet is that the chapters are extremely short and it’s hard to put down because the next chapter isn’t that long!  This one is meant to be binge read, it is that intense. I loved how everything came together and I never figured out the killer or motive so I was shocked when we had the big moment in the climax of the novel.

This is the second in the series that feature Rory and Lane.  Poor Rory has some issues herself and also what could classify as a creepy hobby, which is also written in a way that you find it interesting, which I never would have thought of this particular hobby as interesting!  We also get to see her work on her hobby.

 All of Donlea’s books can be read as standalones, but if you have read Donlea’s previous novels, you get some takeback from those.  This is my first Donlea novel and I would love to read his others!

Many thanks to the publisher Kensington Books for granting me a copy to read and review!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK