Magpie by Elizabeth Day
A couple experiencing infertility problems rents out their spare room. On the surface, everything appears perfect. But this is a domestic thriller and the note to the readers tips you off before you even start reading that not everything is what it seems, that there may be an unreliable narrator telling the story...
I loved watching this plot unfold. It went in directions I didn't expect, moving just slowly enough that I kept coming up with new ideas about what was actually going on before I started questioning the situation again. This was a great way to spend a few hours.
The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon
Several elements drew me to this one. It's set in 1978 and the main characters are children, living with their grandmother, a respected doctor who runs an exclusive mental hospital in Vermont. The brother and sister hunt monsters and record everything they know about them in a book. So of course when their Gran brings home a mysterious young girl they invite her to join their secret monster club.
In 2019, Lizzy Shelley comes to Vermont, researching a story for her monster hunting podcast. She claims that it's her first visit to the area, but that's not true. She's been hunting monsters her entire life and is sure she knows exactly what, and who, this one is.
The pace of this one is just slow enough to build lots of creepy atmosphere. It moves into some disturbing territory as the kids try to find out more about their new sibling and what their grandmother is doing at her hospital. I enjoyed the read, but not as much as I loved The Invited, one of this author's previous books.
Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links.