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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Suicide House

The Suicide House

Series: Rory Moore/Lane Phillips Novel Book #2

ISBN: 1496727150

Publisher: Kensington

Publication Date: 07/28/20

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars + Top Books 2020 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. . . .

The Suicide House


My Review

Intense, Bold, and Superbly Written!

A massive fan of internationally bestselling author, Charlie Donlea since I read his debut, Summit Lake —then The Girl Who Was Taken, and Don’t Believe It.

However, when I read Some Choose Darkness with the introduction of the character, Rory Moore, the author's writing moved to an even higher level. With the dual timelines, elevated sophisticated and detailed forensics, fans of Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner will find a lot of love here!

I was hoping Rory Moore would return and was delighted when I heard Charlie chose to bring her back with her partner, Lane Philipps, in THE SUICIDE HOUSE.

These characters are complex, intriguing, and well developed. I would highly recommend reading SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS before reading THE SUICIDE HOUSE. You really need to know the backstory of these characters. You also will find Gus Morelli, the wise detective we met in Don’t Believe It. I always love revisiting familiar characters.

Like Karin Slaughter’s popular series characters—Will Trent, Lisa Gardner’s D.D. Warren and Flora Dane, and Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch—Rory Moore and Lane Phillips I predict will become household names. More books, please!!! I want an entire series.

Donlea sets the mood with the creep factor and the dark vibes. From the eerie and chilling setting, we go into an elite boarding school, Westmont Preparatory High School, where things are kept secret behind the walls.

The school has a past and present—the two meet. Someone has an agenda. There is a killer we meet, and Charlie takes us inside the psychopath’s mind through amusing journal entries.

Journal Entry: The Tracks:

"I killed my brother with a penny. Simple, benign, and perfectly believable."

There is a cool podcast about the murders. Who is the killer? Why are the murders still occurring today? Who is the Man in the Mirror?

Forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore and her FBI partner Lane Phillips must solve the case. From the creepy woods, the old boarding house, and the deserted railroad tracks.

Someone is killing people, but why?

Rory must recreate the night long ago to solve the case. Someone is playing a dangerous game and must be stopped. From secrets and lies and more twists than you can imagine!

If you are a Rory fan, then I think by the ending we may see her again in the future. (fingers crossed) The author writes about smart, intelligent women in his novels, and if you have not read his books, what are you waiting for? These characters are flawed, and their lives have been tough, but they are courageous and survivors.

If you enjoy cold cases, THE SUICIDE HOUSE is for you. For fans of Michelle’s Campbell’s, The Quiet One and J. T. Ellison’s, Good Girls Lie and Michael Robotham’s Cyrus Havens series, When She was Good.

Donlea is a master storyteller, and THE SUICIDE HOUSE is both plot and character-driven —Top Books of 2020—a riveting top suspenseful psychological crime thriller. Donlea again proves himself as a top thriller writer.

Move this one to the top of your reading list! You will want to learn more about the complex and brilliant forensics reconstructionist, Rory Moore.

Gripping, gruesome, and emotionally compelling. Children raised by monsters often turn into bigger monsters. Get to know Rory and Lane. I cannot see what Charlie delivers next!

A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.




“...the book’s real strength is the idiosyncratic Rory, who suffers from OCD and is on the autism spectrum, deeply developed character readers can’t help rooting for. Hopefully, she’ll be back soon.”

—Publisher's Weekly

“Best Mystery Thrillers for Summer Reads 2020."

—Publisher's Weekly

SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS “In Donlea’s skillful hands, this story of obsession, murder, and the search for truth is both a compassionate character study and a compelling thriller.” —Kirkus Reviews “Engrossing. . . . Donlea smoothly mixes red herrings and genuine clues. Readers who relish a good puzzle will be rewarded.” —Publishers Weekly “Part 1970s serial-killer thriller and part contemporary Chicago crime novel, this deceptively quick read has something for everyone.” —Booklist “Suspense builds, clues mount and dangers lurks seemingly everywhere as the story nimbly toggles between then and now in Donlea’s twisty-turny mystery.” —Bookpage

About the Author

Charlie Donlea

Charlie Donlea is the USA Today and International bestselling author of Summit Lake, The Girl Who Was Taken and Don't Believe It. His most recent novel, Some Choose Darkness is available now and in paperback format. His fifth novel, THE SUICIDE HOUSE, will be released on July 28, 2020, and available for pre-order now.

His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages across twenty countries. He resides in Chicago with his wife and two children. Read More

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