Confess to Me
By: Sharon Doering
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: 06/15/21
My Rating: 5 Stars COVER REVEAL
Top Books 2021 A wickedly gripping thriller about family secrets, infatuation and the lies we bury to protect ourselves from the author of She Lies Close.
Heather Hornne is going home. Haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her family, Heather finds herself back in Hunther, Wisconsin after twenty years running from it.
She returns to finally put the past to rest, but uncovers another tragedy and finds herself in the beguiling grip of a young woman who knows more of her family secrets than Heather does.
To survive this homecoming, Heather must piece together a toxic history that she long tried to forget.
"Somewhere between Ozark and Sharp Objects, there is Doering’s Confess to Me. This book has everything—small town, family secrets, wild animals—and it’s all blended together into one tense, irresistible story. Get settled in for a long night of reading, because you won’t put this one down." – Samantha Downing, bestselling author of My Lovely Wife
"Doering has done it again! Raw, dark, and explosive, Confess to Me is an alluring and engrossing tale of revenge and redemption."
– Jeneva Rose, bestselling author of The Perfect Marriage
"Step by masterful step, Sharon Doering takes readers on a creepy, mind-bending journey through past trauma and present secrets. She skillfully creates characters whose darkest thoughts mirror our own, and every word is woven with sinister foreboding. Genius twists and winding paths lead to a shocking ending you won't see coming. A chilling read!"
– Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today and bestselling author of Woman on the Edge
"Wow! The characters in Confess to Me jump right off the page. Doering writes with exceptional authenticity and imagination, delivering spellbinding plot twists in this small town psychological thriller. I loved every moment spent with this story!"
– Wendy Walker, bestselling author of Don't Look for Me
"Brilliant, vicious, and wildly compulsive, Confess to Me is a masterpiece of a thriller. Through stunning prose and an almost unbearable sense of dread, Doering delivers a truly menacing tale one elegant twist at a time. You don't devour this book – it devours you."
– P. J. Vernon, author of When You Find Me
I can't wait for @sharondoeringauthor's new psychological thriller, CONFESS TO ME, out on June 15, 2021!!! What do you think of this cover? A horrific unsolved murder... Stories of satanic ritual abuse... The exotic pet trade... A doctor with a strange practice... Heather Hornne is going home.
Haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her family, Heather finds herself back in Hunther, Wisconsin after twenty years running from it.
She returns to finally put the past to rest but uncovers another tragedy and finds herself in the beguiling grip of a young woman who knows more of her family secrets than Heather does.
To survive this homecoming, Heather must piece together a toxic history that she long tried to forget.
*A wickedly gripping thriller about family secrets, infatuation, and the lies we bury to protect ourselves from the author of She Lies Close.*
Are you hooked??? CONFESS TO ME is available for preorder now anywhere books are sold! @titanbooks #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #confesstome #sharondoering #booklover #thriller #comingsoon #readersofinstagram #jdcmustreadbooks
Dark, twisty, sinister, chilling, mind-bending, thought-provoking, emotional, and raw!
A horrific unsolved murder...
Stories of satanic ritual abuse...
The exotic pet trade...
Misunderstood mental illness ...
A doctor with a strange practice...
Heather Hornne is going home. She came back from the dead once in Hunther, WI.
Master storyteller Sharon Doering wowed us last year with her smashing debut, She Lies Close. She returns with her sophomore novel, the latest spine-chilling thriller (with a Gothic vibe), weaving a dark and deliciously evil spell —CONFESS TO ME.
A harrowing tale of a world where little is what it first appears to be. The author skillfully builds suspense and adept at drawing believable characters and relationships. A masterful job of depicting small rural town claustrophobia, dysfunctional family dynamics, horrors, and the dark secrets that haunt the characters.
Haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her family, Heather finds herself back in her hometown, after twenty years running from it.
She returns to finally put the past to rest but uncovers more tragedy and finds herself drawn to a young woman who knows more of her family secrets than Heather does.
Heather does not have many memories. She wants desperately to find someone who can help her sort out the past and, in particular, her mother. And family. Has she blocked out painful memories? A tragic childhood, she seeks to learn more about the past.
However, some people in this town may want to keep those dark secrets of the past buried. (and there are many!)
The family is driving from Chicago to the rural area where Trevor's mom is dying with cancer. They decided to rent a house nearby, and the entire family tags along. Trevor and Heather grew up in this small town even though she is much younger than her partner. Their children Emily (six) and Sawyer (sixteen) are getting a culture shock.
She was only six when they moved. Heather does not like this place and sees it as toxic and poisonous. She is also getting strange texts.
A young girl Dawn was murdered in '91 and gutted. They say it was her mom that was the killer. She also has siblings who died in mysterious ways.
She meets many creepy strange characters and animals as she desperately tries to piece together a toxic history that she long tried to forget. You do not know whom you can trust in the novel, from blackmail, manipulation, deception, cruelty, guilt, lies, and more.
Infused with chilling notes and transcripts from a psychologist regarding the childhood traumas, brainwashing, programming, murders, and manifestations added a bit of mystery, intrigue, and suspense.
WOW, there are many flawed characters in the book, so do not feel you will sit down, get cozy, and have coffee with them. Sharp and witty, there is a much bigger and more profound side to the novel, and I was blown away by the author's skill, research, and incredible insights into these highly charged, thought-provoking dark topics.
Thoughtful and compelling, Doering's psychological thrillers are characterized by their deeply wrought characters and objectively harrowing situations.
I loved the letter from the mom - very moving. I also enjoyed the author's note at the end of the book. (THANK YOU) I am a colossal research nut and always want to break down every book and learn the inspiration.
In fact, I wish that I had read the author's note first, which further enhanced the overall reading experience. Highly impressive. Not only is this an excellent thriller with the creep vibe, but it also is a deep dive into the evils and complexities of humanity (even more so, based on a true story).
The disgusting and shocking malignancy, manipulations, and toxicity of these psychologists, doctors, priests, and law officials will haunt you.
As she mentions: The inspiration was based on The Search for Satan documentary (1995) and the women's horror stories. As we see firsthand in the novel, the cruelties due to professionals (or ones that practiced as such). They held so much control, and many were victims of their greed.
FRONTLINE untangles the mysterious web of satanic ritual abuse, psychiatric treatment, and insurance claims that escalated into millions of dollars. Were these professed victims of secret satanic cults really helped by the psychiatric care they received?
Like brainwashing and cults, dangerous psychiatry, making people puppets controlling their thoughts and actions from conspiracy, manipulation, and multiple personalities. As Doering reiterates, truth is typically stranger than fiction.
"This is widespread folks. It is systemic and organized. The brainwashing, the programming, the murders, it no joke."
There are many topics and themes discussed in the novel and, importantly, self-identity. The author does a great job of breaking out other documentaries that were part of her inspiration, including animals, exotic pets, PTSD, memory loss, and more.
A thought-provoking powerful read. I enjoyed her notes and found myself doing more online research into these topics. She not only shows the dark side of humanity but their journey with her lyrical writing, metaphors, and symbolisms and the light from the troubled places of abuse and darkness, and how they shape and define our lives as adults. Giving it life and healing from the character's experiences while confronting their past with courage and forgiveness.
There is so much more to discuss, but I must stop since I appear to be all over the board here with my thoughts. I really enjoyed the mom's character with her artistic talent and tormented life while trying to balance motherhood in a misunderstood world and treated unfairly with cruelty. (great character development).
Sharon Doering's writing is spellbinding. She also blends literary suspense with psychological thriller, which is something I enjoy reading.
If you are a fan of Jennifer Hillier, Laura McHugh, Ron Rash, David Joy, Randall Silvis, and Lisa Unger (notably her Hollows series) and most recently, The House of Crows, you must read this author. You will also think of Ozark (where the Chicago family relocate to the Ozarks.)
You may find yourself turning the page with one eye closed, afraid of what will jump out at you because the writing is so vivid and descriptive. I love how the author uses humor to balance her darker writing. CONFESS TO ME is a perfect title and would make for a chilling movie or TV series.
Get CONFESS TO ME on your summer thriller list and an ideal for book clubs and further discussions. An author to get on your RADAR now!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Titan Books for the much-appreciated arc in return for an honest review.
REVIEW BLOG POST: #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: 6/15/21
About the Author
Sharon Doering lives in the Chicago area with her husband, Marc, their three kids, and a peculiarly civilized dog, Indy.
In her other life, she was a science professor (Columbia College Chicago), a biotech stock analyst (Madison Securities no longer exists), and a xenotransplantation researcher (Ward Building, NWU, Chicago Ave). She has also been a good waitress, a mediocre bartender, and a terrible maid.
Sharon is working on her next novel. Website