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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Leave the Lights On

Narrator: Mia Barron

Dreamscape Media

ISBN: 9781639105090

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: 10/17/2023

Format: Hardcover & audiobook

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

Perfect for fans of Wendy Walker and Samantha Downing, in this thrilling domestic suspense novel, a woman fights to hide her secrets as her life's idyllic façade begins to fall apart.

Cape Morgan, Maine, is the utopian ideal for a charmed life, and Beatrice Wicker knows it. The multi-million-dollar house on the sea coast. The joint bank accounts. The safety and security that goes along with being married to an esteemed architect and community leader.

The scenic coastline is perfect for her ambitious plan to turn an abandoned asylum into an artists’ retreat. So what if her husband sneaks off to see his second family now and again? Beatrice is willing to look the other way. It’s simply the price she must pay to keep their life together.

Josh doesn’t realize that Beatrice knows about his other life. That’s just one of Beatrice’s secrets. And now, that truth—along with a deadly host of other secrets from the past—is about to upend their false paradise.

When there’s an explosion at the local elementary school playground, and a two-year-old boy is abducted, it doesn’t take Beatrice long to make the connection between the missing boy and her husband. It was the son from Josh’s other life who was kidnapped, and Josh can’t do anything about it without revealing the truth.

Helping Josh find his son would destroy the façade of her perfect marriage and could put more children’s lives in danger. But that’s not all. It would reveal her deeper secret: Beatrice Wicker is not who she claims to be.

My Review

Liv Andersson returns following Little Red House with her latest, LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON —a woman with dark dangerous secrets, and when the past and present collide, her idyllic life unravels in this twisty atmospheric psychological suspense thriller.

Set in Cape Morgan, Maine on Ross Island we meet Beatrice Wicker and her husband, Josh (architect), with a housekeeper, Maya. They live in a multi-million home on the coast on a remote island overlooking the sea surrounded by cottages. The Wicker Foundation had purchased the property. The main building and the cottages will remain, and the old inn to be demolished.

Cape Morgan is a small community, and Josh was a local public figure/hero. His company's non-profit had contributed to the town in many ways.

Miles Ross had lived there for 73 years and passed at the home in the upstairs corner of the main house. Eccentric and reclusive, the family fortune dwindled, and the buildings fell into disrepair. Some say the island is haunted.

Beatrice's goal is to renovate the abandoned asylum into an artist's retreat, and she is willing to overlook that her husband is having an affair and has another family, which he sneaks out to spend time with. He has no clue she knows.

Josh and his money will make her life and projects possible. She looks the other way and keeps quiet.

Now, the truth about Josh and his other family, along with the other past secrets, begin to unravel, and the idyllic, safe façade begins to crumble.

There is an explosion at the local elementary school playground, and a two-year-old boy, Oliver, is abducted. A fire. A missing boy. The little boy is Josh's son. People move here because it is safe. So what is going on?

Beatrice remembers an event from her past that she wants to keep secret. How is this connected to the kidnapping? She must stay quiet to keep from her past and who she is from coming out.

From two timelines, we meet Emma, a young social worker kidnapped and brainwashed by a family who convinces her the government is after them. She tries to help the boy, Luke, doing her job and gets pulled in by the charismatic and manipulative Gabriel.

She manages to escape and reclaim her life, but she is always on the run because they always seem to find her. Nearly 20 years later, she is settled down, married, and living her life under a different name, but once again, this family finds her. She thought she had lost them. Why now?

What is the connection between Emma, Beatrice, and Grace?

LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON is atmospheric, haunting, chilling, and terrifying. Full of mystery, conspiracy, and kidnapping, this domestic suspense will have you glued to the pages to discover how the past and present will connect—topics of kidnapping, mind control, conspiracy, deception, manipulation, and trauma.

Compelling! I read the e-book and listened to the audio narrated by Mia Barron for a chilling listening experience.

Thanks to Dreamscape Media for an ALC and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Oct 17, 2023

My Rating: 4 Stars


“A tense story of domestic suspense . . . Fans of Sally Hepworth will enjoy themselves.” —Publishers Weekly

“A compelling exploration of the secrets we’ll die to keep, and the secrets we’ll kill to bury. Leave the Lights On is the kind of twisty page-turner that will keep you up all night, with, yes, the lights on!”

—Paula Munier, USA Today bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mysteries

“How well can you really know anyone? Liv Andersson takes readers on a harrowing journey to the answer in this taut, brilliantly paced psychological thriller full of compelling characters and tight twists that will keep readers turning pages late into the night. I dare you to try and put it down.”

—LynDee Walker, Amazon Charts bestselling author of Tell No Lies

“Andersson weaves together with silky smoothness multiple story lines over the years, and with a surprise at every turn. This new kind of thriller that is psychological, emotional, and chilling bodes well for Andersson’s next masterpiece.”

—John Carenen. award-winning author of Keeping To Himself

“A poetic inevitability emerges from the dark, secret past of damaged lives forever linked. Taut and, at turns, haunting and terrifying, Liv Andersson’s Leave the Lights On twists and turns then twists again, defying readers’ expectations and assumptions about naïveté, betrayal, and revenge. Beatrice Wicker is a compellingly imperfect heroine, whose very survival depends on cunning and endurance in a decades-long game of hide-and-seek. Tense, chilling, and absorbing, Leave the Lights On is a superb psychological thriller.”

—James W. Ziskin, Anthony, Barry, and Macavity Award-winning author of the Ellie Stone Mysteries.

“Leave the Lights On by Liv Andersson is a wonderful, twisty, and delectably chilling novel that explores how past trauma and choices can come back with a vengeance . . . It kept me guessing and glued to the page right until the satisfying last pages.”

—Trish Esden, author of the Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery series

ISBN: 9781639102037

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Publication Date: 12/06/2022

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

Twenty years isn’t enough to erase the sins of the past—but the future is even more terrifying in this thrilling read perfect for fans of Megan Collins and Julia Heaberlin.

In 1997, Eve Foster’s daughter, Kelsey, runs away to New Mexico and vanishes without a trace. Eve is convinced that she’s the victim of a serial killer who’s been hunting women in the region—but Kelsey’s body is never found. READ MY REVIEW

About the Author

Liv Andersson is an author, lawyer, and former therapist whose background has inspired her thrillers and mysteries. As Liv Andersson, she writes thrillers, including Little Red House. As Wendy Tyson, she is the author of several mystery series, including the Amazon bestselling Greenhouse Mystery Series. Wendy’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals and crime anthologies, and she has written for The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins, International Thriller Writers’ online magazines. Wendy is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She and her husband live in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont with their sons and three dogs. WEBSITE







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