Judith D Collins
Little Red House
By: Liv Andersson
Publisher: Crooked Lane
Publication Date: 12/06/2022
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.
Years later, Eve dies, leaving everything to her adopted twin daughters. The majority of the wealthy estate in Vermont goes to Lisa, the “good daughter,” while Connie inherits only a small stipend and a property in New Mexico. Connie, often the target of Eve's cruelty, suspects this was another of her mother's vindictive games.
Connie arrives in New Mexico to find a small, dilapidated red house in the desert, and the home’s mysterious caretaker, Jet Montgomery, living in a shack on the property. She learns there's been a string of women murdered in the area—murders that no one will talk about.
Before Connie can get to the truth, her mother’s sadistic mind games come creeping back from the grave—and now the danger becomes all too real. With a serial killer on the loose and a trove of deadly secrets coming to the surface, Connie is in a desperate race to save herself and what little is left of her shattered family.
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Liv Andersson delves deep into the human psyche with her latest, LITTLE RED HOUSE —a dark, disturbing, and twisty psychological suspense thriller where sadistic mind games rise to the surface, and a woman who desperately tries to save herself and make sense of it all.
"Dark and twisty, with white-knuckle tension and jaw-dropping surprises."
Told from two time periods (1997 and present), we meet Eve, the mother. She is a vile, evil sociopath and a master manipulator.
In 1997 Nihla, New Mexico: Eve Foster is in a small town desperately searching for her 17-year-old daughter, Kelsey.
In New York City, present day, we meet Constance, Eve's adopted daughter. Eve has died and leaves most of her estate to her good daughter Lisa (Vermont), while Constance inherits a run-down house in New Mexico they never knew existed.
Of course, Eve is still manipulating and pulling strings from the grave as is specified in terms of the will, and if they attempt to alter the terms in any way, they will forfeit everything. Lisa cannot simply give her sister half of the money.
While Lisa gets all the money and properties, Constance only receives $5K for airfare, food, and initial expenses, and after that, $5K per twelve-month period and the red house. She may not rent or sell the New Mexico property for three years. If so, the estate will be sold and given to charity.
For one sister to be rewarded—the other had to be punished.
Told from Constance and Eve's POV.
Known for Eve's vicious games, Constance (Connie) assumes this red garage house is meant to harass her from the grave. She adopted both girls from an orphanage in Greece. She changed their names and asked them to call her Aunt Eve rather than "mother."
Over the years, she put them through survival tests and horrible acts of cruelty.
The desolate dry New Mexican desert is the perfect backdrop for this atmospheric, creepy, page-turning mystery!
At 13 Mad Dog Road, her new dilapidated red house is full of mystery and intrigue. Dust. Cobwebs. Broken floorboards. Peeling Walls. A gaping hole of a house. It is not fit to live in, and the area sounds unsafe.
Upon arrival, she is met by a man and a gun—Jet Montgomery's caretaker and his dog. He lives in the shed behind the shotgun house with a basement. What if he was the serial killer? A murderer?
Had she been sent here for the ultimate game of cat and mouse?
She was even given a note that said, "Don't Sleep with the Help, Constance," from her mother.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
Constance soon hears about the events from the nineties from the locals: six girls over the five years were kidnapped, raped, tortured, mutilated, and dumped. And now it has started again. Two more. Constance searches for answers.
However, with a serial killer who was never caught and a town unwilling to release its secrets, especially to an outsider—can Connie solve the mystery before she is added to the killer’s list? Can she trust anyone?
Complex, richly atmospheric, and thoroughly riveting!
The author pulls you in immediately with this neglected creepy red house setting in this dark and mysterious tale. The dual timelines keep you in check from past to present. The suspense remains high, and as a reader you are on the edge of your seat.
Eve is a complex woman, and Constance is strong and determined. Between the past and present, the dark family secrets, the manipulative men, and the women who disappear —will keep you hooked, turning the pages into the wee hours of the morning.
There are many facets of this story, but at the end of the day, THE LITTLE RED HOUSE packs eerie vibes, entertainment, and psychological heft into a suspense novel you will fly through in just a couple of sittings. The novel would make for a great movie or TV series.
For fans of authors: Jennifer Hillier, Megan Collins, Robyn Harding, Gilly MacMillan, and Lisa Jewell.
I look forward to reading more from Wendy Tyson—under (Liv Andersson) name. Cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. An author to watch!
A special thank you to #CrookedLaneBooks and #NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pub Date: Dec 6, 2022
Dec 2022 Must-Read Books
“An expertly-crafted puzzle box . . . Diabolically twisty with an ending you won’t see coming.” —Alma Katsu, award winning author of The Fervor and Red Widow
“Liv Andersson’s Little Red House is a beautifully woven thriller full of dark and intense characters, secrets and lies, danger around every corner, and a stunning, jaw-dropping twist. This is a story that will creep under your skin and stay with you long after you’ve read it.”
—Jennifer Hillier, USA Today bestselling author of Little Secrets and Things We Do In The Dark
“Liv Andersson leads you down dark, twisty roads in Little Red House. A thrilling maze of a story filled with family secrets and a town’s shared trauma, Andersson serves a stunningly sinister tale with a flawlessly executed final twist.”
—Laura Oles, Agatha-nominated author of Daughters of Bad Men
“The only thing more twisted than the plot are the characters in this harrowing thriller from a bold new voice in suspense.”
—Jon McGoran, award-winning author of Drift and Spliced
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.