Saturday 25 February 2023



Title: No Escape
Series: EMP Sabotage
Author: Grace Hamilton
Publisher: Relay Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi, Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 6th February 2023

BLURB from Goodreads
The world ended. But the final battle has just begun…

The world has grown even more dangerous for the survivors of the EMP strikes that crippled the United States. Ronny is a prisoner of AILS, a terrorist group planning to remake the world to suit their twisted vision. He’ll do whatever it takes to stop them, even if it costs him his life.

Ruth and the others remain on the offshore drilling platform. But AILS has set their sights on the facility, and are coming to take it by force. If their plan succeeds, there will be nowhere left to hide. Fleeing for their lives, the survivors must somehow mount a counter strike, before the terrorist cabal grows even more powerful.

The platform that has been their refuge must be destroyed. But demolishing a drilling rig is no simple task. And as AILS forces close in, a deadly storm looms on the horizon. Surrounded by danger, the survivors must make a final stand to stop these deadly fanatics once and for all.

The fate of humanity—and their own survival—hang in the balance.

As soon as I finished reading No Relief, I wanted to read this book but then I had mixed feelings, in one way I couldn’t wait to read more but on the other hand I didn’t want it all to end! Anyway, once this was available to read, I couldn’t resist diving in and reading it for very long. Its difficult to review this one without giving much away, I can say I don’t think anyone will be disappointed! I will try my best not to give away too much. 

This book sees the original group split and sort of head their own teams in an attempt to bring down the terrorist group AILS. It does see all the original characters come to the conclusion that they will bring about the end of AILS or they will die trying! In fact in one section of this book we see characters agree to blow the oil rig up even if it means them dying, then just as they are about to do so they see that AILS have some of their loved ones hostage. They then face a difficult decision, stop AILS but kill their loved ones in the process…..or try to mount a rescue and risk perhaps not stopping AILS. Finally it is decided that they will mount a rescue bid but if at any point it seems all is lost and they are about to be captured they will use a detonator to blow the rig up and everyone who is on it at the time, When those on the oil rig re-approach the islanders for help they discover there is an illness affecting some of them and its not long until one of their own group begins to succumb to the mysterious illness. Despite being seriously ill, this character insists on doing all they can to help not only their own small group but to help the islanders too. There has been plenty of mystery, suspense and action in the previous two books and this, the last in the trilogy doesn’t disappoint either! There’s some real edge of your seat stuff! There is more than one occasion where you think all is lost, for things to suddenly take a turn for the better. 

I instantly adored some of the characters, Ruth, Stella, John and Curtis. I even immediately loved the awkward and somewhat grumpy Ronny too! I was suspicious of others, Kay, Parker, Jorge and Clark but eventually warmed to Kay by the third book! I have to admit I quite enjoyed disliking Dana and head of AILS Tyra too. I think there was a character within the book for everyone, just like there was something for everyone, be it the technical/tactical side of things being described, the initial mystery of who the sabouteur was, the suspense of how/whether AILS could be defeated or not, or even the comaradery and small glimpses of romance between certain characters. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, in fact I loved the whole series. There was a point near the end of the book where I thought that there may be more to come, perhaps another book but then I saw that it is listed as a “trilogy.” Grace Hamilton always seems to tie up the loose ends, and end her books/series whilst leaving you wanting more. I guess what I am trying to say is she has the knack of always ending her series at what ends up feeling the perfect point. 

Summing up, Action packed, adventure filled, edge of seat reading with a little love thrown in too. 


Friday 24 February 2023



Title: No Releif
Series: EMP Sabotage
Author: Grace Hamilton
Release Date: 11th January 2023

BLURB from Goodreads
The world is ending. But for the survivors, their ordeal has just begun…

Ruth Garber survived the sabotage of the Mako oil platform as the first wave of EMP attacks crippled the southern United States. Now, she’s stranded on the platform with a handful of people. And violent terrorists are closing in…

A desperate mission.

The EMP strikes keep coming as Ruth and the others leave the platform, embarking on a dangerous voyage across the sea. Their mission: to reach safety on an island and find a way to survive. But when they land on what seems to be a tropical paradise, they soon learn they are not alone. And all is not what it seems.

A world gone dark.

Meanwhile, Ruth’s brother, Ronny, may have discovered the key to stopping AILS, the shadowy organization behind the EMP strikes. Ruth and fisherman John decide to seek him out on the mainland, leaving her granddaughter Stella and the rest of the crew to prepare for an impending attack.

But as civilization decays around them, they quickly learn they’re not the only ones who are fighting to survive…

Goodreads Link

After the way bk 1 ended I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one to read it!
Once again the cover could be a depiction from a specific scene within the book. I’d say the two characters featured prominently on it are Ruth Garber and John Baron who teamed up during the first bk and succeeded in finding out who the very dangerous mole on the oil rig was.

With the threat of the terrorist group AILS coming to take over the oil rig the group of survivors decide to try to find somewhere else to settle. They come across an island and the cruise ship that had manically waved for help as it passed the rig in bk1 seems to already have organised themselves somewhat, but all is not what it seems and they are soon involved in the problems of the island that is being ruled in a rather tyrannical fashion. The oil rig group help the islanders but decide that life on this nearby island isn’t a great idea either, so the group decide to return to the oil rig and prepare for battle against the terrorist group AILS. They intend to hold onto the rig at all costs.

Shortly after returning Ruth decides she needs to contact her brother Ronny who designed the oil rig as he should be able to help them defend the rig against the terrorists group. It’s going to be a race against time as to whether Ruth will get back to the rig before AILS arrive but it’s decided that they have to try, having Ronny’s insider knowledge could be the thing that gives them the edge in the fight for control of the oil rig. Of course, there are lots of too-ing and fro-ing about who should go to the mainland to visit Ronny and ask for his help. Of course, Ruth has to go as its her brother, but her granddaughter, Stella wants to go too. Finally, it is agreed that Ruth should not go alone, and it should be John who accompanies her, leaving Stella and John’s son, Curtis with the rest of the oil rig workers to start defence preparations.
The book is kind of split into the following “groupings”, Stella & Curtis and those on the rig, Ronny and what is happening to him, AILS point o view and the final section being the dynamic duo of Ruth & John together on land trying to battle their way through what is now hostile country due to travelling gangs to get to her brother Ronny. Ronny has the now very valuable original plans of the oil rig at his property. Ruth fully expects her brother to be safe on his own land as he was always the type to be ultra-prepared for the current EMP attack. Ruth isn’t sure what sort of a welcome she will receive from her brother as they aren’t on the best of terms but that doesn’t stop her shock and horror at finally arriving at Ronny’s home to find traces of blood and her brother gone.

I don’t want to reveal anymore but there’s lots of action, angst and adventure from the beginning of the book to the end with a few surprise twists thrown in too. Theres also the possible romances between Ruth & John and Stella & Curtis running alongside of the main parts of the plot to which is a great addition. I do like these four characters and though Ronny seems like he could be an awkward man I liked his character too. I have to admit to disliking Kay to begin with but I kind of think that was Grace Hamilton’s intention because she wanted us the reader to think of Kay as a potential suspect in bk1.

I definitely recommend reading this series, I’ve been hooked from the first few pages of bk1 and still are! There seems to be the promise of lots more to come from bk3. I am already (im)patiently waiting for the next book!

Thursday 23 February 2023



Title: No Rescue
Series: EMP Sabotage
Author: Grace Hamilton
Release Date: 14th December 2022

BLURB from Goodreads
A rising storm. A sudden catastrophe. No hope of rescue…

A storm looms on the horizon as Ruth Garber and her granddaughter Stella travel by helicopter to an offshore drilling rig. Ruth, a world-class geologist, is there to consult on a software upgrade. Stella, a geology student, just wants to prove herself to her legendary grandmother. They don’t know their trip will become a grim struggle to survive…

When the helicopter goes down after dropping them off, they realize they’re in trouble. The platform loses power. Cell phones don’t work. Everything electronic is dead. Stranded with a skeleton crew on a steel platform miles from shore, battered by massive waves, the deadly truth of their predicament slowly sinks in.

Meanwhile, John and his son Curtis are in a fishing boat, suddenly adrift when the engine fails. The waves are getting higher, and the storm has them on a collision course with the rig.

As the castaways on the rig struggle to survive, they discover the back-up generator has been deliberately damaged. When people begin to disappear, they come to a grim realization.

Someone in their tiny group is a saboteur.

Goodreads Link

The cover would certainly grab by attention on a book shelf so it does its job well! It fits the book well and the cover could really be a “scene” from within the book.
The book begins with Ruth a highly qualified and much respected geologist and her granddaughter Stella having a rather rough helicopter flight out to the offshore drilling rig. Ruth is there to consult and help out with a new software upgrade. Stella is there to watch and learn basically as she is still a geology student. Stella is struggling to read the latest news about a terrorist group on her phone with an increasingly poor phone signal. Stella is being teased about the lack of “phone time” perhaps being a good thing and then the flight gets rather bumpy so much so it has one of the returning rig workers going pale! Things go from bad to worse when once dropped off the helicopter actually seems to lose power and crash! It is soon discovered that no one has any phone service and all the rig electronics seem to have stopped too. Now Ruth and Stella are stuck in the middle of the sea with no immediate prospect of rescue. Some of the staff on the rig are sent to shore using one of the lifeboats but Stella sneakily gets in and then gets back out of the lifeboat she wants to stay with her grandmother.

Whilst this is happening on the rig, John and his son Curtis are out fishing on their boat at sea when suddenly their machinery starts to go awry. They have to let a net full of fish go free in an attempt to save themselves and their boat and end up crashing into the rig then being “rescued” by those on the rig.
John & Curtis both have useful skills and Ruth soon sets them to work helping her attempt to get an old generator working. However, things are far from straight forward with staff members going missing, then one is found dead, it is becoming apparent that there is not just a saboteur on board, but a saboteur who isn’t afraid to kill to protect their identity and forward their cause. When it is revealed that the very terrorists that Stella was reading about on the helicopter are responsible for what is going on both on the rig and for the raging fires that those on the rig can see along the shoreline, it seems like all is lost.

I love the set of determined characters within this book. The way Ruth especially refuses to give up or give in. Ruth has Stella to assist her and the with the arrival of John and Curtis who immediately offer to help in any way they can, it makes you get behind Ruth and believe she can fix anything. I did kind of guess the identity of the saboteur before it was revealed in the book but the whole process Ruth, Stella, John & Curtis go through of who they think it could be and why makes for really interesting reading too. The book ends on a cliff hanger, and has made me really eager to read more as soon as possible!

My immediate thoughts upon finishing reading the book were, Oooo, strangely I had my suspicions about who the actual 'bad guy' was all along! Then I started thinking about what could/would happen next, can the survivors guard the station and prevent terrorists from getting on it and using it? How will they survive with dwindling supplies? So many questions!

Summing up, really enjoyed it and looking forward to reading more!


Monday 20 February 2023



From the New York Times bestselling author comes this twisting, emotionally layered thriller about a marriage torn apart when the police arrive at an infertile couple’s door and reveal the husband’s son is the prime suspect in a murder. The perfect blend of exhilarating suspense and issue-driven book club fiction.

Title: It's One Of Us
Author: J. T. Ellison
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: 21st February 2023

BLURB supplied by Harlequin Trade Publishing
Everybody lies. Even the ones you think you know best of all . . .

Olivia Bender designs exquisite home interiors that satisfy the most demanding clients. But her own deepest desire can’t be fulfilled by marble counters or the perfect rug. She desperately wants to be a mother. Fertility treatments and IVF keep failing. And just when she feels she’s at her lowest point, the police deliver shocking news to Olivia and her husband, Park.

DNA results show that the prime suspect in a murder investigation is Park’s son. Olivia is relieved, knowing this is a mistake. Despite their desire, the Benders don’t have any children. Then comes the confession. Many years ago, Park donated sperm to a clinic. He has no idea how many times it was sold—or how many children he has sired.

As the murder investigation goes deeper, more terrible truths come to light. With every revelation, Olivia must face the unthinkable. The man she married has fathered a killer. But can she hold that against him when she keeps such dark secrets of her own?

This twisting, emotionally layered thriller explores the lies we tell to keep a marriage together--or break each other apart . . .

Barnes & Noble


J.T. Ellison is the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville's premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.




There is blood again.

Olivia forces away the threatening tears. She will not collapse. She will not cry. She will stand up, square her shoulders and flush the toilet, whispering small words of benediction toward the life that was, that wasn’t, that could have been.

She will not linger; she will not acknowledge the sudden sense of emptiness consuming her body. She will not give this moment more than it deserves. It’s happened before, too many times now. It will happen again, her mind unhelpfully provides.

There is relief in this pain, some sort of primitive biological response to help ease her heavy heart. Olivia has never lied to herself about her feelings about having a child. She wants this, she’s sure of it. Wants the experience, wants to be able to speak the same language as her sisters in the fertility arts, her friends who’ve already birthed their own. And she loves the idea of being pregnant. Loves the feelings of that early flush of success—the soreness and tingling in her breasts, the spotty nausea, the excitement, the fatigue. Loves remembering that moment when she realized she was pregnant the first time.

She’d known even before she took the test. She could feel the life growing inside her. Feel the quickening pulse. A secret she held in her heart, managing several hours with just the two of them, alone in their nascent lives. Every room of the house looked new, fresh, dangerous. Sharp corners and glass coffee tables, no, no, those would have to be tempered, replaced. The sun glancing off the breakfast table—too bright here, the spot on the opposite side would be best for a high chair. The cat, snoozing in the window seat—how was she going to take an interloper? The plans. The plans.

After a carefully arranged lunch, fresh fruit and no soft cheeses, she’d driven to the bookstore for a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, accepted the sweet congratulations of the bookseller—think, a complete stranger knew more than her family, her husband. She tied the plastic stick with its beautiful double pink lines inside two elaborate bows—one pink, one blue—and gave it to Park after an elegant dinner.

The look on his face—pride and fear and terror and joy, all mingled with desire—when he realized what she was saying. He’d been struck dumb, could only grin ear to ear and pat her leg for the first twenty minutes.

So much joy between them. So much possibility.

Olivia replayed that moment, over and over, every time she got pregnant. It helped chase away the furrowing, the angles and planes of Park’s forehead, cheek, chin, as they collapsed into sorrow when she’d miscarried the first time. And the next. And the next. Every time she lost their children, it was the same, all played out on Park’s handsome face: exaltation, fear, sorrow. Pity.

No, the being pregnant part was idyllic for her, albeit terribly brief. It’s only that she doesn’t know how she feels about what happens ten months hence, and the lifetime that follows. The stranger that comes into being. But that’s normal—at least, that’s what everyone tells her. All women feel nervous about what comes next. Her ambivalence isn’t what’s killing her babies. She can’t help but feel it’s her fault for not being certain to her marrow what she wants. That God is punishing her for being cavalier.

Of course, this internal conversation is moot. There is blood. Again.

She hastily makes her repairs—the materials are never far away. If she stashed the pads and tampons away in the hall cabinet, it would be bad luck. Too optimistic.

Not like they’re having any luck anyway. Six pregnancies. Six miscarriages. IUIs and IVF. Needles and hormones and pain, so much pain. More than anyone should have to bear.

With a momentary glance at the crime scene in the toilet, she depresses the handle.

“Goodbye,” she whispers. “I’m so sorry.”

Olivia brushes her teeth, then pulls a comb through her glossy, prenatal-enriched locks, rehearsing the breakfast conversation she must now have.

How does she tell Park she’s failed, yet again, to hold the tiny life inside her?

Downstairs, it is now just another morning, no different from any over the past several years. Just the two of them, getting ready for the day.

The television is on in the kitchen, tuned to the local morning show. Park whistles as he whisks eggs in a bright red bowl. Park’s breakfasts are legendary. Savory omelets, buckwheat blueberry pancakes, veggie frittatas, yogurts and homemade granola—you name it, he makes it. Olivia handles dinner. If she cooks three nights out of seven, she considers that a success. They eat like kings in the morning and paupers at night, and they love it.

She pauses at the door, watching him bustle around. He is already dressed for work, jeans and a button-down, black lace-up brogues. His “office” is in the backyard, in a shed Olivia converted for his use. A former—reformed—English professor on a semipermanent sabbatical, Park has launched a second career ghostwriting psychological thrillers. He claims to love the anonymity of it, that he can work so close to home, and the money is good. Enough. Not obscene, but enough. They’ve been able to afford four rounds of IUI and two in vitros so far. And as he says, writing is the perfect career for a man who wants to be a stay-at-home dad. There’s no reason for him to go back to teaching. Not now.

A pang in her heart, echoed by a sharp cramp in her stomach. They are throwing everything away. She is throwing everything away. This round of IVF, she only produced a few retrievable eggs, and this was their last embryo.

My God, she’s gotten clinical. She’s gotten cold. Babies. Not embryos. There are no more frozen babies. Which means she’ll have to do it all again, the weeks-long scientific process of creating a child: the suppression drugs, the early morning blood tests, the shots, the trigger, the surgery, the implantation. The rage and fear and pain. Again.

The money. It costs so, so much.

She has frozen at the edge of the kitchen, thoughts roiling, and Park senses her there, turns with a wide smile. The whisk clicks against the bowl in time with her heartbeat.

“How are my darlings feeling this morning? Mama and bebe hungry?”

She is saved from blurting out the truth—mama no more, bebe is dead—by the ringing of the doorbell.

Park frowns. “Who is here so early? Watch the eggs, will you?”

Even chickens can do what she cannot.

It’s infuriating. House cats escape into the woods and sixty days later purge themselves of tiny blind beings. Insects, birds, rats, rabbits, deer, reproduce without thought or hindrance.

Nearly four million women a year—a year!—manage to give birth.

But not her.

She’s not depressed, really, she’s not. She’s come to terms with this. It happens. Today will be a bad day, tomorrow will be better. They will try again. It will all be okay.

Mechanically, Olivia moves to the stove, accepts the wooden spatula. Park disappears toward the foyer, shoulders broad and waist nearly as trim as the day she met him. She will never get over his handsomeness, his winning personality. Everyone loves Park. How could you not? He is perfect. He is everything Olivia is not.

The television is blaring a breaking news alert, and she turns her attention to it, grateful for something, anything, to focus on beside the intransigent nature of her womb and the fear her husband will abandon her. The anchor is new, from Mississippi, with a voice soft as honey. Tupelo? No, Oxford, Olivia remembers; Park took her to a quaint bookstore there on the square one summer, long ago.

“Sad news this morning, as it has been confirmed the body found in Davidson County earlier this week belongs to young mother Beverly Cooke. Cooke has been missing for three months, after she was last seen going for a hike at Radnor Lake. Her car was found in the parking lot, with her purse and phone inside. Metro Nashville Police spokesperson Vanda Priory tells Channel Four Metro is working with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Forensic Medical to determine her cause of death. The Cooke family released a statement a few minutes ago. ‘Thank you to everyone who has helped bring Beverly home. We will have more information on her burial soon. We ask for privacy during this difficult time.’ Metro now turns their attention to identifying a suspect. In this morning’s briefing, Homicide Detective William Osley stated that Metro has a lead and will be pursuing it vigorously. Next up, time to break into the cedar closet, it’s finally sweater weather!”

Olivia sighs in regret. That poor woman. Like everyone in Nashville, Olivia has followed the case religiously. To have a young mother—the kind of woman she’s so desperate to mold herself into— disappear into thin air from a safe, regularly traveled, popular spot, one Olivia herself hikes on occasion, has been terrifying. She knows Beverly Cooke, too, albeit peripherally. They were in a book club together a few years ago. Beverly was fun. Loud. Drank white wine in the kitchen of the house and gossiped about the neighbors. Never read the book.

Olivia stopped going after a few meetings. It was right before she’d started her first official fertility treatments, had two miscarriages behind her, was hopped up on Clomid and aspirin, and all anyone could do was talk babies. Beverly had just weaned her first and was drunk for the first time in two years. She alternated between complaining and cooing about the trials and joys of motherhood. Olivia couldn’t take it, this flagrant flaunting of the woman’s success. She stood stock still in the clubhouse kitchen, fingers clenching a glass of Chardonnay, envisioning the myriad ways she could murder Beverly. Cracking the glass on the counter’s edge and swiping it across Beverly’s pale stalk of a neck seemed the most expedient.

Honestly, she wanted to murder them all, the sycophantic breeders who took their ability to procreate for granted. They had no idea what she was going through. How she was tearing apart inside, month after month. How she felt the embryos detach and knew it was over. How Park’s face went from joy to disdain every time.

Some people wear their scars on the outside.

Some hide them deep, and never let anyone in to see them.

Olivia is still staring at the screen, which is blaring a commercial for car insurance, processing, remembering, fists balled so tightly she can feel her nails cutting the skin, when she hears her husband calling her name.

“Olivia?” His voice is pitched higher than normal, as if he’s excited, or scared.

Park enters the kitchen from the hall between the dining room and the butler’s pantry.

“Honey, they found Beverly—” she starts. But her words die in her throat when she sees two strangers, a man and a woman, standing behind him, people she knows immediately are police officers just by their wary bearing and shifting eyes that take in the whole room in a moment, then settle on her appraisingly.

“I know,” Park says, coming to her side, shutting off the gas. She’s burned the eggs; a sulfurous stench emanates from the gold-encrusted pan. He takes the spatula from her carefully. “It’s been on the news all morning. Liv, these detectives need to talk to us.”


The man—stocky, slick smoky-lensed gold glasses, perfectly worn-in cowboy boots and a leather jacket over a button-down—takes a small step forward and removes his sunglasses. His eyes are the deepest espresso and hold something indefinable, between pity and accusation. It’s as if he knows what she is thinking, knows her uncharitable thoughts toward poor dead Beverly.

“Detective Osley, ma’am. My partner, Detective Moore. We’ve been working Beverly Cooke’s case. I understand you knew her? Our condolences for your loss.”

Olivia cuts her eyes at Park. What the hell has he been saying to them?

“I don’t know her. Didn’t. Not well. We were in a book club together, years ago. I don’t know what happened to her. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.”

“Oh, we understand. That’s not why we’re here.” Osley glances at his partner. The woman is taller than he is, graceful in the way of ex–ballet dancers even in her street clothes, with a long, supple neck, hooded green eyes devoid of makeup and blond hair twisted into a thick no-nonsense bun worn low, brushing the collar of her shirt.

“Why are you here, exactly?” Olivia asks.

Park frowns at her tone. She’s come across too sharp, but my God, what she’s already handled this morning would break a lesser woman.

“It’s about our suspect in the Cooke case. Can we sit down?”

Olivia reigns in her self-loathing fury and turns on the charm. The consummate hostess act always works. Park has taught her that. “Oh, of course. Can I get you some coffee? Tea? We were making breakfast. Can we offer you some eggs, or a muffin? I have a fresh pan here—”

“No, ma’am, we’re fine,” Moore demurs. “Let’s sit down and have a chat.”

Olivia has a moment of sheer freak-out. Was it Park? Had he killed Beverly Cooke? Was that why they wanted to talk, because he was a suspect? If he was a suspect, would the police sit down with them casually in the kitchen? Wouldn’t they want something more official? Take him to the station? Did they need to call a lawyer? Her mind was going fifty thousand miles an hour, and Park was already convicted and in prison, and she was so alone in the big house, so lonely, before she reached a hand to pull out the chair.

She needs to knock off the true crime podcasts. Her husband is not a murderer. He is incapable of that kind of deceit.

Isn’t he?

Sometimes she wonders.

“Nice kitchen,” Osley says.

“Thank you.”

Olivia loves her kitchen. It is the model for all her signature looks. Airy, open, white cabinets with iron pulls, leathered white marble counters. A black granite–topped island just the right size for chopping and serving, light spilling in from the big bay window. A white oak French country table with elegant cane-backed chairs. It was the heart of her home, the heart of her life with Park.

Now, though, it is simply the site of his greatest betrayal. Forevermore, from this morning—with the burned eggs and the somber police and Park’s face whiter than bone—until the end of her tenure here, and even then, in remembrance, she would look at this precious place with fury and sadness for what could have been. The ghosts of the life they were supposed to have clung to her, suckled her spirit like a babe at her breast never would. Everywhere she looked were echoes of the shadow existence she was supposed to be living. Here, a frazzled mother, smiling despite her fatigue at the children she’d created. There, a loving father, always ready to lend a hand tossing a ball or helping with homework. And look, a trio of towheaded boys and a soft blonde princess girl, the teasing and laughter of their mealtimes. How the table would seem to grow smaller as the boys got older and took up more space. The girlfriends came, the boyfriends. The emptiness when it was just the two of them again, the children grown with their own lives, the table bursting at holidays only. The grandchildren, happiness and racket, the noise and the joy creeping out from the woodwork again.

She is alone. She will always be alone. She will not have this life. She will not have this dream.

Park made it so.

As the detectives continue to speak, softly, without rancor, and her world splinters, Olivia hardens, compresses, shrinks. She watches her husband and holds on to one small thought.

I have the power to destroy you, too. Dear God, give me the chance.

Excerpted from It’s One of Us @ 2023 by JT Ellison, used with permission by MIRA Books.