One by One by Ruth Ware

One by One by Ruth Ware

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Panic attack & flashback
  • Sexual assault recounted (described)
  • Suicide by overdose discussed
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Minor blood & gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Physical injuries
  • Emesis mentioned
  • Death of a brother recounted
  • Death of a friend & colleague (multiple, on-page)
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Asphyxia (suffocation)
  • Poisoning
  • Death from a fall (off-page)
  • Disappearance of a friend & colleague
  • Avalanche (on-page & recounted, theme)
  • Bullying recounted
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The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia
  • Sex work discussed
  • Child abuse recounted
  • Disownment & familial estrangement
  • Cheating
  • Anxiety & panic attacks
  • PTSD
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol abuse recounted
  • Dubious consent to medication
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Miscarriage & abortion mentioned
  • Infertility mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Hospital
  • Minor blood & gore depiction and physical injuries
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother & father
  • Death of a grandmother
  • Death of a sister
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Strangulation
  • Car accident
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Blackmail
  • Captivity recounted
  • Poverty themes & eviction
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The Conductors by Nicole Glover

The Conductors by Nicole Glover

The Conductors by Nicole Glover book cover

As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Hetty Rhodes helped usher dozens of people north with her wits and magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband Benjy have settled in Philadelphia, solving murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch. When they find one of their friends slain in an alley, Hetty and Benjy bury the body and set off to find answers. But the secrets and intricate lies of the elites of Black Philadelphia only serve to dredge up more questions. To solve this mystery, they will have to face ugly truths all around them, including the ones about each other.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Colourism
  • Domestic abuse & violence
  • Infertility themes
  • Miscarriage, mentioned
  • Pregnancy, mentioned
  • Scars
  • Physical injury, including burns
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a son
  • Disappearance of a sister
  • Knife violence
  • Fire
  • Torture
  • Kidnapping
  • Incarceration, mentioned
  • Slavery
  • Captivity
  • Human trafficking
  • Hanging/lynching, implied
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The Nowhere Child by Christian White

The Nowhere Child by Christian White

Kimberly Leamy is a photography teacher in Melbourne. 26 years earlier, Sammy Went, a two-year old girl vanished from her home in Kentucky. An American accountant who contacts Kim is convinced she was that child, kidnapped just after her birthday. She cannot believe the woman who raised her crossed international lines to steal a toddler.

In 1990, Jack & Molly Went’s daughter Sammy disappeared from the inside their home. Already estranged since the girl’s birth, the couple drifted apart. Jack did his best to protect his other children while Molly found solace in her faith.

Now, Kim travels to America to reunite with a family she never knew she had & solve the mystery of her abduction.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Death of a parent recounted
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Torture
  • Disappearance of a child
  • Animal death
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Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden book cover

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. 

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. 

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” 

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Nightmares
  • Suicide, mentioned
  • Mild blood and injury
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a mother, mentioned
  • Death of a husband, mentioned
  • Death of a father, mentioned
  • Death of a brother, mentioned
  • Death of a child, mentioned
  • Murder
  • Fire
  • Plane crash
  • Disappearance of a loved one, recounted
  • Bullying
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My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite book cover

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Attempted rape, implied
  • Intimate partner abuse, implied
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Hospital
  • Comas
  • Death of a boyfriend
  • Murder
  • Knife violence and stabbing
  • Disappearance of a loved one
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Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James

Tilly & the Bookwanderers by Anna James

Eleven year-old Tilly has lived above her grandparents’ bookshop ever since her mother disappeared shortly after she was born. Like the rest of her family, Tilly loves nothing more than to escape into the pages of her favourite stories.

One day Tilly realises that classic children’s characters are appearing in the shop through the magic of `book wandering’ – crossing over from the page into real life.

With the help of Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago, so she bravely steps into the unknown, unsure of what adventure lies ahead and what dangers she may face.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Parental abandonment
  • Serious illness of a grandmother mentioned
  • Death of a father discussed
  • Disappearance of a parent & daughter
  • Bullying
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The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner

The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner

The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner book cover

Ava’s disappearance was the crack in the Rivers family glacier. I wish I could explain to you how we were before, but I can’t, because the before is so filmy and shadowed with the after.

The after is all Vera remembers. When her twin sister, Ava, disappeared one Halloween night, her childhood became a blur of theories, tips, and leads, but never any answers. The case made headlines, shocked Vera’s Northern California community, and turned her family into tragic celebrities.

Now, at eighteen, Vera is counting down the days until she starts her new life at college in Portland, Oregon, far away from the dark cloud she and family have lived under for twelve years. But all that changes when a girl shows up at the local hospital.

Her name is Ava Rivers and she wants to go home.

Ava’s return begins to mend the fractures in the Rivers family. Vera and Ava’s estranged older brother returns. Vera reconnects with Max, the sweet, artistic boy from her childhood. Their parents smile again. But the questions remain: Where was Ava all these years? And who is she now?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child sexual abuse
  • Child sexual assault
  • Child rape
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Kidnapping
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a sibling
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The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin book cover

730. That’s how many days I’ve been trapped.
18. That’s how many days I have left to find a way out.

DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible….

JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister….

MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She’s about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window…..

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Sex work and sex slavery
  • Sex trafficking
  • Abuse
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Kidnapping
  • Poverty themes
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Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler book cover

This Nebula Award-winning sequel to Parable of the Sower continues the story of Lauren Olamina in socially and economically depressed California in the 2030s. Convinced that her community should colonize the stars, Lauren and her followers make preparations. But the collapse of society and rise of fanatics result in Lauren’s followers being enslaved, and her daughter stolen from her. Now, Lauren must fight back to save the new world order.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Hate crimes
  • Victim blaming
  • Misogyny, sexism and gendered slurs
  • Racism and racial slurs
  • White supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
  • Child sexual assault and rape
  • Grooming behaviour and paedophilia
  • Rape and rape by coercion
  • Sex trafficking and sex slavery
  • Abuse, neglect and abandonment
  • Child abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Family estrangement
  • Adult-minor relationships
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicide and attempted suicide
  • Infertility themes
  • Pregnancy
  • Non-consensual pregnancy
  • Teenage and child pregnancy
  • Amnesia
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Body horror
  • Emesis
  • Physical injuries and wounds
  • Scars
  • Starvation and dehydration depiction
  • Dead bodies and body parts
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a parent/guardians
  • Death of a sibling
  • Death of a partner/spouse
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Grief and loss depiction
  • Flogging and whippings
  • Gun violence
  • Hanging and lynching
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Avalanche
  • Chemical gassing and warfare
  • Cults
  • Home invasion
  • Exile
  • Indentured servitude
  • Imprisonment, incarceration and captivity
  • Kidnapping
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Police brutality and violence
  • Religious persecution
  • Terrorism
  • War and military themes
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty themes

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