The Dry by Jane Harper

The Dry by Jane Harper

In the grip of the worst drought in a century, the farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily when three members of a local family are found brutally slain.

Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his childhood friend, loath to face the townsfolk who turned their backs on him twenty years earlier.
But as questions mount, Falk is forced to probe deeper into the deaths of the Hadler family because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret. A secret Luke’s death now threatens to bring to the surface.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child physical & sexual abuse
  • Rape & sexual assault of a child
  • Incest (father-daughter)
  • Domestic violence
  • Gambling addiction
  • Depression mentioned
  • Suicide & murder-suicide (theme)
  • Attempted suicide by immolation, on-page
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Graphic dead bodies
  • Blood & gore depiction, including burns
  • Hospitalisation
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a son, daughter-in-law & grandson
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a father from bowel cancer mentioned
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Fire
  • Drought (theme)
  • Mugging & home invasion recounted
  • Animal death & hunting
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Traffick by Ellen Hopkins

Traffick by Ellen Hopkins

In Tricks, Ellen Hopkins introduced us to five characters tackling these enormous questions: Eden, the preacher’s daughter who turns tricks in Vegas and is helped into a child prostitution rescue; Seth, the gay farm boy disowned by his father who finds himself without money or resources other than his own body; Whitney, the privileged kid coaxed into the life by a pimp and whose dreams are ruined in a heroin haze; Ginger, who runs away from home with her girlfriend and is arrested for soliciting an undercover cop; and Cody, whose gambling habit forces him into the life, but who is shot and left for dead.

And now, in Traffick, these five are faced with the toughest question of all: Is there a way out?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia
  • Disownment
  • Sexual assault
  • Sex trafficking
  • Forced sex work
  • Substance addiction
  • Gambling addiction
  • Gun violence
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On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.

That’s what Mama told me when I was a kid, kicking his pew in church and giggling at the games we’d play. It’s what the town said when his father died and the Becker brothers went wild. And it’s on repeat in my mind the day I walk into the whiskey distillery where he works to buy a wedding gift for my fiancé… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Gambling addiction
  • Age-gap relationship*
  • Cheating

*Note: Age gap between a 19-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man.

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To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters

To Love & to Loathe by Martha Waters

The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with a very different kind of proposition.

After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover.

Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating mentioned
  • Gambling addiction mentioned
  • Death of a sibling recounted
  • Death of a husband recounted
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