A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis book cover

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault
  • Paedophilia
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Child abuse
  • Depression
  • Suicide attempt
  • Psychiatric hospital
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Dark Lover by JR Ward

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Transmisia
  • Sexual assault
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Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield

Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield

It’s 1788 and Alice Payne is the notorious highway robber, the Holy Ghost. Aided by her trusty automaton, Laverna, the Holy Ghost is feared by all who own a heavy purse.

It’s 1889 and Major Prudence Zuniga is once again attempting to change history―to save history―but seventy attempts later she’s still no closer to her goal.

But in 2020 the Farmers and the Guides are locked in battle; time is their battleground, and the world is their prize. Only something new can change the course of the war. Or someone new.

Little did they know, but they’ve all been waiting until Alice Payne arrives.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Sexual assault of a minor
  • Statutory rape mentioned*
  • Depression mentioned
  • Suicide, suicidal ideation & suicide pacts discussed
  • Minor blood & gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Gun violence
  • War themes, including refugee experiences & displacement

*Note: Mentions of sex between a seventeen-year-old girl and an adult man.

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We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal book cover

The battle on Sharr is over. The dark forest has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan he set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, and finally returning magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return.

As the zumra plots to overthrow the kingdom’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. He must learn to hone his power into a weapon, to wield not only against the Lion but against his father, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira battles a very different darkness festering in her through her bond with the Jawarat—a darkness that hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of her sanity and to the edge of a chaos she dare not unleash. In spite of the darkness enclosing ever faster, Nasir and Zafira find themselves falling into a love they can’t stand to lose…but time is running out to achieve their ends, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Grooming
  • Coerced sexual assault*
  • Child abuse
  • Parental abuse
  • Starvation mentioned
  • Eye horror
  • Gore depiction
  • Murder
  • Imprisonment
  • Mind control
  • War themes
  • Chemical warfare

*Kissing under the disguise of someone else

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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw book cover

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Slut-shaming
  • Misogyny
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Sexual assault, specifically non-consensual kiss
  • Rape by coercion*
  • Unspecified mental health/illness
  • Suicide discussed and on-page
  • Self-sacrifice
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Physical injuries mentioned
  • Dead bodies
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a fiance
  • Death of a son
  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Drowning, central theme, multiple on-page occurrences and recounted scenes
  • Fire

*Main character lies to her love interest about her identity, leading them to have sex (on-page)

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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?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

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 Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea.

At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Ableism
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Cheating mentioned
  • Anxiety & panic attacks
  • PTSD
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Emesis
  • Cancer
  • Murder
  • Drowning
  • Home invasion
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping & captivity
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Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

San Francisco in 1940 is a haven for the unconventional. Tourists flock to the cities within the city: the Magic City of the World’s Fair on an island created of artifice and illusion; the forbidden city of Chinatown, a separate, alien world of exotic food and nightclubs that offer “authentic” experiences, straight from the pages of the pulps; and the twilight world of forbidden love, where outcasts from conventional society can meet.

Six women find their lives as tangled with each other’s as they are with the city they call home. They discover love and danger on the borders where mystery, science, and art intersect.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Racism
  • Homomisia
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Parental abuse
  • Suicide
  • Terminal illness mentioned
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Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley book cover

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism and racial slurs
  • Sexual assault
  • Drug abuse, specifically meth
  • Drug addiction, specifically meth
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a daughter
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a boyfriend
  • Death of an uncle
  • Murder-suicide, on-page
  • Gun violence
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What Momma Left Me by Renée Watson

What Momma Left Me by Renée Watson

How is it that unsavory raw ingredients come together to form a delicious cake? What is it about life that when you take all the hard stuff and rough stuff and add in a lot of love, you still just might have a wonderful life?

For Serenity, these questions rise up early when her father kills her mother, and leaves her and her brother Danny to live with their kind but strict grandparents. Despite the difficulties of a new school, a new church, and a new neighborhood, Serenity gains strength from the family around her, the new friends she finds, and her own careful optimism.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault mentioned
  • Suicide mentioned
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Gun violence
  • Poverty themes
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