An unhealthy friendship takes a sinister turn. Almost everyone has a friend whom they barely tolerate. It’s that person whose jokes are always annoying, who tries to butt in on nights out, or who keeps coming over unannounced. For Martha, that friend is her new neighbor, Jennie.
In the quiet village of Meadcombe, three women are making wishes they don't for a moment believe will come true. By the next morning, Constance Law is dead, Melanie is missing and, in her manicured fingers, Sonia holds a cheque for a quarter of a million pounds. Coincidence of course. And so are the terrifying and macabre events that follow...or are they?
During their thirty years of marriage, Rose Redfern has confided everything (well, nearly everything) to Michael, and is certain that he would never hide anything from her. That's why it's such a shock when, shortly before Rose and Michael are set to take a romantic trip to Venice, she receives strong evidence that he's having an affair with a woman their daughters' age. Rose feels emotionally unmoored, and her sense of betrayal swiftly turns vengeful. She stumbles across a stash of powerful barbiturates, previously used to medicate an epileptic dog, and wonders if she might not find a new use for them…
Caroline Townsend is a nightmare for her children. The former actress and current alcoholic hits her nadir on Christmas Eve. Her five young children hope for a Christmas celebration. Instead, they get a fight with their mother, who's absolutely plastered and fresh off yet another failed relationship. After lashing out at her children, Caroline passes out under the bent and mangled Christmas tree. For the Townsend children, this proves to be a rare opportunity - a chance to set things right with their mother. Together, they concoct an elaborate ruse designed to teach her a lesson, once and for all.
"no real twists but a good listen"
The Dark End of the Street is a television program that pries into the business of Barry and Cheryl Higgins and their three small children, uncovering every nasty aspect of their lives on welfare in front of a fascinated and disgusted audience. The couple didn’t get rich off the wildly successful reality show, though, so why would anyone want to kidnap the kids?
Abandoned by each of her children’s fathers, Shelley Tremayne’s having a tough time raising six kids alone. When she sees a TV newscast about five boys committing a horrible crime and recognizes her eleven-year-old son Joey in the surveillance camera footage, her life becomes infinitely worse. Although Joey swears he only witnessed the incident, the other boys point to him as the instigator, a charge supported by the evidence. But Shelley simply can’t accept that her Joey could be responsible for such a heinous act.
An old-fashioned looking book, found in the Cornish hotel where Kirsty was hiding from the horror of her old life, seemed to offer her an escape. But slowly, things start to go horribly wrong and Kirsty's past begins to catch up with her, until she has to confront her worst fears.
Desperate for a new life, one woman engineers a cunning deception that quickly spins out of control... Angela Harper's life has never been simple. She's an orphan who spent her childhood in foster homes. Her handsome, charming husband Billy can’t hold down a job. And they’re both stuck in a grimy London flat with no prospects for their future beyond the periodic welfare check. That is, until Ange concocts a lie that will change their lives.
Jessica’s scheme was supposed to get her a new baby - but she didn’t count on getting an entire family. Jessica was living the perfect London life, with a great job at an auction house and a striking Italian boyfriend, Rudi. Only one thing was missing: A baby. Despite numerous visits to the doctor and repeated efforts to conceive, the couple was having no luck. That is, until Brenda, Jessica’s secretary, became pregnant. Jessica’s plan is as dishonest as it is effective.
The connections between seemingly disparate people can run deep, as Gillian White demonstrates in this gripping novel. Her chain of homebuyers, sellers, and occupants includes a frail woman whose best days are behind her, the upper-middle-class Middleton family and their suspicious neighbors, a pop star, and a sliver of the British nobility. When the Middletons’ son is accused of a dreadful crime, the hidden ties among the characters start to tangle and warp, changing their lives forever.
Widowed London social worker Georgina “Georgie” Jefferson battles guilt and public disgrace when one of her charges, abused five-year-old Angela Hopkins, is beaten to death. She retreats to Furze Pen, an isolated Devon cottage that once belonged to Stephen, the deceased brother she never knew. In this refuge, she hopes to learn something about Stephen. But the hostility of her neighbors and a series of chilling incidents - including the disappearance of her dog.
Money changes everything in this darkly comic tale of romantic revenge. When shy, insecure Liverpudlian Ellie Freeman unexpectedly wins more than a million pounds in the football betting pools, she sees it as a way to transform the life of her bitter, frustrated, and, above all, distant husband Malcolm. She hides the news of her win from Malc, and uses the money to invest in a firm that will give her husband a better job than the warehouseman position he currently holds. And, indeed, the new job does make Malc a new man - a new man who suddenly envisions a life without Ellie.
One woman's harmful past comes back to haunt her, despite her best efforts to leave it behind. When Molly Tarrent was boarding at the Farendon School, she made her share of mistakes. One included forming a witch-band with her friend, Erica. Together, they would practice their profane rites with a combination of drugs and magic. And when Amy Macey, one of their classmates, went missing, Molly and Erica were more involved than they could admit. Years later, Molly, middle-aged, divorced, and bitter, has tried to put that episode aside.
The sins of the past haunt an isolated farmhouse as a snowstorm rages outside . . . It’s not shaping up to be a very merry Christmas. Clover Moon feels trapped in her life as a farmer’s wife. She certainly doesn’t enjoy hosting Fergus’s mother, Violet, who always finds new ways to publicly humiliate her unsatisfactory daughter-in-law. But would Violet ever seek a more violent way of expressing her disapproval?
One secret can bury an entire family forever... Desmond is a man ill equipped for today's world. He is reclusive and unsocial, traits exacerbated by his domineering mother. As a result, Desmond is at his happiest when he's absolutely alone. During a birdwatching outing along the Devon coast, Desmond wanders into a cave. Inside, he finds something that appalls and terrifies him: a skeleton dressed in a nun's wimple.
"Nasty is right"
Fergus is a teenager, damaged by his past. When he discovers that the one person he had come to love has also betrayed him, he sets out to find her in the west country village of Middlehempston. He teams up with an escaped killer dog, and this unlikely doomed pair become a force to contend with.