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End-of-the-Year Contest 2017

End-of-the-Year Celebration

End-of-the-Year Contest 2017

Congratulations to the winners of our 2017 End-of-the-Year Contest! One Grand Prize winner received all 40 of Carol Fitzgerald's Bookreporter.com Bets On picks from 2017, while eight others won a selection of five of these titles. You can see all the winners below, along with 2017's Bets On selections.

Winners

GRAND PRIZE: Janet from North Little Rock, AR
 
SECOND PRIZE:
Donald from Sunset Beach, NC
Kathy from Richboro, PA
Kathy from Okatie, SC
Katie from Lincoln Park, NJ
Marcia from Bethesda, MD
Maureen from Cleveland, OH
Susan from Cookeville, TN
Theresa from Cambria, CA
 
 
 
The Address by Fiona Davis - Historical Fiction


A century apart, Sara Smythe and Bailey Camden are both tempted by and struggle against the golden excess of their respective ages --- for Sara, the opulence of a world ruled by the Astors and Vanderbilts; for Bailey, the free-flowing drinks and cocaine in the nightclubs of New York City --- and take refuge and solace in the Upper West Side’s gilded fortress. But a building with a history as rich, and often as tragic, as The Dakota’s can’t hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers inside could turn everything she thought she knew about her grandfather, famed architect Theodore Camden --- and the woman who killed him --- on its head.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate - Fiction


Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge --- until strangers arrive in force, and the children are thrown into an orphanage. Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all. But when she returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that ultimately will lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan - Historical Fiction

When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino Lella joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior. In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier, which they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the age of 18 to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers. Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share.

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda - Psychological Thriller


Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he's promised today will be the best day ever. But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

The Breakdown by B. A. Paris - Psychological Thriller


Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside --- the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. She just can’t forget that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt. Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her.

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs - Memoir

Nina Riggs was just 37 years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancer. Within a year, the mother of two sons received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal. How does one live each day, “unattached to outcome”? How does one approach the moments, big and small, with both love and honesty? Exploring motherhood, marriage, friendship and memory, even as she wrestles with the legacy of her great-great-great grandfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nina Riggs’ memoir continues the urgent conversation that Paul Kalanithi began in WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR. She asks: What makes a meaningful life when one has limited time?

The Child by Fiona Barton - Psychological Thriller


As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers human remains, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but she's at a loss for answers. As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier. A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. She soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women --- and torn between what she can and cannot tell.

Death on Lily Pond Lane: A Hamptons Murder Mystery by Carrie Doyle - Mystery


Springtime in the Hamptons comes late, but it’s worth it! Brisk walks on the bright chilly beach, cinnamon buns at tea time, blooming forsythia and...murder? East Hampton innkeeper and chef Antonia Bingham has settled in to town and taken on extra work as an estate manager, giving her entrée into some of the area’s most glamorous homes. Once inside, Antonia checks the heat, looks for leaks or damage, and finds the occasional dead body. Since the police can’t be trusted, it’s up to Antonia --- a modern-day Miss Marple, with an overly enthusiastic adoration of carbs and a kamikaze love-life --- to put her skills of deduction to use.

Death on West End Road: A Hamptons Murder Mystery by Carrie Doyle - Mystery


An unsolved crime is something that Hamptons innkeeper and sleuth Antonia Bingham just can’t resist. Despite a busy high-season schedule and an inn booked to capacity, Antonia has agreed to investigate a cold case in her beloved adopted hometown, East Hampton, NY: the killing of Susie Whitaker, whose brutal 1990 slaying on a tennis court in the poshest part of town was never solved. And the person who has hired Antonia? Prime suspect Pauline Framingham, a manipulative pharmaceutical heiress from a powerful family.

Death on Windmill Way: A Hamptons Murder Mystery by Carrie Doyle - Mystery


Antonia Bingham, a renowned chef and the new owner of East Hampton's Windmill Inn, escaped to the Hamptons to get away from a harrowing past. Yet now she finds herself in more danger than ever when she discovers the inn's previous owners may have been victims of murder. Will her overly inquisitive personality be her downfall as she digs up secrets in her attempt to solve the crime?

The Devil and Webster by Jean Hanff Korelitz - Fiction

Students at Webster College begin the fall semester with an outdoor encampment around "The Stump" --- a traditional campus gathering place for generations of student activists --- to protest a popular professor's denial of tenure. A former student radical herself, Naomi Roth, the college’s first female president, admires the protestors' passion, especially when her own daughter, Hannah, joins their ranks. Then Omar Khayal, a charismatic Palestinian student with a devastating personal history, emerges as the group's leader, and the demonstration begins to consume Naomi's life. As the crisis slips beyond her control, Naomi must take increasingly desperate measures to protect her friends, colleagues and family from an unknowable adversary.

The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison - Fiction

M.J. Stark’s life is picture-perfect, but there is a debilitating sense of loneliness behind her success. So when her boss betrays her and her boyfriend offers her a completely new life in California, she decides to give it a try. Once there, M.J. is left to fend for herself in a small beach town, with only the company of her elderly neighbor, Gloria. One afternoon, M.J. discovers that Gloria has suddenly moved to Paris. In lieu of a goodbye, she’s left a mysterious invitation to a secret club --- one that only reads erotic books. Curious, M.J. accepts and meets the three other hand-selected club members. As they bond over naughty bestsellers and the shocking letters they inherited from the original club members, the four strangers start to divulge the intimate details of their own lives.

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker - Psychological Thriller

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: 15-year-old Cass and 17-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family, Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart - Psychological Thriller


Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook and a cheat. Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon and an athlete. An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. A bad romance, or maybe three. Blunt objects, disguises, blood and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies and villains. A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her. A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig - Fiction


Ginny Moon is exceptional. Everyone knows it --- her friends at school, teammates on the basketball team, and especially her new adoptive parents. They all love her, even if they don't quite understand her. They want her to feel like she belongs. What they don't know is that Ginny has no intention of belonging. She has found her birth mother on Facebook and is determined to get back to her --- even if it means going back to a place that was extremely dangerous. Because Ginny left something behind and is desperate to get it back, to make things right. But no one listens. No one understands. So Ginny takes matters into her own hands.

The Girl Before by JP Delaney - Psychological Thriller


Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control. The space is intended to transform its occupant --- and it does. After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street, she is instantly drawn to the space --- and to its aloof but seductive creator. Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to her in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror as the girl before.

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson - Psychological Thriller


Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life. But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered.

I Found You by Lisa Jewell - Psychological Suspense

In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on a beach outside her house. He has no name and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside. Meanwhile, newlywed Lily Monrose grows anxious when her husband fails to return home from work one night. Soon, she receives even worse news: the man she married never even existed. Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty Ross are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. An enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable. Who is the man on the beach? Where is Lily’s missing husband? And what ever happened to the man who made such a lasting and disturbing impression on Gray?

I See You by Clare Mackintosh - Psychological Thriller


It all starts during her commute home one night. Zoe Walker glances through her local paper and sees her own face staring back at her in a classified ad. With the grainy photo is a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com. In the following days, she sees other women in the same ad, a different one every day, and nearly all of them show up in the newspapers as victims of increasingly violent crimes --- including murder. With the help of a determined cop, Zoe uncovers the ad’s twisted purpose. And suddenly, the man on the train sitting across the car --- the one smiling at Zoe --- could be more than just a friendly stranger.

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine - Psychological Thriller


Amber Patterson is tired of being a nobody. She deserves more --- a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life --- the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards; if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng - Fiction


In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson. Enter Mia Warren, who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter and rents a house from the Richardsons. But Mia carries a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this community. When family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that divides the town --- and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford - Historical Fiction


Twelve-year-old Ernest Young, a half-Chinese orphan, is raffled off at the 1909 World’s Fair. The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, famous for educating her girls. There, Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam’s precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. But as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition and first love. Fifty years later, in the shadow of Seattle’s second World’s Fair, Ernest struggles to help his ailing wife reconcile who she once was with who she wanted to be, while trying to keep family secrets hidden from their grown-up daughters.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware - Thriller


Three women in and around London --- Fatima, Thea and Isa --- receive the text they had always hoped would never come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.” The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second-rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty. But their little game had consequences, and as the four converge in present-day Salten, they realize their shared past was not as safely buried as they had once hoped.

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond - Psychological Thriller


Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple, and their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact. The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. But the young lovers will soon discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson - Fiction


The wealthy enclaves north of San Francisco are not the paradise they appear to be, and nobody knows this better than the students of a local high school. Despite being raised with all the opportunities money can buy, these vulnerable kids are navigating a treacherous adolescence in which every action, every rumor and every feeling is potentially postable, shareable and viral. Lindsey Lee Johnson’s kaleidoscopic narrative exposes at every turn the real human beings beneath the high school stereotypes.

The Mother's Promise by Sally Hepworth - Fiction


All their lives, Alice Stanhope and her daughter, Zoe, have been a family of two. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety, and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and needs to fight for her life. Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers, but who are her only hope: Kate, a nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, they must confront their sharpest fears and secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement and the deepest longing for family.

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens - Psychological Thriller


Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail, and Lindsey started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When Andrew is finally released from prison, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties and left the past behind her. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But has he really changed? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf - Mystery/Thriller


When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again. As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?

The Nowhere Man: An Orphan X Novel by Gregg Hurwitz - Thriller


Taken from a group home when he was young, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as an Orphan, an off-the-books black box program designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence asset: an assassin. Evan was Orphan X --- until he used everything he’d learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man. But now, his new life has been interrupted by a surprise attack from an unlikely source. Captured, drugged and spirited off to a remote location, Evan finds himself heavily guarded from everything he knows. His captors think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage, but they do not know that they’re dealing with one of the deadliest, most resourceful men on earth.

Parting Shot by Linwood Barclay - Thriller


After a tragedy rocks the community of Promise Falls, Cal Weaver is asked to investigate the threats being made to the accused's family. He's heard all about it on the news: the young man who drank too much, stole a Porsche and killed a girl, and who claimed afterwards not to remember a single thing. The whole town is outraged that he got off lightly, but for reasons Cal can't explain, he accepts the job. Then he finds himself caught up in a vicious revenge plot, chasing someone set on delivering retribution. In Cal's experience, it's only ever a matter of time before threats turn into action.

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline - Historical Fiction


To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than 20 years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the 20th century.

Quicksand written by Malin Persson Giolito, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles - Legal Thriller

A mass shooting has taken place at a prep school in Stockholm’s wealthiest suburb. Eighteen-year-old Maja Norberg is charged for her involvement in the massacre that left her boyfriend and her best friend dead. She has spent nine months in jail awaiting trial. Now the time has come for her to enter the courtroom. How did Maja --- popular, privileged and a top student --- become a cold-blooded killer in the eyes of the public? What did Maja do? Or is it what she failed to do that brought her here?

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore - Social History/Biography

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive --- until they begin to fall mysteriously ill. But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo - Fiction


Ilesa, Nigeria. Ever since they first met and fell in love at university, Yejide and Akin have agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage --- after consulting fertility doctors and healers, and trying strange teas and unlikely cures --- Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time --- until her in-laws arrive on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant. Which, finally, she does --- but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine.

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena - Psychological Thriller


Karen and Tom Krupp are happy. They have a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find that Karen has vanished. There’s a knock on the door --- the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town. She’s mostly okay --- except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See - Fiction


In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, life goes on as it has for generations --- until a stranger appears at the village gate. Slowly, Li-yan begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock, she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her near an orphanage. Despite being raised by loving adoptive parents, Li-yan’s daughter, Haley, wonders about her origins. Across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.

Trophy Son by Douglas Brunt - Fiction


Anton Stratis is groomed to be one thing only: the #1 tennis player in the world. Trained relentlessly by his obsessive father, a former athlete who plans every minute of his son’s life, Anton both aspires to greatness and resents its all-consuming demands. Lonely and isolated, Anton explodes from nowhere onto the professional scene and soon becomes one of the top-ranked players in the world. But as Anton struggles to find a balance between stardom and family, he begins to make compromises --- first with himself, then with his health, and finally with the rules of tennis, a mix that will threaten to destroy everything he has worked for.

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent - Psychological Thriller


Oliver Ryan is happily married to his wife, Alice, who illustrates the award-winning children’s books he writes and devotedly cares for him in their comfortable suburban home. Their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease --- until, one evening, Oliver delivers blows to Alice that render her comatose. As Alice hovers between life and death in her hospital bed, the couple’s circle of friends, neighbors and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such an astonishing act of savagery. Oliver tells his story, peeling away the layers to reveal a life of shame, envy, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation. As details about his past catch up with him, even he is in for a shock.

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck - Historical Fiction

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows. As Marianne assembles a makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart.

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin - Fiction


Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida, makes the mistake of having an affair with her boss --- and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the beloved congressman doesn’t take the fall. But Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins. She sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. This time, she tries to be smarter about her life and strives to raise her daughter, Ruby, to be strong and confident. But when Aviva decides to run for public office herself, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet and catches up. It’s only a matter of time until Ruby finds out who her mother was and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she knows.