Suicide House

Charlie Donlea

Publishers Weekly Summer Reads 2020 Editors’ Pick

A chilling murder in a prestigious prep school is at the heart of this riveting new novel from acclaimed author Charlie Donlea, featuring forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore and her psychologist partner, Lane Phillips.

Inside the walls of Indiana’s elite Westmont Preparatory High School, expectations run high and rules are strictly enforced. But in the woods beyond the manicured campus and playing fields sits an abandoned boarding house that is infamous among Westmont’s students as a late-night hangout. Here, only one rule applies: don’t let your candle go out–unless you want the Man in the Mirror to find you. . . .

One year ago, two students were killed there in a grisly slaughter. The case has since become the focus of a hit podcast, The Suicide House. Though a teacher was convicted of the murders, mysteries and questions remain. The most urgent among them is why so many students who survived that horrific night have returned to the boarding house–to kill themselves.

Rory, an expert in reconstructing cold cases, is working on The Suicide House podcast with Lane, recreating the night of the killings in order to find answers that have eluded the school, the town, and the police. But the more they learn about the troubled students, the chillingly stoic culprit, and a dangerous game gone tragically wrong, the more convinced they become that something sinister is still happening. Inside Westmont Prep, the game hasn’t ended. It thrives on secrecy and silence. And for its players, there may be no way to win–or to survive. . . .

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) Wow! I’ve read a lot of thrillers but this has to be a fav. Donlea expertly spins this story and I was completely transfixed with Rory, the main character. I not only kept thinking about the story but about her. I’m not sure how he did it, but from the very start, Rory intrigued me in a way I can’t explain.

The story itself is done well. Mystery is woven with intrigue and details are only released intermittently. There was no way for me to guess the ending and I love that. I didn’t need to guess throughout, I was completely content letting the story play out while I devoured the details. 

This is a well done murder mystery. I will definitely be checking out his other novels. This is book 2 in a series but can definitely be read as a stand-alone. 

The content was high in bloody details but only had casual swearing and no intimacy. There are trigger warnings for suicide, spousal abuse and gory details. I recommend this for thriller lovers everywhere!

Thank you to Shelf Awareness Pro, NetGalley and Kensington Publishing Corporation for the copy in exchange for an honest review. This book is out today, July 28, 2020.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 


  1. I wasn’t lucky enough to get a copy through BookishFirst but I really want to read this one! I’m glad the rest of it sounds as good as the excerpt I read 🙌🏻🙌🏻

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