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With thousands of books published each year and much attention paid to the works of bestselling and well-known authors, it is inevitable that some titles worthy of praise and discussion may not get the attention we think they deserve. Thus throughout the year, we will continue this feature that we started in 2009, to spotlight books that immediately struck a chord with us and made us say “just read this.” We will alert our readers about these titles as soon as they’re released so you can discover them for yourselves and recommend them to your family and friends.

Below are all of our selections thus far. For future "Bets On" titles that we will announce shortly after their release dates, please visit this page.

Hellbent: An Orphan X Novel by Gregg Hurwitz

February 2018

HELLBENT by Gregg Hurwitz is my favorite of his three books in the Orphan X series. For those who do not know the series, its hero, Evan Smoak, was raised to be part of the Orphan Program, one of a group of children taken from a group home at the age of 12. He was trained as an assassin. One day he ditched the program and reinvented himself as the Nowhere Man.

Evan helps people in need via a referral program. Once he helps one person, they are then told that they should pay it forward by referring someone in need to him.

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

February 2018

NEED TO KNOW by Karen Cleveland was one wildly compulsive read. One of my publishing colleagues told me that I would not be able to put it down once I started it, and she was right. I was reading on a Sunday and stopped to eat dinner. As soon as I put down my fork, I raced back to the couch to finish it, vowing to return to do the dishes later; I had to know what was going to happen next.

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

February 2018

In ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL by Sarah Vaughan, James, a British politician, has been accused of a horrific crime. His wife, Sophie, is embarrassed by the accusation, but stands by him. She doubts he could have done this terrible thing, right? He is a good father, and a rising star, with connections to the Prime Minister, who he has known since his schoolboy days. But she also knows that James has a big secret from the past --- one that could haunt him if it is uncovered. This has her wondering, though she so wants to believe him.

Carnegie's Maid by Marie Benedict

January 2018

Carnegie. It’s a name I know well; after all, Carnegie Hall is just blocks from my office. But I confess that I knew little about Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish businessman who made his fortune in America. Marie Benedict’s CARNEGIE’S MAID drew me into his world through historical fiction. In it, Clara Kelley has made inroads into his family’s Pittsburgh home in the role of an experienced Irish maid. Actually she is a poor farmer’s daughter who sailed to America to help save her family by sending money back home.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks

January 2018

Marriage. There’s a line that one can never know what happens in a marriage. It’s between two people. That’s maybe not quite so in THE WIFE BETWEEN US. Here we have a marriage that unraveled, a marriage that’s about to get started, and a twist I did not see coming.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

January 2018

I read THE IMMORTALISTS in the spring of 2017 as I was interviewing Chloe Benjamin for the Author Buzz panel at BookExpo, and have looked forward to sharing it with readers since then. The central question from this book has stayed with me: Would I want to know the date of my death?

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

January 2018

My first Bets On selection of 2018 is THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, a thriller that I have been talking about since BookExpo last May when I interviewed its author, A. J. Finn, about it, as it was one of the show’s Buzz books. It’s tough to talk about a thriller without giving anything away, so here is what I can tell you.

Parting Shot by Linwood Barclay

November 2017

I have been a longtime fan of Linwood Barclay’s work, and in PARTING SHOT he returns to Promise Falls, the upstate New York town where he has set many of his books, including the Promise Falls trilogy. Here longtime readers will reconnect with Cal Weaver, a local private investigator, and Detective Barry Duckworth. The subject here is revenge and the dark turns it can take.

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

October 2017

In THE LAST MRS. PARRISH by Liv Constantine (a pseudonym for the sister writing team of Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine), Daphne Parrish lives a fairy-tale life with a gorgeous home in Connecticut, a lake house, and a luxury lifestyle with her real estate mogul husband, Jackson, and two darling daughters. It’s the life that Amber Patterson wants.

The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison

October 2017

Confession: When I first heard the title of this book, THE DIRTY BOOK CLUB, by Lisi Harrison, I was hesitant. Would this be for me? I am happy to say it completely is!

At the start, a book group tossed aside “serious reading” a few decades ago and picked up books that were “against the rules” that governed their society-ordered worlds. They talked honestly about love and real life --- and, yes, sex --- against the backdrop of these books, which included FEAR OF FLYING. These women guided each other through the messy parts of life --- you know, the ones where things happen to people instead of the sanitized ones that are all over social media --- with a trust among them. What happens at the book club stays at the book club.