Books describe dark times in personal, family life

USA Today bestselling author Mary Burton tells a story of a Texas ranger and a woman rebuilding her life after some dark times in her teen years in “You’re Not Safe.”

A body is found on Greer Templeton’s winery property, which brings the Texas rangers in the form of Tec Bragg to her door. Greer actually has recently employed Tech’s troubled nephew at her winery, having a soft spot for troubled young adults, having been one herself.

And that very trouble is what has put her into the sites of a serial killer. Greer and the victims that begin turning up all got help at a summer camp for suicidal teens. Who has been targeting them? And is Greer next?

There’s romance, a creepy killer and plenty of twists in this thriller that will keep Burton fans reading.

“You’re Not Safe” is published by Zebra. It is $7.99 and 381 pages long.

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Vannetta Chapman puts a murder in an Amish tourist village in “Murder Simply Brewed.”

Amber Wright is the manager of an Amish restaurant and shop “village,” keeping everything running and employees and visitors happy. Her personal life must take a backseat to all of her work duties. When the coffee shop manager, Ethan Gray is found dead by an apparent heart attack after a prank gone wrong, Amber has Amish woman Hannah Troyer, take over the coffee shop. But as other “pranks” happen and as Hannah begins to work the shop and come upon some strange clues about Ethan’s personal life, it seems that the prank might not have been so random and more personal. Will Hannah figure out what happened?

There’s some light romance in this workplace mystery with Amish elements as well. And Amber is a relatable heroine.

“Murder Simply Brewed” is published by Zondervan. It is $15.99 and 352 pages long.

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New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline tells the story of a family torn apart in “Keep Quiet.”

Jake is trying to bond with his teenage son, something he is finding more difficult as time goes on. When he goes to pick up Ryan, he makes a decision to let him drive home from the movie, even though his learner’s permit is restricted.

When Ryan is driving on the foggy road at night, he turns his eyes away from the road for a split second and hits something – which turns out to be a young woman. Both father and son are freaking out, and Jake makes the decision to not tell anyone, fearing for his son’s future after the accident.

The guilt begins to get to both Jake and Ryan, and then Ryan starts getting strange text messages, supposedly from the dead woman. Who knows what happened that night? And do Ryan and Jake REALLY know what happened?

The most compelling part of the story is seeing what keeping the “secret” does to Jake and Ryan and their family. There is a twisty mystery wove throughout too.

“Keep Quiet” is published by St. Martin’s Press. It is $27.99 and is 352 pages long.

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com