Rhody Reads: Winter Book List by Thriller Writer Deborah Goodrich Royce

Plus 2024 upcoming chats at the Ocean House Author Series


December is many things – and I hope yours was good – but the calm of January offers a different kind of reward. With quieter time stretching in front of us, let’s turn our attention to a wonderful slate of books being released in the coming months. As a local author (Finding Mrs. Ford, Ruby Falls, and Reef Road) and Ocean House Author Series host, I am excited to share my selections. Please join me at Ocean House in Watch Hill or the United Theatre in Westerly when I interview some of these authors.

For fans of a good twist, you’re in luck with The Fury, the new Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient) thriller due out on January 16. When Lana Farrar, a reclusive former movie star, invites her friends to a private Greek island, nothing goes as planned. The guests are trapped. Someone ends up dead. The tabloids have a field day. And now, someone named Elliot Chase is about to tell us what really happened. Or is he?

January 16 will also bring us Mr. Jimmy from Around the Way, the new novel from Jeffrey Blount. A story of self-discovery, empowerment, and redemption, the novel follows James, who, after a very public humiliation, flees to rural Ham, Mississippi. A place of abject poverty, it is a town forgotten by the world. When the neighborhood is rocked by a troubling discovery, James confronts his own past and helps the community find a future.

February starts with a bang with the arrival of One Wrong Word, the heart-racing new psychological thriller by Hank Phillippi Ryan on February 6. When savvy crisis management expert Arden Ward finds herself embroiled in her own scandal, she has two weeks to save her career. As she takes on a case that could repair her reputation, she soon begins to fear that she is protecting a killer. Gossip, lies, rumors – words like that can hurt you.

Who doesn’t get excited about a debut novel? Already a shining star of the literary world, Zibby Owens wears many hats: blogger, memoirist, bookstore owner, and publisher. Now she adds novelist to her repertoire with the March 1 publication of Blank. When a wife, mother, and frustrated writer faces an impossible deadline for turning her life around, she learns more about herself than she ever could have dreamed up. It’s an exhilarating and hilarious look at self-discovery.

One of my favorite writers has a new novel out on March 5. The Hunter by Tana French takes readers back to the Irish countryside and her cast of established characters: Cal Hooper, a retired Chicago cop; Lena, a local woman with whom he’s building a relationship; and Trey Reddy, a wild teenager Cal has taken under his wing. When Trey’s father reappears with an English millionaire in tow, everything the three of them have been building is threatened.

On March 19, we welcome Allison Pataki’s newest historical fiction, Finding Margaret Fuller. Set in Concord, MA in the 1800s – in the heady intellectual world of Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne – the novel introduces Margaret, young, brazen, and unapologetically brilliant. From Concord to Boston to Rome, Margaret charts a singular course of ideas, romance – even a little revolution – and transcends the rigid gender roles of her era.



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