Two written by women with women who figure in the plots:

Sharon Bolton’s Dead Woman Walking earned Auntie M’s highly recommended status, and with the out in paperback, it’s the perfect summer read if you missed it the first time, a deftly-handled psychological suspense novel you won’t be able to put down.

What starts off a seemingly idyllic hot air balloon ride over Northumberland Park near the Scottish border soon turns horrific. Drifting low near ancient ruins, the various passengers from all walks of life witness a young woman being brutally murdered.

One of the passengers manages to capture the murderer’s photo–only he’s seen her face just as she’s seen his.

This sets off a chain reaction when the killer retaliates and the balloon crashes. Now that young woman is fleeing not only the accident scene, but she’s on the run from a killer who can recognize her. Dazed and hurt, does she have the presence of mind to evade a murderer?

It’s a complicated maze that includes two sisters who are close but whom have chosen different paths in their lives and the secrets they hide. There is a cloister of nuns, and a policeman trying to salvage his life. There will be a Romani family seemingly bent on destruction. And there will be suspense and tension as all of these threads come together to create a resoundingly good read.

Those Other Women is Nicola Moriarty’s very different female-centric story, one that follows a group of young Australian professional women who have consciously decided not to have children, and the fallout that decisions causes them. These reach from office flextime to nagging from families who don’t understand the women’s decision.

The story focuses on one such woman, Poppy, reeling after her best friend and her husband confess to an affair. Still getting used to the idea of her divorce, it’s compounded when another friend tells her that the former-husband who had agreed with her on remaining childless, is now having a baby with his new wife.

Poppy’s decision to start a social media group of like-minded women finds a wide audience, until the group’s private posts start being leaked. The ramifications will surprise you.

Workplace drama comes into play, too, and soon things begin to veer out of control. It’s a fascinating look at how social media can be used to create conflict and plump up rivalries.

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