Dangerous Habits by Susan Hunter

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Reporter Leah Nash returns to her Wisconsin hometown after 10 years away—unfortunately, not in triumph. She says she quit, her ex-boss says she was fired. Either way, she’s out of a job. So, she accepts a temporary position at the weekly paper where she started. At least the slower pace will give her time to work on rehabbing her career. She thinks.

Then a nun from a school for troubled kids dies in a strange accident, leaving behind a cryptic message. Leah’s younger sister died at the same school years earlier, also under mysterious circumstances. Sparked by the nun’s note and her own sense of guilt over her sister’s death, Leah investigates. Soon she’s uncovered a small-town scandal, a murder, and a story that could be her comeback. She’s determined to expose the truth. The problem is, someone else is equally determined to keep it buried. Leah’s always maintained that she’d kill for a good story. But will she die for one instead?

I read a whole lot of books each year, and about 75% are within the mystery/suspense/thriller genre. An unfortunate byproduct of reading so many mystery novels is that it's now rare that an author totally surprises me with a twist. Susan Hunter manages to do just that more than once within this book. This story took me places that caught me totally off guard in the most fantastic way.
I love Leah's character. She's fabulously flawed and totally human. I especially appreciate that she is a strong and independent female who doesn't need a man to rescue her, fix her, or complete her.
All the characters are unique and fun to spend time with. I enjoyed the interplay between them. The relationships and the dialogue feel real. – Darcia Helle – TOP 500 REVIEWER, VINE VOICE

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