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“The Neighbor’s Secret” and other mysteries to read in October

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“The Neighbor’s Secret” and other mysteries to read in October

A few mysteries to recommend this month:

“The Neighbor’s Secret,” by L. Alison Heller (Flatiron Books)

The Neighbor’s Secret (Flatiron Books)

Colorado author L. Alison Heller uses a book group as the setting for a complicated story of women and their secrets. At times, “The Neighbor’s Secret” almost reads like an interconnected collection of stories that come together in an Oh-My-God ending.

On a whim, Annie invites the reclusive and very wealthy Lena to join her book group. Lena was widowed years before when her drunken husband killed a young man in a hit-and-run accident. The husband then conveniently died of a heart attack in jail. Lena reluctantly attends the club, only to find she bonds with the women. Lena isn’t totally comfortable with them, however, and there is a sense that she is hiding something from her new friends.

Among them is Jen, who secretly fears that her son is a sociopath. He’s been kicked out of several schools, the last time for stabbing a girl. Now he attends an off-beat religious institution, where he’s tutored by a seemingly innocuous intern. That intern, of course, has a secret.

Even Annie, who appears the most normal, worries that there is some genetic defect that affects Rachel, her eighth-grade daughter. First, Rachel embarrasses the family with her drunken antics at a town festival. Then she becomes obsessed with running. Turns out Rachel isn’t the only one in the family with a secret: Annie’s turns out to be the most surprising of all.

“The Neighbor’s Secret” is a complicated book — you almost need a scorecard to keep the characters straight. Still, it is a first-rate Colorado mystery set around the challenges mothers face.

“Last Girl Ghosted,” by Lisa Unger (Park Row Books)

1635250352 495 The Neighbors Secret and other mysteries to read in October
Last Girl Ghosted By Lisa Unger (Park Row)

Adam, who Wren Greenwood meets on a dating website, is handsome, educated, shares her love of Rilke and is after a long-term relationship, not just a hookup. He seems almost too good to be true. You know what that means.

Just as Wren is ready to commit herself to him, Adam ghosts her. He fails to show up for a dinner, disconnects his phone and social media accounts and disappears. It’s certain that he’s not who Wren thought he was. But then, Wren has a number of secrets herself, including that made-up name.

Adam texts her: “Something’s happened. I have to go. I’m sorry.” As Wren tries to face the fact that she’s been dumped, a private eye shows up, claiming Adam is suspected in the disappearance of not one but three other women he met on the dating site. Wren refuses to accept that. It was clear that Adam loved her, and she thinks she catches glimpses of him hovering nearby. Moreover, there are cryptic text messages. As she learns more about the women, and as her own ugly past is exposed, she reluctantly agrees to help the P.I.

As Wren becomes more involved in a dangerous game, she’s not sure who is hunting whom.

“As the Wicked Watch,” by Tamron Hall with T. Shawn Taylor (William Morrow)

1635250352 331 The Neighbors Secret and other mysteries to read in October
As the Wicked Watch (William Morrow)

Jordan Manning is a beautiful, sophisticated, driven Black television reporter with a cool name. (Sounds a little like talk show host — and the book’s author — Tamron Hall, doesn’t it?)

Jordan covers crime and takes a personal interest when the mutilated body of a young Black girl is found. Police had the girl pegged as a runaway. Black groups protest the lack of police interest. “If the victim had been a white girl …,” Jordan insists.

Jordan gets into the middle of things when she interviews the mother and relatives of the girl, along with a community activist and the police. That leads to her uncovering clues to the murder, and, to no one’s surprise, she finds herself in danger.

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Official: Michigan boy discussed killing students in video

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Oxford High School shooting: Fourth student dies

By COREY WILLIAMS and ED WHITE

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy charged in a shooting at a Michigan high school recorded video night before violence in which he discussed killing students.

The revelation was made by Oakland County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Willis during a court hearing for Ethan Crumbley.

Crumbley is accused of killing four students and injuring seven others Tuesday at Oxford High School. He’s charged as an adult with murder, attempted murder and terrorism causing death. Willis made the comments shortly before Crumbley was to be arraigned.

Authorities have not revealed a possible motive for the violence.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy was charged Wednesday with murder, terrorism and other crimes for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured others at a Michigan high school.

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald did not reveal a possible motive for Tuesday’s violence at Oxford High School and declined to comment when pressed about whether she believed the victims were specifically targeted. But she said the shooting was premeditated, based in part on a “mountain of digital evidence” collected by police.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard later told reporters that the boy’s parents had been summoned to the school before the violence. Bouchard wouldn’t discuss details of the behavior school officials were concerned about. The teen, Ethan Crumbley, who is now charged as an adult with murder, attempted murder and terrorism causing death, was in the meeting with his parents, Bouchard said.

“There is nothing that he could have faced that would warrant senseless, absolutely brutal violence on other kids,” he said.

Ethan Crumbley is accused of firing a semi-automatic handgun in a school hallway, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit. At least seven other people were injured. It wasn’t immediately known if Crumbley had an attorney who could comment.

“This was not just an impulsive act,” McDonald said.

The shooting should be a wake-up call for new gun laws in a country that has become “desensitized to school shootings,” McDonald told reporters.

“We have to do better,” McDonald said without offering specific changes. “How many times does this have to happen? How many times?”

The charges were announced a few hours after investigators reported that a fourth student had died.

“What about all the children who ran, screaming, hiding under desks? … Those are victims, too, and so are their families and so is the community. The charge of terrorism reflects that,” the prosecutor said.

Deputies rushed to the school around lunchtime Tuesday and arrested Crumbley in a hallway within minutes of the shooting. His father bought the 9 mm Sig Sauer gun last week, according to the Oakland County sheriff.

McDonald strongly suggested that more charges will be filed.

“We are considering charges against both parents and we will be making a decision swiftly,” she said.

“Owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate,” she said.

The four students who were killed were identified as 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling.

After the attack, authorities learned of social media posts about threats of a shooting at the roughly 1,700-student school. The sheriff stressed how crucial it is for such tips to be sent to authorities, while also cautioning against spreading social media rumors before a full investigation.

Undersheriff Mike McCabe downplayed the significance of a situation in early November when a deer’s head was thrown off the school roof, which he said was “absolutely unrelated” to the shooting. The incident prompted school administrators to post two letters to parents on the school’s website, saying they were responding to rumors of a threat against the school but had found none.

Isabel Flores, a 15-year-old ninth grader, told Detroit television station WJBK that she and other students heard gunshots and saw another student bleeding from the face. They then ran from the area through the rear of the school, she said.

A concerned parent, Robin Redding, said her son, 12th-grader Treshan Bryant, stayed home Tuesday after hearing threats of a possible shooting.

“This couldn’t be just random,” she said.

Bryant said he had heard vague threats “for a long time now” about plans for a shooting.

At a vigil Tuesday night at LakePoint Community Church, Leeann Dersa choked back tears as she hugged friends and neighbors. Dersa has lived nearly all of her 73 years in Oxford. Her grandchildren attended the high school.

“Scared us all something terrible. It’s awful,” Dersa said of the shooting.

Pastor Jesse Holt said news of the shooting flooded in to him and his wife, including texts from some of the 20 to 25 students who are among the 400-member congregation.

“Some were very scared, hiding under their desks and texting us, ‘We’re safe, we’re OK. We heard gunshots, but we’re OK.’ They were trying to calm us, at least that’s how it felt,” he said.

___

Associated Press journalists Ryan Kryska, Mike Householder and David Aguilar in Oxford Township, Michigan; Kathleen Foody in Chicago; and Josh Boak in Rosemount, Minnesota, contributed to this report. AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York also contributed.

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Jets head coach Robert Saleh calls Brian Kelly ‘a phenomenal man’ after snow shoveling story resurfaces

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Jets head coach Robert Saleh calls Brian Kelly ‘a phenomenal man’ after snow shoveling story resurfaces

Robert Saleh tried to dig out of a snow-shoveling hole he dug himself with his old boss.

The Jets head coach used part of his Wednesday press conference to say that his unflattering story-telling about working for Brian Kelly at the beginning of his career was taken out of context.

“I feel terrible,” Saleh said.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky wrote a feature on Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur in 2019, brother of Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, on how LaFleur rose up from the ranks from lowly college assistant to the NFL.

The article included an anecdote from Saleh — Matt LaFleur and the Jets boss were graduate assistants at Central Michigan under Kelly from 2004-2005 — about the two attending a party at Kelly’s home during the winter break. But they weren’t on the guest list, they were there to work.

“We shoveled the snow and parked all the cars,” Saleh said in the ESPN article. “Then, at the end of the night, we had to go get the cars again.”

That night caused some self-reflection for the two and Saleh told Matt later that night, “that when we’re in that position, we’re never going to treat people the way we got treated,” according to the story.

When former Notre Dame head coach Kelly became LSU’s head coach on Monday, the quote popped back up and Kelly’s character took some heat.

Saleh believes the quote was taken out of context and said the story was meant to be funny and explain the trials that came with being a graduate assistant.

“Part of that article was to tell a funny story of Matt and I as GAs. Part of being a GA … every single coach in this profession, there’s a rite of passage whether you’re a GA or a QC [Quality Control]. And that was a funny story.”

There is a contradiction from Saleh because in the article he mentioned he wouldn’t treat anybody that way. So how was that taken out of context?

Saleh didn’t answer, other than to talk about what a great guy Kelly is.

“Not an indictment on how Brian treated us. Brian is a phenomenal man. He really is and that was just one of those deals. That was supposed to be a funny story that people took in a negative light,” Saleh said. “Shame on me. I should have worded that better but there’s a reason why Matt went back and worked for him. There’s a reason why I tried to go back and work for him. He’s a really good manager and treats people the right way.”

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Avalanche was 7-1 in Nathan MacKinnon’s absence. “Excited to try and help keep this thing rolling,” he said pregame from Toronto.

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Avalanche was 7-1 in Nathan MacKinnon’s absence. “Excited to try and help keep this thing rolling,” he said pregame from Toronto.

TORONTO — After the morning skate at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar confirmed top-line center Nathan MacKinnon will return to the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight to begin a five-game trip.

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