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Scorched Grounds

(Normal, Alabama #2)

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  757 ratings  ·  82 reviews

From bestselling author Debbie Herbert comes a chilling, fast-paced story about family tragedy and confronting what terrifies us most.

In the eighteen years since her father went to prison for killing her mother and brother, Della Stallings has battled a crippling phobia. Her fear only grows when her father’s released. She still believes he killed her family, but the po

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Kindle Edition, 299 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by Thomas & Mercer
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  757 ratings  ·  82 reviews


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Mackey
Scorched Grounds is the second book by Debbie Herbert in the Normal, Alabama series. For those wondering, yes there is a Normal Alabama. It’s an…. unusual place and one I don’t care to drive through again. The series is set in the same location but with totally different characters so join us as we get to know the people from Normal.

Della Stallings’ father went to prison for murdering her mother and brother. Della was the sole survivor of this tragedy, one that has left her with a debilitating p
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Linda Strong
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it

Della Stallings has an almost insuperable phobia. Her father went to prison 18 years ago for killing her mother and brother. He's now been released and her fear is growing by leaps and bounds. She still believes he is guilty of murder and now that he has been released on a technicality, similar murders are occurring that seem to implicate him.

Has her father resumed his killing ... or is he being framed?

To find the truth, Della must face her greatest fears and doubts—not only to find justice for
...more
J.A. Schneider
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: suspens-thriller
What a stunner this is! Scorched Grounds by Debbie Herbert is a southern gothic thriller of devastating family drama that will have you on the edge of your seat. Della Stallings was eight when her father was sent to prison for setting the fire that killed her mother and brother. Eighteen years later, she has grown into a frightened and traumatized loner. Her fears worsen when her father is released from prison on insufficient evidence, and then more gruesome murders occur that seem to implicate ...more
Joy Perry
This was my first book by this author. I think she is one to watch. The book was about a woman Della whose father was arrested 18 years ago for murdering her mother and brother. In the beginning of the book her father is released from prison and she is not happy about it because she believes he did it. Then soon after he is released a woman is found murdered. Della thinks it can't be a coincidence and she begins her own investigation to determine whether her father killed her family or not.

I fou
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Darinda
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
The second book in the Normal, Alabama series. Della lives a quiet life in Normal, working the night shift at the hospital. Her father is in prison for the murder of her mother and brother, but he is being released on a technicality. Della believes him to be guilty. When another woman is killed, Della questions if her father is a killer or someone else is behind the deaths.

An atmospheric thriller. Vivid setting. Interesting characters. Gripping story.
Katherine
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Véronique Laplante Grenier
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to get an arc from this book by the author Debbie Herbert. I have really love this book.

Srorched Grounds is a chilling triller about a family tragedy. Della was only 8 when her mother and brother were killed. She barely herself escape the killer. Her father was the main suspect and was in prison for 18 years before being released. Which only worsen her phobia. She still believe that her father is responsible for the murder of her family but the police don't have enough proof to keep
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Amelia
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The intrigue in the second book of the Normal, Alabama series is immediate, as the prologue is dramatically unsettling. As I continued reading, my attention never lessened as Debbie Herbert kept the conspiracies mounting along with my desire to uncover the facts. Uncertainties about a prior incident continue to haunt one woman throughout SCORCHED GROUNDS, and when current circumstances could perhaps be tied to what occurred many years ago, she makes it her mission to expose the truth. I have alw ...more
Beverly Laude
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, gothic, 2020

In my younger years, I loved reading books by Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney and others who wrote in the Gothic romance genre. I am happy to have found a similar author in Debbie Herbert.

Della Stallings is traumatized at the age of 8 when her mother and younger brother, Jimmy, are brutally stabbed and the killer chases her through the woods. When her father is convicted of the heinous crime, Della goes to live with her Aunt Sylvie. Fast forward 20 years and Della's father, Hunter, is released fr
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Kirsty Noah-whitlock
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review for 'Scorched Grounds' BY Debbie Herbert
Read and reviewed via NetGalley

This book is the second book in the Normal, Alabama series. I only realised this after I finished reading the book and it made absolutely no difference. This book can be read in the series or as a standalone. I looked at a review of someone who had read both and it states that the characters are completely new in this story so there is no background story to know.

I would class this book as a Gothic crime, possibly ev
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Diane
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Scorched Grounds by author Debbie Herbert keeps the reader turning the pages without taking a break! Scorched Grounds is the second in the Normal. AL series and the suspense before the end of the book had me almost on the edge of my seat. Della Stallings is trying hard to live a somewhat normal life after witnessing the horrendous murder of her mother and younger brother. Her father was convicted of the murders and sent to prison. It is eighteen years later and Della has found out her father is ...more
Laurie Buchanan
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"The word that immediately comes to mind while reading SCORCHED GROUNDS by Debbie Herbert is I-N-T-E-N-S-E. Not the usual run of the mill white knuckle stuff, but the kind of heart-stopping intensity that only comes along every great once in a while. My jaw still aches from being in a state of perpetual drop throughout the entirety of the book. I highly recommend this compelling read!" ...more
Lisa Morin
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a wonderful, intriguing book!
After losing her mother and brother, having to deal with her fathers release from prison is just too much to bear.
When similar crimes begin happening, all fingers point to the father as the culprit, but is he really guilty?
I had guessed it totally wrong! I kept trying to figure it out, but I was so wrong!
I was left absolutely speechless at the reveal. I will have to keep my eye out for other books by this author.
Annie
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Debbie Herbert kept me guessing until the big reveal and them some. The tension was high and the detail was superb. My only complaint was that there were a lot of mentions of Della's friendship with Libbie that weren't backed up anywhere. I think the story would have been just as strong without them. ...more
Sydney Hopke
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mystery and suspense in a story and has you hanging on every word. At no point was I bored. The author makes you really think about what's going on and who the killer really is. Is it Della's father or could it be someone else but does that make sense? So many questions and you need to read until the end to find out the truth and then some. If you like mystery then it's a definite must read and if you're not sure it's a definite must read! ...more
Rambling Boho
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Debbie Herbert has done it again. From page one, you are drawn into the story. The book has everything you could want; excitement, mystery, emotion, & suspense. This is book two in a series, but the characters are not the same from Cold Waters. As with the first story, the characters come alive through the author's writing, and you feel like you've known them forever. The story not only entertains you, but makes you think. I was a tad confused about Libby. I think that relationship needed to be ...more
Juanita E. Arp
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is entertaining, action packed and thoroughly enjoyable. The chemistry between the characters is wonderful. I can't wait for more from this author. I received this book as a FREE ARC copy to read and I voluntarily leave this review. ...more
Lisa
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very crafty story. I just love this author. She was able to weave mystery and suspense in and out of the lives of so many in the town of Normal, Alabama. I have to say, I didn’t see this ending this way. I sort of wondered about who the killer was but I never suspected the part of someone else. Shoot, I want to talk about it but it would spoil it. Goes to show you that some people aren’t always who you think they are. It kept me turning pages way into the night. I liked even better th ...more
Karen
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

I think SCORCHED GROUNDS is a taut and suspenseful thriller and I enjoyed it even better than the previous story COLD WATERS. Years ago, Della's mother and little brother were murdered presumably by her father and he is now being released from prison. And now she has to come to grips with the fact that many people in her hometown are starting to believe him. She works the night shift at the local hospital and begins to feel as if she is being watched. Then another murder occurs implicat
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Laura
I did not care for this one at all. It felt a million miles away from the book Cold Waters was. Scorched Grounds was well it just sucked and was so simplistic like a child was writing the story.There was no real twist or plot and what was there was so obvious. The whole story was obvious !! I rolled my eyes and laughed out loud more times than I should have been considering this is supposed to be a "thriller" ...more
Crystal
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When Della Stallings was just a girl, both her mother and brother were killed by a masked man. 18 years later, her father’s conviction is overturned and he returns to their hometown of Normal, Alabama. Della has spent these last years suffering from a crippling phobia, one that has her working overnights in the same hospital her mother worked at before her death. That phobia is one that I’ve never heard of before, chromaphobia, the fear of a color. In Della’s case, that color’s red. The color sh ...more
Ashley Gillan
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Della Stallings narrowly avoided becoming a victim of the slaughter that claimed her mother and younger brother - however, she did witness the gruesome crime, and since then her life has been far from “normal,” despite growing up in Normal, Alabama. Her father was convicted and sent to death row. But thanks to a technicality, he’s now a free man, despite Della’s belief that police got the right man. Now, she’s got to face her demons if she’s going to finally get justice for her family and begin ...more
Lizzie Wann
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'd read the first novel in this series and enjoyed the twists and turns. I had hopes for more of that with this book but was disappointed.
Della is 26 and one of the narrators. The novel stems mostly from her story of when she was eight and witnessed the murders of her mother and brother. She was able to escape from the killer but not before she developed a rare phobia of the color red. Her dad went to prison for the murders but he has been recently released. And then someone else is murdered.
De
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Ileana Renfroe
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Description
From bestselling author Debbie Herbert comes a chilling, fast-paced story about family tragedy and confronting what terrifies us most. In the eighteen years since her father went to prison for killing her mother and brother, Della Stallings has battled a crippling phobia. Her fear only grows when her father’s released. She still believes he killed her family, but the police don’t have enough evidence to arrest him again. When new grisly murders occur—each bearing the telltale signs th
...more
Nancy
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miki
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was first published on my blog " Lecture toute une Aventure"

This book was a certainly very intense read....it put me on edge and with the winds blowing outside it could have been perfect in a halloween night really gripping, dark , twisted....an excellent thriller. While this is part of a series set in the same city this is a real stand alone i didn't know there was another book but nothing felt like missing it's a complete independent story.

The author uses different point of views to
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Judi
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the second read of this author and really enjoyed this one. It is also the second in the series about Normal, AL..Only nothing is really normal about that town!

Della Stallings was only a child when she heard her Mother and Father arguing, her younger brother was also away and went downstairs. Della ran to her room, called the police, she went back downstairs, and saw her Mother and her brother dead and a shadow of a man dressed in black standing over them. She ran.

Her father was convicte
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Mandy Parmenter
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Della's father was sent to prison for the murder of her mother and little brother 18 years ago. She still has to battle a phobia that cripples her and that is made worse when her father is released. She still believes he is guilty but the police don't have enough evidence to arrest him again for it. Then new grisly murders with the same signs start to appear which suggests her father is responsible she starts to wonder if he is being framed. Can Della face her greatest fear and doubts in order t ...more
Timothy Emmons
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A gripping roller-coaster ride.

This book was an amazing book. From the very beginning you knew you were in for a treat. And, a good one at that. And, when it really took off you were in for the long-haul. The story was gripming, well written, and well-read, I used the immersive reading to dive into this one and it definitely made it a great experience. Ms Herbert takes you right into the action and makes you feel right at home all the while driving the roller-coaster with such precision it would
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Kristi Lamont
Apr 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Three stars and definitely trending upward.

Bought the Kindle version of this because I really wanted to know what would happen next in Normal, Alabama (yes, yes, because I am from Alabama, but not only because of that).

This book did not follow up proper with all of our characters/plot lines from the first in the series, but that's OK. It's more like the town is the main character than any specific people, and I'm totally down with that.

This book seemed, ummmmmm.....more.....stealthy? than the f
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Debbie Herbert, a USA Today and Publisher's Weekly bestselling writer, pens Psychological Suspense, romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels. She’s always been fascinated by magic, romance and Gothic stories.

Married and living in Alabama, she roots for the Crimson Tide football team. When not working on her upcoming books, Debbie enjoys recumbent bicycling and jet skiing with her husband.
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Other books in the series

Normal, Alabama (2 books)
  • Cold Waters (Normal, Alabama #1)

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