Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

Archive for the tag “thriller”

Eyes Only by Fern Michaels

Eyes OnlyThe Sisterhood series is back to take on another adventure that continues to show the power of friendship.

Gretchen Spyder is the daughter of the namesake of the exclusive Spyder Island, the land of billionaires. Four years ago, Gretchen gave her twin babies up for adoption. But now, after being in a horrific car accident that has left her paralyzed, Gretchen and her parents want the babies back from their legally adopted parents. Will the Sisterhood be able to stop them from using their money and power to take these children away from their legal parents? Or, is there more to this entire case than meets the eye? The Sisterhood’s ties will be tested as they never have been before.

If you enjoy the Sisterhood series, you won’t want to miss this one.

– Tina

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Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz

Trust No OneGrace Elland tries to live a very positive life. She works for a motivational speaker who she has helped get to the top of his game. When her boss fails to show up for work she goes to his house to check on him and finds him murdered in his bed. A disturbing clue at the scene of the murder causes Grace to flashback to when she was 16 years old and had to kill someone to save herself and a young boy.

When she meets Julius she tries to keep some distance between them, but there are sparks immediately.

As it becomes clear that Grace has a stalker and her boss’ murder is related to the past, she and Julius start investigating to find the killer. Will they figure it out before it’s too late or will the murderer get away? Grace is in great danger and the killer is closer than she could ever imagine.

This was a great suspense thriller that kept me guessing the whole way.

– Tina

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Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Blue LabyrinthSpecial Agent Pendergast returns along with D’Agosta, Constance, and Margo Green in this thrilling, fast paced novel.

When Alban, one of Pendergast’s twin sons, shows up on his front porch dead, Pendergast is left wondering who killed his son and what message they are trying to send to him. Clues lead him to an abandoned mine where a confrontation with a stranger leads to Pendergast being poisoned with a 100 year old elixir. As Pendergast grows sick and weak, D’Agosta, Constance, and Margo must find an antidote to save his life without losing their own in the process.

Preston & Child never disappoint. If you have not read any of their books before I highly recommend that you get started!

– Tina

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Crooked River by Valerie Geary

Crooked RiverWhen Sam and Ollie’s mother dies, they are sent to live in a teepee in a meadow with their father, Bear.

Shortly after arriving they discover a murdered woman floating in the river. They decide not to tell the authorities for fear that the police will suspect their father.  Bear begins to display some suspicious behavior and has lied about his whereabouts the night the woman was killed. Even though Bear is arrested for the murder, Sam knows he is innocent.

Meanwhile, her sister, Ollie, is still traumatized from their mother’s death and has not spoken for 5 weeks. Nobody knows that she sees ghosts and that they are haunting her. These spirits are telling her that she and Sam are in danger because the real killer is still out there and getting closer and closer.

This is Valerie Geary’s first novel and I am looking forward to her future books.

– Tina

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The Forgotten Girl by David Bell

The Forgotten GirlJason Danvers has not seen or heard from his alcoholic sister, Hayden, in 5 years.  When she shows up on his doorstep and asks him to keep her teenage daughter, Jason and his wife are shocked. The last time Hayden stayed with them she stole their car and crashed it into a tree. This time she appears to be clean and sober. She says she has business in town that she needs to take care of as part of her 12 step program. Jason and his wife agree to keep their niece for 48 hours.

When Hayden has not returned after 48 hours and they are unable to contact her they fear the worst. Her daughter takes off to try and find her mother. Jason starts investigating and discovers that something that happened on his high school graduation night may be connected to Hayden’s disappearance. Will Jason find his sister before something bad happens to her? Or, is it already too late?

This had just enough twists and turns to keep you turning the pages.

– Tina

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The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

The Silent SisterRiley MacPherson’s beloved father has just died and she is devastated. Her mother died when she was younger, her older sister committed suicide when Riley was two, and all she has left is her emotionally damaged brother who barely wants anything to do with her. Riley is lonely and longs to have a family again.

As she begins going through her father’s estate, she discovers a curious postcard that leads her to a PO Box that is supposedly her father’s, although it’s not his name on the box. As she digs deeper into her family’s past she starts to wonder about her sister’s suicide.

The more people she speaks to about her father’s life, the more she discovers how little she really knows. When she finds evidence that her sister may actually be alive she is more determined than ever to piece what’s left of her family back together.

In the end, she must decide if the consequences of her actions are worth destroying the lives of the people she loves the most.

This is the second novel by Diane Chamberlain that I have read and she has become one of my favorite authors.

– Tina

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Spark by John Twelve Hawks

SparkIn a near future where ‘nubots’ are steadily replacing human workers and surveillance is ever more pervasive, being dead has its advantages. 

So discovers Jacob Underwood, who has recovered from a critical motorcycle accident able to function physically, but who believes he is nonetheless internally dead, with no sensations, no emotions, and no attachments – the Spark of Jacob’s soul disconnected from the Shell of his body.  

This predicament turns out to be ideal for a man employed as a contract killer for a large multinational corporation, a job which leads Jacob on a series of globe-hopping travels, and progressively draws him into a complex web of intrigue and conspiracy.

The novel combines many of the familiar features of mysteries and speculative fiction with an unusual metaphysical twist.  A bit darker and more reflective than the average summer read, but clever and absorbing, and fans of science fiction and crime thrillers alike will find something to enjoy.

– Stacey

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The Perfect Witness

The Perfect Witness

The Perfect Witness by Iris Johansen

As a child, Teresa Casali discovered that she has a strange psychic gift –  she can read other people’s memories. After growing up with abusive parents who used her abilities for their own gains she trusts no one. Her gift is a curse to her in many ways. At sixteen, her stepfather tries to have her killed because he feels threatened by her and she is rescued by a man named Mandak. Although she doesn’t trust Mandak she has no other choice but to go on the run with him.

Mandak has his own special psychic gifts and he trains Teresa to control her own before she loses her sanity. But, he also has his own agenda that he refuses to reveal to her.  After months of physical and mental training he puts her into a Witness protection program with a new name and she goes to live with friends of his, although he visits every few months to make sure she is ok and to reinforce her mental blocks.

Seven years later, under her new name of Allie, she has finally learned to completely control her gift and to block out most people’s memories. She has grown to love the elderly couple that she has lived with the past 7 years and she is about to graduate college.

Then, her cover is blown and the very people she loves the most are in great danger. Once the truth comes out, Allie decides that she needs to use her gift to help Mandak put an end to a man who has been slaughtering his family for years even while putting her own life at risk.

I mostly enjoy Iris Johansen’s books and she has great story lines, however, I wish she would develop some unique characters. Since her Eve series, every book has a very strong willed, in your face, woman character that doesn’t trust anyone and they all have the same personalities. I would like to see a new type of character in her future books.

– Tina

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Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

jpegI will start off by saying that this book is not for the faint at heart. The murders are gruesome. That being said, if you love murder mysteries that are full of suspense you will love this book.

Detective Gabriella Versado is not new to the murder scene. This case, however, has disturbed her more than any other. Not only has the victim been horrifyingly mutilated and fused together with an animal, but the victim is an 11 year old child. Soon more victims follow, all left in similar fashion to the first one.

Meanwhile, Detective Versado’s teenage daughter, Layla, is playing with fire of her own with her best friend Cas. They have targeted an online child sex predator and have decided to try to lure him in on their own. But have they bitten off more than they can chew? When they lure him to a public meeting place things get out of hand and they realize that they may have invited a monster’s anger on to them.

Enter Jonno, a freelance writer who will do whatever it takes to get the story. When videos and a blog of the murders go viral on the internet the perpetrator of the crimes seems to thrive on this as does Jonno.

I will say that by the end of the book, the story line takes a very bizarre turn. There is definitely a touch of Stephen King and Dean Koontz in this book, from the gory crime scenes to the supernatural touch in the end. Overall I enjoyed it and would definitely read more from this author.

– Glenda

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The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan

The PloughmenThe “plowmen” of the title are Valentine Millinaki, a sheriff’s deputy in Montana, and his charge, John Gload, an aging murderer awaiting trial. Val does the night shift at the county jail in addition to his day job, which consists of tracking through the wilderness to find the missing and the most likely dead. He and Gload, a criminal of terrifying skill and little remorse, form a most unlikely friendship in this spare, beautifully written literary fiction.

One of few things the men have in common is their love of the land. Although Gload lived on the run much of the time, he always returned to the quiet farm he loved to regroup, drawing solace and strength from the land. In the same way, Val has a connection with the place he calls home, a cabin off the grid that his wife comes to hate and eventually leaves, resenting his long hours.

The men exchange stories in the dark of the jail, coming to trust each other. Val’s superiors want him to leverage this relationship to get evidence against Gload; his colleagues want to get the credit for solving old crimes. Before Gload will come to trial, some truths are revealed that will change everyone for good.

This is a debut novel for Kim Zupan, crafted with poetic, graceful prose and understanding of place. I look forward to reading more from him.

– Stacey

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