RaveLibrary JournalThe story is an intense, high-stakes thriller that also explores what it means to be a family and the lengths to which one will go in order to keep that dynamic intact and safe ... Fans of suburban thrillers or of Lisa Unger and Alex Finlay will want to read this one.
RaveLibrary JournalThe world of international drug cartels and crime syndicates has never been so gripping. Heat was a cinematic spectacle, and this sequel manages to create the same immersive experience in written form. The opening details the 1995 film, so prior knowledge is unnecessary, though interest should also spike for that film ... This novel takes time to tell the story while slowly ratcheting up the suspense to nearly uncomfortable levels. Gardiner and Mann are legends, and this book will be a best seller that leads the cry for a film version.
RaveThe Associated PressAndy Greene’s love letter to the show is a dream guide and oral history into the full creative process from the perspective of the writers, producers, cast and even some of the network executives ... Relying on almost 90 interviews, Greene lays out both the successes and struggles as he covers the history of the series. He delivers insight from the major players involved ... The result is a perfect book for fans along with students studying how television series are made.
RaveThe Associated PressRollins balances action-adventure, history, mythology and science in a truly imaginative story. All of the elements harmonize in this page-turner, which takes his team of adventurers into the very gates of Hell. This is one of Rollins’ best novels, and a perfect book to get immersed in during these turbulent times.
RaveThe Associated PressCoben knows how to weave a compelling story with intriguing characters, and Wilde is one of his best. Wilde’s journey to search for answers not only for the people he cares about, but his own personal journey, provides an intriguing plot. The supporting characters also shine. Once the big reveal happens, it would be the end for most stories, but Coben has just gotten started. The narrative veers into such unexpected directions that even a true thriller aficionado will not see the multiple surprises the ending delivers. Coben’s name on the book cover continues to mean quality.
RaveThe Associated PressDugoni blends the best elements of a classic small town mystery with a legal thriller to craft a compelling tale ... His characters and vivid setting drop the reader right into the emotional heart of the story ... Tracy Crosswhite is one of the best protagonists in the realm of crime fiction today, and there is nothing cold about A Cold Trail.
MixedBooklist... it reads like a screenplay ... The contentious political landscape plays out to realistic effect, but some jarring point-of-view shifts in the narrative take the reader out of the story temporarily. The ending seems pulled directly from a movie, which will remain nameless to avoid a massive spoiler. Hayley remains an intriguing character, however, making the novel still worth reading, even with its flaws.
RaveThe Associated PressGardiner weaves a suspenseful and horrifying tale that focuses on solving the crime rather than diving into gruesome and gratuitous details. Caitlin’s expertise and background bring a strong emotional hook to the story line. As the pursuit escalates, so do the surprises, right up to the shocking last page. Gardiner’s writing is lyrical and cinematic, and the final result is her best novel to date.
RaveThe Associated PressFinder has crafted a timely and well-written thriller that engages the reader with an uncomfortable topic in unexpected ways. The author tackles the subject head-on, and by taking one of his best characters and giving him personal stakes, the intensity of the story shines. House on Fire will be remembered as one of Finder’s best.
Michael Crichton and Daniel H. Wilson
RaveThe Associated PressWilson has crafted many books about problematic issues surrounding robotics and technology, so it’s a bit strange that he is writing about the world of micro-organisms and viruses. But his scientific skills and background play perfectly into the narrative. He’s able to convey complex scenarios and situations and make them understandable to the non-scientist, something the late Crichton had a gift for as well. Wilson’s stellar cast of characters makes the story more than just a series of events but a tale that carries weight ... The structure of the novel reads as if the reader has been granted access to a top-secret file that provides an overview of the incident, which follows the exact layout of Crichton’s classic novel. Wilson invokes the best of that story, and updates everything with terrific flair.
RaveThe Associated PressGrisham again delivers a suspenseful thriller mixed with powerful themes such as false incarceration, the death penalty and how the legal system shows prejudice. The Guardian team of characters is first-rate.
RaveThe Associated PressConnelly is the Raymond Chandler of this generation, and readers will be studying his writing methods decades from now ... He has created another novel that feels authentic on every level, and the underlying theme of mortality running through the narrative makes everything in the story more urgent.
PositiveThe Associated PressWhat could be a predictable story ends up being completely unexpected and riveting in Unger’s hands. The victims are often left behind in the crime story, and the capture of the villain is usually the end of the tale. Unger makes that story the beginning since this is more of a character study in the midst of tragedy and horror.
PositiveThe Associated PressBarclay creates a vivid story with a compelling cast of characters mixed with a truly terrifying scenario. Readers who already are uncomfortable getting into an elevator will be reminded of other classic novels like Jaws, which kept people from swimming in the ocean. Barclay has crafted a great thriller with a surprising ending and readers will sweat a little the next time they get on an elevator.
PositiveThe Associated PressThe story line in Cold Storage by David Koepp, the screenwriter for films including Jurassic Park and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, invokes classic horror films such as the 1982 version of The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Paranoia and mayhem ensue. Koepp’s writing gets a bit gruesome at times, but he knows how to invoke chilling scenes with memorable characters. It’s clear he has a background in screenplays because the novel has a cinematic flair to the entire tale. It’s scary, and a great deal of fun.
PositiveBooklistIt’s hard to stand out in the crowded field of former military men writing about the worlds they know, but Carr manages to do just that ... Carr will make true believers out of fans who love the novels of Ben Coes, Brad Taylor, and Alex Berenson.
PositiveLibrary JournalNorth has written a powerful and scary story that will haunt readers long after the final page is turned. The terrifying villain and characters who seem authentic only add to the horror. Lyrical writing also helps make the story truly haunting ... Fans of Thomas Harris or Kevin O’Brien will enjoy this dive with a new voice in suspense.
PositiveThe Associated PressParents will do anything for their children, but does that include committing a felony? That dilemma throws the story into high gear, but it feels like whatever Rachel does is already predetermined, giving The Chain an escalating sense of hopelessness. She comes across as everyone\'s next-door neighbor, making the story even more frightening and personal.
RaveBooklistAs well as delivering the expected action, Suarez explores the very real possibility that one day soon corporations will take space away from NASA and turn it into capitalism’s new frontier. A gripping and realistic near-future thriller.
PositiveThe Associated PressReaders come to expect the unexpected in Deaver\'s novels, and this story proves to be no exception. The first massive twist involves how quickly he solves the case, which in the hands of a lesser writer would be the entire tale. But Deaver is just getting started ... Deaver introduces a fascinating new character in the methodical Colter Shaw. Nothing is predictable in the case, and like a curvy mountain road, the twists are intense. Hopefully more stories with Shaw are in the future.
PanThe Associated PressHans-Peter is a sociopath like another famous Harris villain, but he does not come close to the nuance and sophistication of Hannibal Lecter. Lecter has elements of his personality and behavior that elevate him above being a typical antagonist, while Hans-Peter has a lye machine and weapons. They are both monsters, but only one is truly terrifying ... Descriptions run between vague and excessively graphic. A couple of scenes will remind readers of the brain-eating scene from Hannibal. The writing veers between elegant and repulsive. Readers who are fans of Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs will be disappointed in Harris’ first novel to not feature Lecter since his debut in 1975. Ultimately this book will be remembered for its look at the Miami area amid carnage, greed, the plight of immigrants and survival.
PositiveDallas NewsBaldacci turns up the suspense and surprises in Redemption without sacrificing character or story...the narrative carries a heavier emotional impact. This is another great novel from a master storyteller.
RaveThe Associated PressMcCullough is a master of research along with being a wonderful storyteller. He takes the history of the area, and turns what could be dry and somewhat dull into vibrant and compelling tales ... The region and its occupants truly come alive in the hands of McCullough. It is a history that unfamiliar to most, and brushes with the famous and infamous add to the surprises ... Lovers of history told well know that McCullough is one of the best writers of our past, and his latest will only add to his acclaim.
RaveBooklistLand effectively combines family dynamics with action and intrigue to create an original and inspiring thriller. The depth, tension, and character building in this series continue to impress with each installment. Readers who enjoy modern crime fiction with a hint of the Old West definitely need to be up to date with Caitlin’s adventures.
PositiveThe Associated PressHeather Gudenkauf takes a story that has many elements seen in other novels and gives it a fresh spin by telling the story from different perspectives and times ... The narrative jumps back and forth in time, forcing the reader to make personal judgments while also showing how social media and bullying can literally create a monster.
RaveThe Associated PressRobert Dugoni has crafted a thriller that echoes the best of classic Russian literature with a hint of John LeCarre added to the mix. When the storyline veers into predictability, the narrative takes a drastic turn and becomes a legal drama that will remind readers of Scott Turow’s best. This novel is destined to be a classic in the genre, and Dugoni is arguably one of the best writers in the field right now.
RaveAP NewsA master criminal and the step-by-step methods used to stop him permeate this gripping account that is both well-written and exhaustively researched ... Investigative journalist Shannon takes the reader beyond the fly-on-the-wall and puts them right into the heart of every action and situation ... One can practically see and smell everything as these brave agents provide a minute-by-minute account of the takedown of a master criminal. (LeRoux was arrested in 2012.) The level of research and detail — including exclusive interviews with the people involved — makes this a one-of-a-kind true crime tale.
RaveThe Associated PressThe latest blend of history and thrills ... fun and engaging ... Elements of the story echo Dan Brown and Berry’s first Cotton Malone adventure, The Templar Legacy. What makes his novels stand out is the level of research to make the foundation of the story solid and then adding some mayhem and chaos. After shaking them all together, the result is a thriller that intrigues and provides historical context. Berry is the master scientist with a perfect formula for the best-seller lists.
PositiveHouston Chronicle\"With Run Away, [Coben\'s] writing and storytelling are firing on all cylinders, and the seemingly straightforward tale takes a sharp turn when it’s least expected. The narrative continues to navigate that twisty mountainous road until the shocking conclusion. The book has an array of emotions and an unpredictable outcome.\
RaveBooklistThe latest in the Gray Man series continues to demonstrate why Greaney belongs in the upper echelon of special-ops thriller authors ... The tension in this adrenaline-fueled thriller, the eighth in the series, never lets up for more than 500 pages. Remarkably, each Gray Man novel is better than the ones that came before.
RaveThe Associated PressGardner knows how to weave a deeply moving and psychological thriller that pulls no punches in its authenticity. She is one of the masters when it comes to crime fiction. Fans of her novels will consider this one of her best, and newcomers will be in awe of the compelling story and unpredictability of the proceedings.
PositiveThe Associated PressSeveral strong themes resonate throughout this story including corruption, immigration, and the power of love and family ... Lescroart has crafted another wonderful legal thriller that will easily please his fans and those who aren’t familiar with his body of work.
PositiveAssociated Press\"Affairs causing marital discord and havoc are a frequent theme in thrillers. Author Joseph Finder takes these common story elements and makes them appear fresh and new ... Finder proves that what appears to be a simple idea can be elevated with great writing and powerful characters.\
PositiveBooklistAlpert’s vision of the end of the world is terrifying on multiple levels and comes across as all too believable. Using his background in science, Alpert has crafted a tale that begins with the U.S. government ignoring the effects of climate change and then abandoning human rights in a misguided attempt to control the resulting chaos. A frightening apocalypse thriller that is more The Walking Dead than Michael Crichton.
James Lee Burke
PositiveThe Associated Press\"This time, Burke’s story is not about the mystery itself, but more about the lyrical journey into Robicheaux’s past and present that will keep the readers in awe.\
PositiveBooklistPoyer’s novel effectively echoes concerns prevalent in the news. Newcomers might feel a bit lost here—this is much more of a serial novel than it is a series with self-contained installments—but Poyer’s knowledge of warfare will draw in military-fiction fans and drive them to the earlier volumes.
RaveThe Associated PressReilly has crafted a fantastic follow-up to The Four Legendary Kingdoms. The clever mix of history, mythology and geography make this one of the best action-thrillers published in the past few years. For full enjoyment, read the previous book, but even picking up this one first will make a reader’s heart race. The ending also reveals the story isn’t over, and that’s a good thing. This novel is the perfect \'beach read\' for the upcoming winter months.
RaveChicago Daily Herald\"David Baldacci introduces readers to FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine in his latest thriller, Long Road to Mercy, that hopefully is the start of a new series featuring her adventures ... Baldacci excels as a storyteller when it comes to FBI agents with baggage. He also knows how to craft a complex and compelling case for his stellar heroes to solve. Baldacci is at the top of his game here. The final reveal is both exciting and shocking. Readers will fall in love with Atlee, and hopefully Baldacci will bring her back soon.
Anthony J. Tata
RaveBooklistPower and wealth could destroy the world in Tata’s latest thriller. Jake Mahegan and his team of operatives are the best of the best, but how do you battle an opponent with money, connections, and a team of professional hackers? ... Tata has taken elements of the world’s political stage and mixed them brilliantly with a virtual treatise on cybersecurity. Throw in a charismatic villain steering the game, and you have all the elements in place for a classic, high-adventure technothriller ... This is the best thriller yet by the former brigadier general.
PositiveAssociated Press\"The novel starts more slowly than typical Lee Child narratives. But the two stories eventually collide in a surprising way, and the last third of the novel is tense and exciting, invoking elements of \'Psycho\' mixed with Stephen King.\
RaveBooklistMills took over the popular Mitch Rapp series after Vince Flynn passed away in 2013, and he has done an outstanding job of carrying the torch ... In the world of black-ops thrillers, Mitch Rapp remains the gold standard. Mills has embraced the high-concept-thriller style and continues to exceed expectations ... A guaranteed best-seller, and deservedly so, at least for devotees of adventure-driven political thrillers.
PositiveThe Washington PostUnger knows how to craft a tale that not only incorporates characters that feel real, but also weaves a baffling puzzle that keeps readers guessing. For a story that is steeped in grief and darkness, Unger’s steady hand keeps hope shining throughout, so it’s not difficult to enjoy this captivating thriller.
Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison
RaveThe Associated PressCussler and action-adventure fans will love this latest Oregon Files novel. New characters to the team are most welcome, and the sheer insanity of the story line will keep readers guessing about what’s going on until the last page of the book. Chapter one has the pacing of the climax of other thriller novels, and the pace from that fast start does not let up until the end. Shadow Tyrants is one of the better entries in Cussler’s world.
Hank Phillippi Ryan
PositiveNew Jersey Herald\"...Mercer Hennessey was a well-respected news writer but she gave it up to be with her family. She was a loving wife and devoted mother, but an accident changed everything and now she\'s a widow. She knows she needs to pick herself up but doesn\'t dare take that first step back to the real world. When her former boss offers her the chance to write a tell-all book about a significant trial, Mercer can\'t refuse. A television feed from the courtroom to her living room will allow her to stay private while also rediscovering the joy of writing. The issue Mercer has to grapple with is the case itself. Ashlyn Bryant is accused of murdering her young daughter ... Ryan is an expert at telling a story that invokes suspense with emotional resonance. Strong feelings like grief, anger and love ooze off the page while realistic characters make the reader care about every tiny detail of the story. And just when it starts to lean toward being predictable, Ryan throws in a huge twist to completely upend the narrative.
Jussi Adler-Olsen, Trans. by Steve Schein
PositiveThe Associated PressThe novel’s vast cast of characters showcases the turbulent fight for justice and what’s right for the country, while some use the power struggle for their own purposes. In the midst of this horror is a beacon of hope. Adler-Olsen writes as if he’s lived in the United States his entire life, and the novel reads as if it were written recently, not years ago. This thought-provoking and timely political thriller shows the author can craft more than compelling crime scenarios.
RaveThe Associated PressElements that are in play are somewhat visible to savvy thriller readers, and the novel echoes a classic movie from the 1960s. Proving that Barclay is a master of manipulation, he pulls a genuinely unexpected twist that throws everything revealed up to that point entirely out the window. This thriller then kicks into high gear as it becomes a race for answers and justice. The author has cast this novel with a group of realistic characters that add to the festivities showcasing a grand design. Predictable becomes unpredictable in this compelling book that echoes the best of Harlan Coben.
S M Stirling
MixedBooklist OnlineStirling asks an interesting question in this thriller ... Stirling has a gift for world building, but by focusing on a secret spy organization called the Black Chamber... rather than making more use of the historical figures and events of the time, the end result is less compelling than it might have been ... [Black Chamber] well may develop into a strong series, if Stirling does a better job of melding fictional and historical elements.
RaveAssociated Press NewsAuthor Robert Dugoni has multiple stories that weave into a beautiful narrative. What makes A Steep Price stand out is the authentic feel of how it feels to work as a police officer in a major city. With relevant and timely issues, including the treatment of women in the workplace and how some cultures believe in the practice of arranged marriage, the result is another outstanding novel from one of the best crime writers in the business.
Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
PositiveAssociated Press...another entertaining and diverting read from a true legend in the adventure business. Unlike the other series in the Cussler brand of novels, the NUMA Files runs the closest to invoking the classic feel of James Bond reimagined as an oceanographer.
PositiveThe Washington TimesJane Hawk, the compelling heroine of The Silent Corner, returns in another terrifying Dean Koontz conspiracy thriller ... The character of Jane Hawk is arguably the best character Koontz has created. Knowledge of The Silent Corner helps put some of the narrative in perspective, but it\'s not necessary to fall under the author\'s spell.
PositiveThe Associated PressKoontz has written another stellar tale with Hawk. She’s easy to root for, and The Crooked Staircase is a gripping read for almost 500 pages, though in retrospect, not much really happens to propel the story too far forward. With at least two more novels coming with Hawk, hopefully Koontz will give this saga closure soon while pursuing other potential opportunities for her to shine under different circumstances. The story line does veer a bit into the torture realm this time around, bringing up some disturbing images to go with her crusade. Even with all of this in mind, The Crooked Staircase is a page-turner to dive into this summer.
PositiveAssociated PressBaldacci is a wonderful storyteller, and he incorporates wonderful characters into baffling conspiracies ... he takes on small-town America, capturing both good and bad elements. He demonstrates why these small towns are worth saving. It’s a theme he has explored before, but it still has potency and relevance.
PositiveAssociated Press\"...a quirky, wholly original — and at times baffling — novel that tackles an Irish myth and gives it a contemporary spin, mixing it with legends and stories from other worlds ... Duchovny masters dialogue and various monsters and mythologies to weave this tale that’s probably not for everyone. While rooting for Emer and Con to find happiness, readers will also question fate and reality. Miss Subways reads like a hybrid of the TV show Twin Peaks and the 1998 film Sliding Doors merged with a love letter to New York City. A wild and unpredictable journey from Duchovny’s bold imagination awaits readers.\
RaveThe Mercury NewsMeltzer weaves a stellar tale of history, government-insider knowledge, and thrills to deliver his best book in years. At times the violence is intense — and the villains are borderline comic book — but Meltzer’s steady hand knows how to balance a fine line between compelling and discomforting. Since Zig and Nola are both artists in their own unique way, the visuals and narrative are even more intense than one would expect in a thriller.
The Escape Artist is the rare novel that one wants to read fast while also needing to go slow to savor every word.
RaveBooklistRollins’ latest Sigma Force novel is one of the best in the series ... The mix of science, history, and high-concept adventure is always first-rate in a Rollins novel, and that’s true here as well, even with killer wasps in the mix — and don’t forget those bones and Alexander Graham Bell! Rollins raises the stakes even higher by daring to present the wasps’ point of view in several scenes. Go with him, and you’ll agree that he pulls it off beautifully. Devotees of Clive Cussler and Steve Berry are no doubt reading Rollins already, but if they’re not, what’s keeping them?
James Lee Burke
PositiveThe Washington PostThe ending is a bit jumbled with who did what to whom with an ever-increasing body count, and even Robicheaux himself is in a bit of a quandary about the entire adventure. In the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. The poetic writing and depth of the major characters balances out everything. Reading one of Burke’s novels is truly an immersive experience, with every ache and anguish feeling gut-wrenchingly real. It has been almost five years since the last Dave Robicheaux novel, and it was absolutely worth the wait.
RaveThe Associated PressChild delivers another classic Jack Reacher tale with The Midnight Line ... Child has written another compelling and moving novel featuring the iconic American hero who never stops until he’s satisfied with the results. While the story is bold and mysterious, the empty landscape with few individuals living in the area spotlights Reacher’s loneliness.
PositiveThe Washington TimesPeter Swanson tells an engaging story of a woman battling severe anxiety who decides to radically change her life –– and the horrifying results that follow –– in Her Every Fear ... When the novel focuses on Kate, the writing and story line shine. Swanson made the decision to give other points of view, including the cousin and Alan, and their narratives lag a bit ...a sole focus on Kate’s perspective would have made it a classic. Either way, Swanson has crafted an effective and compulsive thriller.
Kate Winkler Dawson
RaveThe Associated Press...a stellar examination of a turbulent time in the city’s history ... Dawson’s background in documentaries and journalism makes this journey more than just a retelling of the facts. She tracked down people who lived it, and now readers will vividly experience that period as well.
PositiveThe San Francisco ChronicleA charter boat captain in Key West, Florida, gets an offer he can't refuse in Nelson DeMille's latest novel … [Mac is] in desperate need of financial help since the bank loan for his vessel is quite extensive, not to mention living in Key West. Jack, his partner and first officer on various jaunts, is old and quite cranky, so they're a perfect match to work together … The Cuban Affair feels authentic and real, and it provides knuckle-white tension mixed in with levity.
PositiveThe Minneapolis StarKaren Dionne takes a standard story involving the kidnapping of a woman and the life she experiences with her captor and elevates it to a new level ... The way the story unfolds both captivates and disturbs. Since Helena is telling the story, she brings a lack of understanding and naivety to the tale that makes everything more vivid in the reader's mind. Her past and eventual realization of what's truly going on makes this novel resonate. The present day and Helena's eventual confrontation with her estranged father is necessary for closure, but at the same time, it's a bit of a letdown. The story's finale is a bit unnecessary since by then everyone loves Helena and we care more about her growth than revenge. That aside, Dionne has written a book that invokes raw emotion mixed in with the turning of pages.
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneStrong characters and stellar writing make this a wonderful mix of small-town life with the supernatural.
PositiveSalonPhilbrick has the ability to take seemingly dry facts of history and turn them into exciting prose. The players come alive and their motivations are clear. The people he chronicles are legends, so revealing to the reader what makes them human, foibles and all, helps make sense of the events that transpired and why they acted the way they did.