PositiveBook ReporterSecures Anna Downes’ reputation as a psychological thriller writer to keep an eye on.
PositiveBookreporter... does indeed lay on the dark humor in thick doses, and much of what is covered here is directly out of those Philosophy 101 courses that most readers probably slept through in college. If that does not describe you, hang on for a treat, as this is highly intelligent reading of the tallest order with much to unpack. Steve Toltz is obviously having a ton of fun guiding you on this existential journey, which will pay you back for sitting through those classes in more ways than you can imagine.
RaveBookreporterStephanie Barron... does a masterful job of recreating the time period ... This book feels like a portal that allows us to step back into the year 1816, where we can live and breathe with Jane and go on an adventure with her ... Once again, Barron has penned an above-average mystery, made all the more satisfying that the great Jane Austen gets to assume the role of investigator. She uses all her guile and wit to help understand the human condition, and the complexities and motives of the human mind. Jane and the Year Without a Summer is another winner!
RaveBookreporter... terrific ... Wrobel does so in such a clever and subtle way that it takes until the very end of the book for readers to put together all the clues of this puzzle ... deserves to be one of the most talked-about books of 2022.
PositiveBookreporterThe most alarming discovery...will feature some images that readers, myself included, will not soon forget ... a novel of secrets. It is also an allegory for what human beings are doing to the natural world and the terrifying possibility that Mother Nature might one day strike back in unpredictable ways. All in all, this is a memorable and literally chilling read.
RaveBook ReporterPeter Swanson is one of my go-to authors, and he keeps getting better with each new book he writes. His latest effort, Nine Lives, is no exception ... Terrific ... Chilling ... I will not spoil any of the mastery that Peter Swanson spins together here, but he does come up with a backstory that connects everything in such a way that your head will be spinning. At the same time, you will appreciate his generous nod to classic mystery tales when the denouement is revealed.
RaveBook ReporterWith the exciting publication of A Deadly Affair, we are gifted with a number of stories, most of which were written for magazines and newspapers ... There is also a special treat at the end of the book ... Christie fans will especially appreciate the short story version of her classic novel, Death on the Nile ... A Deadly Affair is not to be missed for fans of Dame Agatha’s work, as well as those who are just discovering the Mistress of Murder.
M C Beaton
PositiveBookreporterGreen provides us with a terrific Foreword in which he not only pays fine tribute to Beaton but also talks about Sergeant Hamish Macbeth, perhaps her greatest fictional creation ... Beaton and Green do a superb job keeping the red herrings coming and the plot twists jumping out at you until the finale. You’ll just have to strap on your favorite kilt and visit scenic Lochdubh to find out exactly what is going on here.
Thomas Olde Heuvelt
PositiveBookreporter... a real spine-tingler of a read, and the chapter references are constant reminders that there may not be a happy ending in sight here.
RaveBookreporterWith the release of this collection of brilliant short stories, bestselling and award-winning author Laura Lippman gets an opportunity to really strut her stuff ... just sit back and enjoy Lippman working in the short form, where she can be fearless and provide something for each of her loyal fans ... Lippman may have saved the best—certainly the most poignant and timely tale—for last. \'Just One More\' ... This story really hits home; it’s extremely relatable to all the new habits and survivor skills we had to learn during our lockdown period. For me, it was TV shows, jigsaw puzzles and, of course, terrific books like this one to get me through. Thank you, Laura Lippman, for taking the time to share your experiences through Kelley and Tom with us!
Emily St. John Mandel
RaveBook ReporterThe unbridled approach that Emily St. John Mandel brings to Sea of Tranquility raises it to the status of an instant classic ... Reading her prior novels will not prepare you for the transcendent ideas and feelings you are about to take away from this book ... The finale of Sea of Tranquility is so beautifully plotted and planned out that it will send chills down your spine one minute and have you near tears the next. Emily St. John Mandel has created a masterpiece; it is not the best book she has written, but it is the book that we deserve and need right now. It will sink deep into your psyche and threaten to haunt your thoughts and dreams endlessly. The images and ideas will also ease your mind during a moment in time when mankind has far more questions than answers, and great literature can continue to be the panacea to the masses that it has always been.
PositiveBookreporterThere are so many Japanese names here that it was difficult to tell who was who. My list helped me to separate the good guys from the bad guys and the characters from the past vs. those from the present, making the reading experience so much more worthwhile for me ... The ending of Silent Parade is extremely clever and unpredictable.
RaveBookreporter... the story that James Rollins was born to write ... a full-blown epic fantasy novel ... a work of speculative fiction of the highest order ... Rollins shows off his limitless imagination with so many juicy and amazing people, places and things that it would be a crime to spoil any of it. There is much to savor in The Starless Crown. It feels like a novel that wants to be read in one sitting, even though the total page count approaches 600.
RaveBookreporterChevy Stevens...has been a go-to writer for solid, intricately plotted thrillers featuring very real characters who find themselves in extreme situations. Her latest novel, Dark Roads, might rank as one of her best ... The inevitable occurs when Chevy Stevens, in a brilliant bit of plotting, introduces Beth to Hailey when they meet on the mountain. They individually and collectively continue their hunt for the truth—and they might not like what they find. The finale is tense and features quite a shocker, proving that Dark Roads is well worth the trip.
RaveBookreporter... a story that will infect the dreams of readers and leave them with some unsettling imagery, all of which has been masterfully crafted by a talented author who keeps adding to his already impressive resume.
RaveBookreporterJohn Connolly...continues to mix thrills with a touch of the supernatural, and the result is a unique series that never ceases to surprise ... The final showdown in the Cemetery of the Nameless and the anticipated confrontation with the mysterious Zorya are worth the price of admission ... The Nameless Ones is one of the best novels I have read in this series, perhaps due to the fact that Charlie is able to step aside to allow some of the tertiary characters to take center stage in a big way. The pacing is tense throughout, and the chess game between the two groups of assassins will keep your heart jumping from start to finish.
PositiveBookreporterI always enjoy seeing the role of the press in the media and how it plays out in works of both fiction and nonfiction. Tamron Hall definitely leans on her own experience to give us an up-close and personal depiction of the TV journalist and the incredibly fast pace with which they must work on a daily basis. She is off to a good start here.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
RaveBookreporterZafón was a brilliant writer, and as we awaken from the bad dream that has spoiled our collective consciousness, it is time to appreciate this book that shows just how talented he was at manipulating language and words ... Writing in the short form was obviously less confining for him as much of his work rings of poetic vision and imagery that could very well exist in a dream-like countenance or mist, as the book’s title suggests. His mastery of the written word is at full heights throughout, and some of the best moments as a reader are the streams of consciousness that permeate his descriptions ... There is much to savor in The City of Mist, and I am thankful that Carlos Ruiz Zafón provides us a literary beacon through the mist that has been the past two years.
RaveBookreporterThere is perhaps no author working today who writes a police procedural quite like Michael Connelly. His language is just gritty enough to provide the right amount of credibility needed for readers to believe that they are listening to actual discussions that might take place both on the street and back at the squad room. He also is a master of dialogue who infuses his characters with enough straight talk, most likely taken from his years as a reporter, that it instantly creates three-dimensional, realistic figures on the page ... an outstanding book for loyal readers of Connelly’s work and viewers of Amazon Prime’s sorely missed \'Bosch\' series.
Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa, with Philip Lerman
RaveBookreporterI enjoyed their first conversation with Edie Falco, who portrayed Tony Soprano’s wife, Carmela ... It is funny to read that Silvio was the only one who could bring bad news to Tony just as Van Zandt used to do with Bruce [Springsteen] ... Michael and Steve don’t recount episode by episode in the book, instead focusing on great singular moments ... a wonderful reading experience, thanks to all the memories, stories and behind-the-scenes anecdotes ... To quote Michael and Steve in this fun and complete retrospective, \'Some things never fade away.\'
RaveBookreporterThe book does an excellent job of using modern-day technology and applications and tying them into a psychological thriller that could have been directed by Alfred Hitchcock ... Lisa Unger drops enough tidbits and red herrings to keep the wheels turning for the armchair detective reader. Last Girl Ghosted is so intricately plotted that this will be no easy task.
RaveBookreporter... another terrific thriller that will keep you guessing to the very end ... a triangle of secrets, deceit, crosses and double-crosses to the point that your head will be spinning. There is not a wasted word in Sleepless, and Hausmann ties everything up nicely. She also includes a heartwarming bit at the end, which makes the effort of reading this joyfully complex novel all worthwhile.
RaveBookreporter... [a] tense and deeply layered novel ... There is so much good stuff and not a single wasted word in Litani ... Lourey has accomplished quite a feat here with a coming-of-age novel buried inside a very dark psychological thriller that deals with some of the most vile crimes adults commit against children. You will get through this darkness because Frankie Jubilee is your beacon of light, and you will not be disappointed in the ending. I really appreciated the Litani Editing Playlist at the end of the story, featuring all of the songs from 1984 that Frankie listened to and probably had on various mix tapes.
RaveBookreporterPaul Auster has composed this weighty biography, and it truly gives a deep dive into his life and work. Auster is an expert wordsmith, and his admiration for his subject is evident on every page.
Catherine Ryan Howard
RaveBookreporterEach chapter is set on a different day during this timeline. It\'s a genius move from Howard, who can keep readers off-balance thanks to this disparate storytelling, which skillfully reveals and hides key plot twists ... 56 Days is pure perfection and a psychological thriller of the highest order.
RaveBookreporter... while there are horrific moments, this is a psychological thriller of the highest order. It’s a story that will get under your skin and keep you feeling uneasy right through to the dramatic ending ... It won’t be long before the culprit is revealed…and boy, what an impact this character will have on the tale. At no point will you feel good about the situation and most likely will turn each page in fearful anticipation of what might happen next. I will not spoil the fun in this review, but I will say that Imogen will step up and make a bold choice that will take the book to an entirely different level. Getaway is not for the squeamish ... an unforgettable reading experience.
RaveBookreporterThe challenge in writing a review of a 700-page book on Wilde is to avoid making it sound like a book report. Any worthwhile book report on this tome would be dozens of pages long ... All of this tremendous detail is deftly put together by Matthew Sturgis, who goes far deeper than I am highlighting here. I am proud to say that Oscar Wilde’s wit and incredible body of work are still quite relevant today ... Thankfully, we have this splendid work from Sturgis that hopefully will lure more readers to Wilde’s classic output.
PositiveBookreporterThat this is a work of fiction in no way demeans the story or makes it any less gripping or believable ... Throughout the novel, Spiner sprinkles in various stories and anecdotes that devoted fans will just eat up ... Fan Fiction does not leave you hanging as it reveals who wrote the Lal letters. However, this is one of those works where seeing a solution is not necessarily as important as just enjoying the ride. There is a very thin line between fans, fandom and the objects of their affection. As Brent Spiner so succinctly puts it: Where would we be without the fans?
Max Seeck, tr. Kristian London
PositiveBook ReporterReaders will be kept on edge as every decision and move that has been made by local law enforcement may be tainted and corrupt ... Not only is it interesting to see how law enforcement works in other countries, these Nordic-based tales bring along stark and frigid conditions that are their everyday life, which adds even more adversity to an already difficult job.
PositiveBookreporter\"The Missing Hours deals with some profoundly serious matters in a realistic way, which is one of Julia Dahl’s many strengths. She provides us with relatable, three-dimensional characters who act like we might act in most situations ... The Missing Hours takes us up and down the emotional ladder with a stop at each rung, where we are privy to everything going through Claudia’s mind. Being the victim of a violent act is a traumatic experience like no other and could take years for the mind to process. That we get to witness Claudia in the exceedingly initial stages of this memory is what keeps the book humming with life and unpredictable throughout.
PositiveBookreporterJemima is such a great character that you would swear she was a fictional creation and not a flesh-and-blood young woman ... Many times I felt like I was reading a work of fiction from James Fennimore Cooper ... Matthew Pearl’s research is impressive, and his branching off into narrative nonfiction storytelling is a huge hit. I hope we haven’t seen the last of this kind of work from him.
PositiveBookreporterCash does an excellent job of introducing characters and then spinning them into the narrative, leaving it up to the reader to decipher the role that their interactions might play in the plot ... The sordid history of the town is peeled back by Cash like an onion, with each layer carrying deeper revelations that slowly drive the story toward the guilty parties. Without giving too much away, there is a sort of \'non-ending\' feel...that reminded me of the aforementioned No Country for Old Men This deep connection really hit home for me and makes the novel follow the lines of Southern noir with a mix of present and past sins for which someone must be held accountable.
PositiveBookreporterAs you turn the last page, I bet you will be happy to return to our turbulent present ... 1979 is classic Val McDermid and great fun from start to finish ... I especially loved the musical references and her inclusion of \'My 1979 Top 40.\' It’s an impressive list, and I could have seen myself swapping mix tapes with her. There are musical references throughout the story, including one about my favorite Bruce Springsteen album, Darkness on the Edge of Town. \
RaveBookreporter[Dark Things I Adore] is one of the most interesting psychological thriller tales of revenge I have read in quite some time ... The last third of Dark Things I Adore is a nerve-wracking ride that opens up more and more revelations about Max, Audra and her mother. It makes for some great page turning as you eagerly will race through the book to see how everything wraps up.
RaveBookreporter... opens with one of the best written and darkly humorous passages I have ever read ... This is a Hitchcockian thriller of the highest order with secrets, revelations and twists around every corner right through to the very end ... a tremendous read, and I hope this is just the start of a long and prolific writing career for the talented Amanda Jayatissa.
RaveBookreporterAllen Eskens is able to quietly create characters and stories that sneak up on you, get under your skin and make you think. His latest release, The Stolen Hours, is no exception. Set in his home state of Minnesota, it combines his personal knowledge of the legal system with an outstanding redemption tale ... What transpires throughout the book is some brilliant plotting by Allen Eskens. Every time it seems that things are going to work out for Lila, something in the form of a fancy plot twist spoils that optimism. You cannot help but feel for her and the pain she has gone through. A near-perfect thriller, The Stolen Hours is a true nail-biter that will have you reading long into the night.
RaveBookreporter... Norton has created a work that is completely different from his previous literary efforts and may find him placed side-by-side on those very same bookshelves with authors of \'serious\' fiction. That is how impressed I am with his latest novel ... Home Stretch demands to be read quickly and savored. It is a heartfelt tale of love, loss, secrets and the strength that is necessary to live your best life. As I finished the book, I kept wondering if any part of it was autobiographical. Norton does thank all the people who stayed in Ireland to fight for the modern, tolerant country it has become while he chose to take the easy way out by leaving to find places where he could be himself. He may need to dust off space on the awards shelf next to his eight BAFTAs to make room for the well-deserved accolades he should receive for this wonderful novel.
RaveBookreporter... a true rollercoaster ride of a novel that kicks off immediately with a heart-pounding event and never lets go until the very end ... The final third of You Can Run is a non-stop series of events that utilizes all of Karen Cleveland’s counterterrorism training. She also has some nice plot twists up her sleeve, including a big one that she reveals on the novel’s last page.
PositiveBookreporterThe final third of the book is a real rollercoaster ride ... Goodman saves some great plot twists for the final pages, including a big one that I never saw coming ... a timely novel but also one that connects the sins of the past to those of the present.
PositiveBookreporter... a solid, edge-of-your-seat thriller ... just when the critical moment is at hand, Parks throws us a major curveball. Unthinkable is an effective and memorable work that will force readers to think hard about the circumstances in which these characters are involved, while wondering what they would do if they were faced with the same challenges.
RaveBookreporter... the plot has such an astute social conscience that I almost felt like I was reading an Anne Perry novel ... So much happens within this complex plot, and there is a level of suspense throughout the book that readers of the previous 11 novels haven’t experienced. Those who are aware of the historical events that drive this story will find themselves torn between the sentiments of the British and Irish characters. An Irish Hostage is yet another triumph for Charles Todd and one of the most memorable additions to the series.
Camilla Läckberg, tr. Ian Giles
RaveBook ReporterReaders will get to see the rollercoaster arc that this extraordinary woman takes ... a story that readers will not soon forget.
RaveBookreporter... tense and perfectly paced ... an absolutely stunning way to end this taut novel ... made such an impression on me that I want to seek out Dan Fesperman’s backlist. This is the thinking-man’s espionage book and the type of story you will have a difficult time not finishing in one sitting. Fesperman’s writing style does not overload you with data and acronyms, but makes you feel like you are there with the characters and experiencing each plot twist along with them. This brilliant read is not to be missed.
RaveBookreporterLaura McHugh has a knack for taking family situations and elevating them to the level of literary thrillers that will keep you hooked straight through to the end of the story ... Laura McHugh has an impressive talent for writing utterly readable stories that you just can’t put down, and What\'s Done in Darkness is no exception. The final third of the novel is a true rollercoaster ride that purports not to end safely. Sarah is a complex protagonist with whom readers can sympathize, even though some of her actions will yield many unsettling moments during this tense thriller.
RaveBookreporter... one of the best in the series ... an engaging novel with just enough bits of legend, archaeological wonders and a touch of the supernatural to keep the interest level quite high right through to the denouement. Elly Griffiths is always a top-notch plotter and keeps the proceedings just dark enough that you know you are not reading a mere tea cozy mystery. It’s great spending time with Ruth and the other characters who make up this splendid series…which just may include a large, black devil dog of sorts.
PositiveBookreporter[Phillips] is flexing her writing muscles once again as Family Law is a completely different type of novel but still possesses her trademark of complex female relationships in dangerous circumstances ... Readers become keenly aware of how important it was for women to bond with one another and stay connected at a time when they were fighting for equal rights.
Sara Flannery Murphy
PositiveBookreporterMurphy has quite a few tricks up her sleeve. Not only does she deliver on the mash-up of sci-fi/thriller/mystery, she devises some mind-blowing plot twists that will completely derail where you thought GIRL ONE was going. Don’t miss this multilayered story of feminine identity, mother-child relationships, and the power of determination within some special young women living in a man’s world.
RaveBookreporterAs a longtime fan of psychological thrillers, whether they be in novel or movie form, I appreciate the often intricate details and plot elements that keep you guessing and second-guessing from beginning to end. Every once in a while, you get one that offers a far simpler premise and then pulls the rug out from under you when you least expect it ... This is what occurs in The Dissapearing Act, British author and actress Catherine Steadman’s latest book. She deftly sets things up with a seemingly harmless situation that slowly begins to snowball into something far more sinister ... a near-flawless work of psychological suspense that sneaks up on you, creeps into your psyche, and turns the tables on all that you thought you knew about everyone involved. As an actor, I appreciated Steadman’s use of the cattle call audition process as the foundation for this nail-biting thriller. Those situations are stressful enough without having them take the bizarre turn that only an actress and top-notch writer could have dreamt up.
RaveBookreporterFlynn Berry...shows off her crisp writing style and deft plotting throughout Northern Spy. It is a fast and furious read that literally is tough to put down and demands to be finished in a single sitting. Your heart will be in your throat much of the time as the bonds of sisterhood and loyalty to the cause will be stretched to the breaking point.
RaveBookreporterAs a reader of dark horror and fantasy for most of my life, I do not scare easily. However, Goblin put some chills down my spine and created vivid horrific images that I will not soon forget ... what an ending ... I especially enjoyed how the six stories do not run into each other but are cleverly sprinkled with suggestions and brief allusions to the others. This collection is a wicked hybrid of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone and Stephen King’s Creepshow as each story features a blend of the ironic and the horrific. It is a must-read for any fan of the supernatural genre.
PositivebookreporterLongtime readers of Perry’s work will recognize her protagonist’s last name; Daniel is the son of Thomas Pitt, who has been featured in a long-running series with his wife, Charlotte ... Anne Perry always includes a morality tale within her work that makes it so timely to the period and engaging. Here, it’s a depiction of the large difference in classes, much like a Dickens novel. No one who is wealthy or in a position of power seems to be trustworthy or above getting their hands dirty. It makes for another terrific mystery, and it’s wonderful to see Daniel Pitt grow into his own man.
RaveBookreporterThere are not many thriller authors embodying the icy, chilly crime noir genre like Icelandic writer Ragnar Jónasson ... a haunting tale with prose as chilly as the Icelandic winter season in which it is set. Jónasson is an immensely gifted writer who brings even the smallest, most remote areas of his country to vivid life and creates a story that readers will not soon forget.
RaveBookreporterDebbie Babitt’s debut psychological thriller is a mix of Southern noir and Gothic horror, but is so realistic that it reads like a work of true crime. Saving Grace may not be dripping with Southern mysticism like a Greg Iles novel, but you clearly know where it takes place, and the backdrop speaks volumes ... Saving Grace is a tense and promising debut, and I eagerly await what Debbie Babitt has in store for us next.
RaveBookreporterThe Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett is one of the most original mysteries you will find on the market today. Imagine if Dame Agatha Christie had written a mystery novel with the Queen of England acting as the primary sleuth instead of Miss Marple, and you will have some idea of the fun and games that are about to ensue ... SJ Bennett gives Queen Elizabeth a voice that may not be recognizable outside of the UK, and I think that is just smashing. The Windsor Knothas enough twists, turns and red herrings to please any mystery buff and a list of potential suspects that rivals anything in the mystery or \'cozy\' genre. I cannot wait to see what our dear Queen will get involved with next!
RaveBookreporterThe Lamplighters reads like great historical fiction, but at its center is a locked room mystery ... Emma Stonex has done a masterful job keeping the story teetering on the edge of something horrific but then pulling back to let the insinuations and accusations sink in. I could not help but think constantly of the brilliant film The Lighthouse, which depicted two lighthouse workers eventually giving in to the madness brought on by the isolation and claustrophobic feelings that such a job could bring about. The Lamplighters never disappoints and engages readers from start to finish with a mystery that may be impossible to ever solve.
RaveCriminal ElementPronzini pens this in true crime noir fashion and the turn of the previous century time period is an ideal setting for some great old school detective work—that is if Sabina and John can escape from paradise in one piece!
RaveBookreporter[Malerman\'s] latest effort,A House at the Bottom of a Lake, is a quick read --- almost qualifying as a novella ... A House at the Bottom of a Lake is a magical tale, rife with imagery that you will think about long after putting the book down. For me, the ending fondly recalled Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, and I am sure it will surprise most readers. Josh Malerman is simply one solid storyteller!
RaveBookreporterMy surprise quickly turned to awe and respect when I learned of her background in the intelligence community, which included 35 years as an intelligence analyst for agencies like the FBI, NSA and global think tank RAND. Quite simply, she knows her stuff and already has proven that she can write an engaging thriller ... he reader’s head will be spinning, along with Lyndsey’s, as there is a web of deceit so well-spun that it may be impossible to untangle without herself falling victim to those who spun it. The plot never allows you to catch your breath as the wheels keep turning with every new piece of information uncovered, and nothing is as it appears to be.
RaveBookreporterJeff VanderMeer’s latest novel is a morality play of the highest order ... Hummingbird Salamander is as beautiful as it is frightening and consistently surreal from start to finish ... an exhilarating novel that will stay with readers long after the final page has been turned. Here we have a depiction of a world that easily could be ours, riddled with various pandemics and decimated by greed and hate. VanderMeer shows us this very real horror, and then reveals near the end of the book a beautiful scene involving the final part of Jane’s search. It is a haunting image that I will not soon forget.
PositiveBookreporter... a solid read, and Rachel Marin is tough to root against even when she frustrates at every turn by often becoming her own worst enemy. The bottom line for her is the safety of her family, which makes her tactical mistakes understandable.
RaveCriminal Element... really moves at a breakneck pace ... What begins as a thriller and then moves into a legal novel, devolves into a full-blown espionage story that calls to mind the work of Brad Thor, among others. As I mentioned at the beginning, when the significance of the number twenty is finally revealed it will send chills down your spine and you will soon realize that this is unlike any other Jack Swyteck novel to date.
RaveBookreporter... Matheson explodes onto the packed serial-killer thriller scene with a dynamite novel that grabs you from the first page. The Jigsaw Man involves an intricate pair of plots and a brilliant killer who has produced a copycat who is terrorizing London ... As a criminal defense attorney in London, Matheson is knowledgeable about this subject matter and understands the inner workings of the criminal justice system ... Matheson is a brilliant new voice in a crowded genre. She has created such complex and multilayered characters on both sides of the law that I sincerely hope she plans to continue this series in new cases. The Jigsaw Man most assuredly will be one of the most talked-about debuts of 2021, and thriller fans should not miss it.
RaveCriminal Element... a quick and engaging read. It is sublime how easy readers are able to fall into Leon’s great Brunetti stories and I hope we have many more to look forward to in the future.
PositiveBookreporterElly Griffiths’ love letter to mystery novels, the authors who write them, and the people or places that inspire them. It is great to see the literary process from this angle; as an acclaimed mystery writer, there is no better tour guide through it than Griffiths. Whether she is writing a new installment of a series or composing a stand-alone novel, you can never go wrong with her clever literary creations.
PositiveBookreporter... will quite literally blow your mind ... No one is who they claim to be in The Minders, and John Marrs has more than a few surprises up his sleeve before this highly unique novel comes to an end.
RaveBookreporter... by far the most confounding case of Rutledge’s career, and readers will be just as frustrated as he is with each twist and turn. This is the type of classic-style mystery that we have grown to love from Charles Todd, and it never fails to deliver.
RaveBookreporterThe story kicks off with an episode from the past that will not make total sense for a while until the present-day narrative starts filling in the puzzle pieces. This made the anticipation for the secrets that were to be revealed that much more satisfying as they worked their way into the plot ... A less effective author may have written himself into a corner [...] and wrapped up the book with an unbelievable plot twist or ending. That is not the case with Michael Koryta, who is a superb plotter. Never Far Away has a satisfying conclusion that allows Leah to live up to her promise that mothers are never far away.
C. J. Tudor
RaveBookreporterJust when you think you have a handle on what is happening, Tudor will throw you a series of curveballs to rock you off your foundation and out of your sensibilities ... There are enough plot twists, including one that most readers will not see coming, to keep you on your toes right through to the unexpected and highly satisfying finale of this consistently creepy psychological thriller.
RaveBookreporterThe story you are about to delve into is historical fiction with a blend of sci-fi/fantasy elements that make it seem both very familiar and otherworldly ... The narrative reads like a high-octane history book with space, the final frontier, as the ultimate destination. The plot is left wide open for a continuation of this saga, and I truly hope that Neuvel follows through with a sequel.
RavebookreporterI guarantee that you will have a completely different outlook on how animals fit into our present world and the human beings who work to protect them against those who exploit, harm and ultimately eliminate these beautiful creatures from existence ... Will Staples really knows his stuff, and his extensive research shines through every page ... The book reads like a page-turning thriller but with the additional benefit of opening your mind to the plight of those who are out there fighting for these precious animals around the globe. There are more than a few moments that make you stop and think ... a cautionary tale that hits far too close to home with a message that hopefully will inspire readers to learn more about the subject and do something about it.
RaveBookreporter... will keep readers on their toes. Each page will be turned with your heart in your throat as if you are the parents of the young girl and fear the reality of the horrific ending that you try to put out of your mind. Ellery Hathaway is a strong character, which is quite an accolade considering what she has gone through in her life. That is what makes this series so engaging, and the fact that Schaffhausen ends the proceedings with a whopper of a cliffhanger means that the next installment cannot come fast enough.
RaveBookreporterRed Hands is a high-adrenaline read that in the hands of Christopher Golden is able to rise above B-movie horror traps and ends up becoming an epic thrill-ride of a story with a few nice surprises thrown in for good measure.
RaveBookreporterFrear is clearly separating herself from the overcrowded pack of writers in the mystery genre and carving out her own unique path ... I cannot remember a police procedural where not a single person involved with the case from a witness/potential suspect standpoint is in the least bit trustworthy. Shed No Tears leaves no time for crying, and the writing is taut and complex throughout. Readers better catch on quickly before new authors in the genre start being called \'the new Caz Frear.\'
RaveBookreporterI have read many biographies and autobiographies in my lifetime, but nothing compares to actor Gabriel Byrne’s memoir ... Much is written in images and vivid memories rather than direct narration, which makes for a very poetic experience ... a memoir to be experienced and cherished.
RaveBookreporter... a great mix of scientific thriller and unique crime fiction, and Brad Parks happily throws in plenty of plot twists and red herrings to keep even the most astute mystery reader on guard. Interference is that ideal novel for a reader whose TBR list crosses genres as you are able to get a small handful of styles in one big quantum spoonful.
RaveCriminal ElementI believe a more apt title for this novel would have been—Cold War Reboot. This is due to the fact that the narrative and style applied by the author make the reader feel like they could be back in the 1960s. In fact, one of the characters drives a classic car that still has an 8-track player for the sole reason of feeling like he is back in the ’60s when riding around modern-day Los Angeles ... Fleishman has created something special with his latest release ... almost as if Raymond Chandler and John Le Carre had a baby. The writing is so descriptive and snappy it seems to just jump off the page at you as the story continues to twist and suspense keeps mounting ... ike a trip down memory lane. Time spent in modern-day LA with the feel of an old black-and-white Hollywood crime film. The mystery of the missing body will keep you guessing right up until the end and the finale of the story opens the door to Sam Carver’s past and will have you pining for the next title in this series.
RaveCriminal ElementHenderson at this point takes what might have been the first animal-activist/naturalist thriller I can recall and combines chills, thrills, and heart right up through the breathless finale. I look forward to the next Alex Carter novel!
RaveBook ReporterThe action is non-stop and makes for some breathless reading. I cannot remember having this much fun with a Jason Bourne novel. Brian Freeman was “born” to take on this series (pun definitely intended). In THE BOURNE EVOLUTION, Bourne isn\'t weighed down as much by the past and all the people who have done him wrong. We\'ve already gone down that road. This Bourne is exciting and interesting, using his unique skill set for himself in a more contemporary setting without missing a step. The evolution is upon us, and I cannot wait to see what Freeman does next with this legendary character.
RaveCriminal Element...electrifying ... Brian Selfon steps firmly into the new genre known as Brooklyn Noir and the result is a twisty crime thriller that will hit home for those familiar with the area. Fans of the crime thriller genre will particularly enjoy the time Selfon has taken to focus on what he knows while creating very believable characters that you will instantly care about.
RaveBookreporterUnder Pressure most certainly will have you guessing right up to the big finish. Just like its predecessor, it moves at a breakneck pace that barely allows you to catch your breath as the action moves from one edge-of-your-seat moment to the next. Pobi has a great thing going here, and Lucas Page is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters in modern thriller fiction.
PositiveBookreporter... my expectations for Mad at the World were high. It turns out that biographer William Souder, who previously had written books about Rachel Carson and James Audubon, was up for the challenge ... Souder will fill in the blanks and open your eyes to this legendary author’s life and times ... I salute William Souder for taking a beloved and complex character like John Steinbeck and showing why he was so revered by all who knew him. I never really saw any of the \'angry young man\' sentiment that the biography’s title might suggest. Instead, I saw a man who was driven and never gave up on his only dream. How fortunate we all have been to have shared in this dream through the many works he left behind.
RaveBook ReporterYou don\'t have to be a book collector or a lover of antiquarian books to enjoy The Forger\'s Daughter, as it merely provides the backdrop for this classy literary thriller.
RaveBookreporter... a true page-turner ... What keeps Still Life moving...is the James Auld murder case. Karen and Daisy find themselves going down one road after another as the art world and Iain\'s disappearance end up being their own Pandora\'s boxes that keep the mystery confounding and exciting ... McDermid’s mastery of the written word and precision plotting create one of her best mysteries in recent memory. Even when the cases are wrapped up, we get hit right in the face with a bit of our own reality. Various characters seek out locations and mates to lock down with as the whispered-at pandemic is now at their doorstep, which is by far the novel’s most frightening element.
RaveBookreporterI expected The Residence to be a slow-burn of a ghost story with some supernatural elements making their presence known during Pierce’s presidency. I was not prepared for the nonstop terror that Andrew Pyper has penned, making for one of the most haunting and disturbing reads that I have experienced in quite some time. What really has stuck with me is the author’s note, which points out some key elements of Pierce’s time at the White House that are unexplained, in addition to a long and storied history of future presidents and the personal experiences they had with the unknown presences that may still exist within its corridors.
RaveBookreporterA Question of Betrayal is appropriately suspenseful and tense, and shows how brilliant a writer and plotter Anne Perry is. She proudly depicts a time when freedom of speech was not only valued but could get you killed if used at the wrong time in front of the wrong people. It’s a unique place to be from a historical perspective, in between world wars, and a period from which I\'m sure Perry will be able to siphon out many more interesting stories.
RaveBookreporter... reads like a dream and provides so much joy and wonder that you will not want it to end. When Mrs. Elm explains to Nora early in the novel that \'[b]etween life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices... Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?\' it is hard for her or the reader to contain themselves. This is because the answer is an undeniable \'yes,\' and what comes next are the things that dreams are made of.
Max Allan Collins
PositiveBookreporter...a meticulously researched work of nonfiction ... The irony of Ness\' arrival in Cleveland coinciding with the discovery of body parts littering Lake Erie would symbolize one of the only black marks on his otherwise legendary career. That he was never able to arrest and try someone for these crimes is a reflection of Ness being pulled in too many directions to truly focus on the task at hand and the sad reality that the killer was nearly impossible to pin down.
RaveBookreporterThe Lantern Men is a true page-turner written by one of the best in the business ... This latest effort further solidifies her stellar reputation for writing intelligent, well-researched tales full of complex characters, which are often based on the legend and folklore of the local area.
A. F. Carter
PositiveBookreporter... an interesting exploration into this condition and the difficulties that arise when dealing with a myriad of personalities in the midst of a murder investigation. Readers will feel for Carolyn and find themselves rooting for her and the majority of her very likable personalities, which she has created as a defense mechanism for dealing with the world around her. That said, we have read and seen enough about this disorder to know that it also could be used as a convenient crutch when getting away with various misdeeds. Including murder!
RaveBookreporter[McCreight] literally speaks the language of her characters, taking individuals who might be seen as one-dimensional, vapid and occasionally morally suspect and turning them into highly complex people with multiple facets to their personalities ... This direct testimony really makes for interesting reading, and each successive one will lean you in a different direction and toward another possible guilty party ... More than just a solid work of domestic suspense, A Good Marriage will make you question the very concept of marriage and how even the most insignificant secret could tear down the walls that couples put up to keep their secrets from everyone they know. These factors take what could have been a standard mystery and elevate it to top-notch thriller status. Everyone has secrets, but which of these characters could be driven to murder to keep theirs from being revealed? Hang on tight as I\'m sure those answers will be real eye-openers!
RaveBookreporterI can firmly aver that this is not a \'woman’s book,\' but a fine work of literary fiction that can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates the written word and how it is employed by Godwin. It is a realistic look at the concept of friendship and how, in the modern world in which we live, that can be difficult to cultivate with all that we deal with in our daily lives ... With each new section of Old Lovegood Girls, we are treated to another jump in time...It is Godwin\'s storytelling gift that makes the novel so very real and engaging. Readers get to truly experience the institution of friendship as she peels back all its nuances layer by layer, straight through to a deeply touching and satisfying finale.
Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch
RaveBookreporter... a historical work that reads like a page-turning thriller. Many parts of the story are reinforced with photos and images, some of which I never saw before in other books about Abraham Lincoln or the Civil War. It\'s almost like your American history textbook became cool and could be read like a bestselling novel ... Even though we have found out much of this information through school textbooks or various documentaries and film adaptations, in the hands of Meltzer and Mensch, it is told in riveting fashion. The narrative is so fluid and interesting that you find yourself rooting for Lincoln like he was the heroic protagonist in a fantasy novel ... The Acknowledgements and Credits are almost as long as a novella and show the depth of research that Meltzer and Mensch brought to this engaging and exhilarating book.
RaveBookreporterHow do you follow up your previous book winning the International Thriller Writers\' Best Novel of the Year award? Well, Jennifer Hillier has written a story that may be even better than 2018’s Jar of Hearts ... an addictive read. Each new revelation sucks the reader deeper and deeper into the overall narrative. It is not told strictly from Marin\'s point of view, which does away with any unreliable narrator claims ... What Hillier has created here is a seductive novel in which the story and characters do all the teasing. When the secrets are revealed, it will catch you completely off guard as you are simply enjoying the ride with a masterful storyteller at the wheel.
PositiveBookreporterWestwind is a well-done tale of espionage that harks back to the days of Agent 007 and MI6. In this situation, we are introduced to agents from both Europe and the U.S., making for a true global conflict ... well worth the 30-year timespan it has taken for most readers to discover it. Thankfully, it has not lost any tarnish in translation and can stand up to nearly any spy game or espionage thriller currently on the market. While reading anything from Rankin will always remind me of the stunningly complex John Rebus, it was a welcome diversion to spend some time with a few of his early creations in a work that ended up being an enjoyable, solid read.
PositiveBookreporterWhat sets this book apart from much of Goodman\'s prior work is that the true evil here is not one bound by legend, literary fantasy or the supernatural. It is entirely more earthbound, which makes it that much more frightening. In the end, The Sea of Lost Girls provides what all good psychological thrillers should: complex characters and situations coupled with unpredictable and unexpected plot twists that keep you on the edge right up to the final pages. And, of course, with Goodman being a well-read teacher of literature, there is plenty of lore.
PositiveBookreporterGardiner expertly deals with a serial killer and the FBI analysis that leads to this individual’s eventual capture ... the story never slows down for a second ... shows off Gardiner\'s impressive knowledge of behavioral analysis and all the technology, ballistics and forensics that go into a modern-day pursuit of the baddest of the bad guys who are out there. It is a lesson in investigatory work and a master class in how to write a nail-biter of a suspense novel.
Maxine Mei Chung
RaveBookreporterThe Eighth Girl an addictive novel that reads like a binge-worthy television show and is well worth the escapism we all desire during these uncertain times. Chung clearly knows her stuff, and it is best to just follow along with the narrative than try to figure out what is real, what is true, and what may be part of some fantasy. I hope to see more from this talented author in the near future.
PositiveCriminal Element... classic McDermid. She has to really show off her writing and plotting talents as it is difficult for readers to enjoy a novel where Hill and Jordan are physically separated and far from the crime-fighting tag-team they made in their many successful prior adventures. Tony Hill won’t be behind bars forever and the prospect of his aiding Carole Jordan in her new role as defender of the less fortunate might make for some intriguing continued adventures!
C. J. Tudor
RaveBookreporterThere are quite a few plot twists and revelations that will have you on the edge of your seat. The Other People is a completely original work of fiction that gets under your skin and doesn\'t leave until well after the final page has been turned. In fact, I think that many readers will be so creeped out that they are sure to dream about these situations that Tudor has served up. What I like most of all is the final page that leaves the door wide open for further time to be spent with these characters, as well as The Other People.
RaveBookreporterYou don’t need to be a regular reader of [Perry\'s] various mystery series to enjoy these Christmas treats, but it sure would help ... Perry’s most suspenseful holiday mystery to date ... For me, the Christmas season would not be official without this annual tale from Perry, and she may have given her readers the best Yuletide gift yet.
Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land
RaveBookreporter... another stellar entry in this long-running series. Readers will thoroughly enjoy the time jumps as they help ramp up the suspense to almost unbearable levels. The result is a breathtaking finale that most will not see coming. I was happy to lose myself within the book, and I love the ease with which the recurring characters speak with one another. However, if you\'re looking for a cozy New England weekend, you may want to cross Cabot Cove off your future vacation list and pick a safer locale, where the local author-in-residence does not attract murder like a magnet.
PositiveBookreporterI encourage any fan of Bowie or fine literature to pick up Bowie\'s Bookshelf ... At the end of each book\'s description, O\'Connell adds two categories to enhance the experience: \'Read It While Listening To,\' which offers various tunes by Bowie, and \'If You Like This Try,\' which references another book that is similar within the same genre. This is very helpful and truly personalizes the entire reading effort ... I am quite thankful that John O\'Connell took the time to put Bowie\'s Bookshelf together. Readers should be inspired to seek out the books on this list, along with the musical suggestions for pairing and even the links to other similar works ... It feels good knowing that a list like this exists and, in essence, keeps Bowie\'s spirit alive, allowing all those who miss him to have another shared experience with one of their heroes.
PositiveBookreporter... thorough, no-holds-barred ... It is obvious that Flea had no ghostwriter as all of the language is fresh and leaves no doubt as to whose mind they are coming from ... I loved Acid for the Children. It is honest, brutally so at times, and spoken in such a true voice that you would think Michael Balzary was right there in the room with you. I admire and respect the anti-establishment side of Flea, which is clearly evident not only in the title he chose, but also in the front cover photo, which depicts his 11-year-old self smoking a joint. I would have liked for him to have spent more time on his film career. Even though he has done mostly bit parts, he has been in a number of important indie movies and continues to act to this day ... I can only hope that Flea pens a second memoir (he briefly alludes to this at the end), so that we can see the skyrocket ride that he and his best friends took as the Red Hot Chili Peppers became one of the most popular bands in the world.
Stan Lee and Kat Rosenfield
MixedBook Reporter...as I read the book, I did not get much of a Stan Lee feel about it. This is most likely due to the fact that his health was slipping, and he was in his mid-90s at the time it was written. Therefore, it\'s a different twist on beings with superpowers, sort of like the X-Men. To that point, I definitely see where the idea sprung from in Lee’s imagination. Rosenfield, in filling in most of the blanks and doing the bulk of the heavy lifting, ended up writing a pretty good sci-fi/superhero story ... A Trick of Light feels like a YA novel that might have been better suited for graphic novel treatment ... It makes for a pretty wild ride, and the last for one of my heroes.
PositiveBookreporter... involves several keenly referenced clues --- or, to use the modern term, \'Easter Eggs\' --- that only well-read and knowledgeable readers will actually pick up on ... goes to some dark and unexpected places ... this wonderful novel should give readers who love the Dickens classic more than a few chills as this prequel to that famous ghost story is written with an icy and deft hand.
RaveBookreporterKhoury has managed to put together a novel that is a brilliant mix of speculative historical fiction with a dash of murder mystery/crime and sci-fi thrown in. He ticks all those boxes, and the result is a suspenseful and awe-inspiring work that asks readers to check their brain and any prejudices or preconceived notions at the door, and just let this book wash over them like a wave of new knowledge ... Well done, Mr. Khoury!
RaveBookreporter... there are many brilliant twists scattered throughout the book like land mines ... Without leaking any spoilers, I can attest that nothing goes as planned for any of the central characters, and this may be the best plotted novel Anne Perry has written in years --- which is really saying something. Death is Focus is a masterpiece of tension and suspense, and Elena Standish is so effective because she can be any one of us. Bravo!
RaveBookreporterLisa Unger is the real deal. Although she now has 17 novels under her belt, it still feels like she\'s just getting started ... This book will push readers to question what the true definition of justice is and the fine line that it finds itself teetering on with other terms like revenge and retribution ... Unger delves deeper into the human psyche than she possibly ever has gone before --- and that is saying something as she already is one of the best out there at depicting psychological terror and moral ambiguity in her characters ... I guarantee readers will revel in this very same brand of justice and recognize that Lisa Unger has been their personal tour guide into the dark side of the human condition.
RaveBookreporterAll That\'s Dead is an incredibly timeless novel as it provides us with a high-exposure criminal case in this new age of Brexit. It is dark and gritty, and MacBride fuels his characters with an energy and language that are infectious. If this was a television program, subtitles would be needed—that\'s how realistically Scotland is portrayed here. If you\'re new to these books, dive right in with this one and see if Logan will survive to take on more daunting challenges in this first-rate crime series.
PositiveBookreporterTwelve years prior to writing After The End Mackintosh’s son became critically ill. She and her husband were asked to make a decision that would change all of their lives forever. It was this traumatic experience that was the impetus for what Max and Pip go through here ... Since this is a Clare Mackintosh novel, readers should be prepared for anything ... It is a novel turned inside out and with a narrative twisted up with it. After The End will not be easy to forget. Thankfully, Mackintosh has done through fiction writing what real life could not provide her --- the opportunity to see both choices and get the chance to live through each of them to their own ends.
RaveBookreporterCara Black ratchets up the tension, chapter by chapter, as Aimée runs around Paris in circles in search of some clue to the location of her missing mother ... Murder in Bel-Air may be the best entry yet in this stellar series, and that is really saying something. It remains one of the best murder-mystery series set in a foreign country on the market, and each installment is always required reading on my ever-growing TBR pile.
PositiveBookreporter... already all the rage based on the many stellar blurbs about it, and it definitely lives up to the hype. This sci-fi/thriller is so engrossing that you will find it nearly impossible to put down before the dynamic finale. It also should cause more than a few nightmares and chills as its fictional parts start sounding more and more like our reality.
RaveBookreporter... this might be Gaylin\'s most interesting novel to date ... Gaylin has so much fun toying with readers as these and many other questions will keep you guessing right through to the finale. Never Look Back is a novel of secrets, family ties and the old adage that you can never really know absolutely everything about someone, even those you love dearly. This stand-alone title is sure to be a triumph for Gaylin, and deservedly so --- this is what terrific mystery/thriller writing is all about.
RaveBookreporterHenley is a vibrant and interesting character, which called to mind the young heroine Jennifer Lawrence played in Winter\'s Bone ... McHugh has written yet another first-rate literary thriller that is deeply atmospheric and driven forward by characters so real they practically jump off the pages and into your psyche. You will not soon forget The Wolf Wants In, which is one of the best character-focused stories I\'ve read this year.
RaveBookreporterBeck is displaying his mastery of plot twists and edge-of-the-seat suspense that flows through this entire novel like a bullet from a high-powered rifle. Readers will find themselves doubting what they thought they knew and switching moral allegiance many times ... The plot twists and occasionally turns in unexpected directions, which makes Lost You such an entertaining read. Haylen Beck, the pseudonym for popular Irish writer Stuart Neville, shows off all of his writing tricks here and has delivered a dark and surprising psychological thriller in the process.
RaveBookReporter... one heck of a read that features an unconventional murder mystery at its heart, which ends up becoming so much more ... Frear just keeps piling on clues and motives to the point that your head will be spinning ... What drives Stone Cold Heart is precisely what made Sweet Little Lies one of my favorite novels of 2018. That special something (or someone, I should say) is Cat Kinsella. It is a privilege to be able to spend the majority of this book in her head, as her thoughts range from insightful to heartbreaking and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. Frear has created one of the most engaging characters in the mystery/thriller genre, and this series is already drawing comparisons to the works of Tana French, who may very well be the best in the business ... hopefully will gain Frear a new legion of readers who want to find out what it\'s like to slip into the mind and skin of a top-notch but partially broken young detective.
RaveBookreporterThe beauty of The Cutting Room is Dyer’s easy writing style. Typically, when you have two established writers collaborating on a literary work, you can clearly see the line of demarcation that separates the pair. This is completely undetectable here, and the result is another highly effective crime novel filled with extremely complex, real characters who keep the pace at high-stepping speed from start to finish. Jump on in with Lake and Carver, and make sure you have several hours blocked out in your schedule. You\'re going to need them once you\'re absorbed inside this well-constructed thriller.
PositiveBookReporter... this isn\'t your grandmother\'s Murder, She Wrote. Leave behind visions of an elderly Angela Lansbury having a cup of tea by the fireside. Land\'s Jessica Fletcher may bear senior citizenship as a personal trait, but she also has the grit that comes along with the toughest private detective ... quickly calls to mind the television series, which seemed to have a cliff-hanging plot twist before every commercial break ... has something not only for longtime, loyal fans of the series, but also for readers of Jon Land’s work. It bears none of the trademark grit or \'saving the world\' mentality that is more than evident in his terrific Caitlin Strong series --- and that\'s not a bad thing. In fact, it allows him to show off his plotting skills to an entirely new set of readers. Jessica Fletcher is alive and well in Land\'s very capable hands, and I speak for all of us when I say that I look forward to my next literary visit to Cabot Cove.
RaveBookreporterAuthor Daniel Suarez has slowly gotten quite a reputation as a master of high-tech, sci-fi thrillers. Not only is Delta-v no exception, it very well may be his finest work to date ... Daniel Suarez has combined cutting-edge sci-fi with all the components of a great thriller, leading to spectacular results. He utilizes both aerospace and political themes, each rife with all the pitfalls and surprises that come with them. Throughout his career, Suarez has found consistent comparison to the late, great Michael Crichton. I can assuredly support that he is in a very small group of current writers who can carry that weighty mantle forward.
PositiveCriminal ElementI see The Never Game as a comeback novel for Deaver. Not like he ever left the game; in fact, he has consistently put together solid novels and short stories but found his work sometimes lost in the shuffle of a myriad of new thriller writers who joined the large list of his contemporaries that are still out there. With the infusion of a new, hip series like this one featuring Colter Shaw, we have the opportunity to see a fresh Deaver, who now has a very modern character that allows him to dive into new territory like the gaming and dark-net backdrop.
PositiveBookreporterGolden\'s latest effort, The Pandora Room, is the follow-up to his terrific novel from 2017, Ararat. These books are...pulse-pounding reads ... passages [in The Pandora Room] are highly suspenseful as you literally have no idea what is happening—or if the narrators telling the story are painting a realistic picture or merely describing what their plague-addled minds are showing them. The novel’s conclusion is equally unsettling and most definitely will produce some shudders.
RaveBookreporterSkating the thin literary ice that separates psychological thriller from supernatural thriller is not easy, but Elliott makes it seem so, and keeps the reader off-balance right up until the very last page ... Lexie Elliott has...revelations and tricks up her sleeve that keep The Missing Years ticking along, page after page. The only time that is actually lost will be the time belonging to readers, who will be poring through this outstanding psychological thriller long past their bedtime.
RaveBookReporterMichael Koryta\'s novels have received the highest praise from critics and colleagues alike, and his stories have run the gamut from crime noir to thriller to straight-up horror. That being said, he has never created a character as unique as Tara Beckley ... Nothing will work out predictably, and readers will be glued to their seats and as powerless as the unmoving Tara Beckley while one explosive event after another plays out before them. If She Wakes is a clever thriller with a highly unique set of circumstances and characters that, in the hands of Koryta, makes for one dynamic read.
RaveBookreporterOne of the many things I love about this series is Land\'s use of secondary characters. In his hands, they are not mere caricatures but living, breathing, complex people ... Strong as Steel is, quite simply, unputdownable, and Jon Land keeps readers regularly off their feet with plot twists and revelations you will never see coming. This series seems to get better and better, and each entry finds a new adversary that has not only local but global consequences as their end game. What I respect most about Land, and what sets him apart from other prolific writers who spin out endless titles just to see their name on some bestseller list, is that his stories are all fully realized, intricately plotted and always suspenseful.
RaveBook ReporterThose who have been privileged to read the terrific historical mystery series by Jonathan F. Putnam will be well-versed in the relationship between young Abraham Lincoln and his best friend, Joshua Speed, as they are the central characters in these books ... Bayard\'s descriptions of the characters and the dialogue he creates are delightful .... What Bayard has accomplished is to take popular figures in U.S. history and not only make them more real --- if that is possible --- but humanize them to a level where we all can relate to them. Courting Mr. Lincoln is engaging because Bayard has such a fine way with words. It is not mere machinations but actual human encounters and conversations complete with the awkwardness and foibles that all of us experience in our own lives. The result is a triumph of a novel and an unforgettable read that is a true page turner.
RaveBook ReporterIt is hard to believe that this is only the second book featuring young lawyer Daniel Pitt. The writing is so smooth and the characters are so familiar that readers will easily fall deep into this latest entry by the second page. This is not due to the fact that Daniel is the son of Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, the lead characters in one of Anne Perry’s long-running series, but rather is a testimony to her skill as a masterful plotter and mystery writer ... becomes less a courtroom drama and more a character- and clue-driven mystery that harkens to the finest work of the late Dame Agatha Christie ... Anne Perry has always been one of the best writers out there at depicting the intensity of the courtroom, but never before have I seen her combine a deeply layered mystery with jaw-dropping courtroom revelations.
PositiveBookReporter... reminiscent of Indiana Jones, but also can be described as Steve Berry meets Dan Brown, and is a great trip back in time to the ancient legend of King Arthur ... follows all the guidelines that make historical fiction and the hunt for ancient artifacts so interesting and hugely entertaining for the reader ... If the cliffhanger ending is any indication of additional stories, I think we may very well be enjoying further quality time with the \'female Indiana Jones\' in the near future.
PositiveBookreporter\"The Last Act is a fast read that sinks its hooks into you and doesn\'t let go. This is a testament to Parks’ writing and the ease with which he lulls readers into a false sense of security, only to pull the rug right out from under you. It is a terrific stand-alone novel that presents an opportunity for those unfamiliar with Parks to dive into his writing style and tight plotting.\
PositiveBookreporter\"There is so much action and character development here that it is impossible to turn away. It\'s like binge-watching your favorite TV drama, and you don’t dare take your eyes off the screen for fear of missing out on another revelation. Cemetery Road is full of them ... Iles\' work has gotten not only lengthier but also far more personal. You can smell the Mississippi magnolias in every description he provides for Bienville, as he puts readers right there along with him on his trip down memory lane.\
RaveBook ReporterA hardcore thriller that pulls out all the stops and features one of the genre’s most unique protagonists. Imagine, if you will, the little girl from Stephen King\'s Firestarter as a fully realized adult with endless powers, and you only will be scratching the surface of what Charlotte Rowe is all about ... Christopher Rice has aimed to emerge from the shadow of being Anne Rice’s son and stand alone as an established author. I believe he has fulfilled that goal with this series, which has given him a character and a subject matter that clearly stand apart from all the other work he has done. Blood Echo is a fireball of a novel (pun intended) that is difficult to put down ... a sleekly written thriller, and Charlotte Rowe is a complicated but likable heroine who readers will fall for instantly.
C J Tudor
RaveBookreporter\"The Hiding Place is simply a fantastic read and one of the most effective suspense/horror novels I have read in quite some time. C. J. Tudor suffers no sophomore slump as she has penned a memorable read that I will have a hard time forgetting. This is the highest praise I can give to a writer from the heavily populated thriller genre.
RaveBook ReporterGrippando\'s depiction of courtroom drama places him in a very small class of authors that includes perennial bestseller John Grisham ... What I admire most about James Grippando is that he does not stoop to making reference to the country’s current political climate that finds both sides at each other’s throats over how to properly deal with the immigration issue. Rather than filling the narrative with any vitriol or mud-slinging, Grippando focuses on building a plot around a deadly situation with terrific characters and scenes so tensely written that I was literally breathless by the finale. For me, this is his finest work, which is saying a lot as I\'ve enjoyed his writing for the past 25 years. The Girl in the Glass Box is a great and pertinent legal thriller that pulls out all the stops straight through to the fiery climax.
PositiveBook ReporterCould have been labeled a horror novel as its portrayal of the near future is not that far off from what we can see on our TVs, in the news and on social media every day. Read it at your own risk, and be prepared to have its message seep into your psyche and make for several unsettling nights of sleep.
PositiveBookreporter\"No Beast So Fierce is an intriguing read that deftly mixes suspense with backstory and the general psyche of the country during the years that the Champawat Tiger rose to infamy among all beasts.\
RaveBookreporter\"All I can say is that whatever heartache [Faye] went through during her extensive research was well worth it. This is her masterpiece, and should be read in high school and college literature courses as a truly American story that provides a snapshot of the horrors of racism during the Prohibition era of the 1920s ... The Paragon Hotel is a triumph for Lyndsay Faye. As I started reading it, I found her prose almost reminiscent of classic writers like Dickens and Brontë ... This challenging read deserves a wide audience of all ages to consume it.\
PositiveBookreporterSince this is an Anne Perry novel, readers will not be surprised to learn that it is expertly plotted with revelations at every turn—all of which ties up into a nice Christmas bow in the touching finale. A Christmas Revelation is another welcome holiday guest and a fine Yuletide read.
Ed. by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger
PositiveBookreporter\"With their fourth Sherlock Holmes short story collection, authors Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger have put together something special ... Being a huge Holmes fan myself, I was especially wowed by the last story, \'Hounded\' by Zoë Sharp... This is a terrific final entry in a worthy collection that should please all Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts far and wide.\
RaveBookreporterThe Three Secret Cities is hard to put down, and is so fast-moving that you may need to go back and review what has gone before in order to grasp what is happening. Be that as it may, Reilly’s writing and plotting skills truly shine here, and I cannot wait for the cliffhanger to be resolved in the next book.
Tatiana De Rosnay
RaveBookreporterThis emotional powerhouse of a novel will leave readers reeling, as it sucks you into the story and never lets you go ... The Rain Watcher never lets up, and readers will be emotionally spent by the end of it ... The ending is an unforgettable one, as is the entire experience of The Rain Watcher. So much of the emotional connections between the family members stem from their pasts ... This sentiment calls for much reflection, as does all the events described within this deeply layered story of the Malegarde family in the face of the medical and natural threats against their well-being.
RaveBookreporterFBI agent Atlee Pine is the most recent creation from David Baldacci’s fertile imagination, and Long Road to Mercy marks the debut of a new series. Pine is an incredibly complex character, and her backstory is so powerful and engaging that you cannot help but refer back to it with every decision you see her making throughout the novel. She is not completely broken per se, but is far from whole.
PositiveBookreporter\"What debut author Bradley Harper has done with A Knife in the Fog is to combine both real and fictional characters in a tale told in the style of a Holmes novel ... A Knife in the Fog is a great read and does not feel like a debut novel. Harper is a life-long Sherlock Holmes fan who also spent hours touring the Whitechapel area with local historical guides to fully immerse himself in the Ripper\'s territory.\
RaveBookreporterStuart MacBride does not pull punches and knows just when the right time is for an interesting nickname or slight bit of levity to punch through the dark subject matter. His writing is raw and gritty, and reminds me of a Scottish version of George Pelecanos or Dennis Lehane. The Blood Road does not disappoint, and I urge those who have never read a MacBride book to pick this one up and give it a go.
RaveBook ReporterPart cozy mystery, part Agatha Christie and part political thriller ... takes you by the throat and never lets up. The final third of the novel spins one revelation after another until you won\'t know who to trust or what to believe. Never have I seen an edgier Jessica Fletcher mystery, which is a testament to the many different fictional genres in which Land has shown mastery. Even though there was a very good chance that Jessica was going to make it out of this dilemma, it still did not take away from the concern produced from the story, and I am sure that readers will be turning the pages and gritting their teeth with equal amounts of speed and vigor.
PositiveBookreporterI\'m a sucker for good quotes, and The Burn Zone is chock full of them. It is clear that Renee has spent a lot of time focusing on her life and the decisions she has made. Only a person with that level of self-awareness could have come up with dozens of inspirational quotes that run parallel to the action of her life that she is describing within these pages ... Renee\'s comeback, reclamation and finally accepting herself for what she is provides for quite an engaging read. She has an easy, believable writing style that makes you think she is talking directly to you in a private conversation.
RaveBookreporter\"Bolton writes like a house on fire, and the tension she creates builds to an almost unbearable level—and I loved every minute of it ... The Craftsman is a terrific novel from start to finish, and is an expert combination of police procedural and gothic horror. [Bolton] just seems to get better and better with each release, and this latest effort is her crown jewel.\
Andrew Michael Hurley
PositiveBookreporterDevil\'s Day is a true gothic horror tale with all of the essential elements present ... a slow burn of a novel that sneaks up on you at times and yells \'boo!\' only to retreat again into the background. The themes of guilt intertwined with family history are inescapable, and readers are helpless to do anything more than read on as the inevitable payment is taken from the Pentecost family for all of their alleged sins. This very well-written book is just perfect for a spooky Halloween night.
RaveBookreporterCross Her Hearts is a top-notch mystery and psychological thriller that is reconfigured into a confounding puzzle made that much more complex by the fact that Lisa is a troubled character with a dubious past who is not easy to believe. Nevertheless, you cannot help but be moved by her plight to save her daughter --- a high price to pay for someone just seeking to outrun her past. Sarah Pinborough has another hit on her hands and should be included on any shortlist of today’s top thriller writers.
RaveBookreporter\"Scottish author Val McDermid... once again delivers a novel that is tautly wound with just the right mix of mystery, suspense and danger to keep the pages turning long into the evening ... Broken Ground is another terrific thriller from Val McDermid and a fine entry in her engrossing series.\
Dacre Stoker & J. D. Barker
RaveBookreporterYou can clearly see the marriage of prose between Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker—Stoker\'s firm grasp of his family history and Barker\'s storytelling skills, which constantly provide plot twists and surprises. At one point towards the end of the novel, we leap far forward to author and theater owner Bram Stoker being visited by a woman calling herself Mina Harker. She hands him a bound manuscript that features the words found dead center on the first page: COUNT WAMPYR. This is all Stoker needed to fuse with his own experience to pen Dracula ... Whether or not you believe this tale to be spun from truth is a matter of personal opinion. I enjoyed it immensely, and found Dracul more than worthy to stand beside Bram Stoker\'s classic novel. If it happens to be true, well, that is something for me to sort out in my own nightmares that were nicely fueled by Stoker and Barker.
RaveBookreporterBlood Communion is the book that fans of Anne Rice have been hoping for ... The novel opens up with Rice providing a brief but detailed history of Lestat, as well as descriptions of her prior work and all the current main players. This wisely allows even the novice visitor to the Vampire Chronicles to be able to dive right in and fully enjoy it without feeling lost in the backstory ... I will not divulge anything further, but will simply say that the action produces both exciting and unexpected results. Blood Communion is a triumph for Anne Rice.
RaveBookreporterAll I can say is that Under My Skin is unlike anything Lisa Unger has written to date - and that\'s a good thing. Her latest book, surprisingly a paperback original, is a departure from her previous work with no reference to the upstate New York town of Hollows that has played a role in some of these prior releases. The narrator, Poppy, is hard to figure out - mainly because she is having her own issues sorting through events and current feelings, all the while her mind addled by the prescription drugs that help get her through the day ... Under My Skin will not only get under your skin but will crawl up into your brain and toy with you. Poppy is a unique protagonist who requires our pity, and her questionable judgment makes us concerned for her well-being. This novel cements Lisa Unger\'s place as one of the top writers of psychological thrillers and is not to be missed.
PositiveBookreporter\"Time\'s Convert is a well-written story with characters you cannot help but care about. I am sure this will not be the last time we see these individuals as Harkness has created a nice fictional universe in which to lose yourself.\
Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison
RaveBookreporter... a novel that crackles with intensity and maintains a high level of suspense from start to finish ... Shadow Tyrants now marks the fourth consecutive teaming of Cussler and Morrison in the Oregon Files series, and it\'s obvious that they are operating as a well-oiled machine. Strap yourself in as Cabrillo and his extensively talented and likable Corporation attempt to save the world from being plunged into the Dark Ages.
PositiveBookreporter\"Sarah Perry has found a nice niche as a writer of stories in the gothic style. I always take solace when reading these types of novels as they appear to speak with a higher level of wisdom and morality that is sorely missing from many modern tales.\
Haruki Murakami, Trans. by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen
RaveBookreporter\"Those who are fortunate enough to see their way through to the end of this beguiling 700-page work will be rewarded with this and dozens of other indelible images the book plants in your brain ... Killing Commendatore is an unforgettable read that is sure to rack up accolades and awards.\
PositiveThe Book ReportAn Unwanted Guest is a nice shout-out to Dame Agatha, and Lapena sets things up like a classic whodunit. She introduces the characters and then sets them in a circumstance from which they cannot immediately escape. When guests begin to turn up dead, one by one, it will be a mad scramble to identify who the unwanted guest is before everyone is doomed ... very much a modern-day telling of a classic Agatha Christie plotline that is masterfully designed. Lapena knows and respects this type of murder mystery, and the end result is a novel that demands to be read in one sitting --- preferably not while you are staying at a quaint little inn or a bed and breakfast in the midst of a winter snowfall!
RaveThe Book ReporterIt is clear that quality literature and its historical context are what Pearl knows best, and it rings true in his intelligent and entertaining works of fiction ... The Dante Chamber provides many thrills and continues to dig deeper into Dante\'s Inferno. At one point, the chief investigator states, \'Literature, like a parasite, can envelop a man\'s whole soul when weakened\' ... Matthew Pearl expertly examines all of these sentiments, and the historical facts lend much credibility to his efforts.
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
PositiveBookreporterThe Crew novels have an air of fun and mischief about them ... The Pharaoh Key is never short on surprises or new adventures as they seemingly lurk around every corner ... Thankfully and expectedly, Preston & Child wrap things up in highly honorable fashion and allow for their terrific fictional creation to get the send-off he deserves.
PositiveBookreporterThe Fallen like all of Baldacci\'s work, continues rolling like a runaway train out of control. The pace picks up considerably with each passing chapter until the inevitable ending that most surely will deliver a resolution at about the same time you are catching your breath.
Rave20 Something ReadsBrad Meltzer is the real deal. Any author who plunders the annals of history --- in his case, U.S. government history --- is going to need to do a fair amount of research. The reason I revere Meltzer so much is that he doesn't just sit back and create clever fiction based on historical context; he himself is a participant in this history ... The Escape Artist is a treat, as are any of the great fiction and nonfiction works Meltzer has created. It may very well produce the most desired magic trick for Meltzer as he watches copies of it disappear off bookstore shelves worldwide.
RaveBookreporter.comOn this account, bestselling author James Rollins suggests that an ancient breed of insects that have always been on the planet may be our grim reapers. In fact, they have never died out and may very well be immortal ... Rollins has always been an expert researcher, a fact that is displayed in the Truth or Fiction section he typically adds to the end of his books, and the most frightening thing about his thrillers is that there is more truth than fiction involved in his storytelling ... Things move quickly here, and Rollins puts his literary foot on readers’ throats, forcing them to read on no matter how horrific the subject matter is ... The Demon Crown is another fine Sigma Force novel that once again will leave readers in awe while giving them the impetus for many future nightmares.
PositiveBookreporter.comThe Light in the Ruins, his latest masterpiece, is set in Italy during World War II and jumps in time between 1943-44 and 1955 ... When the story jumps to 1955, we are faced with an apparent serial killer who is targeting the Rosati family ... Young Detective Serafina Bettini must battle her own ghosts from the war in order to protect the Rosati family before they are entirely wiped out ... What Bohjalian does best is to draw the reader deep into the drama and personal interplay and then hit you with an unexpected twist that changes your sensibilities and understanding of what is actually happening ... This is a terrific read that will transport both long-time fans and newcomers back in time to one of the most turbulent periods in Italian history.
RaveBookreporter.com...imagine these same people being strategically slain just because they are different by a faceless and nameless killer or killers working through some sadistic agenda. It sounds like I could be describing race and immigration relations in almost any large country today. However, these are the elements at the center of Anne Perry's latest Victorian-era mystery, An Echo of Murder ... This being an Anne Perry novel, it is no surprise that this interesting storyline will soon merge with Monk's to further confound her readers ... Fans of the series will remember that Monk has his own challenges, having lost his entire memory prior to a coach accident just after the Crimean War ... An Echo of Murder speaks directly to current real-world issues and does so in the guise of another solid Victorian-era mystery.
RaveBookreporter.comThe 2017 entry in this craze is JP Delaney's highly touted The Girl Before, which plays out like a cross between a Hitchcock movie and an episode of the terrific British techno-thriller series 'Black Mirror' ...story unfolds with back-to-back chapters for most of the novel depicting both Jane in the present and Emma in the past. We get to see each of their individual stories play out in the same setting, and watch in edge-of-the-seat anticipation as Jane begins to make the same mistakes as Emma ...is an electric thriller that will keep readers guessing right up to the finale ... When Emma's story ends, it becomes all about Jane, and you will be reading with trepidation as her story concludes in surprising fashion.