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.
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.