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.
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.