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Archive for the ‘Suspense’ Category

Rag Doll: A Novel by Daniel Cole

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Rag DollDebuting with an embroiling work of thrilling crime fiction, Daniel Cole’s Rag Doll familiarizes readers with its dysfunctional hero William “Wolf” Fawkes, a seasoned but damaged police detective forced to match wits with an insanely depraved criminal whose gruesome acts resound with pure evil genius. As book one of the William Fawkes Detective series Rag Doll
is a memorable read that thrills with its uber-twisted plot as much as it disturbs with its gore.

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A genuinely good man, but nevertheless teetering on the edge with his sanity, Wolf finds himself suspended after exacting his own brand of vengeance on a nefarious criminal that should have remained in jail. Following his return to the police force, a gruesome crime sets everyone on edge with the discovery of a body built from the parts of six apparent murder victims, given the nickname, The Ragdoll. Possibly dealing with the work of a serial killer, Wolf, ex-partner Emily Baxter and her trainee, Alex Edmunds set about finding a connection with the victims, hoping it will lead to the killer before he or she can strike again. Read the rest of this entry »

The Lost Girls: A Novel by Heather Young

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

The Lost GirlsThe Lost Girls interweaves two stories that involve different generations of the same family and link a tragic moment in the past to events that occur in the present. The central figures in the stories are Lucy Evans and Justine Evans, with the chapters alternating between the two women. Lucy is Justine’s great-aunt, and her story from the past is revealed through her personal journal. Justine’s contemporary story is told from her perspective in the third person. The stories involve family relationships, friendships, hurt, resentment, sadness, grief, loss, betrayal, cowardice, courage, loyalty, and secrets.

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Shortly before Lucy’s death, she decides to write down the events that happen over the course of an unforgettable summer in 1935, when her parents and two sisters are vacationing at their house on a remote lake in Minnesota. Lucy is eleven, Lilith is thirteen, and Emily is six. Each sister is trying to deal with issues in their lives. Lucy and Lilith have been drifting apart, and Lucy is hoping to revive their friendship during the summer. However, Lilith seems to care more about boys and her personal appearance than spending time hanging out with Lucy doing things that she thinks are childish. Emily wants to hang out with her sisters instead of being constantly in their mother’s company, but no one seems to care about Emily’s wishes. Decisions made by family members affect the family dynamic, and this leads to a heartrending occurrence at the end of the summer. The lives of people directly involved and those on the periphery are affected for the remainder of their lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Bone White: Mundy’s Landing Book Three by Wendy Corsi Staub

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

Bone WhiteWendy Corsi Staub is back with the third in her newest series set in Mundy’s Landing, New York. Flashback to 1666 where all but five of the colonists died from starvation. The remaining five are from the same family and they somehow survived the bitter, cold winter and the lack of food. The parents of this family are accused of murder and eventually are executed leaving their three children orphans. These children lived out honorable lives in the town, Mundy’s Landing that was named after their family. They swore that they would never reveal the secret that died with their parents.

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Fast forward to the present day. After her father’s death, Emerson Mundy has flown across the country to learn about her ancestors. She was raised in California, far away from her relatives and heritage and really didn’t know much about her family. When she arrives in Mundy’s Landing, she is finds long, lost relatives and a welcoming home. Perhaps she will stay here as it seems this is where she belongs. Read the rest of this entry »

Gone by Jonathan Kellerman

Reviewed by Allen Hott

GoneStarting with a half -naked woman running across the highway up in the hills of California which almost causes an old man to run off the mountain. It turns out that the girl and her boyfriend were abducted and carried up into the woods by an unknown kidnapper. Oh, wait a minute. That is just what is thought at first and that is what brings Alex Delaware, the psychologist, into the story.

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But as you read further you find out that kidnapping didn’t really happen as Alex finds out. Rather it was two hopeful actors acting out a situation and hoping to gain some notoriety by doing so. They are part of a acting school run by a rich young lady, Nora, who along with her two brothers, Brad and Billy, appear to have more money than anyone can need. However Billy is somewhat mentally retarded and as the story goes forward it appears the other brother, Brad, (who is actually a cousin but adopted into the family) is living very “high on the hog” while taking care of the slower one and minding the school’s finances. Read the rest of this entry »

Protect and Defend (Center Point Platinum Mystery) by Vince Flynn

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Protect and DefendHe’s back! Yes, Vince Flynn has Mitch Rapp back in another CIA type thriller that he is well known for. I am not sure how, when, and where Rapp got his training but he not only got it but he seems to improve upon it in every new story that Flynn brings forward.

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If you have read any of these stories you know that Rapp works for the CIA but doesn’t really report to them or anyone….not even the President! When he is out on some type of assignment he goes about the business of doing what has to be done in the Rapp fashion. And that fashion does not always set well with some of the higher authorities in the government. I suppose they control him to a degree but they also realize that he is in the field, on the spot, knows the situation, and has always completed the task that he has been given. No doubt that he is meaner, tougher, and quite likely to go outside the lines of code of conduct that those authorities do not necessarily want him to go outside of. BUT he gets the job done! Read the rest of this entry »

The Pursuit: A Fox and O’Hare Novel by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

The PursuitNow this is quite a story. First one of the Janet Evanovich novels that I have ever read. It is a pretty fast read and covers a lot of characters, situations, and ground.

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Nick Fox is a con man who after being arrested by the FBI has been kind of put in the loose custody of Kate O’Hare, a top flight FBI agent. Together they go after con artists whomever, whenever, and wherever the FBI instructs them to do so.

However Nick was taken away from the Oahu beach house where he and Kate had been staying. He was abducted and taken away by Dragan Kovic, the leader of a group of thieves called the Road Runners. They took Nick to Belgium where Kovic is planning to use Nick in helping them pull off a huge heist of diamonds. He is more than willing to pay Nick (or so he says but in reality he plans to kill him after the job is done). Read the rest of this entry »

Wilde Lake: A Novel by Laura Lippman (Review #2)

Reviewed by Laurie Weatherlow

Wilde LakeThe Brant family are like Royalty in Columbia, Maryland in the early 1970’s. Andrew Jackson Brant is a state attorney who became “famous” when he tried a murder case and won without the presence of a body. He is raising two children on his own in the newly formed town of Columbia on Wilde Lake. His son AJ was eight when his daughter Luisa (Lu) was born and seven days later his wife Adele died. He relies on his housekeeper, Teensy, to perform the role of mother and homemaker.

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AJ Brant is a shining light in his high school. When he was eighteen there was an accident on the night he graduated from high school. He escaped with a broken arm, but another man lost his life. Was he innocent or guilty? Did his father’s name save him and his friends from further inquiry?

We fast forward to 2015 and Lu Brant has just been elected the first female state’s attorney of Howard County Maryland. She has recently been widowed with twins to care for. Lu returns home to Wilde Lake in Columbia to live with her father and Teensy who help care for the twins while she works. Her first case as state attorney is a murder where a woman is beaten to death in her apartment and a homeless man is accused. There are few murders in Hamilton County and Lou is eager to show her worth and prosecute him. Read the rest of this entry »

War Hawk: A Tucker Wayne Novel by James Rollins (Review #2)

Reviewed by Vickie Dailey

War HawkJames Rollins does it again – another great adventure with action, suspense and a little romance.

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Tucker Wayne and his dog Kane (extremely trained service dog) made their debut in Rollins’ Sigma Force novel Bloodline. While working on the fringes of Sigma Force, Tucker is contacted by an old love, Jane, from his service days. Jane asks him to find a mutual friend that has disappeared which leads him on quite the adventure. Tucker runs into some crazy things which have him contacting his old service buddy Frank. Read the rest of this entry »

Depraved Heart: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta Mysteries) by Patricia Cornwell (Review #2)

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

Depraved HeartHaving previously read most of Cornwell’s books, I was eager to read this one. Dr. Kay Scarpetta is back in another gripping thriller. This book begins with Scarpetta working the scene of a suspicious death when she receives an emergency alert on her phone. The alert is a video link and appears to come from her niece, Lucy, a computer genius and an FBI agent. The video is strange in that it is surveillance of Lucy from about twenty years ago.

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As Scarpetta watches the video, she learns scary secrets about her niece which imply dangerous and illegal implications. It appears as if the videos were sent by Lucy, but she later learns that this isn’t the case. The links have actually been sent by Carrie Grethen, an enemy of Kay and her family. She is left confused, worried and scared for Lucy and has no idea who she can turn to and trust with the information. She races to Lucy’s house to find answers, but only finds more questions. The FBI is at Lucy’s house with a search warrant and answers must be found before Lucy is arrested. Read the rest of this entry »

Hide Away: An Eve Duncan Novel by Iris Johansen

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Hide AwayThe lady writes good thriller type stories often with Eve Duncan and her guy, Joe. And they always seem to get into some pretty difficult situations because of Eve’s forensic sculpting background. One thing that is also always evident is the idea of ghost like folks who converse with the main characters to some degree. And also all of Eve’s family which grows with each book is forever indebted to her and each other. Everyone is thankful and responsible for one another almost to an unbearable degree sometimes.

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In Hide Away Eve is now caring for Cara Delaney whose sister had been killed and then her traveling caretaker Elena was also killed. Cara and her sister were daughters of one of the major drug lords in Mexico and while they were running from the gangsters Eve and Joe had stepped in and gotten caught up with caring for Cara. Eve had done a forensic sculptor of Cara’s sister from a photo which is how she began her association with Cara (about one book ago in Johansen’s chain). Read the rest of this entry »