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You are currently browsing the Mysteries Galore.com blog archives for October, 2019.

Archive for October, 2019

Gretchen: A Thriller by Shannon Kirk

Reviewed by Jim Eaton

At first, I had no idea what to make of this book. It seems in some sub-textual way to be a sort of treatise on coincidence (dare I say, a puzzle within a puzzle). I wasn’t sure to what degree the supernatural was going to play a role; I myself had never heard of any human being (outside of fantasy and sci-fi) having violet eyes. So I suppose you could say this book kept me very much off balance from the start. And it probably isn’t the sort of story I would typically read. Was it a thriller? A mystery? A puzzle in puzzle wrapped in coincidences? It took me more than a few chapters to try to hone in.

How to describe the book without betraying its plot? Hm. You’ve got a woman and a daughter on the run, moving from state to state, hiding from…we don’t know what. The mother won’t tell the daughter. But we do know this has been going on for about thirteen years, since the girl (Lucy) was two years old. I found it ever so slightly confusing that the mother would be worried about them being recognized if in fact the girl was two when they’d fled…but I surmised that the uniquely of the eyes was the root of the paranoia. Maybe. Maybe they were aliens or witches. You decide.
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Skin Game (A Teddy Fay Novel Book 3) by Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Teddy Fay was now working as a film producer when he gets a phone call from his old CIA boss. Fay had to leave the CIA at one time because of a mix-up but now they want him back. They believe there is a mole (spy) that is infiltrated into the Paris office of the CIA. So Fay, with very little hesitation heads to Paris as a re- hired CIA agent.

From there it gets very confusing as Fay is constantly finding out strange things that appear to be building up in Paris involving many different countries. They all have not only their normal embassies but these folks are additional countrymen of many countries. They seem to be trying to get to something but neither Fay nor his fellow CIA agents seem to know what.

Fay, working in disguises of all sorts with names of all types, seems to be doing well blending in and learning some things. He quickly meets up with Stone Barrington, perhaps the richest investigator ever, and the New York City police commissioner who is also rich and an investigator. They put together a plan to all work together hunting for the Parisian mole. Read the rest of this entry »

Hour Game by David Baldacci (Review #3)

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Not quite what I expect from a David Baldacci story but I am sure that it will appeal to many readers. Theoretically there is one killer out there.He is leaving signature items to show that he did the dirty deed and that more will come. However as the story rolls along it appears to be more of a tale (long winded at that) of one family that not only is incredibly rich but also very twisted up in behavior.

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, who are now working as private investigators, are hired to do some investigating into a somewhat bizarre burglary. However even before they can get into that several murders occur and bodies are left in somewhat mysterious states. Not only are they wearing watches but altered faces. Each watch has just one dial still on the face of the watch. The first body appears to be wearing a watch with a dial pointed at 1 and then as they find more bodies the dial begins climbing to 2, 3, and so on. However also on several of the first found bodies they dial is not directly on the one but about a minute past it. Read the rest of this entry »

Capitol White: A Donnie Brasco Novel (Audiobook – Original Recording) by Joe Pistone and Jon Land

Reviewed by Russell Ilg

As a crime film connoisseur, I place Donnie Brasco among the very best the genre has to offer. Watching Johnny Depp, as the title character, spend five years undercover inside the New York Mob, before ultimately bringing down the infamous families at the top of the food chain, remains great fun every time I watch it.

So it was with great interest that I plunged into Capitol White, more or less a direct sequel to that movie, penned by former FBI agent Joe Pistone working in tandem with bestselling thriller writer Jon Land. The twist is Donnie himself has been re-imagined wondrously here as a fictional hero, as opposed to a fictitious one, to spectacular success.
Pistone famously chronicled his years living undercover in Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia – A True Story. Capitol White may be all fiction but you wouldn’t know it from the writing and I had to remind myself numerous times that what I was reading was made up instead of a literary rendition of Donnie’s next major case. Read the rest of this entry »

Neon Prey (A Prey Novel) by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott
Lucas Davenport, who used to be the governor of Minnesota’s number one crime solver, still works at solving crimes. But now the former governor has moved on to Washington and from afar he uses Lucas as his number one U.S. Marshall. So whenever there is a strange crime going on anywhere in the West Lucas gets the call and off he goes.

This time he starts off meeting a different FBI agent in New Orleans along with a couple of other agents, Bob and Rae, whom he has worked with on other occasions. It turns out that they not only are hunting a killer but this particular guy is also a cannibal. Although not a perfect one in that he does kill the person first and then usually cuts them open and eats the liver or other intestinal organs.

The killer, named Deese, was on bail for doing other criminal activities in his job as a muscle for hire by loan sharks and others. He skipped out on his bail procedure and was on the loose but still actively doing various crimes as he worked at earning more money. Read the rest of this entry »

The Eye That Never Sleeps by Clifford Browder

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Traversing back in time to New York City circa the late nineteenth century, Clifford Browder’s The Eye That Never Sleeps poses a decidedly brilliant take on the historical crime thriller with an enticingly twisted narrative that brings together history, mystery, and masterfully fleshed out characters.

A growing mystery is afoot in the expanding metropolis of 1869 New York City when three banks are robbed within a nine-month period. Of particular concern is the robbery of the Bank of Trade which is considered the heist of the century. Moreover, the thief has the gall to brag about the robberies by way of sending to the president of each bank gloating rhyming verses and a key to the bank within days of the wake of each masterminded robbery.

Meanwhile, unfortunately for the bankers, the police department has been overwhelmed by the heavy caseloads of other criminal investigations which leaves the city’s bankers in growing desperation. Looking for answers, they turn to private operative/ detective Sheldon Minick who agrees to take on the case for a substantial retainer which enables the financially strapped detective to pay bills and bring meat to his table. Read the rest of this entry »