Archive for June, 2012

Suzy’s Case-Andy Siegel

June 30, 2012

Suzy’s Case

Andy Siegel

Scribner, Jul 10 2012, $26.00

ISBN: 9781451658781

 

In New York City criminal lawyer Henry Benson has given work to personal injury and medical malpractice attorney Tug Wyler that four times has led to the latter being called before the Disciplinary Committee.  Once again he is slapped with an ethics violation and a fine of $25.00 as Judge Howell knows Wyler was right.  Observer Judge Piccone warns Tug he will throw the book at him if he oversees a lack of zealousness defending a client regardless of cause.

 

Benson asks Wyler to handle the Suzy Williams tragedy.  In a Brooklyn hospital, six years old Suzy went into cardiac arrest; a seizure left her “a spastic quadriplegic with severe brain damage.”  When Benson’s medical expert claims the child’s sickle cell anemia caused the seizure rather than staff negligence, Tug knows there is no complaint.  However, Suzy’s single mom June persuades him to represent her daughter in their multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

 

Wyler will remind legal thriller fans of Joseph Teller’s Jaywalker (see The Tenth Case), as he thrives to do the right thing regardless of personal costs.  The engaging storyline is fast-paced though there are too many happenchance incidents.  However the cast is top rate starting with the wisecracking Wyler who enjoys busting the chops of righteous shitheads in power, the caring mom and especially Suzy.

 

Harriet Klausner

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Ripper-David L. Golemon

June 29, 2012

Ripper

David L. Golemon

Dunne, Jul 17 2012, $25.95

ISBN: 9780312580803

 

In 1887 the British Empire hire American scientist Lawrence Ambrose to create a means to change a civilized person into a berserker war machine.  In 1888, Jack the Ripper murders his last victim.  At the same time, Robert Louis Stevenson visits Scotland Yard with information on the Ripper’s identity that he connects to his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde model, American chemist Lawrence Ambrose.  Queen Victoria ended the project and ordered the secret execution of Ambrose who escaped with his notes.

 

In present-day Mexico, American government top secret Event Group geologist Sarah McIntire leads a team investigating caves where Pancho Villa allegedly stored his weapons.  Anaconda the drug lord sends his vicious army to attack the geologist.  They abduct Sarah. The Event Group sends a rescue team led by Colonel Jack Collins that uses information from General John “Black Jack” Pershing’s 1916 Mexican raid.  However they are unaware that Anaconda has Ambrose’s notes and plans to use them.

 

The latest suspenseful Event Group thriller (see Legacy) is an exciting action-packed tale that deftly links Ripper to the contemporary war on drugs.  Though the villain and hero are stereotyped, fans will enjoy this engaging entry filled with action and a thrill seemingly around every corridor and cave.

 

Harriet Klausner

All Seeing Eye-Rob Thurman

June 29, 2012

All Seeing Eye

Rob Thurman

Pocket, Jul 31 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781451652222

 

Ironically Jackson Lee muses that as a psychic he never saw it coming when he was fourteen years old and he touched the dusty pink shoe in his family’s yard.  The shoe belonged to his five years old sister Tess who told told him she was murdered.  Due to him his family is massacred as well leaving a traumatic Jack left in the Cane Lake County Home for Boys, definitely not for the good.  There he meets bookworm Charlie Allgood.

 

Years later, Jack becomes a carny psychic until he takes out his own shingle as the All Seeing Eye for hire.  He keeps people at a distance except for his assistant and adopted sister Abby, and Houdini the dog.  Fed Hector Allgood tells Jackson that Charlie, who died ten months ago, told him about his friend’s skills.  The SOB blackmails the psychic into working for him on solving Charlie’s murder and on an experiment that turned violent.  Charlie sense déjà vu as he expects his life will radically change just like when he touched Tess’ shoe.

 

This is an exhilarating twisting paranormal thriller starring a troubled soul who struggles with his psychic skill, his knowledge of his sister’s death and his belief he caused the follow-up massacre.  Fast-paced, readers will relish All Seeing Eye as the traumatized protagonist knows you can go home because the truth will never set you free from truly leaving home.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Next President-Robert Livingstone

June 28, 2012

The Next President

Robert Livingstone

Moore House, May 22 2012, $8.99

145 Fifth St, Toronto, Ontario, M8V 2Z5

ISBN: 9780615645988

 

International TV Systems News Division anchor Catherine Cortez is bored as she misses her field days.  However, she is bringing in high ratings so her boss Hanson keeps her from doing any investigating.  Catherine finally persuades her boss that she will quickly lose credibility with the public and ratings.  He finally allows her to cover Presidential front runner Senator Francis Ellsworth, who is favored to defeat incumbent President Walter Graham in the upcoming election, as he visits post-Castro Cuba where President Eduardo Rodriguez leads a fledgling democracy.

 

In Cuba, Catherine and her camera man cover the local cops attacking anti Rodriguez protesters.  Cuban Security Chef Fernandez talks away their footage.  During her interview of Rodriguez, her camera crew film violent incidents in the Havana streets.  Soon Catherine and her team find evidence that the Cuban democracy modeled after the American is a sham for a dictatorial fascist rule that has ties to Ellsworth.

 

This strong timely thriller affirms Benjamin Franklin’s warning that “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”  Fast-paced from the moment the intrepid reporter and her cameraman arrive in Post-Castro Cuba, fans will relish this exciting cautionary with a great final twist that laments the media-industrial-government complex as freedom of the press means unbiased reporting regardless of economic and ideological beliefs if democracy is too thrive.

 

Harriet Klausner

Sasha Plotkin’s Deceit-Vaughn Sherman

June 26, 2012

Sasha Plotkin’s Deceit

Vaughn Sherman

Camel Press, Aug 1 2012, $16.95

ISBN: 9781603818117

 

In 1972 after spending two years as a geographical bachelor in Viet Nam while his wife and kids resided in the Seattle area, CIA officer Chris Holbeck is now home with his family.  However, he receives a call to come to headquarters.  His disappointed wife Lisa warns him that if he works this case, she will leave him.  Chris flies to DC where he learns KGB operative Sasha Plotkin has surfaced and wants to defect but only to Chris.  The Agency wants Plotkin hoping he identifies the high echelon mole who sold secrets that led to the death of undercover operative Han Weiner.

 

In 1968 Stockholm, American Embassy’s First Secretary Bill Broom invites Chris and Lisa to a gala because they fluently speak Swedish.  At the party, he meets Swedish Foreign Office’s Chief of Protocol Peter Palmstjerna; a few weeks later Peter invites them to a bash he hosts.  There they meet Sasha Plotkin; both spies immediately recognize the other as comrades in arms albeit opposite sides.  They become friends.  The Russian asks his American counterpart to help him defect.  Chris arranges the escape, but on D-Day Sasha fails to arrive and soon afterward the American realizes the extent of the Russian’s deceit.  Now three years later Sasha wants his friend to help him defect.

 

This exciting Cold War espionage thriller is a character driven tale that brings to life the Nixon Era through the cast as even the parties display tension while the backdrop of Stockholm during the Swedish anti-Vietnam War protests enhances that sense of moving back to a dangerous time.  The storyline is fast-paced as the audience will obsess over what Sasha Plotkin’s Deceit is as Vaughn Sherman provides a strong period piece.

 

Harriet Klausner

Cat In A White Tie And Tails-Carole Nelson Douglas

June 26, 2012

Cat In A White Tie And Tails

Carole Nelson Douglas

Forge, Aug 7 2012, $24.95

ISBN: 9780765327475

 

Las Vegas public relations expert Temple Barr accompanying by Midnight Louie travels to Chicago to meet the family of her fiancé radio star Matt Devine.  While she goes to the Windy City, her former fiancé counterterrorist magician Max Kinsella recovers his memory he lost when he suffered injuries while looking for the evil Synth magicians’ organization.  Police Lieutenant Carmen Molina drafts Max to help her investigate cold case murders in which he is her only suspect; Midnight Louise diligently guards the recovering amnesiac.

 

Meanwhile Kitty “the Cutter” O’Connor is back in the States after a stint in Ireland where Max was MIA; her return means trouble with a humongous T for anyone unfortunately in her deadly radar .  In Chicago, Temple deals with her future mother-in-law’s plans for the wedding but the latter’s past surfaces with the cat-napping of Louie.

 

The latest Midnight Louie Anthropomorphic Mystery (see Cat In A Vegas Gold Vendetta) is a wild affair filled with terrific tense thrilling twists and soap operatic family drama.  Series fans will enjoy the father and daughter feline duet working the tail of two cities.

 

Harriet Klausner

 

Peril in Paperback-Kate Carlisle

June 26, 2012

Peril in Paperback

Kate Carlisle

Obsidian, Aug 7 2012, $7.99

ISBN 9780451237620

 

Book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright and her friends, Suzie Stein and Vinnie Patel drive from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe to spend a week at a luxurious mansion. It is owned by Suzie’s computer and engineering genius Aunt Grace. She is  celebrating her 50th birthday.  Eccentric Grace has converted her house into an odd home with hidden panels, holograms and many other stunners.  Because Brooklyn rebounded some of bibliophile Grace’s favorite books last year, she places her guest in the Library Suite where she finds incredible first copies of classics; though some were mishandled by morons.

 

At dinner, Grace tells her guests she plans to read extracts from her unpublished autobiographical novel in which everyone in attendance is in included though she changed their names to protect the guilty.  When Grace’s employee Bella Santangelo dies after drinking passion fruit iced tea, Brooklyn obsessively investigates as she believes her hostess was the intended victim.

 

The latest Bibliophile cozy (see One Book In The Grave and Murder Under Cover) is an entertaining amateur sleuth in which the zany mansion steals the show from the cast.  Readers will enjoy the guests exploring the madcap mansion at a leisurely pace as the murder occurs a bit later than usual for a Brooklyn whodunit.  The fun but strange climax has everyone confessing to something as fans will enjoy the witty Peril In Paperback.

 

Harriet Klausner

Freak-Jennifer Hillier

June 26, 2012

Freak

Jennifer Hillier

Simon & Schuster/Gallery, Aug 7 2012, $24.99

ISBN 9781451664546

 

Seattle PD homicide detective Mike Torrance shows his retired partner turned private investigator Jerry Isaac the corpse of Brenda Stich whose throat was cut in a room at the Sweet Chariot Inn.  Mike asked Jerry to come to the inn so he can see the message carved into Brenda’s skin by a knife: “FREE ABBY MADDOX”.  Jerry has a scar across his throat and his voice is destroyed due to Abby’s attack last year while he worked a case involving Maddox’s boyfriend serial killer Ethan Wolfe (see Creep).

 

Still suffering from PTSD, Jerry feels ill that some lunatic would kill an innocent to make a case to free a maniac like Abby; though many people feel she committed no crime except her choice in boyfriends.  Jerry knows psychologically he needs to stay away from this homicide, but obsessively cannot.

 

Jerry has not recovered his swagger from his traumatic meeting with Abby (in Creep) though his wife Anne and others are there for him, but feels he must act on the latest murders.  Abby is a fascinating person who is a sub in her loving relationships and psychopath protecting her beloveds.  Whereas his personality negatively has been changed by their encounter; hers has been strengthened.  Although serial killer thrillers inundate the market, sub-genre fans will want to know who the twisted Freak is behind “Free Abby Maddox”.

 

Harriet Klausner

 

 

Line of Fire-Stephen White-Stephen White

June 25, 2012

Line of Fire

Stephen White

Dutton, Aug 7 2012, $26.95

ISBN: 9780525952527

 

Boulder, Colorado psychologist Dr. Alan Gregory finds the recent calm in his life seemingly over.  His friend and therapist partner Diane, who already was emotionally struggling from an abduction several years ago, cannot cope with a fire that has devastated her home and left her marriage in trouble. 

 

He and his friend Police Detective Sam Purdy try to keep closed the apparent three year old suicide of psychotic J. Winter Brown as an eight years old witness has provided recent evidence that claim a murder occurred.  Compounding problems is a drug dealer learns of their involvement.  Finally a new patient Amanda Bobbie tells Gregory a story that has the psychologist fearing for his family, his friends and his life as the Brown case has gone torrid.

 

The first of the final two-part last Alan Gregory thriller (see The Last Lie and The Siege) is a fabulous tale as the cool doc is no longer calm with his cover-up of his indiscretion surfacing.  The action-packed thrilling storyline is character driven as the audience will feel Gregory’s fears.  With a great cliffhanger involving the hero’s wife setting up the climatic last Gregory caper, fans will enjoy this entry and look forward to the final curtain call.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Absent One-Jussi Adler-Olsen; K.E. Semmel (translator)

June 25, 2012

The Absent One

Jussi Adler-Olsen; K.E. Semmel (translator)

Dutton, Aug 21 2012, $26.95

ISBN 9780525952893

 

Copenhagen Deputy Detective Superintendent Carl Morck heads the police Department Q, whose mission is solving cold cases.  Formerly a good homicide cop, Morck almost died on the job while two of his peers did because he blames himself for failing to fire his gun (The Keeper of Lost Causes).  He suffers from remorse and survival guilt.

 

The latest case for Morck and his two exiled undesirable assistants Assad and Rose Knudson involves a 1987 double homicide of teen siblings; both beaten to death at a summer cottage in Rorvig.  Neither Carl nor Assad knows why they got the closed solved case, but they study the file. Suspicion back then fell on six boarding-school students staying at a nearby cottage who had several brawls at the local Round nightclub.  Five of them (Pram, Florin, Jensen, deceased Wolf and vanished Lasson) were born silver spooners while the other was on scholarship (Thogersen); the father of the victims, a cop, killed himself.  Nine years after the brutal murders, Thogersen confessed and remains in prison.  Three of the surviving now gold spooners realize the cops are reinvestigating the murders and may find evidence linking them to that and more such violent acts.  They need to eliminate the one person who could expose them if Department Q finds her before they do.

 

The second Department Q Danish police procedural is an exciting cold case mystery as the more Carl and Assad learn, the more convinced they are that all the suspects were involved in the murders and in subsequent killings since.  Readers will enjoy following the clues as everyone hunts for a homeless member of the original six.

 

Harriet Klausner