Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

Alice Close Your Eyes-Averil Dean

January 14, 2014

Alice Close Your Eyes
Averil Dean
Mira, Dec 31 2014, $14.95
ISBN: 9780778315865

On Vashon Island in Puget Sound, writer Alice Croft is on a mission of what she insists to herself justified vengeance to destroy the SOB who coldly allowed her mother to die when the bastard tossed away her inhaler she desperately needed. That moment a decade ago devastated Alice’s life.

Alice needs the right person for the job of murder so has been following her selected candidate Jack Calabrese to ascertain if he has the gonads to complete her quest. She breaks into Jack’s home when he is away, but he comes back early and catches her. He stays calm while they chat and soon each realizes they share a craving for S&M sex with Jack becoming the aggressor. Though Alice relishes their mutually satisfying proclivity, she has not lost her brain’s obsession to her libido as she still wants this dominant to kill the person who murdered her mother and destroyed her too.

Alice Close Your Eyes is a dark erotica psychological suspense. The lead couple has respective issues with Alice’s psychosis much more prevalent while the intended victim remains unknown until the climax except through her nightmarish mental filter. Although the sex supersedes the revenge for much of the storyline, readers will appreciate Averil Dean’s taut twisting tale.

Harriet Klausner

The Courier-Andrew Britton

January 5, 2014

The Courier
Andrew Britton
Pinnacle, Dec 31 2013, $9.99
ISBN: 9780786032174

Though he sort of quit while still breathing, a rarity for a long time CIA operative, Ryan Kealey concludes that once an espionage agent always an espionage agent until you’re dead. However, the world he survived no longer exists as the suits and techies run the “cooperating” espionage alphabets with their data mining and electronic surveillance superseding on the ground human Intel.

As Kealey muses over being a dinosaur; US Naval Space Command detect Plutonium 239 in the Arctic Circle; at the same time Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Captain Elham breaks radio silence to announce his vessel the Jamaran picked up a special find. Kealey is assigned the field operation of neutralizing the nuke before the Iranians deploy it. Out in the cold, Kealey teams up with nuclear physicist Rayhan Jafari, but their home office support handicaps them as the pair struggles to prevent the setting off a weapon of mass destruction.

The latest Ryan Kealey thriller (see The Exile, The Operative, The Invisible, The Assassin and The American) is a taut action-packed entry that leaves readers pondering what happens to all the weapons (not just nukes) compiled in a world in which annual Global Arms Sales reach billions. Adding a wonderful spin to the tale is Ryan’s dad Captain Largo Kealey’s actions in sinking a Nazi transporter of nukes in 1944 that leads to his chip off the old block son’s activity in 2013. Readers will appreciate this exciting cautionary tale.

Harriet Klausner

Zoo-James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

December 22, 2013

James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Vision/Grand Central, Dec 17 2013, $10.00
ISBN: 9781455525157

Biologist Jackson Oz observes a growing trend in which male animals from a wide variety of species become aggressive attackers of humans. He develops the Human-Animal Conflict (HAC) hypothesis in which he ponders whether the underlying cause that has changed the behavior of even docile pets into violent aggressors could be some form of modern day technology sending out “signals”.

He heads to Africa to test his HAC theory, but upon arrival male lions charge at his vehicle with him inside. Barely escaping, Oz rescues ecologist Chloe Tousignant from dozens of attacking alligators. The two scientists try to warn the world, but leaders choose self-preservation proclaiming Oz to be a nutcase with a wacko concept. As Oz and Chloe continue their research, he modifies his theory to include animals working as a cohesive assault unit propelled by industrialization; concluding with mankind will become the hunted if radical changes don’t occur now.

After a slow unnecessary early interlude in the sack and throughout too much explanation rather than action, the environmental premise with its deniers makes for an engaging save mankind in spite of itself thriller. Oz comes across as brilliant but fickle while Chloe is never developed beyond being an adulating sexual sidekick for the hero to love and rescue. Overall Zoo is an entertaining tale that could have been a great cautionary parable.

Harriet Klausner

The Tenth Circle-Jon Land

December 22, 2013

The Tenth Circle
Jon Land
Open Road, Dec 24 2013, $16.99
ISBN 9781480414792

Black ops Blaine McCracken and Johnny Wareagle return home after successfully destroying an underground nuclear facility in Iran. However, in the States, Reverend Jeremiah Rule sprouts hatred attacks on Islam that he calls evil and blames it for everything wrong in the world. Raging with fire and brimstone, Rule encourages his supporters to take action against these wicked Muslim monsters protected by the duplicitous sinful American government.

An affluent secret cabal supports the Reverend in his fiery loathing; but is ignorant as to his plans to deploy a special weapon of mass destruction used in the late sixteenth century on Roanoke Island and in 1872 on the Mary Celeste. Blaine, Johnny and others have no time to rest on their Iranian laurels as they must prevent the Rev. from devastating the globe with his WMD.

The latest exhilarating faster than light Blaine McCracken black ops thriller (see Pandora’s Temple) uses the premise of a WMD as the cause behind the two famous historical mass disappearances. Over the top of Fenway’s Green Monster (to the delight of us fans including we Yankee rooters), readers will appreciate the efforts of Blaine and company to keep Rule from changing America and the world into a hellish Tenth Circle.

Harriet Klausner

The Fifth Assassin-Brad Meltzer

December 13, 2013

The Fifth Assassin
Brad Meltzer
Grand Central, Dec 10 2013, $10.00
ISBN: 9780446553988

National Archives archivist Beecher White became part of the Culper Ring, established by George Washington to protect the presidency, after he and his high school crush Clementine Hadrian got involved with a GW artifact (see The Inner Circle). Recently the unknown Knight has assassinated church dignitaries by copying presidential murders.

Beecher investigates the serial killings. His findings leads him to an improbable hypothesis that he and historians would have believed impossible not too long ago; the archivist concludes the four successful POTUS assassins amongst the over twenty attempts seem to have “worked” together. Additionally, Beecher assumes the current religious murders are practice for the mysterious masked wearing Knight to target the current office holder; though the archivist believes the death of the malevolent president is not necessarily a bad thing.

The second Beecher White tale (see The Inner Circle) is an exhilarating conspiratorial thriller that uses real presidential history as a critical backdrop. Although there are too many jumping in and out of subplots (especially distracting is the hero’s childhood flashbacks), readers will appreciate the adventures of the activist archivist attempting to prevent the fascinating (in a macabre way) deranged Fifth Assassin from succeeding.

Harriet Klausner

Innocent Blood: The Order of the Sanguines Series-James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

November 30, 2013

Innocent Blood: The Order of the Sanguines Series
James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
Morrow, Dec 10 2013, $27.99
ISBN 9780061991066

After an earthquake left hundreds dead in Masada and opened a long buried tomb, archaeologist Dr. Erin Granger, U.S. Army Sergeant Jordan Stone and Father Ruhn Korza explored the new find when inhuman beings attacked them. Surviving the assault, Father Korza persuaded his teammates answers can be found in the mystical missing tome allegedly scribed by Christ in his blood. This Blood Gospel claims Armageddon can be prevented if the Knight of Christ, the Warrior of Man, and the Woman of Learning unite and find the First Angel. Father Korza proves to be the Knight of Christ; Sergeant Stone is the Warrior of Man; and Dr. Erin Granger probably is the Woman of Learning.

Following a nasty attack on Granger near Stanford by the strigoi vampires, Father Korza vanishes in Rome. His two allies rush to Italy searching for him in the Vatican. They soon feel out of their element again as the brave pair, helped by the saved Sanguinists, battle the fallen strigoi.

The second Order of the Sanguines Christian horror thriller (see The Blood Gospel) once again grips the audience beginning with the California attack and never slows down as the plot goes deeper into the paradox of faith and redemption. Fast-paced, series fans will relish this exciting entry although the American heroes continue their globetrotting confrontations with the strigoi, but seem to have fallen to the middle book curse as they fail to grow from all the blood they recently have experienced.

Harriet Klausner

Montooth 3 Red Cross Of Gold-Robert Jay and Meghan Christian

November 25, 2013

Montooth 3 Red Cross Of Gold
Robert Jay and Meghan Christian
Cloverleaf Corporation, Oct 30 2013, $21.99
ISBN: 9780989117104

In 1954 at Florida’s Sarasota’s Preparatory Academy, Cuban student Elena Rafferty tells her friend Carty Andersson about her anti-Batista activity. Both teens will miss each other as they graduate and vow to stay in touch; as Elena plans to return home to join the Castro forces rebelling against the dictator while Carty and her Crew mates (Blake Homes, Mack Stein and Hale Wending) will attend Purdue.

At Purdue, freshman Carty likes her petit roommate Marjory Mentor who majors in MRS while fascinated with Andersson’s archery skills. In class, Mack challenges Economics Professor Lyndon Donagle’s wine growing theories embarrassing the Dr. When the Crew leaves the campus over Thanksgiving, Marjorie remains in the dorm where she spends time with her new boyfriend. In Lafayette, someone shoots three arrows into Donagle before bashing in his head. LPD Police Detective Mickey Malone leads the homicide investigation with Carty as the only suspect.

The third Montooth historical thriller (see Montooth And the Canfield Witch, and Race for The Ryland Ruby) is a terrific profound look into the “Happy Days” of the Eisenhower years with readers feeling like time travelers to vividly described Indiana, Florida and Cuba. The taut homicide inquiry subplot feels like ancient history with no Bones or Jeffersonian forensics while the rise of Castro as the Cuban people’s savior further anchors time and place. With a Montooth fable re bees, and treasures dating back to Templars rounding out the delightful 1950s drama, readers will appreciate this strong suspense as the Crew loyally set out to prove one of their own did not kill the professor.

Harriet Klausner

Wake To Darkness-Maggie Shayne

November 23, 2013

Wake To Darkness
Maggie Shayne
MIRA, Nov 26 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778315551

Famous self-help inspirational author Rachel de Luca and police detective Mason Brown met when his car hits her as the distracted blind woman left the police station. That same day, his brother Eric committed suicide so Mason and his sibling’s widow donated his organs. Rachel received his corneas that enable her to see for the first time since she was a child. After regaining her sight, Rachel and Mason worked together on a serial killer case in which she saw visions of a psychopath in action and shared the best sex either had (see Sleep With the Lights On).

The renowned author completes a Wish Yourself Rich book tour and TV appearances only to learn Mason’s widowed sister-in-law suffered a stillborn. With his family needing him and he upset over her not calling him while she was away for a month, Mason suggests they keep apart for now. However, Rachel suffers a nightmare in which she sees another of Eric’s organ recipients a mom with small children murdered. She joins Mason as he investigates the homicide in which she believes she is on a serial killer’s Wraith organ hit list.

The latest Brown and DeLuca paranormal investigation is an engaging thriller starring two wonderful protagonists and a strong support cast especially his family. With a nod to the movie Blink, this fast-paced with a tense twist tale grips sub-genre readers as once again evil always finds a willing host while good manifests itself in love.

Harriet Klausner

Found: A Matt Royal Mystery-. Terrell Griffin

November 16, 2013

Found: A Matt Royal Mystery
H. Terrell Griffin
Oceanview, Nov 19 2013, $26.95
ISBN 9781608090990

On Longboat Key, Florida, police detective J.D. Duncan receives a text addressed to her college nickname Jed containing a photo. She forwards it to her boyfriend retired attorney Matt Royal’s email to open since her cell is too small to see the picture clearly. The text shows her college friend Katie Fredrickson holding today’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Over a year ago in Sarasota, Katie’s husband Jim was murdered and based on crime scene evidence she was presumed dead though her body never found.

Someone murders Cortez villager WWII veteran Ken Goodlow while he apparently was coming to see Royal. The killer dies in the bay trying to escape the police. Duncan works the Frederickson case while laid-back Royal tries to learn why the elderly man wanted to see him. Matt’s BFF kick butt top secret operative Jock Algren arrives for a visit and joins the lovers’ inquires as danger mounts from cutthroats who don’t care about collateral damage.

The latest Matt Royal entry (see Fatal Decree and Collateral Damage) is a fast-paced convoluted thriller that grips the reader with the same questions haunting the “sweeties”; for instance why Goodlow wanted to see Royal and what is going on with Katie alive or dead. Series fans will enjoy this tale as the cop, the retiree, and the agent work the two perilous investigations.

Harriet Klausner

Dust-Patricia Cornwell

November 14, 2013

Patricia Cornwell
Putnam, Nov 12 2013, $28.95
ISBN: 9780399157578

After working the Newtown tragedy, emotionally weary Dr. Kay Scarpetta goes to her home in Cambridge for some needed sleep. In the middle of the night the mentally exhausted chief medical examiner is awakened by detective Pete Marino calling her. He tells Scarpetta that a female corpse was found at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Briggs Field.

Scarpetta arrives at the athletic field murder scene. She quickly realizes that the killer purposely posed grad student Gail Shipton, which implies to the M.E. that she is not the first victim. She wonders why the predator covered the body with dust while thinking her case looks similar to the Capital Murderer investigation her FBI husband Benton Wesley is investigating. Scarpetta and her Cambridge Forensic Center team learn that Shipton sued her fired financial managers and that someone(s) with influence wants the homicide to go unsolved.

The latest Scarpetta forensics investigation (see Postmortem) is an exciting whodunit that as always uses current advances in an understandable manner without dumbing them down. Though the storyline slows down at times when it turns personal, this entry is overall a fast-paced twisting murder mystery with Scarpetta at the top of her game and Wesley deeper than ever.

Harriet Klausner