Posts filed under 'Thriller'
Jaclyn Wilde and her mother own a successful and highly regarded event planning business. They have both had their share of difficult customers and bridezillas, and nearly meet their match in bride-to-be Carrie Edwards who makes being obnoxious an art form. Edwards has alienated every vendor in her path on her way to the altar, and Jaclyn cannot wait for the wedding to be over.
In addition to her work, divorcee Jaclyn has recently met sexy detective Eric Wilder, with whom she shared a steamy night. After years of not dating, Jaclyn thinks he just may be worth the effort if she can commit some time away from her work to have a personal life again. When the current bridezilla is found dead, and Jaclyn is pronounced as the last person to see her, Eric puts his professional ethics first, and backs away from the relationship just as Jaclyn may need him the most.
Linda Howard has written an entertaining novel with characters you’ll care about as they find their way through a complicated tangle of crime and passion. Recommended for fans of romantic suspense.
Find Veil of Night in our catalog.
April 18th, 2011
Jack Reacher could have a much easier life…if only he would just keep going down the road. This time, he’s stopped for the night at a crossroads in Nebraska. Still recovering from his previous adventure, he’s on his way to Virginia to meet a certain lady friend. Unfortunately, Reacher’s instincts to champion the underdog get in the way of his progress and he finds himself defending area farmers against a corrupt family that deals in the trucking business and things much more sinister.
Reacher has an amazing ability to anticipate others’ moves a second before they begin to act, and can take on multiple bad guys at once. Child pulls this off shamelessly time and time again, and still never lets Reacher become a caricature. Reacher isn’t a superhero, he’s just got great instincts and reflexes, and has been well trained by the U.S. Army. Thriller fans should not skip this series.
Find Worth Dying For in our catalog.
January 19th, 2011
Whether you have read Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series or not, thriller fans should not miss 61 hours. It’s the story of 61 hours in a small town in South Dakota at a time when a blizzard is dumping loads of snow, another storm is on the way, an international drug war is about to become a local issue, a witness in a federal drug case is in grave danger, there’s huge potential for a prison riot, the state patrol is occupied with weather-related issues, and the local police force is not nearly large or trained enough to handle the disasters about to strike. Jack Reacher happens to be stranded in town because of the storms and his training puts him in a unique position to provide much needed assistance to the beleaguered town.
The best part about this series is that Reacher is from nowhere, has no personal ties or relationships, no home, and it’s clear that none of this background is necessary to the stories which move at a rapid action-movie pace. While you’ll want to read more than one Reacher novel, it’s not necessary to start at any particular point in the series. By the way, fans of the series are known as Reacher’s Creatures.
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January 11th, 2011
The end of the world is one insomniac night away in Huston’s apocalyptic thriller. A strange new plague of unrest has gripped the world. Sufferers of the mysterious ailment—known as Sleepless—are literally unable to sleep. At all. Ever again. For months on end, they endure, becoming more and more exhausted and more and more mentally unstable as the sleeplessness takes its toll until finally, death takes them into the final sleep. There is no cure, and the only medication that offers any relief, known colloquially as Dreamer, cannot be manufactured in sufficient quantity to aid all the sufferers. No one is untouched by the plague at any level of society, and society itself it crumbling. Mob rule has taken parts of the city, and no one segment of law enforcement speaks to or works with any other.
In this crumbling society, undercover narcotics cop Parker Haas fights desperately to infiltrate a drug ring selling black-market Dreamer—not only because he is still dedicated to an ideal of justice, but because his own wife is Sleepless. His investigation takes him into the underground world of gamers addicted to a World of Warcraft-like videogame called Chasm Tide and into the circle of Cager, a wealthy top gamer who happens to be a scion of the family that manufactures and sells Dreamer. Meanwhile, an aging mercenary named Jasper is tapped to recover a piece of property from Cager and is drawn into intricate and various conspiracies and plots swirling around Parker and Cager and the beginning of the end of the world.
Skillfully drawn and artfully complex, this apocalyptic tale is recommended for fans of tech-oriented thrillers with a good dose of social commentary, a la William Gibson and Cory Doctorow.
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December 10th, 2010
Lucy is the story of a teenager who is half human and half bonobo. To all appearances, she is human, she speaks as a human, and she’s intelligent and personable. She exists because of the madness of her father, a researcher in the Congo who wanted to create a species with the sensibilities of bonobos and the intellect of humans. When her father and bonobo mother are killed, Lucy is brought to the U.S. and adopted by a fellow scientist who knows nothing of Lucy’s origins. When the truth comes to light, Lucy’s adoptive mother and friend try to protect her from a number of threats–some more believable than others.
This is a definite page-turner, and there are similarities to Michael Crichton’s novels. Since it deals with the ethics of science, there is also plenty to discuss for book groups who are looking for an unusual plot-driven read. With the recent release of Sara Gruen’s Ape House, this may be the year of the Bonobo.
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November 27th, 2010
As much of a thriller reader as I am, this is my first encounter with James Rollins. He’s most known for the Sigma Force series, but has also written standalone novels. He’s been on my to-read list for a few years now and been recommended to me by many avid readers. I chose a stand-alone for my first Rollins novel: Altar of Eden.
The action is satisfyingly immediate and never lets up. There’s little in the way of character development, but such is the case with most thrillers. In mainstream thrillers we usually know just enough background to have sympathy for the protagonist and to know that the bad guy is evil. Rollins doesn’t disappoint. Dr. Lorna Polk, a young veterinarian working for an animal lab in New Orleans is called in to assist the border patrol in identifying some animals apparently smuggled in and found on a boat that has crashed in the swampy south Louisiana coast. As they discover that these animals are not what they appear to be, the bad guys are hot on their trail trying to destroy not only the animals, but anyone who has seen them.
This novel is reminiscent of Michael Crichton’s books in many ways–the sort of fantastic plot that he makes believable, the mile-a-minute action, and the surprises. Fans of fast-paced thrillers will enjoy Rollins.
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November 19th, 2010
Biotech firm Genada is after the Holy Grail of genetic research…transplantable organs with no chance of rejection. All of the other firms have had their research shut down over fears of uncontrollable zoonotic diseases ravaging the world, but one of the brothers running Genada is a former special ops soldier and had laid careful plans for whisking their researchers out of reach of the government.
Exiled and isolated on a small island in Canada in the dead of an icy winter, the research continues. Rather than engineering animals to produce human organs, as most firms were attempting, Genada’s researchers are attempting to use reverse bio-engineering to produce what they are calling an “ancestor;” that is, the first common mammalian ancestor of all species alive today. The organs would be resistent to zoonotic diseases and would be compatible with all humans. Unfortunately for them, their most brilliant researcher, a Chinese woman named Liu Jian Den, is schizophrenic. She’s well-controlled on medications, but the project lead has been deliberately shorting her meds in order to promote her leaps of intuitive brillance. And in one of those leaps, she succeeds in creating viable ancestor embryos—but she has added traits none of the others expected. Traits that create, not the docile, cow-like creatures they expected, but huge, ravening, frighteningly intelligent predators. Now trapped in the snow and ice, hunted by both creatures out of prehistoric nightmares AND the psychotic special ops colleagues of their twisted patron, the researchers must fight for survival.
Fast-paced, taut, and exciting, Sigler’s thriller is marred only slightly by some clunky dialogue and an abundance of genre cliches. But for those looking for Crichton-esque excitement are sure to be delighted.
Find Ancestor in our catalog.
October 6th, 2010
After finishing a job investigating the rise of underground “locative art” for Hubertus Bigend in Spook Country, former rock star Hollis Henry once again finds herself coming to the attention of the mysterious marketing mogul and head of the trend-forecasting firm Blue Ant. Despite her initial reservations about working for the slightly amoral and driven exec, Hollis gets roped into tracking down the designer of an obscure, highly collectible, and extremely exclusive “secret brand” of clothing, Gabriel Hounds. Bigend is, on the one hand, concerned that the Gabriel Hounds designer is beating him at his own marketing game. On the other hand, the clothing Hounds produces is instantly crave-worthy; all the pieces are well-made, deceptively simple, and completely trend-immune, and Bigend wants to recruit the designer for a project of his own. He’s decided to slip through a legal loophole and into the lucrative business of designing clothing for the American military.
Meanwhile, Bigend has sent another of his employees, the recently-recovered former drug addict Milgrim, on a little industrial espionage trip to check out the competition. Milgrim, who has basically missed most of the last ten years, is Bigend’s current project. For one thing, he wanted to see if an experimental drug rehab project would actually work. For another, Milgrim’s tabula rasa state when it comes to pop culture makes him invaluable to someone like Bigend. However, Milgrim is balanced very carefully on a razor’s edge between complete stability and a slow slide back into his former habits, and his unpredictable nature coupled with the fact that the “competition” he checked out happened to be a former American Special Ops soldier turned arms dealer throw more than a few monkey wrenches into the plans of both Bigend and Hollis.
Fast-paced, edgy, and written in an almost ascetic and concentrated style, this is a near-future thriller set in a time and place that will feel at once out on the edge and also completely familiar to readers. Highly recommended for readers looking for something a little bit different than their usual fare.
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September 29th, 2010
Sometime in the near future, gasoline is up to $13 a gallon. New Orleans has been wiped from the earth by another hurricane. The War on Terror is still on-going but the US isn’t winning. And the US military, lead by Homeland Security, is seeking an edge. To that end, they collect twelve convicted murderers from Death Row and conveniently make them “disappear” from the records, taking them to a facility in Colorado that is conducting experiments to create the perfect, self-healing, near immortal soldier. This sort of thing never being a good idea, of course, the virus with which the murderers are infected instead mutates them into something very close to vampires. The twelve are now telepathic, sensitive to light, glow in the dark, and are extremely fast, extremely strong, and extremely hungry. And then…they escape. After that, it’s all just a matter of time.
Barely one hundred years later, North American society has entirely collapsed, and nothing is known about the state of the outer world. What few humans may remain live in walled colonies and fear the dark. One such colony, established by FEMA in what was once California, has suffered heavy losses over the years, and is now facing the fact that the batteries which power the lights that keep them safe are dying. Within a few years at most, the lights will go dark and the “virals” who hunt them will be over the walls one night and feasting on their blood. And then, one day, a young girl walks up to their walls and is taken in. It has been years since the last “Walker” came into the Colony for succor against the vampiric virals, and this particular Walker, Amy, is a horse of a different color. She, too, was part of the original experiment to create the supersoldiers, and she may well be the last best hope of humanity.
Lengthy, but intense and gripping, this epic compares favorably to the best of Stephen King and Michael Crichton. Hard to put down!
Find The Passage in our catalog.
August 7th, 2010
At 6:18 PM on December 21, Sue Young, a single mother, receives a call that will change her life forever. The man on the other end of the phone informs her that he has kidnapped her infant daughter Veda and, unless Sue does exactly as he says, will kill Veda. Sue, a trained ambulance driver with nerves of steel, leaps into action, following the kidnapper’s instructions as closely as she’s able. He tells her to bring a shovel and a canvas sheet and directs her to drive to a particular spot in her old home town…a spot Sue has good reason to know well. When she was young, she and another child killed a man they suspected to be a serial killer nicknamed the Engineer and buried him on that spot. And now, many long years later, the voice on the phone directs Sue to dig up the buried corpse, put it in her trunk, and drive a very particular route through the Massachusetts countryside. As Sue drives the route, she passes through a series of towns, all of which contain statues of a historical figure by the name of Isaac Hamilton…but in each further town along the route, the statue is missing one more body part. At first thinking this is just a historical curiosity, Sue soon realizes that both the Engineer and the voice on the phone have a strange connection to Hamilton—a well-known serial killer from the 1800s. If she finishes the route the voice on the phone has laid out for her, the consequences may be dire—but if she doesn’t finish the route, her beloved daughter is certain to die a horrible death.
Fast-paced and thrilling, this novel starts out a seemingly run-of-the-mill thriller but swiftly morphs into a story of ancient horror and paranormal evil with some genuinely chilling moments. Enjoyable.
Find Chasing the Dead in our catalog.
July 21st, 2010
The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is on the way to remote Shutter Island in company with another U.S. Marshall, Chuck Aule, whom Teddy has just met. Despite the newness of their partnership, the two men hit it off, sharing old emotional scars and developing a joking rapport. Their objective on the island is Ashcliffe Hospital, a combination prison and psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. A dangerous patient has inexplicably escaped her room and the two men are to discover not only her whereabouts, but just how she managed to escape in the first place. When the men interview the doctors and other personnel, they immediately get the feeling that not all is as it seems and that just about everyone is lying. When a hurricane hits the island, isolating them from any possible backup from the mainland and Chuck Aule disappears, Teddy has to go it alone. He has his own private reasons for visiting the island—both tracking down the man he believes to be responsible for his wife’s death and proving that the doctors are actually conducting cruel psychological experiments on the patients—and he suspects that the staff of the hospital have slipped him hallucinogenic drugs and are trying to drive him insane and add him to their patient list.
The plot twists fly fast and thick, quickly adding up to a complex and compelling psychological thriller that leaves the reader guessing right up until the very end. Very much a book to be read in one sitting!
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May 13th, 2010
There’s nothing like a good thriller for your summer vacation reading and there’s quite a lineup of thrillers set to be released in the next few months. Take a look at what’s coming up:
Brown, Dale. Executive Intent– May
Child, Lee. 61 Hours (Jack Reacher) — May
French, Nicci. The Other Side of the Door — May
Sandford John. Storm Prey — May
Turow, Scott. Innocent (Sequel to Presumed Innocent)– May
Cussler, Clive. The Spy (Isaac Bell) — June
Deaver, Jeffery. The Burning Wire (Lincoln Rhyme) — June
Furst, Alan. Spies of the Balkans — June
Lustbader, Eric. The Bourne Objective — June
Patterson, Richard North. In The Name of Honor — June
Sigler, Scott. Ancestor — June
May 7th, 2010