Mystery/Thriller

#BookReview Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline

#BookReview Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline Title: Most Wanted

Author: Lisa Scottoline

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Apr. 12, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 438

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 6.5/10

Lisa Scottoline delivers another searing, powerful blockbuster novel that explores hot-button issues within the framework of an intricately plotted thriller. When a woman and her husband, desperate for a baby, find themselves unable to conceive, they decide to take further steps. Since it is the husband who is infertile, the heroine decides to use a donor. And all seems to be well. Three months pass and she is happily pregnant. But a shocking revelation occurs when she discovers that a man arrested for a series of brutal murders is her donor – the biological father of the child she is carrying. Delving deeper to uncover the truth, the heroine must face her worst fears, and confront a terrifying truth. Most Wanted is sure to be Lisa Scottoline’s most discussed, bestselling novel yet.


Review:

I really don’t like to give bad reviews, as I can only imagine how hard it is to be a writer and how much effort goes into every book they write. However, saying that, I was little disappointed in this one.

This story has a great premise, a little suspense, a bit of mystery, and some interesting moral and ethical dilemmas.

Overall though, I found the plot slow and slightly unrealistic, and the characterization seemed somewhat flat and unbelievable.

I have read several really good Lisa Scottoline books in the past, such as Every Fifteen Minutes, and I look forward to reading her next release, but this one wasn’t one of her best.

 

 

About Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is The New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 30 novels, including her #1 bestselling, AFTER ANNA. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Chick Wit” which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective. These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in a New York Times bestselling series of humorous memoirs including their most recent, I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But The Pool. Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America. Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction." Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

#BookReview Friction by Sandra Brown

#BookReview Friction by Sandra Brown Title: Friction

Author: Sandra Brown

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Feb. 2, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.

A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?


Review:

This is a great mystery. In fact, it is one of my favourite reads in this genre so far this year.

It is a riveting, intense, suspenseful story, with a side of romance, that starts with a murder in a courtroom and takes us through multiple twists and turns to identify who the target really is and why.

The characters are well-developed, bold, and complex. And the story is well written, with multiple plots, great dialogue, and steamy romance.

This is a gripping page turner and I highly recommend it.

#BookReview The Stranger by Harlan Coben

#BookReview The Stranger by Harlan Coben Title: The Stranger

Author: Harlan Coben

Published by: Dutton on Feb. 9, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.


Review:

I enjoyed this book.

It is intense, suspenseful, and full of action.

It takes us on a journey through the depth and despair that comes from secrets, and reminds us that everything is not always as it seems.

This book is interesting, unique and well written. The characters are realistic and colourful. And the plot develops nicely, has multiple twists and turns, and is highly captivating.

Harlan Coben is a great mystery writer. And once again he has written a good one!

 

#BookReview The Last Mile by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci

#BookReview The Last Mile by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci Title: The Last Mile

Author: David Baldacci

Series: Amos Decker #2

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Apr. 19, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 420

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 9/10

In his #1 New York Times bestseller Memory Man, David Baldacci introduced the extraordinary detective Amos Decker-the man who can forget nothing. Now, Decker returns in a spectacular new thriller . . . 
THE LAST MILE
Convicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution–for the violent killing of his parents twenty years earlier–when he’s granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.
Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars’s case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men’s families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.
The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars–guilty or not–a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now?
But when a member of Decker’s team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger–and more sinister–than just one convicted criminal’s life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower to stop an innocent man from being executed. 


Review:

This is another great mystery from David Baldacci. It is the second book in the Amos Decker series, but can definitely be read as a standalone.

In this novel our favourite characters, Decker, Jamison and Bogart, from Memory Man are back and working together as a special team in the FBI that try to solve cold cases.

This story is well written, interesting, suspenseful, and intelligent. It has everything you look for in a good mystery, murder, kidnapping, blackmail, and deceit.

It is a captivating page turner that you won’t want to put down. I highly recommend it.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on David Baldacci, visit his website at: davidbaldacci.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @davidbaldacci

 

#BookReview Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

#BookReview Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1

Published by: Quirk Books on Jun. 4, 2013

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 382

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7.5/10

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.


Review:

I have seen this book many times but it wasn’t until I recently saw it on a “Books Becoming Movies in 2016” list that I decided to give it a try.

I actually thought from the picture on the front cover of this book that it might be a horror story, but boy was I surprised.

This is actually a highly imaginative tale about those with extraordinary abilities. It takes place in the present, and the past during the height of WWII.

I have to say, there are elements of this story that remind me a little of such classics as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Harry Potter. Similar to those stories, the children, themselves, are the protectors and heroes against the monsters that hunt them, and they use portals for time travel between the present and the past to survive.

The writing is simple but effective. The plot is creative, suspenseful, and magical. It truly is a very unique story.

Keep in mind, there are two other novels in the series, Hollow City and Library of Souls, where the battles and adventures of these “peculiar children” continue.

Also, the movie for this first book is set to be released in theatres in September 2016.

 

#BookReview Shadow Play by Iris Johansen

#BookReview Shadow Play by Iris Johansen Title: Shadow Play

Author: Iris Johansen

Series: Eve Duncan #19

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Sep. 29, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 332

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 6.5/10

An explosive new Eve Duncan thriller from the New York Times #1 bestselling author

Eve Duncan is the most sought-after artist in the field of forensic sculpting. Dedicated to her work ever since her daughter Bonnie was taken and killed at the age of seven, Eve feels a sense of duty to those whose lives were lost and whose bones are now in her hands. When a sheriff in California contacts her with a request for help on the reconstruction of the skull of a nine-year-old girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his intensity and investment in the case puzzle her. But when the ghost of the girl begins communicating with her, Eve finds herself wrapped up in the case more intensely than she could have ever imagined. Not since Bonnie has Eve had such an experience, and suddenly she finds herself determined to solve the murder and help the little girl find peace. Except that the killer is still out there, and he knows Eve is on the case. And he won’t rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated… 


Review:

Unfortunately, this book didn’t really work for me.

I have read many of the other Eve Duncan books in the series, this is book #19, and really enjoyed them, but this one was a little disappointing.

The plot wasn’t that suspenseful. There was a supernatural element that seemed to make the story disjointed at times. And even though some of the usual characters were back, Eve and Joe, the other supporting characters were unrealistic and flat.

I usually like Iris Johansen’s work so I will definitely give her next book a try, but unless you are a die-hard fan of the Eve Duncan series, I’d give this one a miss.

 

About Iris Johansen

Iris Johansen is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success.

She lives in Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.

#BookReview Trauma by Michael Palmer & Daniel Palmer

#BookReview Trauma by Michael Palmer & Daniel Palmer Title: Trauma

Author: Michael Palmer, Michael Palmer, Daniel Palmer

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 12, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 370

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

Dr. Carrie Bryant’s is a much-admired neurosurgical resident at an esteemed Boston hospital. But when her first unsupervised brain surgery goes horribly wrong, she loses her confidence-and, after another fateful misstep, Carrie decides to quit her residency and move back home. Her new life’s purpose: To help her combat-vet brother, Adam, recover from a crippling case of post-traumatic stress disorder.

At first, the experimental program at the VA Medical Center-one that could forever cure the ravages of PTSD-seems like best option for Adam. But Carrie has her doubts when one of her patients goes missing…and then another. Carrie turns to local investigative reporter David Hoffman for help in getting answers. But the VA organization is determined to keep its secrets-at all costs. As Carrie and David descend into a labyrinth of murder and corruption, the price Carrie could pay for asking the wrong questions is her own life…


Review:

What do you get when a father, Michael Palmer, and a son, Daniel Palmer, write a book together? You get a really good, suspenseful, medical thriller.

This book takes a really in-depth look at PTSD in military veterans and the impact it has on not only their own lives, but the lives of the people who surround them.

As in most cases where there are millions of people affected, in one way or another, and billions spent on rehabilitation and treatments, the level of corruption and greed is unfathomable.

This book was very interesting and really well written. The plot developed nicely with some good twists and turns. And in a scary sort of way, the story did not seem that far from reality.

For those of you who may not know, the famous medical thriller writer, Michael Palmer, actually passed away during the early development stage of this story and his son, Daniel Palmer, took his ideas and created this finished product. It would seem that Daniel Palmer may now have a very successful career writing medical thrillers.

This was a really good book, and I would definitely recommend it.

 

 

About Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer, M.D., 1942-2013, was the author of Political Suicide, Oath of Office, A Heartbeat Away, The Last Surgeon, The Second Opinion, The First Patient, The Fifth Vial, The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages.

He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals, spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine, and served as an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s physician health program.

About Daniel Palmer

Daniel Palmer is the author of four critically-acclaimed suspense novels. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer. A recording artist, accomplished blues harmonica player, and lifelong Red Sox fan, Daniel lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children where he is currently at work on his next novel.

#BookReview Private Paris by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

#BookReview Private Paris by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan Title: Private Paris

Author: James Patterson, Mark T. Sullivan

Series: Private #10

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Mar. 14, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 411

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

Paris is burning–and only Private’s Jack Morgan can put out the fire.

When Jack Morgan stops by Private’s Paris office, he envisions a quick hello during an otherwise relaxing trip filled with fine food and sightseeing. But Jack is quickly pressed into duty after a call from his client Sherman Wilkerson, asking Jack to track down his young granddaughter who is on the run from a brutal drug dealer.

Before Jack can locate her, several members of France’s cultural elite are found dead–murdered in stunning, symbolic fashion. The only link between the crimes is a mysterious graffiti tag. As religious and ethnic tensions simmer in the City of Lights, only Jack and his Private team can connect the dots before the smoldering powder keg explodes.


Review:

I liked this book and generally enjoy the “Private” series.

It had a good plot and interesting characters.

It was quick-paced, had short chapters, and was easy to read.

I would recommend it and look forward to the next book in the series.

 

#BookReview Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

#BookReview Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith Title: Child 44

Author: Tom Rob Smith

Series: Leo Demidov #1

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Mar. 31, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 9/10

In a country ruled by fear, no one is innocent.

Stalin’s Soviet Union is an official paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law, but when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State’s obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer–and a country where “crime” doesn’t exist.


Review:

I really liked this book.

It was dark. It was gritty. At times it was downright disturbing. But this book is a great mystery.

Smith uses this novel to take us deep into the historical and political nightmare of Stalin’s Russia to catch a killer. And with incredible imagery delves into the hardships and cruelty endured by the people of that time.

It is an intriguing, interesting, well written story with lots of twists and turns. Don’t miss it. It’s hard to put down.

#BookReview 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

#BookReview 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro Title: 14th Deadly Sin

Author: James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

Series: Women's Murder Club #14

Published by: Little Brown and Company on May 4, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Detective Lindsay Boxer and her three best friends are back and recovering from the events that pushed them all to the edge.

After her near-death experience, Yuki is seeing her life from a new perspective and is considering a change in her law career. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy has healed from her gunshot wound and has published a book on the infamous serial killers she helped to bring down. Lindsay is just happy that the gang are all still in one piece.

But a new terror is sweeping the streets of San Francisco. A gang dressed as cops are ransacking the city, and leaving a string of dead bodies in their wake. Lindsay is on the case to track them down and needs to discover whether these killers could actually be police officers. Maybe even cops she already knows…


Review:

I liked this book.

It was an easy read, flowed nicely and was entertaining.

Is the plot somewhat weaker than some of the other WMC books? Maybe. After all it is book #14 in the series.

Saying that, however, I still think it’s worth the read.

 

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