Category Archives: Thriller

Warning Light by David Ricciardi

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Warning LightThis is quite a story for those of us who enjoy adventure and also enjoy hearing and reading about the military, espionage, and all things tied to those areas of our lives.

Zac Miller, traveling as a technology consultant, is flying to Singapore when the aircraft is diverted due to mechanical problems (the Warning Light). Zac and the other passengers end up landing in Sirjan in the Republic of Iran. Walking from the aircraft, which was forced to land quite a distance out on the runway due to its size, Zac begins taking some pictures of the land behind the airport.

As they get to the terminal Zac is stopped and taken into a room where his camera is taken from him and he is in fact taken prisoner. The Iranians then take him to Colonel Arzaman of the Revolutionary Guards. Here he is questioned and realizes that Arzaman is going to hold him and further attempt to find out about Zac, his background, and what he is doing in Iran. Also at the same time unbeknownst to Zac, a young man matching his build looks, and attire takes Zac’s place on the plane. This is going to be a big part of the story later on.

The Undertaker’s Daughter by Sara Blaedel

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

The Undertaker's DaughterThe Undertaker’s Daughter introduces Ilka Jensen, a middle aged protagonist who has struggled with the loss of her father for most of her life. When she was seven, her father up and left moving to Racine, Wisconsin, never to be heard from again. That is never heard from again until now. Word comes that her father has died and named Ilka in his will. His estate cannot be settled until she signs off on the will Rather than leaving this to her attorney to handle for her, she decides to travel to Wisconsin and handle it herself. Of course things turn out to be more complicated than she expected. She finds her father has left everything to his current wife and two American daughters except his business, a failing funeral home. While I generally liked Ilka and found the book interesting, it was quite a bit different than I would expect from a Scandinavian crime author.

The first thing that struck me a bit out of the ordinary, was except for the very beginning of the book, when readers meet Ilka and her mother in Copenhagen, the entire book takes place in Wisconsin. I suppose there are other Scandinavian writers who set an occasional in America, but I found this an interesting way to start what appears to be a series.

A Death in Live Oak: A Jack Swyteck Novel by James Grippando

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

A Death in Live OakDuring an inter-fraternity event at a prominent Florida university, the unthinkable happens: the president of the university’s most prominent black fraternity, Jamal Cousin, is found along the river. Mark Towson, president of an equally prestigious white fraternity. The most damning piece of evidence is a text message with a peculiar message, sent from Towson’s phone. Towson is from a prominent family, which is how talented attorney Jack Swyteck comes to take the case. Tensions run hot and there is mounting pressure from all sides to obtain justice for Cousins. The D.A. is anxious to close this case quickly but Swyteck is convinced that there is more to this case than meets the eye. It will take all of Swyteck’s skill to get to the truth.

The Late Show by Michael Connelly

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Late ShowConnelly introduces a new main character and she is going to be a great addition to his crew of unforgettable characters. Renee Ballard is a surfing young lady living and working in Los Angeles. She got her surfing background from her father while living in Hawaii. After he died (actually drowned) she moved to the states to be close to her grandmother.

Now she works as a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department and due to a confrontation with a supervisor about a year ago she is on The Late Show. That term in the LAPD is actually for those who work second or third shift on the force.

Ballard is a real hard charger and often works over and above her scheduled shifts. Once she becomes intrigued with a case she will work it day or night as long as she feels she is getting somewhere.. And it doesn’t take a lot to get her intrigued!!

Nothing Stays Buried (A Monkeewrench Novel) by P.T. Tracy

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Nothing Stays BuriedHomicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are called to the scene of a murder in a park where a young woman is found strangled. A playing card has been left on her body. Before long, the detectives realize their murder is probably tied to another where a card was also left with the body. Because of the face of the cards are two numbers apart, they fear there are yet two more victims. Are their bodies yet to be found or were their cases investigated without anything tipping off they were tied to a bigger crime wave?

Meanwhile, the Monkeewrench Crew has been asked to investigate the disappearance of a young woman on her way to visit her father in rural Minnesota. Her car was found near the road, the dogs picked up her scent but lost it at a tree in the woods where her ring was found. Had she left the ring as a clue to let people know she had been there?

Occasional Crimes: A Thriller by Tucker Edwards

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

Occasional CrimesWhat begins as an ordinary surfing trip to South America turns into something far more thrilling for three college students from California. Tim, Lee, and Chuck are college friends about to graduate. All have a passion for surfing and are always looking for the next big wave. Disenchanted about looking for a job after graduation, Tim and his friends decide to take one last big surfing trip. They make plans to go surfing in Mexico and possibly in Costa Rica and Nicaragua at the end of the summer. This should be a fun experience, giving them the chance to ride the best waves and hang out together.

Soon August rolls around, and it is almost time to leave for their trip. Tim buys a new truck and has a camper put on the back, so they can campout as they travel. Right before they leave, Tim meets a girl and they begin to date. She is as passionate about surfing as he is, and they agree to keep in touch while he is away. The three friends set out on their trip, excited about the places they will visit.

Sunday Silence: A Novel (A Frieda Klein Novel) by Nicci French

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Sunday SilenceFrieda Klein has had a long career as a successful psychotherapist and police consultant. Despite this, she fears it may all come to an end when a corpse is found under her floorboards. Klein is certain she knows who the killer is: a man who supposedly died seven years prior. However, when more bodies began to show up and two people close to Klein are kidnapped, it becomes uncertain as to whether it is the work of a copy cat or Klein’s old nemesis. Thus begins the race to find the culprit before anyone else falls victim.

Sunday Silence by Nicci French is the seventh entry in the Frieda Klein series. French has done a good job in creating a cast of characters that are both realistic and engaging, leaving the reader wanting more. Since this book was my introduction to both Nicci French and Frieda Klein, I am unable to compare it to the rest of the series. I can say that although I enjoyed the book overall, the ending left something to be desired. However, since it appears that the plot will actually be continued in a subsequent book, this is not necessarily a black mark. That said, I am looking forward to the next and am hopeful it will offer a believable resolution to this book’s unanswered questions. I would give this book 3/5 stars.

*A copy of this book was the only consideration given for this review.*

Silent Treatment by Michael Palmer

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Silent TreatmentThere is no doubt that this is a medical thriller but the reader must realize that a lot of the “thriller” is in fact only connected with “medical” in a general way. Yes there are some somewhat scary moments connected with the medical industry. But most of the thrills are as Dr. Harry Corbett and a few of his associates get involved in hunting for killers.

Corbett is a highly successful doctor who is well established and well liked in the hospital where he practices. He has also been married to the love of his life, though lately he is not necessarily the love of his wife’s life. There appear to be some things happening with her that he is not aware of, only that she has been acting strangely.

Evie, his wife, is scheduled early on in the story for a minor repair on a small problem with her heart. The doctors have all convinced them that it is nothing to be concerned about but Corbett is still worried.

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Last Mrs. ParrishWho doesn’t want to be richer, thinner, blonde with blue-eyes, tanned, better looking and more successful? This seems to be the American dream for many women. Most wealthy people appear to have it all. With money, they can recreate themselves into almost the perfect person. Think of the numerous women and even many men who spend enormous amounts of money to achieve their vision of perfection.

The problem is often what appears in public is quite different than reality or in the privacy of a home.

Amber Patterson is tired of being normal. She is thin, but plain. Mousy brownish hair, dowdy, ambitious but in a career with no future for making real money. She just makes enough to get by with her paycheck to paycheck existence.

How can she change her life?

Amber finds a new friend, Daphne Parrish, who seems to be everything she could want. Daphne is beautiful, rich, blond, blue-eyes, married to a gorgeous husband and two young daughters. Amber wants Daphne life, but slightly changed without the children. She doesn’t enjoy young ones at all.

Coincidentally, both Daphne and Amber had sisters who dies due to cystic fibrosis. This is the foundation of their friendship.

Will Amber ever have a life like Daphne’s?

The Cold Kiss by John Rector (Review #2)

Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

The Cold KissI must admit there aren’t too many books that really grab my attention and keep hold of it all the way to the end. The Cold Kiss is an exception.

Nate and his pregnant girlfriend Sara leave Minnesota and plan to drive to Reno to get married and start a new life. They are both trying to forget their past lives and begin new ones.

When Nate and Sara stop at a diner, they noticed a man who had a terrible cough. As they were leaving the diner, the man confronted them and offered to pay $500 for a ride. Nate did not want to take the man in the car but Sara’s eyes lit up when she started thinking about what she could do with $500. So, against Nate’s judgment, they agreed to take Syl in their car. It started snowing.

Along the way, Syl sounded deathly sick with his constant coughing and even at times spitting up blood. The snowstorm got worse and Nate pulled into a motel. At first it didn’t look like the motel was open. When Nate turned to look at Syl, he believed he was dead in the backseat.