Category Archives: Thriller

My Sister’s Grave (Tracy Crosswhite Book 1) by Robert Dugoni

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Two very close sisters compete in everything with the younger one, Sarah, usually losing. However after a shooting competition twenty years ago that Tracy lost to Sarah, Sarah went one way and Tracy the other. Sarah however was never seen again until now when her remains were found in a partial grave.

It has bothered Tracy for all these years because Sarah, though she won the contest, had given the first prize to Tracy to make her feel good. What she didn’t realize is that not only did the gesture hurt Tracy’s feelings but then the next day Sarah would not be found.

Tracy had left the small town and was working as a detective in Seattle. When the news gets to her that some of Sarah’s body had been found Tracy heads back to the small town to see if somehow she can be of assistance in solving the mystery. She is doing it more for herself than for the people of the small town.

In the Heart of the Fire (Nameless Book 1) by Dean Koontz

Reviewed by Allen Hott

One interesting, but short, story by Koontz with a lot of his typical writing. He seems to always kind of write about the super natural or else spooky kind of scary stories that hold your attention and leave you wondering!

In the Heart of the Fire a guy who has some sort of amnesia is working for some type of organization that is run by the Ace of Diamonds. Although the amnesiac calls himself Ben Shepherd, the Ace has got him booked on transportation and in hotels as Alex Hurkos. (Throughout the book no revelation is made as to what caused his amnesia and why is he working for the Ace, who is also unknown throughout).

After arriving in a little town in Texas he checks into his hotel and retrieves information, money, and a revolver that he puts into his pocket. He has dinner and settles in for the evening wondering what all is going to happen tomorrow. During the night he receives several text messages with two names and three addresses.

Cheater’s Game (Jake Lassiter Legal Thrillers) by Paul Levine

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Getting into your dream college can be tough. You have to have the right grades, the right extra-curricular activities and the right score on the SAT. But what if someone could take the SAT for you, for a price? Jake Lassiter, former NFL star turned lawyer, has a nephew offering exactly that service. For the right price, Kip will guarantee a score within the range needed for admission. This service is exactly what gets him in deep water when his “partner” turns him in exchange for leniency.

The Devil’s Teardrop by Jeffery Deaver

Reviewed by Allen Hott

One more great one by Deaver! In this one he has so many bad guys that even the cops (the good ones) have a hard time trying to figure out just who is the real bad guy. And they do it by using not only FBI agents but one retiree who is specialized in analyzing handwriting. His presence and abilities are needed because a killer (or killers) is shooting up D.C. and leaving notes telling where ransom moneys should be left or more killings will occur.

The handwriting agent is Parker Kinkaid who is separated from his wife and trying to raise two youngsters with the help of an older lady who doesn’t live in their home but is in and out. Parker and his ex-wife are still battling over the children and he is in constant fear that something in his previous line of work will cause him to lose custody of them. The somewhat lead agent of the FBI team is a woman named Margaret Lukas. The FBI wants Parker to come back and assist them because of the notes that are being left and the scheduled shoots. Just as a note “the devil’s teardrop” pertains to a type of writing.

The shooter’s notes say that he will be doing his mass shootings on a four hour schedule for the present. They will be held in heavily traveled places and he somewhat gives them clues as to where they will be held. Finally Parker agrees to try to help but on a limited basis and he will be able to leave whenever he feels his kids are in any danger.

The Best Friend by Shalini Boland

Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

The Best Friend is a real psychological thriller that held my attention from the very first page. There are so many twists and turns taking place at the same time. Just when you think you have everything figured out — you do not!

When you meet someone for the very first time and they appear overly friendly, watch out! That is what Louisa experienced when she met Darcy. Darcy had everything – a beautiful house, money and a husband who had a very successful business. Louisa, on the other hand, did not have all of these things. At first, she was very impressed with Darcy but as time went on, her new best friend turned out to be the complete opposite – a person full of revenge. What secret is Darcy hiding in her past?

Manhattan is My Beat (Rune Trilogy Book 1) by Jeffery Deaver

Reviewed by Allen Hott

If it is by Jeffery Deaver it will be an interesting read! Manhattan is
My Beat is definitely another of his interesting books. This time he has a young lady named Rune getting involved deeply in a very entangled chase for a suitcase with money in it. Or at least that is what Rune (the young woman) thinks.

Rune works in a tape rental store (lower class style) and watches tapes a lot in her off time. She also constantly battles with Tony, her boss, because she either is late or plain misses a lot of hours that she is supposed to be putting in at the store.

She had gotten very friendly with a much older customer, Robert Kelly. Nothing personal. Just friends. But one afternoon when she went to his apartment to pick up a tape she called him on his intercom and when he began talking shots were fired. She and another woman who was standing there both turned and were almost deliberately run over by a speeding green car. Going up then to his apartment they found Mr. Kelly, dead on the floor from gun shots.

The Second Hostage by Jeffery Deaver

Reviewed by Allen Hott

It appears that Deaver has now begun writing the short stories (I suppose for EBooks). If this is a taste I would have to say that it was a great taste! Very short and easy to read but with a great plot, good characters, and great dialogue that are the norm in all of Deaver’s books.

The opening is kind of interesting in that during a meeting a fairly good sized group of deputies in Humble, Kansas receive a call that someone has been taken hostage. The sheriff isn’t available but one of the deputies decides that they as a group need to go and see what is going on.

It just so happens that a fellow named Colter Shaw is in town and was in listening to the deputies talking. Shaw is somewhat unique in that he is a “Reward Seeker”. Not actually a legal cop in any way he does travel around the west looking to earn rewards for finding missing persons or even things. Kind of an unusual occupation but he makes a living doing it and it somehow may be of help here.

Part of the story then goes into some detail as how Shaw is looking for a young teenager named Emma. He used various methods to trace her to the Humble area but wasn’t having much luck getting help from any lawmen as they all pretty much scoff at his occupation.

The Money Shot (A Teddy Fay Novel Book 2) by Stuart Woods

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Basically it is a Teddy Fay story although the cover claims it features Sone Barrington. Teddy is without a doubt the main character and he carries if off pretty well. As a matter of fact even though he is shot by three shots on the first page of the book he not only survives but he goes on to do many other extraordinary things.

Whoops! I guess I forgot to mention that those shots were not real bullets and Teddy was playing a part in a movie! But it is an interesting beginning to a pretty well written and very fast paced story by Woods.

Although Teddy uses several names and does several different jobs in the book he primarily is put to work as a detective. In addition to those roles he is also a top-flight weapons expert and make-uo artist. But in Hollywood he is a stuntman, a producer, and then a former CIA man turned detective. He fills all the roles well and is well accomplished in them especially the detective bit.

It seems as though someone has been able to get some rather or perhaps very risqué movies of a famous female actress. The actress, Tessa Bacchetti, has come to Teddy to see if he can help her as she is being blackmailed by someone. The blackmail involves some film taken of her and her boyfriend in college. Needless to say the film has sexual scenes. Supposedly the boyfriend, with whom she has broken up some time ago, was to have destroyed the film.

She knows of Teddy’s abilities and hopes that he can help her without her having to go to the police because of the damage to her career.

Teddy agrees to see what he can do and then gets very deeply involved with several different groups of villains. The original pair of culprits who have the film are basically after the money but as the plot grows and thickens it really gets deep. There are others who have now gotten involved. And they are looking for ways to get involved not only in the motion picture industry but to actually take over one or more studios.

Teddy, pretty much always on his own, has to not only sort out who is who and what he is doing but he has to stop it. Luckily his background in the industry puts him in positions that most would be unable to get into. Using his circle of friends and overall knowhow of what goes on he is able to make great strides quickly.

But not without injury! Mainly to himself as some of his stuntman work gets screwed around by the bad guys leaving Teddy “to take the fall”.

When you read the book you will figure out what that term actually means! A good fast read without a bunch of sex or profanity!

One Good Deed by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Shortly after WW II Aloysius Archer ends up in Poca City which is the little town that he is assigned to as part of his parole. He was put into prison for a crime that he didn’t commit. He knows nothing about the town and the townsfolk know nothing about him. While in prison he spent much of his time exercising and actually doing body building so he was in very good shape although not a big man.

Archer quickly realizes that not only does he need to meet with his parole officer but he also needs to find some sort of employment as his room rent is eating up his meager savings.

After getting checked into a hotel he begins to feel the need for a drink although bars and liquor are both listed on things that parolees are not to partake of. But he believes he can control himself so off he heads to The Cat’s Meow. And this first visit is pretty much the beginning of One Good Deed..

While at the bar he meets up with Hank Pittleman who is enjoying his drink with a young lady who turns out to be Jackie Tuttle (though Archer doesn’t know it at the time). Pittleman tells Archer that a man named Lucas Tuttle borrowed some money from him and not only didn’t pay it back but he also didn’t turn over the 1947 Cadillac which was used as collateral for the loan.

Pittleman gives Archer some money to go and get the Cadillac and bring it to him. Archer sees this as a good way to earn some cash and agrees to the task.

The following morning Archer makes his first visit to his parole officer who turns out to be a lady named Ernestine Crabtree. He explains about his new “job” since she tells him there is plenty of work in the area and part of his parole is partaking in three job interviews. She accepts his explanation of his job and tells him that if it doesn’t work out he must do the interviews. He agrees.

All of this is just the groundwork for a very interesting read as Archer gets involved with Poca City residents and especially Pittleman, the two Tuttles, and Crabtree. Those four play interesting roles in this story as Baldacci tells it.

One of the first events is that the Cadillac is actually burned up before Archer can get it or before Pittleman can retrieve it from Tuttle.

However there are many other interesting happenings as Archer begins his new life in Poca City. The ongoing battle for “big man on campus” so to speak between Pittleman and Tuttle is perhaps the largest but the life that Archer lives involving Jackie and his Parole Officer also contribute to the story line.

Another great read by the master, David Baldacci! Read it and enjoy!

Noble Beginnings: A Jack Noble Novel by L.T. Ryan

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Quite an interesting book but I am still trying to figure out exactly the total picture. Jack Noble and his partner, Bear, are deployed Marines in Iraq assisting the CIA supposedly. But as the story deepens it appears that the CIA isn’t really on their side. Or at least someone in the upper echelon of the CIA has developed a really intricate and complicated scheme. Whatever that scheme is never really develops but Noble and Bear suffer because of it.
It starts when the two of them try to save a family from what appears to be an assassination of the father. Noble doesn’t believe that the family and especially the children should be witnesses to this maneuver. He boldly steps forward and stops the procedure from happening.

The leader of the group is a man named Martinez who begins a scuffle with Noble. However Noble and Bear withstand the attempted putdown and Martinez with his men take off leaving Noble with Bear to watch over the family for a short while. Shortly after however is when the main part of this story really begins.