Category Archives: Thriller

The Good and the Dead by Seymour Shubin

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Good and the DeadSomewhat similar and yet different. Ben Newman, who is a writer of true-detective stories, has “seen” a lot of different murder scenes and written about the culprits and victims. However as strange as it seems all of this kind of comes home to haunt him as he begins noticing some unusual happenings around his small world.

Starting out with the unusual death of his brother’s wife, Pat, who is found dead floating fully clothed on top of the water in their backyard pool. There doesn’t seem to be any motive nor does there seem to be any real evidence as to who did this. Naturally his brother is suspect but Ben doesn’t believe it to be the case.

Shortly thereafter there are several more deaths of people that Ben has known since grade school. One is a pharmacist, George Havern, who supposedly committed suicide although again the evidence doesn’t seem to really prove that either. Then Ellen Packler-Woods, who had just met and talked with Ben about the deaths of George and Pat, is found dead in her basement from possibly a fall but again nothing is proven.

Cross Country by James Patterson

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Cross CountryPatterson really does get Alex Cross into some jams in this one. Alex, the private detective, is mortified when he checks out the home of one of his friends. Elle Cox, mother and well known author of items in books and newspapers, has been brutally murdered along with her entire family. Cross and Elle had dated when younger and had remained close friends so he was devastated.

He realizes that she had been doing a lot of investigating into terrorism in the U.S. and even across the world. He finds as he begins his own investigation that the CIA is also deeply interested into finding out more about the event. The terrorism seems to be somehow tied into governments across the world.

Among some of her papers Cross finds that she has been doing a lot of her investigating into terrorism especially in Africa. And especially in Nigeria and Sudan. Also that although entire families were often killed over there, the young boys of the families were often taken away by the gangs of marauders. And then these young boys were being turned into gang members and were actually participating in the gang murders that were terrorizing the country.

Breaking Point: A Joe Pickett Novel (Joe Pickett Novels) by C.J. Box

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Breaking PointJoe Pickett, the Colorado game warden, always gets involved in situations that are not necessarily related to game warden work. And Breaking Point is one of those situations. In this instance a local man from the Saddlestring area where Joe lives has a nasty run-in with some EPA officials who basically come to run him off his property. The man, Butch Roberson, is defiant because (a) he was given no warning and (b) there does not appear to be a real reason for this to happen. One thing leads to another. The two EPA guys are shot and Butch is on the run up into the mountains.

The EPA brings in all sorts of governmental personnel to hunt him down and Joe happens to get called into the situation because of his game warden status. Joe immediately has problems with the two top EPA officials, especially the top one, who appear to be extremely arrogant and have no consideration at all for what Joe considers to be common citizens. Joe will work that part out later.

They basically take charge and begin an intensive manhunt for Butch that involves working all through the mountains. They also set up rewards that inspire three other individuals, locals known to Joe, to get involved in the hunt. These three folks basically have no hand in the game except that the leader of the trio is intent on getting the reward and also since he used to be the sheriff he wants to reinstate himself at the decimation of the present sheriff.

Dark Sacred Night (A Ballard and Bosch Novel) by Michael Connelly

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Dark Sacred NightRenee Ballard is a hot-shot detective, working night shift (known as the late show) in the LAPD. She is very good but sometimes oversteps her boundaries and gets into a hassle or two with her supervisor.

One evening while filling out a report at her somewhat tucked away desk, she notices a guy getting into the cabinets in the storage room for detective files. She does not recognize him to be one of the detectives. She stops him and is about to question him further when a supervisor comes in and recognizes them both. He introduces Renee to Harry Bosch, a retired cop who used to work out of this office but now freelances and does some work also for San Fernando Police Department.

After the two men leave Renee goes over to see what Bosch was looking at and finds it is a drawer full of old unsolved street crimes, mostly sex crimes. On questioning one of the sergeants she learns that Bosch is still trying to solve a nine year old case of a fifteen year old streetwalker who was found sexually mutilated and dead in an alley.

High Crimes: A Georgia Davis Novel of Suspense (The Georgia Davis PI Series Book 5)

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

High CrimesAfter the 2016 election, America is a nation divided. The new president is a rash, outspoken individual who garnered support by refusing to follow normal presidential protocol. As a result, an active opposition movement is spreading across the country. It’s leader, Dena Baldwin, is scheduled to appear at a rally in Chicago. As Baldwin mounts the stage, gunshots ring out and panic ensues. An assassin has killed Baldwin. Local PI Georgia Davis is hired to try and determine the identity of the killer but it will be a daunting task. Baldwin had a large Facebook following and not all of them are genuine supporters of the Resistance movement. As Davis dives into the crime further, she begins to realize there is more to Baldwin than meets the eye.

I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen

Reviewed by Allen Hott

I Know a SecretQuite a story again from Tess Gerritsen! Not only are there murders but gruesome acts after these murders! Hard to believe that people could be capable of taking out a dead person’s eyes nor could they be capable of shooting arrows into a dead man’s chest!

But that is what has happened and now Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, police detective of Boston PD and county medical examiner respectively, have quite a job! But first off the reader needs to realize that Jane’s mother is about to leave her unfaithful father after many years and also that Maura’s real mother who is locked up for many vicious crimes is bugging Maura over and over. Maura was raised by a different woman and her husband but Maura still feels something for her homicidal physical mother and has some feelings. Gerritsen brings personal events into her heroines!

Holy Ghost (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Holy GhostWheatfield, Minnesota is hardly the place that you would expect a very interesting murder mystery to be written about. But that is exactly where John Sandford put Virgil Flowers to solve his next case. Seems as though someone has decided to shoot a long range rife at folks and in so doing several people have been wounded as they stood around the town center watching an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Some folks are not happy with the arrival of the apparition but others believe not only is it a good sign for their religion but it also is giving the town a boost as far as tourism, etc.

Once Virgil gets to town he gets pretty well introduced to all the main players in the town. Seems as though two guys, Skinner and Holland, own the most important place called Skinner & Holland, Eats & Souvenirs. Holland is also the mayor and though Skinner is just seventeen it appears he is an important person in the town (and with the ladies) mainly because of his intelligence which is extremely high.

Blood Relations by Edward Cohen and Kathy Cohen

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Blood RelationsA twisted legal thriller which satisfies with as much grit as it does with intrigue, Blood Relations by co-authors Kathy Cohen and Edward Cohen keeps you rapt and wound tight till its shocking ending.

Absolutely worth the read, this legal thriller brings readers to the hot and steamy locale of New Orleans, where behind the closed doors of the selective Cameron and Munger law firm, things turn out to be just as hot and even steamier. And when young Kyle Cameron accidentally discovers his father’s infidelitous relationship with sexy femme fatale co-worker, lawyer Laura Niles, he aims to entice his father’s love interest away. However, things take a turn for the horrific when Laura Niles is found murdered and Jake –Kyle’s father–winds up in the center of a circumstantial whirlwind of evidence that could destroy his career, marriage and even his life. Facing jail or execution, Jake has no choice but to trust his ne’er-do-well son and lawyer, Kyle, trying the case that would make or break him.

The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Midnight LineJack Reacher, the former West Pointer and retired MP Major, Is off on another of his journeys. Since retiring from the service Reacher and his toothbrush have traveled all over the United States and he isn’t done yet. Yes that is right about his toothbrush. That is all he carries with him. He has no mechanical means of transportation like an automobile, no suitcase because he carries no clothes, and no, not even a telephone. It is just him and his toothbrush. Oh I almost forgot. He does carry a wallet so he can go to a bank on occasion and get a few dollars to spend. But other than that nothing!

He basically travels by use of his feet or a bus or his thumb. He normally walks or hitchhikes wherever he goes. And he does travel both north and south across the United States. This time after he left Milwaukee by bus he had gotten off at a rest stop and was just walking around when he passed a pawn shop. In the window was a class ring from West Point Class 2005. He was especially caught by the size because it was very small. When the proprietor at first declines to give him immediate information as to who left the ring, Reacher abruptly tells the bus driver to go on as he is going to dig deeper into this anomaly.

Fractured by Karin Slaughter

Reviewed by Allen Hott

FracturedQuite a story that illustrates not only how cops work but also how criminal minds work while they are plotting some of the terrible crimes that they perpetrate.

It begins with the Campano family being pretty well torn apart when the mother comes upon a crime scene and sees what she believes to be her daughter, Emma, in a horrible condition with a young man hovering over the girl. The mother, with tremendous force powered by her feelings for her daughter, overtakes the man and stabs him to death.

When the police come on the scene they find that the girl was not her daughter and the man was not the assailant! It turns out that the young man was a boyfriend of her daughter. He had earlier come into the house looking for the daughter, his girlfriend.