Thrillers/Suspense

Book Review: Escape Clause

Escape Clause
Author: 
Sandford, John
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Escape Clause is a fast paced mystery book about the search for two missing tigers from a local zoo. This book features Virgil Flowers who is the main investigator in charge of finding the tiger thief and must hold him accountable before it is too late. This book not only focus on the tiger case but takes a deep dive into Virgil Flowers background and personal affairs. I chose this book as it was suspenseful and had many twists and turns. Escape Clause is a thriller and will keep the reader up all night.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth

Book Review: The Reversal

The Reversal
Author: 
Connelly, Michael
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Are you looking for an escape route out of these tough times that the world is facing right now? Then try reading this crime fiction thriller " The Reversal". Mickey Haller is a prominent defense lawyer who surprisingly decides to be part of the prosecution team for one of the most brutal crimes ever committed. Jason Jessup is convicted of a heinous crime that was committed nearly 20 years ago but the evidence was inconclusive to put him behind bars in the first trial. Can Mickey Haller and the Los Angles Police Department gather some crucial clues and evidence to find out whether Jason Jessup is the mastermind behind this crime or not? Mickey Haller must find out before it too late.The Reversal is a legal thriller that has an excellent plot and forces the reader to pay close attention to every single detail. I would highly recommend this book and it's a great read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth

Book Review: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

Book Cover
Author: 
Jackson, Holly
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson follows a high school senior, Pip, who decides to analyze a murder/suicide in her own town for her senior capstone project. In Fairview, it’s common knowledge that Sal Singh murdered his girlfriend, the popular Andie Bell, and then proceeded to kill himself. Pip, however, is not so sure and what she discovers quickly unravels this commonly told story into something much more mysterious. I really enjoyed this book. It was a well written mystery novel with plenty of turns I was not expecting. I haven’t read very mystery novels, but this is by far the best one I’ve read. With many suspicious characters and motives, it’s hard to tell just who committed the murder of Andie Bell until the end. It's definitely a page-turner and an incredible debut novel. I highly recommend this book for fans of YA mystery novels.

Reviewer's Name: 
Cora G.

Book Review: The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door
Author: 
Lapeña, Shari
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is so good full of suspense and mystery every chapter having me on my toes. The book starts off with a small get together at the neighbors house with two couples one with a baby. But then a crime was committed at Anne and Marco house but have been blamed for the crime. The book has so many twist and turns containing so many secrets. Just such a really good book.

Reviewer's Name: 
Miguel

Book Review: The Bat

The Bat
Author: 
Nesbø, Jo
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

While this is the first book (1997) in the wildly popular Harry Hole series, it was actually the fourth translated into English. After reading it, I had assumed it was the first book and the publisher had been cheap -- poor translation and editing --- but hoped to piggy back on Stieg Larsson's success in the U.S.. I began reading the series with Harry Hole No. 9, The Phantom (2011) as a Why Not? purchase during a lengthy flight delay. I am thankful I did not start with The Bat or I might have missed out on one of my favorite Nordic Noir authors and a compelling character in Hole (prononced HO-Lay in Norwegian). The Bat gets off to an uncharacteristically slow start but later delivers the gritty thriller action Nesbo fans enjoy in later works. In the novel, the troubled police detective travels to Australia to investigate the murder of a Norwegian, then discovers and solves a series of homicides while running amok of local authorities eager to send him back to Oslo. If you are a series reader who wants to start at the beginning, then read The Bat. But don't feel bad if you start with Cockroaches (1998) or even The Redbreast (2000), the third Hole book, which won The Glass Key award for best Nordic crime novel.

Reviewer's Name: 
Joe P.

Book Review: When We Were Lost

When We Were Lost
Author: 
Wignall, Kevin
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book is about a field trip to Costa Rica by some students from the US. The plane crashes and all the adults and most of the students die. The group of students who survive, have to deal with some of the same high school issues, cliques, bullying, not fitting in, not being pretty enough, not being athletic enough and so on. In addition to having to deal with those seemingly important issues they now have to deal with the issue of survival. This is not Lord Of The Flies but it will remind you of that book.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rayn

Book Review: Criss Cross

Criss Cross
Author: 
Patterson, James
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Alex Cross used to be a police detective but for the last few years he's been a psychologist who still does consultant work with police. In his career, he has crossed paths with a numerous amount of serial killers and other highly intelligent murderers and psychopaths. Needless to say, he's made a few enemies along the way. In this latest novel (he appears in a total of 28 at this writing), Alex must reflect on past cases and enemies as the mysterious "M" plays cat and mouse while copycatting previous cases he's worked on. It even leaves Alex wondering if a prior nemesis whose death he witnessed is still alive when he sees his carbon copy in the flesh. But things escalate when "M" manages to kidnap his 10 year old son Ali. Not the best book I've ever read, but I enjoy the incredible family dynamics Alex has with his 90 something grandmother, his wife and his three kids which have been developed over the past 30 years, and ties me into reading each new novel written with this character in it. Patterson writes very short chapters, so the novel provides a quick read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Susi W.

Book Review: The Institute

The Institute
Author: 
King, Stephen
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Luke Ellis is an especially bright boy living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He's so smart, that he is poised to attend a prestigious University in the Massachusetts area at the tender age of 12. Then in the course of one night, his life completely changes. His parents are murdered and he is kidnapped and taken to a place known as the Institute in the remote woods of Maine. He wakes up in a room that looks like exactly his but is not. He soon meets other kids who are both younger and older than him in a building called "the front half". These are kids with special talents such as telekinesis or telepathy,or TK or TP for short. Their talents are strengthened, using a series of shots and painful experiments, administered by abusive caretakers. Those who graduate to the "back half" never return, as their combined talents are used to commit psychic assassinations of political figures and others who are in power. Unfortunately, the combined group think strips the young residents of all their faculties. As victims disappear, Luke becomes more desperate to find a way out.

With the recent state of the world, I didn't think I could bear a Stephen King book, but found myself pleasantly surprised and distracted. King not only writes for entertainment, he often wants to impart a deeper message. A must read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Susi W.

Book Review: Tangerine

Tangerine
Author: 
Mangan, Christine
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Tangerine by Christine Mangan portrays a toxic friendship between two former Bennington College roommates who are reunited in Tangier in 1956. One friend, Alice Shipley has been psychologically fragile since the childhood deaths of her parents in a house fire. She is married to John who does something secretive for "the government" in newly-independent Morocco. Lucy Mason, who connected with Alice through their shared orphanhood, has ditched a disappointing job and suddenly shown up at Alice’s door. She hopes to pry Alice from her dissatisfying marriage for a series of globe-trotting adventures they imagined in college. Both characters serve as flawed narrators -- Alice has a loose grip on reality while Lucy actively denies it.
The novel is at its best when Lucy tries to force a wedge between Alice and John, who is having an affair but depends on Alice's family trust to live comfortably. The romantic triangle turns this 2018 novel into a melodrama set against the intrigue of 1950s's North Africa. It's reminiscent of a slightly-hokey Hollywood movie of the same era. The book cover even features a woman of the period who could pass for actress Ingrid Bergman. That's the novel's charm (nostalgia) and its undoing (little original) in this enjoyable read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Joe P.

Book Review: Knife

Knife
Author: 
Nesbø, Jo
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Waking up with a fierce hangover and blood (not his own) on his hands and clothes is a bad way to start the day, even for Harry Hole, Oslo's brilliant, flawed and self-destructive homicide detective. Bestselling author Jo Nesbo has penned his grittiest story yet in Knife (2019), the 12th Harry Hole (pronounced HO-Leh in Norwegian) novel in the international bestselling Scandinavian crime series. As always, there's a detailed plot, a grim atmosphere, quick pacing, convincing red herrings, and at the center of it all, the alcoholic Hole trying to hold his career, family and life together. Trying, not succeeding. Fans of this series will not be disappointed as Hole faces down his darkest personal challenge yet in this page-turner.

Reviewer's Name: 
Joe P.

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