Archive for the ‘thriller’ Category

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

Century

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

Napoleon “Nap” Dumas is a detective in a small New Jersey town.  He’s been searching for answers for the last fifteen years, since his senior year in high school.  Nap’s twin brother Leo and his girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks in their hometown and the exact cause of death was never determined.  At the same time, Nap’s high school girlfriend, Maura, disappeared.  He never got over losing all three of them at once and has never been the same.

Fifteen years later, Maura’s finger prints are found at the scene of a crime in a nearby town.  Nap is sure this is linked to what happened to his brother and is determined to uncover the truth.  The journey is dangerous, twisted and full of surprises.

Based on true events, the story is a wild rollercoaster ride that leaves you breathless and is unputdownable.  The story is full of intrigue and suspense with some humour and romance added in, not formulatic in any way, and the writing flows well.  An excellent stand-alone thriller; if you’/’re a Coben fan, you’ll love this.  If you haven’t read his books before, you’ll become a huge fan. Highly recommended.

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stay alive

Amanda arrives home unexpectedly and interrupts the torture and murder of her husband and his mistress by a depraved serial killer known as The Disciple. She manages to flee and, abandoning her whole life she changes her identity and buries herself in the peace and tranquillity of the remote Scottish wilderness.

Jess and her little sister Casey have gone canoeing with with their aunt and uncle who adopted Casey after their mum died. A shot rings out and suddenly they are fighting for their lives against armed men.   They’re chasing Amanda, who evades the killers with the girls. Then they are found by Scope, who is working at the canoe company and looking for them.

Ah Scope. I was thrilled he returned as he’s a great hero to read about. As with other Scope books there is a lot of action and it’s fast-paced and tightly plotted, with information slowly being revealed. The chapters are short and easy to follow, with them alternating from different POVs. You can jump right in as there is just enough background info given to explain things without having read previous books. The plot twist was unexpected and I really didn’t see it coming.

Century

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

die again

Detective Jane Rizzoli and forensic pathologist Maura Isles are investigating the brutal murder of a well known game hunter taxidermist Leon Gott. Discovering he was working for a radio shock jock pro-hunter that was vocal about his views, they were looking into animal rights extremists when another body turned up.

Six years ago, a group of travellers set off on an African safari. None of them are seen again – apart from one woman who stumbled out of the bush weeks later, barely alive. The only woman to have seen the killer’s face. The cases don’t seem related to anyone but Rizzoli and she flies to Africa to meet the survivor and prove her theory.

Wow, how had I missed previous Rizolli & Isles books? & the TV series based on the books?!

The plot was very clever and flowed seamlessly between the two stories. How he two story lines link comes out bit by bit and is a series of ‘a-ha moments’ and full of twists and turns. I loved the characters, very take-no-prisoners kick-ass women. I found the book unputdownable and an excellent read which I highly recommend to thriller fans.

Bantam Press

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

spark
I’d never heard of Cotard’s syndrome, but Wikipedia has enough of an entry to convince me that it is a very real although rare mental condition, in which a person actually does believe that they are dead. Jacob Underwood has thought of himself as deceased, to be no more than a spark within a shell, ever since a near fatal motorcycle accident. He feels nothing, and that makes him a perfect assassin in a world which sees everything. Set in a very believable dystopian near future, “Spark” is a psychological thriller with a distinctively Orwellian edge. Big Brother – or rather the EYE system – really is watching you, just one step into the future; having been created in a response to an atrocity called the “Day of Rage” which is eerily reminiscent of the massacre of school children that just occurred in Pakistan.

This really is a remarkable book. It drew me in, and grabbed me, and demanded that I keep reading. Jacob, for all his amorality, is a strangely sympathetic protagonist, especially as he begins to re-discover himself and the possibility of feeling… which begins when he finds himself reluctant to follow orders to kill a child, for no other reason than that the child has the wrong parents. The plot presses relentlessly onwards to its thrilling (and somewhat open-ended) conclusion. But there’s more to it than that, because we are compelled to question the nature of morality, even of our own personal reality. And like the best science fiction this book presents the reader with issues to think about ahead of their time – especially regarding the role of humanoid robots in the workplace, and the consequences of total surveillance. I do recommend this book… there is a fair amount of violence, none of it gratuitous; and an absence of profanity (often associated with emotional outbursts, and Jacob doesn’t do emotions). More importantly, this a book that will both entertain you and make you think.

Bantam

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

dont stand so close

Alone in a grand, imposing house, Stella hears a knock on the door one freezing snowy winters day. Severely agoraphobic, Stella is wary of letting her in but relents on seeing the girls shivering body in thin clothes. The girl, Blue, seems nice as she warms up but is reluctant to leave. Then she tells Stella terrible lies about her husband Max. Are they lies though?

The story seemed interesting but I found it hard to get into the book, it jumped too much from past to present with no warning and I found it difficult to keep up. I never warmed up to the characters and found I didn’t really care what happened to them. That’s just me though; give this a try if you like psychological drama.

Transworld Publishers

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

solo

An experienced agent, James Bond is dispatched to stop a civil war in the small West African country of Zanzarim. A beautiful woman is to aid in his mission, which is to take out the leader of one of the warring parties. Everything goes pear-shaped and Bond is kidnapped, badly hurt, and the mission a failure.

Bond goes on a ‘solo’ mission to exact revenge and ends up in the United States. He tracks down the bad guy who hurt him, a Rhodesian mercenary with a fondness for hanging dead people on tree branches. He also uncovers a horrible operation, one that is connected to Zanzarim. Alone and without the backing of Her Majesty’s government, Bond must crush the operation and save the day……..

Lots of action and suspense in this tale of the ultimate spy. The plot has a lot of twists and red herrings that leave you breathless and wondering what could possibly occur next. An exciting read that is a lot of fun and a must for fans of Bond.

Jonathan Cape

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

silencer

A covert mission in 1993 saw Nick Stone hiding in the jungle preparing to assassinate an untouchable Columbian drug lord. At his side was a brash young DEA agent Dino who was acting as his spotter. After Nick pulled the trigger, he went closer to make sure of the kill and was spotted by the man’s wife and young son, who imprinted his face on their memories.

2012 finds Nick in Moscow, semi-retired and living with Anna who is pregnant with their baby. When their son is born though, he is dangerously ill and Anna is in hospital with him, unaware the doctor, who helped save the baby and a friend, has been kidnapped. Nick sets out to find her; travelling first to Moldavia to investigate the sex industry, then following the trail of girls being trafficked to Hong Kong for black market organ donors.

Posing as a wealthy Russian businessman desperate to buy a kidney for his wife, Nick meets with the local contact but things don’t go well and he’s made. A lot of action and violence follows and a new lead emerge, sending Nick to the US where he meets up with Dino, now a broken man and meth addict.

This is  a fast paced thriller that has a lot of twists in the story. Nick Stone is his usual dangerous, resourceful self and this is another exciting read featuring him. The ending sets it up well for the next book and I’m dying to see what happens next.

Bantam Press

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan