Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Freedom Broker by K.J. Howe

Thea Paris' job as someone who rescues kidnap victims takes her around the world and puts her in lots of dangerous situations. Growing up as the daughter of wealthy businessman, Christos Paris, her childhood was altered with the kidnapping of her older brother, Nikos. Nikos came home after almost a year, but returned angry and different. In addition, a rift developed between Christos and Nikos. Now, when Christos is kidnapped on the eve of one of the biggest deals in his career, Thea (with help from childhood friend and colleague, Rif Asker) works hard to bring him home. Nikos seems to be trying to assist Thea--or does he really want Christos dead? In this fast-paced series opener, Howe gives the reader a story with non-stop action and intrigue and a likable main character in Thea.  Give to readers who enjoyed Taylor Stevens' excellent thriller The Informationist.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Psychiatrist David and his beautiful wife, Adele, move to London to try and put the past behind them. However, after David kisses his receptionist, Louise, and appears to restrict Adele's movements by checking in with her a couple of times a day and watching her spending habits, their relationship seems to be heading in the same awful direction as before. When Louise and Adele become friends without David's knowledge, the triangle of their relationships becomes even more complex and disturbing.  Is Louise just a pawn--and can she really trust either David or Adele? Behind Her Eyes is a fast-paced novel that will appeal to readers of The Girl on the Train. It also has a truly unexpected ending.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

In 1863, sixteen-year-old Placidia agrees to marry Gryffth Hockaday after knowing him for a very short time. He is a soldier on leave, so while he goes back to fight for the Confederacy, she travels to his South Carolina farm to look after it and be a mother to his young son, Charles. Being alone and isolated, living with only the slaves and no other family leaves Placidia vulnerable. When Gryffth comes home after the war is over, he finds that she has been accused of having a child while he was gone and then murdering the baby. Placidia finds herself arrested, in jail, without her husband's support. What really happened while Gryffth was gone? The Second Mrs. Hockaday is a perfect read for those who enjoy historical fiction (especially Sandra Dallas) that highlights the everyday lives of women.

Monday, January 23, 2017

My Favorite Books of 2016

The books I loved most last year were all mysteries or thrillers.

In alphabetical order, by author:

The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney

This Edgar award-winning novel featured several memorable characters that are still vivid in my mind more than six months later.

Home by Harlan Coben

Coben has never appeared on my list before, but he consistently writes page turners that are extremely hard not to gulp down in more than a few sittings.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

Sorry, Bosch still remains, after all these years, probably my favorite series character.

Thursday's Children by Nicci French

This fourth book featuring Freida Klein is one of the best.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Dry by Jane Harper

When Aaron Falk gets word that his best friend from childhood, Luke Hadler, has been murdered, along with Hadler's wife, Karen and six-year-old son, Billy, Falk travels back to the small town of Kiewarra to attend their funerals. Aaron left Kiewarra twenty years ago under a black cloud after a good friend of Aaron's and Luke's, Ellie, was found dead of an apparent suicide. At the time, many believed that Aaron was responsible, and even now, many still hold that view. With Luke the prime suspect in his family's death and with questions still lingering about Ellie's, Falk decides to stay in town for a bit to try and clear his and Luke's names. The Dry is a gripping debut novel with a great sense of place and two intriguing mysteries. I do wish the book were longer, to allow for more character development. A sure bet for those looking for a new thriller writer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis

Best-selling novelist and professor Thomas Huston has fled his home, leaving behind the bloodied bodies of his wife and three children. On the run and suspected of murder, he doesn't know what to do. Sergeant Ryan DeMarco of the Pennsylvania State Police recently had become friends with Huston and doesn't believe he's a killer. Leading the investigation, DeMarco hopes they will find Huston alive and unravel the mystery of who killed the Huston family. However, DeMarco has his own demons that threaten his task. Two Days Gone is a fast-paced tale of secrets and jealousy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

As a professor of Forensic Archaeology, Ruth Galloway is called to a underground tunnel where some bones have been found by a surveyor. Ruth determines that they are human bones and they appear to have been boiled, which is odd.  Around the same time, a local homeless man, Eddie, reports to DCI Harry Nelson that a friend named Barbara has gone missing. Like Eddie, she lives on the streets. Could there be some connection between Barbara's disappearance and the bones Ruth found? In this latest series mystery, Griffiths continues the personal stories of Ruth and her friends from the police force. While the mystery in The Chalk Pit is not especially compelling, it's still good to spend time with the characters. It will be published in May.