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Category Archives: suspense

Bullseye by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge *(Audio)

Bullseye by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge *(Audio)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1478928166/?tag=rjsviews-20

Bullseye
by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
narrated by Danny Mastrogiorgio
Hachette Audio
6 CD’s approximately 7.5 hours

Click to visit Hachette Book Group Online

 

This is the 9th book in the Michael Bennett series. Some books were better than others a long the way but I always listen to a Michael Bennett Thriller at least once. I love the family, Father Shamus, Mary Catherine, ten kids with ten different personalities and if that wasn’t enough drama, there’s always a high pressure, deadly situation that only Detective Bennett can handle.

Bullseye doesn’t focus as much on family like in previous books. Some listeners will be disappointed, while others will be cheering this change of focus. I was a bit confused how the main plot was based on a couple’s plan to assassinate the newly inaugurated President at some point during the snowy month of November. (The U.S. Presidential election is held in November, however the President is inaugurated in January.) Everything said, I liked it. It’s a political/suspense/thriller with an enormous amount of gun knowledge. I learned a great deal about guns listening to Bullseye. (I made notes and looked ’em up.) Sniper tactics are described in such great detail the image of what was happening as the shooter laid down, exhaled deeply and took aim was as vivid as a painting on my wall.
Several family members want to borrow this book for these reason alone. If you’re a Bennett fan don’t miss this “episode.” If you’ve never read a single book in the series Bullseye might have you reserving the first ones at the Library. Finally, if you enjoy political thrillers give it a listen.

Danny Mastrogiorgio has perfected the narration for Michael Bennett Thrillers. I’ve grown so accustomed to hearing his voice I can’t imagine anyone else narrating for these characters. His pitch, tone, and character specific quirks add another element to the reading experience that is incredibly enjoyable.

MICHAEL BENNETT BOOKS
1-5

Step on a Crack   Run For Your Life   Worst Case   Tick Tock   I, Michael Bennett
6-9.5
Gone   Burn   Alert   Bullseye   Chase
Audio...Enjoy books on the go!
Happy Listening!
RJ  🙂Let's network on Linkedin Let's connect on Facebook RJ's Piniterest Twitter CLICK HERE to Send Me an email

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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1455536911/?tag=rjsview-20
 

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Zoo by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge (audio)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1478906170/?tag=rjsviews-20

Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781478906179
  • ISBN-10: 1478906170
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: May 2015

the main character still trying to distance himself from his fathers’ legacy as a crackpot, is giving safari tours

Zoo is a half-baked, science-fiction suspense-thriller, that with some comedy relief and backwards humor could’ve been a very good “spoof,” I really wanted to like this book, but the one dimensional characters were impossible to care about. The artificial pacing and choppy dialogue made it difficult to stay immersed in the story. I have been a James Patterson fan since the  irst Alex Cross novel. Over the years there have been some books that weren’t as good as others, but in recent years there seems to be more bad than good. Only the name on the cover is familiar, – Gone is the masterful storytellers’ voice I had enjoyed so very much.This is especially true with Zoo. I understand this is a collaboration, that there will be a lot of Michael Ledwidge’s influence, however, in previous works I could at least recognize Patterson’s input. Zoo is not absolutely terrible, it’s ok. But with so many number one best sellers to his name, I expect more than okay.

Happy Reading,

RJ

http://www.facebook.com/rjsviews

Also available in Hardcover


    What’s on  RJ’s Wish List?

New Release from Best Selling Author Joseph Finder –
The Fixer


//

 

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The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
The Burning Room audio excerpt

audio excerpt

 The Burning Room
author: Michael Connelly
narrator: Titus Welliver

Hachette Audio Books

 

 

www.michaelconnelly.com

 

It’s hard to believe one of crime fictions most popular detectives is nearing retirement. Most 20 year veterans of the LAPD are ready to take it easy, maybe ride a desk – Not Harry Bosch. The department just assigned him a new partner, 28 year old Lucia Soto. She seems eager to learn and while Bosch accepts the role of mentor his sixth sense keeps nudging him…that something isn’t quite right. But Bosch has to put his uneasiness aside when they are handed the politically charged murder case of Orlando Merced. Shot, in a outdoor plaza nearly a decade earlier, Merced finally succumbed to his injuries. Although the shooter had never been identified, it was thought to be a gang bullet gone “astray.” But when the coroner removes the crucial piece of evidence the gang shooting or random violence theory is crushed.

While all eyes were supposed to be focused on the Merced case, Bosh discovers Soto investigating an unsolved arson/murder case. As a child, she survived the fire that claimed the lives of nine children and one woman, in an unlicensed, dingy, basement daycare. Being a bit of a softie, but more importantly being a seeker of justice, Bosh makes room on his crowded plate for this case. But as the two begin to dig into both cases, they become convinced that amidst an ever widening web of guns, fire, murder and politics is a common thread. We follow the rookie and the veteran as they pull the individual pieces together, providing a measure of justice for the victims and a replacement for Harry.

The Burning Room isn’t a bad book, but it certainly isn’t the action packed novel Connelly fans are accustomed too. I kept hoping the next chapter would change the tone and feel of the story, but sadly it seems Harry Bosch is tired, ready to take his gold watch and close the detective chapter of his life story.

Happy Reading,

RJ

Narration by Titus Welliver 🙂

Titus Welliver’s vocal talents are shining bright in The Burning Room. He brings each character to life by individualizing them with an array  of accents, pitch inflections, tempo and tone. With Bosch’s retirement looming, there’s almost a somber tone throughout and Welliver does an excellent job of making the reader “feel” it.

The Burning Room

 

  • Series: Harry Bosch (Book 19)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455524190
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455524198


Harry Bosch Series:

The Black Echo (1992)
The Black Ice (1993)
The Concrete Blonde (1994)
The Last Coyote (1995)
Trunk Music (1997)
Angels Flight (1999)
A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
City Of Bones (2002)
Lost Light (2003)
The Narrows (2004)
The Closers (2005)
Echo Park (2006)
The Overlook (2007)
The Brass Verdict (2008)
Nine Dragons (2009)
The Reversal (2010)
The Fifth Witness (2011) (one page brief appearance)
The Drop (2011)
The Black Box (2012)
The Gods of Guilt (2013) (one page brief appearance)
The Burning Room (2014)
The Crossing (November 2015)

 

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For the Dead by Timothy Hallinan

Poke Rafferty series by Timothy Hallinan

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616951146
  • ISBN-10: 1616951141
  • Publisher: Soho Crime
  • Publish Date: November 2014
  • Page Count: 347

Series: Poke Rafferty Thrillers

 

Comfy Corner Review by RJ

 

Heat up your cold winter evenings with this red hot thriller. IF you are familiar with and a fan of this series…you are in for an early Christmas treat – if you’ve never read a Poke Rafferty novel, you’ll be hooked after reading “For The Dead.”

The first novel, A Nail Through the Heart, made me an instant fan of this series. Timothy Hallinan is one   of the best, most creative writers of our generation. The lead character, Poke Rafferty rates right up there with other beloved protagonists (Alex Cross, Detective Pendergast, Jack Reacher, and Harry Bosch).  A travel writer, living in Bangkok he’s put together a happy family over the past six novels.  He married Rose, a beautiful former patpong dancer,  who now runs her own cleaning business, helping other women, like herself, escape the sex trade industry. Together they adopted Miaow, a street kid, much older than her tender age of thirteen. His family is the axis upon which Poke Rafferty’s world turns –and it gets turned upside down in this book.

Teenagers are moody, make poor choices and keep secrets – and Miaow is no exception.  She helps her boyfriend, Andrew, get a new phone on the sly and discovers photographs of two murdered police officers stored in the memory. Now, someone wants the pictures, phone and anyone who knows about it erased…permanently. What follows is an emotional roller coaster for readers – happy, sad, angry, shocked, frightened…there’s nothing missing here. Timothy Hallinan lives part of the year in Southeast Asia – he has a genuine love of the culture and for the people of Bangkok. He takes you behind the glossy brochure covers, revealing a nation struggling to find its way on the worlds stage. For centuries rural farming was the economic backbone of Thailand. But today, kids are kidnapped, sent by desperate families or simply run away, only to find themselves trapped in the vicious circle of the sex trade industry. Hallinan weaves  conspiracies, corruption and murders with a devoted, loving man determined to save his beloved Miaow, his wife and their unborn baby,

If you enjoy a truly good book, with plenty of spills and thrills, twists and turns – but, is believable, then For the Dead is definitely for you! 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Overview

After seven years in Bangkok, American travel writer Poke Rafferty finally feels settled: his family is about to grow larger, and his adopted Thai daughter, Miaow, seems to have found her place at junior high school at last. All that is endangered when Miaow helps her boyfriend buy a stolen iPhone that contains photographs of two murdered police officers. As Miaow’s carefully constructed personal life falls apart, Rafferty discovers that the murders are part of a conspiracy that reaches the top rungs of Bangkok law enforcement and beyond. Miaow’s discovery threatens the entire family, and in order to survive, they may ultimately have to depend on someone who has betrayed them in the past.

 

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Along Came A Spider & Kiss the Girls


Author:  James Patterson (Alex Cross #1)
Narrator:  Charles Turner
ISBN-13: 9781619694125
ISBN-10: 1619694123
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
approx. 12 hrs (listening time)
Hachette Audio
audiohachette.jpg


For all the loyal Alex Cross fans out there, Hachette’s release of Along Came A Spider will be a Must Have! Charles Turner’s narration adds a new dimension to the novel that will put chill bumps ontop of your chill bumps. This book introduced the world to Detective Alex Cross and there’s been no looking back. Built like a boxer, a smooth ladies man who enjoys playing the piano, Cross is a loyal friend, loving son, dedicated father and relentless pursuer of justice.

Gary Soneji is the polar opposite of Cross, he’s evil to the core and has one desire..”to commit the crime of the century.” Soneji is a master manipulator, skilled liar and one of the most beloved teachers at the D.C. private school for children of the rich and famous. So when the mild mannered, popular math teacher abducts two students, the secret service is caught with its proverbial pants down…and for this embarrassment someone’s head is going to roll.

Along Came A Spider is the disturbing story of a brilliant, psychopath matching wits with a hard nosed detective. James Patterson knew the one thing that made this killer truly terrifying was his normalcy. This guy was accepted in elite circles, admired by children and worked everyday in the presence of the United States Secret Service…what could be more frightening?

I’ve read this book a couple of times, but the audio book was a new experience for me I really enjoyed being able to sit back, relax and just listen. Charles Turner is an incredible narrator, that gives Alex Cross a strong, well defined voice, while allowing Soneji’s thoughts of himself to sound stronger than his actual voice. It’s a very entertaining audio experience!

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No Way Back by Andrew Gross

No Way Back by Andrew Gross

 

  • NO WAY BACK
  • Author:  Andrew Gross
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061655988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061655982

PAPERBACK EDITION

  • ISBN-10: 0061656046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061656040

Also available as E*Book

No Way Back

Too many? Everything. This book is a like reading a hurricane in the midst of an earthquake, while preparing for a cyclone. There are so many things going on…big ideas,(good ideas), that individually fleshed out, plotted carefully, with special attention to the small details that build the characters, could’ve been two very good books. Unfortunately, what we have is a fast paced, loosely plotted, shoot ’em up body count book that just doesn’t read like an Andrew Gross novel.

Two strangers, brought together by a swirling mix of coincidence and bad luck, are trying to prove their innocence, which may very well get them killed. That is the basics of Andrew Gross’ No Way Back. The two strangers, Wendy, a suburban housewife (ex-cop) and Lauritzia, a nanny (illegally in this country) working for a lawyer and his family. These women will find a way to not only stay alive, but out maneuver Mexican drug cartels, out smart murderers with ties reaching high into the U.S. government, rogue Homeland security agents and goodness knows what else. It’s a hodgepodge of cliche’s and unrealistic plot twists. There’s no depth to the characters. Halfway through the book it became difficult to continue because I simply didn’t care what was going on, nor what was going to happen next. And I wasn’t the only one, the lead ladies in the story didn’t seem to care that their family members were being hunted and killed.
The substance is missing- and without it, I’m left holding a book that is simply readable. Nothing more. If you’ve read Andrew Gross books in the past, read a few “reader” reviews of this book before you start reading it… so that you will lower your expectations.

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The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

 The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker 

 The Bride Collector

Ted Dekker

Read by John Glover

ISBN-13: 9781607881872
ISBN-10: 160788187X
Hachette Audiio

Hardcover, 448 Pages
ISBN: 1599951967
ISBN: 978-1599951966

Fiction/Suspense-Thriller/Mystery
Visit the author’s website

 

FBI Special Agent Brad Raines matches wits with a serial killer unlike any other in Ted Dekker’s The Bride Collector.

Determined to terrorize, murder and display seven beautiful brides He has no desire to maim or disfigure his victims… No…with this killer…perfection is the key. He manipulates the bodies leaving only the slightest trace of twisted presence.

To understand and hopefully stop the serial killer, terrorizing Denver, Agent Raines turns to the Center for Well-being and Intelligence. Within the walls of this psychiatric hospital we are introduced to several interesting, caring and highly intelligent characters. But it’s Paradise Founder, a shy, agoraphobic patient with a deep seated fear of men, that could help solve this case with the touch of her hand. Detective Raines is drawn to Paradise, like a moth to a flame.

The Bride Collector brews to a steady boil, with each action leading towards the inevitable confrontation between good and evil. Although the pace is slower than that of most psychological thrillers, the personality of this story is multi-tiered, in that most every thing veils a secondary meaning. What is perfection? How do you define crazy?

Happy Reading!

RJ

 

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A stunning debut....

 

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The Ghost Writer by Robert Harris

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING EWAN McGREGOR & PIERCE BROSNAN

Ghost Writer by Robert HarrisThe Ghost Writer

by Robert Harris

read by Roger Rees
Audio 5CD’s

ISBN: 0743583043
ISBN: 978-0743583043

Simon & Schuster Audio

Visit author, Robert Harris



Click here to listen to an audio clip of The Ghost WriterCLICK HERE to Listen to
an audio clip of The Ghost Writer

Simon & Schuster Audio



Robert Harris’ latest novel, The Ghost Writer sounds like an insider’s account, with all the sordid, juicy stuff we all want to know but will not admit we want to know. Mixing some recent history with fictional characters, in a real world, easily recognizable setting and the result is an entertaining listening experience!

The retired, disgraced British Prime Minister tapped his trusted aide, Mike McAra to help him write his memoir. After the mysterious, untimely death of McAra, a new ghostwriter is hired to iron out the wrinkles, add a little more detail and put the finishing touches on. The ghost joins Lang and his entourage, which consisted of a small security detail, several secretaries, his assistant and many speculated mistress, and his wife, Ruth, on Martha’s Vineyard, where they have rented a mansion. Adam Lang has created this cocoon, surrounding himself with those who are necessary or wanted, eliminating everyone else, including the citizens who turned on him.

Adam Lang’s smooth, charismatic demeanor catapulted him to the top of the political ticket, where he enjoyed high approval ratings. Then the world changed, as the war on terrorism branched off in an unpopular direction, taking with it Lang’s political popularity and casting a long, dark cloud over his legacy. Already being tried in the court of public opinion, the people unabashedly blame Lang for their suffering, as the UK has been the repeated target of terror attacks. And then it goes from bad to worse…Lang may be asked to stand before the International Criminal Court and answer to the charge of war crimes.

Robert Harris is as light with his pen as Fred Astaire was on his feet! Giving us a view of the inner sanctum is like pulling the curtain aside, revealing to the world there is no wizard…when all is said and done we are all human. And that’s what is at the heart of this story…people…living, breathing and flawed.

Narrator Roger Rees brings the characters to life, painting each with stunning audio detail, making them memorable and believable. The audio will keep you riveted,  twisting your thoughts and emotions in a new direction with every chapter. You will laugh out loud,  nod your head in agreement and shake your head in dismay, often all three within moments of each other. Even if you have read the book, the audio offers you a whole new experience!

Happy Reading,

RJ

Love2Listen Accustomed to aging rock-stars, the ghost is out of his element in the political arena, however, he will soon discover the two have more in common than he ever imagined! Ugliness and secrets abide here too…the difference…politicians “bury their stories.”



Flippin' Pages

Author, Robert Harris allows us a bit of insight into his thoughts on the difference between good and bad books –

And what they have in common, these bad books, be they novels or memoirs, is this: they don’t ring true. I’m not saying that a good book is true necessarily, just that it feels true for the time you’re reading it.

– and he couldn’t be more right! The Ghost Writer definitely rings true, the characters are believable, displaying the kind of behavior we have come to expect from politicians. Of course, the actions aren’t always good and more often than not it is the mistakes, mess ups and out right corruption that catapult their memoirs to the top of the charts.

Additional covers:

The Ghost Writer by Robert Harris
Also by author Robert Harris, Conspirata –

Conspirata by Robert Harris (SS)National Bestseller

Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Description

On the eve of Marcus Cicero’s inauguration as consul of Rome, the grisly death of a boy sends ripples of fear through a city already wracked by civil unrest, crime, and debauchery of every kind. For Cicero, the ill forebodings of this hideous murder only increase his frustrations and the dangers he already faces as Rome’s leader: elected by the people but despised by the heads of the two rival camps, the patricians and populists.

Caught in a political shell game that leaves him forever putting out fires only to have them ignite elsewhere, Cicero plays both for the future of the republic and his very life. There is a plot to assassinate Cicero, abetted by a rising young star of the Roman senate named Gaius Julius Caesar — and it will take all the embattled consul’s wit, strength, and force of will to stop it and keep Rome from becoming a dictatorship.

Robert Harris once again weaves a compelling and historically accurate tale of intrigue told in the wise and compassionate voice of Cicero’s slave and private secretary, Tiro. In the manner of I, Claudius, Harris vividly evokes ancient Rome and its politics for today’s listeners, documenting a world not unlike our own — where the impulse toward dominance competes with the risk of overreach, where high-minded ideals can be a liability, and where someone is always waiting in the wings for a chance to set the world on fire.



Also from Simon & Schuster

Available June 1, 2010

The Starlet by Mary McNamara

The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver *A Lincoln Rhyme Novel*

Simon &  Schuster Audio

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The Bone Chamber by Robin Burcell

 The Bone Chamber by Robin Burcell

  The Bone Chamber

  Robin Burcell

ISBN: 0061122297
ISBN: 9780061122293
Fiction/Pp400
Paperback

HarperCollins

 Visit Author’s Website

 

Calling all conspiracy, thriller, Da-Vinci Code readers…. Robin Burcell’s The Bone Chamber will keep you intrigued, guessing and reading way past bedtime!

Sydney Fitzpatrick is called to Quantico to put her special skills as an FBI Forensic Artist to work, recreating the face of murder victim. However, just as quickly as she had been summoned, she is dismissed. But Fitzpatrick doesn’t get dismissed quite so easily – the young woman she helped to identify was the daughter of the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. The mystery is further compounded by the death of a mutual friend and colleague, in a supposed hit and run. Following agent Zach Griffin to Rome, Fitzpatrick finds herself a player in a very real game of life and death, dating back to the dawn of civilization and encompassing many of todays most hotly debated conspiracy theories.

The links to historical places, people and conspiracies are many, and taking apart the layers one by one, reveals new dimensions and takes the reader in unexpected, thrilling directions!

Robin Burcell’s The Bone Chamber is an exciting read that I found difficult to put down. (Even with heavy eyes and sleep beckoning me… I had to read just one more chapter…) Which of course, lead to just one more!

The author’s 20 year background in forensics and law enforcement adds a sense of realism that simply cannot be faked. Mixing arms dealers, Freemasonry, Templar Knights, terrorism and ancient plagues dating to the days of Moses is a tall order…and Burcell pulls it all together – the result…a highly entertaining read that will take you away from whatever is bothering you and set you in the heart of a mind bending race through some fascinating settings. Whether in the catacombs beneath Rome or the streets of Washington, you will almost swear you know this place – the detail is so spot on!

Grab a copy and quiet corner -  and Enjoy!

Happy Reading!
RJ

Product Description

Mysteriously summoned to Quantico to help re-create the face of a murdered, mutilated young woman, FBI forensic artist Special Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick knows immediately this is no ordinary crime. The hit-and-run death of the forensic anthropologist assisting her—a close friend—and Sydney’s abrupt dismissal from the case by covert government investigators only strengthen her need for answers. Now her hunt for a killer is carrying her from Washington to Rome to the hidden chamber of a legendary tomb—on the trail of a fabled treasure of the Knights Templar . . . and a curse.

For buried deep in the mysteries of the Freemasons and the Vatican’s Holy See is a secret that could rock the world. Suddenly an ancient map is pointing Sydney toward something the Templars wished to hide away forever—something that could unleash an unstoppable tide of blood and devastation.

 
This is Robin Burcell’s second novel to feature Forensic Artist Sydney Fitzpatrick

 

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Breathing Water by Timothy Hallinan

Breathing Water by Tim Hallinan

Breathing Water
A Bangkok Thriller

Timothy Hallinan

ISBN 10: 0061672238
ISBN 13: 978-0061672231
Hardcover, 352pages

www.timothyhallinan.com

William Morrow
an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

A Nail Through the Heart (book 1) {review}
The Fourth Watcher (book 2) {review}

Breathing Water is the third novel in the Bangkok Thriller series from best selling author Timothy Hallinan, and the story keeps getting better and better…for the reader…which translates to fictional chaos and danger for our favorite travel writer, Poke Rafferty, his beautiful wife Rose and their adopted daughter, Miaow. As with the two previous installments, Breathing Water stands alone, independently strong, full of colorful characters and real world dilemmas delivered with a degree of realism that reaches off the pages into the heart of the reader. However, as a series, each book builds upon the last, taking you deeper into the lives, psyche and history of the characters, for this reason I highly recommend reading all three.

The scene opens on a late night poker game, orchestrated by Poke’s friends at the police department. Unbeknownst to some of the players the game was set up as a training exercise. When Khun Pan joins the table, he is not amused and a misunderstanding puts Arthit’s career on the chopping block. To save his best friend, Poke makes a bet with Khun Pan and wins! The prize? Pan’s biography, sought after by Thai journalists and writers for years, Pan had never before agreed to allow, much less participate in such a project. Making this a once in a lifetime opportunity. A flamboyant and controversial figure, Khun Pan is loved and admired by those who view him as a champion of the poor and absolutely despised by the affluent, many of whom are threatened by his political ambitions. Of course nothing is ever easy for Poke and word travels fast about the impending biography – While one side is paying for the book to be written, Poke is contacted by the opposing side and informed the cost of writing this book will be the lives of his beloved Rose and their daughter Miaow. Thus pitting the Rafferty family against some of Bangkok’s most powerful and influential people. And these ruthless people will do whatever it takes to maintain their status and keep their secrets hidden…whatever it takes!

In the background of this high stakes face-off is yet another link in the organized crime chain, stolen babies, modern-day-slavery and sex tourism. It is within this web we meet a young farm girl named Da and are reunited with Miaow’s long lost friend, Boo.  Captured and forced to beg on the streets of Bangkok, Da is dumbstruck when she’s given a baby to care for. Bewilderment gives way to fear when she discovers the baby, she named Peek, will only be with her temporarily, used on the streets as a prop until it is sold to a wealthy family. Boo, a tough, young lad we met in A Nail Through The Heart (first novel) as “Superman,” now, a few years older and much the wiser, is the leader and protector of a group of street kids and holds the key to Da’s escape.

Hallinan merges the two storylines effortlessly, as he reunites Boo with the Rafferty family.
Together with Arthit and his friend Kosit, they formulate a complex, multilayered plan that has no room for error, each step must be executed with military like precision in order to be successful…all of their lives depend on it.

Breathing Water is an exceptional novel – showcasing Hallinan’s appreciation and understanding of Thai culture which is masterfully translated through the narrative, allowing readers a front row seat on a 300 page journey through Bangkok. (For many, like me, this is as close to Bangkok as we will ever get.) His portrayal of Bangkok brings the city right into your living room, which is no simple task as this is a city of fluid contradictions, where you can visit a message parlor type of establishment and pray on your way out at one of the many beautiful statues. For years Thailand has been teetering on the brink of civil war or total collapse, awash in every conceivable type of corruption, as organized crime bosses maneuver, manipulate and control all aspects of Thai life, from the street vendor to the political arena, but because of its dependence on tourism and this underworld control we are not likely to see such reports on CNN. Hallinan delivers the story with an unbridled passion that is intoxicating, addictive and incredibly entertaining. If you are looking for a genuinely good book, written with heart and doesn’t assume the reader lacks intelligence, look no further…Breathing Water is a rock solid selection you will not regret! (And pick up the first two installments while you’re at it! You won’t get much sleep for the next several days, but it is so worth it!)

I could say the third time is the charm – but that would insinuate that the two previous books were in some way lacking – and lacking is something you will not find in a Hallinan novel. The characters are drawn with such meticulous detail that it is impossible to distinguish fiction from fact, the emotional attachment the reader forms with the characters and your involvement with the story itself becomes a part of your life, a relationship that is missed with the closing of the cover. But is quickly rekindled with each new release…So, until the fourth installment…I wait and wonder what’s next for the Rafferty’s…

9780061257223PB Nail A Nail Through The Heart
(book 1 – Bangkok Thriller series)
Read our review of “Nail”

9780061257261fourthwatcher pb The Fourth Watcher

(book 2 – Bangkok Thriller series)
Read our review of “Watcher”

9780061672231breathingwater Breathing Water
(book 3 – Bangkok Thriller series)

William Morrow an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

Morrow_Avon Logo-thumb-300x120-1863

Book 4 coming Summer 2010

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Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Cemetery dance by Preston & Child 1600242650

Cemetery Dance
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

ISBN 10: 1600242650
ISBN 13: 9781600242656
Grand Central Publishing

Unabridged Audio, 12CDs, 13.5hr
Read by Rene Auberjonois’

www.prestonchild.com

Hachette Audio 

Cemetery Dance 

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have long been known for their ability to stand out amid a very crowded genre – and they certainly carved a niche’ with Cemetery Dance. Agent Pendergast has worked his share of interesting cases and had more than his fair share of close calls, but this time he has to risk much more than his physical safety…in Cemetery Dance, Pendergast dances with the devil, stepping in between the shadows on a journey that will take him places even he never imagined. 
 
The narrative opens on the remnants of a wedding anniversary celebration interrupted by a knife wielding assailant, that leaves New York Times reporter William Smithback Jr dead and his wife, Nora Kelly (Museum of Natural History anthropologist) clinging to life. There seems to be no question as to the identity of the assailant – several neighbors within the Upper West side apartment complex readily identified the attacker as one of their own, a neighbor, Collin Fearing. But that is impossible…Collin Fearing had been dead and buried for nearly two weeks.  Thus setting the stage for an intriguing tale that will take our team of detectives into the lair of a modern day cult in the heart of Manhattan.

Vodou rituals, mysticism, sorcery, within this realm the Obeah is the most dreaded and the most feared of all practitioners. The Obeah or Obeahman is believed to have virtually limitless powers, including the ability to resurrect the dead, which seems to be what someone wants the residents of New York to believe. Digging into this case, Pendergast will find some unusual characters hiding sinister motivations beneath the cloaks of the cult.

With several well known and beloved characters reprising their roles in Cemetery Dance fans are in for a real treat – however, as with their other novels, this one stands alone. So, there’s no reason to hold back – if you have never read a Preston/Child novel before, you can pick this one up and dive right in. Their writing is so spot on, detailed and character driven there’s nothing missing accept you! And with Rene Auberjonois’ providing the narration even those who have read the print version will be intrigued by his incredible presentation. His portrayal of Agent Pendergast breathes life into the fictional character, pulling him off the pages of the book and presenting him in living color. I was amazed by the depth and range Auberjonois employed throughout, going so far as to incorporate gutteral, zombie noises into the narrative. Which I must admit gave me a shudder and added a bit of “oh my” to the vibe. The audio version of Cemetery Dance (from Hachette Book Group) is exceptional and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys an exciting novel that doesn’t fit into any of the pre-determined, cookie-cutter classifications. Preston and Child do an extraordinary job delivering highly unusual material in an intelligent manner that enlightens the reader and engages your senses on a variety of levels. The information revealed in the novel was so provocative, it peeked my curiosity, prompting me to dig deeper into the topics. This is entertainment at its finest, from two of today’s most popular authors. Knowing this and accepting the story for what it was intended allows you to sit back, relax and thoroughly enjoy this unique work.

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

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Alex Cross’s TRIAL by James Patterson & Richard Dilallo

This title is on RJ's "Top Pick List"   

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson & Richard DillaloAlex Cross’s Trial
James Patterson & Richard Dillalo
ISBN: 1600248535
ISBN: 978-1600248535

8CD’s, Unabridged
Read by Dylan Baker featuring Shawn Andrew
Hachette Audio

Available in Hardcover (Little, Brown & Co)

www.jamespatterson.com

The Cross family had more than one hero…”

Alex Cross’s TRIAL, bridges the gap between generations of Cross men – taking us back in time to a turbulent and frightening era in American History, when folks were separated by color and justice was in deed blind…

This novel is a departure from the strong crime drama Cross series – written by the fictional character “Alex Cross” (as was “Big Bad Wolfe”). Thanks to Nana-Mama’s memory and Ben Corbett’s personal journals, Alex was able to put this haunting story on paper and share it with the world. He writes in the introduction – “…it is a story that helps illuminate why so many black people are angry, hurt, and lost in this country, even today. I also think it is important to keep this story alive for my family, and hopefully for yours.” And he couldn’t be more right – it is important…no matter how painful our past, we must learn from it – because those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

Attorney Ben Corbett had made quite a name for himself, as a white man, the son of a prominent Mississippi judge, he represented defendants of color during a time in the nation’s history when to do so put your career, family and even your very life in jeopardy. The story opens with Corbett defending a black servant accused of murdering her wealthy white boss. Of course, it comes as no surprise when the all male, all white jury returned a guilty verdict. This sets the stage for an amazing narrative – that follows Corbett
back home, to Eudora, Mississippi on a special, top secret assignment, requested by the President of the United States. Corbett had served under Roosevelt in the military and the President trusted him to conduct an “off the record” investigation and report directly back to him. Rumors of lynchings, terrorist like activities, civil rights violations, etc., if the stories were true, the Klu Klux Klan was alive and well in the south. President Roosevelt gave Corbett the name of the man he wanted him to talk too…Corbett’s contact…Abraham Cross.

Ben Corbett is impressed by Abraham Cross from the moment they meet, he knows Cross is a very special and wise man. At first Ben has a hard time believing the horror he witnessed as a young man is still occurring, however, after one afternoon with Abraham ‘touring’  lynching sites he realizes the Klan is thriving and everyone knows it. As the story continues tragedy strikes the Cross family and the Klan comes calling to collect their “just dues” from Ben Corbett. Will he become a chapter in this secret story he was sent here to uncover? If the Klan has their way…the answer is a resounding and absolute YES!

An incredible, moving story, that hurtles towards the ending with such ferocity you feel as though you are standing on the edge of a mountain and could teeter off at any second.

James Patterson and Richard Dillalo have delivered a story that is as disturbing as it is exciting – the no-holds-barred narrative is so “in your face” it stings and the lynching scenes are drawn with such meticulous detail you can almost smell the lingering odor of death as you read these haunting depictions. The pain, heartbreak and fear is palpable throughout as the eyes of a nation fall upon Eudora, Mississippi. The text is so point on you cannot help but feel flushed with emotion. Alex Cross’s TRIAL is emotionally charged, action packed and tells the story of how a family’s struggle against injustice gave one man the strength to stand against his own for what he knew to be right…not for posterity, fame or fortune –  simply because it was right!

There’s nothing conventional about Alex Cross…narrators Dylan Baker and Shawn Andrew tell this story with heart, courage and absolute dedication to the characters, breathing life into it and with each succeeding chapter they draw the scenes and put you in the center of each…You will be angered by this story, you will probably tear up (or cry, I sure did!), you will feel the pain of those who are hurting and the joy and pride of those who find the courage to stand tall. In a nutshell, you won’t regret the hours you spend with this book.

Happy Reading,  
Mrs RJ
RJ McGill
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Beat The Reaper by Josh Bazell

 Beat the Reaper
Josh Bazell

ISBN: 9781600244322
ISBN: 1600244327
Little, Brown & Company

Hachette Book Group
Unabridged, 6CD, 7hrs
Read by Robert Petkoff

www.joshbazell.com

Hachette Audio

Set in Manhattan’s worst hospital, Josh Bazell paints a dismal, picture for the main character, intern, Dr. Peter Brown. Working long hours, surrounded by an uncaring, overworked staff, that are unaffected and uninvolved, he finds himself waging a one man war to help his patients beat the reaper. But for Peter Brown, the war is much more personal, he too is trying to outrun or outwit death…and Brown knows all too well, that the reaper has many faces.

Through flashbacks and memory spurts, we learn Peter Brown a.k.a. Pietro Brnwa is hiding more than a few skeletons in his hospital locker. Rescued from his neglectful parents by doting, devoted grandparents only to see them brutally murdered at the tender age of fifteen. He became determined to a state of near obsession to find those responsible for his grandparents death. He joins the Locano Family, who quickly put his hatred and anger to work as an assassin, known as Bearclaw. Experiencing a change of heart, Pietro flips sides, entering the Witness Protection Program, from which he is now on the lam. Adding fuel to this multi-level fire, Brown is recognized by one of his new patients- the chart lists him as Mr. LoBrutto, but this long time mafia associate was at one time known as, Eddy Squillante and he harbors a deep grudge against the good Doctor Brown and knows numerous other mobsters who would kill him on sight.

This edgy story is littered with street humor, that borders on crude at times and yet it is perfectly suited for the depressing, death trap hospital scenario Bazell has designed as Brown’s stomping-group through-out “Beat the Reaper.” The mature language and detailed violence are not suited for younger audiences or those who are offended easily by brash, over-the-top cursing and blood, guts and gore. It says something about the author’s ability to write the material and the narrator’s ability to convey it that this one needs a “Mature Content” warning label. However, as most adults will agree some things are for children and others are not –and that’s okay – ….”Beat the Reaper” is a grown up tale that will having you snickering one second and out right laughing the next. So, if you are looking for a good story to take you away from the ordinary for a few hours, Beat the Reaper is an excellent choice.

Happy Reading,
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RJ McGill

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I am looking forward to Josh Bazell’s future works!

 

  Paperback available September 14, 2009Beat the Reaper - Paperback

 

Listen to: "Beat the Reaper" by Josh Bazell (Sample courtesy of Hachette Audio) LISTEN TO A SAMPLE CLIP
from Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

 

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The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (audio)

The Brass Verdict
Michael Connelly
ISBN: 1600244017
ISBN: 9781600244018
www.michaelconnelly.com

Unabridged, 10CDs, 11.5hrs
Hachette Audio
Read by Peter Giles

Hardcover, 432 Pages
Little, Brown & Company
 

New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly takes a leap of literary faith uniting two well known characters in one novel and lands softly amid adoring fans and rave reviews. Actor Peter Giles narrates, bringing the characters to life with special wording, accents and voice inflections, individualizing each, making the characters recognizable and believable.  

In 2005’s The Lincoln Lawyer, we were left with Haller’s promise that he would return – and return he has…albeit divorced, estranged from his daughter and recovering from both the gun shot wound and an addiction to pain killers. With his ex-wife (Lorna) as secretary/manager and her fiancée (Cisco), as his lead investigator, Mickey plans to slowly recoup his clientele and rebuild his rolling practice. Operating a lucrative law office from the backseat of a Lincoln town car was but one of his signature tricks and he was determined to reassert himself as the quintessential Lincoln Lawyer.

But his plans for a slow comeback are fast tracked when fellow attorney Jerry Vincent is found murdered in the parking garage adjacent to his office. Summoned to a closed door meeting with Chief Judge Holder, Haller is unceremoniously informed he has inherited Vincent’s practice and is responsible for his case load. A laundry list of cases was the last thing Haller wanted, so he quickly disposed of most of them. However, there was one case he hoped to maintain – that of millionaire, studio executive Walter Elliot, accused of murdering his wife and her lover. 

It would appear Vincent’s untimely demise handed Haller the goose that laid the golden egg, wrapped in box with a beautiful bow…but, then again, nothing is ever as it appears, is it?

Attorney Mickey Haller, from The Lincoln Lawyer’s and Detective Harry Bosch (33 year veteran of the police dept), from the celebrated Bosch series, share the spotlight in this murder-mystery-legal drama, sparring and teasing each other throughout with bits of carefully worded information meant to illicit more than it reveals. Forever questioning the intentions of the other, on the surface they seem to represent polar opposite points of view, but they have a great deal more in common than either is willing to acknowledge.
This novel barely scratches the proverbial literary surface of this brotherly relationship and I am anxious to see Connelly explore this further in the future.

Exciting, interesting and filled with twists that satisfy fully – “The Brass Verdict” is a solid good read!

Happy Reading!
BIGsmily
RJ McGill
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CLICK @HERE@ to read an excerpt from The Brass Verdict (via Open Book)

Brass Verdict = cop slang for an execution

 

 
 
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BoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker

BoneMan's Daughters by Ted Dekker

BoneMan’s Daughters
Ted Dekker

ISBN: 9781600246043
ISBN: 1600246044
Unabridged, 9CD, 10.5hr
Center Street Publishing
www.teddekker.com

Hachette Audio
read by Robert Petkoff

*Special conversation with author @CD9”
Ted Dekker, author of 20+ best selling novels, beloved by a dedicated following..so how is it possible that many booklovers aren’t familiar with this incredible body of work? Because Dekker’s books have been classified spiritual or Christian – and that tag caused readers to leave the book on the shelf, thus missing out on some of the most prolific, character driven writing penned in recent years. BoneMan’s Daughters showcases Ted Dekker at his dark thriller best!

Good vs evil? Right vs wrong? That fine line that divides the two sides, the one that is usually so easily defined, can, in the right, or should I say, wrong set of circumstances, blur – when confronted by the unimaginable, the impossible becomes not only plausible, but almost understandable, maybe even excusable, right?

BoneMan’s Daughters opens somewhere in the Iraqi dessert, with Military Investigator Captain Ryan Evans’ convoy being attacked. Evans is taken hostage and held in a bunker by a man named Khalid. The newspapers would refer to the kidnappers as insurgents or radicals, neither is accurate. The truth, is far more frightening, Khalid, like Ryan was a father, and his child was killed by a Coalition bombing. The anger and resentment that grew within this man was palpable and he would force Ryan to experience “collateral damage,” first hand! Khalid presented Ryan with a choice, murder an Iraqi child or sacrifice his family in the child’s’ place.

The events in the desert changed Ryan Evans – he realized he had neglected his family, that it would take a long time to heal the wounds his absences had inflicted upon those he loved, but he returned to Austin determined to make things right with his wife, Celine and their adopted daughter, Bethany and move on with their lives. However, fate had yet another twist in store for Ryan Evans, it seems Celine had already moved on…and into the arms of the District Attorney. As for Bethany, well, at 16, with images of NY City and a new modeling gig dancing in her head, she wasn’t interested in Ryan’s new found Fatherly love. With horrific images from Iraq haunting him day and night, divorce looming and losing his daughter, Ryan is on the verge and retreats into himself. And then, the story heats up, shifting into overdrive and barreling straight into Ryan Evans heart.

And the hits just keep on coming…

News Flash – notorious serial killer, BoneMan released from prison on a technicality… BoneMan, that single word conjured up disturbing, hellish memories for locals. The name refers to his method of murder, meticulously breaking the bones of his teenage female victims, without perforating the skin. After a two year hiatus, a teenage girl is abducted…BoneMan’s quest to find the perfect daughter continues. It would seem all eyes would be on the recently released prisoner – but not so…some very well informed investigators see the two year lull coincides quite nicely with Ryan Evans deployment. But Evans doesn’t have time to be upset or offended by such outrageous accusations…BoneMan has his daughter, Bethany and if Ryan can’t find her in time, she will suffer the same fate as the six young girls before her, becoming forever one of BoneMan’s Daughters.

A spine-tingling tale of family, betrayal, suffering, and survival. The narrator’s use of strong inflections, varied accents and emotional tones and speeds breathes life into these fictional characters, making each feel not only real, but personally familiar. Dekker’s use of current events and headline worthy subplots adds yet another level of chilling realism to BoneMan’s Daughters. A well written, well delivered novel that demonstrates Dekker’s ability as a first rate writer and assures us (readers) we have a lot to look forward too.

Happy Reading!
Msg from RJ: "Live, Laugh, Love & Read!"
RJ McGill

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Also available in Hardcover & Large Print Hardcover
BoneMan's Daughters by Ted Dekker

“To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men.”
– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

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Year of Disappearances by Susan Hubbard

The Year of Disappearances
Susan Hubbard
ISBN 10: 1416552715
ISBN 13: 978-141655710
Simon & Schuster
Fiction, 304 pages
www.simonsays.com

www.susanhubbard.com

Susan Hubbard delighted vampire lovers with her morally refined, deeply emotional tale of a young girl, half human, half vampire and wholly exiled from both cultures for the first thirteen years of her life, in her debut novel, “The Society of S.” The sequel, Year of Disappearances, reunites us with Ariella Montero and takes us inside her search for that ever elusive sense of normalcy.

Ariella’s story is a voyage through adolescence, with a vampire twist – struggling to find your place in the world is hard enough as a teenager, but trying to secure a spot in two diametrically opposed cultures, simultaneously, spells trouble with a capital T. After the death of her best friend, Ari left New York, moved to Florida with her vampiric mother, where she learns more about her unusual genealogy, makes new friends, is targeted by sinister forces and becomes a murder suspect. And if this weren’t enough to give Ari premature wrinkles, her father falls ill, the water is contaminated, honeybees are dying or disappearing, a vampire is positioned to run for president and her old nemesis Malcolm lurks in the darkness.

Hubbard’s ability to imagine an incredibly detailed environment and fill it to the brim with really cool concepts has been a bit overdone in Year of Disappearances, there’s simply too much going on, especially considering the age of the main character, Ariella. There are several creative ideas that really grabbed me, unfortunately, my excitement was short lived,  as many of these ideas were reduced to not much more than an introduction… To see such innovative, fresh narrative twisting in the wind was disappointing and I hope these concepts will be revisited in future novels and fully fleshed out, utilizing Hubbard’s unparalleled story-telling voice.

In a nutshell, Year of Disappearances is a good read, that will hold your attention and give you something to talk about around the water cooler, however, when compared to Hubbard’s stellar performance in Society of S it falls a bit short. That said, I am looking forward to the next installment in this unique series, because when  Susan Hubbard has her finger soundly on the vampire jugular, her novels grab you by the throat and barely allow you to breathe.

Happy Reading!
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Check out Susan Hubbard’s first novel in this series,
The Society of S

also available in paperback

Read the Review of Society of S


 
 
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