…because with twenty-four hours in a day its the only fiction you have time to read

Archive for the ‘Suspense & Thriller’ Category

Firethorn

Discarded HeroesFirethorn by Ronie Kendig

If you haven’t discovered the Discarded Heroes series yet, then you are in for a real treat.

In this 4th  installment of the series things have really blown up–literally.  Nightshades headquarters have been breached and destroyed. Griffin (Legend) is set up to be charged with murder and now sits in a federal maximum security prison.    With the team all put out of commission and separated to the corners of the globe Nightshade, usually the rescuer, finds itself  in dire need of rescue.

Enter Kazi Faron.  This young assassin has been tasked with the job of breaking  Griffin out and working with him to rescue the rest of the team while finding out who is trying to destroy them.  But Kazi has her work cut out for her.  Used to working alone and trusting no one but herself, Kazi must learn to put away her fear of betrayal and trust Griffin long enough to finish the job.

As love begins to stir in the hearts of Kazi and Griffin, they race around the globe trying to put the pieces together.  Are they one step ahead of the traitor, or one step behind?  Are they prepared for the surprise that awaits them at the end of their journey? Is this the end for the Nightshade team we have grown to love?

As with all the books in this series, Firethorn is an absolutely magnificent story. I must say that this is my favorite modern book series.  Although this seems to be the last book in the series I hope we will see these characters again.  They have become good friends.

One of the themes throughout these books is the difficulty soldiers face with trying to reintegrate themselves into “normal” life.  War takes it’s toll on all it touches, and on none more-so than the soldiers who face it’s atrocities for months on end.  This book and the whole series gives us a glimpse into the lives  of  Hero’s who are wounded from within, and their struggle to redefine their life.

5 stars (of course) and 5+ stars for the series as a whole

Corridor by Robin Parrish

Robin Parrish This book could be the beginning of an Epic–yeah it was that good.  It is classified as a YA book, but even as a 30-something adult I found myself glued to the book.

Here’s what the book is about:

THE ONLY WAY OUT IS TO RUN.

On the eve of his seventeenth birthday, Troy Goggin finds himself inexplicably transported to an impossibly huge, miles-long structure called the Corridor. But what is the Corridor, and why was he brought to it?

It’s a place of mystery, wonder, and heart-stopping danger. It will test him and push him both mentally and physically. His only companion is the girl whose voice he hears inside his head, explaining the rules he must follow if he hopes to escape.

But there is much more to this extraordinary place than Troy could ever imagine. The Corridor’s true purpose — the biggest mystery of all — is revealed only to those who make it to the end.

When I got to the end I was stunned.  I thought it was an amazing story while I was reading it, but the end just blew me away–and left me wanting to know more.  When a sequel comes out I will be in the front of the line to buy it (Robin Parrish if you read this,  notice that I said when, not if).

Even better, is that as of the posting of this review, the book is only 2.99 on kindle.

Definitely a 5 star read, and on my shortlist of recent favorites.

I received a copy of this book from the Author. All opinions rendered are my own.

Frantic by Mike Dellosso –Suspense at it’s Best

Mike DellossoDo the lies you believe define who you are?   Death has followed  Marny Toogood from birth, snatching those closest to him and seemingly proving grandfather’s prediction.  He is cursed.

Despite the curse, every night Marny holds to the promise his mother told him until she died:  Behind every rain cloud is the sun, just waiting to shine.  Then he falls asleep and succumbs to the only place more dark and foreboding than his life.

We enter Marny’s life the day his nightmares and cursed life collide.  Living life in a tiny apartment above the station where he pumps gas, Marny tries to keep his involvement in the lives around him to a minimum–after all potential friends are potential victims of his curse.

But today there’s just something about the girl in the backseat of the old Ford Taurus that pulls in for a fill-up.  She speaks to him through her eyes, and through his own experiences he recognizes the message of sorrow and doom.

As the car pulls away Marny bends to pick up a piece of wadded paper.  Opening it he reads five words that have the potential to change his life forever:  HE’S GOING TO KILL ME.*

 

If there ‘s ever been a book that could be considered aerobic exercise its this one.  The plot twists, surprises, and races while keeping the reader turning pages frantically trying to find out what happens next.  The strong plot doesn’t sacrifice character depth. The book will pull you in from the first page and keep you hanging on each word til the very end.  I will warn you it’s hard to put down.

Frantic is definitely Mike Dellosso’s best work yet–and with books to his name like The Hunted, Scream, Darlington Woods, and Darkness Follows ,all five-star reads in their own right, that really say’s a lot.

Definitely a 5 Star Read.  Available early 2012

 

*Much of this description is taken directly from the book.  I couldn’t have described it with any better words, so I let it speak for itself.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Charisma House.  Any opinions rendered in this review are my own.

Where the Power Lies–or Sits

James RubartThe Chair by James L. Rubart

James Rubart has done it again.  The Chair is a magnificient creation, a definite “edge of my seat” (pun intended) read.  Unpredictable up to the very end, this book deserves a very strong 5 star rating.

Corin Roscoe thinks the old lady who dropped off an even older chair at his antique shop is nuts.  Though he tries to refuse the chair, she insists he take it–claiming that it was meant to go to him.

Taking a closer look after she leaves, he realizes the chair is very well made in it’s simplicity.  Putting it off to the side, since he has an overabundance of furniture in his store right now, he figures it’s something he might take a look at later, if he has the time.

When a young boy is miraculously healed in his store after sitting in the chair, and word of it spreads, Corin realizes that maybe he has come across something special.  Could this chair possibly heal his brother–and his guilt?

When a well known mega-church pastor begins to manipulate Corin into selling the chair, he decides to lock it up for safekeeping.  Corrin, needing advice, confides in an old trusted friend, a college professor, who shares with him the history and legend behind the mysterious chair.

Does the chair really posses  power?  There are those who will stop at nothing to get it–and that puts Corin, and those he loves at the center of their cross-hairs.

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Why Is Someone Trying To Kill Me?

Shirley McCoyLone Defender by Shirley McCoy

Six days in the Sonoran desert…six days without food…with barely any water…six days since Skylar Grady’s been left for dead with no idea who even wanted her that way.

This was supposed to be such a simple assignment.  Just locate the deadbeat dad so the authorities could have him arrested and brought to justice.  She hadn’t even found him, yet here she is, pretty sure she’s only hours away from certain death.

If anyone else had asked Jonas Sampson to track someone lost in the desert (and believe me, they had) he never would have done it.  But his old college friend Kane Dougherty was someone he’d do almost anything for–especially since Cane assured him that this woman was too stubborn to die.  Now that he’s found her, getting her home safely is going to be a whole other battle–both because of the dozen or more men tracking her with an intent to kill, and because she fight’s him almost every step of the way.

This is the best Love inspired Suspense book I’ve read in a long time.  Shirley McCoy doesn’t waste any time getting to the meat of the story.  The action begins with the first sentence, and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat til the very end.  The characters are real.  They draw you in till you feel yourself longing to see their hopes and dreams fulfilled, and cheering them on every step of the way.  There is really a lot of punch in this little book.  It is a great value, and worth every one of the 5 stars I’m giving it.

This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

What My Eyes See

 Kristen HeitzmannIndelible by Kristen Heitzmann 

Natalie Reeve is a gifted sculptor whose ability stems from a unique disability.  When her brother helps her buy a home and business in the peaceful mountain community of Redford, what she hopes for is  tranquility.  How was she to know that events would so quickly spiral out of control.

Trevor MacDaniel is searching for two elderly hikers that seem to be lost when he comes across a dire situation.  A mountain lion has snatched a toddler from the trail where he was walking with his father and aunt.   The decision to put his life on the line to save the boy requires no contemplation.  Having lost his little brother to a horrific accident years ago, he’s not about to let another family go through that kind of pain if he can help it.

The lives of these two are seemingly thrown together when Natalie and Trevor realize that not only did he rescue her nephew, but their businesses are next door as well.  The more time they spend together, the more they see that they may be just what each other needs.  When Trevor is stalked and Natalie is attacked by the stalker she may have seen, their worlds collide in a way neither of them saw coming.

This is an enjoyable story, and I found myself not wanting to put it down at times, but the beginning is not quite up to Kristen Heitzmanns best work.  The story started out with an impressive scene that was not carried out as good as it could have been, and it took too much time to see how the different threads were fitting together.  I definitely enjoyed the book, but although I was expecting it to be a five-star read, it really was more of a four-star.

This book was provided to me by the publisher, Waterbrook Press.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Cash Burn or Crash and Burn?

Michael BerrierJason Dunn thinks he know whats going on–he wasn’t born yesterday.  When he finds love notes from his wife to another man, he thinks affair, not set up (like she claims). 

 Little by little things in Jason’s life begin going so-right, and yet at the same time so-wrong.  His most despised co-worker becomes his boss, he gains a beautiful new assistant, his recently released jailbird brother is causing all kinds of trouble for him, and he finds a loophole that if he should take it, will net him enough money to last many lifetimes. 

What he would have never thought have doing at one time becomes a bit easier with every baby step, every little sin, every bit of twisted reasoning.  Now comes the big step, the one he won’t ever be able to undo.  Will he take it, or will something happen to change the path he’s headed down.

I feel like I should have had a crash course in banking and high finance before reading this book.  There was way to much bank-speak.  Also, this was definitely a book written with men in mind.  It is highly plot driven, and the characters are left swimming in shallow water. 

I was not comfortable with how the intimacy was described in the book.  If as it seemed it was truly written for men, then it would draw even more of a visual than I felt it did.  Although not excessive by mainstream standards, for a christian publisher it was awfuly close to the line.

  Overall I just did not enjoy this book, but I must admit that the writing skill was excellent and Michael Berrier has a lot of potential.  I will be looking out to see what he writes in the future.

3 Stars

This book was provided to me by the publishers through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Fear Is All That Remains

Half a millenia past, after  wars that decimated the earth, Sirin brought forth a new wisdom.  He taught the laying aside of life’s excesses  in exchange for  simple equality.  He preached the dangers of emotions untamed.  Many followed him, and for a time peace reigned throughout the earth–but humanity could not keep this up for long.

Megas developed a virus that would spread throughout the earth, stripping every person of all emotions but fear.  When Sirin is martyred, the blame is placed on extremest factions, and the road is paved for Megas’  rise to power.

The Book of Orders, a strict rule that reaches into every area of life is canonized under Megas’ rule.  The people crave the order and freedom from fear that complying brings.  They long for the possibility of bliss after death, which can only  be achieved  by strict adherence to Order.

The year is 480–calculated from the moment the age of Chaos ended and the age of Order was ushered in.  Simple craftsman Rom, and his friends are unwittingly thrust into the crux of the battle to save humanity from Order.  Some will die; some will wish they could.  Each of them will feel more alive than they ever imagined.  And a small cripple boy will be the only hope for life the world has left.

This book is truly amazing.  The combined storytelling of Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee have created a book that is destined to be among the greatest pieces of literature.  There is no real way to describe the majesty of this book adequately.  You must experience  it for yourself.  First in The Book of Mortals series, Forbidden is an experience you won’t soon forget. 5 Stars–but worthy of many more.

This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Lawyer Loses Everything and Finds What Matters Most

Water’s Edge          By Robert Whitlow

Tom Crane has a beautiful girlfriend, a nice home, and is about to make partner at his law firm–life is treating him pretty well.  Entering the meeting where he expects the partnership announcement to be made known, the rug is violently pulled from beneath his feet. Tom finds out that not only is he not going to be made partner, but he is completely out of a job thanks to economic cutbacks.  He tells his girlfriend, and before he arrives home  she has left him and taken his cat as well.

With nothing standing in his way, Tom heads back to his hometown to close up his deceased father’s small town law firm.  What he finds is suspicions of foul play, criminal activity, people who love him for who he is, and seeds of faith that had been planted long ago.  What he learns is that God can take even our biggest failures and turn them into something not only worthwhile, but beautiful as well.

Robert Whitlow never disappoints his readers, and this book is no exception.  A masterfully written plot with twists and turns that keep you glued to the pages long into the night, Water’s Edge is a book that you will treasure for years to come.  5 Stars

This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions are my own.

FBI Agents Wife Critically Wounded

Targets Down by Bob Hamer

If the degenerates knew that the lady who witnessed them dumping a body was the wife of a FBI agent, they would have thought twice before leaving her for dead on the mountain overpass, because now Matt Hogan is on the case.

Matt Hogan’s job requires him to become like the slime he’s working to put behind bars.  The undercover FBI agent  finds himself living life on the edges of a branch of the Russian Mafia–a neo-Nazi group involved with all sorts of illegal enterprise including the sex-slave industry.

When his “in” is murdered, Hogan wonders if his cover is blown before he even gets started.  Surviving so many close calls during this operation have him seriously considering that the God his wife puts her faith in might be real after all.

An excellent read, this book was clearly written with the male reader in mind.  It is fast paced and action driven.  It is clear that this author, a retired undercover FBI agent himself, knows what he is talking about.  The undercover situation has a truly authentic feel I didn’t know was missing from other similar novels until reading this one.

One thing to note:  There is a bit more of the marriage relationship described between the agent and his wife than is typical in Christian novels.  Nothing too over the top, but enough that I won’t let my 15-year-old daughter read it.

I give this book 5 stars.

This book was provided to me for review from the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions are my own.

Abandoned Baby Found Adrift at Sea

Stephanie NewtonThe Baby’s Body Guard

by Stephanie Newton

Love Inspired Suspense, August 2011 

Ethan Clark  was expecting a trap when he was texted gps coordinates that lead him to an abandoned boat.   Although his job had him regularly policing the waters off this section of Florida coast, the text came to his personal line.  He dealt with some pretty dangerous criminals back when he was undercover with the FBI, and there were more than a few who might want to exact revenge.  The last thing he expected to find under the tarp covering the boat was a screaming toddler.

Local social worker Kelsey Rodgers waited by the shore to take the toddler until it’s parents could be found.  Not that she held out much hope of that happening since the little girl seemed be one of the many orphans from Eastern Europe she’d come across over the last few years.

Searching the little girl’s diaper bag for any clues to her identity,  Ethan comes across a hand-print and a photograph of a baby.  The photo sends shock-waves through his system.  A picture of his deceased son stares back at him–only the baby is months older than his son was when he died.  There’s no way this could be his son.  He’d seen his wife and son blown to bits with his own eyes when they were caught in the explosion that ended his last undercover assignment.  Ethan’s phone signals another text coming in, and the four words he reads change his world forever:  YOUR SON IS ALIVE

As Kelsi and Ethan race to find answers bullets race towards them and sparks fly between them.  Will love will win before it’s too late?

I really enjoyed the strong plot and inviting characters in this story, but I think the story would have greatly benefited by adding an extra 20,000 words–unfortunately the constraints of the Love Inspired series do not allow for this.  I found myself wanting more detail, and greater depth throughout the book.  There was just too much story crammed into too small a book.

I’m giving this book 3 stars

Lifesaving Medication Killing Patients

Lethal Remedy                                                                by Richard Mabry, M.D.

Dr. Sara Miles doesn’t really want to go to her self absorbed ex-husband, Dr. Jack Ingersoll  for help, but if she doesn’t young Chelsea will most likely die.  He is in charge of the study for a  medication trial of the only treatment for Staph luciferus, an infection that makes MRSA look like childs play.

Retired physician, Dr. John Ramsey comes back to medicine following the death of his wife.  He is looking for meaning in his presently meaningless existence.  What he finds is legal trouble for helping a dying woman, and who knows what kind of trouble from the prick of an improperly disposed of needle.

Dr. Rip Pearson is assisting Sara’s ex  in the medication trial.  Actually he seems to be doing all the patient work since Dr. Ingersoll is only interested in the parts of the trial that will bring him success and fame.

When patients begin experiencing life threatening delayed reactions from the medication, neither Dr. Ingersoll or Jandra Pharmaceutical want to hear about it.  Their medication has been fast-tracked for approval from the FDA and they plan on keeping it that way.

Soon Sara, John, Rip, and their colleague Mark are in a race to save not only the lives of their patients, but their own lives as well.  Someone want’s them to drop the investigation and they don’t care who get’s hurt in the process.

This is the fourth book in the Prescription for Trouble Series.  Each of the books in this series are easily readable as stand alone novels.  The book has a gripping plot and great layering of sub-plots.  The characters have depth and by the end of the book the reader feels invested in their lives.  The only part that takes a bit of processing is at the beginning when all the medical personnel and conditions are being introduced.  Once the reader files all that information away, the book is very difficult to put down.

Dr. Mabry’s novels get better with each new one he writes.  I hope he continues to grace us with his stories for a long time to come.  This book is worthy of 4.5 Stars.

I received this book for review from the publisher through the netGalley program.  All opinions given are my own.

No Memory is as Scary as the Ones You’ve Lost

Book of Days                                                by James L. Rubart

Imagine whole chunks of your memory disappearing.  Imagine your dad died with the same symptoms.  Scary, huh?  Now imagine your dad died 8 years ago at age 49.  Imagine yourself spiraling into this abyss when you’re only 25.  Cameron Vaux doesn’t need to imagine it–he’s living it.

When Cameron’s dad died 8 years ago he warned him that this day would come.  He also told him about a book of days where God records every moment of every persons life.  He told Cameron that if he can find this book it may cure him.  Six years later, on her deathbed after a tragic accident, his wife Jesse tells him the same thing.

Although quite agnostic, Cameron is determined to try anything that may spare him.   Jesse’s foster-sister Ann, and Cameron have a cold distant relationship, but she is an investigative reporter so he contacts her for help.  She reluctantly agrees, and the story takes off.

This book was hard to put down.  It’s the kind of book that can make you stay up until 3AM without noticing.  The characters have great depth and the settings are at times beyond description.

James Rubart is one of the best new authors to come onto the fiction scene in quite a while.  His meaningful, gripping tales are the product of superb storytelling.  His exciting tales contain that extra twist that makes the difference between a good book and a great book.

5 Star Worthy

Can the Afghan People Ever Know True Freedom?

Freedom’s Stand                                                            by J.M. Windle

Aid worker Amy Mallory returns from a trip stateside to find overwhelming and seemingly negative changes to the New Hope Compound.  The rescued women have been put to work doing the backbreaking job of carpet-making,  the area she secured to give them more living space has been turned into a business, and most troubling to Amy, several of the women have been married off to strangers.

Jamil has found peace traveling the countryside, using his medical skills as a healer and sharing the teachings of Isa Masih (Jesus Christ).   When he is unknowingly  filmed by a journalist and his faith is broadcast on YouTube for all the world to see, he finds himself behind bars in one of the most notorious prisons in all of Afghanistan.  He is accused of apostasy, and all Afghans know the penalty for apostasy is death.

Condor Security operative Steve Wilson thought he had seen the last of Afghanistan and is busy planning an extended tropical beach vacation.  When the young son of the friend who took over his assignment is diagnosed with Leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant Steve insists on filling in so the family can be together at this crucial time.  If only Steve could find something to do that would fill his life with purpose…

The Afghan people still live without freedom ten years after the ousting of the Taliban.  Regardless of outside intervention the country seems bent on destroying and imprisoning itself from within.  Is there any real hope of freedom?  Of love?  Can anyone make a difference?

Freedom’s Stand is the completion of the tale begun in Veiled Freedom.  While it’s possible to read the story alone, you will miss the depth of the story if you try to do so.  This story is both riveting any meaningful.  Many times you will find yourself on the edge of your seat, and yet you will also find your heart aching for the lives and love of the Afghan people.  This is an important story that tells what life is like behind the news headlines.

The author, Jeanette Windle,  has done her research well, including an under the radar trip to Afghanistan.  In fact, her research is so detailed that it has prompted government agencies to question whether she has seen classified information.   She brings this world of to life through her understanding of  what it is like to work and live as a missionary in the “Hot Zones” of the world.

This book, and actually both books in this series, are five-star quality.  I would highly recommend picking up a copy of both Veiled Freedom and Freedom’s stand to add to your collection of fine literature.

Wolfsbane: Ronie Kendigs best work yet!

Wolfsbane                by Ronie Kendig

This is the most amazing book I have read in a long time.  It has a high intensity, quick moving plot that doesn’t sacrifice depth of character.  Descriptive settings cause the reader to feel like they are living the adventure alongside the characters.  The characters, though unique, feel true to life and experience struggles and sins that aren’t solved in the blink of an eye.

Just when you think she’s packed everything into the plot, Ronie Kendig adds another layer.  This book is worthy of 5+ stars.  It has just the right balance of adventure, suspense, and romance.

Wolfsbane is the third installment in Ronie Kendig’s Discarded Hero’s series.  It follow’s the story of  former Green Beret Canyon Metcalfe and demolitions expert and senator’s daughter Danielle Roark.

After finally escaping the clutches of a Venezuelan general who has been keeping her as his personal sex slave, Dani Roark is plucked from the sea by Range Metcalf.  She brings critical information she has gleaned to the authorities only to have them tell her that her info seems too perfect.  They accuse her of working with the general and soon she faces the option of trial as a traitor and possible execution, or a return trip to the land of her captivity to prove  her information correct.

Meanwhile Dani meets Canyon Metcalf, Range’s brother who immediately feels drawn to her in all the ways he doesn’t want to be.   Not only does his past make it impossible to love her, but Range has claimed her as his girl.

Canyon’s team  is given the assignment of going into Venezuela to protect Dani and help her get the proof she needs.  Canyon promises Dani that he will protect her, and never leave her behind, but he soon realizes that he is not ultimately in control.

If you only read one book this year, this is the one I recommend.   It will be released July 1, 2011.

This book was provided to me free of charge to review by NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: