Category: Thriller

“Jar of Hearts” by Jennifer Hillier

“Jar of Hearts” by Jennifer Hillier

Need a little suspense while you’re soaking up the sun this summer? Then take a copy of “Jar of Hearts” in your luggage. Geo is serving a 5-year sentence for the part she played in the murder of her best friend when she was 16. Her former boyfriend is sentenced to life. As her release date approaches, Calvin, the ex-boyfriend, has escaped from prison. And then, two bodies are found in the same location as the original murder victim. Kaiser, the police detective on the case has been in love with Geo since high school, and fears that Calvin may be coming back for her. With her only support coming from her widowed father Geo is trying to put her life back together but can she overcome the memories, and will they locate Calvin before more women have to die?

Do not hesitate to pick up this book. If you like psychological thrillers you will not be disappointed. This is the first book I’ve read from this author but it won’t be the last. This story is complex and twisty is all the right ways. The story is told both in the present and the past through the memories of the characters. The circumstances of the original murder unfold gradually in way that keeps you wondering and wanting more. I also really loved the characters created here. Geo may at first seem predictable but as you follow her you begin to see just how complicated her life has been and how she came to make the choices she did, good and bad. I liked her both as a teenager and as an adult. Kaiser is also a very likeable guy. He’s handsome, devoted to duty, but also a very caring and loyal person. He matures through the story from an awkward teenage boy into a highly respected law enforcement officer and friend. The icing on the cake for me is that the story is set in the Pacific Northwest, my favorite part of the country. I hope you check this one out because it’s worth the hype.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA   |   Author’s website

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“The Whispering Room” by Dean Koontz

“The Whispering Room” by Dean Koontz

Book 2 in the Jane Hawk series

Jane is back and in for a whole new set of troubles as she continues to hunt the men responsible for her husband’s suicide. In California, she is trying to make contact with a reporter who she thinks may be sympathetic to her cause. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, a school teacher turns her vehicle into a bomb and drives through the front of a hotel during a banquet that government officials are attending. The investigation is almost immediately taken over by the FBI and the local police chief is pushed aside, but he still has plenty of questions and will keep looking for answers even if he has to do it on his own time. His quest takes him to a tiny resort town in Kentucky where Jane’s leads have also taken her. Together, they discover the “Whispering Room” and continue to make inroads into the organization behind it all.

I just loved the first book in this series and couldn’t wait to read this one. The third book has also been released recently and I’ve got my copy in hand. This book completely drew me into Jane’s world. Her name and picture are now being broadcast all over the world so she has to become even more conscientious with disguising herself. She is welcome nowhere and can’t be sure of anybody’s loyalty. This installment takes her across the country and back again and she meets up with some very interesting characters. The old man was a particular favorite of mine, proving that being 80 doesn’t mean you’re dead. I liked how the story moved back and forth between Jane and the investigation in Minnesota and then brought the two story lines seamlessly together in the end. Jane is making progress in her investigation. The question is: will she live to see it to the end?

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble  |   Author’s website

“The Black Angel” by John Connolly

“The Black Angel” by John Connolly

Creepy, creepy, creepy! Charlie Parker finds himself in the midst of a very dark mystery. When a young prostitute goes missing in New York City, Charlie’s friend asks him to help find her. In spite of Rachel’s protests, he can’t turn down his friend. What begins as a simple shakedown ends up having a connection to an artifact from an Eastern European church built from bones, and the slaughter at a French monastery during WW II. The artifact, known as “The Black Angel” is prized by some very evil men who will stop at nothing to retrieve it.

This story seemed to me to have more an evil supernatural edge to it than the previous books. There were some moments that I wasn’t sure I would get through they were creeping me out so much. That being said, Charlie was at his best and his worst in this installment. His relationship with Rachel is deteriorating rapidly because of his work and the conflict shows up in his investigation. I love how John Connolly balances the work and personal aspects of Charlie’s life, and keeps both moving forward as the series continues. That being said, this story ends with his relationship in a cliffhanger moment, which means that I’m going to have to pick up book 7 very soon. This is the 6th book in the series and they just continue to deliver. Some series hit a slump as they go on but I’m not detecting that here. This book definitely lives up to John Connolly’s high standards.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA   |   Author’s website

“Twisted Prey” by John Sandford

“Twisted Prey” by John Sandford

Be still my soul! Lucas Davenport is back with his 28th case. This time he’s determined to take down a U.S. Senator who he is convinced has tried to assassinate on of her fellow senators from Minnesota. Davenport is now with the U.S. Marshals service and brings a couple of his fellow marshals along to D.C. as backup. Almost immediately, there is an attempt on his life followed by a car accident back home in Minnesota that nearly ends his wife’s life. With the pressure mounting Davenport must quickly unravel this very complex and twisted plot.

A friend turned me on to this series a few years ago and I have been hooked ever since. That being said, I haven’t read one for a while so picking up this book felt like visiting an old friend. Lucas Davenport continues to be charming and thoughtful in his personal life, while also being a hard as nails when it comes to criminals. This story is a very complex knot of politicians, arms manufacturers and ex-military bad guys. And just when you think that progress is being made something happens that sets the investigation back again. All these twists and turns work seamlessly together though to make a really compelling thriller. This is book 28 in the series and one of my favorites so far. I highly recommend!

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA   |   Author’s website

“Nocturnes” by John Connolly

“Nocturnes” by John Connolly

A collection of short stories including a Charlie Parker novella

Narrated by Jeff Harding

There are a lot of creepy, crawly things happening in this book and the spiders are only one of them. “Nocturnes” is an assortment of John Connolly’s short stories. “The New Daughter” is one I particularly enjoyed. This one was made into a movie which I saw before I read the book. In this one a father and his two children move into an old house, after which the daughter’s behavior starts to change. She becomes fascinated by a mound of dirt on the property but what is it that really has a hold on her? Sidenote: the movie was good also. Of course, my favorite part of the book is the Charlie Parker novella near the end. A photo of a young girl is left in the mailbox of an empty house and sends Parker on the hunt for a child killer who’s a little more than he appears to be.

Finally, I found the narration of this to be quite compelling. Jeff Harding has narrated other books by John Connolly and always does a good job, but for some reason in this one, I found myself listening as much to hear the narrator’s voice as to hear the story. All in all this is a top-notch collection which I highly recommend.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA   |   Author’s website

“Too Close to Breathe” by Olivia Kiernan

“Too Close to Breathe” by Olivia Kiernan

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan has just returned to duty after nearly being killed in pursuit of a case. Assistant Commissioner Jack Clancy has assigned her team to investigate a presumed suicide. The coroner has an “uneasy feeling” about this case, hence it being assigned to Frankie’s team, but Clancy is still not sure that Frankie is ready to be back on the job. With Detective Baz Harwood as her partner they quickly determine that this is in fact a murder but that’s when the hard part starts. As they delve into the lives of the victim and her husband they quickly uncover multiple affairs, Dark Web activity, and the underbelly of Dublin. But the circumstances of this case are also triggering flashbacks for Frankie and the danger may be all too real.

So let’s start with the plot. These people’s lives are more twisty than a snake but it really makes for a great story. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you trip over another clue and end up going in a different direction. Characters: Frankie Sheehan is a great character. She’s tough and persistent, as you would expect a detective to be, but she’s much more than that. I think the author did an especially good job with the flashback scenes because they gave you a sense of Frankie as a vulnerable person. I really enjoyed Detective Harwood also. He knows how to push Frankie’s button but he also takes it very seriously when he says he’s got her back. This is the author’s first novel and I think it’s a great debut, definitely worth the read.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA   |   Author’s website

Blog Tour Book Review: “Pendle Fire” by Paul Southern

Blog Tour Book Review: “Pendle Fire” by Paul Southern

John Malkin is an overworked social worker. His girlfriend has just become pregnant with their first child but the job stress is starting to come between them. One of John’s cases is Nathan, a young man who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Just as Nathan has landed himself in jail, again, John is asked to investigate two girls who have just reported having been raped by a local police officer. Both Nathan and one of the girls warn him that he is in danger and that a prophecy has named him as the “chosen” one. John knows nothing about this prophecy but strange things are happening and he is determined to get to the bottom of it. Meanwhile, Shaf, a Pakistani police officer in the local force, has rescued the two girls after they were attacked by strange men, but the girls lied and blamed him. His boss has suspended him pending an investigation, but later asks him to conduct a secret investigation for him. There are rumors of local gangs “grooming” girls, and race riots are breaking out all over the region. The police force is stretched to the breaking point and DC Ali thinks someone in the force is involved. All roads seem to lead to the “Hobbledy Man”, but who is he and what does he want?

I couldn’t wait to read this book because I had so enjoyed the author’s first book. I was not disappointed. The story is very intense with a lot of different things happening that seemingly have no connection except for the legend of the “Hobbledy Man”. The narration goes back and forth between John, who’s trying to help the kids, and Shaf, who is trying to clear his name. I really liked both of these characters. John is so well-intentioned but as his paranoia grows his actions become more and more erratic. Shaf is trying to be the kind of person that his father was, but soon finds his principles being tested at every turn. The plot line is many-layered but it all works together really well. There are some very graphic scenes of sex and violence which some readers may not like but they do work within the story. This book has elements of the supernatural, the presence of a very active cult, violent gangs, and issues of race relations. Some of the content is disturbing but overall I found this to be another excellent story from Paul Southern.

Alinefromabook’s rating:   4 stars!!

Happy Reading!4-star-rating

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

Pendle Fire Blog Blitz

“The White Road” by John Connolly – Audiobook

“The White Road” by John Connolly – Audiobook

Narrated by Paul Birchard

Book 4 of the Charlie Parker series

Another installment in the Charlie Parker series and my love for these books just continues to grow. Charlie has been contacted by his old friend Elliot Norton and asked to come to South Carolina to help clear a young man of a murder charge. After he arrives, he helps to transport the young man to a safe house, but just as Charlie starts to investigate the young man is murdered. Parker knows there is more to this than meets the eye. His investigation will take him back into the past of two families, one black and one white and uncover a horrifying crime. Meanwhile, back in Maine, Rev. Faulkner is trying to orchestrate his release from prison but Lewis and Angel have other plans.

This is another hit for me and bonus points because there are no spiders. I continue to love the whole cast of characters and I like that the characters’ stories carry over from one book to the next. Angel is still struggling to overcome the trauma Rev. Faulkner inflicted on him. We get to learn a little more about Lewis’s history, and the relationship between Charlie and Rachel continues to develop. As usual, John Connolly delivers a story that is twisty, filled with action, and full of surprises. The narration was top-notch and one of the best I’ve heard. Paul Birchard did an excellent job of differentiating the characters with subtle changes of accent and delivery, and his narration style really heightened the drama. I highly recommend this audiobook for both the story and the expert narration.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“The Sandman” by Lars Kepler

“The Sandman” by Lars Kepler

OMG! This book just blew me away! In “The Sandman”, the 4th installment in the Joona Linna series, a young man has appeared walking across a train bridge one night. But this young man disappeared as a 13 years ago along with his sister, and has been declared dead. Detective Inspector Joona Linna was on the original case and even though a suspect was arrested, prosecuted, and is still incarcerated, Joona had always believed there was an accomplice. Now he’s sure of it, and the hunt is on. Jurek Walter is securely imprisoned with no contact with the outside world, so why was Mikael released? And who released him? He claims his sister is still alive, but where is she being kept? Can Joona and his team unravel the clues before the girl’s time runs out?

This was my first time with DI Joona Linna but I don’t think it will be my last. The suspense is unbelievable. The storyline has lots of twists but it all comes together brilliantly for a totally unexpected ending. I thought the characters were great with a depth to them that made them feel real and relatable. The scenes in the mental hospital took my breath away. This book takes place in Sweden which was new for me and some of the names were a bit challenging but I got to learn about a different country so it balances out. Everything about this book is 5 star.

Alinefromabook’s rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble

Thank you to First to Read for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Look for Me” by Lisa Gardner

“Look for Me” by Lisa Gardner

A family massacred, one daughter and two dogs missing. Is this 9th installment in the series D.D. Warren once again has her hands full. And while she’s tracking down a killer, her husband and son are out adopting a dog of their own, which she’s not quite sure will be a welcome addition. Meanwhile, kidnapping survivor Flora Dane, has a connection to the missing girl and begins an investigation of her own, using her very secretive survivor support group to aid in the search. Roxanna is just trying to find a place to feel safe for a while. Unraveling this mystery will take them all into the dark side of the foster care system and reveal just how twisted a motive can be.

I loved this story, and while I’m usually a cat person, the dogs really add something special to the story. D.D. Warren is a very complicated police detective, but great at her job. She has some great leadership skills and I was very impressed by the way she kept the investigation organized when practically the entire Boston police force was involved in the search for the missing girl. She also has great people skills when she needs them. I felt sorry for Flora and the trauma she had been through, but at the same time I admired her resiliency and the way she was working to re-create her life into something that was meaningful to her. There’s also a whole host of supporting characters that are unique and add depth to the story. The plot here has a lot of twists and clues that don’t seem to fit together until the very end. I think mystery/thriller lovers will really enjoy this one.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA