Category: Thriller

“The Nothing Man” by Catherine Ryan Howard

“The Nothing Man” by Catherine Ryan Howard

Narrated by Alana Kerr-Collins and John Keating

Audible Original: “Second Skin” by Christian White

Audible Original: “Second Skin” by Christian White

Narrated by Ellen Archer

Stan Weir is mourning a tragic loss when he meets a mysterious nine-year-old girl, who claims to be the reincarnated spirit of his late wife. Marcy Keef is a single mother trying to make ends meet when her daughter Erin starts describing ‘past life memories’. Neither wants to believe Erin, but as violent secrets are revealed, the truth becomes harder to deny.

So, I don’t delve into the paranormal much and I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I downloaded this Audible Original. I mean, a nine-year-old with the reincarnated spirit of a grown woman. What was that going to be like? I was in for a very intriguing surprise of a story. Turns out that Erin is a very charming little girl, but the secrets in this story are not charming at all.

I found the story to be filled with twists that I wasn’t expecting and Stan, who is in serious need of help. The story is also excellently narrated by Ellen Archer with just the right amount of drama to draw the listener in and breath life into the characters. I found this to be an excellent listen and well worth the 4 1/2 hours.

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Flash Review!: “Die Trying” by Lee Child

Flash Review!: “Die Trying” by Lee Child

Narrated by Jonathan McClain

Series:     Jack Reacher Book 2

What I Like:   Well, it’s Jack Reacher, handsome, ex-military guy who lives by his own      rules. Great characters. Complex, twisty story. Fantastic narration.

What I Don’t Like:  It leans a little bit too much to organized crime for my taste and lost me a bit at times.

Would I Recommend: Yes, but not my favorite in the series.

Rating:   Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

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“Poison Orchids” by Sarah Denzil & Anni Taylor

“Poison Orchids” by Sarah Denzil & Anni Taylor

Narrated by Aimee Horne

Young backpackers Gemma and Hayley arrive at a remote fruit farm in Australia’s Northern Territory, out of money and desperate for work. 

The weeks go on, a blur of fruit picking, parties, campfires and wading beneath waterfalls in the nearby hot springs. Until the night the girls find themselves on a dark highway, bruised and bloodied.  

Senior Detective Bronwen McKay and psychologist Megan Arlotti question the terrified girls. But Hayley and Gemma are telling two very different stories of what happened to them over the past three months. 

Buckle up people, this is a bumpy ride. There is some pretty graphic violence so if you are sensitive to that type of content this would not be a good choice. That being said, I was all in with this story. It starts with a bang near the end of Gemma and Hayley’s journey together and then shifts back and forth between what’s happening to them now and the events that led up to their current situation. This story is very complex with some very intriguing characters and you need to be paying attention in order to keep it all straight. I felt that listening to this story just heightened the drama overall and made it all feel more real, though I hope that some of the situations are never anybody’s reality. This story is very dark but it completely captured my imagination. In the past few months, I have found myself really enjoying books set in Australia and this is one of the best I’ve read.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

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“If She Wakes” by Michael Koryta

“If She Wakes” by Michael Koryta

Narrated by Robert Petkoff

Tara Beckley is a senior at idyllic Hammel College in Maine. As she drives to deliver a visiting professor to a conference, a horrific car accident kills the professor and leaves Tara in a vegetative state. At least, so her doctors think. In fact, she’s a prisoner of locked-in syndrome: fully alert but unable to move a muscle. Trapped in her body, she learns that someone powerful wants her dead – but why? And what can she do, lying in a hospital bed, to stop them?

Abby Kaplan, an insurance investigator, is hired by the college to look in to Tara’s case. A former stunt driver, Abby returned home after a disaster in Hollywood left an actor dead and her own reputation – and nerves – shattered. Despite the fog of trauma, she can tell that Tara’s car crash was no accident. When she starts asking questions, things quickly spin out of control, leaving Abby on the run and a mysterious young hit man named Dax Blackwell hard on her heels.

This story is fascinating, thrilling, and a little bit creepy. All the things I look for in a thriller. There is an urgency to the story from the very first words. A sense of something ominous about to happen. Tara is just trying to be friendly with the guest speaker she is escorting to the college event. Then it all goes terribly wrong.

I love the way the author uses Tara to push the investigation forward, even though she is suffering from locked-in syndrome and seemingly has no way to communicate. I really appreciated how he explored what was going on in her thoughts, the feeling of indignity when the nurses talked about her like she wasn’t in the room, the desperation she feels when she realizes that she can’t communicate, and the relief when her sister fights for her rights when she is helpless. This aspect of the story is a reminder that just because a person is medically unable to talk to you doesn’t mean that you can treat them with disrespect.

Abby, the investigator, is a whole different kettle of fish. She is intent on finding the truth but must confront her internal demons in order to get through this investigation alive. The path to the truth is twisted and full of the unexpected. When she finds herself at the mercy of a serial killer she uses every resource she can muster thwart his deadly intentions. I found it easy to identify with Abby and cheer her on. Her methods may be unorthodox to some but they are definitely effective.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story and was on the edge of my seat throughout. The narrator’s pacing was excellent and it was a real pleasure to listen to. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Alinefromabook’s rating:   Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

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“Running Blind” by Lee Child

“Running Blind” by Lee Child

Narrated by Johnathan McClain

Across the country women are being murdered by a killer who leaves no evidence, no fatal wounds, no signs of struggle, and no clues to a motive. They are, truly, perfect crimes. In fact, the only thing that links the victims is the man they all knew: Jack Reacher.

Warning: this story has a lot of potentially triggering scenes about crimes against women. Jack Reacher is my latest fictional hero. “Running Blind” is his 4th story. The FBI suspects him of murdering women across the country who had, while in military service, reported sexual assault. Reacher had been the investigator in all the cases, therefore he must be guilty. Then the tables turn and he’s helping the FBI find the real killer.

I find Jack Reacher so fascinating because I just can’t quite figure him out. Every book reveals a little bit more about him and just when I think I’m starting to understand him he throws me another loop. This is a character that keeps my interest. In this book, he’s paired with an FBI agent who, I’m sorry to say, has no redeeming qualities in my mind. She’s just way more nasty than she needs to be, but Reacher just takes it all in stride.

The plot of this one really had me guessing. I’d say I was about 85% through the book before I started to think that maybe I was wrong about the suspect and of course I was. Because Lee Child is good at unexpected twists, there are plenty of them. I was also impressed with the way the author handled the trauma that the women experienced. He doesn’t dismiss or trivialize what happened which I appreciate, especially from a male author.

I would definitely recommend the audiobook version of this story. I think Mr. McClain did a great job of voicing this one. The characters are distinctive and his narration is very well paced so you don’t have a chance to “zone out”. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next one.

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Other books in this series:

“The Only Child” by Mi-ae Seo

“The Only Child” by Mi-ae Seo

Criminal psychologist Seonkyeong receives an unexpected call one day. Yi Byeongdo, a serial killer whose gruesome murders shook the world, wants to be interviewed. Yi Byeongdo, who has refused to speak to anyone until now, asks specifically for her. Seonkyeong agrees out of curiosity.

That same day Hayeong, her husband’s eleven-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, shows up at their door after her grandparents, with whom she lived after her mother passed away, die in a sudden fire. Seonkyeong wants her to feel at home, but is gradually unnerved as the young girl says very little and acts strangely.

At work and at home, Seonkyeong starts to unravel the pasts of the two new arrivals in her life and begins to see startling similarities. Hayeong looks at her the same way Yi Byeongdo does when he recounts the abuse he experienced as a child; Hayeong’s serene expression masks a temper that she can’t control. Plus, the story she tells about her grandparents’ death, and her mother’s before that, deeply troubles Seonkyeong. So much so that Yi Byeongdo picks up on it and starts giving her advice.

I find myself on a bit of an international tour with my reading. Recently, I was in Nigeria with a police procedural and now I’m visiting South Korea with this intense psychological thriller. I had a little difficulty getting going with the story at the beginning because of the names but once I decided in my head on a pronunciation this book was hard to put down. The writing also struck me as a little stiff at times but I’m wondering if that is due to translation rather than any failing on the part of the author. The author so effectively takes the reader into the minds of her characters that is was impossible for me not to be impressed.

What really fascinated me with this story is the psychology behind the three main characters. The reader gets to go right along with Seonkyeong as she works her way through her own reactions to Yi Byeongdo and Haeyong and tries to use her training as a psychologist to understand how each of them has been shaped by their experiences. There are unexpected twists along the way and the ending could have gone a few different ways and wasn’t quite what I expected. Overall, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. Even though the story is set in South Korea, the issues addressed are universal.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

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“Tripwire” by Lee Child – Audiobook

“Tripwire” by Lee Child – Audiobook

Narrated by Johnathan McClain

Jack Reacher, ex-military policeman relaxed in Key West until Costello turned up dead. The amiable PI was hired in New York by the daughter of Reacher’s mentor and former commanding officer, General Garber. Garber’s investigation into a Vietnam MIA sets Reacher on collision with hand-less “Hook” Hobie, hours away from his biggest score.

Jack Reacher is quickly becoming my newest hero. Parts of this story were very gruesome and hard to listen too, but that was definitely outweighed by the complexity of the story. Reacher starts to develop a personal life which I enjoyed and adds additional dimension to him as a character. The Vietnam War connection in the plot really points out Jack Reacher’s former years in the military and the death of his former mentor will have a completely unexpected outcome on his life. Reacher continues to be a loner, for the most part, and someone who wants to live by his own code, which I have to admit is an archetype that I relate well too. The ultimate resolution of this mystery took me by surprise by seemed very appropriate to the events that had taken place. This story represents to me another way in which war can destroy lives, and that’s something that I think we should all be reminded of frequently. There are multiple lives at stake in this story and the action is riveting. I think this story translated well to audio and the narrator did a great job of bringing the characters to life.

Alinefromabook’s rating:   Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

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Other books in this series:



“A Book of Bones” by John Connolly – Audiobook

“A Book of Bones” by John Connolly – Audiobook

Narrated by Jeff Harding

He is our best hope.

He is our last hope.

On a lonely moor in northern England, the body of a young woman is discovered. In the south, a girl lies buried beneath a Saxon mound. To the southeast, the ruins of a priory hide a human skull.

Each is a sacrifice, a summons. And something in the darkness has heard the call.

Charlie Parker has also heard it and from the forests of Maine to the deserts of the Mexican border, from the canals of Amsterdam to the streets of London, he will track those who would cast the world into darkness.

Parker fears no evil—but evil fears him.

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Charlie Parker but this one really made me work, in a good way. The religious roots in this story are very complicated and I really had to pay attention while listening so as not to get completely lost. That being said, I love a complex story that makes my brain work along the way, so for me this is a winning characteristic. This installment also felt like it was more emotional for the characters as we are faced with a battle against cancer while trying to stop evil from destroying the world. I continue to enjoy the expansion of the roles of Charlie’s daughters as the series progresses. For me the incorporation of the children makes it all a little more real. Charlie and his team (my word for the group of recurring characters) are not just fighting evil as a theoretical concept or as a function of law enforcement, but as an actual living force that can end all hope of a future for mankind. This may well be my favorite so far, though I wouldn’t suggest this one as your first foray into this series. John Connolly continues to dazzle me with his creativity, and Charlie Parker is still one of my favorite heroes.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

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Other stories in this series:







“Front Page Fatality” by LynDee Walker

“Front Page Fatality” by LynDee Walker

Narrated by Therese Plummer

Blurb:

When two rookie cops are killed in a fiery crash near Richmond, Virginia, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is sent in to investigate.

But as Nichelle digs deeper into the case, she discovers this was no ordinary accident.

People and evidence soon begin to disappear. Someone is one step ahead of her. A master criminal with a deadly secret, covering their tracks with ruthless efficiency.

The killer will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden. But as she draws closer to unraveling the mystery of two dead cops, Nichelle realizes that she’s become the next target.

My Thoughts:

This one had a little different feel for me because the main character is an investigative reporter, not a detective. That being said, I really liked Nichelle. She’s still figuring out her job to some extent, but she is eager and ready to learn. What she doesn’t know is what she’s getting herself into when there is an explosion and two cops are dead. As the case heats up, she begins to wonder who she can trust. I really enjoyed the pacing of the story and the secondary characters who added drama and interest. I think the plotline is well crafted and executed. Overall, I found the story to be engaging from beginning to end. The narration was excellent if you prefer audiobooks.

Alinefromabook’s rating: Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

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