Category: Thriller

“Liar, Liar” by Lisa Jackson

“Liar, Liar” by Lisa Jackson

Narrated by Brittany Pressley

Blurb: In death, Didi Storm is finally getting the kind of publicity that eluded her in life. Twenty years ago, the ex-beauty queen worked the Vegas strip as a celebrity impersonator, too busy trying to make it big to spare much time for her daughter, Remmi. Shortly before she leaped from a San Francisco building, Didi’s profile was rising again, thanks to a tell-all book. To Detective Dani Settler, it looks like a straightforward suicide, or perhaps a promotional stunt gone wrong. But Remmi knows the truth isn’t so simple. Because though the broken body on the sidewalk is dressed in Didi’s clothes and wig, it isn’t Didi.

Remmi was 15 when she last saw her mother. Their parting came in the aftermath of a terrible night in the Mojave desert when Remmi – who’d secretly stowed away in Didi’s car en route to meet her crush, Noah Scott – instead became witness to a mysterious rendezvous. Didi handed over one of her newborn twins to a man Remmi didn’t recognize. Subsequently, Didi disappeared, as did Remmi’s other half-sibling. Remmi has pleaded with the authorities to find them, but there have been no clues. Yet she’s always had the sense that someone is watching her….

If the victim isn’t Didi, who is it – and what’s the connection? Remmi is shocked when Noah resurfaces. He was also in the desert that night, and now runs his own PI firm. He too believes it’s time to find out what really happened. As they and Detective Settler dig deeper, the truth about Remmi’s missing family begins to emerge…a story of ruthless ambition and twisted lies that someone will kill again and again to keep hidden….

My thoughts: I found this story really intriguing. It begins and end with action and thrills, and the narrative in-between had so many twists I wasn’t sure the answer would ever be found. I also found Remmi devotion to finding answers about her mother, in spite of the pain her disappearance had caused her, to be quite touching. The parts that are told from Remmi’s perspective felt very human. Detective Dani Settler was also a fascinating character with a distinct story to tell. I think the author took great care in creating these two female characters and it shows. The nasty extended family characters were also really well written and the interplay between them and Remmi was totally unexpected. Hat’s off to Brittany Pressley for her narration of all these characters that really brought them to life for me. I found this story to be unique and surprising and overall a great read!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

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“A Steep Price” by Robert Dugoni

“A Steep Price” by Robert Dugoni

Narrated by Emily Sutton-Price

Blurb: Called in to consult after a young woman disappears, Tracy Crosswhite has the uneasy feeling that this is no ordinary missing-persons case. When the body turns up in an abandoned well, Tracy’s suspicions are confirmed. Estranged from her family, the victim had balked at an arranged marriage and had planned to attend graduate school. But someone cut her dreams short.

Solving the mystery behind the murder isn’t Tracy’s only challenge. The detective is keeping a secret of her own: she’s pregnant. And now her biggest fear seems to be coming true when a new detective arrives to replace her. Meanwhile, Tracy’s colleague Vic Fazzio is about to take a fall after his investigation into the murder of a local community activist turns violent and leaves an invaluable witness dead.

Two careers are on the line. And when more deadly secrets emerge, jobs might not be the only things at risk.

Thoughts: This is book 6 of this series but the first one I have read and I have to say I was impressed by this story. I found Tracy to be one of those characters that you can imagine being a real person. I really enjoy books where the main characters have personal lives, but sometimes that part of the story feels forced to me. I did not have the feeling with this story so bonus points to the author for being able to write that way. Another thing I really like about this book is that the victim is a young woman from an Indian family and I think the cultural aspects of that were handled really well. The investigators came across to me as being sensitive to the fact that the family’s cultural norms might be different from theirs and handled them with respect.

As to the story itself, I found the plot to be original and unique. The young woman’s disappearance had lots of mystery and contradictions that kept me guessing. It was definitely not immediately apparent who had done it. As the investigation continues it just got more and more intriguing. While the ending was not a complete surprise it was really well written. Finally, the narrator was a really good pick for this one, knowing when to bring in tension and drama and when to be more relaxed. I enjoyed listening to the narrator as much as the story itself. Overall, I would highly recommend this one and I will be on the lookout for other books in this series.

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Wrath of Angels” by John Connolly

“The Wrath of Angels” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jay Snyder

Blurb: In the depths of the Maine woods, the wreckage of a plane is discovered. There are no bodies, and no such plane has ever been reported missing, but men both good and evil have been seeking it for a long, long time. What the wreckage conceals is more important than money. It is power: a list of names, a record of those who have struck a deal with the devil. Now a battle is about to commence between those who want the list to remain secret and those for whom it represents a crucial weapon in the struggle against the forces of darkness.

The race to secure the prize draws in private detective Charlie Parker, a man who knows more than most about the nature of the terrible evil that seeks to impose itself on the world, and who fears that his own name may be on the list. It lures others, too: a beautiful, scarred woman with a taste for killing; a silent child who remembers his own death; and a serial killer known as the Collector, who sees in the list new lambs for his slaughter. But as the rival forces descend upon this northern state, the woods prepare to meet them, for the forest depths hide other secrets. Someone has survived the crash. Something has survived the crash.

Thoughts: I think this one is my favorite so far. I found the idea of a plane crashed in the woods and the mysterious list to be fascinating. The possibilities of what became of the people on the plane and the mysterious sightings in the woods really captured my imagination. I also found this one to be a lot creepier than some of the previous books and I loved it. The supernatural aspects of these stories is a large part of what keeps me coming back for more. I also find it very appealing that Mr. Connolly is letting his characters age as the series progresses. Charlie’s daughter continues to grow up and he continues to try to be a father to her while still being haunted by his past. In my opinion, this series continues to be high quality and thrilling. Finally, another excellent pick for the narrator. Next up for me, “The Wolf in Winter”, Book 12.

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Past Tense” by Lee Child

“Past Tense” by Lee Child

What I don’t understand is why I have waited so long to pick up a book by Lee Child. Once again I am late to the party, but fortunately, I did not miss out on all the fun. “Past Tense” is the most recent installment in the Jack Reacher series. Jack has decided to leave Maine and head for San Diego but his ride only gets him to New Hampshire. When he finds himself close to the small town where his father grew up he decides to make a detour and check it out. It pretty quickly becomes apparent that his presence in town has stirred up quite a big hornet’s nest. The cops want him out of town but Jack is determined to get answers to his questions.

I knew I was going to like Jack Reacher from the moment I met him. He’s a bit of a misfit but he lives according to his own rules and is not easily persuaded once he sets his mind to something. Jack is a big guy and very intimidating if he’s not on your side in a fight. He’s the kind of guy that I would love to know. I also found the companion characters in this story to be a really great mix, my favorite would have to be the Rev. He’s a very quirky character (and you know I love quirky), at times afraid of his own shadow but always there when you need him. I really enjoyed the pacing of the story ranging from somewhat calm to bracing action, from coffee shop conversation to raging infernos. This story just hit all of the elements I love. A bit of history, some genealogy, really bad guys up to no good, thrills, mystery and action. Definitely a home run and a series that is going on my TBR.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Gods of Guilt” by Michael Connolly

“The Gods of Guilt” by Michael Connolly

Narrated by Peter Giles

Mickey Haller #5

Mickey has received a call about a murder case. What he doesn’t realize at first is that the victim is a former client of his. A prostitute, who he thought he had helped get out of the life. Now she is dead and he realizes that she had secrets he knew nothing about, and one of them may have gotten her killed. Her manager is the accused but Mickey thinks that he’s too obvious as a suspect and is probably completely innocent. Mickey and his team soon find themselves digging into a complex web of lies that puts their lives in danger.

So this is my first dip into the Mickey Haller series, though I’ve been interested in it for a long time. This is another one that I picked up on the Audible Daily Deal and it was definitely a good choice. Mickey Haller is handsome and easily recognizable when he’s out and about. But his reputation is a little bit questionable. He stills work out of his Lincoln but he’s put together a top-notch support team that are committed to winning cases. I couldn’t help but like the whole team and their devotion to Mickey. This case was really a fascinating one. I found myself going back and forth in my opinion of the manager’s guilt or innocence. There were lots of plot twists and surprises both in the case and in Mickey’s personal life. Finally, the narration of this story is excellent. I enjoyed Peter Giles’s voice and he didn’t over characterize but let the drama of the story come out naturally. This one is a winner in my book and I will be looking for more of the books in this series.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Ex-Wife” by Jess Ryder

“The Ex-Wife” by Jess Ryder

Narrated by Annette Chown

Natasha is a beautiful young woman who has recently married a dreamboat of a man, who is also hopelessly devoted to her. They have just given birth to a daughter, live in a mansion and she has everything she could ever want. But the dreamboat has and ex-wife who is constantly stealing the joy from her life and seems to be there every time she turns around. Then one day her daughter disappears and her whole world changes. Can she possibly pull her life back from the edge and get her daughter back?

This thriller will have you on the edge of your seat. You can’t help but like Natasha and admire her commitment to her husband and daughter. She wants the kind of life that she didn’t have growing up with a single mother and who can blame her. But the ex acts like she still lives in the house. The husband appears to be devoted but there just something not quite genuine about him. These are some wonderful characters. The story has all kinds of twists and turns and enough psychological drama to keep an office full of therapists busy. I loved it! I listened to the Audible audiobook version and it is expertly narrated by Annette Chown. You really should not miss this one.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Cutting Edge” by Jeffrey Deaver

“The Cutting Edge” by Jeffrey Deaver

Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini

Confession time: it has been far, far too long since I have read a Lincoln Rhyme story and that is my loss. So when this one popped up on my Audible feed and decided that now was the time to re-visit Lincoln and Amelia Sachs. A brutal triple murder has occurred in New York’s Diamond District. Two of the victims are a young, engaged couple. Then other engaged couples start to die. The killer is deemed The Promisor. But he made one mistake, he let a young man get away. Now Lincoln and Amelia must track him down before The Promisor does if they intend to solve this case.

Lincoln Rhyme: He is acerbic and arrogant but he is also dogged in his pursuit of criminals. What I find most intriguing about him is how he does not let his disability defeat him. I love that this character is out there as an example of a person overcoming obstacles in order to succeed.

Amelia Sachs: Amelia is so complicated and her relationship with Lincoln is very intricate. At once seemingly fragile and yet unbreakable. And I love “watching” her work a scene. There is something satisfying for me as a reader in her methodical way of combing a crime scene looking for clues.

The story: This one has a lot of fascinating little twists and unexpected characters. Crimes which at first glance seem to have an obvious motive end up being something entirely different and the true villains of the piece are not obvious.

The narration: Edoardo Ballerini did an excellent job with narrating this story. His pace was just right to keep up the drama and suspense but without feeling rushed.

Final thoughts: An excellent book with great characters and a very effective narration.

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

Happy Listening!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Burning Soul” by John Connolly

“The Burning Soul” by John Connolly

Narrated by George Guidall & Tony Ward

Book 10 The Charlie Parker series

A young girl has gone missing in Pastor’s Bay, Maine. When a lawyer friend of Charlie’s asks him to agree to a job without knowing what it is, his guard is up. The client is Randall Haight and he has a secret, a big secret. Randall lives not too far from the missing girl and he quickly becomes the prime suspect. At the same time, he’s receiving threatening mail from an anonymous source. Charlie sets out to find the person who is sending the mail, but he also thinks there is some kind of a link between Randall and the missing girl, though he doesn’t think Randall is involved in her abduction. Along the way, he comes into conflict with law enforcement and finds it necessary to call in all his resources to protect his client.

Two of my favorite people working together again, lucky me! You all know how much I love the Charlie Parker series and George Guidall is hands down my favorite narrator right now. I really enjoyed this story. I really felt for Charlie when his lawyer friend kind of tricked him into working for Randall Haight and I appreciate how John Connolly makes him such a true-to-life character. The usual associates are in this story but the plot really focuses on Charlie and Randall. I was also taken completely by surprise, in a good way, by the ending. I really didn’t see it coming but I liked the way the story wrapped up. Finally, I was pleasantly surprised that one of the main characters was from North Dakota and parts of the story took place there. Thank you John Connolly for noticing us way up here in the Northern Plains. Another great installment in a series of winners!

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

Happy Listening!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Butterfly Garden” by Dot Hutchinson

“The Butterfly Garden” by Dot Hutchinson

Narrated by Lauren Ezzo and Mel Foster

Goodreads blurb: Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding.…

My thoughts: I was expecting this book to be really creepy and scary. But it turns out there’s a real story here and that story is very psychological. The Gardener almost has two personalities. At times he is very kind and considerate of the girls and yet he is holding them captive for his own pleasure. He is up in arms when he finds out one of his sons is abusing the girls but granting them their freedom doesn’t even occur to him. The story is told alternately by the girl Maya and by the FBI agents. I found Maya to be a very intriguing character. Her relationships with the girls and the Gardener are very complex. The twists and turns make the story very compelling. I think the choice to use two narrators was good one for this story and I enjoyed listening to both of them. Overall, I think this story is unique and very well written and narrated. I really enjoyed this one.

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

Happy Reading and Listening!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Sleeper” by Emily Barr

“The Sleeper” by Emily Barr

Narrated by Imogen Church

A deception, wrapped in a disappearance, wrapped in an obsession … all in one book! Lara Finch is an unhappy housewife with a dark secret in her past. When she is offered a job in London she jumps at the chance. She will have to take the sleeper train every Sunday afternoon and return on Friday night. She makes new friends among the regular travelers and loves being back in London. The only downside is the strained she relationships with everyone in her family except her godfather, who absolutely dotes on her even though she’s a grown woman. She has also recently befriended Iris, a lonely woman who lives near her. She too is hiding a deep secret. Then comes the Saturday morning that Lara does not get off the train and one of her traveling companions is found murdered. Is there a connection and where has Lara disappeared to? Iris is determined to find the answers.

Let me just start by saying that you need to read, or listen to, this book. This is a fabulous psychological thriller. Lara is a fascinating character. Sometimes, I found her to be very sympathetic and other times I just wanted to knock some sense into her. Her relationships with her husband and family are very complex and the author did a great job with the development of all the main characters. I found Iris to be the most interesting though. Her story doesn’t really begin until about halfway through the book but once it starts, it’s just irresistible. I had not paid too much attention to the description of the story before I began listening to it, and at first I thought it was just going to be another unhappy wife story. But, oh my gosh, about a third of the way through the story takes a turn that just makes it one of the most compelling thrillers I’ve read in a while. Did I mention how much I enjoyed listening to the narrator? Imogen Church was a great choice for this book. Her narration was irresistible but did not over dramatize. She let the words convey the drama more than her voice. I was very sorry when I had to stop listening to her voice. Bottom line is, I loved the story and the narration, and highly recommend both to you especially if you enjoy psychological thrillers.

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

Happy Reading! Happy Listening!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website