Category: Thriller

“The Woman in the Woods” by John Connolly

“The Woman in the Woods” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Blurb:

In the beautiful Maine woods, a partly preserved body is discovered. Investigators realize that the dead young woman gave birth shortly before her death. But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is hired by a lawyer to shadow the police investigation and find the infant but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in much more than a missing child…someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring and a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman.

My Thoughts:

Phone calls from a toy telephone, those are really creepy. It’s remarkable how this young boy can keep his wits about him when it happens. This is another winner from John Connolly. I found this story very easy to relate to. I am getting a little concerned about the direction Parker’s daughter Sam is going in. I’m very interested to see how her story is going to play out. Charlie and his friends Louis and Angel are facing a different phase of their lives with Angel’s health scare and I really like how Mr. Connolly is incorporating the realities of life into these main characters. He is allowing his characters to age and I don’t find that very often in detective fiction. This series has become more than just a group of whodunits for me, the characters have become like family as I’ve worked my way through the stories. This is the last one for a while as the next book in the series will not be released in the US till October. And as always, Jeff Harding is the voice of Charlie Parker and gives us another excellent performance.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

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“The Wife” by Alafair Burke

“The Wife” by Alafair Burke

Narrated by Xe Sands

Blurb:

When Angela met Jason Powell while catering a dinner party in East Hampton, she assumed their romance would be a short-lived fling, like so many relationships between locals and summer visitors. To her surprise, Jason, a brilliant economics professor at NYU, had other plans, and they married the following summer. For Angela, the marriage turned out to be a chance to reboot her life. She and her son were finally able to move out of her mother’s home to Manhattan, where no one knew about her tragic past.

Six years later, thanks to a bestselling book and a growing media career, Jason has become a cultural lightning rod, placing Angela near the spotlight she worked so carefully to avoid. When a college intern makes an accusation against Jason, and another woman, Kerry Lynch, comes forward with an even more troubling allegation, their perfect life begins to unravel. Jason insists he is innocent, and Angela believes him. But when Kerry disappears, Angela is forced to take a closer look—at both the man she married and the women she chose not to believe.

My Thoughts:

This story is a real brain twister. Angela and Jason are excellent characters who seem to have a great relationship until Jason is accused. As the story moves along we learn more and more about these two and the twists and turns in the plot are a constant surprise. The ending was one I did not see coming. It was very interesting to watch the changes in Angela as the story continued. She begins as a person who is a victim but becomes more and more empowered as the drama unfolds until she is one who is shaping the story’s direction. The narration of this book is excellent. If you like psychological thrillers then I’m sure you will enjoy “The Wife”.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“The Secret” by K.L. Slater

“The Secret” by K.L. Slater

Narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis

Blurb:

You turn your back for a minute. And now your son is in terrible danger …

Louise is struggling to cope.  As a busy working mum, she often has to leave her eight-year-old son Archie at her sister Alice’s flat.

Alice and Louise used to be close.  But there’s a lot they don’t know about each other now – like the bottle of vodka Louise hides in her handbag, Alice’s handsome new friend and the odd behaviour of her next-door neighbour.

Archie is a curious little boy. He likes to play on his own at his auntie’s flat until one day when he sees something he shouldn’t. Now he has a secret of his own.  One he can’t tell his mum. One that could put him and his family in terrible danger.

My Thoughts:

Twisted! That’s what this story is. There are so many unexpected turns that I wasn’t sure who to believer in until the end. I was immediately drawn to Alice and her vulnerability and cheered her on as she grappled with her fears in order to help her nephew. Louise, I didn’t like much because she just seemed to be so selfish and unconcerned about her son or her sister. But the psychology between these two sisters is way more complicated than it at first appears. And then you add in Louise’s husband and Alice’s neighbor and the drama just keeps building. I also really liked how the author was able to incorporate Alice’s neighborhood into the story in a way that it almost became a character in itself. Finally, the narrator’s voice was perfect for this story. She did a great job of relating the different characters and bringing them to life. Very compelling listen!

Alinefromabook’s rating:   Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“A Game of Ghosts” by John Connolly

“A Game of Ghosts” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Blurb:  It is deep winter and the darkness is unending. A private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished and Charlie Parker is assigned to track him down. Parker’s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator—he is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker is drawn into Eklund’s world: a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts…

My Thoughts:  Book 15 in the Charlie Parker series and my admiration and respect for him continues to grow. There is so much depth to John Connolly’s characters in this series that I just drown in their world every time I listen. Jeff Harding’s excellent narration just adds to the mystery and thrill of the story itself. Rather than try to review this book, because I loved every minute of it and have no critiques, I just want to say thank you to John Connolly for creating this series which has given me so much pleasure. I have just started listening to book 16 and am on pins and needles waiting for book 17 to become available in the U.S. After listening to this book, I am very excited to see where Mr. Connolly is going to take the character of Sam, Charlie’s daughter. I will never regret the day I picked up my first Charlie Parker novel.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

 

“The Murderer’s Son” by Joy Ellis

“The Murderer’s Son” by Joy Ellis

Blurb:

Crimebusting duo DI Jackman and DS Evans are back, solving another crime that will make your skin crawl.

Twenty years ago: a farmer and his wife are cut to pieces by a ruthless serial killer.

Now: a woman is viciously stabbed to death in the upmarket kitchen of her beautiful house on the edge of the marshes.

Then a man called Daniel Kinder walks into Saltern police station and confesses to the murder.

But DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans of the Fenland Constabulary soon discover that there is a lot more to Daniel than meets the eye. He has no memory of the first five years of his life and has a rather unusual obsession with his mother….

Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you gripped until the shocking ending.

My Thoughts: Once again Joy Ellis had me guessing for 9 1/2 hours as I listened to this book. I really find her to be a master of plot twists in the 2 books I’ve listened to so far. And hats off to Richard Armitage for being the voice of these stories. At times I get so lost in the story itself that I hardly realize I’m listening, it’s more like the narrative is just unfolding in my mind. The characters continue in this book to grow in complexity and depth. Jackman and Evans have a very unique working relationship and seemed to be a little shocked themselves that they work so well together. I think Jackman has more confidence in his leadership role in this one but at the same time manages to appreciate the individual strengths of his team members. Evan, in working with Jackman, seems to have finally found an opportunity to shine and at times seems to carry the investigations forward. In the first book, I struggled a bit with the setting in Fenland but after listening to this book the place is starting to grow on me. I can’t wait for the chance to read more in this series.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing Star Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

 

“The Night Window” by Dean Koontz

“The Night Window” by Dean Koontz

Blurb: A visionary young filmmaker hunted for sport across a vast Colorado ranch by the celebrated billionaire at the heart of a monstrous cabal . . .

A brilliant computer hacker slipping through top-secret databases a whisper ahead of security trackers, gathering the facts to fight the all-powerful perpetrators of mass murder . . .

A pair of brutal operators, methodically shadowing their targets with every cutting-edge tool in the arsenal of today’s surveillance state . . .

A sequence of quiet heroes—everyday citizens—stepping up, stepping forward, intent on countering the advancing darkness . . .

A Vegas mob boss teamed with a homicidal sociopath, circling a beloved boy and his protectors, aiming to secure him as leverage against his fugitive mother . . .

And that fugitive mother herself, ex-agent Jane Hawk, closing in on the malevolent architects of ruin she has stalked as they stalk her, prepared to sacrifice herself to finally bring them down.

These are the people and circumstances of The Night Window, the thrilling new novel in Dean Koontz’s acclaimed Jane Hawk series. Replete—and then some—with the ingenious twists, the spellbinding action, the resonant themes, the sheer heart that have characterized Jane’s journey from the start, The Night Window follows its extraordinary heroine to her long-sought objective, in a stunning, unforgettable finale.

My Thoughts: This finale is definitely unforgettable, but will it be the end of Jane Hawk or the end of the Techno Arcadians? You’ll have to read to the last page to find out the answer. This story is so full of thrills and chills I had to take breaks to let my heart rate go back to normal. Jane is still on the hunt to bring down the Techno Arcadians but you can really tell in this book that the strain of the mission and the separation from her son are starting to get to her. She has a new partner in this installment as the computer whiz Ragnesh, formerly of the FBI, joins her for the final push. I’ve been surprised at how much I have enjoyed this series and my only disappointment is that this is the final installment. Dean Koontz’s imagination continues to surprise and thrill me and after reading this series I will definitely be picking up more of his books in the future. This book releases on May 14th so plan your book shopping accordingly.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“The Hanging Tree” by Ellery Kane

“The Hanging Tree” by Ellery Kane

Narrated by Kristin James, Brad Oxnam & Eric Stuart

Amazon blurb: What if you couldn’t remember the worst night of your life? What if you couldn’t forget it?

May 13, 1994.

On her 13th birthday, newly orphaned Evie witnesses a brutal attack at the hanging tree. She wakes the next morning on a bus to Los Angeles, dazed, bruised, and desperate to remember. Her best friend died that night – she’s sure of it. But there’s no body, no crime scene, and no witnesses. Twenty-three years later, the whole night is still a blur. The murderer, a faceless, nameless man.

Fresh out of a stint in juvie, Butch kills a girl, strangles her. Twenty-three years later, he walks out of prison a free man. But a haunted one, the ghost of his past at his heels.

When another body turns up at the hanging tree – a girl, strangled – Evie is certain her lost memory holds the key. Can Butch help her find the faceless man? Or is he hiding the darkest secret of all?

My thoughts: This is a definite discovery. The author kindly, at my request, sent me a copy of the audiobook version. I hadn’t read anything from Ellery Kane before so I wasn’t really sure if this would be something I liked. This story is another psychological thriller, this time with a psychologist as the lead character Evie. I have to say I was really impressed with this story. Evie has had more than her share of challenges in her life but still sees hope and promise in even the worst people she meets. But she is haunted by events from her past and a recent murder has started stirring it all up again in her mind. I found Evie to be a character that is easy to like but one who sticks to her principles. I also really like Butch. Even though he’s been in prison for many years for murder you can tell by his internal dialogue that he is really committed to making his new chance at life be a successful one. His loyalty to Evie is also impressive. There are several side dramas going on alongside the main plot with added richness to the story and gave it depth. The only thing I have an issue with is the narrator who voices Butch’s part of the story. It was dramatic but felt very forceful throughout and there were a few times when the intensity of the narrator’s voice felt overwhelming and I had to take a break. The story itself is great and I highly recommend you check out Ellery Kane’s books.

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

Happy Reading!

Where to find it:   Goodreads   |   Amazon   |   Author’s website

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

 

 

“The Waiting Room” by Emily Bleeker

“The Waiting Room” by Emily Bleeker

Narrated by Sophie Amoss

Blurb: Ever since her husband’s death collided with the birth of her daughter, postpartum depression has taken hold of Veronica Shelton. She can’t sleep, can’t work, and can’t bear to touch her beautiful baby girl. Her emotional state is whispering lies in Veronica’s ear: You’re a bad mother. Your baby would be better off without you. But not everything can be reasoned away by Veronica’s despair. Can it?

After all, the break-in at her house happened. The disturbing sketches she found in her studio are real. So is the fear for her daughter’s safety—especially when Veronica comes home to a cold, silent nursery and a missing baby.

As she turns from victim into primary suspect, Veronica realizes that only she can find her daughter. Authorities aren’t helping. They’re only watching. Veronica’s concerned mother has suddenly vanished from her life. And a new friend seems to be keeping secrets from her too. Now, reality is waiting for Veronica in a dark place—because someone’s mind games have only just begun.

My Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about this book. I really like the psychological aspects of the story and the plot twists were definitely unexpected. However, the narrative seemed to get bogged down in a few places and some the of interactions between characters felt stiff and forced. I did enjoy Sophie Amoss’s narration which effectively portrayed the drama of the story. My overall assessment is that this a good story and wasn’t a waste of time to listen too, but it’s not the best story ever.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating 3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

Find the book here:  Goodreads   |   Amazon   |   Author’s website

 

“The Forbidden Door” by Dean Koontz

“The Forbidden Door” by Dean Koontz

Welcome to Book 4 in the Jane Hawk series. The conspiracy in this series just continues to deepen. I don’t want to give away anything if you haven’t read the first 3 books yet, so I’ll just say that this part of the story centers around Jane trying to get back to her son while a national manhunt is underway to apprehend her. The media and the FBI are painting her as the most dangerous woman in the country but the few that are close to her know differently.

First of all, the conspiracy is complicated but not to the point of being outside the realm of possibility, which is something that really turns me off from a book. One of my favorite things about this series is the diversity of the characters. Mr. Koontz has created a cast that is black, white, Latino, young, old and in-between. One of the best characters in this book is the young man with autism. He plays a critical role and I think the author does a great job of writing this character’s personality and the quirks that come with autism. Now, let me talk a little bit about the bad guys. They just keep spiraling further and further into their depravity. There’s a couple of guys that are more than determined to find Jane and will stop at nothing to bring her in, dead or alive. But even these characters have distinct personalities and the interplay between them add a richness to this thriller that makes it an even better read.

Once again, Dean Koontz has tickled my imagination and sent chills down my spine with this latest installment in the Jane Hawk series. I can’t recommend this series enough. Book 5, “The Night Window”, comes out in about a month, so hurry up and get started on this series!

Alinefromabooks rating:  A+

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

Thank you to Random House-Ballantine and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“A Song of Shadows” by John Connolly

“A Song of Shadows” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Charlie Parker Series Book 13

This may turn out to be more of a ramble than a book review. I loved listening to this book. This is, in my opinion, the best so far of the Jeff Harding narrations. He pulled me into the drama quickly and didn’t let me go until the end. As for Charlie, he’s recovering from the gunshots he received at the end of Book 12 and has decided to rent a house in the small coastal town of Boreas for the duration. Charlie has changed some as a result of his experience. He has accepted the presence of his dead daughter in his life and seems to commune with her frequently. Meanwhile, his other daughter, Sam, continues to grow and mature and has a significant presence in this story. She is a delightful character and I really enjoy her enlarged role in this book.

So what’s the story about? Well, Charlie has come across a dead body which initially appears to be a suicide. He offers his thoughts to the local sheriff and suspects it may be a murder. The investigation reveals the victim has a connection to a federal investigation into Nazi war criminals. The deeper Charlie gets the more complicated the conspiracy becomes but with the help of Angel and Louis the perpetrators have no chance of getting away with it. I love the direction that the characters are going in with this book. This book is a huge hit for me!

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website