Category: Thriller

“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

 

 

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“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

 

“Two Kinds of Truth” by Michael Connelly

“Two Kinds of Truth” by Michael Connelly

Narrated by Titus Welliver

I just have to start by saying that after listening to this book, I have a total crush on Titus Welliver’s voice. I’m not sure what I ever thought Harry’s voice would sound like, but this is definitely it. So, “Two Kinds of Truth” is book 20 of 20 in the Harry Bosch series. I try as often as possible to read a series in order but for some reason, with Harry, I always end up with with a book at a different part of the series than the one before. Harry is no longer working for LAPD but instead is in San Fernando helping out with their murder squad, when he is called to the scene of a pharmacy where the father and son pharmacists have both been shot. Initially, the suspicion is that it may be gang related but it quickly becomes obvious that this is no ordinary gang killing. Soon, Harry finds his life on the line as he hunts for this ruthless killer.

Ahh, Harry Bosch. He’s like a favorite uncle for me. You know, the one with all the dangerous, exciting stories to tell. That’s the feeling I get whenever I pick up a book in this series. His former partner from earlier in the series makes a return visit in this story which makes for nice continuity. I also really enjoyed installments where Harry’s daughter makes an appearance. Some detectives are just meant to have a daughter and Harry is one of them. I really enjoy their relationship. This story has some tricky twists and a lawsuit against Harry as a sub-plot which adds to the drama. Basically, there is nothing I didn’t like about this book and if you haven’t discovered Harry Bosch yet…what are you waiting for?

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon/Audible   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Liar’s Child” by Carla Buckley

“The Liar’s Child” by Carla Buckley

Sara Lennox has left her past behind and relocated to the Paradise apartments on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. She quickly finds herself having random encounters with the kids who live next door and their father. As a hurricane approaches, Sara realizes the kids are alone, their father can’t be found, and she has to get herself and the kids off the island. Now what?

This is not a mystery in the traditional sense, but it is a thriller that centers around a family drama that the reader won’t fully understand until the end. I found the story to be more and more captivating as I got further and further into it. None of the characters are candidates for sainthood and the lot of them could keep a whole office full of therapists busy for months, but I still found them engaging and felt compelled to find out what had happened to them. One of my favorite parts was the driving in the hurricane. The descriptions were so vivid that reading it was like being in the car with them. I was just completely engrossed in this story from beginning to end and I think everybody else should read it too!

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine for providing a review copy.

 

“The Wolf in Winter” by John Connolly

“The Wolf in Winter” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Blurb:  The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town.

But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.

Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive. Prosperous, and the secret that it hides beneath its ruins….

My Thoughts:  Prosperous, Maine is an entirely creepy place but a great setting for a thriller. The devotion of the people of Prosperous to their town is unmatched. Even when they leave they stay loyal to the end. Charlie Parker has his work cut out for him getting to the bottom of this one. This is another twisty, turny thriller in this series, with an excellent narration. Definitely a great addition to the series!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website