An excellent standalone thriller by Rankin, who really, I feel, ranks as one of the top thriller writers, in addition to being a top-notch mystery writer as well, of the Rebus detective series. Taking place mostly in California , but also moves to London and Scotland , the main character, Gordon, here is a former Special Forces soldier who’s brother has committed suicide. Once Gordon arrives in California to take his brother home to the UK , he finds out that, most likely, it was not suicide, but rather murder. Fast-paced and very well-written this one is a must for all thriller lovers and British mystery fans!

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Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer manage to do it again in their latest book Wild Ride. With action, adventure, and quirky characters, the paranormal storyline take the reader on one heck of a trip.

Dreamland, an old amusement park in Ohio, needs some work. Mab has been working her butt off restoring the park to it’s former glory. Her goal is to have it shining for the Halloween celebrations. But it is a little strange that the owners and long time residents Gloria, Gus, and Delpha don’t want her working at night. And they are a bit anxious when she is working with the statues of the park mascots. Especially after FunFun the clown seems to run her over – or was that an illusion she had? Maybe she has been working too hard.

Gloria’s son Ethan returns from the military and gets shot at on the Dreamland grounds. Who is after the Dreamland residents? And what is up with the midnight roller coaster run? His mom keeps talking about demons. Ethan might just have to sober up to figure this all out. What do you mean he’s the new Hunter?

Using humor, and great plotting, Crusie and Mayer lead the reader down the path to figuring out just how paranormal this family park is. With twists and turns galore, it is indeed a roller coster of a ride. Great dialogue and lots of frothy fun! And it makes one want to visit Dreamland for real! A great read.
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DOWN TO THE WIRE  by David Rosenfelt

Rosenfelt, known for his Andy Carpenter series, introduces a new character in Chris Turley, a good, but not great, small town newspaper reporter who lives in the legacy of his famous newspaper reporter father. He is looking for that one great story that will net him the Pulitzer and erase any comparisons to his dad.
An anonymous tipster phones with possible information regarding corruption at a high level government office. Turley is asked to meet the anonymous caller in the parking lot of a nearby medical center. Upon arrival, Turley is unable to meet up with the tipster, but instead witnesses the explosive destruction of the medical building. He is able to run into the building to save several people before the building collapses. Instant fame follows as every TV tabloid and news show clamors for an interview with Turley.

He learns quickly, however, that the “madman” responsible for the explosion is not finished with his killing spree. Through almost daily anonymous phone calls, he utilizes Turley as his pawn and “mouthpiece” to report on his ongoing random murder spree. Turley complies as his continued reporting may lead to the coveted Pulitzer. Turley is also wondering about the motive for the killings, and why he was selected by the crazed killer.
Rosenfelt’s writing is succinct and to the point. The story is suspenseful and often surprising. As is the case with many of the popular crime/thriller authors, the ending is a disappointment and not very satisfying. However, the ride there is a thrill.
Rosenfelt is known for his Andy Carpenter series of crime novels. In this book, he keeps the humor of the Carpenter series, but loses the omnipresent golden retriever. Still a good read with enough believable plot twists and turns to make it worth the read.
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A very entertaining read, for Du Maurier lovers and others as well…those who just like a good story and some good mystery. Challis takes the future authoress and fictionally creates her as an amateur sleuth, all the while allowing her to use her sleuthing for material for her novels, mostly Rebecca. Set in Cornwall, England (Du Maurier’s home county in England), Challis sets up a Rebecca-esque story here with all the trimmings…money, a large manor house, an austere housekeeper, a mysterious young woman of a questionable background, and, of course, the sea in the background, its waves crashing against the cliffs. Daphne as a young pre-novelist sleuth is very appealing. She’s innocent, yet worldly. She’s careful, yet adventurous. Rebecca is one of my favorite books and I’m always skeptical when someone tries to “improvise” on already-near-perfect work. Here, I think Du Maurier herself would be proud.

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An excellent thriller — my first read from Fielding. It was a true page-turner. I could hardly put it down — even for sleep! About a journalist who gets suckered in to write the memoirs of a sadistic child killer, Fielding really has a way of increasing the suspense as the story progresses. Strong characters and a good, trick ending make it a must read for any thriller fan. Not exactly the most intellectual read ever, but for thriller fans, I would say it’s a must! I’m going to try another Fielding soon and see if she’s always this good!

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“FEAR THE WORST” by Linwood Barclay.

Those Brits always have the best names! Anyhoo, Barclay, the #1 bestselling crime novelist in Britain, brings us his third novel.

Timothy Blake, a salesman at a Honda dealership in Connecticut, is an ordinary man. He’s middle-aged, has an ex-wife who is living with a car dealer rival, and has a 17-year old daughter, Syd, who might toss him a “Good Morning” on a GOOD day.

Syd is staying with Blake for the summer and has taken a job at Just Inn Time, a local hotel. Syd fails to return home from work one evening and Blake drives to the hotel to find that no one there has ever heard of her. The nightmare begins…..

This compelling and fast paced thriller follows Blake through the fright, fantasies and rage of a parent whose child faces uncertain danger. The plot is plausible and deals with the timely social issue of human trafficking. Several subplot twists in the book that are never resolved in the end may leave the reader a bit disappointed.

All in all, a good and suspenseful read.

 

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In doing some random Hitchcock searching, I happened to stumble across THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK WIKI.
Aside from being totally stunned that I have not uncovered this treasure trove before, I was giddy with excitement at this site. It’s like HEAVEN in a website form for any Hitchcock afficiando (there are other words I can substitute here, but I will skip it).
YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT!

http://www.hitchcockwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page

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Created by author Henning Mankell, Kurt Wallander is not your typical police detective. He’s dirty, he smells, he’s a bad family man, he’s practically suicidal at times…and he looks awful all the time. But, he is good at what he does…it is by far what he does best…solve crimes. The crimes nag at him, infest his person, enter his soul and will not leave until they are solved. To say he takes things personally is a true understatement. Sure, Frost and Morse are both grumpy, unkempt at times and lacking in social skills, but compared to Wallander, Morse/Frost would be your favorite cuddly grandpa. And, these BBC/PBS productions are so skillfully done, they really get into the mind of Wallander. We can almost feel his pain and his angst. We are right along with this daughter as she pleads with him to eat and sleep. Branagh is perfectly cast as Wallander…he is not afraid, here, to let anything show…he is completely exposed. Most actors wouldn’t be able to do this…even if they could. The stories are your average crime fare. What makes the series as great as it is is the character Wallander and Branagh’s portrayal.

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Taking over the role of “mentor” detective, Lewis returns sans Morse after being widowed and taking a long holiday to drink a lot and forget. Once back in Oxford, he is partnered with a new sergeant (a little less naive than Lewis used to be with Morse, but still pretty green) and they begin protecting Oxford from all things nefarious. The one major difference here between this show and Morse is that the new assistant, Hathaway, is the more cultured, educated one…taking those reins from Morse. Lewis is once again, usually a step behind. So, even though he is Hathaway’s mentor, once could also say Hathaway teaches Lewis a lot too. Excellent stories and wonderful acting really round out this series as a winner. I thought for sure I would be lost without Morse. Yes, Oxford is different without the old guy, but Lewis is a more than capable replacement.

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