Tag Archives: thriller

Glass Houses, by Louise Penny

IN A NUTSHELL

Title:  Glass Houses

Author:  Louise Penny

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books

Date of Release:  August 29, 2017

Genre:  Mystery/Thriller

Source:  I received a time-sensitive e-galley from the publisher in exchange for a fair and impartial review.

Rating:  4 out of 5 Acorns

After reading Glass Houses, I feel like I had a vacation in Three Pines that nearly idyllic place north of Vermont where everyone seems to care for each other yet every conceivable crime takes place. I’ve followed this series from the beginning and with every book, I feel like the characters are good friends I visit once a year and with whom I learn a bit more with every visit. This trip was no different. Louise Penny does not disappoint.

At the heart of this series is her protagonist Armand Gamache who will put everything on the line for his family and province and even the world.  In Glass Houses, a visitor to Three Pines is found murdered and dressed in the costume of a mysterious figure that has been standing watch in the center of Three Pines for days. At first the villagers are unsure what this apparition is, once they find out, they are unsure for whom the figure has appeared.

As usual with Penny thrillers, there is parallel story line. This time it’s the transportation of drugs by cartels in Canada and the US. Always the master storyteller, Penny weaves these two lines together in an intricate web.

The scenarios switch back and forth between the murder trial for the visitor victim and the time leading up to the murder and immediately after. At times I had trouble maintaining which time frame I was in as both scenarios have scenes in Three Pines. Nevertheless the murder trial is what binds the parallel story lines.

I highly recommend. After all we all deserve an escape! Have a great week!

Susan

 

 

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Chiefs, by Stuart Woods

Chiefs: A Novel (25th Anniversary Edition) (Will Lee Novels Book 1) by [Woods, Stuart]

In a Nutshell

Title:  Chiefs

Author:  Stuart Woods

Publisher:  W.W. Norton & Company

Date of Release:  January 23, 2012 (25th Anniversary Edition)

Genre:  Thriller

Source:  Purchased

Rating: 4 Acorns out of 5

It’s December 1919 and the little town of Delano, Georgia has some problems. They’re looking to hire their first chief of police, the boll weevil is destroying their cotton crops, racism has run rampant and they’re about to become the killing fields for a serial murderer.  They solve their first problem by hiring Will Henry Lee, a failed cotton farmer, to be chief of police and he turns out to be a lot smarter than anyone thought.

That’s just the first part of Chiefs. I really thought I’d read this one when it first came out,  but  I guess not because I certainly would have remembered the vivid use of language and great characters. Even though it’s been out awhile, it’s lost nothing. In fact, this book strikes me as a classic, capturing life in the South up to the civil rights movement. Great story, great writing. I highly recommend.

 

Have a good week!

Susan

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An Obvious Fact, by Craig Johnson

An Obvious Fact: A Longmire Mystery by [Johnson, Craig]
In A Nutshell
Title: An Obvious Fact: A Longmire Mystery
Author:  Craig Johnson
Publisher: Viking
Date of Release:  September 13, 2016
Genre:  Mystery/Thriller
Source: Chicago Public Library
Rating: 4 Nuts out of 5
I couldn’t go back to South Dakota for the Memorial Day weekend, so I did the next best thing – I read the latest Craig Johnson book. Lucky for me South Dakota, more specifically the Sturgis Rally, formed the backdrop for the 12th entry into the Longmire books.
Johnson caught the energy of the rally in a tale involving the original Lola, Henry’s love of long ago, her son and a gun manufacturer who uses a washed-up reality star in his illegal gun trade. There’s a couple ATF agents, plenty of action (including Vic’s wild driving, Henry’s stealth and Walt Longmire’s view of the world).
There’s a long chapter involving Vic shooting competitive skeet with the gun guy.  Usually I’d say it was superfluous – but it was Craig Johnson’s writing at it’s finest.  It turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the book.
There’s even great chase scene at the end!  I highly recommend!
Have a great week!
Susan

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The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith – an audio book review

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike Book 2) by [Galbraith, Robert]

In a Nutshell

Title:  The Silkworm

Author:  Robert Galbraith

Reader:  Robert Glenisher

Publisher:  Hachette Audio

Date of Release:  June 19. 2014

Genre:  Mystery/Thriller

Source:  Purchased

Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

It’s been a long time since I reviewed an audio book.  I misplaced my iPod and my other devices seem to have such short battery lives I just wanted until I found it.  This was a great audio book to get me back in the habit of listening! (I also finished a long scarf and started a sweater during my listen.)

The Silkworm is the second in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith who you probably all know is really J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter series. The same attention to small details is as evident in this series with excellent character development. Cormoran is an amputee who has taken the skills he’s learned in the Special Branch to the streets as a private eye. He has a secretary/partner Robin who has a boyfriend who does not like what she does for a living. There’s a plenty of well-developed suspects too.

This time they take a case involving a missing writer, a scandalous manuscript and ultimately an ugly murder. There’s plenty of action and emotion as the Cormoran and Robin unravel the tangled web of clues. There’s no shortage of characters to love, like, hat and distain in this story. Particularly compelling is the writer’s mentally challenged daughter and the relationship with her mother and her neighbor.

Robert Glenister has a large range of character voices and made listening to this book a wonderful experience.

Have a great week!

Susan

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Ill Will, by Dan Chaon

In a Nutshell

Title:  Ill Will

Author:  Dan Chaon

Publisher:  Random House/Ballentine Books

Date of Release:  March 7, 2017

Genre:  Literary Fiction/Mystery-Thriller

Source:  The publisher provided a digital galley of this work in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Complex and gritty with more than a few tugs on the heartstrings. Ill Will is psychological thriller that will stay with you. I should have seen the ending coming, but I didn’t and it hit me like a speeding freight train.

There’s really two mysteries here – the one in the past that left Dustin Tillman and his two cousins orphans and the current one involving a serial killer of young men found drowned in rivers in the middle America. Dustin is helping one of his psychology patients solve the later while he deals with the release of his adopted brother after he’s found innocent of the the murder of Dustin’s parents, aunt and uncle. Dustin is also dealing with death of his wife from cancer while trying to be a father to his two college-age sons with drug problems. I think we can agree he’s not the best person to be working a case the police aren’t interested in.

The book is in a number of point of views which aids in the complexity of the work, yet helps the reader get the whole tragedy. I highly recommend this when it comes out a month from now. But watch for the crossing arms at the railroad crossing! I’ll be going back and re-reading this one!

Have a great week!

Susan

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Escape Clause, by John Sandford

Escape Clause (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by [Sandford, John]

IN A NUTSHELL

Title:  Escape Clause: A Virgil Flowers Novel

Author:  John Sandford

Publisher:  Penguin Group Putnam

Date of Release:  October 18, 2016

Genre:  Mystery/Thriller

Source:  The publisher provided a digital galley in exchange for a fair and honest review

Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

I love John Sandford books and this is one of the better ones. I ran across the Virgil Flowers series a few years ago now and discovered I enjoyed the Flowers series even more than the Davenport series and that’s saying something. What initially intrigued me about these two series is that they’re set in Minnesota where I grew up.

Most of Sandford’s books are fast-paced, well-researched and have great characters with some snappy lines. Escape Clause has all of the above, plus some. The main plot has Virgil looking for nearly extinct Amur tigers stolen from the Minnesota Zoo. The clock is running because everyone fears the pair will be killed for their body parts to be used for traditional Chinese medicine. Just as Virgil seems to be closing in, his girlfriend is mistaken for her sister who is interviewing illegal alien workers at a canning factory in southern Minnesota.

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but trust me, this one will have you turning pages faster than Virgil Flowers can make it from Mankato, Minnesota to BCA headquarters in St. Paul.

Have a great week!

Susan

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In the Clearing, by Robert Dugoni

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In the Clearing, by Robert Dugoni, is the third Tracy Crosswhite thriller. Based on this one I will definitely be looking to read the first two! Tracy is a police detective who helps out a friend, Jenny, who attended the police academy at the same time as Tracy. Jenny has gone on to fill her father’s post as sheriff of a lesser populated county in Washington State. Jenny’s father died leaving an open case from his first days as a deputy forty years before in the same county involving the presumed suicide of a Native American high school student. There is an additional subplot involving the murder of the husband of a prominent attorney’s daughter.

While there weren’t quite as many twists and turns as I like, it was well-plotted and well-written with believable characters. I’m always looking for new series and I think this one is a keeper.

In the Clearing will be released May 17, 2016 and is published by Thomas & Mercer.

 

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