Category Archives: Suspense

Internet Dating Unleashed

Love.com
“Love.com” by RW Bennett is unique take on the world of internet dating.  Paul Latimer is a venture capitalist looking for the next great idea so he can finally earn his father’s approval.  He’s been living in his rather lengthy shadow all his life.  When he receives an invitation to purchase the domain name love.com along with a suggestion of making it an internet dating site he hatches a brilliant start-up. Continue reading

Faith Found

The God Gene

“The God Gene”, by Jaymie Simmon is a gripping story of science and faith and where they might intersect.  Rosalind Evans is a brilliant scientist working on a cure for leukemia. Her young daughter, Claire died from the disease and Rosalind feels responsible because she wasn’t able to save her.  Her work at the prestigious Clearbrook Institute involves mapping the genetic code of leukemia patients so that a cure can be achieved. Continue reading

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Wow! “Gone Girl”, by Gillian Flynn, is every bit as good as all the press made it out to be.  When I first started reading the story I thought I knew where it was heading and was enjoying it.  Then, whammy! Plot twist!  There were more of those twists as the story went on.  Needless to say, I’m not going to reveal any of those here.

In brief, it’s Nick and Amy’s 12th wedding anniversary and Amy has disappeared.  By the condition of the home it is obvious she was taken by force and no one knows why.  There is no trail for the police to follow.  The only thing left behind is Amy’s anniversary present for Nick, which contains clues to lead him on an annual anniversary treasure hunt.  Continue reading

Revenge by the Numbers

“Accountable to None”, by Ashley Fontaine, is a tale of corporate greed and power run amok.  Winscott & Associates is a prestigious accounting firm.  Its managing partner, Olin, is a power hungry sexual predator, who works his way through the new associates and tosses them aside.

Audra Tanner is an associate that Olin raped when he made her an equity partner.  Audra has spent the last five years plotting revenge against Olin and the other partners who looked the other way.  She did this to the exclusion of everything else, including her husband. When Olin’s sneaky merger deal heads south, Audra finds an opportunity to exact her revenge at long last.

I really liked the plot and concept of this novel.  However, I would have liked more development of Audra’s character and maybe less background on the other equity partners.  Once the background of the characters was established the story was well paced with some unexpected twists.  There are a few minor editing errors; but, not enough to be a distraction.

Overall it’s a good read about corporate greed, abuse of power and revenge.

Mirror, Mirror…..

In Lawrence Kelter’s novel “Palindrome”, Book 1 of the Palindrome Trilogy, Lexa and Axel are a sister and brother who have struggled together throughout their lives.  As the novel begins they are living in a home that was left to them by a deceased aunt and living a quiet life.  They have the ability to change their appearance from the inside out right down to the color of their eyes.  They keep the ability hidden because they know it can lead to trouble.

When Lexa is slipped a date-rape drug in a local dive bar Ax arrives in the nick of time to rescue her.  He confronts the would-be rapist in his sister’s form and kills him with one swift, well-placed kick.  So begins a tangled web of revenge and deception.

The character of Lexa was more developed than Ax in this story.  Regardless, we know enough of Ax to see that they are mirror opposites of each other.  Lexa is impulsive and somewhat flighty, while Axel is very methodical and grounded.  I think we will probably learn more about Ax as the series continues.

Palindrome is definitely hard to put down.  Kelter keeps the pace brisk with a subtle tension to hold your interest.  The ending will shock you and leave you asking for book two.  I know it’s on my list of TBR.

Rum-runners, Gangsters & Kidnappers

Carol Tibaldi’s “Willow Pond” takes place in the world of 1930’s New York.  Prohibition is in force and gangsters and rum-runners rule the underworld.  Virginia Kingsley is one of the power players in the speakeasy business.  Her niece, Laura Kingsley Austin, is recently separated from her philandering movie star husband, Philip Austin.  When their 2 year old son, Todd, goes to spend time with his father at Willow Pond it isn’t long before he is kidnapped.

Phillip pays the ransom but Todd is never returned to them.  Speculation that the kidnapping was a result of Virginia’s business dealings prompts Virginia to start her own investigation into the whereabouts of the little boy.  Laura and a reporter named Erich who befriends her also investigate their own leads as the police fail to get results.

The story crisscrosses the country as well as the Atlantic Ocean as they seek to bring Todd home.  You’ll have to read the novel to see if they are successful.

“Willow Pond” has a great storyline and interesting characters.  I did find the timeline of events to be confusing at some points as the story switched between different characters viewpoints.  Over all it is a strong story and a great first effort.

The Plot Thickens!

I just finished “Committed” by John W. Mefford and I have to say it was a treat.  The story is fast paced and keeps you guessing.  Just when you think you know where it is going a new layer of mystery is added to the plot.

Michael Doyle is a mid-level manager at a company that has just been bought by a larger corporation and he fears he and his co-workers will be outsourced to India.  Then he finds a body behind the dumpster at work and things go downhill from there. 

He discovers that he knows the young female victim and is compelled to find out who is responsible for her death.  A co-worker is arrested for the crime and Michael does not believe he could be a murderer and becomes more determined to uncover the truth.  As the cast of villains grow and corporate greed and hidden agendas are revealed the stakes get higher for Michael and his girlfriend, Marisa.

This is a great first novel.  The characters are well-developed and believable.  The numerous twists in the plot are all woven together and none are left hanging.  I’ll be looking forward to book 2!

This Devil Will Surprise You

Another great read! The Devil Stood Up by Christine Dougherty is packed with chilling images, heartrending drama and a Devil you may actually root for.

A woman brutally murders her child and a lawyer with far-reaching political ambitions manages to get her set free. The heinous nature of the crime and lack of justice attracts the Devil’s notice. The Devil decides he must stand up for the poor child and comes to earth. He’s determined to track down the arrogant lawyer and bring him to hell for early punishment. Once here he encounters a cast of characters who are either determined to send him back to Hell or aid him in his search for justice.

A word of warning – this novel is not for the easily squeamish. The murder the child is brutal and extremely disturbing. That being said, Christine has created a brilliant story with characters that come alive. Some you’ll hate and some you’ll love. The story twists and turns and keeps you guessing.

A Classic Detective Novel Swedish Style

The popularity of the Stieg Larsson trilogy has led to a number of northern European novelists gaining popularity in the U.S. market.  Among them is Henning Mankell.  I recently read the first novel in his Wallander series entitled “Faceless Killers”.

The story begins with a brutal double murder of an elderly couple living on a remote farm outside of a small Swedish town.  Inspector Wallander is the lead detective on the case and the last word of the farmer’s wife, “foreign”, leads him to the nation’s refugee camps and beyond.

It was interesting to learn from the novel the current immigration issues in Sweden and how the influx has changed the society as well as the types of crime that are now occurring there.  Drug trafficking, gun running and violent crime are all on the rise.  As is anti-foreign sentiment.

Kurt is a dedicated detective whose personal life is in disarray.  His wife has left him and his daughter is estranged and rebellious.  The back story provides a fleshed out character that you will want to meet again in the rest of the series.

The plot twists and turns and keeps you guessing.  No spoilers from me so I will leave it to you to discover the killers.

I’ll be reading book two for sure.