Sharp Objects

Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects is sure to grab your attention from the very first page.  Camille, a journalist,  is asked to go back to her hometown and report on the murder of two preteen girls.  For someone just getting out of the psych hospital this is asking a lot.  She has been estranged from her mother and half-sister for years and now she must go home and face them.

Flynn’s writing is great and has a wonderful pace that keeps you turning the pages.  I really liked all of the small town drama and realizing that nothing in the past stays in past.  Eventually, we all have to face the consequences of our deeds.  I loved the psychological suspense of Gone Girl, but I felt like this book was even better.  A must read for any thriller fan.

Dragon Factory

If you love Lee Child and/or James Rollins then you must read Jonathan Maberry.  His Joe Ledger character is like Jack Reacher but with a secret science military team to back him up.  He is a martial arts expert and a cop, so he knows how to handle the bad guys when them come around.  Dragon Factory is book two in the series.  Joe Ledger and his team are going up against two separate geneticists.  One creating exotic transgenic monsters and mercenaries and the other is continuing the Nazi Master Race that began with Josef Mengele.  Both groups are set on bringing down Ledger and taking over the world, but Ledger is ready to go to war in order to stop them.

What I really love about this series is how complex everything is.  It is never just one bad guy against Ledger, it’s more like one bad guy, his grown kids, plus several other creatures lurking around reeking havoc.  The science, specifically the genetic manipulation, is taken to the extreme in Dragon Factory.  It is frightening to think what people could do, but boy does it make for an intense and crazy read.  If you are looking for a new thriller author to read, Maberry is a great choice and you will be glued to the series.


The Panther

I have loved Nelson DeMille’s novels since I read Charm School.  His writing is so intense and detailed that once I start a novel I find myself unable to do anything else.  The Panther is the latest novel featuring John Corey and his wife Kate Mayfield, and it was incredible!  The two are being hunted by an American terrorist known as the Panther and are sent to Yemen to track him down and bring him in. Of course what the two don’t know (although John suspects), is that there are many more sinister plots afoot and they are the bait to bring it all together.

I really enjoy the relationship between John and Kate.  DeMille keeps developing the dynamics between the two.  I especially like the wit and sarcasm between the characters.  I find the amount of information that is included in his books to be incredible.  He is so great at detailing cultures and traditions when his books are set in another country.  Not only do I feel like I am transported there, but I feel like I learn a great deal about the place.  Demille creates plots that are complicated and captivating.  I am continually guessing as to what will happen next and am often surprised by how things change.  I love not being able to put his books down until the very end.  He is a must read for any mystery or thriller fan.

Rage Against the Dying

Becky Masterman’s debut novel Rage Against the Dying is a hair raising mystery set right in our back yard.  Pushed into retirement, former FBI agent Brigid Quinn and her husband are starting to settle down in Tucson and live a quiet life.  Brigid has decided retirement isn’t so bad and is starting to rather like her quiet life , but then her past finds her.   Now she finds herself  involved with an old unsolved case that was rather gruesome and horrific.  A man has come forwarded claiming to have been the Route 66 killer that Brigid spent years searching for.  He evens tells the FBI that he knows where Brigid’s missing protegee has been taken and will help them find her.  Of course, the new FBI agent on the case believes the confession to be a fake, leaving it all up to Brigid to once and for all close this deadly case.

Materman’s writing style is compelling.  She weaves in and out of the past and present flawlessly, making the reader unable to put the book down.  She also uses multiple narrators to tell the story,  giving you a complete look at what is happening.  This book has a few graphic and intense moments that will both make you both cringe and keep reading to find out what happens.  I was utterly immersed in the story from the first paragraph and all the way through the book.  And of course, I loved that it took place in Tucson.  Somehow it just makes the story that much better when I know the setting.  Be sure to get Masterman’s novel, this is an author to start looking for.

The Boyfriend

I am so lucky I received a copy of The Boyfriend by Thomas Perry before it was released.  I love this author and every book he has written, and this book was no exception. He will be joining us in our booth on Saturday March 9th at 10:00 AM at the Tucson Festival of Books, so be sure to stop down and get your autographed copy .

Jack Till is a former LAPD homicide detective who now works as a private investigator. When the parents of a murdered young woman hire him, his investigation takes a turn no one saw coming.  The woman was a high paid prostitute and she is not the only victim.  As Till’s digging into the victims progresses he discovers a disturbing pattern.

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot so I will tell you how much I like the characters of Jack Till and his daughter.  Perry created such a terrific father daughter relationship and it really let you see a softer side of Jack.   It was so fascinating to watch The Boyfriend in action as the novel progresses and he realizes there is someone tracking him. The way Perry writes what the character is thinking and feeling is great.  You feel like you are right inside their head and a part of all of the action.

The Jane Whitefield series is one of my all-time favorites. This new character is great and if Jack Till continues in more books, I will still be one happy camper.  Mr Perry is an award winning author for a very good reason.

Bloodline: A Sigma Force Novel

Bloodline by James Rollins is the latest novel in the Sigma Force series and what an incredibly gripping, and at times terrifying, story. The president’s pregnant daughter is kidnapped by pirates off the coast of the horn of Africa. Due to the sensitive nature of the mission, Sigma Force is recruited to find her. Before long Sigma realizes that they have stumbled onto an even more sinister plot than kidnapping the president’s daughter. They discover people are trying to create immortality through manipulation of genes.
This was an intense, but exhilarating, read. I found myself desperate to get back to my book after I set it down. Rollins always does such a fantastic job with incorporating technology and science into his thrillers, and this was no exception. It was fascinating and frightening to learn what his characters were doing with people’s genetics. I am sure there is more truth than I want to know about in this technology. Rollins is so adept at writing fiction with cutting edge science, which is one of my favorite things about his style. I also thoroughly enjoyed Kane, one of the newest members of the Sigma Force, who happens to be a dog. It was fun to see the mission through his senses and his camera. Overall this was a great read and I am ready for the next book in the series.
James Rollins will be at the Tucson Festival of Books on March 9th and 10th. He will be signing at our booth (#127-#130) on Saturday March 9th from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. Be sure to stop down and get your autographed copy.


The Third Gate

Lincoln Child is just a fantastic writer. All of his books are so compelling and keep you guessing until the very last page. The action never stops and he adds so many layers to the story that you feel you are in a different world. The Third Gate takes place between Egypt and Sudan in the swamp, marsh, hell on earth as Child describes it.

Professor Jeremy Logan is an enigmalogist. He investigates strange occurrences while teaching at Yale. This time he is asked to help on an exploration beneath the Sudd where accidents, unusual sightings, and disappearances are taking place at an alarming rate.  Once he arrives, the problems escalate.  There is a pharaoh’s curse on the dig, near death experiences, and Jeremy continues to feel the evil that lives deep within the swamp.
If you like adventure, mystery, paranormal or just great writing, this is the book for you.

A Wanted Man

The latest Jack Reacher novel, A Wanted Man, is sure to please fans. Jack Reacher is trying to find a ride to Virginia and ends up in a car with two men and a very nervous woman.   Several miles behind them lies a dead body who looks to have been professionally killed.  It doesn’t take long for the FBI to enter the scene and for Reacher to realize that he is knee deep in a murder conspiracy.

Wow!  Child has such gripping novels that I find myself unable to stop reading until the very last word.  He does an amazing job of putting you right into Reacher’s head and showing you how he thinks.  Often Reacher is thinking about a statistic or probability but then he could also be thinking about the best way to disarm an opponent. I really enjoyed how Reacher is starting to ponder his own mortality.  I think this is the first time he has ever admitted that he might not survive and is actually aging.  We often forget that Reacher is really just a man and not immortal.  What a great thriller!

House Blood

Mike Lawson’s newest novel House Blood was such a fabulous and intense read that fans are sure to be raving about it.  Emma is still recovering from her battle with cancer but has decided to help Joe out on his latest case.   After a terrible earthquake in Peru destroys countless villages, Mulray Pharma, a pharmaceutical company,  steps in to help build houses and provide food for people who are need.  But now some of the people who are living there are dying and people who were lobbying for them in Washington D.C are being murdered.   Emma takes off to find out what is going on in Peru while Joe looks into the deaths in Washington.  And of course things are never easy for these two  as they are trying to stay one step ahead of the killers that are now targeting them.

As always, I was amazed at the information that Lawson includes in his novels.  His description of  how congress can be controlled and influenced by lobbyists and their money on so many issues is amazing.  The pharmaceutical  information was just incredible.  I had very limited knowledge of how they test new drugs and it was a little nerve racking to read about it in a murder mystery novel.  Lawson creates such a realistic tale that I often found myself thinking, oh my goodness this could be happening right now.  We have praised his books before and his series just keeps getting better.    Lawson is one author who continues to be a staff pick.