Jack was kind enough to share this list – enjoy!
THE ACCIDENT by Chris Pavone: The Accident is a somewhat more conventional thriller than Pavone’s fine debut (The Expats, 2012), but he excels at developing characters’ back stories. New York literary agent Isabel Reed plows through an anonymous manuscript in one night and immediately knows two things: The manuscript, a biography of a media mogul, will be a blockbuster, and people will die if word of its existence leaks. She’s also fairly sure she knows who the author is, but he’s dead (or is he??) Word does leak, in New York and Hollywood , and ambitious young women in publishing quickly die violently. Isabel and her chosen editor, Jeffrey Fielder, are on the run from resourceful, relentless killers. Pavone’s plot twists nicely, shifting focus among a large cast of well-drawn characters and using flashbacks and changes of locale ( Copenhagen , Zurich , Manhattan , Hollywood , the Hamptons ) to build suspense. Isabel and Jeffrey, for example, are successful but frightened that changes in their business and the onset of middle age might make them has-beens, and they’re both recalling the mutual attraction they once had but didn’t act on. Like Isabel, many readers will read this one through the night. Highly recommended.
THE CUCKOO’S CALLING by Robert Galbraith AKA J. K. Rowling. I may be the only remaining person on the planet who has never read a Harry Potter book or watched a Harry Potter Movie. The Hunger Games series shares that same distinction for me. However, after reading this one I may have to change my priorities. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan , Detective Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, desperate designers, and his own celebrity parents, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. I thought it was great.
HAZARDOUS DUTY by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV – Mexican drug cartels are shooting up the streets of Laredo and El Paso . Somali pirates are holding three U.S. tankers for ransom. The President is fed up and has what he thinks is a pretty bright idea—to get hold of Colonel Charley Castillo and his merry band and put them on the case. Unfortunately, that will be difficult. Everybody knows that the President hates Castillo’s guts, has just had him forcibly retired from the military, and now Castillo’s men are scattered far and wide, many of them in hiding. There are also whispers that the President himself is unstable—the word “nutcake” has been mentioned. So how can Castillo “follow” the Presidents orders without creating harm to the nation. It is truly Hazardous Duty.
THE SACRIFICE by Peg Brantley – Another great read from Ms Brantley. Although it begins in Colorado which Ms. Brantley calls home, most of the action takes place in and around New Orleans , or as we say Naw’lins. Mex Anderson was an honest Mexican cop. The drug cartel punished him by killing his pregnant wife and two children. Now a high ranking member of the cartel has come to Mex with a proposition – find the leader’s missing daughter and he will give Mex the name of the man who ordered the murder of Mex’s family. The leader’s son applies additional pressure to Mex by kidnapping Mex’ s sister to be returned only if his sister is returned alive. Suspense builds until near the end when it all comes together, but wait, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, so keep on reading. You won’t be disappointed.
THE TARGET by L J Sellers – With her latest Agent Dallas outing, Ms. Sellers has once again hit it out of the park. Focusing on the world of industrial espionage and cutting edge medical technology, Sellers shows that while greed is universal and seemingly boundless, you can’t keep a good agent down, and Agent Dallas is the best of the best. Dallas lives for the thrill of working undercover and rides high on the adrenaline rush from a tense situation. The death of another agent in San Diego under suspicious circumstances starts her on the new assignment, which quickly becomes high risk. The stakes are high and the other side thinks nothing of taking those who interfere off the board- permanently. Intertwined with the case is the murder of an aging film star. Are the two cases connected? Few authors can do one successful series, but Sellers has two on-going – with Detective Jackson and with Agent Dallas. Which is better? Try both and decide for yourself.
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.