THE BAT by Jo Nesbo First Harry Hole. Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble. The victim is a twenty-three year old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case. Together, they discover that this is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders, and the pattern points toward a psychopath working his way across the country. As they circle closer and closer to the killer, Harry begins to fear that no one is safe, least of all those investigating the case.
THE ASSASSINATION OPTION by WEB Griffin: Interesting take on the post- World War II transition from the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) to the CIA. We spent more time fighting among ourselves than we did worrying about the new threats to our country. James Crowley thought he had done well—he didn’t know he’d done this well. His first successful mission for the about-to-be-official new Central Intelligence Directorate has drawn all kinds of attention, some welcome, some not. On the plus side, he’s now a captain; promoted to Chief, DCI, Europe; and in charge of a top secret spy operation. On the minus side, a lot of people would like to know about that operation, including not only the Soviets, but his own Pentagon, as well as a seething J. Edgar Hoover. Crowley knows that if just one thing goes wrong, he’s likely to get thrown to the wolves. As if that weren’t enough pressure, complications are springing up on all sides. He’s discovered a surprising alliance between the former German intelligence chief and, of all things, the Mossad. A German family that Crowley never knew he had has suddenly, and suspiciously, emerged. And he’s due for a rendezvous with an undercover agent against the Soviets known only as Seven K. It’s when he meets Seven K that he gets the real surprise.
HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins – How do you write a review of something that almost everyone has read and/or seen the movie? But for those few who haven’t, it is the story of a young girl in a future United States which consists of 12 districts subservient to THE CAPITAL which appears to be in the Rocky Mountains. Each year the Districts, each of which specializes in a different commodity (District 12, the one our heroine comes from supplies coal and appears to be the former Pennsylvania area). Every year each District is required to furnish one mal and one female between the ages of 12 and 20 to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death contest. The sole survivor wins a lifetime of riches. Our girl, Katniss, volunteers to keep her younger sister out of the competition. How she does in the games makes a remarkable story/ First in a trilogy and definitely recommended.
HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY: BOOK 2 CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins. I found this volume to be more chic-lit than book 1 as Katniss worries if she will ever be able to marry her true love Gale or will be forced to marry her Hunger Games partner Peeta. Just beyond the mid-way point of the book it seemingly becomes a moot point as Peeta and Katniss are selected to be in the 75th anniversary Hunger Games, in which one or both will surely die. In the background are the whisperings of a rebellion – sparked by Katniss performance in the previous Hunger Games. Ready now for Volume Three.
HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY: BOOK 3 THE MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins – After a stirring Book One, and a somewhat mediocre (to me) chic-lit Book Two, Collins returns the story to its roots in Book Three resolving most of the issues raised in Book One and Book Two. At the end Katniss gets married, but I won’t say to whom. As with One and Two there are enough twists & turns to keep you turning pages.
THE TRAP by LJ Sellers: While skydiving with an adventure group, FBI Agent Jamie Dallas overhears plans to carry out criminal acts against a politician. The bureau sends Dallas to infiltrate the activists, but to get inside the tight-knit clan, Dallas makes dangerous compromises and starts to sympathize with their cause. She ends up so deep undercover she can’t make contact with the bureau. Across town, a Washington DC detective investigates a death that looks like a simple “hooker homicide.” But as Detective Larson peels away the layers, she uncovers something far more sinister, something deeply connected to a high-profile judge’s death. Meanwhile, working against her own conscience, Agent Dallas struggles to gather evidence and push the activist group toward the major takedown the FBI has orchestrated. But inside the group’s safe house, another imposter lurks, and when the real motive surfaces, Dallas is caught in a cunning trap that will make her both a victim and a killer. Cant beat L J Sellers for twists and turns.