Laura Lippman is mostly known for her popular and highly praised series, featuring the tough Baltimore P.I. Tess Monaghan. In addition, she has writteLaura Lippman is mostly known for her popular and highly praised series, featuring the tough Baltimore P.I. Tess Monaghan. In addition, she has written two other stand-alone thrillers, Every Secret Thing and To The Power of Three, but neither received as much critical acclaim as What the Dead Know. In 2008, What the Dead Know swept the Boucheron Convention winning the Anthony, Barry, and Macavity awards. And it was well deserved. What the Dead Know is a haunting, beautifully written novel of suspense.
When a Baltimore policeman questions a middle-aged woman, clearly dazed after a car accident, she responds: “I’m one of the Bethany girls.” Thirty years ago, two sisters, ages 11 and 15, disappeared from Baltimore’s Security Square Mall. No one has seen or heard from them, and everyone assumed they were abducted and then murdered. Homicide detective Kevin Infante investigates the woman’s claim, only to be frustrated at every turn. Even though he assumes that she’s lying, she seems to know a lot about what happened to the Bethany girls on that fateful day.
Written with such care and lyrical prose, What the Dead Know is a masterpiece. If you liked Mystic River, as I did, you will love this intelligent and penetrating thriller from Laura Lippman. She takes you back to 1975 and slowly unravels exactly what happened to the two girls. The ending is completely shocking and not to be missed....more
The second, dark tale featuring avenging angel/P.I. Charlie Parker suffers from an over abundance of villains. Even though it all comes together in thThe second, dark tale featuring avenging angel/P.I. Charlie Parker suffers from an over abundance of villains. Even though it all comes together in the end, the pursuit of Billy Purdue’s stolen millions involves Mafia hit men, two sadistic assassins-for-hire, and a legendary serial killer named Caleb Kyle. Like the Boggieman, parents have used Kyle’s name for thirty years to keep their children under control. His name alone expresses fear: “Caleb Kyle, Caleb Kyle, when you see him run a mile.” And now he’s back!...more
Joe Pitt reemerges from his exile in the Bronx to do what he does best – stir up trouble. With a new clan, the so-called Cure, disturbing the delicateJoe Pitt reemerges from his exile in the Bronx to do what he does best – stir up trouble. With a new clan, the so-called Cure, disturbing the delicate peace between the other Vampire clans, Pitt makes a deal with the Coalition to find out if the new clan is actually close to discovering a cure for the Vyrus. But the plot takes an unexpected turn, when Pitt ventures to Queens to look for the source of the Coalition’s blood supply. What he learns changes him. And if people know what he knows, it will definitely lead to an all-out war. But can Joe keep a secret?
After a slow and confusing start, Huston finds his rhythm when familiar characters, like Predo, Amanda Horde, and Terry, appear in the story. This fourth book in the series doesn’t wrap up as nicely as the first two, but damning secrets are revealed, which have stark implications for the future. Huston’s writing is hypnotic, and I just love the dark world Huston has created. I look forward to the next installment. ...more
George Pelecanos is simply a genius! Most readers, outside of D.C., have never heard of Pelecanos; those who have probably know him as one of the writGeorge Pelecanos is simply a genius! Most readers, outside of D.C., have never heard of Pelecanos; those who have probably know him as one of the writers of the highly acclaimed television series, The Wire. As Michael Connelly’s blurb on the cover states: “Those in the know read Pelecanos.” For years, critics, such as Patrick Anderson of the Washington Post, have heralded him as one of today’s top crime masters. Right as Rain is the first in his four-book series featuring D.C. private eye Derek Strange.
After watching all five seasons of The Wire before reading Right as Rain, I couldn’t help but cast Clarke Peter (who plays Det. Lester Freamon) in the role of Derek Strange. I heard his voice every time Strange spoke, which brought the novel to life. Part Batman, Sherlock Holmes, and a sheriff of the Old West, Derek Strange’s street-wise and methodical nature serves him well as a successful D.C. investigator. Nonetheless, Right as Rain is as much about down-and-out ex-cop Terry Quinn as it is about Derek Strange. The two team up when Strange is hired to investigate a police shooting in which Quinn played a major role. Even though Quinn leaves the police force, he still searches for answers and maybe even redemption.
Pelecanos is a master of dialogue. Every line rings with authenticity and carefully nuanced characterization. He writes unforgettable scenes and tightly written chapters focused on morality and the conflict that arises from violence on the mean streets of D.C. Right as Rain is the perfect marriage of character and plot. It’s a novel that makes you think while you’re reading it and long after you finish it. ...more
You can be sure of one thing when you pick up a Michael Connelly book: He doesn’t write bad books. Echo Park is no different; I could not put this rivYou can be sure of one thing when you pick up a Michael Connelly book: He doesn’t write bad books. Echo Park is no different; I could not put this riveting thriller down. The fast-pace, budding romance, and engrossing action reminded me of City of Bones, when I was first introduced to Harry Bosch.
Harry’s relentless crusade to take down the bad guy makes me think of Batman with a badge. He does things his way – ignoring protocol and disobeying orders. Without using the first person, Bosch’s voice leaps from the pages and mesmerizes the reader. I like being there. I like seeing the world through his eyes. I like his moral righteousness, his sense of justice, and even his recklessness. He’s a rebel with a badge.
Guilt-ridden for 13 years, Bosch can’t get over the Maria Gesto case. It haunts him as one of the few that got away. Every few years, he retraces his steps and works the case again. When a convicted murderer reveals that he killed Maria Gesto, Bosch jumps at the opportunity to meet her murderer and hear his confession. However, the plot takes a turn when the murderer takes a field trip to show the police where her buried Maria Gesto. Connelly masterfully writes twists and turns into this excellent plot, forcing you to catch your breath and wish the book would never end. ...more
Excellent mystery set in Yellowstone Park. The book worked on many levels: the intro to Yellowstone, story of how Joe Pickett’s past intersects with tExcellent mystery set in Yellowstone Park. The book worked on many levels: the intro to Yellowstone, story of how Joe Pickett’s past intersects with the present, the free fire zone, and the jurisdictional nightmare that is Yellowstone....more
Since the very first book in the series, A Cold Day in Paradise, I have been a huge fan of the Alex McKnight series. Part of the reason is Steve HamilSince the very first book in the series, A Cold Day in Paradise, I have been a huge fan of the Alex McKnight series. Part of the reason is Steve Hamilton’s excellent, terse writing. However, it’s the character of Alex McKnight that really intrigues me. McKnight isn’t like all those “smart” P.I.s out there. He often makes stupid decisions, reacts impulsively, and uses brute force. Unfortunately, he always seems to think with his fists first.
This latest McKnight adventure sees Alex as happy as he’s ever been, and the reason is his girlfriend, Natalie Reynaud. As she goes undercover in Toronto to take down a gun smuggling ring, he constantly worries about her, even though they talk every night on the phone. When a boat collides at full-speed with some old bridge pilings, McKnight manages to save the occupants. However, they’re not as grateful as one would think. Then Natalie shows up in Paradise to surprise McKnight, only to be caught in the same web with the shady characters from the boat accident.
There’s raw emotion in the pages of this novel, and McKnight’s travels all over Michigan’s Upper Peninsula keep the plot moving along. There’s something about a cold, wintry mystery that I just love, and Hamilton delivers better than most. (If you’ve never read an Alex McKnight novel, start at the beginning with A Cold Day in Paradise. You won’t be disappointed.)...more
You can always count on Swierczynski to deliver a good adrenaline rush. This frenetically paced thriller follows the exploits of Lennon, a professionaYou can always count on Swierczynski to deliver a good adrenaline rush. This frenetically paced thriller follows the exploits of Lennon, a professional getaway driver. After the three-man team successfully robs 650 grand from a bank in Philly, they place the money in a car safely stowed away in a long-term parking garage. That’s when everything goes wrong.
The Wheelman isn’t a comic caper like Donald Westlake’s Dortmunder series. Instead, Swiercynski writes biting prose. It’s sharp, it’s got an edge, and it’s fast, just like a getaway specialist would drive:
“They were still on track. As long as they could make the next couple of blocks, this might work out after all…Lennon stomped on the gas. The car rocketed forward, tires screaming on pavement, and Lennon didn’t see her until the last minute.
The woman, pushing a blue baby stroller…
Next Chapter: The moment Lennon saw the woman and her baby stroller, he knew the Acura was going to hit them.
Impact was two or three seconds away. Lennon was faced with a choice: aim for the stroller, or aim for the woman…”
While the entire reading experience was certainly fun and pleasing, Swierczynski’s conclusion wasn’t as good as the rest of the book. Nevertheless, I wanted to pick up another Swierczynski thriller as soon as I finished the last page. I’ll have to get my hands on his latest thriller: Severance Package. ...more
Although it takes awhile to get there, the conclusion of this supernatural island thriller is worth it. John Connolly is one of my favorite writers, bAlthough it takes awhile to get there, the conclusion of this supernatural island thriller is worth it. John Connolly is one of my favorite writers, but I have to criticize this thriller for its excessive tangents and stories within stories. This could have been more tightly written and edited. ...more
Simply the one of the best historical mysteries I have ever read!!! The political intrigue was so palpable, I didn't want to leave 16th century EnglanSimply the one of the best historical mysteries I have ever read!!! The political intrigue was so palpable, I didn't want to leave 16th century England....more