"The Dinner" started with satirical social humor as two brothers and their wives dine at a posh restaurant. But the disturbing story gets psychologica...more"The Dinner" started with satirical social humor as two brothers and their wives dine at a posh restaurant. But the disturbing story gets psychologically darker and totally riveting as it moves on. What secrets is this unreliable narrator hiding? How far will the two couples go to protect their sons who are responsible for a terrible event? I couldn't put the book down!(less)
Cal Weaver, a private investigator in upstate New York, is trying to find out who sold the Ecstasy to his son, Scott, before he fell to his death from...moreCal Weaver, a private investigator in upstate New York, is trying to find out who sold the Ecstasy to his son, Scott, before he fell to his death from a high roof. Cal and his wife, Donna, are so overcome with grief that they are barely talking to each other, wondering if they will ever be happy again.
"A middle-aged guy would have to be a total fool to pick up a teenage girl standing outside a bar with her thumb sticking out. Not that bright on her part, either, when you think about it. But right now, we're talking about my stupidity, not hers." Chapter One starts with Cal giving Claire a ride after she tells him that she was Scott's friend, hoping that she might have some information about Scott's drug dealer. Claire tells him she feels nauseous and runs into the restroom of a restaurant. After she comes out and they drive on, Cal realizes that a different girl, wearing a blond wig, is in the car with him. She insists on getting out of the car on a deserted road, and both girls are missing the next day.
The book has many twists and turns as Cal tries to find the two missing girls. He's also up against a small town police department, noted for its brutality and corruption. This is an engrossing thriller with a tangled web of dark characters. It also shows the depth of grief and anger that Cal Weaver feels over the death of his son, getting him into situations where he uses questionable judgment.(less)
"Night Film" is a mystery that goes off into a dark world of horror. Stanislas Cordova is a director (resembling Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, and...more"Night Film" is a mystery that goes off into a dark world of horror. Stanislas Cordova is a director (resembling Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, and Alfred Hitchcock) whose films have gone underground because they are too disturbing and might cause copycat events. He filmed on a secluded estate where there was hardly a line between acting and reality.
When Cordova's daughter, Ashley, is found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft in New York City, journalist Scott McGrath investigates her death. Two younger people join McGrath in his search for the truth. He interviews sources who tell him about black magic, witchcraft, and curses associated with Ashley's life and the Cordova estate. McGrath's humorous remarks throw some lightness into the dark story. While many answers about Ashley are revealed, the mysterious Cordova still holds some secrets at the end of the book. We wonder what is truth, and what is part of the filmmaker's staged world.
The book contains pages of police reports, newspaper articles, and webpages that add to the contemporary feel of the book. Readers with smartphones or tablets can also download an app for an extra experience. Although it is a chunky 602 pages, the book was entertaining and kept my interest. (less)
Park Ranger Anna Pigeon is stationed at Isle Royale in Lake Superior for the winter. The isolated Michigan island has been the site for a wolf study t...morePark Ranger Anna Pigeon is stationed at Isle Royale in Lake Superior for the winter. The isolated Michigan island has been the site for a wolf study team for fifty years. This year Homeland Security has sent out a representative to evaluate whether the park should be open to visitors in the winter, and the wolf study should be ended. The plan would be to send out security forces in the future since the island is so close to the Canadian border.
Giant wolf prints were found on the island. Then wolf scat shows DNA from a new family of wolves--but how did they get to the island? A member of the staff is found torn apart out in the woods. Anna becomes suspicious of the staff as she investigates the death.
The second half of the book is rather creepy since the wolf study staff is an odd group of characters, and Anna does not know who she can trust. In the sub-zero temperatures, every trip outside has the possibility of danger. It seemed like Anna was in one life-threatening situation after another. I especially enjoyed the author's descriptions of the outdoor world, including the Winter Study of wolves which really exists at Isle Royale.(less)
Judge Atlee was teminally ill when he sent a note to both sons to come to his house to discuss his estate. Ray Atlee, the older son, is a law professo...moreJudge Atlee was teminally ill when he sent a note to both sons to come to his house to discuss his estate. Ray Atlee, the older son, is a law professor. The younger son, Forrest, has been living a good part of the last few years at substance abuse clinics.
When Ray gets to his father's home, he finds him dead with boxes of cash laying around the Judge's study. He has to make sure it's not counterfeit or bribe money, so he hides it. Soon, someone is on Ray's trail, trying to intimidate him and find the cash.
This was a good thriller that kept my interest. But I did not find the character of Judge Atlee totally believable. He was a man that emotionally neglected his two children, but was extremely charitable and encouraging to other young people.(less)
Gone Girl is a psychological thriller about a marriage made in hell. When Nick and Amy were first married, they gave the outward appearance of a happy...moreGone Girl is a psychological thriller about a marriage made in hell. When Nick and Amy were first married, they gave the outward appearance of a happy, attractive, educated couple. After they lost their jobs in the financial meltdown of 2008 and moved back to Nick's hometown in Missouri, their true self-absorbed natures came out. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears and the police are grilling Nick. The book alternates between Nick's dialogue and thoughts, and Amy's diary and thoughts. Both products of bad parenting, Nick is a narcissistic liar, and Amy is a cruel, brilliant manipulator. The story was entertaining and kept my interest. A book group might have fun playing amateur psychologists with this cast of troubled characters.(less)
Nina, a nurse at the Danish Red Cross Center, got an urgent call from her friend Karin. Karin gave Nina a key to pick up something in a locker, and sh...moreNina, a nurse at the Danish Red Cross Center, got an urgent call from her friend Karin. Karin gave Nina a key to pick up something in a locker, and she found a heavy suitcase. Nina was shocked to find a naked three-year-old boy inside the suitcase. He was drugged but still breathing. Nina, who had seen many victims of child trafficking in her job, is afraid to contact the police in case they return him to a bad situation. She frantically tries to get in contact with Karin, only to find that she was fatally attacked. Nina cannot communicate with the boy who only speaks Lithuanian, but she must find out his identity before she makes her next move. Meanwhile, the boy's mother in Lithuania is desperately trying to find her son, while not frightening his captors so much that they kill or hurt him.
This book is a wonderful mystery/thriller with a great plot. I could not put it down and read the whole book late into the night. I would highly recommend it to readers who enjoy thrillers.(less)
6/28/12 Andy Barber, an assistant district attorney in an affluent community outside Boston, is in charge of...more4/22/14 Reread for a book club discussion.
6/28/12 Andy Barber, an assistant district attorney in an affluent community outside Boston, is in charge of a case involving the murder of a boy in his son's class. He is shocked to find out that a fingerprint on the victim's clothing matches with his son, Jacob. Jacob declares his innocence, and his father sets out to defend him with the help of a good defense attorney. Andy also reveals to his wife, Laurie, the secret that he comes from a family of violent men. As the trial progresses, Andy and Laurie are left to wonder how well they really know their teenage son.
This is a story about a family where love can blind a parent from reality. It also brought to light how posts on Facebook and other sites can be used as evidence in a trial, and we all know how teenagers often do not use good judgement before posting. The book was a well-written legal thriller with convincingly real characters. This story has many themes that would be excellent for book group discussions.(less)
Kate Moore has harbored a secret from her husband. Her government job is not being a paper pusher, but working for the CIA. Her husband, Dexter, wants...moreKate Moore has harbored a secret from her husband. Her government job is not being a paper pusher, but working for the CIA. Her husband, Dexter, wants to relocate to Luxembourg to take a computer security job in the banking industry. Kate is happy to quit her double life, and starts her new life as an expat and an "at home" mother in Luxembourg.
Soon, she feels like she is being followed and investigated by another American couple. Her husband is secretive about his job, working long hours into the night for a client that he refuses to discuss with Kate. She discovers secret bank accounts and more.
The book does jump back and forth between different time frames as the story unfolds. This didn't bother me, but might be confusing to some readers. This mystery/thriller kept me in suspense all through the book. In addition to being a good spy novel, it also looks at marriage, secrets, and trust.(less)