Sunday, June 26, 2011

Close to You by Mary Jane Clark 2011 - 32

Completed June 2011

Smooth is the word for this expert thriller by CBS producer and writer Clark (Let Me Whisper in Your Ear, etc.). Moving along effortlessly and unhurriedly, acquiring characters and subplots as it goes, and always focusing on the climax the reader knows will come when the killer finally makes his move, Clark's tale delivers the goods. Eliza Blake, anchor for the KEY Evening Headlines, is a 30-something celebrity, beautiful, smart and good at her job; she is also a single mother determined to be a good parent. As the novel begins, she has just vacated her New York apartment for a house in the suburbs, intent on escaping memories of her husband's death by cancer. Unfortunately, just after she moves, she begins to receive a fresh crop of threatening phone calls and letters. Hate mail is an occupational hazard for a new anchor, it seems, not to be taken too seriously unless, as in this case, the ante gets raised. Eliza finds herself threatened by several obsessives, two of whom may be dangerous, one of whom has killed before. These people are clever, not easy to detect or to catch. Clark's depiction of the stalkers who plague celebrities disturbs and convinces, and her characters come alive on the page: criminal, sick, genuinely evil, or simply flawed and very human. This is an excellent psychological thriller that will keep readers pleasantly bound to the page. Author tour.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

My Review:  This is a GREAT storyline.  It keeps the reader turning the page trying to decide exactly which one of the "bad guys" truly is the actual "bad guy".  Loved the story!  Another great Mary Jane Clark book.  I'm hooked.

Mobbed by Carol Higgins Clark 2011-31

Completed June 2011

PI Regan Reilly and her husband, Jack, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad, plan to spend the weekend at the Jersey shore with her parents. Regan’s mother, suspense writer Nora Regan Reilly, will be celebrating her birthday on Saturday. But Regan’s weekend gets off to an early start when she receives a phone call from her mother asking if she’d hop on a train right away.

Regan had just finished delivering bad news to a high school classmate. Hayley Patton is a successful New York City event planner, who had become suspicious that her beau, Scott, was seeing other women and hired Regan to follow him. When Hayley got the lowdown on Scott’s treachery, she vowed revenge with such vehemence that Regan is worried that Hayley might go too far.

Turns out Nora had also just spoken to an agitated high school classmate. Karen Frawley Fulton, who lives in San Diego, called Nora after learning her mother’s plans for the day. To Karen’s shock, Edna Frawley just sold their home at the Jersey shore and is having a garage sale to end all garage sales. Everything the beautiful young actress Cleo Paradise left behind when she recently rented the house is up for grabs. The irrepressible Edna even rented a plane to fly over the beach touting the sale, using Cleo’s name as bait. Karen’s heading East but asks Nora to please go to the house and, she hopes, curtail any other outrageous antics her mother probably has in mind. Nora agrees and asks Regan to join her.

Regan and Nora arrive at the Frawley home to find a mob of garage-sale junkies waiting at the front gate. Regan is astonished to see Scott’s brand-new fiancĂ©e, who quickly makes herself scarce.

Once inside the house, Regan becomes increasingly suspicious about why Cleo left so many belongings behind when she vacated Edna’s home unexpectedly. Was she in that much of a hurry? Regan wonders. “Where did Cleo go?” is a question too many people are suddenly asking. But no one has the answer. It isn’t long before Regan finds herself searching for Cleo, whose next hours may be her last.

My Review:  A fast paced mystery with lots of twists and turns.  Many interrelated story lines made it a little too complicated.  All around a good story.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gun Lake by Travis Thrasher 2011-30

Completed June 2011

A strong scene as five escaped felons hold up a Louisiana sporting goods store. Sean, Wes, Lonnie, Kurt and Craig continue to spread murder and mayhem in their wake as they head for Gun Lake in Michigan. Ossie Banks, an ex-con-turned-Christian from Chicago, ends up along for the ride and shares his faith with the "Stagworth Five." Meanwhile, Norah Britt leaves an abusive boyfriend to make a new life in Gun Lake, and in yet another subplot, Michelle Meier takes her rebellious teenage son, Jared, from their home in Illinois to Gun Lake to straighten him out. At Gun Lake, yet more story lines are introduced: an older man is haunted by a past that he'll have to face all too soon; the deputy's wife has left him, and his passion for the bottle puts his job in jeopardy. The lives of this dizzying cast of characters will converge, of course, but the many points of view, background stories and extraneous information make for challenging reading.

My Review:  This was a overly complicated book with too many subplots.  The book was very difficult to continue reading.

I'll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark 2011 -29

Completed June 2011

Who has not read about—or experienced—with a sinking feeling the fear that someone else out there may be using your credit cards, accessing your bank account, even stealing your identity.

In I'll Walk Alone, Alexandra “Zan” Moreland, a gifted, beautiful interior designer on the threshold of a successful Manhattan career, is terrified to discover that somebody is not only using her credit cards and manipulating her financial accounts to bankrupt her and destroy her reputation, but may also be impersonating her in a scheme that may involve the much more brutal crimes of kidnapping and murder. Zan is already haunted by the disappearance of her own son, Matthew, kidnapped in broad daylight two years ago in Central Park—a tragedy that has left her torn between hope and despair.

Now, on what would be Matthew’s fifth birthday, photos surface that seem to show Zan kidnapping her own child, followed by a chain of events that suggests somebody—but who? Zan asks herself desperately, and why?—has stolen her identity.

Hounded by the press, under investigation by the police, attacked by both her angry ex-husband and a vindictive business rival, Zan, wracked by fear and pain and sustained only by her belief, which nobody else shares, that Matthew is still alive, sets out to discover who is behind this cruel hoax.

What she does not realize is that with every step she takes toward the truth, she is putting herself— and those she loves most—in mortal danger from the person who has ingeniously plotted out her destruction.

Even Zan’s supporters, who include Alvirah Meehan, the lottery winner and amateur detective, and Father Aiden O’Brien, who thinks that Zan may have confessed to him a secret he cannot reveal, believe she may have kidnapped little Matthew. Zan herself begins to doubt her own sanity, until, in the kind of fast-paced explosive ending that is Mary Higgins Clark’s trademark, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place with an unexpected and shocking revelation

My Review:   This is one of MHC's best books.  This is a great story that keeps you hanging.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Second Thief by Travis Thrasher 2011 - 28

Completed June 2011

When Tom stepped onto the plane, he knew he was making a choice that would change his life. But he had no idea how much. The author, Travis Thrasher, tells us: 'The Second Thief is a story about a man who survives a plane accident and has a second chance at life. As he runs from his present mistakes while making amends for past ones, he comes to grips with his own lack of faith.'This fast-moving, unpredictable story asks the question: Is it ever too late to redeem past mistakes? Its central character, Tom, realistically represents the skepticism and doubt of many people today who simply don't 'buy into' Christianity. Faced with a new opportunity and a chance to change, what will be his decision?Readers of all ages will enjoy the suspense of Tom's journey and its unexpected, dramatic conclusion.

My Review:  A well written Christian fiction novel.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Solitary by Travis Thrasher 2011 - 27

Completed June 2011

His Loneliness Will Soon Turn to Fear….
When Chris Buckley moves to Solitary, North Carolina, he faces the reality of his parents’ divorce, a school full of nameless faces—and Jocelyn Evans. Jocelyn is beautiful and mysterious enough to leave Chris speechless. But the more Jocelyn resists him, the more the two are drawn together.
Chris soon learns that Jocelyn has secrets as deep as the town itself. Secrets more terrifying than the bullies he faces in the locker room or his mother’s unexplained nightmares. He slowly begins to understand the horrific answers. The question is whether he can save Jocelyn in time.
This first book in the Solitary Tales series will take you from the cold halls of high school to the dark rooms of an abandoned cabin—and remind you what it means to believe in what you cannot see.

My Review:  A great story.  Kept me guessing up to the last minute.  Keeps your attention

Friday, June 3, 2011

Freaks by Tess Gerritsen 2011-26

Completed June 2011

In this free Rizzoli & Isles short story from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen, author of The Silent Girl, a bizarre death comes with a supernatural twist. Homicide cop Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles have seen their fair share of mortal crimes, but the death of Kimberly Rayner may qualify as inhuman in more ways than one. When corpse of the emaciated seventeen-year-old girl is discovered next to an empty coffin in an abandoned church, mysterious bruises around the throat suggest foul play. Caught fleeing the scene is the victim’s closest friend, Lucas Henry, an equally skeletal, pale teenager who claims he’s guilty only of having a taste for blood—a craving he shared with Kimberly. But the victim’s distraught father doesn’t believe in vampires, only vengeance. And now, another life may be at risk unless Rizzoli and Isles can uncover the astonishing truth.

My Review:  An interesting read.  A very quick ending without much build up.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It Only Takes A Moment by Mary Jane Clark 2011-25

Completed May 2011

New York City news anchor Eliza Blake, now back at the morning TV show KEY to America, pays a price for her high media profile in this riveting novel of suspense from bestseller Clark (When Day Breaks). When kidnappers seize Eliza's seven-year-old daughter, Janie, and Eliza's Hispanic housekeeper on their way home from camp in New Jersey, Eliza's comfortable life turns into a living nightmare. The FBI, local law enforcement and Eliza's news team work around the clock to discover the identities and locations of the kidnappers. When a psychic arrives at Eliza's doorstep, claiming to know details of the kidnapping that weren't released to the press, Eliza is convinced that the psychic can help find Janie. Suspicious letters, ransom notes and mysterious clues heighten the suspense. A multitude of red herrings will keep the reader guessing to the shocking conclusion.

My Review:  Great suspense fiction.  The first book in a long time that had me all the way to the end of the book.  Really enjoying reading this author.