Are you looking for thrills this September but you aren’t quite sure where to look? With October fast approaching, everybody is looking for some jumps, and these thrillers sure pack the punch!
Harlan Coben vacates the comfortable suburban world he’s often made so uncomfortable for a trip into crime noir with his typically superb Don’t Let Go.
We’ve never met the book’s anti-hero New Jersey homicide detective Napoleon Dumas before, but he feels familiar for all the right reasons. Haunted by the murder of his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girl friend since high school, Dumas’ life takes a shocking turn when the fingerprints of his own long missing girlfriend Maura turn up in a murder investigation in the present. Maura had disappeared in the wake of that double murder that has remained unsolved . . . until now, as Dumas sets off on a dark journey into his own past, a kind of Kafka-esque quest that stacks up the twists and ugly truths almost by the page.
Stretching out a bit serves Coben well in crafting this shattering tour de force of a classic mystery wrapped in the fabric of the kind of mind-numbing thriller nobody writes better.
Speaking of stretching, Nelson DeMille takes a break from his sharp-witted John Corey character in the ambitious and wondrously told The Cuban Affair, a book that brings him back to his roots as a master of mystery and intrigue.
Daniel Graham MacCormick, just “Mac” for short, is a battle-scarred war veteran just trying to make a life for himself chartering his boat to would-be fishermen off Key West. That is until one of his charter customers turns out to be fishing for something else entirely, specifically a plot involving Cuban exiles with roots way back in the revolution. The last thing Mac wants to do is anything that might require him to take up arms again. But there’s money at stake, the kind that can leave him well off forever.
Though I’m a big John Corey fan, reading a book that harks back to the likes Word of Honor, and The Charm School made me remember what makes DeMille a truly great writer. This timely tale, as much Don Winslow as John Le Carre, is a masterpiece of both form and function. Storytelling at its very best.
Tess Gerritsen’s chilling I Know a Secret, brings her intrepid team of Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles back to the page in a book that’s as harrowing as it is horrifying. A serial killer tale extraordinaire.
That’s what confronts our series stalwarts when one gruesome murder piled atop a second both seem to suggest the reenactment of scenes plucked from horror films, a clue to which may lie with Maura’s dying mother, once a notorious serial killer in her own right. The complex tale weaves through both history and quasi-reality in constructing an elegant puzzle reminiscent of the great film SEVEN that only our stalwart duo can unravel as the bodies continue to mount.
Gerritsen has never been better and her seasoned mix of police procedural and psychological horror-thriller makes for a savory dish easily consumed in a single sitting. You see, I know a secret too: This book is the best of its kind since Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs.
I haven’t read a lot of books translated into English, but The Scarred Woman has made me rethink that. Indeed, Jussi Adler-Olsen’s latest entry to his Department O series makes for a great introduction to his work.
The plot centers around a pair of murders ten years apart that appear to be connected. Detective Carl Merck is tasked with deciphering the if, how and why, a mission made even direr by the fact that failure could mean the dissolution of his own Department O. Such internal strife and conflict is further complicated by a troubled co-worker haunted by her own past that bears an eerie connection to the investigation confronting Merck.
At its core, The Scarred Woman echoes of the Martin Cruz Smith classic Gorky Park, providing a cultural lens through which the action unfolds. A sumptuous and scintillating mystery that plays by all the right rules, while inventing just enough of its own.
It’s been three years since Linda Stasi published her debut thriller The Sixth Station, but her latest, the equally outstanding Book of Judas, was well worth the wait. Especially for the millions who made The Da Vinci Code one of the most successful books of all time.
Intrepid New York reporter Alexandra Russo again takes center stage, this time on the ultimately deadly trail of a manuscript that may or may not hold a shattering revelation about the history and origins of Christianity. Imagine a document that calls the gospel as we know it into serious question and you’ll have an idea of the stakes involved, even more so from a personal standpoint for Russo.
Book of Judas more than lives up to the promise and scope of its ambition, Stasi having crafted a finely tuned, beautifully constructed thriller that would make Steve Berry and James Rollins proud.
Eric Anderson’s sterling and scary Osiris presents equally high stakes, although of a much more human nature in the form of 5,000 Americans trapped in the cross hairs of ISIS.
Rescuing them falls to an ad hoc Magnificent Seven-type team consisting of a weather-beaten marine, disillusioned Army commander, and a more modern day warrior who claims the keyboard as his weapon, along with a few foreigners for good measure. The result is a kind of real-life game of Risk, cat-and-mouse on a global scale.
The aforementioned Nelson DeMille began his rise to literary stardom with the similarly themed, By the Rivers of Babylon. Anderson isn’t quite there yet with Osiris, but he shows great command of the technical aspects of his tale, displaying the promise to master a plotline as well as a timeline in the titles that follow.