The Shining by Stephen King
(Anchor Books, 2013, 659 pages)
The Shining is a story of a man named Jack Torrance who is a recovering alcoholic. As the means to support his wife, Wendy, and son, Danny, he has taken a job as caretaker of the Overlook Hotel which is tucked away in the Colorado Mountains. As the snow sets in, he and his family are cut from the rest of the world. Jack has to keep his mind clear to keep from going stir crazy and doing the unthinkable. But will he??
Stephen King did terrific job with this novel. The story was so descriptive to the point that it left nothing to the imagination and that is what scared me the most. I felt as though I was right there inside the Overlook Hotel watching as the events unfolded.
Not only is this a gripping story but also the characters are well developed and it was easy to understand why they reacted to certain situations the way that they did. I felt the way he portrayed the relationship between Danny and his parents had a very powerful effect on the story as a whole. It made the events that much more disturbing and bothersome.
This book was part of the SCC library’s book club and had it not been for that reason I would have not picked this book up to read. I am not a fan of horror books. That being said, I am not disappointed that I was brave enough to read a story that had me on edge from beginning to end. Stephen King is an amazing storyteller and I would recommend this book to anyone who gets a thrill from spooky stories with nail biting suspense that makes you hear and see things that aren’t really there… or are they???
River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2014, 336 pages)
Lucy Sheridan grew up in Summer River, but it’s been thirteen years since she was last there. As a teenager she was sent away by her aunt after being dragged out of a wild River Road party by Mason Fletcher. Mason, the boy she had a crush on, was several years older and didn’t seem to be interested in her.
After her aunt’s fatal car crash, Lucy returns to close up her house for the family. The town has blossomed into a trendy weekend getaway. Mason now runs the hardware store for his uncle. When Lucy stops in to pick up supplies she rekindles his interest. He and Lucy team up to uncover mysteries surrounding a dead body found behind her aunt’s fireplace, but someone sets the house on fire before they uncover anything. Lucy uses her forensic genealogist mind to try and identify who is responsible for several mysterious events.
Tail Spin by Catherine Coulter
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008, 403 pages)
Rachael Abbott is out driving when she witnesses a plane crash. She arrives at the crash site in time to save the wounded pilot who was transporting a renowned psychiatrist. The psychiatrist is suffering from a medical condition that causes him to spurt out revealing information about his patients, many of whom would kill him for his betrayal. Rachael tries to conceal her true identity from the pilot, not realizing he was FBI agent Jackson Crowne.
Set in a scenic Appalachian town, a place where Rachael grew up, the FBI find themselves without the modern conveniences of cell phones and forensic labs. Crowne knows there is more to her story than Rachel is letting on.
Coulter tells a riveting story, full of suspense and romance, as she reveals the true identity of the assassins.
Don’t Look Now & Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier
(Penguin Books, 2006, 272 pages)
I’m a fan of Daphne du Maurier and can’t believe it took me this long to read some of her short stories. This collection is very creepy in a subtle way. Du Maurier wrote the short story that the movie “The Birds” was based on, and while that story is not in this collection, it gives you an idea of the tone of these stories.
“A married couple on holiday in Venice are caught up in a sinister series of events. A lonely schoolmaster is impelled to investigate a mysterious American couple. A young woman loses her cool when she confronts her father’s old friend on a lonely island. A party of British pilgrims meet strange phenomena and possible disaster in the Holy Land. A scientist abandons his scruples while trying to tap the energy of the dying mind.
Collecting five stories of mystery and slow, creeping horror, Daphne Du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now and Other Stories showcases her unique blend of sympathy and spine-tingling suspense.” – Amazon.com
Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson
(Little, Brown and Co., 2011, 364 pages)
The setting is Washington, D.C. and the children of the President have just been abducted. Detective Alex Cross is assigned to the case, but when the FBI are brought in someone up the ranks doesn’t want to share the limelight with Alex and gets jurisdiction of the case. In addition to being a detective, Alex leads a normal family life with his two children, grandmother, and housekeeper. The First Lady enlists Alex’s support and gets him reassigned to the case, knowing that he once rescued his son from a similar fate. The abductor remains elusive, expertly keeping the children drugged and hidden. He soon develops an infatuation with Alex and is determined to kill Alex as well as the children until Alex turns the tables on him.
You can also check out Gwen’s review of this title!
Guilty Wives by James Patterson and David Ellis
(Little, Brown and Co., 2012, 424 pages)
Abbie Elliot and her three best friends go to Monte Carlo for the trip of a lifetime, not knowing that their lives will change forever. Four married women venture off without their husbands to bask in the sun and excitement in the land of the rich and famous. Little do they know that their husbands are lurking in the background. They go off with some interesting guys for a private party on a yacht only to find the next morning that one of the guys has been murdered. The French police swoop down on them and transport the women into France where they stand trial and are imprisoned. All but Abbie Elliott are willing to take pleas to cut their jail time, but in the end Abbie’s tenacity and wiliness to prove her innocence wins out.
You can also check out Gwen’s review of this title!
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
(Delacorte Press, 2009, 374 pages)
The Maze Runner by James Dashner is a great Young Adult dystopian novel with a sci-fi edge. It is a suspenseful story filled with excitement, mystery, and tragedy. The characters are well developed and the setting is very detailed.
Thomas wakes in a strange elevator with very little memory about who he is and to make things worse he has no memory of how he got there. He is quickly thrown into an unfamiliar world called the Glade. There are fifty teenage kids that live inside the Glade and they have created a small community in order to survive. Located inside the Glade is a maze that is made of stone walls. At night the doors to the maze close and the walls change before it reopens in the morning. Creatures called Grievers live inside of the maze and terrorize any who dare to take their chance in solving the puzzle, which in turn is the only means of escape. Thomas becomes obsessed with finding a way out even though he knows that the end result could be tragic.
I would recommend this book to teens and adults alike who are looking for a book that moves quickly, has an intriguing story, and is a definite page turner. If you are a fan of the The Hunger Games series then this is a book you will want to pick up. I am looking forward to finishing the series.