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.
Wild Thing by Josh Bazell
(Little, Brown and Co., 2012, 388 pages)
After obtaining his medical education from a foreign country, Peter Brown decides to practice medicine aboard cruise ships and other places that will not necessarily call on true medical expertise. He responds to a job advertisement from a reclusive billionaire and accepts a mysterious assignment to accompany a sexy but self-destructive paleontologist to locate the sea monster who is accused of killing several people on a hidden lake. This tale is a bit bizarre, but if you are into murder, monsters, and drug dealers it will be up your alley.
The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
(Simon & Schuster, 2014, 320 pages)
Television producer Laurie Moran is delighted when the pilot for her reality drama, Under Suspicion, is a success. Even more, the program—a cold case series that revisits unsolved crimes by recreating them with those affected—is off to a fantastic start when it helps solve an infamous murder in the very first episode.
Now Laurie has the ideal case to feature in the next episode of Under Suspicion, the Cinderella Murder. When Susan Dempsey, a beautiful and multi-talented UCLA student, was found dead, her murder raised numerous questions. Why was her car parked miles from her body? Had she ever shown up for the acting audition she was due to attend at the home of an up-and-coming director? Why does Susan’s boyfriend want to avoid questions about their relationship? Was her disappearance connected to a controversial church that was active on campus? Was she close to her computer science professor because of her technological brilliance, or something more? And why was Susan missing one of her shoes when her body was discovered?
With the help of lawyer and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley, Laurie knows the case will attract great ratings, especially when the former suspects include Hollywood’s elite and tech billionaires. The suspense and drama are perfect for the silver screen—but is Cinderella’s murderer ready for a close-up?
First of all let me say that Mary Higgins Clark is one of my all-time favorite writers. I always like her books, but it seems that she’s happened upon a series with this one. This is the second book with the same core cast of characters; the TV producer, her father, (a retired cop), her son and a budding love interest! As a producer she creates shows where she tries to solve older unsolved mysteries. The mystery is good and the “guest” characters are interesting! I’m thoroughly enjoying this new concept and I can’t wait for the next one! Like her other books, it’s a fast and satisfying read. The characters are true to life, and the plot keeps you reading, wondering and guessing who committed the murder. A good page turner.
Support and Defend by Tom Clancy
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2014, 512 pages)
I picked up this book on a whim at my public library. I thought I would try Tom Clancy for the first time. A friend pointed out that Clancy died in 2013. Mark Greaney is the author, and he continues the franchise and uses the characters that Clancy created.
The story begins with Dominic Caruso, an U.S. secret agent belonging to The Campus operator group, being trained by a former Israeli special forces officer. A group of terrorists storms into the home of Caruso’s mentor in the middle of the night and kills the mentor and his family. Caruso comes back to the U. S. and seeks revenge for the murder of his friends. Another story line is the theft of top-secret CIA files by someone inside the National Security Council. FBI’s investigation points to Ethan Ross, a high level official within the department. Ross escapes the U.S. and threatens to leak more top-secret information to the media. I can’t help but think about the Edward Snowden case. Caruso’s inquiry of the leaking of his mentor’s information also leads him to Ross. Caruso is forbidden to pursue Ross by the FBI and CIA, but he does it anyway. The story takes us from India, to America, Panama, Switzerland, and Italy. It’s a page turner and full of action. The ending is a bit far-fetched. A great read overall.
Gray Mountain by John Grisham
(Doubleday, 2014, 384 pages)
Gray Mountain is the latest novel by John Grisham. Gray Mountain is set in 2008 during the housing market collapse. Brooklyn lawyer, Samantha Kofer, and hundreds of others are laid off from their high paying jobs in a big New York City law firm. The firm offers to pay Samantha’s health care for a year if Samantha will work for free as an intern at a free legal clinic. Samantha finds herself working for a free clinic run by Mattie Wyatt in Brady, Virginia in the heart of Appalachia. In Brady, Samantha is in an entirely different world. It is a world of strip mining coal and the hardships that the coal companies cause.
Gray Mountain has many interesting characters. Besides Samantha and Mattie, there is attorney, Donovan Gray, and his brother, Jeff. There is Mrs. Crump who owns one of the mountains and doesn’t want her children to inherit it. There are clients with black lung disease. And then there is Mrs. Tate who lost her two boys when a coal mining operation sent a boulder crashing down the mountain and into the trailer where her boys were sleeping.
Gray Mountain is a good read, but I felt the book left some unfinished business. While a sequel isn’t needed, I hope that there is one. For me, the first half of the book flew by. In the middle of the book, I got a big surprise. By the end of the book, I was thinking is this really where the story ends? This is not my favorite John Grisham book, but I’m glad that I read it.
The Panther by Nelson DeMille
(Grand Central, 2012, 629 pages)
John Corey of the New York Police Anti-Terrorist Taskforce and his wife Kate, an FBI agent, serve as bait to lore an Al Qaeda terrorist out into the open. They travel to Yemen to capture the Panther, a dangerous Middle East terrorist; however, they are not aware of all the pieces to this mission, nor are they aware of all the players. Kate is excited about this top secret mission, but John is skeptical. He visited Yemen previously and does not look forward to returning to a country where corruption and espionage lurked behind every corner. Convinced by his young wife, he accompanies her to Yemen where the plot thickens. Even the CIA agent that they are teamed up with causes John to worry. This tale is truly filled with breathtaking twists and turns. If you are up for suspense, then DeMille is an author you will enjoy.
Before He Finds Her: by Michael Kardos
(Mysterious Press, 2015, 384 pages)
Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos is the fictional story of Meg Miller, an almost eighteen year old woman who has spent fifteen years of her life in hiding. In September 1991, Meg’s father, Ramsey, threw a block party at the Miller home at the Jersey shore town of Silver Bay. By the end of the night, Meg’s mother was murdered. Ramsey is missing and three year old Meg went into hiding. Ramsey is presumed to have killed his wife. Meg is thought to be dead, possibly drowned by her father. The story revolves around what really happened that night and the motive behind the death of Meg’s mother.
Before He Finds Her is the first novel that I have read by Michael Kardos. I did enjoy it. Kardos jumps back and forth between 1991 and 2006, but it is not confusing. I received this book as an advanced copy. I’m glad that I decided to give it a try.