Tag Archives: Thriller

Review of Ratlines by Stuart Neville

Ratlines Stuart NevilleRatlines

Stuart Neville

January 1, 2013

 

Albert Ryan is a member of the Irish Intelligence Service, the G2. The Director, Ciaran Fitzpatrick, and Lieutenant Ryan have a morning meeting with Charles J. Haughey, the Minister of Justice. Three men have been murdered. All of these men were former Nazis that were given asylum in Ireland. Haughey wants to have these killing investigated quietly. President John F. Kennedy is going to be visiting Ireland in a few weeks and if the media gets wind of the case, he may decide that the visit should be postponed.

Mr Neville does a very good job of portraying Ireland in the early 60s. It all feels very real. Ryan is a complicated character. He joined the British Army during World War 2, known in Ireland as the Emergency. The IRA supporters berate him for that. He is a Protestant in a Catholic country. He lives in a dormitory. He is not a well liked person. The other characters in the book are also well-developed.

There are enough twists and detours in the plot to keep you interested. You are never quite sure what is going to happen next.

This is an easy book to read and a hard book to put down. It has a more 60s feel, instead of being a fast paced thriller of today. You will want to find out what is going to happen next, but it can’t be hurried. There are no shortcuts to finding the answers, no cell phones, DNA, fingerprint banks, or computers.

I liked this book and give it 5 stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Book Description

Release Date: January 1, 2013

Ireland 1963. As the Irish people prepare to welcome President John F. Kennedy to the land of his ancestors, a German national is murdered in a seaside guesthouse. Lieutenant Albert Ryan, Directorate of Intelligence, is ordered to investigate. The German is the third foreigner to die within a few days, and Minister for Justice Charles Haughey wants the killing to end lest a shameful secret be exposed: the dead men were all Nazis granted asylum by the Irish government in the years following World War II.

A note from the killers is found on the dead German’s corpse, addressed to Colonel Otto Skorzeny, Hitler’s favorite commando, once called the most dangerous man in Europe. The note simply says: “We are coming for you.”

As Albert Ryan digs deeper into the case he discovers a network of former Nazis and collaborators, all presided over by Skorzeny from his country estate outside Dublin. When Ryan closes in on the killers, his loyalty is torn between country and conscience. Why must he protect the very people he fought against twenty years before? Ryan learns that Skorzeny might be a dangerous ally, but he is a deadly enemy.

Product Details

Hardcover: 354 pages

Publisher: Soho Crime (January 1, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616952040

ISBN-13: 978-1616952044

Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

About the Author

Stuart Neville has been a musician, a composer, a teacher, a salesman, a film extra, a baker and a hand double for a well-known Irish comedian. His first novel, The Ghosts of Belfast, was one of the most critically acclaimed crime debuts of recent years, and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Review of Two Graves by Preston and Child

TwoGravesTwo Graves 

(Special Agent Pendergast Series #12)

by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

If you have enjoyed reading the previous novels in the Pendergast series, then you will like this one. Two Graves is the third in the Helen sub-series, and you should have already read the first two, Fever Dream and Cold Vengeance, before reading this. There are enough plot twists, sub-plots, and inter-twined characters to keep a Pendergast fan entertained or maybe confused at times. It may just be me, but I had a hard time keeping everything straight. I figured it all out in the end, but sometimes these Pendergast novels nearly make my brain ache.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars out of 5. The story was good, but I may just be a little over Pendergast.

I received this e-book for free from NetGalley.

Book Description

Release Date: December 11, 2012

For twelve years, he believed she died in an accident. Then, he was told she’d been murdered. Now, FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast discovers that his beloved wife Helen is alive. But their reunion is cut short when Helen is brazenly abducted before his eyes. And Pendergast is forced to embark on a furious cross-country chase to rescue her.

But all this turns out to be mere prologue to a far larger plot: one that unleashes a chillingly-almost supernaturally-adept serial killer on New York City. And Helen has one more surprise in store for Pendergast: a piece of their shared past that makes him the one man most suited to hunting down the killer.

His pursuit of the murderer will take Pendergast deep into the trackless forests of South America, to a hidden place where the evil that has blighted both his and Helen’s lives lies in wait . . . a place where he will learn all too well the truth of the ancient proverb:

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

Product Details

Hardcover: 480 pages

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (December 11, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0446554995

ISBN-13: 978-0446554992

Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

 

About the Authors

The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child “stand head and shoulders above their rivals” (Publisher’s Weekly). Coauthors of the famed Pendergast series, their books Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the 100 greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number one box office hit movie. They are also the authors of Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance and Gideon’s Sword. Preston’s acclaimed nonfiction book, The Monster of Florence, is being made into a movie starring George Clooney. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published four novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm. The authors welcome e-mail from their readers; you can visit their website at www.prestonchild.com.

Biography

Douglas Preston was born in 1956 in Cambridge, MA, was raised in nearby Wellesley (where, by his own admission, he and his brothers were the scourge of the neighborhood!), and graduated from Pomona College in California with a degree in English literature.

Preston’s first job was as a writer for the American Museum of Natural History in New York — an eight year stint that led to the publication of his first book, Dinosaurs in the Attic and introduced him to his future writing partner, Lincoln Child, then working as an editor at St. Martin’s Press. The two men bonded, as they worked closely together on the book. As the project neared completion, Preston treated Child to a private midnight tour of the museum, an excursion that proved fateful. As Preston tells it, “…in the darkened Hall of Late Dinosaurs, under a looming T. Rex, Child turned to [me] and said: ‘This would make the perfect setting for a thriller!'” Their first collaborative effort, Relic, would not be published until 1995, by which time Preston had picked up stakes and moved to Santa Fe to pursue a full-time writing career.

In addition to writing novels (The Codex, Tyrannosaur Canyon) and nonfiction books on the American Southwest (Cities of Gold, Ribbons of Time), Preston has collaborated with Lincoln Child on several post-Relic thrillers. While not strictly a series, the books share characters and events, and the stories all take place in the same universe. The authors refer to this phenomenon as “The Preston-Child Pangea.”

Preston divides his time between New Mexico and Maine, while Child lives in New Jersey — a situation that necessitates a lot of long-distance communication. But their partnership (facilitated by phone, fax, and email) is remarkably productive and thoroughly egalitarian: They shape their plots through a series of discussions; Child sends an outline of a set of chapters; Preston writes the first draft of those chapters, which is subsequently rewritten by Child; and in this way the novel is edited back and forth until both authors are happy. They attribute the relatively seamless surface of their books to the fact that “[a]ll four hands have found their way into practically every sentence, at one time or another.”

In between, Preston remains busy. He is a regular contributor to magazines like National Geographic, The New Yorker, Natural History, Smithsonian, Harper’s, and Travel & Leisure, and he continues with varied solo literary projects. Which is not to say his partnership with Lincoln Child is over. Fans of the bestselling Preston-Child thrillers can be assured there are bigger and better adventures to come.

A Review of The Intercept by Dick Wolf

The Intercept by Dick Wolf

The Intercept

A Jeremy Fisk Novel

By Dick Wolf

On Sale: 12/26/2012

Format: Hardcover

September 2009, Jeremy Fisk is a New York City Detective. He is a member of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau. Their main job is to prevent any terrorist attacks in the city. There are many Federal agencies who also are dealing with terrorism, but no one else who focuses on New York City. In this, the first book of an expected series, there is a suspected plot and one known member of the group. The FBI has a line on Bassam Shah, an Afghan, who is bringing something into The City. They want to keep an eye on him, so that he will lead them to the rest of the group. Fisk isn’t happy with that plan, but has to go along with the Joint Terrorism Task Force. That is, until Shah ditches his phone, rented car, and laptop and drops off the grid. He is somewhere in New York City, but no one knows where. Fisk brings in some undercover operatives who are unknown to either the JTTF or the terrorists. They are able to take control of the situation and prevent anything from happening. This action shows that Fisk and the NYC police are able to handle the job that was given to them.

July 1, 2011, an attempted hijacking is prevented by passengers on a plane headed to Newark from Sweden. A potential terrorist is able to depart from the plane after it lands to deal with the terrorist. Fisk and his group have to find him and stop whatever is being planed for the probable target, the dedication of One World Trade Center at Ground Zero, There are many unexpected plots twists and surprises.

Mr. Wolf presents a fast paced, action filled police novel. He tells the story mainly from the point of view of Jeremy Fisk, but some of the story is told by other characters in the book. This is a very natural way to have the story unfold. It is nearly like you are watching an action adventure film, and the director is cutting the scenes from one point of view to another. Also like an action adventure film, more time is spent describing what is going on than on character development. You are able to get to know Fisk, but most of the police force are rather flat. There is more time spent inside the heads of the terrorists than the members of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau. I’m sure that these characters will be fleshed out in future volumes of this series.

This was a very exciting action, adventure police investigative novel. I give it 5 stars and recommend it to fans of quick paced action novels.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Book Description

Dick Wolf makes his literary debut with this tense, driving thriller, reminiscent of the classic The Day of the Jackal, an extraordinary tale filled with the ingenious twists and high-wire suspense we have come to expect from this master storyteller

Days before the July Fourth holiday and the dedication of One World Trade Center at Ground Zero, an incident aboard a commercial jet flying over the Atlantic Ocean reminds everyone that vigilance is not a task to be taken lightly. But for iconoclastic NYPD detective Jeremy Fisk, it may also be a signal that there is much more to this case than the easy answer of this being just the work of another lone terrorist.

Fisk—assigned to the department’s Intelligence Division, a well-funded antiterror unit modeled on the CIA—suspects that the event might also be a warning sign that another, potentially more extraordinary scheme has been set in motion. Fluent in Arabic and the ways of his opponents, Fisk is a rule breaker who follows his gut—even if it means defying those above him in the department’s food chain. So when a passenger from the same plane, a Saudi Arabian national, disappears into the crowds of Manhattan, it’s up to Fisk and his partner Krina Gersten to find him before the celebrations begin.

Watching each new lead fizzle, chasing shadows to dead ends, Fisk and Gersten quickly realize that their opponents are smarter and more agile than any they have ever faced. Extremely clever and seemingly invisible, they are able to exploit any security weak-ness and anticipate Fisk’s every move . . . and time is running out.

Product Details

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 400

Imprint: William Morrow

On Sale: 12/26/2012

ISBN: 9780062064837

ISBN10: 0062064835

Trimsize: 6 x 9

$27.99

Ages: 18 and Up

About the Author

Dick Wolf, a two-time Emmy award-winning writer, producer, and creator, is the architect of one of the longest-running scripted shows and most successful brands in the history of television—NBC’s Law & Order. Wolf has won numerous awards, including Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series (Law & Order) and Outstanding Made-for-Television Movie (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee); a Grammy; and an Edgar. This is his literary debut and the first in a series featuring NYPD detective Jeremy Fisk. He lives in Southern California.

A Review of The Black Stiletto by Raymond Benson

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The Black Stiletto

Raymond Benson

Oceanview Publishing

September 5, 2011

Martin Talbot has discovered that his mother may have been a masked and costumed crime fighter in New York City back in the 50s. His mother, Judy, suffering from Alzheimer’s, is in a nursing home. Her lawyer gives Martin a package that leads him back to the empty family home, where he discovers a hidden room in the basement. When he enters the room, he finds some black leather costumes, weapons, and a bunch of books. When he looks inside, he sees that they are diaries. He starts to read the first one. The story unfolds from this diary. But while he is reading the diary, life continues in the present. A mafia bodyguard has spent over 50 years in Sing Sing Prison in New York State. He has served his time and is looking for The Black Stiletto. The mafia Don that he was supposed to protect died at her hand and she killed his brother.

This is an interesting story. The diary tells the story, but the events that happen in the present are another twist. Martin found quite a few of his mother’s artifacts in the hidden basement room. There are many more volumes of The Black Stiletto’s diary. There are many more stories to be told. I will be reading and reviewing the next book in this series, THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE.

I give this 4 stars, because while I like the premise of the diary telling the story, it seemed a bit too predictable. I hope the next book has more suspense.

Description

Could Martin Talbots elderly, Alzheimer-stricken mother, Judy, really have been the Black Stiletto? When Martin discovers several volumes of her diaries hidden by his mother, he is stunned beyond all imagination. His mother, the underground heroine of yesteryear? The famed, still unidentified woman who battled Communist spies, took on the Mafia, and preyed on common crooks? The woman who exacted punishment on evildoers without mercy? But it is all described, in great detail, in the diaries. What caused her to begin her quest for justice. Her decision to act outside the law. Her feats as the famed and feared vigilante. How her reputation exploded. In short, how it all played out. Could it be true? Talbot is filled with doubt and disbelief. But the reappearance of one of the Stilettos old enemies with a thirst for merciless revenge makes the story more than real and could imperil the life of not only the Stiletto, but her son and granddaughter as well.

About

The Black Stiletto was a legend in her own time, an underground heroine who made a name for herself during the late Eisenhower years and early Kennedy years as a New York City vigilante. Although she was wanted by the law and would have been arrested had she been caught or had her secret identity been revealed, the Black Stiletto was a competent and successful crime-fighter. A feminist before the term was in everyday vernacular, she battled common crooks, Communist spies, the mafia, and worse—and was responsible for their capture and, in some cases, their deaths. But the Stiletto disappeared midway through the sixties and was never heard from again. Most people thought she had died, and no one ever knew her identity. Like pin-up queen Bettie Page, her mythical image resurfaced in comics and other media during the 1980s and 90s. Millions of dollars were made by others exploiting her likeness and persona. Today, the questions remain. Who was she? Is she still alive? If so, where is she now?

The answers can be found in THE BLACK STILETTO and THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE, by internationally known New York Times best-selling author Raymond Benson.

The July 2011 issue of Library Journal calls THE BLACK STILETTO “a mashup of the work of Gloria Steinem, Ian Fleming, and Mario Puzo, all under the editorship of Stan Lee.”

Product Details

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Oceanview Publishing; 1 edition (September 5, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1608090205

ISBN-13: 978-1608090204

Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.2 x 6.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

Raymond Benson is the highly acclaimed author of six original James Bond 007 novels, three film novelizations, three short stories, and two anthologies on Bond. Writing as David Michaels, Benson is a New York Times best-selling author, an Edger Alan Poe Award nominee, and a Readers’ Choice Award winner for Best Thriller.

More about the author

As of Summer 2012, Raymond Benson is the author of twenty-seven published books. These include the new BLACK STILETTO series (www.theblackstiletto.net) featuring a 1950s costumed female vigilante:THE BLACK STILETTO (2011) and THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE (2012); six original JAMES BOND novels (now collected in the recent anthologies THE UNION TRILOGY and CHOICE OF WEAPONS); three 007 film novelizations; and the first two best-selling TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL novels (for the latter he used the pseudonym of “David Michaels”). With John Milius he penned HOMEFRONT: THE VOICE OF FREEDOM. He also wrote the novelizations of other popular video games–METAL GEAR SOLID and METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY, and HITMAN (HITMAN: DAMNATION, July 2012). Raymond writes his own original suspense books as well–stand alone thrillers such as TORMENT, ARTIFACT OF EVIL, SWEETIE’S DIAMONDS, FACE BLIND, and EVIL HOURS, or his two “Spike Berenger Rock ‘n’ Roll Hits” featuring a music industry detective–A HARD DAY’S DEATH and the Shamus Award-nominated DARK SIDE OF THE MORGUE. There’s a lot more, so if you want the full story visit the author at his website… www.raymondbenson.com!