Tag Archives: Thriller

Recent Release Review- Trident Code by Thomas Waite

Title: Trident Code (Lana Elkin series, book #2)

Trident Code

Genre: Techno-Thriller

Author: Thomas Waite

Publisher: 47 North, May 2015

Pages: 336

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: some sexual assault, not explicit but may be disturbing to some.

Description from Amazon.com:

Ruthless cyberhackers seize a US nuclear submarine, training its most powerful weapon on a target so unusual, yet so vulnerable, that a successful strike could change the face of the earth for millions of years. With the world held hostage, former NSA operative Lana Elkins must join forces with a mysterious computer mastermind—who might be working with the enemy—to avert this unprecedented Armageddon. Intrigue, power, and blackmail force Lana to fight on all fronts—land, sea, air, and in cyberspace—to prevent the worst catastrophe in human history.

**

Yes, I do read a thriller now and then.  In days gone by I read them exclusively but then the Berlin Wall came down and I rather lost interest in Jason Bourne.  This book pricked my interest since it speaks to a new kind of evil in the world, that of cyber hackers who could cause mass devastation with their evil intentions.

Thomas Waite’s latest Lana Elkin novel can certainly get the adrenaline pumping. What could be more terrorizing than the destruction of the world as we know it by terrorists using nuclear warheads directed at the glacial masses in Antarctica, The result would be massive global flooding. From the description of this book we know Lana will be using her genius to fight the terrorists. The villain is all wrapped up in one sociopathic package, Oleg, a Russian cyber hacking genius. His evil is not confined to global treachery, even his private life is filled with his villainy. His girlfriend Galina does not share in his villainous desires and attempts to make her escape with her cancer ridden daughter.

If you like lots of action and breathtaking suspense, you will get it in this novel. You will also get some really ugly scenes of human terror and torture and scenes of Lana’s personal life that will take you out of the story totally. If it weren’t for the boring side story of Lana’s impossible fifteen-year old daughter, Emma, I might have given this book 5 stars.

This is not a bad book but I feel this author could have made it so much better.

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Recent Release Review- Behind The Mask by Carolyn Crane

Title: Behind The Mask (book#4 The Associates Series)

BehindTheMask-best

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author: Carolyn Crane

Publisher: Carolyn Crane

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description:

Zelda is the silent partner in the clandestine organization known as The Associates. Liza is Zelda’s twin who got involved with a drug lord and was gambled away to another drug lord. Zelda agrees to take her twin’s place and is flown to the jungles of South America. Can she maintain her hidden identity long enough to get some information for her company’s current operation?

Hugo and Paolo appear to the locals as an American gentleman farmer and his son. But Hugo has a secret past and he is on a mission when he saves Zelda from some very bad guys and brings her to his home to be his cook and teacher for Paolo. Can he maintain his secrets as he becomes more enamored of his captive?

**

As with all the books in The Associates series we are thrust into the action with an adrenaline rush and it does not let go until hours after we close the last page. This is a dark and supremely satisfying book. There is violence and torture so be prepared but this will not deter the reader as the pages are flipped rapidly to find out what will happen next. There is little more satisfying then reading an author who knows how to write a story line and plot and keeps us on the edge of our seats throughout the book. Carolyn Crane is this kind of author. BEHIND THE MASK is this kind of book.

Yes, there is romance amid the mayhem. Zelda and Hugo do not want to fall in love but they are the yin and yang to each other and it is inevitable. Zelda fills the empty place in Hugo’s heart and Zelda has been falling in love with this killer since she first saw his blurry photo years ago while trying to capture him and failing. But we readers can’t help but think their love is doomed from the start.

I highly recommend this thriller to all romance fans who like their novels dark, rough and gritty. It doesn’t get any better than this.

The Associates Series (Deet’s Reviews)

1.  Against The Dark

2.  Off The Edge  https://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/review-off-the-edge-by-carolyn-crane/

3.  Into The Shadows https://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/recent-release-review-into-the-shadows-by-carolyn-crane/

 

 

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Release Day Review- Vincent by D.B. Reynolds

Title: Vincent (Vampires In America Series)

Vincent

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Author: D.B. Reynolds

Publisher: ImaJinn, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Sinaloa, Mexico . . . haunting deserts, hot nights, and vampires, who’ve been there for hundreds of years, watching from the shadows, playing their games, manipulating humans, and surviving at any cost. Vincent Kuxim, powerful and charismatic, was made vampire by an ambitious leader looking for soldiers to pave his way to the rule of all Mexico. But more than a century later, Vincent’s Sire is looking over his shoulder as Vincent closes in for the kill, ready to claim the title Lord of Mexico for himself. Lana Arnold is a bounty hunter, smart, beautiful, and determined to chart her own future. So when the most powerful vampire lord in all of North America enlists her help in tracking down a very old and elusive bloodsucker, Lana sees nothing but opportunity. There’s only one catch. The client wants her to take Vincent—a vampire she neither knows nor trusts—along on her hunt. Then again, maybe it’s herself she doesn’t trust, because Vincent Kuxim is sex walking in a pair of tight black jeans. Thrown together by circumstance, Vincent and Lana soon find themselves battling an evil they didn’t know existed in a fight that makes Vincent all the more determined to destroy his Sire, seize Mexico for himself . . . and keep Lana by his side forever.

**

Once again I had to clear my schedule because I could not put this book down. Vincent is the epitome of the powerful, dangerously violent, charismatic vampire, who just happens to be drop-dead handsome. Lana works for her father as a bounty hunter but is trying to take on Private Investigation work so she can start her own business. She is doing a job when she is sent to meet Vincent and she does not know diddly about vampires. Over the next few days of their acquaintance she learns everything.

How I see Vincent sometimes:

Vincent Arron Diaz

How I see Vincent other times:

Vincent Eduardo Verastegui

How I see Lana:

Beautiful woman with perfect face

What you get in a D.B. Reynolds’ novel is plenty of action, adventure, off the chart sexual chemistry and a splendidly entertaining read. This offering, from an accomplished storyteller, has a well plotted story with a swift pace. This book in the series I found to have a bit more bloody violence and a wonderfully satisfying build-up in sexual tension. Our romantic pair do not do-the-deed until chapter sixteen (yes, I made a note of this) but then have trouble keeping their heads on business. The evil bad guys are truly evil villains and the good guys are honorable even if a bit of the-end-justifies-the-means slips into their philosophy.

You have already guessed that I highly recommend this book to Paranormal Romance enthusiasts, but Thriller and Urban Fantasy fans will also find this series to be right up their alley.

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Review- Off The Edge by Carolyn Crane

Title: Off The Edge (The Associates book#2)

Off The Edge

 Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author: Carolyn Crane

Publisher: Kindle

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

SHE MAY BE HIS WORST ENEMY…
For deadly secret agent Peter Macmillan, language is a weapon—one he uses to hunt criminals, destroy plots, and charm enemies. Seducing information out of a beautiful singer in a Bangkok hotel should be easy…except this particular singer has the power to destroy his cool façade, and with it, his last defense against a dark past.

HE MAY BE HER ONLY HOPE…
He tricked her. He helped himself to her body and her secrets. He has enemies everywhere. Laney Lancaster should hate Peter, but when she discovers him shirtless, sweaty, and chained up in the hotel’s dungeon, all she can think about is freeing him. Because she knows what it’s like to be trapped and alone. And she could use a dangerous friend.

They might be wrong for each other, but the instant they join forces, Laney and Peter are plunged into an odyssey of hot sex and dark danger. To survive, they must trust each other with their lives—and their hearts.

**

Woo-Hee! Hang on to something solid cause this novel is a thriller and it leaves you breathless in it’s wake.

Laney is naïve and beautiful.  Peter is hunky and oh so dangerous.  Because she is naïve, she continues to try and help Peter when his purpose is to keep her clear of his job as a linguistic, hot, dangerous, warrior spy.  Peter might have been able to get his job done quicker and with less personal injury if Laney had just left him alone but then the reader would have been robbed of all those great moments when she refused to leave him be.

The book starts off with a bang when we feel the terror that Laney experiences when she feels her hiding as been compromised.  She feels something is about to come crashing down but those around her are continually reassuring her that all is well.  All except Peter who is the one who tells her to follow her gut instinct.  The pace picks up even more until we are turning pages faster and faster.  The tension builds and the action is nonstop.  The chemistry between Laney and Peter is smokin’ and they do take time out to explore that, but then it is flat out full steam ahead with more action, violence and blood.

This is a standalone novel in Crane’s Associates Series.

Deet’s Caveat: This novel contains strong violence and torture scenes as well as explicit sex.

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Review- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Author: Gillian Flynn

Publisher: Crown, 2012

Source: Library

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

**

This was undoubtedly the most hyped book of 2012.  So I knew that sooner or later I would succumb to its lure. My one sentence reaction: It definitely deserves all the hype.

The book starts out, appearing to me, like a fictionalized version of that real life California case.  You know the one with that guy named Peterson who killed his pregnant wife.  At least that is how it was playing out to me.  But Flynn had more surprises and twists to deal out in this novel.  Was it a bit over the top at times, you bet, but it was definitely a can’t-put-it-down read.  It is scary to think that there are people in this world like Scot Peterson but Gillian Flynn gives us some ideas about how a psychopath operates as she lays out the story of the marriage of Nick and Amy Dunne.  I recommend this one to all mystery, suspense and thriller lovers.

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Review- Night Moves by Randy Wayne White

Title: Night Moves

Night Moves
Genre: Thriller
Author: Randy Wayne White
Publisher: Putnam, March 5, 2013
Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program
Rating: 4
Sexy Rating: 0
Description from amazon.com:
the twentieth Doc Ford novel—from the New York Times–bestselling author.

Both Doc Ford and his friend Tomlinson have buried secrets. Now one of those secrets is about to come alive—with a vengeance.

While trying to solve one of Florida’s most profound secrets, Doc Ford is the target of a murder attempt by someone who wants to make it look like an accident. Or is the target actually Tomlinson? Whatever the answer, the liveaboards and fishing guides at Dinkin’s Bay on Sanibel Island are becoming increasingly nervous—and wary—after a near-poisoning, a plane crash, and an explosion make it apparent that Ford and Tomlinson are dangerous companions.

What their small family of friends don’t know is that their secret pasts make it impossible for the two of them to go to the law for help. There is an assassin on the loose, and it is up to them to find the killer—before he (or she) finishes the job.
**
You are probably wondering why a romance reader/reviewer like me is reading a “guy’s book” like a Doc ford novel. Randy Wayne White is a local author and I like to keep up with what the locals are into. This one was a treat.

Yes, this is #20 in The R.W. White saga of Doc Ford, but it is #1 for this reader. I really liked this book. I liked the introduction to some Florida history and mystery. I felt the characterization was top notch. The writing well done. The plot(s)was admittedly a bit convoluted although satisfying in the end. There was mystery and action enough to keep me riveted to the story. Our hero, Doc Ford, is the kind of guy you want covering your back even though at times he thinks he didn’t think through all the possibilities. I look forward to reading more by this author. I hope to read more about the side characters, some who are mysterious and some who just beg us to delve into their histories.

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Review- Sail by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

Title: Sail

Sail
Genre: Thriller
Author: James Patterson and Howard Roughan
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co., 2008
Source: Library
Rating: 3
Sexy Rating: 4
Description from amazon.com:
Since the death of her husband, Anne Dunne and her three children have struggled in every way. In a last ditch effort to save the family, Anne plans an elaborate sailing vacation to bring everyone together once again. But only an hour out of port, everything is going wrong. The teenage daughter, Carrie, is planning to drown herself. The teenage son, Mark, is high on drugs and ten-year-old Ernie is nearly catatonic. This is the worst vacation ever.
Anne manages to pull things together bit by bit, but just as they begin feeling like a family again, something catastrophic happens. Survival may be the least of their concerns.

**
Did it keep me turning pages? You bet. Was it a good beach read? Yes. Do I recommend it? Well maybe. It was a pretty good read. I liked the two or three page chapters that bounced around to the different characters. Some were written in first person and some in third which did help to keep things straight. I liked that it had some surprises along the way but nothing was too surprising. Some things just astounded me. Such as Anne’s compound fracture being set with Marijuana as the sedative and how she was still so alert even with a raging fever. That was just one example I don’t want to say more for fear of mentioning spoilers. If you want a quick, easy read for the beach then this one will do.

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Review- Lucas by D.B. Reynolds

Title: Lucas (#7 Vampires in America Series)

Genre: Vampire Romance/Thriller

 Author: D.B. Reynolds

Publisher: ImaJinn Books, October 2012

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from amazon.com:

THE BADLANDS of SOUTH DAKOTA . . . haunting landscapes, legendary outlaws, and . . . vampires? LUCAS DONLON, Vampire Lord, is one of the most powerful vampires in North America and beyond. Charming and irreverent to his friends and lovers, he enjoys everything about his life as a vampire. But when a neighboring lord makes the mistake of declaring war, he quickly discovers that Lucas is every bit as lethal as he is charming. KATHRYN HUNTER doesn’t care about powerful vampires or their wars. Her baby brother is missing and she will do anything to find him, even if it means going against both her FBI bosses and the local vampire lord. But Lucas Donlon has other plans for the lovely FBI agent who’s landed on his doorstep. Waging war against their enemies and each other, Lucas and Kathryn will risk everything to keep the most deadly vampire war in hundreds of years from engulfing every vampire, and human, in North America

 

**

I don’t think it will come as a surprise if I tell you that this is my favorite vampire series.  I have been a fan since D.B. Reynolds published her first book, RAPHAEL.  There are other series that are good but this one has everything I look for in a vampire genre.  The vampires are mucho dangerous, intelligent, thoughtful, violent, sexy and loving.  The bad vampires are truly dastardly but the good vampires triumph and get the girl, or guy as the case may be.  This series reads best from the beginning but you can jump in on any book and not be lost.  You will be a fan too if you like your books with lots of action and steamy sex.  Yes I did make up a new genre designation for this series because it is in a class by itself.  Now onto my thoughts of LUCAS, number 7 in the series….

Action and then more action.  Sexy and steamy.  This gripping novel is everything you could want in a romantic thriller.  The heroine is a no-nonsense FBI agent and the hero is another of D.B. Reynolds’ hot sexy Lords of the vampire nation.  The finding of Daniel, her brother, is the catalyst that initiates the “cop” and the vampire’s interaction but then fate intervenes and combines the two into the most satisfying sizzling chemistry. This lust quickly becomes a more intense emotional devotion.  She is no delicate human and she is more than willing to help him in his vampire war.  But never does she think their chemistry will mean more than a temporary involvement.

Reynolds can write circles around most authors.  Her character development is flawless and the swift pace of the action along with the heated encounters of the protagonists kept me turning pages relentlessly.  The epilogue gives us a hint as to what is to come in the next installment of this top-notch series.

 Vampires In America Series:

  1. Raphael
  2. Jabril
  3. Rajmund
  4. Sophia
  5. Duncan
  6. Betrayed (e-book novella, prequel to Lucas)
  7. Lucas
  8. Aden (coming in 2013)

 

 

 

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Review- The Key by Simon Toyne

Title:  The Key (bk 2, The Sanctus Trilogy)

Genre: Religious Conspiracy Thriller

Author: Simon Toyne

Publisher: William Morrow, June 2012

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from amazon.com:

Hunted. Hounded. Haunted.

She is the most important person in the world. She is The Key

Journalist Liv Adamsen has escaped from the highly secretive Citadel at the heart of the ancient city of Ruin and now lies in isolation, staring at hospital walls as blank as her memory. Despite her inability to recall her past, something strange is stirring within her. She feels possessed by a sen-sation she can’t name and plagued by whispers only she can hear: “KuShiKaam,” the key.

To others the meaning is clear. For a mercenary operating in the Syrian Desert, a man known only as “the Ghost,” Liv may hold the key to one of history’s most powerful secrets. For the brotherhood of monks in the Citadel—now cursed by a terrible plague—her return to Turkey may be the only way to ensure their survival. And for a powerful faction in Vatican City, her very existence threatens the success of a desperate plan to save the church from ruin.

At the center of events that defy explanation and hunted by someone she believes might be trying to kill her, Liv turns to the only person she can trust—a foundation worker named Gabriel Mann. Together they must elude capture and journey to the place where all life began. From New York to Rome to the deserts of the Middle East, worlds collide in a race to uncover a revelation dating from the creation of man in this electrifying follow-up to the international bestseller Sanctus.

**

Woo-Hoo! If you read my review of the first book in this trilogy, SANCTUS (here), then you know I’m hooked.  This, the second book in The Sanctus Trilogy, did not disappoint. There is heart pounding action and suspense on every page.  Where there is power there is corruption, the fate of the world rests with one woman and those willing to help her.

Toyne’s style is the short chapter, never more than a few pages long but each leading to interplay of international characters.  There are surprises and twists and, of course, a cliff hanger at the end leading us to the final book of the trilogy.  In spite of the cliff hanger, this novel is wrapped up quite satisfactorily.  I do suggest that you read SANCTUS first because it is such a good book and it will give a better foundation for THE KEY, although the author is quite adapt at bringing us up to date in THE KEY without the much dreaded info-dump.

Anyone who enjoyed THE DAVINCI Code will definitely enjoy this trilogy from Simon Toyne.

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Review- P.S.: I’m Innocent by Steve Ruediger

Title:  P.S.: I’m Innocent

Genre: Thriller/Erotic Elements

Author: Steve Ruediger

Publisher: I Universe, 2011

Source: Free from the author for review

Rating: 2—2.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

As a new employee for the Sanibel Island Environmental Conservancy in Florida, Lizzie Grant thinks she has it made. She is helping to preserve wildlife and working on a Florida beach. Life is finally good-but it won’t stay that way for long.

One night while researching sea turtles on the beach, Lizzie sees illegal aliens being brought ashore by a smuggler. Her accidental observation leads to her being threatened and stalked by the smuggler until he suddenly shows up dead in her apartment, and Lizzie is wanted for his murder. With the help of a semi-retired Mafia don named Joey, Lizzie tries to uncover evidence to clear her name. What she discovers is chilling: the illegal aliens are being used as slave labor on a farm next to her friend’s wildlife refuge. In spite of Joey’s help, Lizzie becomes a prisoner on the slave labor farm, where a forced marriage is planned.

Pursued by the police and men that want to kill her, Lizzie is running out of time. Will Lizzie find the strength and courage to fight her way free and prove her innocence?

**

First let me give some background as to why I agreed to review this book.  The author Mr Ruediger attended a Barnes and Noble presentation event in the audience where I was also a spectator.  The panel was 5 authors from a writing society of which Mr. Ruediger was a member.  Since it became known during the discussion that he was a self published author, following the meeting I stopped to talk to him.  He asked me to read and review his book, I accepted the offer, promising an honest review.

The author has a background as a newspaper reporter which led me to think this book would be more polished than it was.  The main character, Lizzie, was not likable.  She was silly and stupid. Continually making disastrous mistakes that made her look even more unintelligent.  Almost all the male characters were misogynistic.  The slave-farm portion of the book felt like it’s only reason for going on for several chapters was to either titillate or to act as filler.  There was no romance in this book.  There were plenty of scenes with men ogling naked Lizzie and rape scenes.  There was violence throughout most of the book.

I was disappointed hoping for better writing.  The character development was adequate but I’m afraid not to my taste; the characters were loathsome.  The plotting suffered from stagnation during a portion of the book that involved a slave farm, or perhaps it was just so unappealing to me that I felt it would not end.  I can’t recommend this book.

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