01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

The Shadow Tracer by Meg Gardiner, read by Jane, on 05/22/2014

Can a person ever really disappear for good by going off the grid? And what happens when vanishing is no longer an option?

Sarah Keller is a single mother to five-year-old Zoe, living quietly in Oklahoma. She’s also a skip tracer, an expert in tracking people who’ve gone on the lam to avoid arrest, prosecution, or debt—pinpointing their locations to bring them to justice.

When a school bus accident sends Zoe to the ER, their quiet life explodes. Zoe’s medical tests reveal what Sarah has been hiding: Zoe is not her daughter. Zoe’s biological mother—Sarah’s sister, Beth—was murdered shortly after the child’s birth. And Zoe’s father is missing and presumed dead.

With no way to prove her innocence, Sarah must abandon her carefully constructed life and go on the run. Chased by cops, federal agents, and the group responsible for Beth’s murder, Sarah embarks on a desperate journey. Can her knowledge as a skip tracer help her stay off the grid, remain one step ahead of her pursuers, and find a way to save her daughter?

01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

Intent to Kill by James Grippando, read by Jane, on 05/01/2014

Ryan James’s promising baseball career was derailed before it even got started when a hit-and-run driver killed his wife Chelsea, leaving Ryan alone to care for their beautiful little girl. Now, three years later, he’s a popular sports radio host in Boston, still haunted by a tragic crime that was never solved. But on the anniversary of Chelsea’s death, Ryan receives a chilling message from an anonymous tipster: “I know who did it.”

The shocking revelation may have come from Chelsea’s brother, Babes, a young man suffering from an autism-related disorder, and it sets Ryan on a twisted path toward a shattering truth. Suddenly what really happened that awful night threatens to irreparably alter the lives of Ryan and Babes, and dedicated prosecutor Emma Carlisle, if they can survive the wrath of the powerful . . . and the deadly.

29. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

False Impression by Jeffrey Archer, read by Pamela, on 05/16/2014

false imprWhy was an elegant lady brutally murdered the night before 9/11?   Why was a successful New York banker not surprised to receive a woman’s left ear in the morning mail?   Why did a top Manhattan lawyer work only for one client, but never charge a fee?   Why did a young woman with a bright career steal a priceless Van Gogh painting? Why was an Olympic gymnast paid a million dollars an assignment when she didn’t have a bank account?   Why was an honors graduate working as a temporary secretary after inheriting a fortune?   Why was an English Countess ready to kill the banker, the lawyer and the gymnast even if it meant spending the rest of her life in jail?   Why was a Japanese steel magnate happy to hand over $50,000,000 to a woman he had only met once?    Why was a senior FBI agent trying to work out the connection between these eight apparently innocent individuals?   All these questions are answered in Jeffrey Archer’s latest novel, False Impression, but not before a breathtaking journey of twists and turns that will take readers from New York to London to Bucharest and on to Tokyo, and finally a sleepy English village, where the mystery of Van Gogh’s last painting will finally be resolved.   And only then will readers discover that Van Gogh’s Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear has a secret of its own that acts as the final twist in this unforgettable yarn.

19. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Don't look Now by Linda Lael Miller, read by Melody, on 05/18/2014

Defense attorney Clare Westbrook functions very well in crisis mode — whether taking the media rap for an explosive case or bargaining with her teenaged niece, whom Clare is raising. But a shocking crime — the murder of her notoriously unethical boss — is about to test her heart and soul: heading the homicide investigation is irresistibly sexy detective Tony Sonterra. Now, a passion that is as risky as it is addictive pulls Clare into the crosshairs of a deadly mystery from the past. As the truth closes in and it becomes clear someone’s targeting “her, ” Clare and Tony embark on a twisting chase in the Arizona heat, where their dangerous desire sparks a determined hunt for a killer.

05. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer, read by Pamela, on 04/25/2014

birth

If Danny Cartwright had proposed to Beth Wilson on any other day, he would not have been arrested and charged with the murder of his best friend. But when the prosecution witnesses happen to be a group of four upper-crust college friends—a barrister, a popular actor, an aristocrat, and the youngest partner in an established firm’s history—who is going to believe Danny’s side of the story?

Danny is sentenced to twenty-two years and sent to Belmarsh prison, the highest-security jail in the land, from where no inmate has ever escaped. But Spencer Craig, Lawrence Davenport, Gerald Payne, and Toby Mortimer all underestimate Danny’s determination to seek revenge—and the extent to which his fiancée Beth will go in pursuit of justice.

30. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Thriller/Suspense

Lying with Strangers by James Grippando, read by Jane, on 04/04/2014

Peyton Shields had always wanted to be a doctor, and now, thanks to her relentless drive, stellar academic credentials, and a mountain of debt to Harvard Medical School, she’s a first-year resident at a major Boston children’s hospital. The hours are impossibly long, but it’s the life she wants, complete with a husband who’s an up-and-coming young lawyer.

But a late-night drive home in a heavy snowstorm changes everything. A car coming straight at her forces her off the road and into a frozen pond. Peyton knows she’d be dead if a stranger hadn’t pulled her from the wreckage before vanishing into the darkness.

In an instant her wonderful life has turned dark. No one believes her claims that the “accident” was deliberate—not even her husband. Without explanation, he has become distant and bitter, calling her paranoid and accusing her of having an affair with a former lover.

Yet the terror has only begun, for a series of strange, increasingly dangerous events begin to plague Peyton, moving her closer to a faceless and very deadly enemy who seems to know her every move.

30. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, read by Tracy, on 04/03/2014

In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered.
Inside are thirty-six bodies–all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago.
While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. 
The nightmare has begun.
Again.

23. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

The Witness by Nora Roberts, read by Judy, on 04/14/2014

Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth Fitch finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive.

Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks.   A freelance security systems designer, her own protection is supplemented by a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms.   She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing.    Unfortunately, that seems to be the quickest way to get attention in a tiny southern town.

The mystery of Abigail Lowery and her sharp mind, secretive nature and unromantic viewpoint intrigues local police chief Brooks Gleason, on both a personal and professional level.   And while he suspects that Abigail needs protection from something, Gleason is accustomed to two-bit troublemakers, not the powerful and dangerous men who are about to have him in their sights.   And Abigail Lowery, who has built a life based on security and self-control, is at risk of losing both.

17. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

Bloody River Blues by Jeffery Deaver, read by Tracy, on 04/10/2014

Hollywood location scout John Pellam thought the scenic backwater town of Maddox, Missouri, would be the perfect site for an upcoming “Bonnie and Clyde”-style film. But after real bullets leave two people dead and one cop paralyzed, he’s more sought after than the Barrow Gang. Pellam had unwittingly wandered onto the crime scene just minutes before the brutal hits. Now the feds and local police want him to talk. Mob enforcers want him silenced. And a mysterious blonde just wants him. Trapped in a town full of sinister secrets and deadly deceptions, Pellam fears that death will imitate art, as the film shoot — and his life — race toward a breathtakingly bloody climax.

14. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

The Poet by Michael Connelly, read by Judy, on 04/14/2014

Jack McEvoy specializes in death.   As a crime reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, he has seen every kind of murder.  But his professional bravado doesn’t lessen the brutal shock of learning that his only brother is dead, a suicide.

Jack’s brother was a homicide detective and he had been depressed about a recent murder case, a hideously grisly one, that he’d been unable to solve.   McEvoy decides that the best way to exorcise his grief is by writing a feature on police suicides.     But when he begins his research, he quickly arrives at a stunning revelation.  Following his leads, protecting his sources, muscling his way inside a federal investigation, Jack grabs hold of what is clearly the story of a lifetime.   He also knows that in taking on the story, he’s making himself the most visible target for a murderer who has eluded the greatest investigators alive.

02. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Madeline, Thriller/Suspense

The Accident by Chris Pavone, read by Madeline, on 03/20/2014

As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals with publication of The Accident, while always looking over his shoulder.

Over the course of one long, desperate, increasingly perilous day, these lives collide as the book begins its dangerous march toward publication, toward saving or ruining careers and companies, placing everything at risk—and everyone in mortal peril.  The rich cast of characters—in publishing and film, politics and espionage—are all forced to confront the consequences of their ambitions, the schisms between their ideal selves and the people they actually became.

The action rockets around Europe and across America, with an intricate web of duplicities stretching back a quarter-century to a dark winding road in upstate New York, where the shocking truth about the accident itself is buried.

Gripping, sophisticated, layered, and impossible to put down, The Accident proves once again that Chris Pavone is a true master of suspense.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson, read by Tracy, on 03/21/2014

Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Gia, Repairman Jack doesn’t deal with electronic appliances-he fixes situations for people, often putting himself in deadly danger. His latest project is recovering a stolen necklace, which carries with it an ancient curse that may unleash a horde of Bengali demons. Jack is used to danger, but this time Gia’s daughter Vicky is threatened. Can Jack overcome the curse of the yellow necklace and bring Vicky safely back home?

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid, read by Tracy, on 03/17/2014

After summer rains uncover a corpse bearing tattoos like those of eighteenth-century seafarers, many residents of the English Lake District can’t help but wonder whether it’s the body of one of the town’s most legendary fugitives.

Scholar and native Lakelander Jane Gresham feels compelled to finally discover the truth about the myths and buried secrets rooted in her hometown. What she never expected was to find herself at the heart of a 200-year-old mystery that still has the power to put lives on the line. And with each new lead she pursues, death follows hard on her heels….

30. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner, read by Judy, on 03/30/2014

Twenty years ago, Melanie Stokes was abandoned in a Boston Hospital, then adopted by a wealthy young couple.  Gifted with loving parents, a doting brother, and an indulgent uncle, Melanie has always considered herself lucky.  Until tonight.

Tonight, a has-been reporter turns up, investigating her past.  Tonight, the first note arrives, saying, “You get what you deserve”.  And tonight Melanie has her first, horrifying vision of the past.

Melanie has no memory of her life before the adoption.  Now someone wants to give it back, even if it includes the darkest nightmare the Stokes family ever faced:    the murder of their first daughter in Texas.  As Melanie pursues every lead, chases every shadow in search of her real identity, two seemingly unrelated events from her past will come together in a dangerous explosion of the truth.

25. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

Unseen by Karin Slaughter, read by Judy, on 03/25/2014

Will Trent is a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent, working undercover in Macon, Georgia, posing as Bill Black, a scary ex-con who trails an air of violence wherever he goes.  The cover has worked and he has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer who thinks he might be a useful ally.  But there’s a problem.  Cut off from the support of the woman he loves, Sara Linton, Will finds his demons catching up with him.   Although she has no idea where Will has gone, or why, Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting.  Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down.    Suddenly Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it – with danger swirling around both of them.    A novel of fierce intensity, shifting allegiances, and shocking twists.  Unseen pits detectives, lovers, and enemies against one another in an unforgettable standoff between righteous courage and deepest evil.

In addition the book provides a short story called “Busted” featuring Will Trent again in the role of Bill Black.   As with the first story, Busted keeps you in suspense.

14. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

Private #1 Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, read by Judy, on 03/13/2014

Private’s Jack Morgan is accused of a horrible murder-and not even his own world-class investigators can prove he didn’t do it.  Since former marine Jack Morgan started Private, the elite investigation firm has been sought out by the famous and powerful to handle their problems.  Private’s detectives are the smartest, fastest, and most technologically advanced in the world-and they always uncover the truth.  But when his former lover is found killed in his bed, Jack instantly becomes the number one suspect.   As the police focus on Jack, the Mob strong-arms him into recovering $ 30 million in stolen pharmaceuticals for them.   And the beautiful manager of a luxury hotel chain persuades him to solve a string of murders at her properties.    Now, while Jack fights for his life, one of his most trusted colleagues threatens to leave Private-and Jack realizes he faces the most clever and powerful enemies ever.

03. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Madeline, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman, read by Madeline, on 02/22/2014

When Felix Brewer meets nineteen-year-old Bernadette “Bambi” Gottschalk at a Valentine’s Dance in 1959, he charms her with wild promises, some of which he actually keeps. Thanks to his lucrative-if not all legal-businesses, she and their three little girls live in luxury. But on the Fourth of July, 1976, Bambi’s comfortable world implodes when Felix, newly convicted and facing prison, mysteriously vanishes.

Though Bambi has no idea where her husband-or all of his money-might be, she suspects one woman does: his devoted young mistress, Julie. When Julie disappears ten years to the day that Felix went on the lam, everyone assumes she’s left to join her old lover-until her remains are eventually found in a secluded wooded park.

Now, twenty-six years after Julie went missing, Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez, a retired Baltimore detective working cold cases for some extra cash, is investigating her murder. What he discovers is a tangled web of bitterness, jealously, resentment, greed, and longing stretching over three decades that connects five intriguing women: a faithful wife, a dead mistress, and three very different daughters. And at the center is the man who, though long gone, has never been forgotten by the five women who loved him: the enigmatic Felix Brewer.

Somewhere between the secrets and lies connecting past and present, Sandy will find the truth. And when he does, no one will ever be the same.

02. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

Echo Burning by Lee Child, read by Judy, on 02/08/2014

Thumbing across the scorched Texas desert, Jack Reacher has nowhere to go and all the time in the world to get there.  Cruising the same stretch of two-lane blacktop is Carmen Greer.  For Reacher, the lift comes with a hitch.  Carmen’s got a story to tell, and it’s a wild one-all about her husband, her family secrets, and a hometown that’s purely gothic.  She’s also got a plan.  Reacher’s part of it.    And before the sun sets, this ride could cost them both their lives.

02. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon, read by Judy, on 02/03/2014

When beautiful but aloof Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room one spring morning, prestigious Armitage Academy is shaken to its core.  Everyone connected to the school finds their lives upended, from the local police detective who has a personal history with the academy, to the faculty and staff whose daily lives are immersed in it.   Everyone wants to know how Claire died, at whose hands, and more importantly, where the baby that she recently gave birth to is-a baby that almost no one, except her small innermost circle, knew she was carrying.

At the center of the investigation is Madeline Christopher, an intern in the English Department who is forced to examine the nature of the relationship between the school’s students and the adults meant to guide them.    As the case unravels, the dark intricacies of adolescent privilege at a powerful institution are exposed, and both teachers and students emerge as suspects.

28. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Mystery, Teen Books, Thriller/Suspense

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, read by Courtney, on 02/03/2014

Until he was 10, Jasper “Jazz” Dent lived with his father, Billy. Then his father was caught and arrested for the brutal murders of scores of women. Now, Jasper lives with his grandmother and tries his best to live as normal a life as a kid can live when said kid spent his formative years being raised by a serial killer. His grandmother is completely insane and blames Jazz’s long-absent (likely dead) mother for Billy’s violent tendencies. The rest of the town of Lobo’s Nod regards Jazz with unease. Everyone suspects he’ll turn out just like his father. The only two people who are willing to treat Jazz as a person wholly different from Billy are his girlfriend Connie and best friend Howie (who happens to suffer from extreme hemophilia).
Jazz’s upbringing makes him eternally convinced that he might still be just like his father, even though most signs point otherwise. Instead, Jazz uses the skills he learned from his father to investigate a local murder that seems strikingly similar to one his father might have committed. If his father wasn’t already in jail, that is. Unfortunately, local law enforcement doesn’t seem too keen on having the teenaged son of a serial killer helping them out with their current case load, so Jazz and his friends are more or less on their own. Then the body count starts rising and even the police realize that they might just need Jazz’s help to stop the killer before he can claim anyone else.
I Hunt Killers is a fun, bloody, fast-paced thriller. Comparisons to Dexter/Castle/Hannibal are inevitable, but not entirely accurate. Jazz knows the mind of a serial killer, but he comes across as far too empathetic to be a killer himself. Connie and Howie are great characters; they also have the bonus qualities of being about the last two people Jazz would ever hurt if he did ever turn to killing. The plot is a bit on the preposterous side, but it’s still an intriguing concept. I assigned this to my high school book club and a great discussion ensued.