Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

The Innocent is the second novel by Taylor Stevens that follows fearless heroine Vanessa “Michael” Monroe.  Monroe’s best friend Logan contacts her from across the globe to ask for her help concerning his dark past involved in a religious cult called “The Chosen.” Even though Logan is openly gay, he reveals to Monroe that he has an 8-year-old daughter, Hannah, who has been kidnapped by the cult and he needs Monroe’s help to find her and bring her home. Monroe accepts the challenge of infiltrating this cult and finds herself in the middle of much more than she anticipated – including drug lords, high-ranking government officials, and the unspoken horrors of child abuse.

Stevens’ second novel is a taut, action-filled adventure that takes the reader inside the secret world of a religious cult. The story takes awhile to pick up in pace, but once it gets going, there is no shortage of thrills and page-turning twists. Monroe has made an American heroine that can be compared to Steig Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander – complete with all the quirks that made her so different from other leading ladies. This book is a solid thriller with a good plot and a storyline that makes it stand out from others in the genre.

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book free from Goodread’s First Reads program. This had no impact on my opinion of the book or my review.


In the winter of 1973, a volcano eruption buried an entire Icelandic town under ash and lava. Now over 30 years later, some of the homes are being excavated for historical purposes. What no one expects to find in the basement of one of these homes are corpses that have been hidden underground since the eruption occurred. Markus Magnusson, who lived in the home as a child, comes under suspicion for killing his childhood crush and it seems that the murders from the past are somehow connected to the murder in the present.

Ashes to Dust is a new tightly wound thriller by acclaimed author Yrsa Sigurdardottir. The novel brings together all the best elements of a murder mystery – family, secrets, murder, betrayal, and deceit. The plot is thick with twists and surprises, and the story winds its way through the characters involved like a well placed tourniquet of suspense. Ashes to Dust grabs hold of the reader and refuses to let go – they are left guessing until the very last chapter. Fans of Steig Larsson should not miss this evocative and enthralling Scandinavian crime thriller. It truly sets a new standard for the genre.

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book free from Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program. However, this had no impact on my opinion of the book or my review.

            Those Across the River is a masterfully written debut novel from Christopher Buehlman. It follows Frank Nichols and his wife Eudora as they move to rural Georgia to inherit a house from his aunt. Frank plans to write a book about the history of his family, their plantation, and the terrible events that happened there. But what first appears to be a sleepy little town soon turns into a fight for survival against something they have never imagined.

Buehlman’s novel transports the reader back in time to the rural South with his powerful descriptions and high quality of writing. Once the action starts, about halfway through the book, it doesn’t let up until the very last sentence. This is a wonderful debut filled with suspense, horror, action, and adventure. The reader expects a story about the horrors of war or perhaps a ghost story, but what they end up receiving is wholly unexpected and will leave them thinking and talking about the novel long after they have finished.

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book free from Library Thing, but this had no effect on my review or opinions of the book.

           The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler is a bestselling novel of suspense set in Sweden. The story revolves around Detective Joona Linna and Dr. Erik Maria Bark and his wife and son. Early in the book, a triple homicide is discovered and there is one surviving witness. However, the boy has suffered severe trauma and is in a state of shock. Linna convinces Dr. Bark to hypnotize the boy in order to find the murderer before he strikes again. Dr. Bark has sworn never to practice hypnosis again, but eventually agrees in the hopes of saving a young woman’s life. When Dr. Bark breaks his promise and they hypnotize the boy, a chain of terrifying events begins to take place.

This novel has joined the ranks of bestselling crime novels from Scandinavia. I found that the plot of the story had great potential but the writing was lacking. It felt like the book was just dragging along. I lost interest early on, but continued reading in the hopes that the storyline would begin to pick up. It did eventually, but not to the point I had hoped. The characters of Joona Linna, Erik Maria Bark, Simone, and the other major players were well developed, but some aspects left the reader asking questions. For example, the reader learns early on that Linna is a driven detective that will not let a case go unsolved. The reason behind this is a sense of personal guilt over something that happened in his past, but the reader never gets to find out what that secret is. Other aspects of the writing were lacking as well. The plot of the novel was interesting but the way the story unfolded was very predictable and all of the “twists” were able to be foreseen. The ending of the story is also lacking – it does not give the reader any type of closure. It leaves the characters and their relationships with one another in limbo with no resolution.

I found this novel to be mediocre at best. The plot definitely had potential, but the writing was lacking and the book could have been so much more. I bought this book after reading the other reviews and the description, but I wish I would have saved my money for something worthwhile. This is a book worth reading for fun and for fans of Scandinavian crime fiction such as Steig Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, but I would recommend that you borrow it and not waste your time and money buying it.