Tag Archives: thriller

Book Review – “Terminal Freeze” by Lincoln Child

terminalfreeze  Title:  Terminal Freeze

Author:  Lincoln Child

ISBN:  9780385515511

Publisher:  Doubleday


Synopsis (from bn.com):  In this riveting, high-octane thriller from Lincoln Child, an ancient creature is inadvertently released to wreak havoc on the inhabitants of a desolate arctic landscape.

Alaska’s Federal Wilderness Zone is one of the most dangerous and inhospitable places on Earth. For paleoecologist Evan Marshall, an expedition to the Zone offers an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study the mounting effects of climate change. But once there, Marshall and his intrepid team make an astonishing discovery: an enormous prehistoric animal encased in solid ice. Despite repeated warnings from the local village, and Marshall’s own mounting concern, the expedition sponsors want the creature cut from the ice, thawed, and revealed on a live television spectacular…But then the creature disappears and an unspeakable horror is unleashed.


My thoughts:  Ok, I openly admit that the only reason I took my book off of my shelf right now was to read a book for one of my reading challenges this year – namely the Monthly Theme Challenge.  The theme of January is of course words like cold, freeze, ice, etc. so I thought this book would be perfect!

And . . .  I have to admit that I really enjoyed this book.  It is completely outside of my normal reading genre and I am certainly glad I picked it up.  I must admit I was a little scared to delve in for two specific reasons:  1.  I am not really into the who science fiction type genre, you know the whole “huge creature is found in the ice and comes alive to attack” type thing.  However, I will say that it is a very well-written book that characterizes the events in a very fast-paced, suspenseful, intriguing way without making it hokey and cheesy.  2.  The only other book I have read by this author is one that he co-wrote with Douglas Preston, namely “Mount Dragon”, which had a section of about 200 pages in the middle that literally could have been cut and the book would have been the same.  It dragged and dragged.  Not the case with this book – in fact, I flew through this book in about a day.   Some argue that this author is better when he writes with Preston, however based on my experiences with “Terminal Freeze”, I found his solo books just great!  In fact, when the mood strikes me for a little sci fi I may go back and try one of his other novels.

Overall, a fast-paced, suspeseful, thrill ride in the frozen tundra 400 miles north of the Arctic Tundra!  Great read!

And remember,

Books Are Life,



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Book Review – “Patient One” by Leonard Goldberg

    Title:  Patient One

Author:  Leonard Goldberg

ISBN:  9780738730462

Publisher:  Midnight Ink


Synopsis (from BN.com):  U.S. President John Merrill is hosting Russian President Dimitri Suslev at a glittering state dinner to celebrate a new economic pact. As the after-dinner toasts begin, the two leaders, their wives, and scores of prominent guests become violently ill. Merrill and Suslev, along with the other stricken guests, are rushed to the nearest hospital. As Secret Service agents struggle to secure the hospital and locate Merrill’s daughter, the President’s personal physician — who’s been withholding critical medical information about the Commander-in- Chief — tries desperately to stabilize the President.

In the chaos, Chechen terrorists make their move, breaching the secured area and taking both presidents hostage. Emergency-room physician David Ballineau, a former commando struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, and trauma nurse Carolyn Ross may be the President Merrill’s only hope for survival.


My thoughts:  This book was INCREDIBLE, AWESOME, AMAZING, 5 STARS, FANTASTIC!  Ok, if you get my drift, you realize that I loved this book.  Put it this way, you know a book is good when you are reading it by the pool at a resort on the beautiful beaches of Hawaii and you could give a care less what is happening at that pool and really have no idea what happened around you at all!  I literally could not put this book down.  I cruised through it in a day and wanted much, much more.

I became a huge fan of Leonard Goldberg’s medical dramas when he was writing his Joanna Blalock series.  Then all of a sudden he stopped writing, and I feared he was done.  Imagine my delight when I saw his new one Patient One had come out.

This book is fast-paced from the very beginning, it grabs you immediately and doesn’t let go until the very end.  It is a nail biting story of bio-terrorism, hostages, and a heroic physician who himself is struggling with PTSD.  I can’t describe how good it is any further, you just have to pick up a copy and get reading for yourself!


And this book reminds me how long it has been since I have read a great medical drama.  There doesn’t seem to be as many on the market as there were a couple years ago.  Anyone know of any great new medical dramas?

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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Book Review – “Quinn” by Iris Johansen (Eve Duncan Series)

  Title:  Quinn (Eve Duncan Series)

Author:  Iris Johansen

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis (from bn.com):

#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen explores the darkest corners of the human heart as forensic sculptor Eve Duncan closes in on the killer who stole her daughter so many years ago.

As a former Navy SEAL turned cop, Joe Quinn has seen the face of evil and knows just how deadly it can be. When he first met Eve Duncan, he never expected to fall in love with a woman whose life would be defined by her dual desires to bring home her missing daughter and discover the truth behind her disappearance—no matter how devastating. With the help of CIA agent Catherine Ling, they make a shocking discovery that sheds new light on young Bonnie’s abduction and puts Quinn squarely in the crosshairs of danger. Eve’s first love, John Gallo, a soldier supposedly killed in the line of duty, is very much alive—and very much a threat.

Emotionally charged, with one shock after another, Quinn reveals the electricity of Joe and Eve’s first connection, and how they fell in love in the midst of haunting tragedy. As their search takes them deeper and deeper into a web of murder and madness, Joe and Eve must confront their most primal fears . . . and test their resolve to uncover the ultimate bone-chilling truth.

My thoughts:  This is the second book in a trilogy that falls within the Eve Duncan series (Eve, Quinn, Bonnie).  I thought this book was FANTASTIC!  I have read the entire Eve Duncan series and love it.  This book begins in the past, taking a look at how Joe Quinn and Eve met over the tragic disappearance of Eve’s daughter Bonnie, and then jumps to present day and picks up the hunt for Bonnie’s “killer” right where it left off in “Eve”.  As with all the books in this series, I thought it was fast pasted and exciting.  All I can say about the end of this book is – WOW!  I got to the last page and literally was like “Are you kidding me, there are no more pages left, there has to more pages left!  It can’t end like this.”  Needless to say, I can’t wait to get to the library to dig in to Bonnie to see what happens. Thank goodness it’s Saturday tomorrow!

As much as I love this series, I will say that I am hoping and praying that the whole Bonnie thing (who killed her? is she dead? where is she?) comes to a conclusion in the next book.  I feel like Iris Johansen has really dragged the Bonnie storyline out too long.  In the first books in the series, the Bonnie storyline was present but took a backseat to the cases Eve was working on – which were very interesting.  Over time, the books began to shift focus almost exclusively on the Bonnie storyline and I found myself thinking enough is enough already.  Let’s resolve this storyline!  As the story kept going on and on, the character of Eve seemed to become more whiny and needy, which is not how she was portrayed at the beginning.  Iris – please resolve this!!!!

An interesting twist to the last few book in this series including Chasing the Night (2010) and this Eve, Quinn, Bonnie trilogy, is the addition of the character of Catherine Ling.  It looks as if Iris Johansen is starting an entirely different series around Catherine Ling character which proves to be interesting and exciting.  Catherine Ling was abandoned in Hong Kong at age 4, recruited by the CIA in her teens, and now works as a CIA operative.  I like her character and can’t wait to read the newest in Catherine’s series “What Doesn’t Kill You ” (2012).

All in all, a great, fast-paced read!  Definitely one for the beach or for a long plane ride!

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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New Mystery Releases Week of 5/21/12

Hi all,

Well it is almost the end of the week, thank goodness indeed!  That means time to take a look ahead and see if there are any great new mystery releases coming out next week.  A trip to your favorite bookstore or library might be required 🙂  Enjoy!

  Title:  The King of Lies

Author:  John Hart

Synopsis (from bn.com):

From John Hart, the masterful New York Times bestselling and two-time Edgar Award-winning author of The Last Child and Down River, comes this tour de force of murder and the dark ripples it sends through a man, his family and community.

Jackson Workman Pickens—known to most as Work—mindlessly holds together his life: a failing law practice left to him when his father, Ezra, mysteriously disappeared, a distant wife, and a fragile sister, Jean, damaged by the shared past they’ve endured.

And then Ezra’s body is discovered.

Set to inherit his father’s fortune, Work becomes a prime suspect. But so does Jean. Fearing the worst, Work launches his own investigation, crossing paths with a power-hungry detective, a string of damning evidence, and the ugly rumors that swirl within his small, moneyed Southern town.  Desperate for the redemption that has eluded him for so many years and stripped of everything he once valued, Work fights to save his sister, clear his name, and regain the love of the woman to whom he gave his heart so many years before.

  Title:  Blue Heaven

Author:  C J Box

Synopsis (from bn.com):

A twelve-year-old girl and her younger brother go on the run in the woods of North Idaho, pursued by four men they have just watched commit murder—-four men who know exactly who William and Annie are, and who know exactly where their desperate mother is waiting for news of her children’s fate. Retired cops from Los Angeles, the killers easily persuade the inexperienced sheriff to let them lead the search for the missing children.

William and Annie’s unexpected savior comes in the form of an old-school rancher teetering on the brink of foreclosure. But as one man against four who will stop at nothing to silence their witnesses, Jess Rawlins needs allies, and he knows that one word to the wrong person could seal the fate of the children or their mother. In a town where most of the ranches like his have turned into acres of ranchettes populated by strangers, finding someone to trust won’t be easy.

With true-to-life, unforgettable characters and a ticking-clock plot that spans just over forty-eight hours, C.J. Box has created a thriller that delves into issues close to the heart: the ruthless power of greed over broken ideals, the healing power of community where unlikely heroes find themselves at the crossroads of duty and courage, and the truth about what constitutes a family. In a setting whose awesome beauty is threatened by those who want a piece of it, Blue Heaven delivers twists and turns until its last breathtaking page.

  Title:  The Last Man

Author:  P. T. Deutermann

Synopsis (from bn.com):

A woman goes missing, sending a young nuclear engineer on a quest deep into the Judean desert to the legendary fortress of Masada, where secrets are concealed

When a young Israeli woman suddenly goes missing, her boyfriend, an American nuclear engineer, suspects her disappearance is connected to her tantalizing theory about the haunting fortress of Masada. He decides to travel to Herod’s 2000 year old mountain fortress to see if her theory was right. There, he makes a discovery so astonishing that forces from the dark side of Israeli intelligence begin to converge on him to deflect his pursuit of the truth by any means necessary. With the aid of a beautiful Israeli archaeologist, he struggles to bring to light the treasures he believes are concealed in the mountain, unaware that there is a dangerous contemporary secret at stake.


Happy reading,

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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Book Review – Eve by Iris Johansen

Title: Eve
Author: Iris Johansen
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN:  9780312651206

Synopsis (from bn.com): 
Eve Duncan’s mission in life is to bring closure to the families who have experienced the agony of a missing child. As a forensic sculptor, she is able to piece together bones, create a face, and bring an identity to a child who would have otherwise gone unidentified. Eve is brilliant, driven, and tormented—because her own daughter, Bonnie, was taken from her years ago. But now, with the help of a CIA agent, Eve has uncovered some startling new evidence: A man with a connection to Bonnie that had been all but buried. His name is John Gallo. He’s from Eve’s own past. His whereabouts are unknown. And he might just be the missing piece to the puzzle that has haunted Eve for years…

My thoughts:  This is the first book in a new trilogy taking a closer look at the each of the main characters in Iris Johansen’s Eve Duncan series – Eve, Quinn, and Bonnie! 

I have read the entire Eve Duncan series and have been a huge fan for years.  I loved this book!  I loved how it was laid out, spending the first half of the book taking us back into Eve’s very early years, her time with John Gallo (father of her beloved daughter Eve), and the birth of her daughter. The second half then took the reader on an exciting ride to hunt down Bonnie’s kidnapper/murderer.  Did John Gallo kill Bonnie as CIA agent Catherine Ling suggests?  What is John Gallo’s real story? 

I thought it was really intriquing getting a glimpse into Eve’s past and how she got where she is today.  It really puts some perspective on all of the other books in the series. 

The cliffhanger ending of course has me digging right into “Quinn” to see what happens!!!

I do sincerely hope that the mystery of who kidnapped/murdered Bonnie is finally wrapped up after this trilogy however.  As much as I love the Eve Duncan Books, I do feel that the Bonnie story line is getting a bit old and a bit dragged out after a decade of this series.  Please Iris Johansen, give us faithful readers a final answer to this puzzle and give Eve and Quinn some peace.  It’s enough already.

My rating:  : ) : ) : ) : ) : )  Loved it!  

And remember,
Books Are Life,

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Review – 9th Judgment by James Patterson

Title:  9th Judgment
Author:  James Patterson
Publisher:  Little, Brown & Co.
ISBN:  9780316036276

Synopsis (from BN.com): 
Detective Lindsay Boxer chases a Jewel thief, a murderous movie star, and a killer with a vendetta against women and children.
A young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence: a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in blood-red lipstick.
The same night, the wife of A–list actor Marcus Dowling is woken by a cat burglar who is about to steal millions of dollars worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is a nearly empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria.
Lindsay spends every waking hour working with her partner, Rich, and her desire for him threatens to tear apart both her engagement and the Women’s Murder Club. Before Lindsay and her friends can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Lindsay to put her own life on the line—but is it enough to save the city? With unparalleled danger and explosive action, The 9th Judgment is James Patterson at his compelling, unstoppable best!

My Thoughts:  With the 9th Judgment, James Patterson brings us the 9th book in the Women’s Murder Club Series.  I have enjoyed this series from the beginning and this installment is no exception.  Each book is a really quick read with Patterson’s classic short chapters and police cases that keep your attention.  I also enjoy that this series features 4 strong, female characters:  Detective Lindsay Boxer (detective with the SFPD), Cindy (crime reporter for San Francisco Chronicle), Claire (Medical Examiner), and Yuri (attorney with the DA’s office). 

As with many of Patterson’s books, this one ends with a twist that leaves you waiting to dig into the next book in the series!  Tenth Anniversary here I come!

My Rating:  : -)  : – )  🙂  🙂  Like it!

And remember,
Books Are Life,

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Book Review – Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag

Title:  Secrets to the Grave
Author:  Tami Hoag
Pages:  464
Publisher:  Penguin Group
ISBN:  052595192x

Synopsis (from BN.com): 
#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag returns with her second thriller in the Deeper than the Dead microseries, exploring the early days of forensic investigation, the characteristics of innocence-and the nature of evil.
Marissa Fordham had a past full of secrets, a present full of lies. Everyone knew of her, but no one knew her.
When Marissa is found brutally murdered, with her young daughter, Haley, resting her head on her mother’s bloody breast, she sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See- No-Evil killer, residents are shocked by reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days had it not been for a chilling 911 call: a small child’s voice saying, “My daddy hurt my mommy.”
Sheriff’s detective Tony Mendez faces a puzzle with nothing but pieces that won’t fit. To assist with his witness, Haley, he calls teacher-turned-child advocate Anne Leone. Anne’s life is hectic enough-she’s a newlywed and a part- time student in child psychology, and she’s the star witness in the See-No-Evil trial. But one look at Haley, alone and terrified, and Anne’s heart is stolen.
As Tony and Anne begin to peel back the layers of Marissa Fordham’s life, they find a clue fragment here, another there. And just when it seems Marissa has taken her secrets to the grave, they uncover a fact that puts Anne and Haley directly in the sights of a killer: Marissa Fordham never existed.

My thoughts:  This is the second book in Tami Hoag’s Deeper than the Dead series.  I loved the first book and was eager to read this one!  This book brings us back to Oak Knoll, California, home of the See-No-Evil killer.  It also brings us back to the great characters of FBI Special Agent Vince Leone and Anne Leone, his new wife, former school teacher, and now Child Advocate.  

As Vince Leone and his team investigate the murder of Melissa Fordham, the story takes us on many twists and turns!  Who was Melissa Fordham?  What is the story with her best friend?  Meanwhile Anne uses her child psychology skills to attempt to get whatever information she can about the murder from Marissa’s traumatized young daughter, Haley, who witnessed the event!   What does she know?  What did she see?

I really enjoyed this book.  It offers a twisting, suspenseful ride that lovers of Tami Hoag’s books will enjoy!  Since the book is set in the early 1980’s, it is fascinating to step back in time with regard to police procedure.  Characters in the book are frequently mentioning how nice it would be to have DNA tests available or even the use of computers to do their work.  When you read this book you realize how far technology has brought us when it comes to solving crimes! 

I am looking forward to more books featuring the characters of Vince Leone and Anne.

Overall, a good, fast read!

My Rating:  : )  : )  : )  : )   Liked it!

And remember,
Books Are Life,

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