Category Archives: Thriller & Suspense

Fiction that causes suspense (but not horror) usually concerning unresolved crimes. Includes crime fiction, whodunnits, legal thrillers, murder mystery, courtoom dramas, gangster fiction, detective stories.

Dead Six by Correia & Kupari

I didn’t know what to expect here. This book was recommended to me and I actually thought it was scifi. I thought it would be all the way to the half way punt when I realized that “Dead Six” wasn’t some kind of matrix style VR thing. This is straight up warfare, like a Call of Duty game set in the world of today.

And I liked it.

Dead Six
by Larry Correia & Mike Kupari
Baen
September 2011

It’s been a really long time since I read a pulp military thriller. I gave up on popular fiction like Clancy or Cussler when I realized every book was the same. This has the thrills, a significantly more MA rating, and wasn’t by the numbers.

I enjoyed the two main characters and how they had their own personalities, capabilities and interests. I liked the secondary characters although when you get into it you realize there aren’t a ton of different characters, just the same ones over and over: techy, heavy gunner, their, hot lady who also can fight, rich criminal, etc.

And because there were so many characters the narrator starts to recycle voices. I’ve enjoyed this narrator before, but it seemed this time people were either nasally or gravelly.

I’m definitely going to read the next one.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

It Can’t Happen Here by Lewis

I’m a fan of cautionary stories like Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm and 1984 so I thought I would enjoy this book, but I was wrong.

It Can’t Happen Here
by Sinclair Lewis
1935

Unlike the messages of those other books – control of information, totalitarianism, surveillance state, thought control, dangers of socialism/communism due to human nature – the message here that fascism could take root in America like it did in Germany and Spain doesn’t survive the antiquated time and setting of the story. Further, the main character seems to bounce around from Liberal to Communist to a sympathizer of socialism in his fight against fascism. And like most of these types of books from the early-mid 1900s the issues are more important than the story, which suffers by the end. Listening through this book was tedious.

The Audible narrator is pretty perfect for this book, though. Exactly the old timey sound I would want.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

Jennifer Blood, Vol. 1 by Ennis and Batista

With the release of Garth Ennis’ The Boys on Amazon, I’ve been checking out some of his previous work. Jennifer Blood is one such work.

Jennifer Blood, Volume 1
A Woman’s Work is Never Done
written by Garth Ennis
art by Adriano Batista
Dynamite
Feburary 2012

From the publisher: “Jennifer Blood is a suburban wife and mom by day – and a ruthless vigilante by night! Every day she makes breakfast, takes the kids to school, cleans the house, naps for an hour or two, makes dinner, puts the kids to bed, and kisses her husband goodnight. This suburban punisher is ready to be unleashed in a story that can only be told by the legendary Garth Ennis. Collecting issues #1-6 of the hit series, along with additional bonus material, sketches, cover gallery, and interview with Garth Ennis!”

The first five issues in this collection start with “Jennifer” narrating the story of her revenge against her uncles in her diary. The story is driven largely by the diary text and we know very little of what is going on until mid-issue five. All we know is that this woman lives a normal life during the day but has been planning for a long time to go on a killing spree of this mafia-like family over the course of a week. It is entertaining and violently satisfying. But then at the end of issue five, Ennis seems to want to speed things up so the diary says she will stop writing until the main bad guy (and last uncle) is killed. Issue 6 starts – starts! – with the infiltration of his base complete, all his men dead, and him dying while “Jennifer” spends almost the whole issue explaining to the uncle (and us) why she is on the killing spree. It completely jumps away from the cool planning aspects and straight to exposition. It feels rushed and unfinished.

There are multiple other volumes written by Al Ewing so the story goes somewhere, I guess. But the first volume falls flat. It builds to the very baddest of the bad guys and then just fast forwards to the end. I hope that The Boys doesn’t follow this template.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

The Hunted by Scudiere

Joule could hear the dogs in the distance. They were getting closer and she was in trouble. She had stayed out too long and now she would suffer the consequences. She was running flat out and still they were getting closer and closer. Her trembling legs could hardly hold her up and her heart felt like it was going to jump right out of her chest. Up ahead she could see her house, but she would never make it. There was an empty house just a few feet away and she ran in, shut the door and raced up the steps. The breaking of glass in the windows alerted her to the fact that the dogs were now in the house. She needed a weapon, but what. Looking around she spied just the same that would keep her safe.

The Hunted
Black Carbon – Book #1
by A. J. Scudiere
Griffyn Ink
June 2019

It all started a couple years ago in the small town of Rowena Heights. First it was just the small animals – cats, dogs and other small pets, then graduating to people. A lot of the houses were vacant as the people either left for a safer place or were caught by the dogs. They were called the dogs, but they were nothing like any dog that anyone had ever seen. They only came out at night and left in the morning. Where they spent the day no one knew as they had never actually seen one in the day time. People went around their normal business during the daylight hours, but when the sun went down they stayed indoors with the curtains closed, being sure not to make any noise and going to bed early.

Things were going along as usual for the Mazurs until one evening when the dogs got into the house. The family was hiding in the laundry room, being very quiet and all the lights were off. Suddenly an earthquake warning sounded and set the dogs off. They found their way into the laundry room and located Kayla. She said I got this and raced out of the room, the dogs following her. The next morning they found her on the floor. At least they had a body to bury, that was more than some families had.

Nate, the children’s father, was determined to get revenge for the death of his wife. He persuaded Jules and Gage to go with him to fight the dogs. One time was enough for them and they thought they had persuaded him not to go out again. One morning when they started looking for him, he was gone. They now knew he had been going out each night and he would never return. They had to figure out some way
to kill the dogs before the whole town was gone. They remembered Dr. Brett, a veterinarian, that came to the school on several occasions. He would help them find a way to eliminate the dogs.

Will Jules, Gage and Dr. Brett find a way to save the remaining residence of Rowena Heights or will they too lose their lives?

This book has a little bit of magic, mystery and a whole lot of imagination. It is best read in the daylight because there is a lot of scary parts.

I really enjoyed the book and highly recommended to adult readers.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

State of Lies by Mitchell

Georgie Brennan’s husband is dead.

State Of Lies
by Siri Mitchell
Thomas Nelson
August 2019

He went out one evening to pick up a part to fix the faucet in the kitchen and never returned. He was killed by a hit-and-run driver in a place he should not have been. She could not bring herself to go to the morgue to identify the body so she sent her father instead. There were several items missing from his personal belongings especially a knife that he always carried.

Georgia begins to hear strange noises in the crawl space beneath her house. Investigating the noise she finds his knife lodged between the rafters. She also finds a cryptic notebook in her husband’s writing in the backyard. Things starts to happen that she can’t explain like someone tried to run her off the road, she is being followed, and someone had been searching her house. She soon begins to question everything that she thought she knew. Then someone set fire to the house and she and her son barely escaped with their life. Someone wants her dead, but who and why.

Her four star general father is up for confirmation as Secretary of Defense and her son is struggling to come to terms with his father’s death. As she begins to interpret the cryptic notebook her husband had left she became involved in political intrigue that she was ill equipped to handle. Her husband was investigating what happened when her father, as a captain, was fighting in Desert Storm. It had something to do with the men that had served under him during this time. When she started talking to the men all die under mysterious circumstances.

Georgie received an email from her dead husband’s phone. What is going on? Her husband is dead, or is he? As she continues to investigate she begins to suspect that her hero father is a traitor. Lies and more lies. Does her mother know what her husband did? Has her whole life been based on lies?

Will Georgie go to the authorities and tell what she knows about her father? Will he be confirmed as Secretary of Defense or be exposed for who he actually is?

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommended.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Convergence by Yttrup

Denilyn has a stalker.

Convergence
by Ginny L. Yttrup
Shiloh Run Press
March 2019

Dr. Denilyn Rossi is Department Chair at Pacific Covenant University and also an author. Her friend Dr. Ryan Alister is a Professor at the college. Today is the first day of the spring semester. She can’t find her special pen – it is always in her desk drawer. When she tries to power up her presentation for class it has been deleted . Not a good way to start the day.

The first time she sees him is at a book signing in Menlo Park. She feels someone watching her. He is standing outside holding a book. He looks familiar, but she can’t quite place him. The next time she recognized him. He is outside her church. He is the man she sent to prison. The man who tried to kill her. But it can’t be him. He is still in prison or is he?

Things continue to escalate. She tries to tell Keith how she feels. She is afraid and needs his support. He can’t handle it and leaves. He later divorces her. As everything started at Three Rivers Village, she decided to return to sort things out. As she nears the Village, her past, present, and future, like the forks of the Kawesch, converge. She had worked at Ride the Kawesch as a guide after college. She gets her old job back and settles in, waiting for her stalker to make an appearance

Things were not adding up. Being run off the road, sky diving parachute failing to open, this couldn’t be Bradley, her stalker.
She finally comes to realize who is trying to kill her. How did she not see the signs. Wallace tried to tell her.

This is a story of suspense, betrayal and friendship. I enjoyed the book.

Highly recommend it.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

The Camelot Gambit by Scudiere

Donovan and Eleri are on an undercover assignment in Curie, Nebraska. A small town founded by Marshall Bennett, a billionaire businessman. He bought the land, vetted and tested the residence. Only people with an IQ off the charts were allowed to live there. Even the children have high IQs.

The Camelot Gambit
The Nightshade Forensic File : 7
By A.J. Scudiere
Griffyn Ink
April 2019

A prominent high demand scientist had been murdered and they were on their way to the Morgue in Lincoln to perform an autopsy. It is definitely murder, but no clear reason as to why or how it was done. He had been working on a project having to do with robotics, but was it worth someone to murder him.

Bodies began to pile up. First the scientist’s wife is murdered in the same way. A third and fourth murder followed one after the other. How is the killer murdering these people, for what reason and not leaving a single clue?

After searching several of the homes, Donovan and Eleri find journals written by two of the victims. After breaking the code, they’re realize that four of the children that were friends with the first victim are possibly the killer’s next targets. It was decided Donovan would take them to a safe house to keep them out of harm’s way.

Unbeknownst to them he had left Eleri on her own with the killer. Will she be the next victim or will Donovan return in time to save her?

As usual, AJ has written a thriller. It is a mystery that will keep you turning the pages and the identity of the killer will be a complete surprise.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it to all readers. If you have not read any of AJ’s previous books in this series, I seriously suggest you do so. You will immediately become one of her fans.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Tell Her No Lies by Irvin

Nina Fischer and her sister Jan were abandoned by thier mother Lizzy at a early age. They were adopted by their uncle Judge Geoffrey Fischer and raised as his own. When Nina finds her Dad murdered in his study, she is devastated. How is she going to tell her mother, sister and niece Brooklyn?

Tell Her No Lies
Kelly Irvin
Thomas Nelson
November 2018

Detective Matt King of the San Antonio Police Department is assigned the case. He believes Nina is guilty of the crime and begins to try prove his case. However, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to substantiate his case.

Nina must act in her own defense and starts an investigation of her own. Everyone Nina contacts winds up dead. Judge Fischer’s law clerk Serena is killed by a hit and run. Melissa, the reporter covering the story, is murdered in her home. Nina’s house is burglarized and she is run off the road. Someone really doesn’t want the truth to be told.

Nina’s investigation leads to some disturbing news. Her Dad isn’t the outstanding Christian person she believed him to be. He has been living a secret life. He had a serious gambling problem, a condo in Las Vegas, may have been on the take – a dishonest judge and possibly a blackmailer. This news will kill her adopted mother.

Who really murdered the Judge and are all the other murders connected to her father’s gambling? Nina hopes Detective King will be able to solve the case before she or someone else is murdered.

The book has betrayal, greed, lies and suspense. I really enjoyed reading it and highly recommend it.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Garden of Bone by Scudiere

Agent Elerie Eames is on her way to New Orleans. Not on a case for the Nightshade Group, but a personal mission. Bones of a young girl has been discovered that could be that of sister Emmaline who has been kidnapped at the age of eight years old.

Garden of Bone
The Nightshade Forensic Files 6
by A. J. Scudiere
Griffyn Ink
November 2018

Elerie arrives in the French Quarters of New Orleans. She is drawn to the Mystic Vudu Shop on Rue Royal. Entering the shop, she is instantly alerted to something being off, but not quite sure exactly what. Leaving the shop, she continues to her Grandmere’s house.

Elerie continues to be drawn to the Vudu Shop. Leaving the shop one day, just wandering the streets, suddenly there is Emmaline wanting Elerie to follow her. Winding down streets and alleys, Elerie finds herself in front of a large house, open gate and a large courtyard. Unable to resist, she walks in and discovers a human bone. Putting the bone in her pocket, she turns to leave. Waking up in bed at her Grandmere’s house, Elerie is disoriented and very confused. She can’t find the bone anywhere. Did she dream the incident or had someone cast a spell on her. Her thoughts immediately turned to the lady at Mystic Vudu.

Agent Donovan was just completing at assignment in Montana. He has discovered some alarming facts. The Lobomaus arriving in New Orleans had exploded. Elerie was in danger and unaware. He changed his plans and headed to warn her. Elerie is glad to see him and explained what had been happening. They decided to find the house and investigate.

What Elerie and Donovan find is so unimaginable. The courtyard is literally covered with human bones. Could Emmaline be buried here? Will Elerie finally get the disclosure she so desperately needs?

As usual, AJ has written an excellent book. One of magic, mystery and intrigue. An on the edge of your seat and a page turner. One you will ponder long after the last page.

Loved it and highly recommend to all readers.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.

Strategem by Caroll

Grayson Thibodeaux and Colton York own a company called ‘Game’s On Us’. They developed games for select clients. Deets PR has hired them to design a game to see how a person would react in a certain situation. Deets has four account executives that were up for promotion and would be competing. This game would allow the company to chose the correct person for the position. Grayson’s ex-wife Anna Belle is one of the participates.

Stratagem
by Robin Caroll
Shiloh Run Press
November 2018

The group were installed in a rented house and the game had begun. Things were running smoothly until Anna Belle was found unconscious in her room. She was rushed to the hospital where she later passed away. The cause was determined to be anaphylactic shock. Anna Belle was allergic to cherry juice which somehow has gotten into her energy drink.

Detectives Brandon Gibbon and Danielle Witz of the New Orleans Police Department are assigned to the case. There is reason to believe foul play is involved and Anna Belle was murdered. Of course Grayson , the ex-husband, became the prime suspect. Detective Witz has a beef with Grayson and did everything she could to railroad him into confessing.

As the investigation continued, it became crystal clear that Grayson was innocent. Was one of the four participants guilty of this crime? Who would do this terrible thing? Will Detectives Gibbons and Witz find the guilty party?

An interesting read – full of intrigue and mystery. I recommend it to all adult readers.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 88 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher for review.