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.

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.

Delayed Justice by Putnam

Jamie Nichols had been molested by her Uncle Dane Nichols when she was a small child. She went to law school and became criminal defense attorney so she could face her demons and bring charges against her Uncle Dane.

Delayed Justice
Hidden Justice 3
by Cara Putman
Thomas Nelson
October 2018

Dane is in the Army and had been for sometime. Shortly after Jamie had filed these charges, she learned Dane was up for promotion to become a Colonel. She had waited most of her life to make Dane pay for tearing her childhood apart. She had never told anyone what he did to her, but now she was ready to make a stand so he could never hurt anyone again.

Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is helping Tiffany ,a young girl who had also been molested by her mother’s boyfriend. Chandler has a therapy dog, Aslan, who is helping the child cope with what had happened to her. Chandler has asked Jamie to help in bringing the perpetrator to Justice.

Dane isn’t taking these accusations very well. He is determined to stop Jamie from destroying his career. No one messes with Dane Nichols and he will silence her no matter what he has to do.

Question: Will Jamie and Tiffany finally get Justice for their lost innocence? A very heart rendering story of two young girls whose childhood was/is being destroyed by two powerful men.

I liked the book 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.

Salvage by Scudiere

CJ and Walter Reed have been recruited by the Special Agent in charge of the elite Nightshade Group to become agents. The only drawback is that they must both pass the training at Quantico as partners.

Salvage
The Shadow Files #5
by A.J. Scudiere
Griffyn Ink
July 2018

Training begins and some how they manage to exist without killing each other. Walter is an ex-marine and CJ is a scientist. CJ’s grandfather is a well respected scientist. His personal lab has always intrigued CJ because of the weird bones he worked on. One secret trip to the lab revealed a body of a member of the Nightshade Group. What had her grandfather done and why is the body in his lab?

Now the trial under fire begins. CJ and Walter are pulled out of training and sent to a small town in the Ozarks. Some group of rebels are killing people in that area. They are on their own without the help of a seasoned agent. They are literally fighting for their lives.

As the evidence starts to pile up, it becomes clear that a person very close to CJ is responsible. Will she be able to do her job and bring the guilty person to justice?

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It is definitely a page-turner. Highly recommend it.

This is the fifth book in the Nightshade Series. I recommend you read all five. AJ is an excellent writer and keep readers in suspense from page one to the end. One book and you will be a fan for live. Can’t wait for AJ’s next book to come out.


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.

Fortune Red by Scudiere

This is Mia’s Story!

Fortune Red
A. J. Scudiere
Griffyn Ink
April 2018

Mia’s world was unfolding. Her daughter Fortune was missing. She had just learned her husband had been unfaithful multiple times and they were cold stone broke. Eric had lost all their money.

FBI Agents were everywhere – taking control of her home. She and Eric had to take a lie detector test. As if they would ever harm their precious Fortune. Mia was literally falling apart and her husband wasn’t helping .

Dr. Angela Vincent, Fortune’s doctor, had come to help Mia. Mia was learning things about her daughter she had never heard before. Why was Dr. Vincent saying she was a ‘medical miracle’ saving other children’s lives and must be found safe and unharmed. She even had Fortune’s fingerprints. Why!

Mia received a letter from Fortune stating she was on an adventure, having fun with her new friend and would return home soon. This, at least, gave Mia hope. But as time passed, without any new leads, the FBI were pulling out, but would keep the case open.

Mia took matters in her own hands. She would hire a Private Investigator and find her daughter. She soon learns information about her marriage and the adoption of her daughter that sent Mia reeling. Dr. Angela Vincent is not the person she appears to be. She is hiding something. Records reveal she has been deceased long before Fortune was born. How can this be as she has been Fortune’s doctor for years.

After ten days, Fortune is home – safe and unharmed. She has had a wonderful adventure, has much to tell her parents, and lots and lots of pictures. She has a new friend she calls her ‘first daddy’ . She also has a new family.

Everything had changed for Mia, but she was actually happy. She had gotten her daughter back. She had found her FORTUNE!!

AJ has done it again. Fortune Gray and Fortune Red are two intriguing, well written books that tell a story of heartaches, betrayal and a parent’s love for their child.

I recommend you read Fortune Gray first.
I highly recommend both books to all readers. You will throughly enjoy them as I did.


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.

Fortune Gray by Scudiere

This is Rafe’s Story.

Fortune (Gray)
By A. J. Scudiere
Griffyn Ink
April 2018

[SPOILERS] Rafe’s world would never be the same. Today he had buried his wife and twin daughters. To forget, he had crawled into the bottom of a bottle. Getting sober after several years, he began questioning exactly what had happened on that fatal day. One minute Sarah was alive and the next minute she was gone. The doctor had told them the twins had serious medical problems and needed many surgeries. Dr. Angela Vincent had taken the girls away and he never saw them again.

Sarah has an open casket, but the girl’s were closed. Why two? Why were they not put in with Sarah? Why were their caskets closed? He needed answers. Thus began Rafe’s journey.

First stop was the cemetery. What a shocker. The tiny caskets were empty. Where were his daughters? After three long years of extensive research he had some answers. Today was the day he had waited so long for.

News Report: Fortune Flores, an 8 year old girl, has been kidnapped from her front yard.

She came to him, unafraid, carrying a small suitcase, and with a smile. Hi Rafe – where are we going? On an adventure, he replied, closing the car door.

And what an adventure they had. For ten daya he enjoyed spending time with his daughter. Trips to many zoos, eating pancakes, living in cheap motels, and pictures. Lots and lots of pictures to fill her Adventure Book. Changing their appearance and staying under the radar. He couldn’t let the FBI find them before it was time to take her home.

He never doubted for a minute that this beautiful, intriguing girl was his daughter. But which one – Julie Bell or Ashley Claire – or a combination of both? After all, they were identical twins.

Their time was over. Time to see Fortune safely home.

Several days later two alleged FBI Agents were waiting for him. They had found him. Just as he recognized Dr. Angela Vincent, he heard a pop, felt the searing burst of heat. He had been shot.

They thought he had lost, but he had won. He had found his FORTUNE!!!


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.

One Second After by Forstchen

The title refers to what might happen immediately after an attack on America by an Electro Magnetic Pulse weapon. While I enjoy a good post apocalyptic story I don’t like how realistic this book is. At all.

One Second After
by William R. Forstchen
Forge Books
March 2009

The story follows a family in a small community in North Carolina. The father is a retired colonel (of course), and he has his mother-in-law and two daughters to keep safe when everything our current world runs on stops. Suddenly we are 100 years in the past technologically but no one knows how to use 100 year old technology. [SPOILERS] So what happens? 80-90% of the United States population dies. In one year. Consider that everything from housing, to medicine, to communication, to food and drink all rely on electricity. Take that away and you have a world with population groups that can’t sustain themselves and sick people who can’t get medicine and weather that can’t be mitigated. It’s horrifying!

Newt Gingrich provides the forward explaining that this may be a work of fiction but is based on real threats. If this book is even half right about what may happen and how easy it may be to bring America to it’s knees, then this kind of attack could result in the deaths of millions of Americans. I’m not sure how much had changed since publication if this book, (2009,) but I sincerely hope that or government has prepared in some way. I realize how that sounds, but what else can I do but hope?


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.

All Things Bright And Strange by Markert

The people of Bellhaven, South Carolina have discovered a mysterious Chapel in the woods. Visiting the chapel gave them a sense of a little slice of heaven and peace they had never known before. They were able to talk with their deceased loved ones and knew they were forgiven. This is not heaven but a living hell.

All Things Bright And Strange
by James Markert
Thomas Nelson
January 2018

Ellsworth Newberry, before the war, had always been the town’s unspoken leader. Losing his wife, part of his leg, his dream of being a major league pitcher and what he had gone through in the war fighting the Germans had seriously damaged him. He had become a recluse and never left his house. He had even contemplated suicide. But, he too, had succumbed to the lure of the chapel.

The more the people visited the healing floor of the chapel, the more they became addicted and it was the only thing that they could think of. They must visit as frequent as possible because this is the only way they had any peace. However, something was happening. The people were changing and becoming destructive. They were turning against each other, destroying property and even attempted murder. Something very evil was taking place.

The cracks from the supernatural around the chapel were widening. Evil forces – demons -were emerging. Finally becoming aware of what was happening, Ellsworth knew he had to pull himself together, let go of his fears and take charge. If he couldn’t rally the people and destroy the chapel, the close-knit town he loved would be destroyed.

He and the town people must come up with a plan to destroy the chapel and contain the demons. Does he have the strength to accomplish this, overcome his own demons, or would he simply standby and await their fate.

The people soon came to realize that evil can come in the most beautiful of forms.

A very enthralling novel capturing the hopes of people who desperately needed it. I liked the book, but had an uneasy feeling while reading it. Would recommend for adult readers only.


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.”

Unhinged by Schroeder

Tori Radnor has made an enemy. A deadly enemy.

Unhinged
Unlikely #1
JB Schroeder
Self Published
May 2016

Tori runs a replacement service for homeless adults and teenagers. One of her main goals is to get her clients placed in Miller Markets located in the Poconos. After finally scoring a break by placing two clients in the market, her future is looking brighter and UpStart is off and running. Then all hell breaks loose. Someone is targeting she and her people causing serious damage.

Aidian Miller, owner of Miller Markets, is facing a turning point in his life. His employees are being harassed, Tori’s office and car has been vandalized, his store is part of a well-established drug ring, his office manager has become unreliable. If that’s not of enough of a problem, the store is not producing a profit and living up to its potential. These are complications he doesn’t need. He just wants out.

The villain’s taunts are escalating. Tori is afraid and fears for her life. Aidian isn’t sure if one of his employees is doing this or if his old stalker is back.

Luke, Tori’s son, is missing and if she doesn’t come to the store, her enemy is going to kill him. Tori it’s trapped in the store’s meat section with a psycho determining to kill both she and Luke without a band saw.

Will Aidian or anyone arrive in time to save them before it all becomes UNHINGED!!!

Loved the book. Highly recommend it to readers that are looking for an intriguing well written story.

This is my first time reading Ms. Schroeder’s books, but looking forward to reading many more in the future.


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.”

IQ by Ide

This detective novel won several awards: Shamus (Best First PI Novel 2017,) Anthony (Best First Novel 2017,) Macavity (Best First Mystery 2017,) and nominated for the Edgar Award. Along with the accolades, this is billed as a 20 year old black Sherlock Holmes solving cases in South Central LA. So I was sold on giving it a try.

IQ
By Joe Ide
Mullholland
October 2016

The main mystery – a rapper has been targeted by a hit man – isn’t really the main story here. Since this is the first novel, Ide weaves in IQ’s past as the more important of the two stories. He jumps back and forth between 2005 and 2013 and it flows well. By the end, we have s solution for the rapper mystery as well as a cheat understanding of IQ and his gangsta friend/ Watson.

While I enjoyed the book, I found getting to know Isaiah much for interesting than finding the person who took out the hit on the rapper. And I find that solution to be tagged on to the end of a book that maybe didn’t need that whole plotline. The ending felt hurried and unsatisfying. There is a second book and I’ll definitely read it, so this wasn’t a deal breaker for me.

For those that this matters to, it is important to note that this book is filled to overflowing with crass language, cussing, gang violence, sexuality and whatever else would automatically trigger an R rating if filmed.


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.