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.

The Map of True Places by Bunonia Barry

Zee Finch is a psychotherapist working with Dr. Liz Mattei. Zee is treating one patient in particular, Lily Braedon, who has a husband and three children. Lilly has been diagnosed as being bipolar. Lilly is having an affair with Adam, a construction worker. Zee believes he is abusing her and suggests she break off the affair. Zee is engaged to Michael, Boston’s most eligible bachelor, but something is always preventing her from meeting with the wedding planner. Lilly’s condition worsens, she become very depressed and commits suicide. Zee goes to Lilly’s funeral, against the advice of Dr. Mattei. This throws Zee into an emotional turmoil. Years ago Zee’s mother Maureen, had been bipolar, but refused to take any medication, and she too had committed suicide. Zee begins to have doubts about her profession. Why didn’t she see this coming – why hadn’t she picked up on Lilly’s suicidal tendencies? Her whole attitude changes and she is acting strange and doing things she would never had done before.

Zee’s father, Finch, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but has been hiding it from her. She discovers just how sick he really is. She takes a leave from her job to become his caregiver. Finch’s long time companion, Melville, has moved out, but is still very concerned about him. Being a caregiver is very hard on Zee. She becomes confused and depressed. She begins a new life which will not only take her into the future, but her past as well.

The book is a fast-paced suspense novel. The father-daughter relationship is based on half truths and her mothers untimely death.

Highly recommended, this novel is a page turner.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Shoot to Thrill by P.J. Tracy

This is a Monkeewrench novel. Monkeewrench is a group of computer nerds who can hack into any program – national or international. They stay just ahead of the law. The local police and FBI have a situation. In this most recent book, the crew is called in by the FBI to determine if there may or may not be murders being committed across the country and then published on the web. The authorities need to know if the murders are real or computer generated fakes. There have been several real murders in the past few months, but are they connected to these on cyberspace?

The story will keep you turning pages. This is a book that is hard to put down! The novel has generous doses of humor and suspense. Are all the murders real or fake? If real, are they being committed by one person or several? Who is putting these on cyberspace? Can Monkeewrench help the FBI and the local PD solve the mystery?

The mother-daughter team of Patricia J. and Traci Lambert (P.J. Tracy) are excellent mystery writers. You will want to read all their Monkeewrench novels.

Highly recommended.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Anne O’Sullivan is a 32 year old up and coming realtor. She is abducted on the day of her open house for the new condo development in Clayton Falls. She is taken to a remote cabin in the mountains and held prisoner. Her life is forever changed as she is forced to abide by the abductor’s rules, kept in a locked cabin, repeatedly raped and left alone for days.

The book will keep you spellbound from the first page to the last. As you read the book, you will feel Anna’s frustration and questions as she tries to survive living with a madman. The questions she wants answered is why – who is this person – and who is really behind her abduction. You will keep turning the pages (it is a book you can’t put down) to see if she is rescued, if she manages to outwit her abductor, and does she learn his identity. I recommend that you read the book to find answers to these questions.

The book is a compelling, sometimes funny, mostly sad and a heartbreaking novel that keeps you in suspense the the very end. It is a book you will devour, a tense thriller and completely believable as you feel Anna’s pain, her hopelessness and frustration.

Ms. Stevens is a very talented writer. Highly recommend this book to all adult readers.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Hunter’s Moon by Don Hoesel

CJ Baxter is a bestselling novelist from the small town of Adelia, NY, but now resides in Tennessee. His novels are mostly about his own experience growing up in the Baxter family. Lyndale is the ancestral home where the Baxters have lived for centuries. CJ left home at seventeen and has not been back for almost three decades.

CJ is returning to Adelia because his grandfather is dying – the only person he has kept in contact with over the years. CJ is having problems. His wife has kicked him out, changed the locks and kept his dog. Before he leaves Tennessee, he breaks into his former home and steals the dog. This results in the police issuing a warrant for his arrest.

The Baxters have a secret – one that has haunted CJ since the age of ten. He knows the truth, but has been reluctant to face his father who has covered this up for years. CJ’s return is not a joyful reunion. His family is secretive, have their own agenda, and are skeptical of CJ’s motives. His brother Graham is running for the Senate. The last thing he wants is for the secret and his other underhanded deals to become known. CJ has been hired to write an article on Graham’s candidacy and the whole Baxter clan is concerned about what he will reveal.

The longer CJ stays in Adelia, the worse things become. He finds himself having unhealthy thoughts concerning his high school sweetheart. The one he left decades ago and is now married to his cousin. One must read the book to learn how CJ handles this situation and all the other problems he faces. To what length will the Baxters go to get what they want. Blood may be thicker than water, but its no match for money and power.

Highly recommend this book. It is one that you can’t put down – the suspense is addictive. Don Hoesel is an excellent writer of fictional suspense.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Beguiled by Deeanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand

Rylee Monroe is a dog walker in Charleston. Her clients live in the wealthiest part of the city. Recently their homes are being burglarized by a person the police have dubbed the Robin Hood burglar. Items being taken have little or no value while item valued at thousands remain untouched. The thief is giving the items to the poor, just like the mythical Robin Hood.

Logan Woods, a newspaper reporter, is writing a book on crimes in general and the Robin Hood burglar in particular. As he digs into the recent burglaries, he finds that Rylee seems to be at the center of everything. He tries to get close to Rylee, but she doesn’t trust him or anyone else. Her father left his family when she was a small child and her mother committed suicide, or so she has been led to believe. She only has her grandmother, who she supports, living in a nursing home.

As the burglaries escalate, the police suspect Rylee of the crimes as she has access to each of the homes being burglarized. She is arrested and put in jail. After being released on bail, she returns to her apartment only to find it has been trashed – everything has been destroyed. She turns to Logan for help. Their relationship is one of mistrust and secrets, but they really do need each other: Logan to find the ending to his book and Rylee to have someone to cover her back.

This is a very interesting romantic suspense novel. You will find yourself asking the questions – what really happened to Rylee’s parents, who is living in her ancestral home, who is the Robin Hood burglar – why has he/she committed these crimes?

Highly recommend the book. This is a well written suspense novel. The authors did an excellent job of collaborating the story – leading the reader to a surprising ending.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Vienna Secrets by Frank Tallis

The decapitated body of Brother Stanislav, a Piarist monk is found in the Maria Treu Kirche Church yard close to the school where he teaches. This is no ordinary decapitation – the head was literally torn from the body. Detective Inspector Oskar Reinhardt of the Vienna Security Police is baffled by this mode of decapitation. Who or what has the strength to commit this heinous crime? He calls in his friend, psychoanalyst Dr. Max Lieberman to help with the investigation. (This is the same Dr.Lieberman who is featured in several of Tellis’ previous works.)

In the course of the investigation, the body of Councillor Faust is found at Maria Geburt church. He has been decapitated in the same manner as Brother Stanislav. The only clue at both crime scenes is a patch of black sticky mud. Dr. Lieberman uncovers that both Stanislva and Faust were vocal members of a shadowy anti-Semitic group. Could the Jewish population, especially the Hasidic community be responsible for these crimes or had the Jewish golem, a legendary figure, arisen?

The investigation soon becomes personal for Dr. Lieberman. His privileges at the local hospital are suspended and he is on the verge of losing his medical license. After the third decapitated body of Jeheil Sach, a local pimp, is found, Dr. Lieberman turns to the Hasidic Jews to find answers. The question is why had the Jews killed one of their own?

What transpired in the investigation as Dr. Libermann searches for answers leaves you in suspense. Tallis keeps you turning pages as he weaves his intrigue and brings the story to the final conclusion of who or what committed the crimes. However, it is very difficult to keep your focus as the plot jumps from subject to subject. Tallis has received many accolades for his work, and his fans will definitely want to read this one. However, I do not recommend Vienna Secrets for first time reader of Frank Tallis.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Long Way Home by Andrew Klavan

Andrew Klavan writes The Long Way Home in the first person serving to bring home the personal turmoil that the main character lives with. Charlie West, a 17 year old high schooler, who previously lived in a small town with his parents and sister, is on the run. He went to bed one night and woke up one year later accused of murdering his friend Alex and being a terrorist in an organization called “The Highlanders”.

Charlie was found guilty of murder and sentenced to prison. With the help of an unknown benefactor he excapes from prison and is running from the police and the Highlanders. Charlie cannot remember what transpired duiring his lost year. He wonders if he really is a murderer and a terrorist. How can he prove his innocence and who is really behind all this? Was he framed, as his friends say, or did he really do these terrible things? Charlie returns to his home town, holing up in a vacant house called the “Ghost Mansion”. He teams up with his friends Rick, Josh, Milner and his girlfriend Beth to discover the truth about the murder he can’t remember and who is behind the Highlanders, a terrorist group. The author keeps you turning pages as you eagerly anticipate answers to these questions and to see if (and how) Charlie will evade the police and the Highlanders. The book is well written and interesting, and ends on a cliffhanger.

Overall, this is an exciting mystery novel that keeps the reader interested in the outcome partially due to the first person perspective and partially due to the constant chase that Charlie finds himself in. A fun book for mystery readers. If you are new to this series, you must read the first book of the series to see what transpired in Charlie’s life to bring him to the situation he finds himself in at the start of this book, book 2 in the series. Charlie’s story continues in Book 3 – The Truth of the Matter.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Rose Conspiracy by Craig Parshall

J.D. Blackstone is perfect. Well, except that he can’t sleep. He has multiple degrees, knows everything, is in great shape, rich, a professor and lawyer. He drives a Maserati convertible. He has an attractive partner at the law firm and soon after the start of the book he has an attractive and very interested defendant. If this book was somehow filmed in black and white J.D. couldn’t have been more stereotyped.

The damsel in distress. The forgetful professor of religion (he forgets when he dropped off his dry cleaning. Really?) The tough P.I. who can get any information you need with just a few calls to his contacts. Everyone in this book is a stereotype! And yet, I found that I enjoyed the book.

This crime drama is fast paced, detailed and fun. The Booth diary and the Freemasons make for a fun setting for this mystery. Are we ever very surprised? Not really. But that’s something we can say of nearly every crime / courtroom show on TV yet we watch those.

The Rose Conspiracy is an enjoyable diversion that keeps the reader interested throughout.


Scott Asher is the founder and administrator of BookGateway.com. Along with his contributions to BookGateway, he reviews for the commercial site BuddyHollywood.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he cartoons and writes on anything he finds funny and Christianity, which sometimes overlap.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

More Than a Skeleton by Paul L. Maier

Jenny Snow was spending her summer at an archaeological dig in Rome, not too far from Vatican City. The dig had uncovered a strange symbol on the floor of the synagogue. Needing someone to interpret the symbol, Professor Jonathan Weber of Harvard, Jenny’s husband and the hero from Maier’s A Skeleton in God’s Closet, the first book in this series, is called in. Due to all the other events in the story the symbol never really gets interpreted. Catholic Cardinals from all over the world were in Vatican City to elect a new Pope.

Suddenly, out of nowhere there appears a man calling himself Joshua Ben Yoseph, claiming to be the intermediate return of Jesus Christ to get the world in line with God’s purposes before the final return. Soon Joshua Ben Yoseph has a large following, including Snow and Weber, as he tours Rome preaching, healing the sick and raising the dead just as Jesus did. Most of the people believe that he is Jesus due to all the miracles he performs. This causes quite a problem for the Cardinals as they try to elect a new Pope.

Joshua’s name translates to “Jesus” in Hebrew and he claims to be born in Bethlehem to Joseph and Mary Ben Yoseph as invited to the Basilica of St. Peter for Vatican III and to welcome all the delegates from around the world. What transpires that day is unbelievable. You must read the book to fully understand the extent an unscrupulous person will go to fool the world.

What transpires as Professor Weber tries to prove that Ben Yoseph is a fraud makes for a very interesting story! The author clearly paints out just what people may believe if something is presented in an authoritative, plausible way. Paul L. Maier does an excellent job keeping the reader guessing in this Christian thriller.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.