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.

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 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 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.

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 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.

By Joe Ide
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 and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

The Night Bird by Freeman

This is a story of a psychiatrist who erases the memory of what a person is most afraid of. Several of her patients are committing suicide for no reason. What is happening?

The Night Bird
Frost Easton Mystery Book 1
By Brian Freeman
Thomas & Mercer
February 2017

Is someone trying to destroy the doctor? Could it be one of her patients doing this? The book was a page turner. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

From the publisher: What if you had to relive your most terrifying memory…over and over? A detective and a psychiatrist investigate in Thriller Award–winning author Brian Freeman’s gripping psychological novel.

Homicide detective Frost Easton doesn’t like coincidences. When a series of bizarre deaths rock San Francisco—as seemingly random women suffer violent psychotic breaks—Frost looks for a connection that leads him to psychiatrist Francesca Stein. Frankie’s controversial therapy helps people erase their most terrifying memories…and all the victims were her patients.

As Frost and Frankie carry out their own investigations, the case becomes increasingly personal—and dangerous. Long-submerged secrets surface as someone called the Night Bird taunts the pair with cryptic messages pertaining to the deaths. Soon Frankie is forced to confront strange gaps in her own memory, and Frost faces a killer who knows the detective’s worst fears.

As the body count rises and the Night Bird circles ever closer, a dedicated cop and a brilliant doctor race to solve the puzzle before a cunning killer claims another victim.

Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 86 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

Twist of Faith by Green

This book is a mystery book. It is a story that will keep you turning pages, stayed up till all hours of the night trying to figure out exactly what is happening.

Twist of Faith
by Ellen Green
Thomas & Mercer
February 2018

It is well written and I really couldn’t determine who the murderer was. I was really surprised at the ending. If you love a mystery you will love this book!

4/5 stars

From the publisher: When family secrets are unearthed, a woman’s past can become a dangerous place to hide…

After the death of her adoptive mother, Ava Saunders comes upon a peculiar photograph, sealed and hidden away in a crawl space. The photo shows a shuttered, ramshackle house on top of a steep hill. On the back, a puzzling inscription: Destiny calls us.

Ava is certain that it’s a clue to her elusive past. Twenty-three years ago, she’d been found wrapped in a yellow blanket in the narthex of the Holy Saviour Catholic Church—and rescued—or so she’d been told. Her mother claimed there was no more to the story, so the questions of her abandonment were left unanswered. For Ava, now is the time to find the roots of her mother’s lies. It begins with the house itself—once the scene of a brutal double murder.

When Ava enlists the help of the two people closest to her, a police detective and her best friend, she fears that investigating her past could be a fatal mistake. Someone is following them there. And what’s been buried in Ava’s nightmares isn’t just a crime. It’s a holy conspiracy.

Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 86 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

Threads of Suspensions by Henderson

Dee Henderson Pens Another Compelling Cold Case Mystery.

Threads of Suspensions
An Evie Blackwell Cold Case
by Dee Henderson
Baker Publishing Group
May 2017

Evie Blackwell’s reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results–and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn’t be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that “justice for all” truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

My Thoughts:

Somehow I must have missed reading Traces of Guilt another Evie Blackwell Cold Case Book. I have been a long time fan of Dee Henderson’s books and have read all of her books except for the last one. Dee Henderson was one of the first authors I read when I became a believer many – many years ago. I was hooked to find an author that was a believer writing quality Christian mystery books.

I love the details she puts into the Missing Persons Task Force. The process she describes that an investigator has to go through to pull up a case that has been unsolved for many years. It made it interesting seeing how Evie and her new partner David have completely different styles as investigators.

The story kept building up the suspense as the team starts uncovering the mystery of the missing people. It was a page turner for me.

Dee Henderson always has a flair for the characters, plot, and the surrounding of the story. It was interesting going through the many theories and leads that will keep you not wanting to put the book down. There are a few surprises. I love David and Evie each have a deep faith in God.  

I’m not going to give away any spoilers but, I have to say that I didn’t find this story predictable and was surprised how it came together.

ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

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

Wolves by Molles

wolvesHuxley along with his wife and young daughter survive the collapse of civilization by fleeing a city in California for the wilderness to the East. Everything seemed to be fine for nearly a decade. Then the slavers came.

by D.J. Molles
August 2016

The slavers pillaged his commune, taking his daughter into slavery in the East. With her dying breath, his violated and soon to be murdered wife gave him a clue: the slaver who did this to them had a scorpion tattoo. With nothing else to live for, Huxley heads East across the desert to find the slaver and exact justice.

This book has all the best parts of a vengeance Western or Civil War Western plus a healthy dose of the post apocalyptic with just the right dash of redemption. It was a book I couldn’t put down because how Huxley’s sorry ending could go a variety of ways – all the way to the end of the book, which I found to be very satisfying.

This was my first novel by Molles but it wont be my last. I was very impressed with this tense, violent and ultimately fulfilling story.

Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

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

Oxblood by Grant

OXBLOODVictoria Asher and her older brother are untimely orphans when their parents die in a plane crash.

The Victoria Asher Novels
by AnnaLisa Grant
Open Road Media Teen & Tween
September 2016

After a settlement and after her brother is old enough to take custody of her, Victoria finds herself on her own for a summer while her brother is on a work assignment. When she receives a package with his journal and the word “oxblood” she comes to believe he’s in trouble. When she calls around looking for him she can’t find him anywhere – it’s clear he hasn’t been honest about what he was doing in Italy.

Victoria travels to Italy to find her brother [SPOILER] only to find herself in front of a man who works for interpol, where apparently her brother was working to combat sex trafficking. She joins the team to find her brother and stop the criminals. [END SPOILERS]

There are a lot of plot twists to keep the young reader interested. Comedy and a little bit of romance as well. Victoria Asher is a good heroine – fearless, smart and tenacious. Only a few minor cuss words are spoken by the bad guys.

Overall a fun, clean novel for middle schoolers aged 14 and up.

Freckles is a long suffering wife of twenty years and mother of four children in every stage of adolescence who enjoys coffee and silence. She gets coffee sometimes.

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

Prime Suspects by Bernheimer

primeA fun hard boiled whodunit with a protagonist who plays the part well while waiting to wake up from the nightmare he finds himself in: he’s a clone. The 42nd clone in his line. His “Prime” or the human who he and his brothers are cloned from has been killed. By one of his brothers. Since he was literally born today, he’s the only non-suspect among them.

Prime Suspects
A Clone Detective Mystery
EJB Networking
by Jim Bernheimer
read by Jeffrey Kafer
August 2012

While there is some interesting world building going on here, the main thing that sets this book apart from so many other sci fi novels is that it is fun! Not kitschy or corny fun. It’s solidly rooted in Maltese Falcon-esque detective stories but constant references to Hitchikers, in jokes and the extremely fast pace had me hooked from the start. I’m actually reading another science fiction suspense story by an author that I really enjoy – I’m enjoying that book as well – but when I had to make time for one of them I chose this one. In fact, I chose this one and listened to the whole audio in only a couple days.

I don’t know if there are other books in this series or world, but it is ripe for others. The clone economy is something I haven’t read before and was well done. I’ll definitely check out more books from this author.

A note about the audio version: Jeffrey Kafer was great! His quick, flat and sometimes monotone detective voice fit the mold of how I expected 42 to speak. The one thing I would have liked is a slightly longer pause when moving through a break. Chapter breaks were clear, but internal breaks (where you’d see a couple of blank lines in the text allowing the story to quickly progress or change to another location or character) weren’t. So occasionally, I’d find the story going in a new direction and not understand what was happening at first. One more beat of silence would have been perfect.

Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

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