suspense

Jul 25, 2021

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is probably one of my least favorite books I have read in a while. The story attempts to paint trauma and mental illness in the eyes of a teenager. It tries to be relatable to the reader, and while I believe that this could have been achieved, the main character of the novel is quite frankly a horrible character.


The main character is a rich white girl by the name of Cadence Sinclair. You can already see how being relatable to the reader is going to be hard with this character. The author attempts this by trying to show her as a flawed character, who makes

August Snow cover image. Skyline of Detroit, Michigan.

August Snow

By Stephen Mack Jones
4
Rated by Kari E.
Jun 2, 2021

August Snow is a former Marine, police officer, and a product of a loving Mexican/African American family. He loves his hometown of Mexicantown, Detroit and hates seeing the decay, drugs, violence and corruption running through the city.  He’s bought and renovated a number of houses on the street to bring them back to their former glory. After being fired by the police for uncovering high level corruption, August wins a $12 million lawsuit against the city for unfair termination. Traveling the world for year to regain his perspective and deal with his parents deaths, August yearns for his city

Airplane over open water

After Elias

By Eddy Boudel Tan
5
Rated by Heather C
Jan 7, 2021

Truly one of the best books I've read this year. Very few books can balance heart wrenching grief as well as a mystery; a suspenseful thriller if you will.


Coen Caraway and Elias Santos are engaged to be married in a beautiful resort in Mexico. Just days before the wedding, with guests already en route, the plane Elias is co-piloting crashes into the ocean.  The last words heard on the 'black box' leave more questions than answers and Coen must now plan a memorial instead of a wedding.  


He tells friends and family that if they don’t believe in Elias’s innocence to not bother coming to

Blacktop Wasteland book cover

Blacktop Wasteland

By S.A. Cosby
5
Rated by Kristen Re.
Dec 10, 2020

“There was no honor among thieves. Boys in the game only respected you in direct proportion to how much they needed you divided by how much they feared you.”


Blacktop Wasteland is full of action and suspense.  Just when you think it may let up, S.A. Cosby shifts the action into another gear.  It is a nonstop adrenaline rush (You know it’s going to be good when the book starts out with a drag race). 


We ride along with Beauregard “Bug” Montage, who is a complex character with many titles: father, husband, son, car mechanic, and getaway driver. He struggles providing an honest living for

Picture of the back of a woman in a red coat sitting on a park bench with a gray sky and tree branches in the background.

The End of Her

By Lapena, Shari
4
Rated by Lisa H
Nov 10, 2020

The End of Her by Shari Lapena is a psychological, domestic suspense novel that is fast-paced and full of secrets, surprises, and twists. Patrick and Stephanie are a happily married, financially stable couple who are parents to 4-month-old colicky twin daughters. Both are sleep deprived when Erica comes into their lives. Erica is Patrick’s dead first wife’s best friend who comes to blackmail the couple by accusing Patrick of killing his first wife and threatening to go to the police to have the nine-year-old case re-opened and further investigated. Stephanie is shocked by the accusations Erica

Cover of Open Season by C. J. Box

Open Season

By C. J. Box
3
Rated by Charles H
Sep 15, 2020

In 2001, C.J. Box released his first novel featuring Joe Pickett, a game warden from Twelve Sleep Wyoming. Establishing Pickett as a man with a strong moral compass and fierce devotion to his friends and family, it isn’t hard to see why Box has written nineteen additional stories featuring this classic western archetype.


As an introduction to Joe Pickett, Open Season drops the reader into one of his first days on the job as the new game warden in town. Somewhat bumbling, but with a clear respect for the rule of law above all else, he is not well liked in town. This is to be expected, coming

The Broken Girls

By Simone St. James
4
Rated by Hebah A.H.
Jul 6, 2020

One of the best things about working in a library is the regular opportunity to talk about books (and other media) with people. Often, I can provide a recommendation for something else to read or try in those conversations, but it isn’t always a one-way street. Sometimes, patrons put books on my radar that I overlooked, either because the cover or description didn’t grab me, or it’s just outside my usual genre preferences. One of these books was Simone St. James’s The Broken Girls.


As a story with a historical fiction subplot and an intrigued journalist starring in the other main plotline,

The Woman in Cabin 10

By Ruth Ware
3
Rated by Megan K.
Dec 31, 2019

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware


Ruth Ware, a well established mystery author, created a captivating novel with The Woman in Cabin 10. I am not overly familiar with Ware’s writing style, as I have only read two (this one included) of her mysteries. The formula of this particular book reminded me of an Agatha Christie novel, as it followed the same “trapped with a group of people, one of whom is a murderer” formula as many of Christie’s own books. Lo Blacklock, a travel writer, is given the chance to report on a luxury cruise with a select few passengers, when she hears a splash in the

Nov 25, 2019

A shooting in Portland mall leads to several teenagers being trapped with only 3 means of potential survival: they may run, hide, or fight back. However, they all are guarding big secrets, and tensions in the group run very high. They all must be willing to put their differences aside and work together against the odds if they want to stay alive. The cover did a very good job of capturing my attention, and reflected the overall fear the characters felt very well. The multiple perspectives in the book are really fascinating, so you can see into the different characters mindsets, which makes you

Mar 18, 2019

When teenager Rhett dies, he becomes a skelletor on the Harbinger, which is a ship that collects souls when people die. Suddenly, a demon appears and wants some special power that Rhett seems to have. What could it be? How will Rhett and his new friends stop her? Or can they even? 


The most compelling aspect of the book with all it's different characters reacting to the situations they were put in and to each other. I loved the cover; it gave this creepy ominous vibe without telling much about the story but sort of hinting at things. Much like the book, the cover is suspenseful.


This

Mar 14, 2019

This book is about a girl named Adele who can see the dead. She's diagnosed as a schizophrenic and given pills to stop her "hallucinations", but one day, she misses a dose, realizes how alive she felt, and started flushing her pills. However, she sees the ghost of a former best friend who was murdered, and winds up being the prime suspect.


The most compelling part of the book for me was the shocking accuracy and logic in it. I could tell the author knew what they were talking about when they brought up terms such as Occam's Razor, how detectives were able to legally lie to suspects to get

Aug 17, 2018

Mr. Griffin was a horrible teacher. His students only meant it as a prank. They just wanted to scare him a little bit, make him sorry. They never meant to kill him. But now he’s dead, and even the best laid plans can go wrong sometimes.

It took me a few chapters to really get into the story, but once I did, I was hooked. This is an eye opening story of how peer pressure can escalate out of control. It was just fantastic and incredibly well-written. I have never read such a deep and thoughtful thriller/mystery.

This is a great little suspense book for even the reluctant reader.

The French Girl

By Lexie Elliott
3
Rated by Hilary S.
Jun 18, 2018

As and initial suspense thriller from this author, The French Girl is pretty well done. It follows the typical plot points used by many others: there's been a murder and our main character can't remember exactly what happened. Or she thinks she might remember, but she is constantly questioning herself and her memories based on what other 'friends' tell her and say. 


Back when Kate was a student at Oxford, she and five friends spent a week at a French farmhouse. The neighbor, Severine, had gone missing, but Kate didn't dwell much on the news. Now, ten years later, it turns out that Severine

And Then There Were None

By Agatha Christie
4
Rated by Jackie S.
Apr 13, 2018

And Then There Were None is the first Agatha Christie novel I’ve read, and I was not disappointed. This intense mystery follows ten strangers who have been invited to stay on an island by an unknown host. Trying to figure out which of the guests lured the rest to this remote location, and then committed murder, is what keeps the reader engaged. As I am often disappointed when I can foresee the conclusion of a book, I was delighted that Christie’s writing style kept me on my toes, and didn’t make any one suspect stand out consistently. Each flawed characters’ flashbacks show possible malice

Before the Fall

By Noah Hawley
4
Rated by Manda W
Jan 22, 2018

Everyone has their path. The choices they've made. How any two people end up in the same place at the same time is a mystery. You get on an elevator with a dozen strangers. You ride a bus, wait in line for the bathroom. It happens every day. To try to predict the places we'll go and the people we'll meet would be pointless.


In a world of 24/7 news coverage, where is the line between news and entertainment? In our instant-access world, can we handle the unknown? Do coincidences happen or is everything connected by fate? Does correlation mean causation? Before the Fall by Noah Hawley may

Gwendy's Button Box

By Stephen King
4
Rated by Jackie S.
Aug 4, 2017

It is 1974 and Gwendy Peterson is a twelve-year-old living in Castle Rock, Maine. She meets a strange man named Richard Farris, who says he has been watching Gwendy and that she is the person to whom he is entrusting a button box. The box has eight buttons and two levers. Farris is vague about the function of the buttons, but Gwendy quickly comes to her own conclusion about what they do. Almost immediately, she learns the result of pulling each lever, and is eager to repeat this for the prizes she receives.


At first, she is apprehensive about the buttons, and concerned about the

Jun 30, 2017

Cadence is part of the incredibly wealthy and distinguished Sinclair family. She has been spending the summer on a private island with a group of her four friends. She has amnesia. She can’t remember their revolution. She can’t remember the accident. Everyone is keeping a secret from her, how can she remember the truth?


We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel. This was, without a doubt, one of the most powerful and well-crafted books I have read in a really long time. This book is about loss, it is about recovery. It is about family and money, revolution and love. This book

Mar 20, 2017

At all of 13 years of age, fearless Ruby Redfort has seen more than the most adventurous of adults. She's a secret service agent, a position that gives her plenty of chances to exercise her mental and physical capabilities, but also comes with a high risk for injury. In the past she's dealt with a number of villains, but now that her town is plagued by a strange serial burglar and Ruby can't even keep her job, catastrophe might just strike.


Ruby Redfort: Feel the Fear is a refreshing read not only because of its very-original plotline, but also because of its interesting physical format and

Meet the Author: Gregg Luke

By Gregg Luke
5
Rated by Helen H.
Oct 4, 2016

Gregg Luke's work as pharmacist prepares him well for writing medical thrillers. As he researches new drugs, "what if? reigns supreme." 99% of the science in his novels is real and he strives to make it "easy to understand to a lay audience yet have it remain complex enough to fascinate and add credence to plausibility."


Luke will present sessions on suspense writing, prose writing, and offer a 3 Page Critique session at our 2016 Writers Conference.


Introduce yourself. Where do you live and work?


I live in a small town next to Logan, UT in beautiful Cache Valley. I have lived here

The Passenger

By Lisa Lutz
4
Rated by Debbie F.
Jun 23, 2016

After Tanya Dubois finds her husband's dead body at the bottom of the stairs she decides to run. Not because she's guilty, but because she is living under an assumed name and hiding from the past. She needs a new identity and the only way to get one is to call the man she's hated for 15 years. Roland Oliver has connections and money, two things Tanya needs. His reason for helping her? He has secrets of his own. "I want a clean identity, a name that's prettier than my own and if possible, I'd like to be a few years younger." Thus, Amelie Keen is born. 


Through a succession of events, Lutz

Before the Fall

By Noah Hawley
4
Rated by Colleen O.
Jun 16, 2016

A private jet takes off from Martha's Vineyard for the New York City area with a family of four aboard, plus another couple, a security guard, a crew of three, and a forty-something painter who was invited along on a kindly impulse. Eighteen minutes later the plane has crashed into Long Island Sound, killing everybody on board except for the painter, Scott Burroughs, who swims through the night with the only other survivor, a four-year-old boy, on his back. He is, of course, hailed as a hero.


There are ample reasons either of the two tycoons on the flight might have been targets. David

Playing with Fire

By Tess Gerritsen
4
Rated by Diane H.
Mar 25, 2016

In Playing with Fire, Tess Gerritsen takes a break from her Rizzoli and Isles series to bring us the tale of two people, separated by over 70 years, who connect through an extraordinary piece of music.


Julia Ansdell is a musician, a violinist. While in Rome, she discovers a book of Gypsy tunes in the window of an antique store. When she picks up the book, a piece of paper falls out. On it is a handwritten composition, entitled Incendio, by L. Todesco.


Looking over this waltz, Julia is unaware of the dramatic and traumatic effect it will have on her and her family. She only knows that she

Paying the Piper

By Simon Wood
4
Rated by Lisa J.
Jan 11, 2016

Eight years ago newspaper reporter Scott Fleetwood became famous when a kidnapper dubbed "The Piper" used Scott's column to communicate with the FBI. It turns out the person communicating with Scott was a fake and the real "Piper" was able to escape capture.  Now The Piper is back and he's abducted Scott's twins and is leading Scott on a merry chase to safely rescue his sons. Scott's involvement in The Piper's final kidnapping lost him the two million dollar ransom and caused the death of the final young victim. This time The Piper is making it personal.  


Despite his remorse, Scott is an

Silence

By Thomas Perry
4
Rated by Don M.
Nov 30, 2015

Jack Till is a private investigator who helped a woman disappear six years ago. Now the woman’s ex-boyfriend is being set up for her murder, and Till must find her to prove to the District Attorney that she is alive. I really enjoyed the intelligent plot (in many ways, it resembles Narrow Margin, the 1990 film written and directed by Peter Hyams and starring Gene Hackman). When Till finds her, they have to avoid several attempts on their lives as they make their way back to Los Angeles. It is nonstop action as Jack Till negotiates his way against a full cast of tawdry characters.

Still Missing

By Chevy Stevens
4
Rated by Colleen O.
Jun 16, 2015

Annie O’Sullivan is a realtor heading out to show a house one summer afternoon. Near the close of the open house, Annie is abducted by a potential client, a stranger who drugs and transports her to a remote mountain cabin on Vancouver Island where he repeatedly beats, rapes, and terrorizes her. As the days and nights of her captivity begin to blur together, Annie is forced to conform to the whims of a psychopath, "The Freak,” and to sacrifice parts of herself in an effort to survive. When she resurfaces a year later, it is as a shell of the person she used to be.


Annie’s story unravels in a

The Hunt

By Vinterberg, Thomas
5
Rated by Megan C.
Apr 16, 2015

What are the limits of friendship? The Hunt explores this question when a misinterpretation of facts unleashes a chain of consequences in a small town in Denmark. Lucas, a newly divorced father and kindergarten teacher, is tested to the limits of his emotional endurance as he slowly becomes an object of suspicion and mistrust among his coworkers, the townspeople, and even his closest friends. The plot builds to a level of exquisitely wrought tension that keeps you holding out for some kind of relief as Lucas reaches his edge.


This film has many strengths but what stood out most for me was

Before I Go to Sleep

By Watson, S.J.
4
Rated by Catherine G.
Mar 13, 2015

This thriller slowly unravels to reveal the fragile and desperate mind of a woman with amnesia. Christine's amnesia is so severe that she can't retain memories for more than a day. She wakes up each morning with no idea of who and where she is. She is surrounded by her husband Ben, a doctor, and a friend. She starts keeping a journal on what she learns about herself each day. As Christine begins to rereads previous entries, she finds inconsistencies in what Ben is telling her about her accident, their son, and how all of their family photos disappeared. While Christine is trying to piece

And Then There Were None

By Agatha Christie
5
Rated by Jared H.
Dec 22, 2014

Ten strangers have come together on a remote English island under false pretenses. Each one bears a dark secret that they have hidden from the world. Stranded on the island and as the guests begin to die one by one, they discover that someone in the company has uncovered those secrets and is willing to make them pay.


Before this classic plot became prominent in both literature and film, it was brought to the forefront by Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Previously titled Ten Little Indians (changed and edited to make it more PC), it is not like any of the other Agatha Christie

Shadow Catcher

By James R. Hannibal
5
Rated by Bre H.
Oct 7, 2014

James R. Hannibal’s novel titled Shadow Catcher reads like a Clancy thriller.


Nick Baron is an Air Force Major in charge of a failed B-2 stealth bomber mission that lands the fighter jet at the bottom of the Persian Gulf. Nick leads his Triple Chase team to find and dispose of the lost bomber before the enemy can get their hands on it.


Danger lurks around the corner as a US soldier sends a distress signal from the deep interior region of China, another far off country.  The only plane that can handle this mission is the Shadow Catcher, a highly-equipped, state of the art fighter plane.

That Night

By Chevy Stevens
4
Rated by Lisa J.
Sep 29, 2014

High school seniors Tony and Ryan had a plan for after graduation.  They were going to get jobs and an apartment and live together—Toni to get away from her mom who favored her younger sister, and Ryan to leave behind his alcoholic and abusive father.  It all seemed so simple.  But that's not what happened.  Senior year the "mean girls" clique started harassing Toni, just to be mean.  Then, unbelievably, Toni's little sister, Nicole, starts hanging out with the clique and harassing Toni too.  Nicole has also changed a lot since starting high school; she's gotten secretive, and sullen, although