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THE SCEPTRED ISLE CLUB Brent Monahan
Bad Girl by Michelle Jaffe
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks ISBN: 0345464982
Criminalist Windy Thomas and her six-year-old daughter had recently moved to Las Vegas when the first brutal slaughter occurred. An entire family, except for the father, had been killed, and it wouldn’t be the last. Working along side Ash Laughton, chief of the violent crime unit, the two follow forensic evidence in search of the killer, which eventually is linked to a woman named Eve, self-described as a “bad girl”. And as Windy tries to balance her work life, with that of her home, including her fiancée who strongly disapproves of her career choice, she must also come to terms with startling revelations that lead her to question everything she thought she knew.
This thriller is just about as good as it gets. Mind jolting suspense, and numerous startling twists and turns keep this a page-turning addiction. Windy is an intelligent and compassionate heroine that is easy to admire, as are most of the other characters. And the forensic detail, reminiscent of the highly lauded drama, CSI, is also perfectly rendered. At last a romantic suspense tale that doesn’t follow the same old boring path as too many others, and instead treats the reader to substance and matter. Highly, highly recommended, this is one author we greatly wish to see more of.
The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen
Publisher: Ballantine Books ISBN: 0345447867
It’s been a year since the serial killer known as the “surgeon” has been caught and locked away, thanks to Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli. But now there appears to be a new one on the loose, one whose signature seems all too familiar, one who reminds Rizzoli of the man who almost killed her. It appears the teacher has found a student, this time one who targets wealthy and attractive couples, torturing and killing. So Jane must use all she knows of the surgeon if she’s too ever capture his apprentice. With the help of FBI agent Gabriel Dean, an enigmatic man of many secrets, she must look back into her nightmares and face what she most fears so that others will live.
Through Jane Rizzoli, Gerritsen has created a female detective that is as intensely fervent as she is deeply human. This type of passionate character is what we like to see in our mysteries as it adds realism and depth to the reading. Gerritsen’s villains are also frighteningly real, causing many a shudder and tremble during this fearsome read. And those who like a lot of forensic detail will also be satisfied at the specifics that Gerritsen adds to the story. All in all, another winner from this writer who knows horror.
Left To Die by Taylor Kincaid
Publisher: Onyx Books ISBN: 0451410963
When their latest client approaches PI’s Ian McSwain and Jenna Capshaw, they have serious doubts as to whether they should take the case. Not only does their latest client appear to be flat broke, but also the woman she wants them to find may already be dead. The client, Mandy, a young mother with a serious drinking problem, had been kidnapped and assaulted a few months prior, along with another woman, a woman only known to her as “Billie”. And while Mandy was able to escape, she left Billie alone with the madman, and unable to escape. Now racked with guilt, she is driven to find out if the woman she left behind is dead or alive. And the further the two detectives get involved in the case, the more questions they face, along with some serious danger.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this book really was. With enough twists and turns to fool even the most vigilant reader, it’s suspense and thrills were fluidly abundant. Kincaid’s characters were also top-notch, with plenty of depth and personality. In addition, Kincaid’s view of the addict and addiction was treated with sensitivity and understanding, creating an even more empathetic tale. All in all, highly recommended. We hope there’s another case in the future for this wonderful duo, as the unanswered questions in their personal lives beg to be resolved.
Justice: The Mike Amato Detective Series by Lou Campanozzi
Mystery author, Lou Campanozzi first introduced Lieutenant Mike Amato in
The Killing Cards, a fast paced thriller about a serial killer leaving playing
cards on the bodies of the victims. He brought the detective back in Ground
Lions, an action packed mystery that starts with the body of a young man found
in the parking lot behind a catholic high school. Before he passed away in
2002, Campanozzi was able to complete his last manuscript, Justice.
The Crush by Sandra Brown
Publisher: Warner Books; ISBN: 0446527041 (October)
Surgeon Rennie Newton is summoned to jury duty, and as her sense of fair play is in over-drive, she convinces the jury panel to acquit the monstrous Lozardo of murder. Unfortunately, this leads Lozardo to perceive a relationship, and he will stop at nothing to possess the good doctor fully. When a fellow surgeon is brutally murdered, the detectives on the case see Newton as the only suspect, as she was vying for the prestigious position that had been awarded her rival. But slowly Wick Threadgill, one of the lead detectives on the case, begins to suspect otherwise, and as he begins to fall for the beautiful suspect, danger begins to shadow his every move.
Sandra Brown is once again in top form. And even though the reader knows from the onset who the villain is, the perfectly creepy sociopathic Lozardo, this in no way detracts from the unflagging suspense. There are plenty of secrets, surprises, and shocks to keep the reader turning the pages as quickly as they can. The Texas dust and heat help add plenty of atmosphere, and the budding attraction between the two main characters cause quite a bit of its own heat. This read is a lot like jumping out of an airplane, fast and furious with just the right amount of danger, and simply put, just a whole lot of fun!