Tag Archives: Thriller

Gravity

Author James M. Corkill, Science Fiction Thriller, 288 Pages

Reviewed by Felita Daniels

Gravity CoverThe author has a solid grasp of his craft.  This book begins with experts in their scientific fields realizing that something is dangerously off.  There is enough science involved in the thriller to keep the science fiction folks happy, but not too much that those without a PhD get lost.

It took me a while to sit down and share my opinions about the book.  It’s tricky.  I don’t want to give anything away, however; I do want to give you my honest reaction to the novel.  Something happens half way through the book that made me angry.  So much so, I put the book down and didn’t want to finish it.  I didn’t like the main character any more. Jethro Gibbs, MacGyver, John McClain, insert your favorite hero here, would have figured something different out, or died trying. I know that a person doesn’t have to like every character and choice they make.  It also suggests that the author has succeeded in conveying real emotion.  I wondered if the author simply put this in for shock value?  You may applaud that the author choice was different.

So what made me pick up the book a few weeks later to finish it?  There is a secondary story line with regular folk protecting their homes and livelihood. It kept nagging at the back of my mind.  What happened to them?  I still cared about them. Jerry was my hero in this story- bravery, practical smarts and heart.

This review may or may not help you decide if this is a book you will enjoy.  Your curiosity may get the better of you and you want to see how you feel about Alex Cave.  Maybe you like different.  Maybe you’ll think my ‘mom gene’ is just too sensitive.  Check out the book for yourself.  If you enjoy heroes at the top of their field, science fiction and action combined, this book delivers.

This is book 4 of a series, but it can be read as a stand alone.

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Balancing Life and Writing

Guest post by by Mark Spivak

I was amused when asked to do a blog post on balancing life and writing. In truth, they can’t be balanced.

Mark Spivak author PhotoI’m not sure if writing is an obsessional activity, but I’m pretty certain that only obsessed people do it successfully. It is the type of endeavor that almost inevitably tends to obliterate any idea of balance in your life. I sometimes compare it to a serious disease: you may have periods of remission, you may have spans of years or decades when you pursue another form of endeavor—either to make money or to fulfill family obligations—but sooner or later you’ll relapse and start writing again.

When you do, you’ll find it to be as consuming as a bonfire. Your work will be the first thing you think of when you wake in the morning, and the last thing you think about before you doze off to sleep. It will occupy most of your waking hours. You will appear distant to family and friends until you master the art of pretending to pay attention to what they’re saying, and until you become adept at participating in life events while actually thinking about the project you’re working on. The struggle to succeed will be so difficult and consuming that it will become hard to identify with those who are no similarly obsessed.

So why do people do it? If you’re successful you can leave a legacy, and that’s no small thing. You will experience the exhilaration of feeling (as Allen Ginsberg said) like “the self-contained master of the universe.” When my first novel, Friend of the Devil, was accepted for publication, I felt linked to a chain of storytellers that went all the way back to Beowulf. Actually, it goes back further than that: to the time when cavemen went out to hunt and gather during the day, and sat in their cave at night telling the stories of their day’ adventures. It’s an amazing feeling, and it’s something worth striving for.

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The Madness of Mercury

By Author Connie di Marco

Cover Madness of MercuryMystery/Thriller/Suspense

About the Book

San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti’s life is turned upside down when she becomes the target of the city’s newest cult leader, Reverend Roy of the Prophet’s Tabernacle. Driven out of her apartment in the midst of a disastrous Mercury retrograde period, she takes shelter with a client who’s caring for two elderly aunts. One aunt appears stricken with dementia and the other has fallen under the spell of the Reverend Roy. To add to the confusion, a young man claiming to be a long lost nephew arrives. The longer he stays, the more dangerous things become. Is the young man truly a member of the family? Can astrology confirm that? Julia’s not sure, but one thing she does know is that Mercury wasn’t merely the messenger of the gods—he was a trickster and a liar as well.

Reviewed by Felita Daniels / 312 Pages

This is the first in a new series that features an astrologer Julia Bonatti. The first thing I would like to share with readers is that it is a great read.  The second thing I’d like to discuss is reader expectations. The cover is beautiful, really. However, I feel it could lead some to believe this is a cozy style mystery.  It is actually categorized on Amazon as a Mystery/Thriller/Suspense.

You may wonder why that could make any difference in a reader’s enjoyment.  In this book you are literally at the 50 percent mark before Julia starts ‘detecting’ anything. So cozy readers that are used to the main character asking about motives or a person’s alibi early on, may think this book has a really slow start.  Cozies in general tend to have a wonderful little town with lovely people and one dastardly, bad guy.  In the Madness of Mercury, it is a much larger town and there are multiple threats to Julia and her friends. There are some serious themes about how the elderly are treated, how politicians may not be honoring their citizens, a religious figure may not have love in their heart, and a few other heavier themes not usually found in cozies.

I don’t like to give anything away about mystery novels, I did have a beef with the character not calling the police after a particular incident.  In general, I felt the interlocking pieces and relationships worked well.  There was plenty of action as plots and plans collided into a satisfying ending.

   ♦     ♦     ♦

Learn more about the book or Connie at the following links…

Amazon Author Page  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

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New York Night

Cover Art New York NightAbout the Book by Stephen Leather

Teenagers are being possessed and turning into sadistic murderers. Priests can’t help, nor can psychiatrists. So who is behind the demonic possessions? Jack Nightingale is called in to investigate, and finds his own soul is on the line. New York Night is the seventh novel in the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series.

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Unholy Bargain

About the Book by Travis Hallden Holt

MediaKit_BookCover_UnholyBargainDeputy Sheriff Nate Barrington is riding the crest of a new relationship. Kaitlyn Spencer is beautiful, altruistic, enlightened—everything he’s not. She teaches classes in New Age philosophy at her growing school. Nate doesn’t share her spirituality, but the physical passion hasn’t subsided enough for him to care.

Nate’s nirvana quickly unravels when Kaitlyn’s life is threatened on two separate occasions. With no apparent motive or any evidence suggesting collusion, the police are stumped. Even more troubling to Nate, Kaitlyn is convinced she is the target of unseen forces. Namely, a spirit assassin.

A hardheaded pragmatist, Nate isn’t prone to believe that spirits can possess people. As far as he’s concerned, Kaitlyn’s claims of perpetrators possessed by a spirit assassin are on par with comic book stories and have nothing to do with reality, and her esoteric, New Age mumbo jumbo begins to drive a wedge into their relationship. And why Kaitlyn? What secret is she hiding?

But when strikes continue from random, unwittingly manipulated people who haven’t the remotest connection to Kaitlyn, Nate is forced to rethink his paradigm. Can an uncompromising realist broaden his mind in time to defend his girlfriend from a virtually invisible enemy?

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The Cypress Trap

About the Book by JC Gatlin

A good vacation delivers you home alive. This is not a good vacation. 

Cypress Trap Cover ArtWhen Rayanne commandeers her husband’s weekend fishing trip, she knows it’ll take work to adjust Owen’s attitude. She has no choice. Since the tragedy, they lost so much. They need to reconnect.

Without her knowledge, Owen texts his best buddy, Daryl, to join the getaway. The three of them aren’t alone in the backwoods of Georgia, though.

Owen took something that didn’t belong to him. Something that changed their lives. And now the owner wants it back. By any means — including a posse led by a killer dog.

At first, Rayanne is clueless about the item and its value. One thing becomes crystal clear: If it’s not returned, they might not make it home alive.

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The Fury

About the Book by Shane Gericke


The Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico washes a cache of doomsday weapons onto a Mexican beach: bombs filled with VX nerve gas mixed with anthrax, invented by the Nazis during World War II and perfected by the United States to use in the Cold War. The bombs soon fall into the wrong hands and create an unstoppable opponent. Only one Chicago Police detective has a chance of preventing those bombs from being used on American soil.

Reeling from the recent murder of her husband as well as allegations of police misconduct, Detective Superstition “Sue” Davis is thrown into an undercover assignment. She must infiltrate the Mexican narcotics cartel responsible for the death of her husband in order to get close to the cartel’s sociopathic enforcer, Jimenez “Jimmy” Garcia.

But when the entire Garcia family is killed in Mexico by a U.S. Special Forces raid gone wrong, Garcia will stop at nothing to get vengeance, including triggering newly acquired bombs on American soil. Superstition’s assignment quickly becomes more dangerous than planned as the threat of a terrorist attack looms closer.

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The Naked Eye

The New York Times bestselling duo Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen have written suspenseful novels about a once-blind woman with a talent for tracking serial killers

Authors Iris and Roy Johansen / Reviewed by Felita Daniels / 336 Pages


This is the third in the series with Kendra Michaels as the protagonist. The mother and son authors know their characters and write about them with confidence. This entry harkens back to Kendra’s very first case with the FBI. She had helped them put away serial killer Eric Colby. She still has nightmares about that case.

The Naked Eye can be understood without having read the first two novels. Some character from the first two books are here again, and there are a few new ones too. If you enjoy thrillers and cat and mouse plot lines, you will be happy with this book.

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The 3rd Woman

Harper (August 4, 2015)

The first two murders went unnoticed. The third will change everything. . . .

She can’t save her sister.

Journalist Madison Webb is obsessed with exposing lies and corruption. But she never thought she’d be investigating her own sister’s murder.

She can’t trust the police.

Madison refuses to accept the official line that Abigail’s death was an isolated crime. She uncovers evidence that suggests her sister was the third victim in a series of killings hushed up as part of a major conspiracy.

She can expose the truth.

In a United States that now bows before the People’s Republic of China, corruption is rife—the government dictates what the “truth” is. With her life on the line, Madison must give up her quest for justice—or face the consequences. . . .

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Author Jonathan Freedland / Reviewed by Felita Daniels / 480 Pages

This novel opens with two distinctly dramatic events involving two women right off the bat. Oddly, I wasn’t holding my breath for them. There was something about the prose and descriptions that somehow sucked the urgency out of the events for me. I continued on thinking that instead of an instant blaze, maybe this was going to be a slow burn kind of fire, ending with hot white coals.

A number of years ago, Japanese corporations started buying American real estate. Folks joked nervously that they were going to own more of America than American’s. Later came the stock market meltdown and recession. So I didn’t find it hard at all to believe the premise of this book that our debt and foreign policy had resulted in China having a military presence on U.S. soil. You don’t have to be involved in foreign policy and politics to enjoy this book though. That’s the political backdrop, but the novel really boils down to a woman wanting to get to the bottom of her sister’s death.

Even that theme was somehow diminished by the way the sisters’ relationships are styled. For example, when Maddy goes to her murdered sister’s apartment “She hadn’t been inside this apartment for months. It might even have been a year.” Maddy’s career is that of a reporter. So she goes about the whole investigation in the same manner as if it was her next story. I respected her for being smart and professional, but there was just ‘something’ that was missing.

About Jonathan Freedland31437

Jonathan Freedland is an award-winning journalist, a number one bestselling author, and a broadcaster. He is the Guardian‘s executive editor for Opinion and also writes a weekly column. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, and presents BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series The Long View. In 2014 he won the Orwell special prize for journalism.

Find out more about Jonathan at his website, and connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Bum Rap

About the Book by Paul Levine

NFL linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter has had it with shifty clients, dirty prosecutors, and a legal system out of whack. It’s enough to make a man want to leave Miami and never look back—until he gets a call from
Victoria Lord, the better half of hot local legal team Solomon & Lord. Her partner in life and law has been arrested for murder. What’s worse: the only person who can clear him has fled the city. Now it’s up to Jake and Victoria to track down the witness—a stunning “Bar girl”—before she’s roped in by the feds…or eliminated by the Russian mob.

Jake knows that if he doesn’t get to the witness first, his client’s case is lost. Luckily, he’s got some good advice from his college football coach: “Buckle your chin strap and hit somebody.” And sometimes, the only way to win a tough case is to do just that.

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