More book reviews as seen in Suspense Magazine (New)


By Lisa Scottoline

The queen of justice, Lisa Scottoline, has yet again written a tale that will hold readers’ attention while leading them to an ultimate ‘shock’ at the end.

As the story begins, the skin crawls when the reader is told that a sociopath is someone they simply will never see coming. Why is that? “Because I am already there.”

A sociopath targets a Pennsylvania psychiatrist, Dr. Eric Parrish. Parrish is not exactly at a good point in his life right now; his wife, Caitlin, has filed for divorce and is giving him a hard time concerning the joint custody of their seven-year-old daughter, Hannah. Added to that, his latest private patient, Max, a seventeen-year-old kid who meets Dr. Parrish in the hospital at Max’s grandmother’s bedside asking if the Doc can help her deal with her illness, is about to go more than a little nuts.

Things are not all bad, however; his hospital colleagues like and support him. There is even one young medical student, Kristine, who has him on her radar. And the magazine, ‘U.S. News and World Report’ is just about to announce that the psych unit Eric is in charge of ranks second in the nation; a great honor.

Ala Scottoline, things are about to change… Kristine files harassment charges when the Doc rejects her advances. Max calls and tells him that his grandmother has died. And then Max disappears right before Renee, a girl Max lusted after, is found murdered. Because of timing, the police take an interest in Eric’s whereabouts and search his home and office. And Eric’s world begins to crumble around his ears.

Colleagues who loved him can’t stand the sight of him now. Max reappears in a shocking situation that puts himself and others in grave danger. As issues progress…a sociopath appears from the myriad of candidates that you will never see coming. Scottoline rocks it yet again!

Reviewed by Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian and Co-Owner of The Write Companion 



By Kevin Egan

Kevin Egan’s latest novel is a legal thriller that opens with a daring courtroom heist of an ancient Roman urn, just as the trial that will determine the ownership of the piece is about to begin. It is one of fourteen pieces of a hoard discovered in a field in Hungary, or was it Croatia?

Three years later, Linda Conover, a law clerk at the time of the heist who was present in the courtroom at the time, is now a judge in New York City. Conover has been chosen to preside over the new trial to determine ownership. Author Egan does a masterful job depicting the court system, from the judge down to the custodians, and how each plays a crucial part in the story. As the new trial looms closer, several people who were present in the courthouse at the time the “missing piece” was stolen, are now searching for the treasure.

At the same time, Judge Conover has her own personal problems to deal with, including a marriage to a high-powered lawyer that is less than what it should be. Even as she deals with this stress, she finds out that she is pregnant. As she gears up for the new trial, she privately decides that this will be her last.

Author Egan’s knowledge of the New York State court system makes this novel jam-packed with absorbing details, not only of the system but also the New York County Courthouse building in Lower Manhattan. The characters all come alive as they move through their days, professionally and personally, for better or worse or somewhere in between. “The Missing Piece” is a tense thriller that may keep you up until the wee hours.

Reviewed by Kathleen Heady, author of “Hotel Saint Clare”



By Charles Todd

As the title states, it is “A Fine Summer’s Day” at Scotland Yard, where Detective Inspector Ian Rutledge works. This prequel begins in the year 1914, on the day that Ian, as a young man, is about to propose marriage. It also happens to be the day that the Archduke of Austria and his wife are assassinated, which was the opening salvo that began WWI.

Ian is very much in love with Jean but his friends and relatives are not sure that she is the right mate for him. Doesn’t matter how they feel, however, because Ian’s proposal is accepted and his thoughts focus on taking good care of his fiancée and attending all the parties preceding their engagement.

Unfortunately, it seems that as soon as the engagement is about to be announced, he is sent away by his superiors to solve various crimes. There are many committed during this time, and Rutledge has to travel over much of England leaving Jean to stay home and make excuses for his absence. During these times the Dogs of War are pushing to start “The War to End All Wars,” so everything seems to get more chaotic as the hours tick by.

As Ian is trying to care for everyone, a series of murders occur that he will be racing to solve in the few weeks before the declaration of war comes. Jean is adamant that Ian enlist in the service, yet he thinks that he might do his country a greater service by staying with the police. So now, with everything else on his plate, Ian finds himself in a quandary between joining up with the men in arms or risk the warmongers who are all but standing on the borders of his country just waiting for the first shot to be fired.

An excellent tale. As always when it comes to Charles Todd, this mother/son team of authors are in-depth, refined, and offer up a true thriller of a story.

Reviewed by Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian and Co-Owner of The Write Companion  ■



By Neal Griffin

It’s going to be very difficult for readers to believe that this book is a debut effort. Yes, there are many debuts that thrill the world, but author Neal Griffin brings even more to his first story. He is a man who worked in law enforcement for many years and, apparently, never forgot anything.

At the onset of the story, Ben Sawyer, a former big city cop, made a big mistake where it could be seen (and recorded) by many cell phone cameras, causing him to leave his job behind. Ben and his wife, Alex, return to Newburg, Wisconsin, where they grew up to begin a new life. Ben becomes a detective in Newburg where his boss just happens to be his father-in-law. The other cops are upset about this family bond and don’t think that Ben earned the position. And when Ben’s father-in-law suffers a stroke, the Acting Chief proceeds to make his life miserable.

It seems that even though the town is small they still have considerable corruption, including drugs, prostitution, and other big city issues that have slowly made their way into the heartland of America. Ben soon suspects that someone in the Newburg department is hip deep in all of it, and is taking payoffs from the drug lords. What Ben doesn’t know is just how far the corruption has reached. But when his wife is suddenly accused of a crime, Ben is kicked off the force and his ally, his only ally, comes in to help. A rookie officer that is treated as an outcast the same as Ben, together they must ferret out who is to blame for the crimes and why this person is looking for revenge on Ben.

This book is a great suspense/thriller with a smart plot and pages that offer up a great deal of in-depth police work and knowledge that the author obviously absorbed over his many years in law enforcement. Griffin will most definitely earn avid fans.

Reviewed by Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian and Co-Owner of The Write Companion



By Susan Wittig Albert

This is the 23rd novel in Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles Mysteries, and they continue to be some of the best reads in the business.

China is the owner of the Thyme and Seasons Herb Shop in Pecan Springs, TX. She is delivering plants for a friend’s garden while looking forward to her upcoming Thanksgiving weekend and having a reunion with Mackenzie (AKA: Mack) Chambers, a local game warden.

China and her family head for Uvalde County to the home of China’s mother and stepfather. China’s stepfather, Sam, is currently in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. He and her mom, Leatha, are planning to open a guesthouse for birders, but now with Sam ill, Leatha has hired some extra help in the form of Sue Ellen Krause, a cowgirl who is in the process of leaving her husband. Said husband works at Three Gates Game Ranch, a place in Texas where hunters can hunt tame animals in order to get antlers to hang on their walls. It seems that there is a fortune in this type of business, but Sue Ellen thinks that her husband and his friends are actually up to something illegal.

Meanwhile, Mack meets up with the local veterinarian who says that he has seen tattooed fawns on a ranch where they are not supposed to be, but won’t tell Mack where the property is. It seems that big money is on everyone’s mind, with some locals even turning their ranches into resorts where wealthy guests can shoot bucks who have been bred specifically to have enormous antlers. But when the vet gets shot in a so-called “attempted burglary,” a case that is both political and frightening ends up at the feet of Mack and China.

This book is full of suspense,  and the team of China and Mack is a great deal of fun to read. Ms. Albert continues to churn out super-enjoyable mysteries.

Reviewed by Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian and Co-Owner of The Write Companion ■



By Allison Leotta

Anna Curtis is headed home to Michigan for a very important reason; she’s going to defend her sister, Jody, in the murder of a very popular coach in the girls’ hometown of Holly Grove. Anna has just called off her wedding, and even though she’s frightened for her sister, she’s also glad to be on her way to anywhere where she doesn’t have to face her former fiancé.

The victim is Coach Owen Fowler, a real hero/golden boy who died in an automobile accident. However, it was not an accident; the car he was driving did blow up into a fireball when he hit the actual stadium, but his death came from a blow to the head delivered before the crash.

When Anna arrives, she looks into the police investigation only to discover that the law went no further than her sister to find their number one suspect. Seems Jody was having an affair with the coach and the cops believe jealousy was definitely the reason behind the murder. As Anna delves into the web of a supposedly angry female, she discovers that no one will tell the truth about the coach. And among the web of lies sits many townspeople who just happen to be against both sisters.

As Anna begins to defend her sister she also notices that, strangely, Jody doesn’t really seem to want Anna’s advice, and even places a great many restrictions on Anna as to how she can handle the case and who she can talk to. Add in a judge who has some old connections to Owen Fowler, yet will not recuse himself from the case, and Anna must work overtime to find the solution of what really happened in Holly Grove.

A very suspenseful novel, this is one tale that will remind many small town people out there just how strong and mean the bond of neighbors can become when they place a ‘scarlet letter’ on the person they most want to destroy.

Reviewed by Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian and Co-Owner of The Write Companion 



By Samantha Hayes

A spate of teenage suicides in the English village of Radcote over the last few years has left everyone on edge, especially when three more deaths occur with all indications that they, too, are suicides. Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher is on her way with her daughter, Stella, to her hometown to visit her sister, Jo, and her eighteen-year-old nephew, Freddie. Unbeknownst to Lorraine, Jo has just split up with her husband, Malcolm, Freddie’s stepfather to whom he was very close. As the sisters talk, Jo reveals that she had an affair with a neighbor whose son was one of the recent young men who took his own life.

Usually an outgoing and friendly boy, Freddie has become reclusive, refusing to go out with the family and spending all his time in his room on his laptop. He finally admits to his aunt that he has been a victim of bullying by other boys in the town, both in person and over the Internet.

When Lorraine learns about the suicides, including that of teenage neighbor, Simon, she begins to believe that at least the most recent deaths were not suicides, but murder. Even when a former associate turns up in the local police detective unit, Lorraine is persistent. He has been known in the past to take the easy way and overlook important evidence in order to close a case. After all, it is much easier to chalk up a death as a suicide than to try to find a murderer.

The book appears to move slowly at the beginning, but the twists in the plot pull you in with foreshadowing and tension that won’t let you go. And as the secrets hidden in small town life begin to come to light, the novel becomes one that cannot be put aside. Samantha Hayes has used her talent to write an irresistible thriller.

Reviewed by Kathleen Heady, author of “Hotel Saint Clare”


Be the first to comment on "More book reviews as seen in Suspense Magazine (New)"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.