I love me a good psychological thriller and that’s what we get with Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee, with a little visual horror thrown in. When it opens up we are treated to several pages introducing us to the malignant presence of a towering sycamore tree with bony branches scratching the farmhouse’s roof, walls and windows like a demon’s fingers.
Percy’s skill as a novelist shines throughout The Dark Net. Each of his quirky, yet believable, characters are given interesting backgrounds and compelling motivations. The story is fast-paced, action-packed, and—at more junctures than I could count—intense to a delightfully uncomfortable degree.
The plot moves fast, the narrative driving the reading towards its final unnerving twist. It all happens almost too quickly. James’ writing is so smooth, and the story so powerfully plotted, that its easy to miss how neatly the shifts are between the individual voices, the many delicate links between cause and effect and the parallels between adults and children as we move from one character to another, the way the reader is unwittingly drawn into the toxic culture of privilege that underpins these characters, or how subtle the thematics.
Safe At Home, hooks the reader into the action from the opening lines and carries the reader along on an progressively risky ride right to the last paragraph. Spine tingling action, convincing dialog, agreeably mystifying anxiety all flourish in this chronicle shaped with clever skillfulness.
Despite the rapid pace at which I tore through this novel—it was just too good to put down—the actual solving of the crime is a slow, suspenseful rise and fall. Reading The Trespasser feels like playing Chutes and Ladders. I work my way towards the goal, find something exciting that lets me climb up the ladder toward the answers, then hit a snag and slide right back to the beginning,
Starr’s novel is wholly contemporary – we are in twenty first century New York, no question – but it also harks back to post-war noir and Jacobin revenge dramas of yore. Sin is indelible, so too self-delusion and self-justification. These people – Adam and Johnny, Dana the wife and Marissa the daughter – cannot become better.
The chapters alternate between Present and Past. Sometimes an event occurs in the “present” which leaves us puzzled, but it is explained in one of the next “Past” chapters. One never gets lost in these time shifts, thanks to the chapter labelling, but one is often confused. By keeping us uncertain, author E.A. Paris is making us experience something of what Grace is going through.
Someone Must Die is suspenseful and fast-paced. The mystery of what went wrong with the Lynd marriage intrigues us throughout the novel, and relates to the kidnapping. Plot twists are what keep us on the edges of our chairs, but the characters and the human story stick in our minds. Award-winning author Sharon Potts, who is prominent in the Mystery Writers of America organization, has created rounded characters whom we will remember after we close the book.
Mari Bailey has created an unnerving, roller coaster ride of a narrative for her readers. Dream Stalker is sure to draw young adult readers into the account and hold them spellbound while reading this attention-grabbing, suspense-filled page turner. Readers will find the work hard to put down as they devour passage after electrifying passage.
Salloum has excelled in evoking the Katrina disaster and in depicting a criminal sub-culture. The action keeps readers alert, and the New Orleans landmarks will interest those who lived or have visited that city. Candyland has been described as a “noir” suspense thriller, and it is that, but it is less pessimistic than Salloum’s earlier novel, Faulkner and Friends, and reaches a satisfying conclusion.