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  • Jeff Somers 5:00 pm on 2019/06/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , david baladacci, , ,   

    July’s Best New Thrillers 


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    July’s most thrilling books include a new hero from the masterful David Baldacci, the next Gabriel Allon adventure from Daniel Silva, James Patterson’s first foray into epic fantasy, and more.

    One Good Deed, by David Baldacci
    Baldacci spins a tightly-plotted period piece to introduce a new hero: Aloysius Archer, a veteran of World War II in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. When released in 1949, he finds himself in Poca City with strict instructions to get a job and stay out of trouble. Archer visits a local bar seeking a little bit of both when he gets a job offer: businessman Hank Pittleman wants a debt collected. Archer takes on the job, and soon finds himself in a mess of small-town plotting, as Pittleman’s mistress tries to use Archer for her own ends and the debt proves harder to collect than Archer expected. When someone shows up dead, the local police seem to think Archer, recently-arrived ex-con, did the deed. Archer brains, brawn, and desperation are all that’s keeping him from returning to prison—or worse.

    The New Girl, by Daniel Silva
    The 19th Allon novel centers on a tony private school in Switzerland—the sort of exclusive place only the children of the rich and powerful attend. The students buzz about the new arrival, a beautiful young girl who appears every morning and leaves every afternoon in a motorcade, surrounded by bodyguards. Her classmates all have theories as to who she might be—but they’re all wrong. When the girl is kidnapped while across the border in France, Gabriel Allon, chief of Israeli intelligence, is called into action. As Allon goes up against a familiar old enemy, the fate of girl and the world lies with him.

    Sophia, Princess Among Beasts, by James Patterson with Emily Raymond
    The prolific James Patterson (with Emily Raymond) stretches to infuse a new genre his trademark tension and thriller grit. At the core of this epic fantasy is a mystery that only Sophia, princess of a kingdom under dire threat, can solve. Sophia is smart and capable, beautiful and beloved by the people, and an avid reader who spent long hours as a child reading about a terrible realm filled with monsters. When she discovers that the place—and the resident monsters—are very real, and that an army is marching on her kingdom, Sophia knows it is her duty to protect the people who have put their trust in her. Her only hope is to solve an ancient a mystery—if she has time.

    Red Metal, by Mark Greaney and H. Ripley Rawlings IV, USMC
    Greaney knows just how to spin a modern thriller, and his co-writer H. Ripley Rawlings is a lieutenant colonel in the marines. Together they’ve created a razor-sharp near-future story of brutal combat and global maneuvering centered on a rare-earth mine in Africa. The mine was in Russian hands until Kenya reclaimed it out from under Russian special forces Colonel Yuri Borbikov. Borbikov draws up an ambitious, dangerous plan to get it back—Operation Red Metal. With simultaneous attacks on the U.S. Central Africa Command in Germany and the mine itself, Russia sets in motion a series of battles that Greaney and Rawlings depict through the eyes of the dedicated warriors tasked with carrying out their orders—no matter what. The result is a gripping and finely detailed story of modern warfare no fan of the genre should miss.

    Smokescreen, by Iris Johansen
    Johansen’s 25th Eve Duncan novel introduces Jill Cassidy, a journalist who returns from the war-torn country of Maldara haunted by what she’s witnessed. She seeks out forensic sculptor Duncan and asks her to help reconstruct the skulls of 27 children massacred by rebel soldiers. Duncan is moved but troubled by the opportunity, but she accepts the job and jumps on a flight to the site of the killings, the village of Robaku. Jill also wants Eve to reconstruct the skull of a mercenary named Nils Varak, the man responsible for the uprising that led to the murders—because Jill doesn’t believe Nils is actually dead and hopes to prove a government cover-up is underway. In an unfamiliar country, Duncan finds herself isolated and uncertain who she can trust. She must rely on her gut to get to the bottom of the mystery without becoming the next victim.

    The Russian, by Ben Coes
    Coes launches a new series and a new protagonist, former Navy SEAL Rob Tacoma. As the book begins, the Russian mafia has asserted itself as the most powerful organized criminal force in the United States, meeting any effort to curtail its activities with brutal violence. When its actions cross the line into the outright assassination of politicians, the president authorizes the CIA to recruit an elite team tasked with identifying, locating, and killing the powerful criminals ordering the murders. Tacoma and another former SEAL, Billy Cosgrove, are brought in—but Cosgrove is almost immediately identified and murdered in his own home by the Russians. Cosgrove must take on the mob single-handedly, both to get revenge for his comrade-in-arms, and to keep himself alive the only way he can—by killing all of his well-funded, well-protected enemies.

    What books are thrilling you this July?

    The post July’s Best New Thrillers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 9:23 pm on 2017/03/31 Permalink
    Tags: , , , david baladacci, , , , , , ,   

    April’s Best New Thrillers 


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    These 10 April thrillers offer up twisty plots, backstabbing old friends, and enough gasp-out-loud moments to keep your heart rate up, even when you’re stuck inside on a rainy day.

    The Fixer, by David Baldacci
    Amos Decker returns for a third go-round, his latest case beginning when he witnesses a murder/suicide right outside FBI headquarters. The murder is a true mystery in every way: the killer had no discernible connection to the victim, and apparently no motive. He also left no indication as to why he committed the crime. Even more frustrating, Decker is quickly ordered off the case by the Defense Intelligence Agency, which informs him the killing is connected to a case so top secret, he can’t have anything to do with it. When it becomes clear solving the bizarre case is vital to national security, Decker and DIA agent Harper Brown form an uneasy partnership combining Decker’s flawless memory with her high-level access. They soon realize they are in a race against time to prevent a national disaster.

    Golden Prey, by John Sandford
    Sandford complicates things nicely in the 27th Lucas Davenport novel. Now a U.S. Marshal with the authority to investigate any case he sees fit, Davenport chooses to look into a drug robbery that went sideways. A man named Garvin Poole hit a counting house in Mississippi and wound up shooting four drug dealers—and a six-year-old girl, granddaughter to one of the criminals. Davenport discovers he’s working against a parallel “investigation” funded by the drug dealers, and led by extreme bad man Luis Soto and his torture specialist Charlene Kort, who leave a bloody trail behind them as they seek to enact their own version of justice. As Davenport and Soto close in on Poole, the action ramps up, and complex questions of justice are explored in bloody detail.

    All by Myself, Alone, by Mary Higgins Clark
    Lottery-winning lucky couple Alvirah and Willy Meehan decide to celebrate their 45th anniversary on the maiden voyage of the cruise ship Queen Charlotte. Limited to just 100 guests, the cruise boasts the very best of everything—and the tony passenger list includes the elderly Lady Emily Haywood, who brings her priceless emerald amulet along for the journey. Having set up a closed-ship scenario with plenty of colorful characters, all we need is a murder to set the tension soaring. Once the body drops, Alvirah turns amateur sleuth, risking her and Willy’s safety in a claustrophobic milieu that’s equal parts luxurious and dangerous.

    The Lost Order, by Steve Berry
    Cotton Malone’s adventure is another expert melding of nail-biting political intrigue and fascinating historical mystery. There’s a conspiracy at the highest levels of government to remake the United States government’s power structure, which requires immense resources—including a legendary cache of stolen treasure of the Knights of the Golden Circle, once one of the most powerful, dangerous secret societies in America. The Knights’ treasure was divided and hidden 150 years ago, and finding the loot requires cracking an unbreakable code. The Smithsonian tasks Malone with solving the mystery and recovering the gold, which brings him into direct conflict with powerful men seeking to fund a coup.

    Fast and Loose, by Stuart Woods
    In Woods’ 41st Stone Barrington novel, everyone’s favorite millionaire lawyer makes friends and enemies in equal measure. First, he befriends the Carlssons, a family of doctors who run famous clinics around the country, after they accidentally hit his yacht with their larger boat. As is Barrington’s wont, he soon becomes involved in a legal tangle over a takeover bid for the clinics, and after helping the Carlssons stave off the attack, he makes a new enemy in Erik Macher. Infuriated at Barrington, Macher plots murder, and the two engage in a tense dance of attack and counterattack that builds to an exciting faceoff. Barrington is as suave and capable as ever, with plenty of surprises along the way.

    The Burial Hour, by Jeffery Deaver
    In his 13th novel, Lincoln Rhyme squares off against a disturbing criminal known as The Composer, who kidnaps and hangs people in order to record their death sounds for his own twisted purposes, leaving small nooses behind as a calling card. Rhyme and Detective Amelia Sachs follow the clues to Naples, where they must work with the local authorities, including a serious prosecutor who isn’t particularly impressed with Rhyme’s resume. Rhyme bring his brilliant forensic mind to bear, following the clues and slowly closing in on the Composer, racing to save the lives of his next victims before they become part of the twisted killer’s dark masterwork.

    War Cry, by Wilbur Smith
    Combining global-scale adventure with the privileges of old-world aristocracy, the newest installment in the sprawling history of the Courtney family begins in Kenya in the wake of World War I, as big game hunter Leon and his beautiful daughter, Saffron, exult in their power as British colonizers. Saffron is a force of nature, a girl of terrible passions who bristles against the chauvinism all around her, and is as capable of manning a machine gun as falling wildly in love. The Courtneys witness the events that will soon pull the world inexorably toward World War II, encountering historical figures ranging from Hitler to the man who founded the Muslim Brotherhood. In between, Saffron travels abroad for school, prompting readers to keep turning pages just to find out what she’s going to say next. She’s a character who more than lives up to the reputation of one of literature’s most interesting families.

    No Easy Target, by Iris Johansen
    Johansen elevates Margaret Douglas from background player in her Eve Duncan books to protagonist in her newest book, which opens with Douglas using her rare ability to communicate psychically with animals in her volunteer work at the San Diego Zoo. One evening, while working with a willful tiger, Douglas is kidnapped by a former CIA agent named John Lassiter, who wants to use her as bait to rescue his mentor, who has been captured by sadistic über-criminal Stan Nicos. Douglas knows Nicos well—he once held her captive, and murdered her friend—and also knows he would use her psychic abilities for his own ends. Lassiter insists he will protect her, but Margaret isn’t one to let herself be used as a pawn in someone else’s game. She’ll make her own plans, and decide on her own terms if she will work with Lassiter in order to save a man’s life.

    A Single Spy, by William Christie
    The true pleasures of an espionage story lie in the methodical work of infiltration and information gathering. Christie understands this, and offers up the story of Alexsi Smirnov, who grew up in the 1930s in Azerbaijan under the rule of the Soviets. A talented thief, Alexsi is adopted by the German Shultz family, which has high-level connections they believe will allow them to move to Russia to live in a socialist paradise. Their reward turns out to be death in a purge, making Alexsi an orphan again in 1936—but his linguistic talents and sharp mind spare him, and he’s recruited to act as a Soviet spy, pretending to be a surviving Shultz son so he can embed himself in Nazi intelligence circles. This puts him in Tehran in 1943, where Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill will gather. Christie tightens the plot until the tension sings, as Alexsi must rely on the only advantage he has ever had—his brains.

    Prussian Blue, by Phillip Kerr
    The 12th Bernie Gunther novel weaves together two dangerous moments in Bernie’s routinely dangerous life. In 1939, he’s assigned to investigate a murder at Berghof, Hitler’s private retreat at Berchtesgaden, a case that must be solved before the Führer arrives to celebrate his 50th birthday. In 1956, Bernie has a change of heart regarding an assassination he’s been assigned to carry out by Stasi Chief Erich Mielke; he kills a Stasi agent as he makes his escape, heading for West Germany. One man unites both timelines: Friedrich Korsch, who Bernie once worked with, and who is now a Stasi agent. Kerr skillfully weaves all three stories together, building toward a surprising, satisfyingly explosive ending that demonstrates how little can change in 17 years, despite a world war.

    The post April’s Best New Thrillers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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