What better way to cool off this summer than by turning up the air conditioning and settling in with a thriller that will send chills down your spine? This season, the masters have really turned up the heat…or the cold.
James Patterson is so popular, he’s no longer just an author, he’s an industry. PRIVATE GAMES is written with an able assist by Mark Sullivan. This year, 10,000 competitors representing 200 countries will converge in London for the Olympic Games. Security will, of course, be of paramount importance. In this novel, the most esteemed agency in the world is Private, and they’ve been called in to make sure nothing goes awry. 400 top operatives have been assembled to see that the events proceed without incident. Of course, we wouldn’t have this first rate, fast paced suspense novel if that proved true.
The security agency in THE RISK AGENT, Ridley Pearson’s latest spine tingler, is called Rutherford Risk. An American owned construction company hires them when a Chinese citizen who works for the business is kidnapped. Private investigation is now illegal in China, so finding him will not be easy. Add in certain unique aspects of Chinese culture, including the acceptance of corrupt officials, and the task becomes even more difficult. This is a job for Grace Chu, a forensic accountant who is trained to follow the money, and John Knox, a civilian with extensive combat training. Together, they take on the maze of intrigue that defines the Shanghai underworld.
Richard North Patterson’s FALL FROM GRACE begins a lot closer to home. CIA agent Adam Blaine returns to Martha’s Vineyard for his father’s funeral. Ben Blaine had been a writer, and had estranged himself from his family. His death, from a fall off a cliff, may well have been murder, and the fact that he left his estate to his much younger lover may have been the motive. Adam decides to use his skills and training to get to the bottom of the matter, and in the process, learns more than he bargained for about his family. The atmosphere of Martha’s Vineyard is especially well conveyed by Patterson, who has spent many summers on the island.
XO is the signature that is the doorway to the mystery created by Jeffrey Deaver. Kayleigh Towne, a young singer with a burgeoning career, discovers just how obsessive a fan can be. This is the third Deaver novel featuring Special Agent Kathryn Dance. An expert in reading body language, Kathryn is unsure whether or not super fan Edwin Sharp is responsible for the murder of Kayleigh’s roadie. Is he a killer or a patsy? What about Kayleigh’s alcoholic and controlling father? Could Congressman Bill Davis have been playing a deadly hand? Or is it music producer Barry Zeigler Kayleigh should fear? Deaver himself has recorded an album of country western songs, and has used his own lyrics throughout the novel.
If you love mysteries based on historical events, Steve Berry’s THE COLUMBUS AFFAIR is a must have. There’s a 500 hundred year old secret which could change all that we think we know about the discovery of America. Journalist Tom Sagan believes his career has been sabotaged by an unknown enemy. When Sagan’s estranged daughter becomes entangled with fanatic Zachariah Simon, the lives of all involved are forever changed as a quest begins, starting in Florida, and progressing through Vienna and Prague. The game comes to a conclusion in the mountains of Jamaica- and nothing will ever be the same.
So why sweat the heat? Pour a cool drink, and settle into a thriller. Just don’t jump out of your skin if the doorbell rings. To purchase a featured book click on the title in RED.
Michall Jeffers is an accomplished Cultural Journalist and an avowed bibliophile. She writes extensively, both in print and online. Her eponymous cable TV show is syndicated throughout the tri-state area, and features celebrity interviews, reviews, and commentary. Michall is a voting member of National Book Critics Circle. www.michalljeffers.com