The Negotiator by Dee Henderson

Find in catalogThe Negotiator by Dee Henderson has it all: suspense, thrills, romance, mystery, action, and a strong sense of right vs. wrong. This novel is the first in a series of successive stories focusing on a family created years ago by orphans who found each other and grew close enough that they changed their last name to O’Malley and stuck together through the years. Each book focuses on a different family member, their intense job, romance, and faith.

Kate O’Malley works as a hostage negotiator in Chicago, fearlessly walking straight into intense hold-ups with little to no protection and calmly convincing dangerous criminals to let their hostages go and turn themselves in. Her nonchalant voice and attitude go a long way in dangerous situations, making her one of the best at her job, but will it be enough to keep her and her loved ones safe when threat calls and black roses start showing up-targeting her? Will she change her mind about dating a policeman when a handsome FBI agent appears in her life? What conclusions will Kate come to when her youngest sister, dying of cancer, asks her to rethink the question of how a God can exist who is both just and merciful? This captivating read is a satisfying length, and its many plot twists bring new surprises to the very end. Readers will be anxious to read the rest of the series!

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Find in catalogThis was a great mystery! The story unfolds slowly, but there are hints that make you think – ah ha, I know where this is going… but, there’s more to know.

I love that the audio book uses the voices of Londoners and Irish for the characters; really helps to feel the story.

Highly recommended.

The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong

This thriller was a true page turner! I had the hardest time putting it down and would have happily read it all in one sitting if I could have! You-Jeong’s work is a mix of Gone Girl and Stephen King’s work and I couldn’t be happier with the result. It’s about a son who wakes up to find his mother’s body and yet he doesn’t remember anything from the night before. From there it weaves a complex Find in catalogstory of trying to find out what happened and unravels the complexities of the mother’s and son’s relationship.

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjahlian

Find in catalogThe Flight Attendant of the title has had many blackouts after drinking, but none so bad as waking up next to a dead guy. Did she kill him? (That is answered in chapter 2, eliminating a great deal of suspense). Why was he killed? (I think I know, but I’m not entirely sure; there are potential real reasons and fake reasons, and I didn’t figure out which was which). There is some suspense, and a few surprises, and one twist that seemed obvious to me. The characters aren’t very likeable, but they are interesting (especially our self-destructive flight attendant, emphasis on flight [from the scene of the crime].) As in my Sleepwalker review, I had some quibbles with language (the author kept saying “love-making” where I would just say “sex,” especially when talking about a one-night stand). I also doubted authenticity from the first sentence: “She was aware first of the scent of the hotel shampoo.” After a while, she’s aware of the scent of sex. (At least it wasn’t the scent of “love-making”). But what she should smell above all else, right away, is blood, because she’s in bed with someone who’s drenched in it! Despite these annoyances, and despite the book not being super well-written, I was still hooked to see where it would end up. Dare I say it would make a good read for a long flight? It would!

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz

Find in catalogThis book, a continuation of the Lisbeth Salander, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, series is on my list of “A Book I Would Call in Sick To Work When I Wasn’t To Keep Reading This Book” book.
It’s riveting and fast-paced. The author leads you to the edge a revelation, then moves to another character, leads you to the edge of another cliff and moves on. I had to keep reading for that reason and to see how Salander would escape each sticky situation.

Lisbeth is in jail at the beginning and the book reveals much more about her past and what has created such a strange, brilliant and resourceful character.

I heard an interview with the author, who was chosen to continue the Stieg Larsson series. He did his utmost to study Larsson’s style and continue with his work as Larsson would have. And he really does.

You can start the series here but Warning! You’ll want to read all the others. Now.

The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea

Find in catalogThe Girl Who Was Taken is a story told in a roundabout way. We go back and forth in time as the story unravels.

“We all know the harrowing story of Megan McDonald. The all-American girl, daughter of Emerson Bay’s sheriff, who was abducted in the summer of 2016. One year later, Megan is out now with her book, Missing, the true-story account of her abduction and courageous escape.” But what about the other girl, Nicole, who also went missing that night? Megan and Nicole both disappeared after their end of summer party. Only Megan escapes and has written a book about her time while in captivity. Livia who happens to be Nicole’s much older sister is a pathologist and through a discovery, she makes on an autopsy, she starts working out what happened the night the girls went missing. Throughout the book, there were little clues to who might have abducted the girls and while some stuff seemed a little random and out of place at times. There was one thing – an action of sorts – that stood out to us and lead to figuring out who the abductor was.It’s nothing major but from the very beginning that noise, per se, stood out. I won’t mention what it is that lead us to solving the mystery otherwise, when you read the story you’ll know early on who had done it. “The future was something taken for granted. It was always there, waiting to be lived.” The Girl Who Was Taken is a standalone set in North Carolina. The author plans to have more thrillers featuring Livia who will use forensic science to solve more mysteries.

Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

“Normal is something you can fake really well if you try hard enough. You have to start by convincing yourself, and everyone else will follow, like sheep over a cliff.”

There’s nothing normal about this story. The main character, Lainey, is an unreliable narrator. At times I wondered if she was giving us the whole truth about situations or if we were being manipulated into thinking a certain way.

Lainey was taken at the age of 10 and held captive for 3 years. The story begins 10 years after she was discovered and released. As a 23-year-old she’s been scouring the missing person’s boards to see if any other girls are ever taken and for 10 years none have been taken. But now a 10-year-old girl is missing who meets Lainey’s captor’s criteria. Immediately, Lainey is certain her captor has struck again and she’s determined to bring him down. Her captor was never found and she’s not going to let him ruin another girl’s life.

“My life ended in that basement. It’s just that my body forgot to die for some reason. And I’m walking around, a body without a soul, waiting for someone to come along and pull the plug on me.”

Lainey is a broken girl/woman. She’s hiding in plain sight and yet her world is clouded. Her coping mechanisms have led her on a path of drugs. She’s made some poor life choices but who can blame her after the horrific childhood she’s endured. The empowerment Lainey comes to as she tries to track down this monster and free this missing girl will have the reader journeying down the rabbit hole with her. Lainey is a frustrating character because one minute the reader will be rooting for her to make a smart move and the next the reader will want to lock her up in a psych ward so she can’t continue to harm herself.

At times Lainey seemed to be a pawn in this situation. At every turn, she was either being manipulated and/or coerced into action. The whole plot twist and turns at every bend in the story.

Some of my favorite parts were reading the conspiracy chat boards Lainey frequents. The users had some interesting conspiracies on what was happening with this missing girl case. And at times I felt like how this user expressed: ”Mike6669: Holy s***. This case is starting to seriously give me the heebie-jeebies.”

For my romance friends, this book has zero romance in it. I repeat there’s no romance in this book. If you’re looking for a book to clean your palette I’d recommend reading this thriller. It has many plot twist that will have you flipping pages to figure out what’s on the horizon.

Girl Last Seen is a standalone thriller that takes place in Seattle, Washington.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Find in catalogThis is a young adult dystopian novel and I haven’t found a young adult series I got so caught up in since Harry Potter. The story follows Tris as she grows into herself, and not only changes herself, but the world. I highly recommend checking it, and the sequels out!

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Mr. MercedesThe King never ceases to amaze. His first detective novel has no supernatural elements, no evil clowns to haunt your sleep, but is every bit as suspenseful, with a hard-boiled hero, unique and loveable sidekicks whose destiny you care about, and a deeply intriguing portrait of a mass killer. The psychological insight is so penetrating that you almost forget to be afraid. Almost. It’s a fast read, because you can’t put it down, and why even try? It’s delicious to lose yourself in King’s world, which, in the case of “Mr. Mercedes,” is very much our own.

Reviewed by Magill