Book Review: Passport to Death by Yigal Zur

Passport to Death by Yigal Zur


BOOK INFO

Title: Passport to Death
Author: Yigal Zur
Publisher: Oceanview
Publish Date: November 5, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: Dotan Naor Thriller #2
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.54


BOOK BLURB

Dotan Naor, an Israeli private investigator, ousted from Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—goes to Thailand to find Sigal Bardon, a beautiful young girl from a wealthy Israeli family. Sigal has disappeared in Bangkok—completely. Dotan has connections in Thailand and he’s familiar with Bangkok’s dark side—the narrow alleys with bars and hookers, trenches of stagnant water, hotel rooms with illicit activity. This is where he intends to start his search. But when the passport of the missing Israeli girl ends up in his hands during his first taxi ride in the city, he’s suspicious that someone is playing him. But who? And why?

As Dotan searches for Sigal, police corruption blocks his every path. Every lead he pursues draws him closer and closer to a black hole in his “own” past—one intertwined with his pursuit of Sigal—one that leads him to Reuven—and the haunting failure that led to the dismissal of both of them from Shin Bet. The wound between Dotan and Reuven is raw and deep, but Dotan realizes it must be healed in order to save Sigal.



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MY REVIEW

The second book in the Dotan Naor series by Yigal Zur. Dotan Naor is a former Israeli agent turned private investigator. In this book, Dotan travels to Thailand to locate a missing young woman.

A captivating mystery involving the dark side of Bangkok. Dotan’s investigation into the missing woman takes some turns and becomes more complex than he expected. Dotan is an interesting character, and more things from his past are revealed in this novel.

An enjoyable read with intriguing characters and a vivid setting. Dark, gritty, and fast-paced.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.



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Book Review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

The Chain by Adrian McKinty


BOOK INFO

Title: The Chain
Author: Adrian McKinty
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publish Date: July 9, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.88


BOOK BLURB

YOUR PHONE RINGS.
A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.
TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD.
YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM’S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.
IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON’T HAPPEN:
YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.
YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN



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MY REVIEW

Rachel is on her way to a doctor’s appointment when she receives a phone call. On the phone is someone who has kidnapped her daughter Kylie. To get Kylie back, Rachel must obey the rules of The Chain.

A fantastic, yet horrifying, plot. The Chain is a kidnapping for ransom scheme. It starts with parents receiving a phone call that their child has been kidnapped. In addition to paying a ransom, they must also kidnap another child to keep The Chain going. As long as the parents follow the rules, The Chain stays active and everyone stays alive. Of course, once someone is in The Chain, they are forever watching over their shoulder, afraid someone will kill them or their child.

Told in two parts. The novel starts off exciting, and the entire first part is thrilling to read. The second part wasn’t as strong for me, but it stayed entertaining. Most of the novel is told from Rachel’s point of view, but other viewpoints are also included.

A fast-paced and action-packed thriller. Gripping, addictive, and intense.


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Book Review: Drowning with Others by Linda Keir

Drowning with Others by Linda Keir


BOOK INFO

Title: Drowning with Others
Author: Linda Keir
Publisher: Lake Union
Publish Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.82


BOOK BLURB

They have the perfect marriage. Did one of them kill to get it?

Prep school sweethearts Ian and Andi Copeland are envied by everyone they know. They have successful businesses, a beautiful house in St. Louis, and their eldest daughter, Cassidy, is following in their footsteps by attending prestigious Glenlake Academy. Then, a submerged car is dredged from the bottom of a swimming hole near the campus. So are the remains of a former writer-in-residence who vanished twenty years ago—during Ian and Andi’s senior year.

When Cassidy’s journalism class begins investigating the death, Ian and Andi’s high school secrets rise to the surface. Each has a troubled link to the man whose arrival and sudden disappearance once set the school on edge. And each had a reason to want him gone. As Cassidy unwittingly edges closer to the truth, unspoken words, locked away for decades, will force Ian and Andi to question what they really know—about themselves, about the past, and about a marriage built on a murderous lie.



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MY REVIEW

Ian and Andi Copeland were high school sweethearts at their boarding school. Twenty years later, they are married and their daughter Cassidy is now a senior at that same school. A car is found at the bottom of the local swimming hole with a body in it, and it turns out to be a missing teacher from Ian and Andi’s senior year at school. Cassidy’s class is taking on a class project to investigate what happened. The Copeland family is drawn into the mystery of what happened, and along the way secrets are revealed.

Told from Andi, Ian and Cassidy’s points of view. Journal entries from Andi and Ian’s time at school are used to fill in blanks from their pasts. I enjoyed the way the journal entries were included to further explain the characters and their stories. Andi and Ian broke up for a little while during their senior year, and it seems both of them have secrets from that time in their lives. Cassidy is curious about the submerged car, but she becomes even more curious when she learns things about her parents lives during that time. Well-drawn and likable characters.

Family drama and a murder mystery. The mystery was intriguing, especially since it’s not really clear if their was foul play or if the car ended up in the water from an accident or suicide. As the story continues, it seems any of those scenarios is possible. The family drama includes Ian and Andi’s teenage years and the events currently happening in everyone’s lives.

An entertaining read, but I would have enjoyed more suspense. A good read for fans of domestic suspense that enjoy more relationship drama than suspense.

This was my Amazon First Reads pick for September 2019.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Book Review: Little Voices by Vanessa Lillie

Little Voices by Vanessa Lillie


BOOK INFO

Title: Little Voices
Author: Vanessa Lillie
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Mystery – Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.71


BOOK BLURB

The voice in her head says he’s guilty. She knows he’s innocent.

Devon Burges is in the throes of a high-risk birth when she learns of her dear friend’s murder. The police quickly name another friend as the chief suspect, but Devon doesn’t buy it—and despite her difficult recovery, she decides to investigate.

Haunted by postpartum problems that manifest as a cruel voice in her head, Devon is barely getting by. Yet her instincts are still sharp, and she’s bent on proving her friend’s innocence.

But as Devon digs into the evidence, the voice in her head grows more insistent, the danger more intense. Each layer is darker, more disturbing, and she’s not sure she—or her baby—can survive what lies at the truth.



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MY REVIEW

During labor, Devon learns that one of her friends has been murder. The prime suspect is another of Devon’s friends. Devon is having some postpartum problems, primarily hearing a cruel voice in her head. She tries to ignore the voice, while also looking to prove her friend’s innocence and find the real killer. As she investigates, the persistent voice in her head continues and the danger of finding the killer grows.

Devon is a likable, though unreliable, narrator. She’s hearing a little voice in her head, and it’s a cruel voice that tries to wear her down and convince her she is not good enough. She is suffering with postpartum depression, so the discouraging voice is mostly believable.

A mystery thriller with murder, financial crimes, and women’s issues. Devon is a smart woman dealing with a difficult time in her life. She is aware that all is not right in her personal life, but she stays professional and driven.

In the end, it was a little too unbelievable for me, but I found it to be an entertaining read. Good for readers that enjoy domestic suspense and legal/financial thrillers. Dark, dramatic, and twisty.

This was my Amazon First Reads pick for September 2019.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Book Review: The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger

The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger


BOOK INFO

Title: The Stranger Inside
Author: Lisa Unger
Publisher: Park Row
Publish Date: September 17, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.13


BOOK BLURB

Even good people are drawn to do evil things…

Twelve-year-old Rain Winter narrowly escaped an abduction while walking to a friend’s house. Her two best friends, Tess and Hank, were not as lucky. Tess never came home, and Hank was held in captivity before managing to escape. Their abductor was sent to prison but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice—and killed him in cold blood.

Now Rain is living the perfect suburban life, her dark childhood buried deep. She spends her days as a stay-at-home mom, having put aside her career as a hard-hitting journalist to care for her infant daughter. But when another brutal murderer who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case. Eerie similarities to the murder of her friends’ abductor force Rain to revisit memories she’s worked hard to leave behind. Is there a vigilante at work? Who is the next target? Why can’t Rain just let it go?

Introducing one of the most compelling and original killers in crime fiction today, Lisa Unger takes readers deep inside the minds of both perpetrator and victim, blurring the lines between right and wrong, crime and justice, and showing that sometimes people deserve what comes to them.



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MY REVIEW

Rain is a stay-at-home mom, but misses her work as a reporter. When the suspected killer in a case she once worked is found murdered, she is drawn back into the case. To complicate matters, the recent murder is similar to an old case that Rain had a personal connection to. Rain is consumed with finding the killer.

Rain is taking a break from work to stay home with her child, but her reporter instincts kick in when a vigilante killer seems to be on the loose. The recent murder of a suspected killer is eerily similar to the murder of the man who attempted to abduct Rain when she was a kid. Rain was able to escape her kidnapper, but her best friends were not so lucky. As an adult, Rain still has a hard time with the guilt she has from her surviving while her friends suffered. Rain uses her skills and connections to discover the killer and how it connects to her past.

An addictive thriller that alternates between points of view. This is my second book to read by Lisa Unger, and she’s an author I’ll be sure to read more from in the future. Dark, captivating, and suspenseful.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Book Review: 29 Seconds by T.M. Logan

29 Seconds by T.M. Logan


BOOK INFO

Title: 29 Seconds
Author: T.M. Logan
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: September 1, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.04


BOOK BLURB

via Amazon:
From T.M. Logan, the bestselling author of Lies, comes 29 Seconds, a sensational new thriller that explores what happens when a split second thought of revenge takes on a life of its own.

“Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.”

Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by the charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne. A renowned scholar and television host, Hawthorne rakes in million-dollar grants for the university where Sarah works―so his inappropriate treatment of female colleagues behind closed doors has gone unchallenged for years. And Sarah is his newest target.

When Hawthorne’s advances become threatening, Sarah is left with nowhere to turn. Until the night she witnesses an attempted kidnapping of a young child on her drive home, and impulsively jumps in to intervene. The child’s father turns out to be a successful businessman with dangerous connections―and her act of bravery has put this powerful man in her debt. He gives Sarah a burner phone and an unbelievable offer. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that can make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No traces. All it takes is a 29-second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?



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MY REVIEW

Sarah is a professor working with a manipulative boss, Alan Hawthorne. Alan is holding back Sarah’s advancement with the university. She is not the only woman he has mistreated and threatened. Sarah knows he brings a lot of money to the university, and the higher ups always stand by him. When Sarah is given the opportunity to make her problem disappear, she has to decide if she can handle the consequences.

Sarah has put up with a lot while working with Alan. A woman can only be pushed so far though, and Alan has pushed Sarah until she doesn’t think she can handle anymore. The question is how far she is willing to go. Sarah’s turmoil over her decisions is realistic.

A fast-paced and compelling thriller. Unlikable characters. Twisty plot. This is the second novel I have read by T.M. Logan, and they have both been entertaining reads. I look forward to his next book.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Book Review: Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Now You See Me
Author: Chris McGeorge
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Publish Date: September 3, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.95

BOOK BLURB
via Amazon:
Six went in… only one came out.

The Standedge Tunnel, the longest canal tunnel in England, has become one of the rural village of Marsden’s main tourist attractions. Now it’s also a crime scene.

Six students went into the tunnel on a private boat. Two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared at the other end of the tunnel carrying only one of the students, Matthew. He had been knocked unconscious and has no memory of what took place in the tunnel. The police suspect he killed his friends, hid the bodies and later moved them to an undisclosed location. But sitting in a cell awaiting trial, Matthew maintains his innocence.

When Matthew contacts a famous author asking him for help in return for information he claims to possess about the author’s long-lost wife, it’s an offer that can’t be refused. But before the author can prove Matthew’s innocence, he must first answer a far more unusual question: How did five bodies disappear into thin air?


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MY REVIEW
Robin’s wife, Samantha, went missing in 2015. Three years later, Robin has written a book about her to help him with his grief. He misses her terribly, and especially wishes he knew what happened to her. At a book signing, he receives a mysterious call from a man saying he spoke with Samantha years earlier. The caller, Matthew, is a man who has recently been arrested for killing five of his friends. Matthew and his friends went through the Standedge Tunnel on a boat, but only Matthew came out of the tunnel. Matthew claims he is innocent and asks for Robin’s help, promising more information about Samantha if Robin helps him. Robin is intrigued and heads off to Marsden, location of Standedge Tunnel. While Matthew maintains his innocence, there is still a big question about his friends – where are the bodies?

Robin is grieving for his missing wife and having difficulty moving on. With the hope of learning something about Samantha’s disappearance, he jumps into investigating Matthew’s claim of innocence. However, the townspeople of Marsden have already decided Matthew is guilty, and they are not welcoming to Robin and his inquiries about the Standedge Five. This makes Robin’s task more difficult, but he presses on to discover what happened in the tunnel, and in turn, hopes to learn what happened to his wife.

The atmosphere of this mystery is fantastic. The claustrophobic tunnel and tight knit community of Marsden make for a dark and eerie setting. The characters are complex and not all that trustworthy. A compelling and suspenseful mystery.

I read Chris McGeorge’s previous novel, Guess Who, and was amused to see it referred to a couple of times in this book. Both books are entertaining thrillers.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Book Review: The Passengers by John Marrs

The Passengers by John Marrs

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Passengers
Author: John Marrs
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: August 27, 2019
Genre: Technothriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 5.0 / Community 4.20

BOOK BLURB
via Amazon:
You’re riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, “You are going to die.”

Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, “Which of these people should we save?…And who should we kill first?”

The Passengers by John Marrs
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MY REVIEW
Eight self-driving cars are hijacked. The hacker of the cars has told the passengers that they are going to die. Meanwhile, a jury is convened to determine the cause of accidents involving driverless vehicles. The jury and the rest of the world watch as the hacker controls the fates of the eight passengers.

Told with the alternating points of view of the passengers and a jury member. The hijacked cars and the jury are all being captured on camera, and the live videos go viral. The hacker gives the jury the opportunity to try and save a passenger. As the jury questions the passengers, secrets are revealed. Public opinion of which passengers should live and which should die are all trending on social media. A intriguing mix of characters in a unique story.

The Passengers combines the future of self-driving cars, social media, and human behavior. I enjoyed the technological aspect of the story, and found it both realistic and disturbing. Fans of John Marrs are sure to enjoy his newest thriller. Addictive, exciting, and suspenseful.

I received a free advance digital copy from Penguin’s First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Book Review: The Whisper Man by Alex North

The Whisper Man by Alex North


BOOK INFO

Title: The Whisper Man
Author: Alex North
Publisher: Celadon Books
Publish Date: August 20, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: na
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.27


BOOK BLURB

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…


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MY REVIEW

Tom has had a hard time adjusting to life after his wife’s death. He decides to move, so he and his son Jake relocate to the small town of Featherbank. In Featherbank, a young boy has gone missing, and the case is linked to an older series of kidnappings and murders committed by The Whisper Man. The police caught The Whisper Man, Frank Carter, and he has been in prison for the last twenty years for those crimes. One of the detectives that worked the old cases questions Frank in the new missing boy case, but it’s difficult in find a direct link. Tom and Jake are brought into the case when Jake starts to hear the whispers.

Complex characters with realistic emotions and actions. Tom is a widower struggling with the loss of his wife and raising his seven-year-old son alone. Tom has problems, but he loves his son and wants the best for Jake. As for Jake, he’s a lonely and sad young boy. He does have a creative side though, and he is able to use that to express his emotions. Their move to a new town is designed to help them with a fresh start, but they end up moving somewhere with a disturbing past and a dangerous kidnapper/murdered on the loose.

The detectives work hard to solve the current missing child case. This is especially true for DI Pete Willis. He worked the original Whisper Man case, and has always been troubled by not finding the final missing boy in that investigation. He has continued to search for that boy for 20 years. With the new case, it seems he may be able to learn more about what happened to that last little boy.

A mystery thriller with a creepy side. The Whisper Man whispers to the children to coax them to him. The house that Tom and Jake move to is the scary house… as in it looks scary. It turns out to have some disturbing things associated with it too. An atmospheric mystery with intriguing characters and an intricate plot. Dark, chilling, and heartbreaking.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Book Review: The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan


BOOK INFO

Title: The Murder List
Author: Hank Phillippi Ryan
Publisher: Forge Books
Publish Date: August 20, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 4.48


BOOK BLURB

Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

The Murder List is a new standalone suspense novel in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and B. A. Paris from award-winning author and reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan.


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MY REVIEW

Rachel is in law school and gets an internship with the district attorney’s office. This causes problems in Rachel’s marriage because her husband is a defense attorney, and his biggest enemy is the DA. During her internship, a cold case is reopened. One that Rachel has a connection with from her days working with a senator.

This novel alternates between past and present. Rachel is smart and driven. Her husband is a successful defense attorney, and they have plans for her to get a law degree so they can work together. Before getting married, Rachel worked for a senator. During her time there, a coworker was killed and the murderer was never found. During her internship with the DA’s office, that old murder case is revisited when new leads are found.

A simple story told in a complex way. The murder mystery is who killed a woman that worked for a senator. As the past meets present, old secrets are revealed. Each character seems to have an ulterior motive, making for an absorbing thriller.

A good read for fans of legal thrillers. Suspenseful, clever, and twisted.

I received a free ARC of The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.