Sunday, January 30, 2011

"The Rembrandt Affair" by Daniel Silva (@danielsilvabook)

Once again, I get to talk to you about an amazing thriller writer that already has a ton of books out there for you to read.  Yes, many of you thriller readers already know Daniel Silva, but for those of you who don't?  Booyah!  New author, new series, new kick-butt hero to follow!

For those of you for whom thrillers just don't cause your literary engine to turn over, here's something to entice you.  A central character who is a spy (wait for it), assassin (not yet), and art-restorer (there it is!).  How amazingly intriguing is that?  Yes, he's a real man.  Yes, he can kill you with his bare hands in twenty-five different ways.  Yes, he can bring back to full vibrancy that lovely painting by Monet.  A touch of class runs through this protagonist, elevating the entire series.  There's a thoughtful, art-loving side to Silva's work that is so beautifully typified in his choice of lead character.

Now, if thrillers don't just turn your crank but spin it right round, baby, then Silva's a serious where-the-crap-have-you-been writer.  This novel's got it all.  Twists.  Turns.  Tight scrapes and tighter muscles.  There's more than enough here for even the jones-ing-est of adrenaline junkies.  What's great is that Silva puts those thrills in the context of a truly tight and compelling storyline again and again and again.  This novels the latest in a series that's got like six or seven books already, all superb.

So rather than waste time with more jibber-jabber, why not just go and order the sucker now!  Right here.  Oh, and have fun.  It's quite the ride...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Broken" by Karin Slaughter

Ah, the joy of finding a new and amazing thriller writer!  What makes it even better is when it's someone like Karin Slaughter, who has a bunch of books already out (and in the same series, no less!) so that I don't have to wait a year for the next freakin' book.

When I picked up Broken, I was excited.  It had been highly recommended, I was looking for a new thriller writer to read and I generally dig the female perspective on the thriller genre.  I wasn't prepared for how much I was going to care about the small southern community of Grant County, Atlanta.  I grew up in the south, and have a lot of relatives that live in the kind of backwater place she describes with vivid accuracy.  I felt like I was actually there, in both the wonderful nostalgia and the oh-my-goodness-get-me-out-of-here small town mentality.  The characters are real:  messy, heart-wrenching and utterly believable.  This book felt more like something out of the "literature" section than some of the hard-boiled pulp I've gotten used to over the years.  And I mean that in a good way.

For those thriller readers who are now wrinkling up their noses after my unfortunate use of the word literature...despair not!  I too, am a fan of all things tense and adrenaline-riddled.  This book has plenty of it.  Slaughter manages to elevate the genre (and let's face it... the genre can always use the extra height) without sacrificing what we thriller-lovers live for--heart pounding, blood pumping action.  There's no sacrifice here.  No "I'm bettering myself" sense of just having to get through the next chapter (Pilgrim's Progress, anyone?).  You'll be flipping pages furiously before you consciously realize you've opened the cover.  Oh, and when you get to the end and are sad to leave the County?  Just remember there's more books in the series.  You can find Broken here.

Also, we're moving into week 2 of the amazing Blog Tour de Force!  Today's stop is Keta Diablo's Where the Rain Is Made, so go check it out here.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"The Dark Road" by Marissa Farrar (@MarissaFarrar)

If you haven't been watching, there's this thing running around Twitter right now called the Blog Tour de Force, and it's taking the Twitterverse by storm.  Marissa Farrar's novel The Dark Road is stop number 4 out of 12.  You can check out her blog here (and enter to win her gift-basket).  You can purchase the novel here.

First couple of things about this novel.  One, it's a lightning fast read.  It's a hundred and fifty-two pages that simply fly past.  Two, it only costs $5.  That's not much of a risk--you can barely get lunch for five dollars.

That said, there's enough mystery, mayhem, twists and turns to keep you thriller fans happy, while those of you who don't typically feel the need for speed will love the detailed descriptions of exotic locales.  There is definitely sense of verisimilitude as you read Farrar's words that evoke sight, sound and smell with seeming ease.  The dark story of the dark road has the power to keep you up at night with your heart in your throat.

So, if all that isn't enough to get you to click through, I'll sweeten the pot.  You could win a KINDLE!!  That's right.  You can enter to win a Kindle filled with all 12 of the authors' books from the Blog Tour de Force.  Want to see all the other authors involved?  Go to the Blog Tour de Force's website, here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blog Tour de Force, Baby!

I know, right?  No awesome review of an awesome thriller.  What's up with that?

Fear not, fellow readers.  I have something even better for today.  It's called the Blog Tour de Force, and it is SWEET!  I'm directing you to the first of 12, check it, TWELVE blogs talking about 12 books by twelve authors.  And, I'll be posting a review of one of them during the week, The Dark Road by Marissa Farrar.  So check back on the 20th for that one.  Today's novel is HeartsBlood by Carolyn McCray, and WOW it's good.  Go check out Carolyn's blog here.

Here's the deal about this little shindig.  It's like no other blog tour you've seen before.  I'll be honest, I find most of them a real snore.  But here, you're going from book to book, entering yourself for twelve separate gift-baskets along the way, with the chance to win a Kindle loaded with all twelve of the books.  How freakin' cool is that?

Oh, and if you sign up for the Blog Tour de Force's newletter, you will automatically get five entries for that ol' e-reader I mentioned before (KINDLE, KINDLE, KINDLE... sorry, got excited).  So, as you can see, this ain't your grandmother's blog tour.

I guess what I'm saying is that you want to be a part of this sucker.  So go right now to the first on the list, HeartsBlood.  Leave a comment and get a FREE e-book (plus you can enter to win an awesome gift basket)!  Then watch Blog Tour de Force's website to follow the tour day by day.  You are NOT going to want to miss this!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Heartsick" by Chelsea Cain (@ChelseaCain)

Yeah, I'm going into the past for this one, but I felt like it was worth the flashback.  First thing to say...if you're squeamish, this may be a tough read for you.  With that said, read it anyway.  Seriously.

"Why on earth would I do that?" you ask?  Because this one's worth it.

You hardcore crime thriller fans should eat this one up.  This is one of those no-brainers.  Yes, the similarities between this book and Harris' Silence of the Lambs (actually, it's closer to Red Dragon) have been discussed ad nauseum.  No, this is not just a gender-reversing rehash.  This is a grab-you-by-the-seat-of-your-britches thrill ride.  I'm not saying that it's some perfect creation.  There are three story-lines that can get a bit cumbersome at moments, but wow is this book worth the time to read it.  Especially since it represents Cain's first foray into this genre.

The rest of you are already blanching at the thought of a drop or two of blood, aren't you?  Well, I won't lie, there's more than that.  But Cain creates such amazingly compelling characters with such stunningly complex interactions that after a few chapters, you may still be squirming from the torture sequences, but you won't be able to put the sucker down.  You're caught up in their lives, and they'll stay with you after the novel ends.  Plus, the setting is so vividly described that it feels like another presence constantly in the background, creating the world where these things should never happen but do.

So, yes, a whole-hearted recommendation for Heartsick.  Plus, it's a series, so I'm sure we'll take a jaunt into Sweetheart and Evil at Heart before the release of The Night Season in March.  Get Heartsick here.  Just leave the lights on while you're reading it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Altar of Eden" by James Rollins (@JamesRollins)

Okay, thriller readers!  If you somehow missed the hardback edition of Altar of Eden, the paperback is now out (as of Dec. 28th).  No excuses!

This novel has everything you seasoned thriller readers are looking for--science, suspense, twists and turns, and of course, adrenaline-pumping action.  Rollins has taken a break from the Sigma series to go back to his stand-alone-novel roots and give us this nail-biter.  I zipped through this sucker in what felt like a minute and a half.  Unfortunately, it was actually a couple of days, and my life felt the effects of my lack of presence in it.  Fair warning.  Pick up this book at your own risk!

For those hey-I-can-take-it-or-leave-it thriller types, here are the hooks that'll grab ya.  First, this is the first novel that Rollins (a veterinarian) has written about veterinarians.  It's filled with all kinds of first-hand knowledge of what makes vets tick.  Second, the protagonist Lorna is also a woman, a slight departure from many of Rollins more testosterone-fueled efforts.  She's a fully developed, perfectly realized specimen of a character that will make you care while you're flying through the pages.  And finally, the romantic tension that exists between Lorna and Jack keeps things as steamy as the Delta they're skimming through.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, this novel pretty much rocks out loud.  Get it now, right here, if you haven't read it already.  If you have, buy the paperback for a friend.  They will thank you.  Profusely.