Name: Kate May
Summary/Thoughts: Keeps you guessing “who did it?” until the end of the story. I liked the variety of characters: the friends, the business partners, the neighborhood priest, the police detectives etc. Very compelling story. A stolen child and the people who try to solve the crime. Not too dark and very readable.
Title: I’ll walk alone
Author: Mary Higgens Clark
Appeal Factors: Strong characters,fast paced plot, great setting- New York Interior Design wolrd
Read Alikes: You don’t want to know by Lisa Jackson and Look again by Lisa Scottoline
Name: Susan Allison
Summary/Thoughts: SUMMARY: (From NoveList) Three decades ago, Cassandra Neary was an avant-garde photographer whose book, Dead Girls, was published to acclaim. But her hard-driving lifestyle, in concert with the rapid collapse of the counterculture, led to a downward spiral. Salvation appears in the form of an editor who offers her the chance to interview a reclusive photographer, Aphrodite Kamestos. But when Cass arrives at the photographer’s private island, she finds that Kamestos had no idea she was coming. Rather than turn around and go home, Cass decides to use the opportunity to find out what she can about Kamestos, uncovering a few shocking secrets and one old mystery in the process.
-First book in the Cassie Neary series.
-VERY Strong sense of place (settings are NYC and small island off coast of Maine)
-Well done flashbacks – helps understanding of main character, helps story come alive
-Character of Cassie wins us over almost in spite of herself – the way she depicts herself, self loathing…
-Frank discussions of sex & drugs – if this offends, may wish to avoid.
-Meaning of “Generation Loss” – photography term, Cassie describes on pg. 28 – “what happens when you endlessly reproduce a photographic image” – idea / imagery of this term used through out the book in many ways.
Genre: Mystery – Suspense / Thriller
Title: Generation Loss
Author: Elizabeth Hand
Appeal Factors: Character-driven, Candid tone, Descriptive and also Direct writing style, Fast-paced and engrossing, Very strong sense of place, Bleak – very much has “Scandinavian Mystery/Suspense” feel. FROM NOVELIST – they call the writing style “gritty and lush” – I agree!
Read Alikes: Girl With A Dragon Tattoo – Stiegg Larsson; Dark Places (or any other) by Gillian Flynn, The Healer by Antti Tuomainen, Veronica by Mary Gaitskill
Name: Sarah Breen
Summary/Thoughts: Harry Hole, is a Norwegian police investigator. When a young Norwegian girl taking a gap year in Sydney is murdered, Harry is sent to Australia to assist with the investigation.
From Novelist, it is disturbing, suspenseful, intricately plotted, and compelling.
I haven’t read much of this book yet but so far it hasn’t grabbed me. It is is a bit confusing since it was written in Norwegian translated into English, and set in Australia. I like that it is a series, which I know are popular.
(Hopefully I can add more thoughts once I’ve read a bit more.)
Title: The Bat
Author: Jo Nesbo
Appeal Factors: Police Investigator, Crime, Murder, Norwegian, Series
Read Alikes: Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, Stieg Larrso, John Sandford, Martha Grimes
Name: Tatanya Flannery
Summary/Thoughts: This is the first book in the popular Alex Cross series. Top ranking African American Washington homicide detective Cross holds a doctorate in psychology. A widower and father of two, Cross remains close to his modest roots. In this story he is chasing a murderous kidnapping psychopath named Gary Murphy. Cross is tasked with unraveling whether Gary is a multiple personality or an evil sociopath and whether he worked alone or with an accomplice. Cross finds that even he is unprepared for the shocking conclusion.
Title: Along Came a Spider
Author: James Patterson
Appeal Factors: plot-driven, fast-paced, dramatic, disturbing
Read Alikes: If I Should Die by Grace Edwards; Mind Prey by John Sandford
Name: Stefanie Aucoin
Summary/Thoughts: As an audiobook, I thought this was a terrific story, however I think that since so much hangs on how you imagine the character’s voices, reading this in print might actually take away from the surprise twist at the end. What comes off as exciting as an audio adventure might be cliche in print.
Horowitz is able to stay true to the idea and time of Sherlock Holmes while at the same time updating the content to be edgier and darker than anything that Conan Doyle would have written. Fans of TVs Sherlock might find House of Silk and Moriarty something new to sink their teeth into.
Fast paced, very twisty detailed plot, good character development and study. Warnings for blood and gruesome scenes but clean in terms of language and sex.
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Appeal Factors: fast paced, excellent audio reader, character development, frame
Read Alikes: House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz, The Late Scholar by Jill Paton Walsh
Name: Margaret Perkins
Summary/Thoughts: Not quite as compelling as Robard’s Dr. Charlotte Stone series, or as scary as Linda Howard’s “Prey” and “Ice”, but I would definitely recommend to readers of romantic suspense.
Genre: suspense, romantic suspense
Author: Karen Robard
Appeal Factors: fast paced, plot driven
Read Alikes: anything written since 2000 or so by Linda Howard; Tami Hoag
Name: Liz Reed
Summary/Thoughts: From Novelist: Dexter Morgan, who hides a secret life as an assassin while working as a murder analyst for the Miami police, is intrigued by the work of a new serial killer whose style mimics his own.
Fans of the show will not be disappointed by this book, even though the plot of the show diverges from the plot of the book series. More psychological suspenseful than thriller, this book is primarily character driven. The book is entirely narrated from Dexter’s perspective, which is an interesting twist. The writing style is described in Encore as “gritty,” and while I agree, the author also plays around with language, especially alliteration. There are definitely gory sections, but it’s tempered by Dexter being such a likable character. Beware, there is strong language and frequent use of F-bombs by some characters, especially Dexter’s cop sister Deb. The title works well as an audiobook. The reader is very good (though it’s a bit strange to reconcile his voice with the actor Michael C Hall), and it was good to hear the difference between Spanish and Cubano Spanish accents. The book isn’t very long and is fast-paced. Despite dealing with dismemberment, the tone is light and even humorous at times. Definitely a good way for readers to get inside the head of a serial killer and consider dark things without experiencing them. Recommended for those who like to root for the “bad guy.” This is the first title in the eight-book Dexter series, and I can’t wait to read the rest!
Genre: Psychological suspense
Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Author: Jeffrey Lindsay
Appeal Factors: Fast-paced, darkly humorous, offbeat, violent, disturbing, gritty, serial killers, vigilante justice, TV show tie-in, Miami setting
Read Alikes: (from Encore) John Cleaver series, Silver Bear thrillers, Portia McTeague novels, Paul Lucas novels, “Denial” by Keith Ablow