Catch Me by Lisa Gardner

In four days, someone is going to kill me…At 8pm on January 21st, twenty-eight-year-old Charlie Grant believes she is going to be murdered and she want’s Boston’s top homicide detective, D.D. Warren, to handle her death investigation.  Her death will be up close and personal, no evidence of forced entry, no sign of a struggle.  Charlie tells a chilling story:  Her two childhood best friend were murdered on January 21st, two years apart.  Now only Charlie remains to count down her final hours. Gardner’s latest edition to the D.D. Warren Series, Catch Me is a scare-your-socks-off thriller, packed with enigmatic characters (some good, some crazily evil) and superb storytelling.

A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison

>17 year old Ahalya and her 15 year old sister Sita are made homeless orphans when a tsunami sweeps through their town in coastal India, killing everyone they know. As they try to make their way to a convent school in another town, they are abducted and sold to a brothel owner in Mumbai, leaving the girls caught up in the brutal world of sex trafficking.
After losing a high-profile case, Washington, D.C. attorney Thomas Clarke has fallen out of grace at his law firm and elects to take a sabbatical at a non-profit agency in India, with the hopes of re-connecting with his Indian-born wife as well as escaping his job. Clarke is faced with the horrors of human trafficking at his NGO, and with the corrupt systems that allow it to flourish. Becoming involved with the cases of Ahalya and Sita, he attempts to locate the girls and free them from their enslavement.

This is a compelling thriller whose plot has many twists and turns with well-defined, strong characters. Addison has offered eye-opening insights into the horrific world of the international sex slavery trade, but he also offers hope and redemption through the portrayals of the characters who work tirelessly in dangerous situations to free enslaved women, often under dangerous circumstances, and offer them a better life.  A Walk Across the Sun is a riveting, thought-provoking novel that depicts both the worst that can be found in humanity as well as the resilience and hope that can be found in the human spirit despite the most awful circumstances. This is a story that will remain with you long after reading the last page.

Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

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If you love the natural world and like to fantasize about life and death struggles, then Micro is for you.  Written by Richard Preston, author of science novels such as The Hot Zone, this unfinished manuscript of Michael Crichtons’ is a sci-fi fantasy about humans that have been shrunk to the size of thumbtacks.
Young researchers at a Massachusetts university are flown to Hawaii to work for a cutting edge nanotechnology company. Their expertise with plants and bugs is useful in this companies research.  Little do they know that they are pawns in a scheme to further research the nano world themselves by being shrunk.  They also will be watched to see if the bends which are a side effect of the process, causing internal bleeding and death,  can be analyzed and eliminated.
 The mercenary owner of Nanigen wants to perfect and sell micro sized drone aircaft and other technology to the highest bidder. Drake cares nothing about the deaths caused by the technology, his only interest is in the profits and fame.
The students are in a fight for their life when they encounter the insects of the island in their small state.  Even the smallest ant is a huge threat to their existence.  The descriptions of their encounters with grubs, wasps, spiders and being swallowed and caught in the craw of a myna bird are intriguing and frightening.
The characters, though not well developed, are in an interesting struggle for life and make this an intriguing science fiction tale.

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

>“Dear You,
The body you are wearing used to be mine.”
So begins the wonderfully imaginative debut novel The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. Myfanwy (pronounced like “Tiffany”) Thomas opens her eyes to find herself standing in a park in the rain surrounded by bodies wearing latex gloves. She finds two letters addressed to herself in her coat pockets containing instructions for how to either slide herself into the life of the old Myfanwy Thomas, the previous owner of the body, or how to run and begin a new life for herself with a new name. Myfanwy obviously chooses to stay and take up the responsibilities and life of Thomas (as she calls the old owner of the body), which turn out to be complicated and very surprising. Thomas was a “Rook,” one of eight heads of the organization known as the Checquy that protects the United Kingdom from supernatural threats. Someone was obviously trying to remove Thomas from the picture and Myfanwy is saddled not only with the challenge of quickly learning how to run a secret organization and control the supernatural powers she inherited along with her body but also with the task of sussing out the conspiracy behind her memory loss and how the increasing number of supernatural attacks since she woke up in the park is related to her existance.

This is a totally enthralling, complex, and darkly humorous debut that should appeal to readers who enjoy Jim Butcher or Neil Gaiman.

Portrait of a Spy

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by Daniel Silva
Gabriel Allon is an artist, restoring valuable pieces of art.  He is also a retired Israeli spy who travels with his wife, Chiara.  On one of his trips to England, he spots a possible suicide bomber and follows him with the intent of killing him before the detonator is pressed.  Just before he pulls the trigger, he is tackled by British police and the bomber kills eighteen innocent people.  Gabriel is pardoned for his attempt of murder only by working with the CIA to put a stop to terrorism.  He must convince Nadia, the daughter of the terriorist Gabriel killed 5 years earlier, to help them discover who the head man is.  Portrait of a Spy is number eleven in the Gabriel Allon Series.

Shining Through

>Susan Isaacs is usually an author of womens fiction and mysteries but she has written two spy novels.  Shining Through is her fourth novel,  a World War II spy thriller.  It was made into a movie with celebrities Michael Douglas, Melanie Griffith and Liam Neeson.
Linda Voss is a secretary in love with her boss. As common place as that theme is, Linda’s dream comes true when the wife of her boss, John Berringer, leaves him for another man and circumstances allow for their marriage.  John is a high profile lawyer doing work for European countries in the late 1930′s.  Both he and Linda speak German which is essential for handling the business transactions frantically happening on the continent.  They are drawn into espionage through their law firm,  and Linda volunteers for a spy mission when their marriage begins falling apart.  This gripping novel with its romance and twisting plot kept me hooked.  All of Susan Isaac’s books have been New York Times best sellers!

Shock Wave by John Sandford

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Mega-chain store, PyeMart is coming to small town Butternut Falls, Minnesota. Apparently not everyone is happy about this development. Bombs start going off, the first one in PyeMart headquarters in Michigan and the second at the local PyeMart construction site in Butternut Falls, killing and injuring several people. Virgil, who works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, is sent to Butternut to help the local law enforcement and the ATF with the investigation. The plot is suspenseful and moves along at a rapid pace as Virgil attempts to solve the crime before more people are killed. Unfortunately for him, it seems that half the town is unhappy with PyeMart, including many local merchants, as well as trout fishermen who don’t want the Butternut River polluted. Finding out the exact motives of the bomber proves difficult until Virgil decides to use some unorthodox methods to attempt to narrow down the search for the bomber quickly. Not only is the plot compelling, but Virgil himself is an extremely likeable and believable character with a string of ex- wives, long hair, a fishing boat, and a wardrobe consisting of classic rock band tee shirts. Shock Wave is the 5th novel by John Sandford starring detective Virgil Flowers. Although it is helpful as far as some of the character development, it is not necessary to have read the previous books in the series.

Waking Hours

>by Lis Wiehl

Tommy Gunderson, former NFL linebacker, is taken down by the seemingly supernatural strength of an elderly woman who he finds trespassing on his property.  The woman appears to be a little crazy as she is gutting a frog and yelling at him in what sounds like Latin.  Later that night, Tommy is informed that a teen he’s been mentoring, is suspect of maliciously murdering a teenage girl.  Dani Harris, a forensic psychologist, is called to investigate the case.  Many of the East Salem’s teens were at the same party as the victim that night.  When the teens are questioned, none of them can remember what happened.  Tommy’s new passion is being a PI and he works with Dani to help solve the crime.  They both start having haunting nightmares, strangely wake at 2:13, and find items moved around when they awake.  There is definitely something sinister happening in New Salem, NY.  Waking Hours is the first book in the East Salem Trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Lis Wiehl.

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Gideon’s Corpse by Douglas J. Preston and Lincoln Child.
   A plume of radiation above New York City hints that a major city will be vaporized. Ten days to find the terrorists.  And Gideon Crew, tracking the mysterious terrorist cell from the suburbs of New York to the mountains of New Mexico, learns the end may be something worse–far worse–than mere Armageddon.

Buried Secrets by Joseph Finder

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Nick Heller, private “spy”, is called upon to investigate the kidnapping of Alexa Marcus, the daughter of a friend and billionaire. Heller is a former Navy Seal/Black Ops agent with connections in various government agencies, and he uses those contacts in his efforts to learn why Alexa was taken, who are the kidnappers and what do they want? As a video feed comes into her father’s computer showing Alexa buried underground, and left with a limited supply of air, food and water, Heller realizes that this is a life-or-death race to locate her. In a shadowy world of secrets and conspiracies, Heller fights to find the truth and is drawn into a world of international subterfuge and deadly opponents. This is a fast paced, suspenseful thriller with interesting characters and many plot twists and turns. Author Joseph Finder has created a fascinating and complex main character in Nick Heller–first introduced in the book Vanished. Buried Secrets is a novel that will draw you in from the start and will keep you glued to the pages until the end–a wonderfully written story!

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

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At a gruesome murder scene in Stockholm, a 15 year-old boy is found alive, despite his severe injuries. In order to obtain information about the attacker, police Detective Joona Linna asks Dr. Erik Marie Bark to hypnotize the victim. Bark hesitates but agrees, recalling one of his earlier cases when hypnotizing a patient went horribly wrong. The hypnotism of victim Joseph Ek provides information about the killer, but also sets in motion a series of violent and unpredictable acts against the doctor and his family. Linna and Bark must race to discover who is behind the violence before an innocent child is killed. The Hypnotist is a taut psychological thriller filled with action, suspense, unexpected twists and occasional intense violence. This is the first novel by Lars Kepler (actually a husband and wife writing duo), and the beginning of a planned series of novels featuring Detective Joona Linna.

The Man From Beijing

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by Henning Mankell

Swedish author Henning Mankell starts off this adventure with a furious ride! When a journalist arrives to photograph one of Sweden’s dwindling villages, he finds a mass murder has occurred and the bodies are still warm. Traumatized by fear that the murderer may still be in the village, he escapes the scene to find help. Alas, so strong was his fear that he succumbs to a heart attack causing him to swerve in front of a semi. With his last breath, he is able to utter the name of the village. When authorities investigate, they find the village that had consisted of 21 people, now filled with 19 corpses as well as their slaughtered pets. Who would do such a heinous crime and why?

When this horrific news is broadcast, Birgitta Roslin, one of Sweden’s Supreme Court judges, realizes she has seen the village somewhere before. Searching through he mother’s papers, she finds a photo of her mother’s childhood home that matches one of the homes on the news. Curious and wanting connection with her mother’s family she sets off to find out if it is indeed the home of her mother’s foster parents. She finds clues that she thinks are important, but the local authorities are not interested.

This journey will have you traveling across the world and back in time to solve the mystery. While the title gives a clue to the involvement of China, you’ll also make a track to mid 1860’s America, and also a side adventure to Africa. The perpetrator is known midway through the story, but the “what will he do next” will keep you reading. Have a fun ride while reading The Man from Beijing.

Lethal by Sandra Brown

>Looking for a fast-paced thriller? Look no further than Lethal by Sandra Brown. Honor Gillette and her 4 year old daughter Emily are busy making preparations for a birthday party when their home is invaded by a strange man–Lee Coburn–who insists there is something in the house left there by her deceased husband. Coburn is the object of a manhunt as a suspect in a mass killing at a trucking warehouse where he was the only person left alive. He convinces Honor that whatever is hidden is a danger to all of their lives–a key to information that will identify the leader of a drug, weapons and human trafficking operation. The three of them are on the run in the swamps and bayous of Louisiana, unsure of who to trust in both the local police and FBI. The story races to it’s conclusion, all the while keeping the reader wondering–who are the good guys and who is behind all of the killings? With taut suspense and fascinating characters, Lethal will keep you guessing until the end! Brown has many other titles available at Manhattan Public Library, including Tough Customer and Smash Cut.

Back of Beyond by C.J. Box

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Author C. J. Box delivers a riveting mystery thriller in his new book Back of Beyond. Cody Hoyt, a troubled police detective and recovering alcoholic, is drawn into an investigation when his AA sponsor is found dead in a burned out house. The murder is staged to appear to be a suicide, but Cody’s careful investigation leads him to believe it is a homicide. Determined to solve the crime, Cody’s investigation leads him to a wilderness outfitter in Yellowstone National Park. The outfitter leads tourists on long treks into the Yellowstone back country and Cody is stunned to learn that his son is on the trip, along with his soon-to-be step father. Cody frantically races to catch up with the group as participants in the expedition are being murdered one by one. Full of interesting characters, vivid descriptions of the Yellowstone scenery and plot twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end, Back of Beyond is a story that will keep you reading well into the night! C.J. Box is also the author of the award-winning Joe Pickett series, beginning with Open Season.

Sherlock

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BBC is well known for creating quality entertainment and Sherlock is no exception. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson, this new adaptation is set in modern-day London, managing to maintain the familiar details from Doyle’s book while adding a modern atmosphere. Prepare for yourself for a fast-paced thrill with a British wit.