Sunday, July 25, 2010

An "Inside Out" review of Barry Eisler & "Madness & Murder" by Jenny Hilborne

Inside Out

Reviewed by @CristynWest

Alright, I am just going to come out and say it...

Inside Out Kicks A**

Ok, maybe I said it with asterisks, but still, you get my point.

If you like any type of political thrillers, you are going to LOVE Inside Out.

So let's talk to the non-political thriller readers, especially my gal pals. 

This book feels REAL. Eisler has seeped this puppy in research with enough twists and turns to make it quite the roller coaster ride. Inside Out pushes every conceivable controversial button there could be in a political thriller set in current times.

And Eisler's sex?  Well, let's just say he could give some romance writers a run for their money.

Is there violence? Yes, but it is so integrated into the plot, it feels necessary to the story line.  Besides, if you get a bit queasy, that's what skimming is for, right?

But I truly can't imagine anyone wanting to pass by a single word of Inside Out.

So if you still want to call yourself a thriller fan, you better get Eisler's latest under your belt!

Next up:
Murder & Mayhem
by @JFHilborne

First off, I have to give props to another woman writer that choose to use her full, female name. It takes guts to say, "Hey, I am a chick and write thrillers."

So the pluses just keep adding up on this book.  It's about catching a serial killer.  Ok, I am definitely going to give it a try. 

Next it is set in San Francisco.  One of my favorite cities of all time.  That means I am going to give it at least 100 pages.

But Madness and Murder didn't need the leg up.  First from the first chapter you are intrigued by the grisly murder of a child and sucked in to keep reading until you find out who done it!

A great first novel from a brave new chick writer with 2 more on the way!

So, guys, give us girls a break and read a thriller that doesn't have just initials as the author!

You can buy Madness & Murder here.

And don't forget @cristynwest's novel, Plain Jane is available at smashwords
Read 50 pages for free and if you decide to buy, use this 50% off coupon! RH88E

Until next week!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ark of Fire & Vigilante

Yep, folks this is a 1-2 punch so if you have come here looking for new thrills, I think you will be satisfied!

First up: Ark of Fire by C.M. Palov - reviewed by our own @MrNeil98!

            What do S. E. Hinton, J. K. Rowling and C. M. Palov have in common? Yes, they are writers, but more specifically female writers who were encouraged to use their initials to hide their gender from the predominantly male target audience. Let’s face it guys, this is the 21st century! We shouldn’t be threatened by a woman with a pen (or laptop, as the case may be). Sue Grafton and Patricia Cornwall follow a well worn trail blazed by Agatha Christie in crime/mysteries, but the genre of thrillers is still dominated by male authors.

            C(Chloe). M. Palov’s debut novel Ark of Fire attracted my attention with blurbs by James Rollins (“Heart-stopping suspense, ancient mysteries, and roller-coaster action. A true gem.") and Steve Berry ("A thrilling romp with a plot that unfolds with vivid velocity to an explosive conclusion. The story crackles with tension and imagination from the first to the last page."). Any book garnering the praise of my two favorite authors is worth a read, and I was not disappointed.

            From the opening murder of a D. C. museum curator to a shoot out in the National Gallery, then on to England and finally Malta, “Ark” is a nonstop thrill ride. Throw in some ancient puzzle to solve and an evil mysterious organization and you’ve got a female Dan Brown with a side of Steve Berry. Did I mention the sought after relics: the breast plate “Stones of Fire” that Moses wore and the trope,  the Ark of the Covenant. With those elements in place, there is only one thing missing…. Romance.

            As photographer Edie Miller gets tangled in the mystery and intrigue, she joins forces with an archeological author, the prudish Caedmon Aisquith. Together they try to evade the villains, solve the puzzle and discover the whereabouts of the golden Ark, concealed by Crusaders 800 years ago. Is it the Ark of the Covenant? Do I sense a budding romance? You’ll have to read it to find out. I, for one, am looking forward to the follow-up “The Templar’s Code” due out in November. In the meantime let “Ark of Fire” heat up your already too warm summer.

And next: Vigilante by Claude Bouchard @ceebee308, reviewed by our very own @cristynwest

The debut title from Twitter superstar @ceebee308 is a gritty look at what creates and propels a person to seek justice outside the law.

The chapter grips you with a painful yet heartfelt scene of a family destroyed priming the pump for the mayhem that ensues. 

This is a tight, fast-paced, multi-layed story that dives deeper and deeper into the mystery of who and why these vigilante style murders are happening.

Besides the great story telling and ultimately satisfying conclusion, you can dig into Vigilante knowing that Claude has several other books in the series so no waiting around for him to write the next.  You can get your Bouchard fix immediately!

You can purchase Vigilante at: and hook up with the author on Twitter #ceebee308

*My only caveat to this review is that for women who are not that fond of rape imagery might find the beginning of this book a bit challenging

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Deliver Us From Evil & Forsaken By Shadow: Your Double Feature!

First off - What an exciting few weeks!  

We've got a guest review by Professor Thriller himself @MrNeil98 (seriously, he is a walking encyclopedia of thriller writers and their work)!  

Plus Barry Eisner asked for us to review his book!  #WTH  So be looking for "Inside Out's" review on July 26th.  Until then check out these two great reviews to help you pick your summer entertainment!

Deliver Us From Evil by David Baldacci
review by @MrNeil98
            For those of you looking for a “thriller-ing” summer read, I strongly recommend the latest best seller from David Baldacci, Deliver Us From Evil (DUFE). If you’ve never read him before, think Brad Thor meets Steve Berry.
           In DUFE, Shaw  (just Shaw, no first name unless that is his first name, then no last name) is chasing Evan Waller, a human trafficking, war criminal who represents the Evil from the books title. Also chasing Waller is the beautiful, mysterious Reggie Campion and soon Shaw and Reggie are at odds while pursuing the same goal. They fall in and out of dangerous situations all the while falling for each other. 

            DUFE  is disturbing at times but Baldacci is able to generate the emotion and intent without being overtly graphic. The setting of the majority of the novel is in France with wonderful first hand descriptions of markets and churches (reminding me of recent Berry and Rollins works).

            I don’t want to divulge too much of the plot or action but there is plenty of both. I am drawn to novels that have strong female central characters and Baldacci has a proven track record in this regard. With Reggie he has created a thoughtful, complex character that leaves you wanting more at. There is potential for a continuation of her adventures.

            For an entertaining and satisfying summer thriller you can’t go wrong with Deliver Us From Evil but , fair warning, you may be “Hooked on Baldacci” and spend the rest of the summer getting caught up on the remainder of his books (try the Camel Club series).

Next up;  Forsaken By Shadow by Kate Nolan 

Okay, I am going to fess up that this is probably more of a paranormal romance/action than a thriller, however all you manly men, stick with me!

If you are chick, of course you are going to want to read this.  It's got powerful beings banished from their world, hiding out in ours.  Add in some hot male and female lead characters and you've got yourself a great paranormal novel on your hands.

But Kate was smart and gave the guys something to latch onto in this book as well.  You see the male lead has lost his memory and becomes an Ultimate-style fighter.  

So yes, there is romance, but I wasn't kidding about the action.  Cage fighting, military stealth, and all out mayhem at the end.

Forsaken by Shadow.  A book to satisfy both men and women readers as well! 

Thanks for checking in with us again this week.  Don't forget James Rollins' paperback edition of Doomsday Key is out!  Order yours here: 

Also other exciting news, Plain Jane is available through iBooks!  Or you can read up to 50 pages of Plain Jane for free here...