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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

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» Listings for November 2015

  1. Synopsis: With no money, no prospects and a long list of computer crimes against his name, Alex Yates's life is going nowhere until he is given a lucrative but dangerous offer - £100,000 to hack into the Central Intelligence Agency's network and recover a file known only as the Black List. At first reluctant to get involved, the disappearance of an old friend leaves Alex with no choice but to return to a world he'd sworn to leave behind. But before he can unlock the secrets contained within the file, he suddenly finds himself the target of a nationwide manhunt. Someone wants him out of the picture fast.

    Now plunged into a deadly race against time to recover the Black List, and hunted by police, intelligence operatives and a ruthless covert unit dispatched to take him down, Alex is left with no choice but to accept help from the violent and unpredictable woman who hired him. For in the Black List may lie his salvation, or his death...

    My Rating: 4/5

  2. Synopsis: Why has Justine Cantrell suddenly changed her name, abandoned the husband and family she loves and a successful business to start a new life in a place many thousands of miles away? 

    There isn't a man involved, but there is a terrible secret that she must hide from her new friends and neighbours as securely as she needs to hide herself from those she's left behind. 

    What is Justine's Secret?

    Kat’s Rating; 3/5

    Kat’s Review: I was really torn with this book and the synopsis says it all. There is absolutely no way you can really describe too much of the plot as the mystery surrounding Justine Cantrell is the whole point of the book. However, having now finished I’m unsure how I feel about it, and it seemed most sensible to sit on the fence!

    Justine Cantrell has moved thousands of miles from her home in the UK to her birthplace USA. She has abandoned her husband and family as well as a successful business taking her youngest daughter with her to start afresh. Susan Lewis does a wonderful job describing Lake Maxinkuckee in Culver, Indiana which is where Justine is now living. I could just imagine the town, the people and the house she lives in. Her daughter Lula was a joy to read, a typical boisterous and fun loving young child who is clearly the apple of Justine’s eye.

    It’s very unclear why Justine has moved away but her fear of being found is palpable. There is an underlying tension in the book and the more I read the more I wanted to know the why of her story. The negatives I had was the main crux of the story (which I cannot go into). It was a little too off the wall for me and just didn’t sit right. Having said that, the storyline was written with empathy and compassion so I don’t think SL did a bad job telling the story in the way she did.

    As well as the main thread being revealed far too late in the book for my liking, the story just left a bitter taste in my mouth and to be honest although I enjoyed reading it, I still feel undecided by it. It’s certainly a far cry from Susan Lewis normal type of books, and maybe isn’t for everyone. 

  3. Synopsis: A FAMILY TRAGEDY

    Amy’s always felt like something’s been missing in her life. When a tragedy forces the family she works for as a nanny to retreat to a small lakeside cottage, she realises she cannot leave them now.

    A SISTER’S SECRET

    But Amy finds something unsettling about the cottage by the lake. This is where the children’s mother spent her childhood – and the place where her sister disappeared mysteriously at just seventeen.

    A WEB OF LIES

    Soon Amy becomes tangled in the missing sister’s story as dark truths begin rising to the surface. But can Amy unlock the secrets of the past before they repeat themselves?

    Kat’s Rating: 5/5

  4. Synopsis: I close my eyes and feel my heart begin racing

    Someone is coming

    They're going to find me

    A mother and her teenage daughter are found murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other left lying like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her Prince. Reluctantly, clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, calling himself 'the Mindhunter', jeopardises the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger.

    With no shortage of suspects and tempers beginning to fray, Joe discover links between these murders and a series of brutal attacks where his victims have been choked unconscious and had the letter 'A' carved into their foreheads.

    As the case becomes ever more complex, nothing is quite what it seems and soon Joe's fate, and that of those closest to him, become intertwined with a merciless, unpredictable killer . . .

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

  5. Synopsis: Detective Alex Cross has lost everything and everyone he’s ever cared about.

    His enemy, Thierry Mulch, is holding his family. Driven by feelings of hatred and revenge, Mulch is threatening to kill them all, and break Cross for ever.

    But Alex Cross is fighting back.

    In a race against time, he must defeat Mulch, and find his wife and children – no matter what it takes.

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5

     Kat’s Review: It’s been nearly 10 months since I last read a Patterson Book, and 22 months since I last read an Alex Cross novel. Lately I have been a bit despondent with them although to be fair the last Alex Cross novel I read was a pretty good read. With that in mind I decided to fall back into Alex life, which with a Patterson novel is usually pretty effortless. Thankfully James Patterson demonstrates just how easy he finds it as I was plunged straight back into Alex Cross world and the one thing guaranteed to break the man, the loss of his family.

    This latest release is book 22 in this series, which in itself is something of an achievement. Alex Cross has become a legendary fictional character and some of his early books from this series are still in my opinion some of the best I have ever read. However the series, along with many other JP books appear to be on shaky ground with fans across the world. I can include myself in that group as sometimes there is such a thing as ‘too much of a good thing’. Thankfully the last book ‘Cross My Heart’ was a vast improvement even though I wasn’t impressed with the ending. When you reached the end it makes it impossible for you to not buy this latest release as there are no conclusions until now. That kind of irritates but enough whining, on with the review of this latest.

    With Alex Cross now in a perilous situation, we see him at possibly his most vulnerable. His arch enemy and frankly ruthless killer Thierry Mulch has taken those dearest to Cross, his family and Alex has now become the victim. This makes for an astonishing and very fraught opening with the book and one that has you reading incredibly quickly. Alex becomes a character that we not only know and love, but one that we now see stripped bare.

    The book is based on the cat and mouse game between Alex and Thierry and has all the elements for a perfect Patterson/Cross novel. Short, sharp and punchy chapters interspersed with danger and threats from every corner. I have to be honest and say I was pretty gripped with the storyline from start to finish. I felt like this was Patterson going back to his roots and shows all of this authors talents at it’s finest. There were a few minor gripes (hence the 4 and not 5 stars) but overall I felt like James Patterson was finally back to his true style of writing. I found myself eager to get book 23 ‘Cross Justice’ but at nearly a tenner, I think I’ll wait!

  6. Synopsis: The first novel in a fast-paced, funny new series that's perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton. 

    After a decade spent in the glare of the Hollywood spotlight as the star of kids’ TV show Half Pint Detective, Sofia Salgado has had enough. Desperate to build a life outside showbiz, she quits acting to do something that everyone around her– including her family – thinks is plain nuts. Get a real job. 

    They think she’s even crazier when she announces that she’s going to become a real detective, instead of playing one on TV. She’s convinced the technical consultant from her TV show, Brendan Maloney, to take her on in his detective agency, but can accident-prone Sofia hack it?

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5

  7. Synopsis: The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die. When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

    And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad. Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…

    Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

  8. Synopsis: The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish … to start over. 

    With her daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for adventure. But there’s more to New York than twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has her own Christmas wish – to find her real dad. 

    While Hayley tries to fulfil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked. 

    Can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might come true – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever? 

    Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they realise life isn’t just about filling the minutes … it’s about making every moment count.