Category Suspense

The First Hostgage

Product DetailsThe First Hostage
By Joel C. Rosenberg
Tyndale House
Retail Price: $26.99
Amazon Price: $18.38

Book Description:  “The president of the United States . . . is missing.”

With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan’s king is fighting for his life, and the U.S. president is missing and presumed captured.

As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Jordan battles for its very existence, Collins must do his best to keep the world informed while working to convince the FBI that his stories are not responsible for the terror attack on the Jordanian capital. And ISIS still has chemical weapons . . .

Struggling to clear his name, Collins and the Secret Service try frantically to locate and rescue the leader of the free world before ISIS’s threats become a catastrophic reality.

Review

Events in this novel could very easily happen in today’s world and many parts of the plot could be pulled form the headlines in any major newspaper.  It is that realistic.  The First Hostage follows. J.B. Collins a reporter for the New York Times who has been covering ISIS activities. This book’s opening finds him in Jordan, covering a recent attack in the area. During the attack the leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, the president of the U.S.A. is missing and presumed captured and the king of Jordan has to fight for his kingdom and his very life.   There is so much action and suspense that you will not be able to put the book down without a good reason.  I found myself up late at night reading because I was so intrigued.  The ending certainly sets the stage for the next book in this series, and readers find it hard to wait for it!

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    If I Run

    Product DetailsIf I Run
    by Terri Blackstock
    Zondervan
    Retail Price: $15.99
    Amazon Price: $9.42

    Book Description: 

    Casey knows the truth.

    But it won’t set her free.

    Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

    But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

    Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

    Review

    Terri Blackstock is a Christian fiction writer that has become well known for her Christian mystery/suspense novels.  Her books are full of danger and intrigue as well as suspense and mystery and this one is no different!  In If I Run Blackstock sets the stage for and exhilarating, satisfying read with redemptive qualities.  The book is well written and the characters are fully developed and she has an overriding theme of God’s redemption in a messed up world.  It left me thinking deeply about my own expectations of others, and understanding Gods plan in my own life.  This author always gets me thinking and challenges me to take a look at my own preconceived notions and judgments.

    Reviewed by Allie B.

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      The News Makers

      Product DetailsThe News Makers
      By Lis Wiehl and Sebastian Stuart
      Thomas Nelson
      Retail Price:  $26.99
      Amazon Price: $18.38

      Book Description:  

      TV reporter Erica Sparks has become a superstar overnight. Is it due to her hard work and talent, or is she at the center of a spiraling conspiracy?

      Erica Sparks is a beautiful and ambitious reporter who has just landed her dream job at Global News Network in New York. And while it was hard to leave Jenny, her cherished eight-year-old daughter, in the custody of her ex-husband, Erica is determined to succeed in the cutthroat world of big-time broadcasting. She can only hope her troubled past won’t come back to sabotage her dreams.

      Although the wounds from her divorce are still fresh, Erica can’t deny the chemistry between her and her new producer, the handsome and empathic Greg Underwood. But a relationship is the last thing she wants right now.

      On her very first assignment, Erica inadvertently witnesses—and films—a horrific tragedy, scooping all the other networks. Mere weeks later, another tragedy strikes—again, right in front of Erica and her cameras. Her career skyrockets overnight, but Erica is troubled. Deeply. This can’t just be coincidence. But what is it?

      Erica will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. But she has to make sure disaster—and her troubled past—don’t catch up with her first.

      Review

      This was a fantastic suspense novel in the Christian Genre.  It is obvious that the authors did their research of the media, especially network news reporting and Wihel brings with her the experience she has derived from being on Fox News.    The story is captivating and grabs you right from the start as you sense the danger and intrigue ahead.  The characters were well-developed and likable and you could relate to them easily.  The book moved along nicely and was easy to read.  While the plot was somewhat predictable, I did find myself surprised in several instances as the plot took some turns that I wasn’t expecting. This suspenseful novel offered a real journey into the competitive world of television news.

      ~Reviewed by Tricia C.

       

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        Mermaid Moon

        Product DetailsMermaid Moon (A Sunset Cove Novel)
        by Colleen Coble
        Thomas Nelson
        Retail Price: $15.99
        Amazon Price: $12.40

        Book Description:  

        Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.”

        Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.

        Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart—and left—without a word, years ago.

        When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.

        As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

        Review

        I love mystery, suspense, and thriller novels.  I also love romance novels.  Author Colleen Coble brings together the best of both genres in Mermaid Moon.  I have read many of Coble’s books, but I have to say, I feel that this is one of her best.  The plot is well laid out, and the mystery drives you to keep reading.  Her characters are well-developed and interesting, and the prose and dialogue were equally balanced to both set the scene and show me the characters’ thoughts and feelings.  As for the setting, you can tell she did a lot of research so that she describes the area flawlessly.   This book delivers just what I was expecting as a suspense and mystery fan, lots of twists and turns and a surprise, but satisfying ending.  It was an excellent read.

        ~Reviewed by Shannon J.

         

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          The Last Con

          Product DetailsThe Last Con
          By Zachary Bartels
          Zondervan
          Retail Price:  $15.99
          Amazon Price: $10.80

          Book Description:  

          THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA WERE THERE WHEN JERUSALEM FELL, THEY WERE THERE WHEN THE TEMPLARS DISINTEGRATED, AND THEY’RE THERE NOW . . . WAITING IN DETROIT FOR A BORN-AGAIN CON MAN TRYING TO SAVE HIS FAMILY.

          Former con man Fletcher Doyle is finally home after six years in the pen. He’s working a menial job, regaining his bearings in the world, and trying to revive his relationships with his wife and twelve-year-old daughter. No easy feat.

          But when Fletcher and his family go on a mission trip to Detroit—in the company of the condescending church leader who also happens to be his landlord—Fletcher finds his old life waiting for him. Within hours of arriving in the city, he’s been blackmailed into doing a job for a mysterious criminal who calls himself The Alchemist.

          A series of relics hidden by the Knights of Malta, as ancient as they are priceless, are in the sights of The Alchemist. What he needs is a gifted grifter with a background in ecclesiastical history . . . what he needs is Fletcher Doyle.

          Between hiding his reawakened criminal life from his wife and trying to hide her from their relentless landlord, Fletcher is ready to give up. But when his family is drawn into the dangerous world he can’t shake, Fletcher is forced to rely on his years in the game to save the only people who mean more to him than the biggest con in history.

          Review

          This is really and exceptional book.  It is very unique in the Christian genre as it deals with some rather intense issues and the hero of the story has a questionable reputation.  While the book has many dark themes, the author uses humor to lighten it up, which makes for a good mix.  It also has a strong historical thread that I found intriguing and enlightening.  I thought Bartels did a great job describing the events involving Malta and Marie Antoinette.   The novel may have seemed like your everyday thriller at the start,  but it  hit home as the story developed and we saw two men, one a fake preacher and the other an ex-con who was converted while serving time, both question the faith upon which they have built their lives. As the book unfolds we see them find inner strength and their true selves,   It was not only an action-packed read, but had a real moral to the story.  I was impressed.

          ~Reviewed by Pat B.

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            Sky Zone

            Sky Zone
            by Creston Mapes
            David C. Cook
            Retail Price $14.99
            Amazon Price: $13.20

            Book Description: 

            A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.
            A terrorist threat.

            A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions. Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn’t making matters any easier.

            With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives–and the lives of thousands of innocent people.This third book in The Crittendon Files reminds us of the power of family, friendships and faith–and why we are never in as much control as we think.

            Review

            This book is part of the Crittendon Files series and while it is best to read the entire series, I feel that this book can stand alone.  The main character is Jack Crittendon, a journalist with the daily paper in Trenton City who ends up in investigations that are way over his head!   I really enjoyed the plot of this novel.  Jack is a very believable character and easy to relate to. He is an ordinary, everyday kind of guy that you might have in your own life.  He has a wife and family and normal, everyday family issues.  You can see yourself reacting just as he does in a given situation, which is probably one reason he is such a likeable character.  There were other characters who were involved in things that were totally unexpected, which added to the suspense.   I found this to be a very enjoyable read.

            ~Reviewed by John K.

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              The Color of Justice

              The Color of Justice
              by Ace Collins
              Abingdon
              Retail Price $14.99
              Amazon Price: $13.20


              Book Description: 

              1964 Justice, Mississippi, is a town divided. White and black. Rich and poor. Rule makers and rule breakers. Right or wrong, everyone assumes their place behind a fragile façade that is about to crumble. When attorney Coop Lindsay agrees to defend a black man accused of murdering a white teenager, the bribes and death threats don’t intimidate him. As he prepares for the case of a lifetime, the young lawyer knows it’s the verdict that poses the real threat—innocent or guilty, because of his stand Coop is no longer welcome in Justice. As he follows his conscience, he wonders just how far some people will go to make sure he doesn’t finish his job? 2014 To some, the result of the trial still feels like a fresh wound even fifty years later, when Coop’s grandson arrives in Justice seeking answers to the questions unresolved by the trial that changed his family’s legacy. When a new case is presented, again pitting white against black, this third generation Lindsay may have the opportunity he needs to right the wrongs of the past. But hate destroys everything it touches, and the Lindsay family will not escape unscathed.

              Review

              In my opinion, Ace Collins is one of the best Christian writers of the decade.  I haven’t read a book of his that I didn’t like and this one is no exception.   He does a great job blending the two time periods, letting us glimpse back and compare it to what is happening today.  The writing was solid with extensive character and storyline development. I happened to finish it a few days before the Ferguson Grand Jury decision and was struck by the timelessness of this book.  I hightly recommend it.

              ~Reviewed by John C.

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                Hidden in the Stars

                Hidden in the Stars
                by Robin Carroll
                Abingdon
                Retail Price $13.99
                Amazon Price: $11.32


                Book Description: 

                Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21-year-old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?

                Review

                I wasn’t expecting a murder mystery  to be a part of the Quilts of Love series, but in the end it fit really well and I am glad I had a chance to read it!  This book ended up being my favorite in the series so far.  My emotions ran the gamut as the author built her story around  a tragic event, dealing with loss, and family secrets.  Caroll did a great job building the plot, describing the characters, and drawing the readers in.  And she balanced the mystery and romance well.  I found the book intriguing and it drew me in from the start.  It was a great read.

                ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

                 

                ~Reviewed by Brett B.

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                  A Deadly Business

                  This is the second book in the series and I’ve waited so long for it and was so excited when it came out!  And I must tell you, it was well worth the wait!  I love the main character, Mia, who is a prosecuting attorney, whose husband recently died. While it  was declared an accident, there is an air of mystery that is leading her to believe that his death was anything but accidental.  She is hit with so much in this book and we get to walk with her as she sorts it all out.  The book has a great deal of suspense in it, which kept me turning the pages well into the night. The author did a fantastic job with the plot and characters, making them interesting and believable.

                   ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

                  A Deadly Business (Mia Quinn Series #2)

                  A Deadly Business
                  By Lis Wiehl
                  Thomas Nelson
                  Retail Price $26.99
                  Amazon Price: $19.56

                  Book Description: 

                  “Wiehl’s experience as a former federal prosecutor gives the narrative an authenticity in its depiction of the criminal justice system. Henry’s expertise in writing mysteries and thrillers has placed her on the short-list for the Agatha, Anthony, and Oregon Book awards. The coauthors’ . . . fast-paced detective series will keep legal thriller readers and John Grisham fans totally engrossed.” —Library JournalA prosecutor of violent criminals. A detective on a dangerous beat. When these two pros take on an off-the-books case, the line between professional and personal becomes perilously blurred. When a twenty-two-year-old convict walks into the courtroom, his eyes confirm what Mia Quinn already guesses: he blames her for his conviction. In seconds, he knocks her to the ground and holds a razor blade to her throat. While she manages to escape without injury, it’s just one more reminder that Mia’s job prosecuting Seattle’s s most dangerous criminals is far from low risk.

                  As a single mom, the last thing Mia wants is for her work to follow her home or discover that it already has.

                  Now Detective Charlie Carlson is suggesting the very thing Mia doesn’t want to believe—that her accountant husband’s deadly car accident was no accident at all. When Mia and Charlie encounter resistance to reopening the case, they take the investigation into their own hands. And they find much more than they bargained for.

                  Was Mia’s husband more than an accountant . . . and less than an honest man? As the truth becomes more shocking and the case grows more complex, her husband’s killers take note of Mia . . . and her children. How far will this prosecutor go to learn the truth about her husband—and how far will she have to go to protect her family?

                  Review

                  This is the second book in the series and I’ve waited so long for it and was so excited when it came out!  And I must tell you, it was well worth the wait!  I love the main character, Mia, who is a prosecuting attorney, whose husband recently died. While it  was declared an accident, there is an air of mystery that is leading her to believe that his death was anything but accidental.  She is hit with so much in this book and we get to walk with her as she sorts it all out.  The book has a great deal of suspense in it, which kept me turning the pages well into the night. The author did a fantastic job with the plot and characters, making them interesting and believable.

                   ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

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                    Hacker: The Outlaw Chronicles

                    Hacker: The outlaw Chronicles
                    By Ted Dekker
                    Worthy Publishing
                    Retail Price $14.99
                    Amazon Price: $10.96

                    Book Description: 

                    My name is Nyah and I’m a hacker. I know things most people would never believe. Things that shouldn’t exist, but do. 

                    Seventeen year old Nyah Parks is a genius hacker whose world is unraveling. Deeply scarred from a horrific accident that killed her father and brother, and left her mother with irreparable brain damage, Nyah is barely holding the last shreds of her life together.Now, her mother’s health is deteriorating quickly and Nyah faces the grim prospect of losing her, too. One last ditch hope exists–an experimental brain surgery that could buy her mother more time. But Nyah must scrape together enough money to pay for it before it’s too late.

                    Desperate and with no other choice, Nyah turns her programming skills to cracking the firewalls of the world’s largest corporations. She exposes their weaknesses, and then offers her services to secure their systems from hackers.

                    But when the most dangerous job of her life backfires and forces her to go on the run, she encounters an impossible reality that shouldn’t exist, but does.

                    A hack unlike any other. A hack that will take her beyond the firewall of the human brain itself. A hack, which may be the only way to save her mother now.

                    What if there was a way to tap into the unseen reality that surrounds us all? Would you hack in? How far would you go to find the answers to your deepest questions? The answer lies deep beyond the firewall.

                    Tap in, strap in, and experience the mind-twisting ride with Nyah. What you find waiting on the other side of the firewall might forever change the way you see yourself and the world you live in.

                    Review

                     

                    Ted Dekker does it again with another intense thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, while turning each page as fast as you can!  Dekker has a thought process that I just can’t even begin to fathom. This entire series just blows my mind.   I don’t usually ever read psychological thrillers, murder mysteries, or horror, but I will read anything Dekker writes. And this book was a prime example of why. This third installment in the Outlaw Chronicles is about two hackers who have gone too far.  An amazing storyteller, he weaves a strong story with Christian elements entwined in such a way that isn’t preachy, yet has you examining your life. The story will suck you in right from the very beginning as he knits an intricate tale that all comes together, with twists and turns that you won’t even be able to guess. When you think you have something figured out, you will find that you really don’t!

                    ~Reviewed by Skylar B.

                     

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