July 2014

Thrillers Of The Month – July 2014

The Thrillers Of The Month are:

- Some Dead Genius by Lenny Kleinfeld

- Disorder by Paddy Magrane

- I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, published by Simon & Schuster

- Everett by Jenifer Ruff

- Connections by LC Wright

- Fallen by Ann Simko

We are always open to new submissions from authors/publishers – click here

 Some Dead Genius by Lenny Kleinfeld
‘Hey-c’mahhhn. We, my friend, have invented a great business’
- Review by Sophie Scott…

SOME DEAD GENIUS, the second in Lenny Kleinfeld’s series of crime capers.

Chicago homicide detectives Mark Bergman and John Dunegan return to investigate the murder of a renowned painter, only to uncover seven years worth of mysteriously deceased artist’s corpses. There are cops, a psychotically brilliant business plan, dead artists, living artists, mobsters, an upstart FBI agent, corrupt officials walking City Hall, and an art dealer with skin a curiously Dorian shade of Gray.
Set in modern-day Chicago, Kleinfeld’s tone is knowingly hardboiled. His style is slick and playful. Punchy sentences catapult you forward, or jerk you around gum-chewing style, always echoing the internal voice of each character’s point of view, including a couple of Serbian heavies with their own phonetic narrative. With plot twist upon hiccup, Kleinfeld ratchets up the time imperative like a bomb’s countdown gathering no moss. He slings a gun as easily as he swings by the bar. And as every character seeks to protect their own interests, it becomes a matter of life and death for all.
Twenty-eight years into a business trip to LA, the screenwriter in Kleinfeld is clearly visible in this vivid, whirlwind of a tale. His writing is cinematically visual, precise as a DOP. As the narrative POV shifts, time backtracks and overlaps, each character getting their close-up, each angle its camera. He captures in print what the Coen brothers do so brilliantly with their heightened realities on screen, hosting a cast of characters fit to enter an HBO series. Think plot-driven Tarantino; or, THE GODFATHER with wit. None of this is to imply that Kleinfeld’s world is a stage of unbelievable grotesquery. The comic-strip colour of pulp is here; but so is the crafted writing of a well-read man. His characters live on the edge but within the boundaries of believability. Narrative lines are numerous but convincingly intertwined, propelling tension, interest, and relief. The comedy is black and funny, the pace fast.
Apparently ‘this is a story about how Chicago works, and the marketing of fine art’. Well, what was it Lester Freamon said? Oh, yeah: follow the money. I’m betting all the way on Kleinfeld.

Rating: This is no ordinary thriller; this, is a Kleinfeld special.

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK

 Disorder by Paddy Magrane
Review by Tim Adler …

Disorder is a terrific nerve-twisting thriller that will delight any reader who enjoyed The Ghost by Robert Harris – although the final revelation at the climax of Magrane’s book makes Harris’s final reveal look insipid by comparison.

A government minister visits psychotherapist Sam Keddie unable to live with a guilty secret. The next day the minister commits suicide. Rogue government security services are determined to cover up the truth – even if it means killing any witnesses. The trouble is that the minister never revealed anything to Keddie. On the run from assassins, the therapist flees to Morocco determined to discover why his patient killed himself.

With its Marrakech backdrop, there are nods to Hitchcock’s 1956 thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much. But Magrane is too good a writer not to let the reader know he is aware of the parallels – his hero even goes to see the film himself. Rather than somebody who knows too much, Magrane’s book could be subtitled The Man Who Knew Too Little.

Magrane says in his acknowledgements that his agents tried to place Disorder without success. If a debut thriller as good as this cannot find a home, then the publishing industry needs to question what it’s doing to promote new talent.

Rating: Stonkingly good!

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK

 I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
Review by Wendy Cartmell …

Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation.

But that book has come back to haunt him. It not only helps NYPD detective Ben Bradley but the murderer as it is a textbook murder – and Pilgrim wrote the book.

I Am Pilgrim has already received hundreds of rave reviews and justifiably so. Most of the history of the two main characters is told as back story and so the narrative moves backwards and forwards in time. This increases the suspense of the initial investigation to find the killer who has left a body with absolutely no identifying marks.

In Pilgrim Terry Hayes has created the perfect anti-hero. A killer who wants to stop killing, but can’t. His masters won’t let him and anyway he’s rather good at it. This book seems to be a mixture of a thriller (think Lee Child) and a spy novel (think John le Carre). It’s gripping, fast paced, full of action and one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time.

Rating: 5* thriller meets spy read.

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK

 Everett by Jenifer Ruff
Review by Jane Brown 

To begin with this appears just like any US college book about a bunch of students warts and all. The author is subtle introducing the reader to the character. Brooke the star pupil appears perfect- wants to become a surgeon, has the best body as she is ultra fit teaches exercise classes and is so focused. Can anyone be more perfect?

Then there is Jessica living the charmed life rich but hating the world and surviving on pills and energy drinks. Ethan is starry eyed with Brooke and only sees this “perfect person”
This is a really good psychological thriller, hints are there that Brooke is not as everyone thinks- she is the only person to realise this is Jessica but in hating the world and having her own problems the rest just goes past her.

Brooke has plans and she goes in head strong to achieve this.

The author has created a dark strange character in Brooke and it is only as you get further into the story that you realise just what she is capable of.

A sequel is planned and I will be keen to see how things move forward and will Brooke become the surgeon she so longs to become?

Rating: A great psychological thriller and an author to look out for.

Where To Buy:

Not yet released – see www.jenruff.com for release date and to subscribe

 Connections by LC Wright
Review by Jane Brown 

The first few pages made me think no, too gruesome to read, but I thought the better and continued and changed my thoughts to this is going to be a great read. This was a fantastic read.

The author has a great style of writing, can weave a plot and have the reader so enthralled they have no idea where the time went. The reader cannot put this book down it is simply a page turner.

The author has created a great woman cop – Tristan Badger, who is not quite as she seems with mystery, a little romance and a local Indian theme within the Carmel Valley, California. The descriptions of the area were both interesting and accurate as the author lives in the area.

This encapsulates evil from the villains and killers and will appeal to Patricia Cornwall fans, but also Kate Mosse fans who will enjoy the shared geography of the two worlds and the local Indian history which intertwines this crime story.

There is a hint at the very end that there may be more to come from this author and the protagonist cop Tristan Badger. I would encourage readers of crime out there to seek this author out.

Rating: Fantastic Read

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK

 Fallen by Ann Simko
Review by Leslie Gardner 

Despite its dense prose and perhaps over-concentration on sketching in over-egged characterisations, both its great strength and slight feebleness, Simko’s thriller is engaging and entertaining and I found myself fighting hard to resist a strong temptation to look ahead. Why was this young recruit totally missing from records and now in fear for his life?

there are a plethora of unique male characters sometimes brought on to entertain if not to propel story forward, and what this may portend is that Simko is going to use these people again. I hope so – the mystery in this one is deep and also plays into our ambivalence about the military – as prototypes of male posturing battle each other, sometimes a surprising humanity is uncovered and I liked the battle not to appear ‘soft’ that these guys go through. We go (literally) deep, and back into history and up to the present to find a crime that is appalling and senseless except for a lethal collective mindset which this novel trades in effectively.

Rating: Recommended…

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK