All posts tagged: Thriller

Hanover House – Brenda Novak

Merely calling ”Hanover House” a prequel, doesn’t do it justice; it is a CLIFFHANGER! (note the capitalization). The added cruelty is that “Her Darkest Nightmare” (The first book in the Hanover House Chronicles) is set for publication in September 2016 – that is an eternity in reader-years! Get ready, readers, to be excited by the fast-paced, action-packed thriller, that will leave chills down your back. Brenda Novak keeps the suspense high even though, we also follow the point-of-view of Jasper, a psychopath with a horrific plan for Evelyn. Evelyn was Jasper’s high school sweetheart and the one that got away – when he kidnapped and tortured three other girls. Evelyn is still marked by the trauma, but has chosen a career as a psychiatrist to understand what makes a psychopath. She is embarking on a new endeavor, founding Hanover House in a small town in Alaska. Hanover House will house 200 the most malicious mankind has to offer and not everyone is happy about it. One of those is the local trooper Amarok, who despite …

The Executioner – Chris Carter

  Chris Carter has done it again: another exquisite, horrific thriller that left me up all night. I was unable to go to sleep in fear of nightmares and I wanted to read a few more chapters. Chris Carter deserves to be mentioned in the line-up of the great thriller writers. The plot of “The Executioner” is excellent! The killer knows what his victims fear most: decapitation, fire, needles and uses that knowledge to torture and murder them in the most unimaginable gruesome ways. That unimaginable gruesomeness is a main feature in “The Executioner”. Hardened by reading thrillers, and studying criminal case law, the gruesomeness still chilled me to the bone due to its originality. I am in awe of Carter’s imagination and pretty scared of it. The twists and turns of the novel are finely woven into the plot, so there are no obvious red herrings here. An informant with ESP plays an important part, without making the plot unrealistic, as does a second killer with his own agenda and bullying. These facets give …

Dissolution – C. J. Sansom

Dissolution is one of those immaculate novels where the reader is immersed in history, not that history is a heavy cloak, but where the author brings a period in time to life and the pages are saturated in historical details which makes the time period in question even more vivid. C. J. Sansom works magic in Dissolution. I could actually feel the stigma of being a hunchback, as the main character is, feel the mud of a cold November road cling to my shoes, and feel the warmth of a well-stoked fire in an otherwise stone cold room. The relevant time-period is 1537 and for once, the plot line is not Henry VIII and his capricious love affairs, leaving many a wife dead. Henry has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church, and Thomas Cromwell implements new laws and the following terrorizing regime of trails both swiftly and without compromise. One order of business is ensuring the obedience of the monasteries and the building of wealth through the monasteries’ concession to the crown. A commissioner …

The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes

I half expected “The Shining Girls” to be one of those entertaining, if somewhat shallow, stories with a supernatural twist that resembles a piece of chocolate: wonderful while it lasts, but without staying power. I was in for a pleasant – well actually unpleasant – surprise. “The Shining Girls” is a grim story centered around Harper (male) and Kirby (female), who are both stalking someone – each other. As a child, Kirby was visited by a stranger, who walked up to her and gave her a plastic horse and a promise that he will be back. He comes back – to kill her in a gruesome, particular scene that left me unable to sleep afterwards. As an adult, Kirby attaches herself to a former crime journalist in order to find her killer and she is propelled down a road that does not make sense. Harper is a drifter through time in search of his shining girls. He visits them when they are most innocent and then comes back to kill them. He is connected to …

Crucifix Killer – Chris Carter

Stephen King writes in his brilliant “On Writing” that description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s. Chris Carter is an expert in that balance between description or revealing too much of the plot and letting the reader finish the movie in his or her mind. The chronological starting point of “Crucifix Killer” is a horrific murder that literally makes your skin crawl and it is written with perfection. Pretty much all thriller/crime novels can be summed up as follows: crime – hero tries to catch the criminal – resolution. In my experience, many novels end up with a crime, a lot of running about, and a resolution that either is no surprise at all or is an absurd surprise resembling “the green martian did it”. “Crucifix Killer” deftly navigates all three parts of the novel and Chris Carter has crafted an intricate story with a strong psychological platform. The main character is Robert Hunter, homicide detective, alcoholic, and criminology scholar. He is well-rounded, but has a tad of that too-good-to-be-true …