Review: <i>Incarnate</i> by Josh Stolberg Review: Incarnate by Josh Stolberg Kristin Centorcelli Read Kristin Centorcelli's review! <i>Killing Is My Business</i>: Excerpt Killing Is My Business: Excerpt Adam Christopher The second book in the Ray Electromatic Mysteries series. Review: <i>Soul Cage</i> by Tetsuya Honda Review: Soul Cage by Tetsuya Honda Angie Barry Read Angie Barry's review! <i>The Saboteur</i>: Bonus Chapter The Saboteur: Bonus Chapter Andrew Gross Read this exclusive bonus chapter about a failed British Mission in Norway during WWII.
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July 18, 2017
Page to Screen: Roadside Picnic & Stalker (1979)
Brian Greene
July 18, 2017
Q&A with Marcus Sakey, Author of Afterlife
Marcus Sakey and John Valeri
July 17, 2017
2017 Thrillerfest Wrap Up
Crime HQ
July 15, 2017
Arresting Proposal, Frozen Wife, Meth Buttocks, and more: The Bullet List
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July 14, 2017
Suspect Claims Van Full of Marijuana Was for Personal Use
Teddy Pierson
Showing posts by: Kristin Centorcelli click to see Kristin Centorcelli's profile
Thu
Jul 20 2017 1:00pm

Review: Incarnate by Josh Stolberg

In Incarnate by Josh Stolberg, an ambitious and sharp-witted clinical psychiatrist turns detective when one of her patients comes under investigation for a series of brutal murders—is she a psychopath or a victim herself? (Available July 25, 2017.)

Psychiatric resident Kim Patterson is really good at what she does, but that didn’t keep her from getting fired from her job in San Diego. Thankfully, she was given a second chance at Jarvis Regional Hospital in the tiny town of Jarvis, Alaska. She’s chafing under the scrutiny of her supervisors—one of which, Dr. Kyle Berman, she’s having an affair with—and things don’t get any easier when 19-year-old Scarlett Hascall comes in with her boss from the fast food place she works at. She supposedly flung a fryer at his face but has no memory of actually doing the deed. When Kim starts asking questions, Scarlett acts strangely, setting off alarms for Kim.

“Something I’m a little confused about,” Kim said cautiously, scooting her own chair close so that she was knee to knee with Scarlett. “You don’t seem too surprised by Darren’s accusations. Most people, they get accused of something like that, they’re likely to fly off the handle. Or at least make it clear that they weren’t involved.”

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of Incarnate...]

Tue
Jul 11 2017 2:00pm

Review: Dark Saturday by Nicci French

Dark Saturday by Nicci French is the sixth Frieda Klein novel—an electrifying, sophisticated psychological thriller about past crimes and present dangers (available July 11, 2017).

London-based psychotherapist Frieda Klein has all but sworn off working with the police, and her friends and family have encouraged it as well. It’s put her and others in danger, and she’s determined that no one else will get hurt. Unfortunately, her instincts—and now her circumstance—seem determined to keep her involved. When she’s contacted by a man named Walter Levin, she’s sure he’ll ask for a favor. After all, she owes him one. And he does:

“Good,” said Levin. “We’ve finally got to that. It’s really very simple. We just want you to go and talk to someone, then tell us what you think.”

“I think I’m here under false pretenses,” said Frieda. "I’ve no special skills. I’m not a detective. I’m not an interrogator.”

“The woman in question is clinically insane,” said Levin. “That’s not a comment. That’s her diagnosis. We sent someone to interview her.”

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of Dark Saturday...]

Mon
Jul 10 2017 5:00pm

Review: My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood

My Sisters Bones by Nuala Ellwood is a psychological thriller about a war reporter who returns to her childhood home after her mother's death but becomes convinced that all is not well in the house next door—but is what she’s seeing real or a symptom of the trauma she suffered in Syria? (Available July 11, 2017.)

To say that the relationship between sisters Kate and Sally is fractured is putting it mildly, and they couldn’t be more different. Kate is a renowned war reporter and only feels truly at home overseas amidst the rubble and conflict in Syria and Iraq. Sally, on the other hand, is a bitter alcoholic that can barely function in daily life.

When their mother dies, it’s Sally’s husband, Paul, that takes care of most of the arrangements. He meets up with Kate—who just returned to seaside Herne Bay in Kent from Syria—to finalize their mother’s affairs and sell their childhood home, where she’ll stay temporarily. Kate is carrying a dark secret though, and it’s manifesting itself in horrible ways, especially when she goes to sleep:

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of My Sister's Bones...]

Thu
Jul 6 2017 12:00pm

Review: Every Deadly Kiss by Steven James

Every Deadly Kiss by Steven James is the 10th book in the Bowers Files, where FBI special agent Patrick Bowers grapples with a baffling series of murders in Detroit—and discovers a terror plot with roots that stretch back centuries.

Read an excerpt from Every Deadly Kiss!

Every Deadly Kiss is the 10th book to feature FBI Agent Patrick Bowers, and the series shows no signs of slowing down. Patrick’s new relationship with Christie is on the rocks, but he’s got to get to Detroit to consult on a new case: a killer seems to be on the loose, and Pat, as an environmental criminologist, has some special skills that can be put to use.

Since I was an environmental criminologist and the lead geospatial investigator in the Bureau, it was becoming more and more common for me to consult with other Field Offices and law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

In a nutshell, my approach had to do with studying the timing, location, and progression of serial offenses rather than looking for means, motive, and opportunity. The process grew out of research dealing with how people perceive and process their surroundings and then make rational choices that lead them to engage in criminal acts.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of Every Deadly Kiss...]

Thu
Jun 29 2017 1:00pm

Review: The Boy Who Saw by Simon Toyne

The Boy Who Saw by Simon Toyne follows Solomon Creed, the enigmatic hero introduced in The Searcher, who must stop a killer tied to a conspiracy stretching back over generations to the dying days of World War II.

The Boy Who Saw picks up shortly after the explosive events of 2015’s The Searcher, featuring the mysterious Solomon Creed, who doesn’t remember who he is or where he comes from. He’s now in France, bearing a white jacket with his name sewn into it, and he sets off to find Josef Engel, who made the jacket. But Joseph can offer him no answers; he has been brutally tortured and murdered, with a Star of David carved into his chest. When Commandant Benoit Amand comes upon the scene of the crime, Solomon presents an odd tableau:

Amand began to rehearse the conversation he would have with Josef’s next of kin, wondering how he could translate all this into quiet words of condolence.

[Read Kristen Centorcelli's review of The Boy Who Saw...]

Tue
Jun 27 2017 1:00pm

Review: The Child by Fiona Barton

The Child by Fiona Barton is a brand new novel of twisting psychological suspense from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Widow.

It’s always refreshing to see a woman in her 50s portrayed as wonderfully as Fiona Barton portrays journalist Kate Waters. Kate has a definite Mary Tyler Moore vibe going on, if you zipped her forward to 2012. When she catches wind of a baby’s skeleton that’s been found at a construction site, her ears perk up immediately:

Kate Waters loved a needle-in-a-haystack job. The glint of something in the dark. Something to absorb her totally. Something to sink her teeth into. Something to get her out of the office.

She’s determined to sink her teeth into a new story, a juicy one, and she squeezes everything she can out of the little bit of information she has.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of The Child...]

Tue
Jun 13 2017 11:00am

Review: The Forgotten Girl by Rio Youers

The Forgotten Girl by Rio YouersThe Forgotten Girl by Rio Youers is a dark mystery about a girl with a special power to selectively erase memories, the dark and dangerous group out to get her, and a man who searches for the girl he loves but can't remember (available June 13, 2017).

Take a visual tour of The Forgotten Girl with GIFnotes!

Imagine getting beaten to within an inch of your life by brutal thugs who insist you know the whereabouts of a girl named Sally Starling. This is the nightmare that busker Harvey Anderson is living, and he really, truly believes that if he doesn’t die, he’ll end up brain damaged.

“WHERE IS SHE?”

That diamond of a fist drew back yet again and I braced myself, thinking the next blow would shut out the lights, perhaps cause permanent brain damage. I thought, bizarrely, of Swan Connor, Green Ridge’s celebrity resident. Swan had been a big-time record producer in the seventies and eighties—back when people actually bought records and there was money to be made. He was always so engaging and bright, happy to share an anecdote or a smile, but a recent stroke had turned him into a maundering imbecile. I’d seen him just the week before, stumbling down Main with the aid of two canes. He was drooling like a teething infant and had a thick green booger on his upper lip. That would be me after this punch landed. There’d be deep crevasses in my brain where cognitive functions and motor skills used to live. I would eat mashed potatoes with plenty of ketchup. I would wear eight-dollar track pants and maunder with Swan.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of The Forgotten Girl...]

Mon
Jun 5 2017 1:00pm

Review: The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb

Haunting and atmospheric, The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb is another thrilling page-turner from the Queen of the Northern Gothic (available June 6, 2017).

Crime beat journalist Eleanor “Norrie” Harper has been fired from her job after being diagnosed with PTSD and letting it affect her work—although she’s skeptical of the PTSD diagnosis. After all, it’s not like she’s involved in the crimes. She’s just working the fringes, witnessing the crime scenes and the aftermath of violent crime, and meeting the families of victims at their most vulnerable moments.

Either way, she’s at loose ends until she applies for and is offered the coveted directorship of the beautiful Cliffside Manor, an artist retreat (and former TB sanatorium) run by the venerable Penelope Dare. Eleanor is excited and nervous, but when she arrives, she has a bad feeling:

A whisper of cold air slithered up the legs of my pants and down the collar of my shirt as I scurried down the hallway toward Miss Penny’s office, which now, I knew, would be mine. I reached the door, stepped inside, and shut it behind me with a thud, my heart racing in my chest. Get it together, Eleanor, I said to myself.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of The End of Temperance Dare...]

Tue
May 23 2017 1:00pm

Review: Two Lost Boys by L. F. Robertson

Two Lost Boys by L. F. Robertson is a debut novel and a legal thriller that deals with the controversial subject of the death penalty. 

Death row appeals attorney Janet Moodie has had her fill with the hopelessness that comes along with helping those on death row, grinding against the vast machine that makes up the American legal system. Janet reluctantly agrees to take on the appeal of Marion “Andy” Hardy, who, along with his younger brother Emory, was convicted of raping and murdering two prostitutes. The only difference is that while Emory got life in prison, Andy got death. Andy’s low IQ brings into question the appropriateness of the death penalty, but proving that Andy’s original lawyer didn’t do a thorough job is easier said than done.

We would have to turn the field again after nearly fifteen years, reading every piece of paper, looking for things not done, favorable evidence and witnesses that weren’t found or, if found, were ignored—anything that might help convince some judge that Andy deserved a new trial. We were starting at square one, with nothing obvious to look for—hell, we were behind square one, because Andy had had a trial and appeal. We’d have to convince a skeptical judge that enough evidence had been left out the first time, that Andy deserved a chance to be tried again.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review...]

Fri
May 19 2017 1:00pm

Review: Perish the Day by John Farrow

Perish the Day: A Storm Murders Mystery by John FarrowPerish the Day by John Farrow is the 3rd book in the Storm Murders Trilogy (available May 23, 2017).

In the third novel in John Farrow’s The Storm Murders Trilogy, retired Montreal detective Émile Cinq-Mars and his wife Sandra are in Vermont for their niece Caroline’s graduation ceremony at the Dowbiggin School of International Studies. There’s a big storm coming, but Caroline and her boisterous friends are excited about graduation and what lies beyond, and the excitement rubs off on Émile and Sandra. One of their gang, Addie, is missing, however, and when Caroline gets a text from Addie’s ex Vernon that a body has been found on campus, they’re terrified that it may be Addie. Émile is determined to infiltrate the scene:

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of Perish the Day...]

Tue
Aug 2 2016 1:00pm

Review: A Time of Torment by John Connolly

A Time of Torment by John Connolly is the 14th book in the Charlie Parker series that sees the hardened PI facing down a strange, isolated community called the Cut (Available today!).

The beginning of A Time of Torment finds PI Charlie Parker physically diminished from injuries that brought him very close to death, but still very much in the fight. When he’s approached by Jerome Burnel, who just got out of prison, he doesn’t know what to think of the soft spoken man. At first. 

Jerome was a hero before he went to jail. He shot and killed two thieves during a convenience store robbery, putting himself in grave danger. Soon after the shooting, however, the authorities were alerted to child pornography found in his house and on his computer, and off to jail he went. He claims he’s innocent though, and Parker believes him. He also claims that his life is in danger from those that he claims set him up and asks Parker for help in bringing them down. This investigation will lead him to an insular and murderous West Virginia community called the Cut:

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of A Time of Torment...]

Tue
Jul 5 2016 1:00pm

Review: Let the Devil Out by Bill Loehfelm

Let the Devil Out by Bill Loehfelm is the 4th installment of the Maureen Coughlin series (Available July 5, 2016).

I remember picking up the first book to feature Maureen Coughlin, The Devil She Knows, and kicking myself for not discovering her sooner. In that book, Maureen was a New York waitress that caught the attention of a psychopath, to terrifying end, and it changed her. Take note, though: there is nothing soft about Maureen Coughlin. She’s not physically imposing, but she carries with her a coiled tension—a bit like a snake about to strike.

And she bites.

It’s obvious she is suffering from PTSD going into the 2nd book in the series, The Devil in Her Way, which finds her fresh out of the police academy and far away from home, as a rookie patrol officer in the New Orleans PD. She quickly bonds with her training officer, Preacher Boyd, and to say that Maureen is eager is putting it lightly. She’s ambitious to a fault and tends to run headlong into trouble.

New Orleans was an inspired choice for setting, because Maureen’s inner turmoil matches the ongoing turmoil of the city, post-Katrina, and a police department trying to regain the city’s trust.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of Let the Devil Out...]

Wed
Apr 27 2016 3:15pm

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong is the 1st Casey Duncan Novel, introducing Casey Duncan—a homicide detective with a secret—who, along with her best friend Diana, flees her old life to a community that might present more danger than they were in previously (Available May 3, 2016).

Kelley Armstrong is known for featuring strong, capable women in her books, and homicide detective Casey Duncan is no exception. She’s got a huge secret: she killed a man that had assaulted her in college, and only her best friend Diana knows about it. When Diana falls prey to a dangerous ex, she suggests they do something very unusual, and to her surprise, Casey agrees.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of City of the Lost here...]

Fri
Apr 15 2016 1:00pm

Life or Death by Michael Robotham

Life or Death by Michael Robotham is a standalone thriller about an honorable criminal, shrouded in mystery, that escapes from prison a day before his release. It is nominated for the Edgar Award for “Best Novel.”

In Life or Death, Michael Robotham’s new standalone thriller, Audie Palmer—a man thought to have been involved in an armored truck heist gone wrong (and in which four people were killed and 7 million dollars went missing)—has escaped from jail, a day before he was going to be released after 10 years. The reasons aren’t immediately clear, but Audie is definitely on a mission.

Now, he’s on the run, his face is all over the news, and he frequently must rely on the help of strangers—including a young mother and her little girl. Meanwhile, FBI agent Desiree Furness, who had been given the cold case file on the missing money, is asked to help find Palmer. Also, Audie’s cellmate, Moss, has been sprung from jail and threatened with death if he doesn’t find Palmer, but if he does, his sentence will be commuted. The chase is on, and it’s a cat-and-mouse game between Audie, Furness, Moss, and a dirty cop that did a very, very bad thing when he caught up with those heist suspects 10 years ago.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of Life or Death here...]

Mon
May 11 2015 9:00am

Fresh Meat: Anatomy of Evil by Will Thomas

Anatomy of Evil by Will Thomas is the seventh Barker & Llewelyn historical mystery, and in London in 1888, who would they seek but the Ripper (available May 12, 2015)?

I’m always up for a clever take on the Jake the Ripper mythos, and who better to take on the famous killer than private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn? Thomas has it in his head to search for the killer himself, but gets caught on a late night outing with a friend by Barker, who is puzzled as to why Llewelyn didn’t let him in on the search. Turns out Barker is happy to help, and as luck would have it, is recruited to act as liaison to Scotland Yard’s Criminal Investigation Department.  Navigating the jurisdictional infighting between departments is one thing, but finding a killer who seems to strike at any time, and so brutally, is quite another.

[That's one tough task ahead of them...]

Sat
Feb 21 2015 12:00pm

Fresh Meat: The Outsiders by Gerald Seymour

The Outsiders by Gerald Seymour is an espionage thriller featuring MI5 agent Winnie Monks who follows a Russian crime czar to Spain for revenge of a brutal murder from years ago (available February 24, 2015).

If you were to ask Jonno’s parents about their son, they would describe him as ordinary, a good enough sort, but never reaching for the stars, so to speak. So, when Jonno and his girlfriend Posie discover that MI5 agents have set up shop upstairs in the villa that they’re housesitting, on the Costa del Sol in Spain, it’s shocking that Jonno seems to find an obstinacy within himself that borders on reckless. He’s self riotously furious on the behalf of the elderly couple that owns the villa (who he hardly knows, having gotten the housesitting gig through his own mother), until he witnesses a horror next door, at the villa that is the focus of the agents’ surveillance, that swiftly changes his mind, especially after he learns about the person they’re actually there to report on.

[So much for that Spain getaway...]

Sun
Apr 27 2014 11:00am

Fresh Meat: The Curse of the Brimstone Contract by Corrina Lawson

The Curse of the Brimstone Contract by Corrina Lawson is the Steampunk Detectives series debut, featuring a woman who learns she possesses magical abilities after a garment of her design kills a client (available April 29, 2014).

Joan Krieger is very excited to present her new clothing creations to the fashion forward Lady Grey, but when Lady Grey discovers a scarf among her new clothes, a scarf that shouldn’t have been there, she is delighted and insists on wearing it.  Outfitted in her progressive new duds, she climbs into her steam carriage for an outing, but it’s a doomed outing, because the scarf suddenly takes on a life of its own, and soon, Lady Grey’s life is snuffed out. Joan and her mother are horrified. They’ve had a run of bad luck with clients recently who died while wearing their creations, and it’s threatening their very livelihood. To Joan’s horror, as soon as her father, who has been ill, hears of the most recent catastrophe, he informs her that she has been promised to a certain Sir August Milverton, who has vowed to help their business stay afloat once they are married. However, Sir August is not only two decades her senior, but he’s also not Jewish. Joan struggles with the desire to help her family and her wish to marry someone within her faith.

[Failure is not an option for Joan, she's sacrificed too much...]

Fri
Feb 14 2014 12:30pm

Fresh Meat: The Innocent Sleep by Karen Perry

The Innocent Sleep by Karen PerryThe Innocent Sleep by Karen Perry (the pseudonym for co-authors Karen Gillece and Paul Perry) is an international thriller, featuring a father whose presumed-dead son might not be as dead as he thought (available February 18, 2014).

Tangiers in 2005 is a place teeming with color, and life. Perfect for an artist like Harry, who is living there with his wife Robin, and young son Dillon. Dillon has always had serious problems sleeping, but tonight Harry has added something to his milk that will help him sleep, because it’s Robin’s birthday, and Harry wants things to be perfect when she gets home.

“He stirs a cup of warm milk, blinks, and looks out again onto the changing and otherworldly colors of the sky.

Setting the spoon down onto the counter, he turns from the open window and crosses to where the boy is sitting, his face tightened in concentration at the jigsaw puzzle before him.

“Here,” his father says, holding out the cup.

The boy does not look up.

“No, Daddy, I don’t want to.”

His father hands him the cup again. The boy hesitates before reaching out, and in that moment, Harry feels the faintest beat of indecision. He ignores it and nods his head at the boy in encouragement.

The boy takes long, slow gulps. A small dribble of milk escapes from the corner of his mouth, and his father wipes it away. Dillon gulps again and hands the cup back. “Here, Daddy,” he says. “Finished.”

Harry takes the cup and walks to the sink to rinse it. At its bottom there is a fine residue of powder. He fills the cup with water and watches the residue flow up and out of it and down into the drain.”

[Things are about to be anything but perfect...]

Mon
Nov 18 2013 1:00pm

Fresh Meat: Burnt Black By Ed Kovacs

Burnt Black by Ed Kovacs

Burnt Black by Ed Kovacs is the third novel in the Cliff St. James series about a detective living and working in a post-Katrina New Orleans (available November 19, 2013).

In the third installment of Ed Kovacs’s New Orleans crime series, his edgy protagonist, NOPD Homicide Detective Cliff St. James (who continues his P.I. business on the side) is alerted to a potential murder that has occurred next door to the house that he and his partner, Honey Baybee, have spotted while house hunting for her mother. Turns out it’s not just one person dead, but two, and at the base of what looks like an altar, no less. In fact, when they enter the house, they immediately knew this scene would be out of the ordinary. 

[Which is quite the claim in New Orleans...]

Tue
Aug 6 2013 10:00am

Fresh Meat: The Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin by Chris Ewan

The Good Thief's Guide to Berlin by Chris Ewan, Book 5 about writer and criminal Charlie HowardThe Good Thief's Guide to Berlin by Chris Ewan is the fifth novel about globetrotting writer-slash-criminal Charlie Howard (available August 6, 2013).

When Charlie Howard’s literary agent, Victoria, secures a burglary deal for him in Berlin, along with a few possible foreign deals for his new book, he’s not surprised by her initiative. However, when he meets with his contact, who turns out to be working for the British Embassy, his instructions for the theft are rather frustrating and also incomplete. The contact refuses to tell Charlie what he’s supposed to steal, only that there are four apartments that he must search, and he’ll know the item when he sees it. Now, before we get into the thick of things, keep in mind Charlie has a few rules of his own when it comes to his chosen profession.

“Rules. They can be a tricky proposition for a thief like me. It’s not often I find myself on the right side of the law, and the truth is, I enjoy breaking most rules as much as I relish breaking into a stranger’s home. But there are certain rules I try very hard to obey. Naturally, the rules I’m talking about are ones I’ve devised for myself. Over the years, the list has grown pretty long, though it all developed from one simple principle: Don’t get caught.

Want to hear a selection? Well, let’s see. I never break into a property that’s occupied, unless I absolutely have to. I use my picks wherever possible, because I don’t enjoy destroying someone’s door. I don’t ransack or leave a mess. If I’m working for myself, I target folks who can afford it, and I rarely steal anything of sentimental value. If I’m hired on commission, I only work for people I trust or individuals who pay me enough to overcome my concerns. I always wear gloves. I always knock before I enter. I always lock up before I leave. And, as of now, I have a new rule to add to my list. Don’t admire the view.”

[But if you'd like to admire the rest of this post...]