Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

Patricia Cornwell: Author and Philanthropist

December 14th, 2011 No comments

Fan favorite, author Patricia Cornwell, is busy at work promoting her latest novel in the Kay Scarpetta series Red Mist. The 19th installment has the formidable medical examiner traveling to a remote women’s prison in Georgia to meet with an inmate who might have knowledge of the brutal murder of Jack Fielding, Scarpetta’s former deputy chief. While investigating Fielding’s death, the Dr. uncovers links to other murders committed across the country, as well as a potential international terrorist threat.

Besides unravelling a murder mystery, Red Mist, addresses the larger issues of death penalty ethics and the prison system. In a phone interview with The Oregonian, Cornwell spoke about working to keep the 22 year-old series interesting to herself and her readers. “It’s not a job,” she says, “it’s like a relationship that I treat with sensitivity and selflessness and that needs to be nurtured.” Read more…


The Trials and Tribulations of Choosing a Pen Name

December 7th, 2011 No comments

According to novelist Alison Potter, one of the most enjoyable things about writing is creating names for her characters. “You can let your imagination run free, stripped of caution and compromise.” Yet, when she was asked to choose a pen name for herself, the naming process was no longer carefree. Hodder, her publisher, approached her about a name change as they were working on her debut thriller Wink Murder. “Suddenly, it’s personal and heartfelt, challenging your identity and family history,” she writes in an article for The Guardian.

“We may spend our lives escaping our parents and their influence, carving out our own identities, but our name is given to us and most of us never change it. Even if women marry, they have no choice over the surname they take. Alison Potter had served me perfectly well for about 40 years, until now. Read more…

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Alzheimer’s Mystery Novel Takes Wellcome Prize

November 9th, 2011 No comments

Turn of Mind (Atlantic Monthly Press, 320pgs), the debut mystery novel by Alice LaPlante was announced today as the winner of the U.K. based Wellcome Trust Book Prize, an award for medical literature. The thriller is told through the perspective of Dr. Jennifer White, a retired surgeon battling the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. When her best friend Amanda is found dead with one hand mutilated with surgical precision, Dr. White becomes the main suspect, though she cannot remember having played any part in the crime. As the story unfolds, details about the long lasting, yet turbulent, friendship between the two women are revealed, leaving Dr. White to question weather her absence of memory is hiding her guilt or protecting her from harm. Read more…


New Release: 11/22/63

November 8th, 2011 No comments

By Stephen King
Scribner | 960pgs
Release Date: November 8, 2011

Stephen King’s new novel, the highly anticipated 11/22/63, arrives in stores today. The opus, which falls just short of the 1,000 page mark, follows English teacher Jake Epping through a time portal in his friend Al’s basement on a quest to prevent the assassination of JFK. Using the name George Amberson, Jake enters the past in the year 1958, and spends the next 5 years working towards changing the outcome of that fateful day, moving to a small town in Texas, falling in love with a sweet librarian and encountering a troubled young man named Lee Harvey Oswald along the way. Will Jake be able to change history? If so, will the future of the world better for this change? Read more…


Dracula Still Thrills After More Than a Century

October 31st, 2011 No comments

If any of you are looking for a scary tale to settle down with after all the little candy goblins have slipped dreamily into a sugar coma, try the classic blood-sucking tale Dracula by Bram Stoker. A recent AP article sings the praises of the archetypal vampire, comparing him favorably to the contemporary literary vampires of the angst-y teen heartthrob and tragic Southern gentlemen varieties. “Vampires have become too soft, too lovelorn, too nice. There’s no good side to the original Count Dracula. He’s evil, plain and simple.”

“From the first pages of the 1897 novel, with all those villagers watching solicitor Jonathan Harker make his way to the Count’s castle in Transylvania, the book draws you in…Dracula is surprisingly easy to read, and I highly recommend its company while waiting for trick or treaters.” Read more…

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Penguin reissues Le Carré’s Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy

June 14th, 2011 No comments

Last week publisher Penguin reissued John Le Carré’s exemplary spy novel Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy. Deemed by some to be the greatest of its genre, the book features George Smiley, a down-trodden middle aged British Intelligence agent who is forced into retirement after his boss runs a disastrous covert op to root out a mole within their agency. Though he is neither a suave or physically agile spy, like those created by Ian Fleming or Robert Ludlum, the political upper echelon calls upon him to accomplish what his superior could not, and find the mole. Originally published in 1974, the reissue has a new introduction, in which Le Carré writes of his difficulty crafting the first draft of the novel. After months of work, he burned the entire first draft outside in his garden out of utter frustration. He then went back to the drawing board and created this bestselling spy thriller. Read more…


Jeffery Deaver Launches Bond Book with Style

June 3rd, 2011 No comments

Last week, bestselling author Jeffery Deaver celebrated the UK launch of his James Bond title Carte Blanche in a manner fit for 007. USA Today reports that the thriller writer arrived at St. Pancras International train station’s Champagne Bar with a cat-suited “Bond Girl” in tow. While posing with his sexy companion next to a Bentley Continental GT (Bond’s ride in the new book) Deaver received the first copy of Carte Blanche, delivered by a member of the Royal Marines Display Team rappelling from the station ceiling. Read more…


New Release: The Snowman

May 24th, 2011 No comments

By Jo Nesbø
Knopf | 400pgs
Release Date: May 10, 2011

The troubled but brilliant Norwegian Inspector Harry Hole returns in Jo Nesbø’s latest thriller The Snowman. The fifth installment of the Scandinavian series tracks Hole’s investigation of several murders perpetrated during winter’s first snowfall. When two women turn up dead, each with an menacing snowman built to mark the occasion, Hole and his new partner Katrine Bratt uncover a string of murders spanning several years. During the hunt for the killer, Hole realizes a connection between the case and an ominous letter he received months earlier, referencing the recent murders and events in the Inspector’s past, signed by The Snowman. As Hole’s quest for justice becomes obsessive, the Snowman draws him into a deadly game, where the ultimate prize may be the policeman’s life. Read more…


Who’s Your Favorite Female Detective Character?

April 29th, 2011 No comments

Acknowledging that many television networks offer a glut of programs featuring male detectives, writer Jess McCabe pays homage to standout fictional female sleuths in an article for The Guardian. The top ten list features characters from literature, film and TV and highlights the reasons why these lady detectives “broke boundaries and helped redefine the image of the investigator.” Of her number one pick Nancy Drew, McCabe writes, “The original, the iconic teenage detective, any list of female detectives inevitably starts with Nancy Drew, who has been solving mysteries for more than 80 years, with Hilary Clinton and Sonia Sotomayor among the high-profile women to cite her as an inspiration.” Read more…


Is King Up to Time Travel Challenge?

March 30th, 2011 2 comments

©2011 Simon & Schuster.

Stephen King set his fandom abuzz earlier this month with the announcement that his new novel 11/22/63 will be released on November 8th. The plot of the 1,000 page epic follows Jake Epping, a high school English teacher, through a portal in his friend Al’s storeroom into the year 1958. Al sends Jake on a mission to change history by preventing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. As he settles into a culture of sock hops and Elvis under the name George Amberson, he falls for Sadie Dunhill, a lovely librarian, and encounters disturbed loner Lee Harvey Oswald. The premise of time travel in a novel is not new, but some fans question whether or not King can approach this device in an interesting, yet believable, way. “Time travel, though – even when it’s done brilliantly by Kim Stanley Robinson in Galileo’s Dream, even when it’s done humorously by Tim Powers in The Anubis Gates – sends me a bit mad. It Just Doesn’t Add Up and it messes with my mind,” writes Alison Flood in a post for The Guardian‘s Blog. Read more…