Hostage by Clare Mackintosh and Falling by T.J. Newman

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

I’ve read two books in the last few months that have very similar plots. They both involve family members being held hostage so that their loved ones will crash a plane (a pilot in one book, a flight attendant in the other). In both there are unknown assailants on the plane, plucky flight attendants and passengers trying to help (and maybe hinder), and difficult choices to be made.

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh and Falling by T.J. Newman are both exciting thrillers that keep a fast pace throughout the entire book. But if I had to pick one that I enjoyed more, it would be Falling because I found the characters more likeable and the action better.

Hostage available through the Bridges Library System

Falling in Adult Fiction (FIC NEWMAN)

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

What could be more interesting that a diagnosed psychopath trying to settle an old score? How about eight diagnosed psychopaths pulled together for a research panel on the same campus? Chloe Sevre is one of those eight and has prepared and waited for years to exact revenge but as she progresses through the final phases of her plan, she’s hampered by someone else’s agenda. Bizarre deaths begin to occur in the psychology building she frequents regularly for the research panel. Chloe however will not be deterred from the mission her life has become and is forced to contend with a little stalking, some light battery, and many threats. But fear not, she is capable of giving far more than that in return.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC KURIAN)

I Don’t Forgive You by Aggie Blum Thompson

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

Allie Ross has put considerable distance between herself and her past. Although that’s where she’d like to keep it, it rears its ugly head threatening to ruin her marriage, job and relationship with her son. Allie steadily unravels as she slides quickly into suspect number one. Her neighbors believe she is guilty and she faces insurmountable odds in an effort to clear her name.

I seem to be a pro lately at picking debut books and although this is Aggie Thompson’s first novel and you can’t have more from her yet, it’s a fast-moving and chilling mystery novel worth picking up.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Breaking Creed by Alex Kava

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

Ryder Creed believes in three things, his dog, his intuition, and finishing the job you start regardless of where it leads. Breaking Creed is the first installment of the series that introduces us to Ryder and his dog Grace. Grace is a multi trained scent dog; her main focus is drugs and she has been getting some major headlines recently which leads a teenager who is running away from a drug cartel to recognize an opportunity to be rescued. What follows is an action packed thriller with many twists and turns, not all of them plausible, but if you stick with it to the end I believe you will find yourself at the start of a four book weekend featuring a retired marine, a K-9 scent dog, an FBI agent, and plots that will keep you guessing what could be on the next page.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC KAVA)

Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

Fabian Nicieza’s debut novel alternates between the perspectives of Kenny Lee, a washed up reporter and Andrea Stern, a retired FBI profiler who is pregnant with her fifth child. Andrea’s tired. She’s the size of a house and desperately missing the career that gave her life purpose when she waddles into the center of a crime scene. With a wildly perceptive eye, Andrea makes astute connections which hint at a crime long buried and with Lee’s help stirring up the media, the unlikely pair seek long overdue justice.

I enjoyed the quick pace and the rawness of both the main characters. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another book by this author and hope he continues to write more.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC NICIEZA)

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Reviewed by Kate (Library Patron)

It took a while for me to realize why this is a thriller, but wow it is. It reads like a contemporary fiction, psychological thriller, social commentary, and mystery simultaneously.

Cole uses uncomfortable truths in history and modern day to create a really uncomfortable, yet thoroughly enjoyable, story. The more I think about this book, the more I like it, and I think it takes a really good author to create a book that does that!

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC COLE)

Darling by K. Ancrum

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

Darling turns the classic Peter Pan story into a mind-blowing and fast-paced dark thriller.

New to Chicago, Wendy Darling is enticed out of her bedroom window by the sexy and sinister Peter, who invites her to a warehouse party. What follows is a treacherous adventure through the city where Wendy must navigate the shifting dynamics of a large cast of characters and their relationships to the protective and predatory Peter. Ancrum imposes the familiar elements of the Peter Pan story so thoughtfully and brilliantly into modern times–for example, the Mermaid Lagoon is a drag club and the pirates are the police force taking liberties with their power, helmed by ruthless Detective Hook.

The bright spark of dangerous glamor drew me into the story, but the ever-unexpected and continually rising stakes propelled me through to the end. Absolutely astonishing.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

Every Vow You Break is the first novel I’ve read by Peter Swanson and I liked it enough to pick up another of his mysteries to try next. This book begins with a freshly married couple who travel to a private island to celebrate their honeymoon. However, new bride Abigail Baskin feels immediate unease upon arriving at the ostentatious resort which is overstaffed with creepily attentive workers, 99% of which are men. Her nerves are frayed when she encounters the same man she’d been intimate with on the eve of her bachelorette party and all chances of an enjoyable honeymoon vanish when the only other woman on the resort vanishes unexpectedly.

This book heaps the eerie on early but I want to encourage you to keep up with it because you don’t get that I-can’t-put-this-down pull to the title until you’re about a third of the way though. But when it came, it hit me hard. If you have a more of a psychic eye than I do, you may have a guess at the ending, as my good friend did, but I myself didn’t see it coming. That might be why I love mysteries so much, I can see a hundred threads of possible outcomes trailing off like shooting stars but seldom pick the one it turns out to be. I’m always surprised that way!

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC SWANSON)

Black Widows by Cate Quinn

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

The husband is dead, and one of his three wives killed him. Blake is a polygamist and lives with his three very different wives in Utah. After he is found dead on his property, the police look at all three wives as potential suspects, and the women themselves also start questioning each other. They all have reasons to have wanted him dead, but as secrets are revealed, the women realize they don’t know who to trust.

This book kept me interested because I wanted to know who killed Blake. I enjoyed the short chapters from each wife’s perspective, which kept the story moving. This is a good book for anyone who like’s a domestic thriller.

Available through the Bridges Library System

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

What better setting for a mystery/thriller than a hotel that used to be a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients? Sarah Pearse’s debut book nods to Shari Lapena’s An Unwanted Guest, both novels set in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, with a dangerous blizzard isolating the main characters who are slowly meeting deadly ends. The short chapters contained just enough creepy mystery to keep me reading and ignoring the adulting I should have been doing. My only criticism is that Pearse wrote a sentence uttered by the main character on a few too many occasions. Something along the lines of, “a look passed quickly across his/her face that she couldn’t quite place.” Other than that bit of repetition, I enjoyed this chilly suspense novel and can guarantee you’ll feel it too, even during these hot summer days.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC PEARSE)