The Perfect Assassin by JAMES PATTERSON AND BRIAN SITTS

Prof. Brandt Savage—grandson of the legendary action hero Doc Savage—is forced into a top-secret training program where he discovers his true calling…as the perfect assassin.

Dr. Brandt Savage, the grandson of Doc Savage, is about to go on a sabbatical from the University of
Chicago but instead finds himself kidnapped and hustled into a dark van. He has no clue who would want to kidnap him but he is going to find out soon that nothing is what he thinks it is.

Savage has become the student. And his professor is demanding to say the least.

The book bounces back and forth from his captors’ childhood and training to the present, where Savage is having some intense training sessions. Physically and mentally challenging. He still has no clue why he’s being bulked up and made mission-ready. Until they go back to where she was trained and he learns who she is and why she needs him.
 
This one was interesting. The only issue I had was that I had just finished a book that was almost identical to the first fourth of the book. But I’ll continue to read them!

NetGalley/Grand Central Publishing November 15, 2022      

LIVID by PATRICIA CORNWELL

A Kay Scarpetta Novel #26

We are back with Kay, Lucy, and all the gang! And you know there is about to be drama! Of the murderous kind.

Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Kay Scarpetta is testifying in a sensational murder trial. Cameras in the courtroom, abrasive attorneys, and a judge who seems to not have Kay’s back.

The trial is causing problems in Old Town. Traffic, true crime enthusiasts, and as she gets in her car with Pete, news of a murder in the home of the said judge. The story is that two years ago a former beauty queen washed ashore. Last seen on the boat with the fiance’, who has been sitting in jail since.

Kay is uneasy about a lot these days. The case as well as finding the mole in her office. Someone is set on ruining her for good. Could it be the last case?

Well, Patricia Cornwell always delivers a taut, and believable story. This was a good one!

NetGalley/October 25th, 2022 by Grand Central Publishing





BLOWBACK by JAMES PATTERSON AND BRENDAN DUBOIS

An American President Goes Insane

Sound familiar? Well, it should because now we know it can happen.

He’s America’s most brilliant president ever. He’s also a psychopath.

Keegan Barrett, former director of the CIA, has easily transitioned to the Oval Office. Only six months into his term, h comes up with an off-the-books plan to use the CIA on home soil to get rid of his enemies. And he is ruthless. The type of ruthlessness that comes from thinking you are the smartest person on earth and no one can stop you.

With no one to keep him in check, he orders two agents, Liam and Noa, to carry out his plan. No questions asked. Only they aren’t quite comfortable with their roles and when the President finds out there will be hell to pay. Unless they can find a way to outsmart the psycho in the oval office before the blowback destroys the country.

I really enjoyed this one! Very on topic for right now. It’s scary because we now know it is possible!

NetGalley/  September 12th, 2022 by Little, Brown, and Company

THE NEW NEIGHBOR by KAREN CLEVELAND

Beth Bradford and her husband Mike have just dropped their last child off at college. They have a buyer for the large home they raised their children in and are downsizing. The cul-de-sac they have lived in will be getting a new neighbor and Beth is feeling sad.

But wait, things can always get worse! Turns out Mike is not moving in with Beth. He has a place of his own and wants a divorce. PIle on top of that her demotion as she calls it at the CIA. For fifteen years she has been chasing a terrorist who is known as The Neighbor. Recruiting in the states now. But she is nowhere close to solving this case and when she goes to work she is told she is being transferred to a teaching facility.

But Beth has had way too much piled on her this week. She begins spying on the couple that bought their house after she sees a message from The neighbor saying they have moved to a new cul-de-sac. There is something suspicious about the woman. Her story doesn’t check out. And the more she digs the more secrets she finds among the neighbors she once called friends.

Madeline has moved into Beth’s old house. She knows way too much about Beth and the neighbors. Beth thinks she may be the link to the neighbor.

Is she being paranoid? Almost all of the neighbors work for Langley, so secrets are the norm.

Beth isn’t a quitter and she isn’t giving up on this case. Even after she’s told to let it go and people are hinting she is unstable. But she isn’t letting it go. And neither is Madeline.

The ending was shocking and unexpected. I will be looking at my neighbors in a new light now.

NetGalley/July 26th, 2022 by Ballantine Books


WHAT MOVES THE DEAD by T. KINGFISHER

From the award-winning author of The Twisted Ones comes a gripping and atmospheric retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

This one had a bit of everything scary! The war, deadly fungi, ghostly animals, and the House of Usher, already half fallen.

When Alex Easton, now retired from the soldier’s life, receives a letter from his friend, Roderick that tells him he is certain his sister, Madeline Usher, is dying of some unknown cause. Roderick himself sounds odd.

Alex arrives to find the house in shambles. Falling down around them and cold as ice. There is a doctor in residence trying to find out what is wrong with Madeline besides her catalepsy.

To Alex, both of his friends look like wraiths. Thin and pale to the point of looking ghostly. While out walking Alex meets Ms. Potter, who is illustrating and writing about fungi. The deadly ones, the edible ones, and the ones that are just interesting. She is also suspicious of the black lake full of strange algae that glow at night. The same lake that Alex finds Madeline going to each night.

Her sleepwalking is getting worse. And she seems to be confused about words, as well as her shedding. Yes, I said shedding.

The animals are also a mystery. The hares here seem to be off. The whole place seems off. But whatever you are thinking I can almost guarantee you that the ending is not what you thought!

Always a thrilling read with Kingfisher.

NetGalley/ July 12th, 2022 by Tor Nightfire




LOOK CLOSER by DAVID ELLIS

This is a fast-paced, very clever story of murder, revenge, money, and basically how to plan the perfect murder. Be patient.

Simon is a law professor in Chicago. Trying for tenure while his wife, Vicky works as a domestic violence advocate. It’s not a head over heels love story, but it’s stable. Maybe. Or is it all a lie?

Lauren and Conrad are filthy rich and live nearby. Until Lauren is found hanging from the balcony on Halloween night. And with that everything seems to unravel. Seems.

These people are all living lies. It’s almost impossible to connect any of the dots here. And even if they do, can they prove anything?

I am not giving anything away in this review. It’s the kind of book that you just have to read for yourself. A twisty, mindscrew of a story, and I had no idea what was going on until the end! That is well done!

NetGalley/July 5, 2022, Putnam Penguin Group

HER DARKEST SECRET by Jessica R. Patch

When a cold-case serial killer returns, FBI special agent Fiona Kelly has one last chance to stop him before he claims the prize he’s always wanted—her.

FBI SA Fiona Kelly is living in Chicago now. After blowing up her marriage to her husband and fellow agent, Asa Kodiak. It’s been almost twenty years since she and her sister and other girls were abducted and later found dead with a feather on their bodies. She was the only one who survived. Escaped. Dubbed the Nursery Rhyme Killer due to the posing of the victims, no one has been able to figure out who he is.

But now Asa is dealing with a murderer with the same MO. And Fiona wants in. Asa has tried to move on with his life after Fiona, but it just isn’t working. But the killer hasn’t moved on either. He still wants her. The one that got away. This time Fiona’s own secret about that time in her life will come to light and her life will be in even more danger. Someone wants her dead and someone wants her for himself.

Fiona has put her life on hold until she finds the killer. It has become the only thing in her life and she is taking chances she should not be taking. It just might get them all killed.

A really good serial killer novel! And the ending was perfect!

NetGalley/June 28th, 2022 Harlequin

LISA JACKSON’S THE GIRL WHO SURVIVED

In this deviously volatile, deliciously creepy thriller from the #1 New York Times bestseller, the lone survivor of a brutal family massacre must uncover the awful truth about the fateful night that left her forever marked…

Has she already had her last chance to be the final girl?

After losing her entire family in a brutal and confusing mass murder, Kara doesn’t want to be known as just the girl who survived a vicious attack at her family cabin in Oregon. All she knows for sure is that her sister locked her in the attic and left. When she got herself out she found no sister and only one brother clinging to life in the bloody living room. And he says one thing. Run. So she does. At seven years old, she can’t run far or fast but she runs from the shadowy figure standing at the door.

Her brother, Jonas, could be violent but she isn’t sure he did this. The state, however, is certain and now after twenty years, he is out. On a technicality, but out. As Kara tries to process what this means for her she also begins getting messages from someone claiming to be her sister telling her she is alive.

As she gets closer to figuring out what happened, will she finally be the girl who didn’t survive? Because the killer is still out there and is very close to finishing his job.

So much tension in this thriller! Just when I thought I knew, I did not. Good read!

NetGalley/ June 28, 2022, Kensington

THE LIES I TELL by JULIE CLARK

Never con a con. Ms. Clark has given us two narrators of their lives. Meg and whatever the last name she’s using at the moment, and Kat, struggling with her writing, her relationship, and blaming Meg for all of it. A woman she doesn’t even know. But ten years ago a phone call from Meg sent Kat out on a lead that led to a life-altering trauma.

Meg has many names and many plans. She’s the ultimate con artist. But why? That is what Kat is trying to figure out.

Told in both voices, they are both playing at being honest and yet trying to get to the truth. Both for different reasons. And when Kat finally figures it all out, Meg is gone and Kat has some decisions to make.

This was much like a pretzel. Twisty and good! It was hard to keep up with all of Meg’s motivations and her cons. And she was good. Some women are content to move on after trauma. These are not those women. These are the women who are going to use every resource to get justice.

Well Done!

NetGalley/June 21st, 2022 Source Books Landmark

POINT LAST SEEN by CHRISTINA DODD

Life Last Seen Gothic Series #1

LIFE LAST SEEN

On a lonely stretch of beach in California is the remote town of Gothic. It’s the place to find lost souls. And when Adam Ramsdell finds a body in the surf, a woman who is obviously dead, he flips her over and hauls her off the beach. Only to have her come to life. Who is this woman and why isn’t she dead? It looks as if someone tried to kill her. She has bruises around her neck and has been battered by the ocean.

Elle. Her name is Elle. She thinks. She just isn’t sure of much else. So she takes refuge in Adams’s home. Remote and private. Just the way he likes it. Adam isn’t a talker. He says he has no friends, but everyone in town likes him.

As she heals and begins to get fragments of her memory back, she is terrified. What is it she can’t quite see in her nightmares? Or who? Someone tried to kill her and she has no idea who or why. Which makes trusting strangers difficult. It seems everyone in this town has at least one secret and she suspects Adam has a few as well.

And when her nightmare turns into reality, more people will be hurt.

This was a good mystery/suspense read. The characters were fun and the tension was real.

NetGalley/June 21st, 2022 by HQN