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      

THE LAST PARTY by CLARE MACKINTOSH

At midnight, one of them is dead.
By morning, all of them are suspects.

It’s a party to end all parties, but not everyone is here to celebrate.

So many layers to unpack with this one. It’s New Year’s Day and Ffion Morgan is looking at a dead body and a lot of suspects.

On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd is entertaining the neighbors and townsfolk on Mirror Lake. His vacation houses seem to be popular with the rich and not so much with the town folk. With everyone drinking champagne, who would guess that Rhys would end up floating dead in the lake.

There are so many secrets in this one. It is a small town but that means her neighbors are also suspects.

I am not sure any of these folks know what the truth is. And it turns out the question should be who did not kill him

This author is so good at red herrings and twisting us up in a really good tale!

NetGalley/November 8th, 2022 by Sourcebooks Landmark

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





LITTLE EVE by CATRIONA WARD

She’s back! The author who held us all in suspense with The Last House on Needless Street! With another wickedly delightful tale of horror, we could never imagine. I admire that in an author!

And she does not disappoint either!


“A great day is upon us. He is coming. The world will be washed away.”

Off the wild coast of Scotland, a group is preparing for the end of the world and the rebirth as well.

Of course, he is a crazy cult leader. He calls himself the keeper of the Adder, who will rise from the sea and will bestow his powers on one of the followers.

Altnaharra is off the coast and entry and exits depend on the tides. They are cut off from the world and believe everything they are told. And they are told some seriously insane stuff!

All of them, all women and young girls, except for Abel, who the Father never wanted anyway, want the honor. Most of all Eve. And then she meets CI Black. He comes to investigate a murder and is taken with Eve. He tries to warn her, to take her away, but she is brainwashed and drugged as well. They do what they are told and it is seriously messed up.

Soon Eve is questioning things. Why is she here? Where is her mother? Are they all going to die? But Eve is a clever girl and has a plan. Brutal, but it’s a plan to get out of here alive. Maimed, but alive.

The ending I did not see coming and that makes this a winner for me!

NetGalley/October 11th, 2022 by Tor Nightfire



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 RISING TIDE by ANN CLEEVES

A Vera Stanhope Novel #10

Since I have recently finished binge-watching the BritBox series Vera, I was happy to receive a copy of this newest DCI STANHOPE novel!

We are back on Holy Island for this one. Fifty years ago a group of high school kids and their young teacher went on a retreat there and stayed at the one-time convent with a nice chapel. A place to sit and be still.

They formed that tight bond that teenagers do, feeling everything so deeply. But on their first reunion, one of the girls argues with one of the guys and leaves in a huff, none of them worrying about the tides. And that is a death that ties them together. The priest, the playboy turned novelist, the broken woman who lost a husband and a baby, the strongest couple who now is the weakest. They all have secrets. No one is telling the truth.

When one of them is found hanging from a beam in his room, Vera and her team step in. Vera has no qualms about digging for answers in sensitive matters. Even though the man had recently been fired because of sexual misconduct, he didn’t seem upset about it. So why is he dead?

What are all of these people hiding? And Vera needs to figure that out quickly or there will be more deaths.

As in all good Vera stories, there was laughter, confusion, tears, and a few gasps!

Cleeves always gives us good mysteries!

NetGalley/ September 06, 2022, St. Martin’s Press

STAY AWAKE by MEGAN GOLDIN

Stay Awake

From the opening pages, this book exudes tension! Heart pounding terror and confusion on every single page.

This is the story of Liv Reese. Liv has just woken up in a taxi with absolutely no memory of how she got there. Confused and scared she is dropped off at her apartment building. Only she has lost her purse and her phone. Ringing the bell in hopes her roommate, Amy, will be there to let her in. Only it’s not Amy who answers. The couple who does now live in their apartment and are tired of her showing up. What?

Stumbling outside confused she looks at her hands to see ink everywhere with messages. STAY AWAKE! Trust No one. And the name of a bar.

Going back two years, the last thing she remembers is answering the phone at her desk at the trendy magazine she writes for. And then nothing. She knows she was living with Amy and dating Marco.

Digging in her pockets she finds a bloody knife wrapped in a t-shirt. When she catches the news, it is all about a murder that just took place. The weirdest thing is what is left in blood on the window. STAY AWAKE! What has she done?

Changing her look and going into the magazine gives her some clues, but she needs to find out what happened and why she can’t remember. But someone out there remembers. And that someone is going to make sure she forgets permanently.

The tension never lets up. It was like a puzzle you just can’t figure out. I read this all at once because you couldn’t just stop! So yes, I did stay awake long past my bedtime.

Goldin has such a complex and twisty writing style that I love.

NetGalley/August 9th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press



ALIAS EMMA by AVA GLASS

In this breakneck, race-against-the-clock thriller, a British spy has twelve hours to deliver her asset across London after Russia hacks the city’s security cameras. Can she make it without being spotted . . . or killed?

Nothing about Emma Makepeace is real. Not even her name.

A daughter of a Russian mother and father. She and her mother have fled to London and her father stays behind. All she has ever wanted is to be a spy. To make the Russians pay for what they did to him and her family.

Fresh from graduating basic, the former Army member is eager for her first assignment. And she gives it all she has.

This is a secret organization inside the CIA. But not everyone is trustworthy as Emma will soon find out. Rushing against time, Russian agents, and even some crooked CIA, she must be invisible in a city with cameras everywhere.

All she knows is she has to protect a valuable son of a dissident Russian scientist. But something isn’t right. When she calls for a pickup, no one shows. Where is her boss and who is this man running things now. A leak? A collaborator?

Trusting the cryptic message from her old boss, she goes running and ends up in a lot of nasty places. They are shot at, beaten, and not sure at all who is setting up who and why.

I loved the female spy. Emma was a most determined young lady and I hope we see more of her.

NetGalley/ August 2nd, 2022 by Bantam





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


THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK by JENNIFER HILLIER

Paris Peralta comes to on the bathroom floor covered in blood and holding a straight razor. Oh, yes, and her thirty-year older husband is dead in the tub. Then the police arrive and she is arrested.

Paris knows she didn’t kill her husband, but who did? She isn’t afraid of going to jail, she’s afraid of being in the media. Paris has secrets and she doesn’t want them coming out. She has worked very hard to create this life. And one person could ruin it all.

Ruby Reyes, the so-called Ice Queen, was convicted in Canada in the early nineties. She knows who Paris is and has no problem exploiting that knowledge. All from prison.

Meet Drew, who is doing a podcast and is still pining for the girl he loved. That girl died in a fire.
So they say.

With Drew helping her Paris may have to confront an ugly and traumatic past before she gets charged with two murders.

Hillier is a master of misdirection and women behaving badly. She is at her best here.

NetGalley/ July 19th, 2022 by Minotaur Books