“Here and Gone” by Haylen Beck

I got the opportunity to read Haylen Beck’s thriller, “Here and Gone” which will be published by Penguin Random House shortly, thanks to NetGalley. If you are looking for a fast paced story which keeps you hooked, this one is for you. The story is about Audra Kinney, who in her 30’s is fleeing a broken marriage with a rich New Yorker who is abusive apart from being a total Mamma’s boy. They have two children, a boy Sean, aged 11 and a girl Louise, aged 6. While her divorce case drags on, Audra can no longer take the abuse and the toxic atmosphere at home. She decides to flee even before the courts decide on who gets custody of her children. She cannot bear the thought of her children being given in the custody of her husband and mother-in-law.  Continue reading ““Here and Gone” by Haylen Beck”

“Private India” by Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson

There’s a high you get on reading a well written thriller. I experienced this recently when I finished with, “Private India” written by the famous Indian author, Ashwin Sanghi, in collaboration with one who is perhaps the best known thriller writer in the world today, James Patterson. I have no idea about the extent of the collaboration. Is it really Sanghi’s book co-branded with the more famous name of Patterson or is Patterson reaching out to Indian audiences with stories with a distinctly Indian milieu which can best be described by an Indian writer like Sanghi? Whatever the equation it works well, I am sure, for both of them.
Continue reading ““Private India” by Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson”

“The Trapped Girl” by Robert Dugoni

I have read and reviewed, “The 7th Canon” by the New York Times bestselling author, Robert Dugoni elsewhere in this blog. Having enjoyed that, I eagerly took up another of his thrillers recently called, “The Trapped Girl.” This features Detective Tracy Crosswhite of the Seattle Police Dept’s Violent Crimes Section, who apparently appears in several of his books. A gripping start gets you hooked to the story. A young man illegally fishing for crab in Puget Sound finds early one morning that the unusually heavy crab pot he is hauling in was not because of large-sized crabs but because of a human body.  Continue reading ““The Trapped Girl” by Robert Dugoni”

“The Agent Runner” by Simon Conway

Another book read. Another author appreciated. This time the book is, “The Agent Runner” and the author is Simon Conway. The book has an intriguing current theme with the characters being from Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and Afghanistan. Conway served in the British Army, in the Black Watch and in the Queen’s Own Highlanders no less, so he knows based on his own experience all about clandestine warfare, sniping, terror attacks, bomb blasts and the works. This is the first book by Conway that I read but I hear he received a lot of acclaim including the CWA Steel Dagger Award in 2010. Continue reading ““The Agent Runner” by Simon Conway”

“The 7th Canon” by Robert Dugoni

Peter Donley, a San Francisco lawyer, is the main protagonist of  “The 7th Canon” by the best-selling author, Robert Dugoni.  He worked for a law firm run by his uncle, Lou Giantelli in the Tenderloin District. A heart attack sends Giantelli to a hospital bed and Donley is swamped with more cases than he had bargained for. This story begins with the arrest of Father Thomas Martin whom once the San Francisco Examiner had called, “The Priest of Polk Street.” Father Tom was the antithesis of your conventional priest. He wore blue jeans with holes in the knees, had a shaved head, tattoos and a diamond-stud ear-ring. He now ran a shelter for boys which was approved by the Church.  One stormy night, as he is shutting the shelter Father Tom finds the body of Andrew Bennett, a boy who had signed in the shelter and seemed to have checked out.  He has been viciously stabbed to death. Father Tom who was the first to see the body is soon arrested as his killer by Detective Dixon Connor.  Continue reading ““The 7th Canon” by Robert Dugoni”

“The Woman in Cabin 10” by Ruth Ware

I had heard of the author Ruth Ware and her debut novel, “The Dark, Dark Wood” but hadn’t got down to reading it. I was therefore delighted to get this opportunity to read and review another thriller by her called, ” The Woman in Cabin 10.”

Laura “Lo” Blacklock is a journalist with Velocity a travel magazine. She is thrilled when she is assigned a task she seldom gets, to cover a luxury cruise on Lord Bullmer’s private cruise ship, “Aurora.” Ordinarily, her boss Rowan Lonsdale would have made the trip. However, her pregnancy came in the way of this cruise and the opportunity fell, as it were,  into Laura’s lap.  It couldn’t have been better timed because she was under tremendous stress following an argument with her long-standing boyfriend, Judah Lewis. She had also undergone a traumatic experience when a burglar had crashed into her apartment when she was having a shower. The cruise along the Scandinavian coast promised to be a most welcome change for Laura.

Everyone knew that Bullmer had the blue blood and the title but the money came from his wife Anne, the Lynstad heiress. The others on the cruise were largely his personal friends, moneyed and sophisticated, making Laurar feel a bit diffident on how she could hold her own in their midst. Fortunately for her, another passenger happens to be Ben Howard who had earlier worked with her in Velocity. Welcomed warmly aboard, Lo is assigned Cabin 9, the Linnaeus Suite, which is as charming and luxurious as the rest of the ship. The trip promised to be incredibly exciting.

The trip turns out to a terrible experience for Laura when one night she sees the body of the woman being thrown overboard from the balcony of the adjoining Cabin 10. What makes it worse is her seeing so much blood on the deck which suggests the woman must have been killed and thrown into the sea. The nightmare becomes progressively worse when no one believes her story least of all Nilsson the Security Chief of the Aurora. He and the others take pains to impress upon her that neither the passenger list or the staff roster has a woman matching the description of the one in Cabin 10 Laura gave to anyone who would listen to her.

Ware deftly carries you through the twists and turns in the fast paced story. The plot is interesting and the characters believable but one I feel that Lo Blacklock was too bitter towards everyone in the world, even when there was no need for her to be so. The story reaches an unexpected climax and leaves you totally satisfied with the read.






“The Escape” by David Baldacci

I seldom read two books by the same author in quick succession. This time there has been an exception as after “The Hit” by David Baldacci, a couple of weeks later, I read his “The Escape.” This features the Military CID Investigator John Puller. I was coming across this character for the first time but I understand he has featured in two other books by Baldacci in the past. The book starts with a bang, as all thrillers should. In a first time ever event, a notorious captive escapes from the ultra high security United States Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth. The man who escaped did not merely vanish into thin air but left behind a body of someone whom nobody had seen before at that prison. What makes the plot more intriguing is that the escaped prisoner was a brilliant man, an expert in nuclear technology and cyber security who had been a Major in the United States Air Force until his conviction. He happens to be none other than John Puller’s elder brother, Robert. Continue reading ““The Escape” by David Baldacci”

“The Passenger” by Lisa Lutz

I have always been partial to stories written in the first person, and “The Passenger” by Lisa Lutz is one such. The beginning of the story is dramatic enough to grab your attention.  A young woman, Tanya Dubois who tells her story in the book sees her husband, who is much older to her, fall to his death. Was she involved in his death? She assures us she wasn’t but who is to know the truth? Tanya flees from the house grabbing just a few essentials. You would think she does this so that she is not blamed for her husband’s death. You could be right but she fears more than anything else that the police may dig into her past and investigate what she hopes she has buried behind her forever. Continue reading ““The Passenger” by Lisa Lutz”

“God Is A Gamer” by Ravi Subramanian

I recall the excitement with which I read Ravi Subramanian’s debut novel, “If God Was A Banker.” It won for him the Golden Quill Readers’ Choice Award in 2008 and we knew a promising writer had made his mark in India. After that he has written several books, largely centered around an environment he knows best, multinational banking with all its diverse facets. He is, after all, a graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore and worked in big name global banks for two decades or more.

Continue reading ““God Is A Gamer” by Ravi Subramanian”

The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl

“The Newsmakers” is a fast paced read by Lis Wiehl, and Sebastian Stuart, published by Thomas Nelson. The story opens with a Staten Island ferry crashing into the crowds in New York in a horrific accident. This is witnessed by chance by television reporter Erica Sparks, who has recently joined GNN, Global News Networks, a  media business conglomerate. She has come up the hard way from a rough childhood in a poor family in rural Maine.  The beautiful Ms. Sparks worked her way through Yale and is as talented as she is ambitious.  Continue reading “The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl”