Tag Archives: suspense

Book Review of “Relentless” By Dean Koontz

Relentless

By Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz is known to have delivered excellent work in the past. But of late, the quality of his writing and his ability of creating thrill seem to have dropped.

Relentless is a story of a highly fabulous family, where the father (Cullen) is a successful author, the mother (Penny) is a successful children’s book author and their son (Milo) is a wiz-kid. Their dog, an Australian Sheppard (Lassie) too seems to posses some good odd powers.

Cullen receives a scathing review for his recent novel from a highly influential critic- Sherman Waxx and instead of accepting the truth, Cullen decides to indulge in a (what seems harmless to him) stunt of sorts. But things don’t really go as planned and what begins is a series of spooky, unpredictable events that venture into harrowing Cullen’s family and everyone around them.

Certain parts of the story are simply sad. And not literally – I mean really sad and lame to read. A six year old with a thing for Physics, inventing incredible gadgets and devices and doesn’t wish to explain it to his parents; a dog with odd powers (cute and adorable); Penny’s parents who believe that humanity is on its way downhill and soon there won’t be any power tools and hence they are trying to get accustomed to such ways of life already – I mean – really!?!

The humor is so forced at places that it is unbelievable. Yes, the ideation is nice but the execution ain’t. The plot seems to be stretched a bit longer that required.

Overall a quick good read with sprinkles of science fiction / humor / satire / suspense.

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Book Review of “Love On The Rocks” By Ismita Tandon Dhankher

Love On The Rocks

By Ismita Tandon Dhankher

Just when we thought new age writers try and stick to fiction and other lighter reads, Love on the rocks by Ismita Tandon Dhanker comes like a breath of fresh air.

Sancha is recently wed to Chief Officer Aaron Andrews of the merchant navy and they decide to go together for one of his journeys, on board the Sea Hyena. Amongst more than twenty men, Sancha does catch the fancy of First Engineer Harsh Castillo, who is also Aaron’s best friend. The ship had recently witnessed the death of their chief cook (Gary) who was found dead in the meat locker.

 

It was termed as an accident but when there’s a theft from the captain’s safe, things begin to puzzle Sancha. She takes it on her to investigate the mysteries. All the men come under her radar- including her husband. Clues point at people that she wouldn’t imagine being culprits. She finds herself at the cross roads of love, honesty and integrity. How the truth is revealed and what follows in Sancha’s life is for you all to read.

A new plot, a new setting and a refreshingly new perspective of life on board a ship. Sprinkled with humor and backed with ample research, the plot does not fade out. The author does full justice to the mystery and thriller setting that is supposed to be the crux of the novel. Decently paced, the simple language of the story shows the different perspectives of the characters. And all of them are finely etched.

A good read. As a debut writer Ismita shows tremendous maturity in her writing.

Rightly said, this is a romantic thriller that tests the bonds of love and marriage against a backdrop of suspense, intrigue and psychological undercurrents.

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Book Review of “Three Fates” By Nora Roberts

Three Fates

By Nora Roberts

 

I’d have to say that this is amongst the finest suspense-thriller-romance-humor work of Nora Roberts. Not to forget “girl power”.

The story highlights the life and adventures of the female heroines (of course) in quest of bringing back their family heirloom.

When Lusitania was sinking, after being attacked by a German torpedo, a small time thief – Felix Greenfield was stealing one of the Three Fates statues from the cabin of a certain Henry W. Wyley.

(The Fates were a triad, “each with a specific task. Clotho, who spins the thread of life, Lachesis, who measures it, and Atropus, who cuts that thread and ends it. None could function alone. A thread might be spun, but endlessly and without purpose or its natural course. [For] without the spinning, there’s nothing to measure, nothing to cut…three parts…one purpose.”)

When Felix realizes he is in danger of going down with the town, he pockets his loot and escapes. On being rescued, he settles in Ireland; raises a family; and mends his way to become a better man.

Now Felix’s descendants, the three siblings – Malachi, Gideon, and Rebecca Sullivan possess the heirloom. They decide to acquire the other two statues to complete the triad before selling the Three Fates for a good fortune. But as fate has it, Anita Waye, a black widow, seduces Malachi – sleeps with him and runs away with the statue.

The Sullivans wow to get it back and so begins their quest. Traveling from Ireland to Helsinki, Prague, and New York they meet many a people, some who help them – while some who pledge to do anything to obtain the Three Fates, esp. the greedy, scheming Anita.

The trio sticks together to avoid getting killed before they can accomplish their mission. But how they do it and what all they undergo is what you have to read.

Fans of Nora Roberts are sure to love this fast-paced adventurous romantic thriller.

The characters have been etched to perfection and the plot is gripping. The dialogues are lively and memorable. You might feel the whole talk about fate and free will is stretched a bit too much but I feel it is readable.

This tale of luck, love, fate, suspense, legend, destiny, and a whole gamut of thrill is sure to impress you. This one is a winner all the way!

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Book Review of “Gone” By Jonathan Kellerman

Gone

By Jonathan Kellerman

Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series never misses out on action, adventure and thrill.

Gone is a good mystery plot.

A naked girl is found running across the road seeking help. Finally she manages to get an old truck driver to help her. She claims that she along with her boyfriend had been abducted. They even have some marks to prove it. Turns out that this pair (Michaela Brand and Dylan Meserve, twenty something year old acting students of an LA acting school) was seeking their “15 seconds of fame” by pulling up a hoax. But all said and done, the authorities press charges and Alex Delaware (an LA child psychologist and a consultant to the police) is on the case to examine Michaela Brand’s psychological state. A plea deal is eventually reached and life seems to come back to normal- until Michaela is found murdered. And Dylan Meserve goes missing.

Things go haywire from then on.

LAPD detective Lieutenant Milo Sturgis seeks Alex’s help as the body count increases. Seems like the serial killer on the loose must be put to rest. Everyone is under surveillance – from the students to the owners of the acting school to acquaintances to relatives – everyone.

As tempted as I am, I won’t be giving out the climax. Yeah thank your stars I’m not spoiling the suspense.

The characters of Alex and Sturgis show depth and a lot of development. Together they combine intellect and experience to solve cases that seem as complex as finding a needle in a hay stack. (Oh never mind the cliché here.)

Their friendship brings in warmth and fun. Their personal lives bring in a lot of drama and of course smiles.

It is not as predictable as it may seem. You are sure to be surprised at the revelations.

Gone is high on intensity, drama, suspense and thrill. Apart from the forgivable long descriptions of people, places etc. by the author, Gone does make for a great read. The plot is taut and it literally keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Kellerman seems to get better and better with each book. No wonder each of his Alex book (compelling and psychologically deep) eventually ends up being a bestseller.

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Book Review of “R” Is For Ricochet By Sue Grafton

“R” Is For Ricochet

By Sue Grafton

I don’t know what to say about this one. Grafton has delivered stupendous work in the past (and hopefully will keep doing so) but R for Ricochet got a bit messed up I believe. There is a bit too much going on in here – and it is not all that captivating.

Santa Teresa detective Kinsey is hired by a wealthy man Nord Lafferty to drive his daughter (Reba) home from prison.

Reba has been a brat – a spoilt child. Now that she is released, her father is concerned and wants her to stay away from trouble. She had committed a fraud and admitted the crime, for which the judge had given her a four year sentence, but she is released early for good behavior.

Kinsey and Reba talk, share stuff and crib together and of course become friends.

Reba admits to her gambling habits. She promises her parole officer she would stay off gambling and drinking during her parole time.

Kinsey takes Reba for dinner that evening where they bump into Reba’s ex-employer Alan Beck. Kinsey realizes this is a set up. Beck was the one who put Reba in the prison in the first place. She pretends to leave but hides and watches Reba and Beck making love in the backseat of Beck’s car.

Reba wants to elope with Beck but the cops are closing in on Beck for some money laundering stunt.

Kinsey’s baby-sitting task turns out to be a bit more complex – like her other cases.

A fed agent visits Kinsey and wants her to convince Reba to turn witness for the FBI and put Beck behind the bars for all his hideous acts. He even has photographs of Beck in bed with another woman.

Reba decides to avenge herself (after seeing the proofs) but the feds want things their way. Kinsey to tries to coax Reba to listen to the authorities before things go out of control and she is put back into the prison.

This suspense-thriller, set in the 80’s, lacks the usual action. Not to say there is none – but I liked the earlier series better. This one has many predictable parts. The characters have been etched fine and you do end up caring for Reba. She is fun, reckless and seems hopelessly in love. Kinsey is more mature and serious and also gains a love interest in this one.

But there was no fun in knowing about Kinsey’s old landlord/neighbour’s love interest; or his brother’s case; etc.

Read it only if you have bought the book. Else skip it – no loss.

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Book Review of “Knockout” by Catherine Coulter

Knockout

By Catherine Coulter

 

Alright…this one seems like a mixed bag. At some points the story grips you like never before and at some points it dips to the depths of an unknown shoddy valley.

The way the characters developed in the earlier series was intriguing – but now they just seem stuck.

The story begins with FBI Agent Dillon Savich stopping a bank robbery and ends up killing the leader of the gang. The daughter (of the leader) then vows to seek revenge and goes on a killing rampage.

Dillon gets a telepathic message from a seven year old girl, Autumn who thinks of Dillon as a hero. Autumn desperately wishes to save her mom and herself from her father’s relatives who wish to make use of her “super talents” to augment their power and their paranormal cult.

There is a bit of excitement, drama, action and suspense with a tinge of humor, but delivered in potions that keep running out soon. Both the plots are managed well but lack of chemistry and characterization make it weak.

It is gripping enough to keep you hooked but Coulter could’ve done a better job.

 

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Book Review of “Sam’s Letters to Jennifer” By James Patterson

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer

By James Patterson

 

*Spoiler Alert*

I do like some emotion stirring read, sometimes. But this one felt like an over-doze!

I don’t know if I should be doing this – but Sam in this case – is Samantha – Jennifer’s grandma.

The story begins with Jennifer moving back to her small town to take care of her grandmother who is injured in a fall and is now in coma. To give you a bit of Jennifer’s background – she loses her husband in an accident and undergoes a miscarriage too. Apart from her family, the only person Jennifer can count on and is close to, is her grandma – Sam.

So, as Jennifer is getting accustomed to her community life, she happens to come across Sam’s letters that reveal a part of Sam’s life which Jennifer never knew. The letters, addressed to Jennifer, were placed in her room in Sam’s house. In them, Sam discloses certain aspects of love that she wants Jennifer to experience and appreciate. The letters disclose the secret love life of Sam.

During this time, Jennifer also happens to reconnect with her childhood friend Brendan. And things move beyond friendship – as fated! But there is more to Brendan’s life that what meets the eye!

The novel comprises two love stories. It is fast-paced read; and quite a departure from Patterson’s regular mystery/thriller shockers but it does have suspense – almost right till the end.

The character of Jennifer is very relatable – one who has loved and lost and is scared to walk the same path again. Brendan is a free-spirited man with no inhibitions. And Sam who has found solace in accepting love in this “secret” sorta way.

This book shows an extremely emotional side of Patterson – an unexpected profile. There are quite a few heart-stirring moments that would appeal to the soft at heart – somehow I could relate to them only a wee bit.

I’d say it is a one-time read if you are the emotional sorta person. It focuses on love, relationships, family and faith. I think I like Alex Cross’ series more than emotional reads.

 

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