Friday, August 29, 2014

Harbor Island-Carla Neggers

Harbor Island
Carla Neggers
Mira, Aug 26 2014, $24.95
ISBN 9780778316534

In Dublin FBI Agent Colin Donovan proposes to his partner Emma Sharpe, who agrees to marry him (see Declan's Cross).  Now home, following a jog Emma returns to their apartment while her fiancĂ© is out when she receives a mysterious call from Rachel Bristol.  The filmmaker asks the Fed to meet her on Bristol Island in Boston Harbor.  Rachel promises to provide Emma with info related to a cold case art theft tied to the investigation her small FBI unit and her family-owned Maine-based Sharpe Fine Art Recovery are conducting in New England and Ireland. 

Ignoring her boss Yankowski’s warning for her to be extremely cautious since she is a Sharpe, Emma arrives at the rendezvous location only to find Rachel dead.  In the victim’s hands is a cross that Emma knows is a replica of the first theft by a clever thief who leaves these mementos behind to remind the agent of the unsuccessful pursuit by her and her grandfather for years.

The fifth fabulous Donovan and Sharpe FBI art restoration romantic thriller (see Heron's Cove and Saint's Gates) is a suspense-filled terse entry.  The action starts immediately and never slows down while the expanding cast continues to enhance the drama though one needs a scorecard.  Included with Harbor Island is the first printing of previously released as an e-novella Rock Point starring Father Finian who arrives in Maine where he and FBI agent Colin Donovan meet as the priest learns of violent smugglers using his family's distillery.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

No Time To Die-Kira Piekoff

No Time To Die
Kira Piekoff
Pinnacle, Aug 26 2014, $9.99
ISBN: 9780786034895

Though Zoe Kincaid is a twenty years old college student, her ultra-petit body looks like that of a young teenager; some would say a male tweener.  While her parents insist she accept her condition and stop obsessing over it, Zoe urged by her Gramps turns to Manhattan medical geneticist Dr. Ray Carlisle who explains her unnamed condition; her entire body even her teeth stopped aging at fourteen.

Zoe sadly agrees to allow research scientists to conduct tests on her in order to learn how her DNA shut down the aging process.  However, opponents want the “amoral” studies stopped and will do anything to end it.  At Panax Pharmaceuticals in DC, someone releases test chimps that kill Dr. Eliot Shipley in his lab.  Columbia University biochemist Dr. Helen McNair vanishes.  Meanwhile in DC Justice Department Bioethics Committee Agent Les Mahler notices the trend of 27 unresolved vanishings except for the Shipley corpse.  Now Zoe disappears.

No Time To Die is a mesmerizing medical suspense as Kira Piekoff deftly balances a timely deep look at the ethics of genetic research; this case involves using a human guinea pig for the well-being of others inside of an action-packed twisting biological thriller.  With a solid cast, readers care about what happens to Zoe.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Death of a Dog Whisperer: A Melanie Travis Mystery-Laurien Berenson

Death of a Dog Whisperer: A Melanie Travis Mystery
Laurien Berenson
Kensington, Aug 26 2014, $24.00
ISBN 9780758284556

In Fairfield County, Connecticut, Bob tells his former wife Melanie Travis the canine lover that he recently met friendly dog whisperer Nick Walden.  Not long after their chat, Melanie learns her Aunt Peg and many other affluent owners think the world of Nick until he translates dog-speak to them.

When someone murders Nick in his home, his sister Claire pleads with Melanie to look into her sibling’s homicide.  Though she has no time to sleuth as she mothers her eight kids (two human and six poodles) Melanie makes inquiries into the murder in which the cops peg her aunt as one of several suspects.

The seventeenth Melanie Travis canine mystery (see Gone with the Woof, Hounded to Death and Doggie Day Care Murder) is a jocular amateur sleuth due to the heroine’s targeted mirthful mocking retorts to characters like Bob and amusing asides to the audience.  Readers will enjoy the dog shows (professional and otherwise) and the Death of a Dog Whisperer amateur sleuthing.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Mystery of the Trinity-Richard Gid Powers

The Mystery of the Trinity
Richard Gid Powers
Caravel Book/Pleasure Boat Studio, Sep 1 2014, $19.95
ISBN: 9781912887012

In New Orleans during mass at St. Patrick Church, someone shoots and kills controversial traditionalist Father Stan Klaves, who has demanded a return to the Faith of Our Fathers.  New York Timothy Cardinal Ryan gives the eulogy at Father Stan’s funeral.  NOPD claims the assassin committed suicide.

Like her late father, Ann Grayce provides benefactions to Cardinal Ryan who worries his most generous supporter will take over leading the Klaves’ movement.  Ann and her beloved Jack Logan (whom has drawn the wrath of the Cardinal for his work on neuroscience and spirituality) meet with excommunicated Sister Patricia Sullivan and National Christian Reporter journalist Peter Newland who witnessed the assassination.  Cardinal Ryan joins them; insisting that the Church will die if it supports a “culture of death” as Klaves demanded.  Not long afterward in Alexandria, Louisiana, a gunman tries to kill Ann; but instead murders a cop.  A Greek monk murders the captured gunman, but escapes back to Mt. Athos, Greece.  This leads to Ann and her allies on a global quest to uncover a Church conspiracy of death that includes the killing of Father Romero.

The Mystery of the Trinity is an intriguing thoughtful drama that concentrates on the modern day Catholic Church; especially the schism between the traditionalists who want to return to the strict past and those who believe this return denotes a “culture of death” leading to papal suicide.  The use of famous people, social media and locations enhance the overall realism of the intense theme.  Not for everyone since the stimulating storyline contains a lot of passive religious debate (that I personally esteemed); Richard Gid Power authors a mesmerizing Catholic Church conspiracy thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shark Fin Soup-Susan Klaus

Shark Fin Soup
Susan Klaus
Oceanview, Aug 19 2014, $26.95
ISBN 9781608091232

Christian and Allie Roberts enjoy sailing the Caribbean on their sloop Catalina.  While near the Bahamas, Christian becomes irate when he observes fishermen illegally mass murdering sharks.  He upsets them when he challenges what they are doing and threatens to expose them to the authorities; they retaliate by killing Allie.

Filled with remorse that he provoked the incident that led to his beloved wife’s death, he is well aware FBI Agent Dave Wheeler believes depressed Christian killed his wife.  Initially turning to drugs and booze to numb his anguish; Christian eventually snaps out of his stupor when he remembers Allie’s last words: “save the sharks.”  Though still downloaded with guilt, grieving Christian begins his quest to honor his late mate’s deathbed wish though well aware the growing demand for shark-fin soup makes success unlikely.  To pay homage to his spouse, the widower believes he owes it to her to try; so as Captain Nemo he terrorizes those terrorizing the diminishing shark population.

The second Christian Roberts thriller (see Secretariat Reborn) is an intriguing cautionary ecological tale in which Susan Klaus warns that the exponential growing demand for Shark Fin Soup trends towards species extinction and consequently destroying critical habitats, reefs.  With the shocking beginning leading to the protagonist becoming a born again eco-terrorist, readers will relish his over the top of The Great Barrier Reef efforts to save the sharks.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, August 21, 2014

One Kick-Chelsea Cain

One Kick
Chelsea Cain
Simon & Schuster, Aug 19 2014, $25.99
ISBN: 9781476749785

When Kit “Kick” Lannigan was six years old, she became the unwanted star of an Amber Alert.  Five years after her abduction the FBI rescued the tweener from her “caring” capturer.  Over a decade since her liberation, Kick remains emotionally damaged and particularly loathes the reminders of the worst moments of her life: her mom who still uses her bestselling memoir re the kidnapping for fame and fortune, and the high internet traffic into her life.  Her only friend remains James who shared her childhood kidnapping as a fellow victim of the same adult. 

Residing in Portland, Oregon twentyish Kick obsesses over child abductions with a powerful need to rescue the kidnapped kids.  Private security agent John Bishop asks Kick to assist him find and rescue missing Adam Rice and Mia Turner.  Hesitantly she agrees; though this means for her to envision what Adam and Mia face returning to a time and place when she answered to the name of Beth.

As the dysfunctional dance partners Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell obtain a breather, Chelsea Cain begins a new suspense series starring a kick butt heroine who has cause for her damaged psyche.  The riveting taut storyline mesmerizes the audience especially the harrowing dysfunctional Stockholm Syndrome relationship between Kick and her childhood kidnapper, and an astonishing exposĂ© into child porn.  One Kick will be on the short lists as 2014 best suspense thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fatal Conceit-Robert K. Tanenbaum

Fatal Conceit
Robert K. Tanenbaum
Gallery, Aug 12 2014, $26.00
ISBN 9781451635577

In Chechnya terrorists assault a U.S. trade mission; several people die and others abducted including the daughter of New York District Attorney Butch Karp.  Eight days later in a Times Square hotel, someone murders acting CIA Director Lieutenant General Sam Allen just before he is allegedly to testify before a Congressional Committee about an Administration cover-up of the Chechnya incident.

Using the Manhattan homicide as his springboard, Karp leads a unit looking into whether the White House and/or his Reelection Committee led by Rod Fauhomme silenced Allen from exposing the Administration’s propaganda on defeating terrorists around the world.  When more homicides occur that imply concealment of the truth, Karp brings those who evidence points as conspirators into the courtroom.

The latest Karp and Ciampi thriller is an enjoyable fast-paced tale that uses the government handling of Benghazi and an alleged cover-up as the basis of an exciting storyline.  There is too much in your face pontification in which K, C and their conservative sunshine band of allies are morally superior to the killing liberal corrupt axis of evil Administration (mindful of the accusations of President and First Lady Clinton arranged the death of Vernon Jordan).  Still fans who believe in the Benghazi cover-up or can ignore the ethics overkill will relish this taut drama especially the incredible second half when Karp at his best kicks political butt in the courtroom.

Harriet Klausner