Friday, July 27, 2012

The Dead Women of Juárez-Sam Hawken

The Dead Women of Juárez

Sam Hawken

Serpent’s Tail, Sep 4 2012, $14.95

ISBN: 9781846687747

Texan Kelly Courter fought in the States as a welterweight. Now boxing on the other side of the border from El Paso in Ciudad Juárez, he is a middleweight but that is irrelevant as there is no weigh-ins before a bout; instead fighting south of the border is catch-all weight. He understands what the fans want is gringo blood and his face shows his comprehension.

Kelly is seeing Paloma, the sister of his friend drug dealer Estéban. At the same time, Mexican veteran police detective Rafael Sevilla investigates drug related violence in the border city that he believes is the factor behind the missing most likely dead women. Paloma joins the survivor’s family advocacy group, but soon afterward men take her away. Rafael and Kelly team up trying to rescue the latest victim by solving the serial disappearances and probably murders of The Dead Women of Juárez.

Based on the real tragedy of the shocking female homicide rate over the last two decades, The Dead Women of Juárez is an exciting hard-boiled thriller that that throws plenty of hooks and upper cuts in a violent crime thriller. The storyline initially focuses on the washed-up Texan before placing the weary detective in charge. Although the transition between them as lead is weak, fans will want to go the distance with both of them as Sam Hawken provides a strong gory tale.

Harriet Klausner

Trust Your Eyes

Linwood Barclay

NAL, Sep 4 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9780451237903

Sexagenarian farmer Adam Kilbride dies in a tragic tractor accident. His son Ray an illustrator returns home to Promise Falls, New York for his dad’s funeral. With the death of his father, Ray’s biggest fear has arrived: how to take care of Thomas, his schizophrenic map savant brother.

Thomas lives on the Whirl360 website studying and memorizing layouts of cities so when the internet crashes, he will replicate them for the CIA. However, Thomas goes viral when he demands his older brother investigate a homicide he witnessed on the Whirl360 images of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Reluctantly Adam agrees though he does not believing his sibling saw a murder of a woman on the net. However, a former cop and his ice pick henchwoman become aware of the pair’s inquiry. The Kilbride bothers are now part of their cleaning up a botched crime.

Trust Your Eyes is a gripping thriller that increasingly turns convoluted and violent. The storyline is fast-paced from the moment Thomas insists he witnessed a homicide over the web and never slows down as the reader anticipates a High Noon showdown on the mean streets of Manhattan between the sympathetic amateur sleuthing siblings and the vile vicious murdering duet.

Harriet Klausner

A Heartbeat Away

Harry Kraus

David C. Cook, Sept 1 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9781434702579

Her peers and patients felt that top rate surgeon Dr. Victoria “Tori” Taylor is great in the OR, but lacked a heart; she is especially hard on support staff. Ironically, Tori receives a heart when she is the recipient of an emergency transplant.

Tori struggles to accept her new found feelings of commiserating with people rather than keeping her frozen professional distance. However, what disturbs Tori most is the recurring horrific nightmare of a murder. She wonders if her new heart is transmitting “cellular memories” from the donor. Obsessed with a need to uncover the identity of who killed her former heart’s owner, Tori and therapist Phin MacGregor investigate while the cops thinks she became unhinged by her near death experience except for one veteran. Meanwhile someone knows the surgeon and the therapist are searching for a killer.

This tense medical thriller grips readers on two levels as a strong murder mystery and a second chance at life redemption tale. The fast-paced storyline deftly merges medical technology with amateur sleuthing as a Tin Man-like heroine figuratively finds her heart.

Harriet Klausner

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