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crime/suspense fiction

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Vulture Peak by John Burdett

Welcome to Bangkok, an exotic land of love, drugs, and now human organ trafficking.  Royal Thai Police Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is on the case in Burdett’s fifth Bangkok novel.  Jitpleecheep’s boss is now running for public office and needs a good police scoop to help his ratings.  Burdett takes us away from his usual exotic and seedy Bangkok locales as Jipleecheep chases the bad guys to Dubai, Phuket, Monte Carol and Hong Kong. 

Agent 6 by Tom Rob Smith

Leo Demidov returns for Smith’s third installment about the ex-KGB officer.  This book picks up later in Demidov’s life, after he has left the service and is fighting the ghosts of his past.  Demidov’s wife and adoptive daughters have gone to New York as part of a Cold War good faith mission.  What happens in New York changes his life and those of his entire family.  Smith has created a great character in Demidov and I hope this isn’t his last mission.

Triple Crossing by Sebastian Rotella

This suspenseful and eye-opening first novel takes you deep inside the wild world of rampant corruption and violent organized crime in the Mexican-American border area.  Valentine Pescatore is a U.S. Border Patrol Agent who ends up acting as a double agent inside a Mexican mafia operation. Leo Mendez is the head of an elite Tijuana police unit trying to take down the Mexican mafia while surrounded by bought-and-paid-for Mexican federales and politicians. This is not your average thriller.

So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman

This debut is more than a suspenseful psychological crime thriller. It's also an indictment of the way factory farming poisons rural America and a searing expose of violence against women, an everyday occurence conveniently denied and repressed by the residents of the small town of Haeden, N.Y., as it is by most of the rest of us most of the time.

The Rope by Nevada Barr

Looking to get as far away as possible from Manhattan after the death of her husband, Anna Pigeon takes a job as a seasonal ranger at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on Lake Powell.  One day on a hike in the canyons she comes across three men attacking a woman; the next thing she knows she is waking up in a 20-foot deep hole in the ground.  How Anna saves herself from this predicament and others provides the back story for this long-running series character's decison to become a National Park Service Ranger.  As always, Barr provides a twisty mystery in a gorgeousl

Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski

Fast, Furious & Funny: be prepared to read this high-octane thriller in one sitting because it's almost impossible to put down. House sitter Charlie Hardie stumbles into an assassination attempt when he arrives at a Hollywood Hills client's home, and spends the rest of the story trying to evade and outsmart the hitmen (and woman) called the Accident People. One critic called the book "insanely entertaining" and I have to agree! Better yet, it's the first in a trilogy.

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

Can’t get enough Sherlock Holmes?  It seems that the famous inspector has made quite a comeback for himself.  The House of Silk offers the first Holmes novel to be authorized by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate in 125 years.  Narrated by Watson, this is an excellent Holmes story.  The mysteries and deductions abound.  Horowitz uses excellent pacing as the clues are slowly revealed.  I quite enjoyed this book and hope to see more from Horowitz (author of the Alex Rider books and Foyle’s War TV series). 

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

This is Nesbo’s sixth book to be translated into English starring Inspector Harry Hole.  I have been hooked since his first.  The Leopard finds Hole hiding out in Asia trying to avoid and forget his most recent dealings with murder and serial killers in Norway.  Hole is coerced back to Oslo to face yet another daunting investigative challenge.  Nesbo’s rough around the edges hero and bleak Norwegian environs make for excellent reads. 

The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina

An exceptional crime novel by this Scottish writer, featuring detective inspector Alex Morrow of the Glasgow police. A disgraced millionaire financier hangs himself in London hours before a young woman is brutally murdered in a suburb of Glasgow. The reader knows the two events are related somehow but Alex must connect the dots while managing a tense work situation and her personal ties to some of the working class Glaswegians implicated in the murder.

Heat Rises by Richard Castle

In this audiobook read by Johnny Heller, Nikki Heat--an interesting, tough and sexy New York homicide detective--is trying to solve the murder of a parish priest in a bondage club.  She is thwarted from investigating leads which leads her to a conspiracy inside the Police Department and a death squad trying to gun her down.  She is put on probation and has to turn to a non-policeman to assist her, writer Jameson Rook.

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