In 1975, the now defunct Laser Books issued Invasion by Aaron Wolfe, aka Koontz (who later expanded that novel into Winter Moon, 1994), a breakneck tale of alien invasion centered on an isolated farm. Koontz’s new novel also concerns alien invasion, and a comparison of the two books offers insight into the evolution of this megaselling author’s work. Invasion was mostly speed and suspense—a brilliant if superficial exercise in terror. The new novel also features abundant suspense, as a couple in an isolated California home endure a phosphorescent rain and learn that, around the world, something is attacking humans and laying waste to communications. It’s only when they drive to a nearby town that they learn of a global alien invasion; the tension ratchets as a weird fog descends and the aliens not only manifest physically but animate the dead. For years, however, Koontz has aimed at more than just thrills; today he is a novelist of metaphysics and moral reflection. His aliens are inherently evil as well as scary; standing against them are the human capacity for hope and the forces of goodness and innocence (here, as elsewhere, embodied in dogs), and near novel’s end Koontz puts an overtly religious spin on his tale. Koontz’s language has changed over the years, too, and not always for the better. While his care with words engenders admiration, his love of metaphor and alliteration can slow down the reading (“the luminous nature of the torrents that tinseled the forest and silvered the ground”). Also missing here is the wonderful humor that elevated his last novel, Odd Thomas, and some other recent work. Koontz remains one of the most fascinating of contemporary popular novelists, and this stands as an important effort, but not his best, though its sincerity and passion can’t be denied.
Michael Crichton - Prey
In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles -- micro-robots -- has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive. It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour. Every attempt to destroy it has failed. And we are the prey.
Dan Brown - The Da Vinci Code
Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police have found a series of baffling codes. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, begin to sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci - and suggests the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vault of history. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine code and quickly assemble the pieces of the puzzle, a stunning historical truth will be lost forever...
Dennis Lehane - A Drink Before the War
A cadre of powerful Massachusetts politicians offers Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro big money for a small job: find the missing cleaning woman who allegedly stole confidential Statehouse documents. But there's much more to this crime than anyone realizes. What the woman was really after was justice--and out on the Boston streets, the truth can turn stark and ugly...
David Baldacci - Hour Game
As a series of brutal murders darkens the Wrightsburg, Virginia countryside, the killer taunts police by leaving watches on the victims set to the hour corresponding with their position on his hit list. What's more, he strives to replicate notorious murders of the past, improving on them through savage attention to detail. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are already investigating a crime involving an aristocratic and dysfunctional Southern family, but when they're deputized to help in the serial killer hunt they realize the two cases may be connected. Adding to the tension is the appearance of a second killer, this one imitating the murders of the first. Soon, the two killers are playing a game of cat and mouse, with King and Maxwell racing to solve the intricate puzzle of their identities - before the body count escalates.
John Le Carré - A Most Wanted Man
New spies with new loyalties, old spies with old ones; terror as the new mantra; decent people wanting to do good but caught in the moral maze; all the sound, rational reasons for doing the inhuman thing; the recognition that we cannot safely love or pity and remain good "patriots" -- this is the fabric of John le Carré's fiercely compelling and current novel A Most Wanted Man. A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse around his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa. Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation. Soon her client's survival becomes more important to her than her own career -- or safety. In pursuit of Issa's mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous Tommy Brue, the sixty-year-old scion of Brue Frères, a failing British bank based in Hamburg. Annabel, Issa and Brue form an unlikely alliance -- and a triangle of impossible loves is born. Meanwhile, scenting a sure kill in the "War on Terror," the rival spies of Germany, England and America converge upon the innocents. Thrilling, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is a work of deep humanity and uncommon relevance to our times.
Karin Slaughter - Fallen
There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her mother. . . . “You know what we’re here for. Hand it over, and we’ll let her go.” When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions, not enough answers. To find her mother, she’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they’ll both need the help of trauma doctor Sara Linton. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore—she’s a witness. She’s also a suspect. The thin blue line hides police corruption, bribery, even murder. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects the most in order to find her mother and bring the truth to light—or bury it forever. Karin Slaughter’s most exhilarating novel yet is a thrilling journey through the heart and soul, where the personal and the criminal collide, and conflicted loyalties threaten to destroy reputations and ruin lives. It is the work of a master of the thriller at the top of her game, and a whirlwind of unrelenting suspense.
Jane Smiley - Duplicate Keys
Alice Ellis is a Midwestern refugee living in Manhattan. Still recovering from a painful divorce, she depends on the companionship and camaraderie of tightly knit circle of friends. At the center of this circle is a rock band struggling to navigate New York’s erratic music scene, and an apartment/practice space with approximately fifty key-holders. One sunny day, Alice enters the apartment and finds two of the band members shot dead. As the double-murder sends waves of shock through their lives, this group of friends begins to unravel, and dangerous secrets are revealed one by one. When Alice begins to notice things amiss in her own apartment, the tension breaks out as it occurs to her that she is not the only person with a key, and she may not get a chance to change the locks.
Gillian Flynn - Gone Girl
Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
Agatha Christie - Ten Little Niggers
Agatha Christie's most famous thriller -- ghoulish, nerve-tearing. A detective story -- with no detective! 10 people are invited to a fabulous mansion on Nigger Island off the coast of Devon. Though they all have something to hide, they arrive hopefully on a glorious summer evening ... But soon a series of extraordinary events take place: the island is suddenly bathed in a most sinister light ... panic grips the visitors, one, by one .. by one, by one ....
Kathy Reichs - Seizure
The second novel in the Virals trilogy from #1 bestselling author and inspiration for the TV series Bones - Kathy Reichs! Ever since Tory Brennan and her friends rescued Cooper, a kidnapped wolf pup with a rare strain of canine parvovirus, they've turned from regular kids into a crime-solving pack! But now the very place that brought them together - the Loggerhead Island Research Institute - is out of funding and will have to shut down. That is, unless the Virals can figure out a way to save it! So when Tory learns of an old Charleston legend about a famous she-pirate, Anne Bonney, whose fortune was never found, she can't believe her luck - buried treasure is exactly what she needs to save the Institute on Loggerhead! Trouble is, she and her friends aren't the only ones looking for it. And this time, the Virals' special powers may not be enough to dig them out of trouble...
S. J. Bolton - Dead Scared
London Police officer Lacey Flint must go deep undercover to stop whoever is preying on Cambridge students in the sequel to S. J. Bolton’s widely acclaimed Now You See Me When a rash of suicides tears through Cambridge University, DI Mark Joesbury recruits DC Lacey Flint to go undercover as a student to investigate the suspicious deaths. Given the circumstances, no one is convinced that the victims acted alone. They believe that someone is preying on lonely and insecure students and either encouraging them to take their own lives or actually luring them to their deaths. So long as Lacey can play the role of a vulnerable young woman, she may be able to stop these deaths, but is it just a role? With a past as fragile as hers is she drawing out the killers or is she getting drawn into a deadly game where she is a perfect victim? Dark and compelling, S. J. Bolton’s _Dead Scared_ —a follow-up to _Now You See Me_ —is another work of brilliant psychological suspense that plumbs the most sinister depths.
Dan Brown - Inferno (angol)
Dan Brown's new novel, Inferno, features renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and is set in the heart of Europe, where Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history's most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces. As Dan Brown comments: "Although I studied Dante's Inferno as a student, it wasn't until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante's work on the modern world. With this new novel, I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm.a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways."
Rosamund Lupton - Sister
Nothing can break the bond between sisters ...When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister's life - and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face. The police, Beatrice's fiance and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.
Mary Higgins Clark - Two little girls in blue
In a riveting thriller, worldwide bestselling suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark brilliantly weaves the mystery of twin telepathy into a mother's search for a kidnapped child, presumed dead. When Margaret and Steve Frawley come home to Connecticut from a black-tie dinner in New York, their three-year-old twins, Kathy and Kelly, are gone. The police found the babysitter unconscious, and a ransom note from the "Pied Piper" demands eight million dollars. Steve's global investment firm puts up the money, but when they go to retrieve the twins, only Kelly is in the car. The dead driver's suicide note says he inadvertently killed Kathy. At the memorial, Kelly tugs Margaret's arm and says: "Mommy, Kathy is very scared of that lady. She wants to come home right now." At first, only Margaret believes that the twins are communicating and that Kathy is still alive. But as Kelly's warnings become increasingly specific and alarming, FBI agents set out on a desperate search.
Val McDermid - A Place Of Execution
Winter 1963: two children have disappeared off the streets of Manchester; the murderous careers of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady have begun. On a freezlng day in December, another child goes missing: thirteen-year-old Alison Carter vanishes from her town, an insular community that distrusts the outside world. For the young George Bennett, a newly promoted inspector, it is the beginning of his most difficult and harrowing case: a murder with no body, an investigation with more dead ends and closed faces than he'd have found in the anonymity of the inner city, and an outcome which reverberates through the years. Decades later he finally tells his story to journalist Catherine Heathcote, but just when the book is poised for publication, Bennett unaccountably tries to pull the plug. He has new information which he refuses to divulge, new information that threatens the very foundations of his existence. Catherine is forced to re-investigate the past, with results that turn the world upside down. A Greek tragedy in modern England, A Place of Execution is a taut psychological thriller that explores, exposes and explodes the border between reality and illusion in a multi-layered narrative that turns expectations on their head and reminds us that what we know is what we do not know. A Place of Execution is winner of the 2000 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a 2001 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel.
S. J. Bolton - Now You See Me
Lacey Flint is a London policewoman with a secret past, a morbid fascination with serial killers and a curiously empty flat. On the job she's quiet and plainly dressed. At night she has an unusual social life. When Lacey returns to her car one evening to find a woman fatally stabbed right by it, she is taken in for questioning, but then a hand-delivered letter suggests the killer has a special interest in Lacey herself. Suddenly she is at the centre of a terrifying murder hunt, working with the smart but damaged DI Dana Tulloch and the hostile DI Mark Joesbury, another person who seems curiously fascinated with Lacey. Is Joesbury's interest in Lacey personal or professional? Will Lacey cope as the case pushes her into the limelight? And does the team have the skill to outwit one of the nastiest serial killers Londoners have fallen prey to since the killer's infamous role model... Jack the Ripper.
J. A. Kerley - The Broken Souls
The gore-sodden horror that greets homicide detective Carson Ryder on a late-night call out is enough to make him want to quit the case. Too late. Now he and his partner Harry are up to their necks in a Southern swamp of the bizarre and disturbing. An investigation full of twists and strange clues looks like it's leading to the city's least likely suspects – a powerful family whose philanthropy has made them famous. But behind their money and smiles is a dynasty divided by hate. Their strange and horrific past is about to engulf everyone around them in a storm of violence and depravity. And Ryder's right in the middle of it …
Tasha Alexander - A Crimson Warning
Secrets prove deadly in this new novel featuring Lady Emily Hargreaves. Some very prominent people in London are waking up to find their doorsteps smeared with red paint, the precursor to the revelation of a dark secret – and worse – by someone who enjoys destroying lives. Newly returned to her home in Mayfair, Lady Emily Hargreaves is looking forward to enjoying the delights of the season. The delights, that is, as defined by her own eccentricities—reading The Aeneid, waltzing with her dashing husband, and joining the Women’s Liberal Federation in the early stages of its campaign to win votes for women. But an audacious vandal disturbs the peace in the capitol city, splashing red paint on the neat edifices of the homes of London’s elite. This mark, impossible to hide, presages the revelation of scandalous secrets, driving the hapless victims into disgrace, despair and even death. Soon, all of London high society is living in fear of learning who will be the next target, and Lady Emily and her husband, Colin, favorite agent of the crown, must uncover the identity and reveal the motives of the twisted mind behind it all before another innocent life is lost.
Karin Slaughter - Broken
When Special Agent Will Trent arrives in Grant County, he finds a police department determined to protect its own. Officer Lena Adams is hiding secrets from him, and while her role in the death of the county’s popular police chief is unclear, that man’s widow, Dr. Sara Linton, desperately needs Trent’s help to crack the case of a prisoner’s death. While the police force investigates the murder of a young woman pulled from a frigid lake, Trent investigates the police force. Caught between two complicated and determined women, trying to understand the facts surrounding Chief Tolliver’s death, Trent will uncover explosive secrets—and confront a thin blue line that could be murderous if crossed.
J. A. Kerley - The Killing Game
_He’s coming to get you…_ After a humiliating encounter with a cop, Romanian immigrant Gregory Nieves launches a vendetta against the Mobile Police Department, Alabama. Nieves can’t fight a department, so he selects one man who symbolizes all men in blue: Carson Ryder, the MPD’s specialist in bizarre and twisted crimes. Carson has never seen a killing spree like this one: Nothing connects the victims, the murder weapon is always different, and the horrific crime scenes are devoid of evidence. It almost seems he’s being taunted. Even laughed at. Carson doesn’t know it yet, but he is caught up in a sadistic game of life and death. And there can only be one victor…