Crackpots and left-wingers have talked about it for years, but no one with any real authority has ever considered it. It would be political suicide. But President Thomas Winston has taken the boldest and most bizarre step in the War on Drugs that the United States has ever seen. Vowing to make narcotics legal and to tax and regulate them to the brink of extinction, he intends to take the billions of dollars generated from their sale out of the hands of the drug cartels and move the money into the government’s coffers. The conservatives and the Bible Belt are outraged. They swear they’ll fight to the death to defeat the President’s proposal and see him impeached. The drug lords laugh – they’re sure decriminalization will never happen. But then important and respected figures begin to speak out in the media, guardedly supporting President Winston’s ideas. Security at the White House is the tightest in its history as death threats pour in daily in ever-increasing numbers. Winston is not concerned. His men are handpicked, the best in the world. Nothing can get to him before he attends the International Drug Summit at The Hague. But they can get to Dr. John VanDuyne, Winston’s personal physician and oldest friend, and the one man who can have an audience with the Chief Executive at any time. Someone has kidnapped the doctor’s little girl and all he has to do to get her back is poison his best friend – the President of the United States.
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.
Boris Starling - Messiah
London is in the grip of heatwave: airless days, strange steamy nights and a killer stalking the streets. Wealthy men are murdered to some mysterious pattern, with no clues left behind, only corpses with silver spoons in place of their tongues. Set against the merciless butcher is Detective Superintendent Red Metcalfe, an investigator with a celebrated ability to get under the skin and into the minds of the deranged killers he hunts. But as the city swelters and the body count rises, Red's own tortured past begins to turn against him - and the city is safe for no one. Sometimes, it is said, it takes a killer to catch a killer... Messiah is the most compelling and suspenseful British thriller to come along in years. Boris Starling is a startling and powerful talent to watch.
Stephen King - Blaze
Written circa 1973, this “trunk novel,” as Bachman's double (aka Stephen King) refers to it in his self-deprecating foreword, lacks the drama and intensity of Carrie and the horror opuses that followed it. Still, this fifth Bachman book (after 1996's The Regulators ) shows King fine-tuning his skill at making memorable characters out of simple salt-of-the-earth types. Clayton “Blaze” Blaisdell has fallen into a life of delinquency ever since his father's brutal abuse rendered him feebleminded. King alternates chapters recounting Blaze's past mistreatment at a series of Maine orphanages and foster homes with Blaze's current plans to follow through on a kidnapping scheme plotted by his recently murdered partner in crime, George Rackley. Blaze talks to George as though he's still there, and the conversations give the tale tension, with Blaze coming across as a pitiable and surprisingly sympathetic contrast to prickly George. Despite its predictability, this diverting soft-boiled crime novel reflects influences ranging from John Steinbeck to James M. Cain. Also included is a previously uncollected story, “Memory,” the seed of King's forthcoming novel Duma Key .
Ken Follett - The Hammer of Eden
Ken Follett hits the top of his form with The Hammer of Eden, a state-of-the-art suspense thriller to rival his best. When controversial radio talk host John Truth broadcasts a terrorist threat of a man-made earthquake, few people take it seriously. Crackerjack young FBI agent Judy Maddox is assigned to track down the elusive, sinister group called the Hammer of Eden. Judy's boss, who has a grudge against her, thinks he has given her a waste-of-time assignment. But Judy's research leads her to maverick seismologist Michael Quercus, who gives her the shocking news that it might just be possible for an earthquake to be deliberately triggered. And when a tremor in a remote California desert shows evidence of being machine-generated, Judy knows the threat is terrifyingly real. Suddenly in charge of a life-or-death investigation, Judy must pinpoint the terrorists' next target, with the help of the erratic but attractive Michael. Their compelling romantic drama is played out as they race to beat the terrorist deadline and prevent an unthinkable disaster. Unknown to them, Michael's estranged wife, gorgeous but angry, has fallen under the spell of a clever, sexy cult leader called Priest--and they have stolen from Michael's computer the key data that enables the Hammer of Eden to carry out their cataclysmic threat. Worse still, Michael's son is with his wife--and under the control of Priest. All of them are in mortal jeopardy as Judy and Michael fight to save San Francisco from being brought down in ruins. Ken Follett became a best-selling author in 1978 with the publication of Eye of the Needle, which won the Edgar award and became a major motion picture.
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.
Stephen King - Night Shift
Never trust your heart to the New York Times bestselling master of suspense, Stephen King. Especially with an anthology that features the classic stories "Children of the Corn," "The Lawnmower Man," "Graveyard Shift," "The Mangler," and "Sometimes They Come Back"-which were all made into hit horror films. From the depths of darkness, where hideous rats defend their empire, to dizzying heights, where a beautiful girl hangs by a hair above a hellish fate, this chilling collection of twenty short stories will plunge readers into the subterranean labyrinth of the most spine-tingling, eerie imagination of our time.
Lisa Gardner - Alone
Alone... Massachusetts State Trooper Bobby Dodge watches a tense hostage standoff unfold through the scope of his sniper rifle. Just across the street, in wealthy Back Bay, Boston, an armed man has barricaded himself with his wife and child. The man’s finger tightens on the trigger and Dodge has only a split second to react... and forever pay the consequences. Alone... that’s where the nightmare began for cool, beautiful, and dangerously sexy Catherine Rose Gagnon. Twenty-five years ago, she was buried underground during a month-long nightmare of abduction and abuse. Now her husband has just been killed. Her father-in-law, the powerful Judge Gagnon, blames Catherine for his son’s death... and for the series of unexplained illnesses that have sent her own young son repeatedly to the hospital. Alone... a madman survived solitary confinement in a maximum security prison where he’d done hard time for the most sadistic of crimes. Now he walks the streets a free man, invisible, anonymous... and filled with an unquenchable rage for vengeance. What brings them together is a moment of violence - but what connects them is a passion far deeper and much more dangerous. For a killer is loose who’s woven such an intricate web of evil that no one is above suspicion, no one is beyond harm, and no one will see death coming until it has them cornered, helpless, and alone.
Stephen King (Richard Bachman) - Thinner
'Thinner' - the old gypsy man barely whispers the word. Billy feels the touch of a withered hand on his cheek. 'Thinner' - the word, the old man's curse, has lodged in Billy's mind like a fattening worm, eating at his flesh, at his reason. And with his despair, comes violence.
Elizabeth Scott - As I Wake
What if you woke up and didn't know where you were? What if you didn't know who you were? And what if, when your memories started to come back--what if they didn't match the you that you're supposed to be? Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them--and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is. Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.
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.
Martin Booth - A Very Private Gentleman
The locals in the southern Italian town where he lives call him Signor Farfalla—Mr. Butterfly: for he is a discreet gentleman who paints rare butterflies. His life is inconspicuous—mornings spent brushing at a canvas, afternoons idling in the cafes, and evening talks with his friend the town priest over a glass of brandy. Yet there are other sides to this gentleman's life: Clara: the young student who moonlights in the town bordello. And another woman who arrives with $100,000 and a commission, but not for a painting of butterflies. With this assignment returns the dark fear that has dogged Signor Farfalla's mysterious life. Almost instantly, he senses a deadly circle closing in on him, one which he may or may not elude. Part thriller, part character study, part drama of deceit and self-betrayal, A Very Private Gentleman shows Martin Booth at the very height of his powers
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.
John Sandford - Chosen Prey
A shallow grave and a pornographic drawing draw Lucas Davenport into a deadly quest for a predator with a single-minded hunger for his chosen prey. In the mist and rain of a Minnesota spring, a shallow grave is found. It contains the body of a young woman, apparently strangled. When the murder is connected with a brilliantly-executed erotic drawing, where the victim's face has been grafted onto a pornographic internet image, Lucas Davenport becomes involved. More of the drawings come to light and Davenport, with the help of a local sheriff's deputy, makes a grisly discovery. The drawings may represent more murder victims, strangled with a starter rope from an antique outboard motor. As Lucas investigates further, he uncovers a web of deceit, related to a series of young women involved in the arts. All of them had some connection to the local university, and all of them had a new boyfriend who remained unseen by their friends. There the trail seems to end until further investigation of the grave site results in an horrific discovery. On the misty, oak-covered hillside south of Minneapolis, the case begins to come together in Lucas' mind, but the mixture of ferocious intelligence and madness which he faces means that the deaths must continue, that the chosen prey must be stalked...
John Sandford - Secret Prey
Everybody has his secrets. But some of them will get you killed. John Sandford has long been praised as one of the most gifted thriller writers at work in this country or any other (Richmond-Times Dispatch)--but this time he surpasses himself. The company chairman lay on the cold ground of the woods, his eyes unseeing, his orange hunting jacket punctured by a rifle bullet at close range. Around him stood the four executives with whom he had been hunting, each with his or her own complicated agenda, each with a reason not to be sorrowful about the man's death. If he read it in a book, Lucas Davenport thought, it would seem like one of those classic murder mysteries, the kind where the detective gathers everyone together at the end and solves the case with a little speech. But it wasn't going to be that easy, he knew. There were currents running through this group, hints and whispers of something much greater than the murder of a single man. He had felt this way not long before, sensed the curling of an indefinable evil, and not only had it nearly gotten him killed, it had lost him his fiance, who'd never been able to recover from the violence of the encounter. Sometime soon, unless he could stop it, there would be another death, and then still another, and Davenport couldn't help but wonder if maybe this time, the final death might not be his own. . . . John Sandford has written extraordinary thrillers before, but nothing to top the startling twists and unrelenting suspense of Secret Prey.
John Sandford - Mind Prey
John Sandford's acclaimed Prey novels featuring the brilliant Lucas Davenport have plunged millions of readers into the darkest recesses of the criminal mind. Now Lucas has met his match. His newest nemesis is more intelligent, more deadly, than any he has tracked before: a kidnapper, a violator, and a cruel, wanton killer who knows more about mind games than Lucas himself.
John Sandford - Silent Prey
Dr. Mike Bekker, a psychotic pathologist, is back on the streets, doing what he does best—murdering one helpless victim after another. Lucas Davenport knows he should have killed Bekker when he had the chance. Now he has a second opportunity—and the time to hesitate is through.
John Sandford - Eyes of Prey
Two people swap murders. It should have proved untraceable, but one of the murderers is insane - he has killed before and is likely to kill again. The case comes to the attention of Lucas Davenport, the explosive, porsche-driving police officer featured in the book "Rules of Prey".