Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Mini-Reviews: Three Crime/Mystery/Thriller Books

Book: Runner

Author: Patrick Lee

Pages: 328

Plot Summary: Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn’t know much beyond her own name, Rachel. She only remembers the past two months of her life—and that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge.

Dryden, who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident five years ago, agrees to help her try to unravel her own past and make sense of it, to protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them both. But, as he slowly begins to discover, the highly trained paramilitary forces on their heels is the only part of the danger they must face. Will Rachel’s own unremembered past be the most deadly of them all?

Review: This is a fast-paced, one-for-the-guys kind of a thriller. There is a lot of action, stunts and thrills in this book, apart from a fairly interesting (and sort of guessable) mystery. Sam Dryden is an interesting character and is very resourceful and quick on his feet. Runner is the kind of book that makes for a slick action movie. 

Rating: 3.5/5 
I like my mystery books to be less action packed, hence the rating, but that apart, this is a quick beach/ travel read. 


Book: The Other Daughter 

Author: Lisa Gardner 

Pages: 416 

Plot Summary: In Texas a serial Killer is executed, taking to his grave the identity of his only child. In Boston, a nine-year-old girl is abandoned in a hospital, then adopted by a wealthy young couple. 

Twenty years later, Melanie Stokes still considers herself lucky. She had lost all memory of her life before the adoption, and now someone wants to give it back. Even if it includes the darkest nightmare the Stokes family ever faced: the murder of their first daughter in Texas. As Melanie pursues every lead in search of her real identity, it seems that the family she loves the most may be the people she should trust the least...

Review: A serial killer/serial pedophile, a girl who can't remember the first nine years of her life and family secrets. With ingredients such as these, you can expect a gritty, interesting mystery book on your hands. The Other Daughter is very fast paced, gripping and interesting. Once again, a quick read during a vacation or as a travel companion. 

Rating: 4/5 


Book: Mean Streak 

Author: Sandra Brown 

Pages: 409 

Plot Summary: Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of "instant divorce," Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won't even tell her his name. She's determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can't turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.

As her husband's deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer

Review: Not Sandra Brown's best work, but better than many other mystery books floating around. There are two mysteries in this book- who wants Emory dead and what is the big mystery in her "captor's" past? As we progress through the book, both these mysteries get complex and there are several breadcrumbs laid out by the author, which helps the reader make some educated guesses. This is a good, quick read- with a love story thrown in as well! 

Rating: 3/5 


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