A To Z Challenge: “F” for Thriller Book Review: Consent To Kill

ConsentToKill

Today’s prompt for the A to Z challenge is “F”. I couldn’t find an interesting thriller with a title starting with “F”, so I’m using the author’s last name – Vince Flynn.

“Consent to Kill” by Vince Flynn, follows Mitch Rapp, an elite counterterrorism operative for the CIA. Reading a Flynn novel is like being privy to a secret, namely one that involves the inner workings of the government. Flynn’s extensive research is reflected in his writing with his use of intricate details involving code names and weaponry.
The overall theme is the relationship between duty and love and the fine line that is difficult to measure. Does Rapp have time for love in between hunting terrorists? As Rapp’s hunters descend upon him, the entire political landscape is put on edge. Will the government control their best man, or will circumstances require ruthless intervention and consequences?

Despite the lengthy attention to detail at times, Consent to Kill is an exciting and thrilling read.

Review: 4 STARS

A to Z Challenge -“D” for Thriller Book Review: The Day Of The Jackal

The Day Of The Jackal by Frederick Forsythe is one of my top ten favorite thriller novels. This is one of the rare moments in film where the movie is equally, if not better than the novel.

The Day Of The Jackal is a brilliant and exciting historical fiction thriller. The premise is plausible – a recounting of actual assassination attempts on French President Charles De Gaulle by the French terrorist group,the OAS. Government officials discover that the OAS hired a foreigner (The Jackal) to assassinate De Gaulle.

Using the third-person omniscient form, Forsyth takes us into the minds and actions of the plotters, the police, and the Jackal. What makes this novel a shining star is Forsyth’s vivid descriptions of typically routine daily police work: checking records, passport photos, questioning hotel clerks, setting up road blocks, etc.

The reader follows the Jackal step by step as he arranges the creation of false identities, the design and production of the perfect weapon, extensively studies de Gaulle, selects the perfect time and place for the kill, and identifies his escape route. Forsythe keeps the reader entertained with his intricate details and clever plotting. The end result is a novel that is suspenseful, engaging and exciting.

A toZ Challenge Book Review: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

e daily A to Z Challenge prompt is “C”.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

InColdBlood

 

Capote’s poetic writing style immediately draws the reader into the brutal murder of the Cutter family. The story is written in an intense and nonlinear style. At moments, I became so immersed that I almost forgot it was a real crime story. Capote was the first author to write a nonfiction book in a novelistic style which paved the way for the “true crime” genre. He explores the vast spectrum of emotions throughout the horrific events of November 15th, 1959 and the turbulent years afterwards. Capote represents  Smith and Hickock with humanistic qualities  when he portrays them as “troubled, confused young men”, compared to public”s view  as cold-hearted killers.   His compassionate writing about the killers fascinated and terrified me simultaneously. This sad, gruesome story captivated me from the beginning to the end, and will stay with me for a very long time.

The Cutter family
The Cutter family

ColdBloodMugshot

 

 

Book Review of Thrillers: Boys from Brazil

Today’s prompt for the A to Z challenge is the letter “B”. I’m reviewing the 1970’s thriller,”The Boys from Brazil” by Ira Levin.
Ira Levin blends the elements of sci-fi with the vile intentions of an evil Nazi Doctor who intends to recreate a Fourth Reich. Dr. Joseph Mengele, director of the human experiments at Auschwitz during WW II, hatches a plot to bring back a new and improved “Fourth Reich”. Using a plan to clone Hitler’s genes, Mengele positions the young Hitler’s in locations throughout the world, in families like Hitler’s own, with the intention that of one of the boys will grow up to become a “new” Hitler. (At the time of the publication of this book, Mengele was still alive and hiding out in South America.) Meanwhile, the aging Nazi hunter Franz Lieberman uncovers the plot, working against time constraints, Nazi hit men and the fractured mindset of Dr. Mengele to stop the scheme in its infancy.

The idea of extracting genes to create clones seemed far-fetched back in the 1970’s. Today, genetic cloning is a common practice. It’s a chilling thought that a person with malicious intentions could perhaps wreak havoc with the human race. With sharp dialogue and increasing drama, this fast paced thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.

RATING: 5 stars

RATING: 5 stars

A Daily Thriller? Yes, Please!

alienist

Hello folks… after a few months hiatus, I’m finally back to blogging.  During April, along with my usual book reviews,  I’m participating in the “A to Z Challenge”, which involves writing daily on my blog, using the theme “A-Z”. Since thrillers are one of my favorite genres, I’m will be writing a daily review of my favorite thriller novels, from A to Z.   So here we go…

The Alienist is an intriguing historical thriller with a perfect blend of  mystery and horror. Set in the 1896 New York City, Caleb Carr pits the new phenomenon of the serial killer against the precursors of criminal profiling in this fast paced novel. What is an alienist? Before the twentieth century, the alienation of the mentally ill from society was common. An alienist is someone who studied the pathology of mental illness, what we now call Psychiatrists. The plot centers around three friends: a journalist, John Moore; an alienist, Dr.Lazlo Kreizler; and a newly appointed Police Commissioner, Teddy Roosevelt (yes, the one who becomes president later on.) The trio are working to solve a series of brutal murders that involves a string of boy prostitutes. A reform-minded Theodore Roosevelt appoints Dr. Kreizler to head the investigation into the murders.  Kreizler creates a team of investigators who gather a “criminal profile” using psychological and material evidence of the killer. Narrated by John Schuyler Moore, a wealthy journalist and friend of Roosevelt from his days at Yale, chronicles his inclusion to the team.  As the story develops, the complex twists and turns change nearly as quick as the investigators can gather information. Despite Roosevelt’s difficulty in finding the serial killer, he’s determined to not only solve the murders, but also clean up the NYPD as well. The prevailing arrogant attitude of the public consider the murder investigations to be unneccessary, as the murder victims are merely prostitutes.  Kreizler faces challenges from all sides: notorious proponents of morality are unwilling to accept the existence of boy prostitutes (or any form of homosexual trade) and policemen are vehemently against any form of scientific inquiry into the criminal mind. The tension builds as the accumulation of the serial killer’s history, pathology and motivations come to light. In the end, the lengthy explanations of the killer’s motives  became tedious. Despite this tiny flaw, the book was fabulous.

RATING: 5 STARS

C is for CRAMPON / D is for DEFALCATE

Image

Well, I’m  very  a bit behind in the A to Z challenge, so I’ve started to combine the letters of the alphabet to keep up. The two words for the day are “crampon” and “defalcate”. I tried to guess the definitions and was completely off base. There’s a hint for “crampon” in the picture above.

(There won’t be any posts from 4/13- 4/21, since I’m going away on vacation and won’t have internet access.  I’ll hand write my posts while I’m away and post them when I return. )

—————————————————————-

“Her store was like a living memorial for her life. Grace had everything money could buy, except love.  Hah. It’s amazing that after thirty years, so many businesses opened and closed around her. But her little antique shop thrived.  She was a doll, but a tough businesswoman. Wasn’t she babe?” said Max.

Beth smirked. God, let him stop blathering.

“Remember how she’d freak out if she couldn’t make it to Carl’s auction every Friday night? So she could cram more stuff into her shop?”

“Oh yeah, I remember. He was a character.” She wished Max would shut up.  Rubbing her temples,  she tries to massage away her headache.

Max continues. “Sometimes Carl had too many beers. Got so drunk that his son had to take over the auction.”

“Sometimes? How about all the time?” Shaking her head with disgust, stretching her arms out,  she accidentally bumps into the crampons hanging on the wall. “Carl’s Auction. That’s where it all began with Jeff.  He swooped in like a hawk. Told her everything she wanted to hear. Only after a few months, he pushed her to get married. A year later, he defalcates everything she owned.”

Max heard this story many times before. Looking at his watch, he says “Well, it’s 6:30, we’d better head back to the funeral home.”

“I just need to freshen up before we go. I’ll meet you outside” says Beth.

The sleigh bells attached to the door jingle, as Max walks out of the house, letting the front door slam.

Beth looks at the pale reflection of herself in the mirror and starts to cry.  In the middle of applying her makeup, she pauses, throwing it back into her purse. Why bother? She’ll end up crying off all of it anyway.

Max pops his head in the door and hollers “Let’s go, let’s go!”

“OK, I’m coming.” says Beth.

Her legs ache as she walks across the black and white tiled floor.  She admires the Bohemian chandelier Grace brought back from Czechoslovakia. The stained glass windows glow in the cathedral ceiling entryway. She locks the door, never looking back at the stately beachfront home. Her stomach starts to cramp up again.

The headlights of the old Volvo station wagon  light up the front walkway. Beth walks with caution towards the car. After she settles in,  Max peels out of the driveway and is driving on the main road within minutes. Beth’s stomach starts to cramp up again. As her hair becomes wet with sweat, a continuous trickle of blood soaks through her pants.

Her heart is pounding in her chest faster and faster. She thinks she can hear her own heartbeat echoing in the car. “Max, go faster.  I don’t feel right. I’m soaking wet.” Max pretends not to hear her and turns up the radio.

———————–

CRAMPON – boot spike for rock or ice climbing.

DEFALCATE – To embezzle money held on trust.