Category: Thriller Reviews

A review of Dark Mode by Ashley Kalagian Blunt

Though this is Blunt’s first full-length thriller, it’s expertly crafted with all the right hooks and twists to keep you engaged and wanting to know what happens until the very end. The fast pace and the intensity of the situation that protagonist Reagan Carson finds herself in from page one doesn’t diminish or undermine the deep exploration of misogyny – both at an individual level and a structural one – that underpins the book, or the way it conveys a growing anxiety that is driven by more than the plot. 

A review of Book of Knives by Lise Haines

You might be excused for thinking this particular carton of tropes has languished in the back of the Frigidaire long past its freshness date. You might be excused, that is, if you haven’t read Lise Haines’ deliciously creepy Book of Knives. To enter this modern gothic is to enter a realm of deep and unmooring uncertainty, where the living may prey on the living and the dead — just possibly — might help or harm.

A review of Stalker Stalked by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Stalker Stalked nails the chaos and uber-dramaticism of reality television with Lexi’s self-destructive nature making the implosion of her life equally satisfying and tragic. The plummeting decay of order aligns well with the reality television aesthetic, compounded by explicit and raunchy scenes, the novel certainly appeals to lovers of messy dramas, chick-flics, and reality shows.

Paltry Arguments Lead to Ugly Consequences:A review of The Proud & the Dumb by Bob Freville

To sum it all up, The Proud and the Dumb is a fast-paced and funny political horror story that plays well with genre tropes while presenting its “monsters” with a opportunity for redemption. It is part dark comedy and part battle cry for reform. This short but sweet tale shines a light on the issues facing society today in a wholly entertaining yet less than fleshed out way. It seems to offer a brilliant but kind of stilted suggestion for how we might change course.

A review of The Counsel of the Cunning by Steven C. Harms

A complex, imaginative novel, The Counsel of the Cunningby Steven C. Harms, offers readers international thriller pacing combined with the precision of a police procedural and just the right gloss of mad scientist. It opens with a howler monkey and a kidnapped scientist, and it never slows down or lets up from there as the characters—good and bad—travel through vast landscapes and much danger. Broad in scope, the story is a bold adventure with harrowing interludes in which the prevailing question seems to be “what exactly is going on here?”

A review of Blue Madagascar by Andrew Kaplan

Blue Madagascar is a joyride with enough twists to keep you guessing till the very last chapter. Kaplan’s mystery is crafted with a sizeable amount of complexity, proving his talent, and enough authorial guidance to make the text easily accessible to any reader. It is a novel that never slows, yet never sacrifices detail. From front to back, this novel succeeded in stealing my focus. I simply had to
know where Kaplan would take me.

A review of Wayward Girls by Claire Matturro and Penny Koepsel

Matturro and Koespel artfully develop all the key elements of a horrifying thriller in Wayward Girls. The eerie atmosphere lingers like an unforgettable nightmare, an especially haunting one, considering the dedication indicates the story, while fictional, is based on real schools in Texas and Florida, with some of the most appalling events taken directly from official transcripts. 

A review of Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

As a whole, I really enjoyed the story and setting of the text, as well as the themes being expressed, which highlight particular areas/issues in relation to modern society. On average, I don’t normally read this type of genre, GWST has altered my perspective on several things and encouraged me to seek out more sci-fi, dystopian, psychological thrillers.

A review of The Accusation by Wendy James

To say that the book is engaging is a gross understatement. The Accusation is the kind of story that you miss meals to finish, sneak read, and stay up late to keep going. It’s ultra-fast paced, and the speed of the plot belies just how good James’ writing is. James is a master of suspense, providing all sorts of subtle hints and details with legalistic precision.

A review of The Man Who Can’t Die by Jon Frankel

The story is long, which works well for readers like me who hate to see a good book end; and the story is well-knit, which works well for scholars who want to tease out influences, tangents and themes. Frankel paints spot-on portraits of the male sex symbol, poor kids in privileged schools, Big Science, and environmentalists. Like Proust, he uses smell as a motif and a motivator.