Charlatans by Robin Cook

Book Description:

Published: August 22, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Noah Rothauser is the new super chief resident at Boston Memorial Hospital. Housing state-of-the-art medical facilities, it’s always been Noah’s dream to work for such an esteemed institution. But the pressures of the role become all too clear when a seemingly routine operation results in the tragic death of an otherwise healthy man. With potential malpractice suspected it falls to the newly appointed surgical doctor to investigate what happened.

Questioning those involved uncovers bitter feuds within the hospital’s surgical staff when Dr. William Mason, the egotistical, world-class surgeon who performed the operation, is quick to blame staff anaeshtetist Dr. Ava London for the disastrous outcome. However Dr. London, along with the nursing staff, point the finger at the surgeon.

When two more anaesthesia-related deaths occur, Noah is forced to look closer at the impressively competent, charming, yet mysterious Dr. London, and he quickly realizes there’s far more to her than meets the eye. With his own job and integrity coming into jeopardy, Noah must decide which doctor is at fault and who he can believe – before any more lives are lost . . .”

Review –

Every time I read a medical thriller by Robin Cook I tell myself not to EVER walk into a hospital again, much less have any type of medical procedure done.

Dr. Noah Rothauser, the lead of this suspenseful medical thriller from bestselling author, Robin Cook , is thrilled to become the chief resident at Boston Memorial, one of the country’s preeminent teaching hospitals. The one cloud on the horizon is the recent death, during surgery, of popular employee Bruce Vincent, who was in charge of the hospital’s parking division. Boston Memorial’s prima donna surgeon, William Mason, performed the surgery on Vincent at the same time as he was conducting other operations, a practice known as concurrent surgeries. To shield himself from attack, Mason insists that Noah focus the hospital’s review of what led to Vincent’s death on the anesthesiologist. Despite Mason’s threat that disregarding his wishes will affect Noah’s career, the younger doctor pursues the truth, even as two shadowy hit men build a body count in a subplot whose relevance emerges in tantalizing increments. While most readers will be a step ahead of the sometimes naive Noah, everyone will be rooting for this sympathetic character.

What Noah finds out threatened his career and ethics BUT… well, you’ll have to read the book for yourself.  The ending will blow your mind!!!!!!!

Fantastic read.

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Heartsick (Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell #1) by Chelsea Cain

Book Description:

Published: September 4, 2007

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him she eventually saved his physical life by calling 911 and turning herself in, but Archie’s existence has been fundamentally ruined. Although Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, Archie is in a prison of another kind—addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. Archie’s a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she’s right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth—he can’t stay away.
When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all. Either way, Heartsick makes for one of the most extraordinary suspense debuts in recent memory.
Review –
This story is very sick and twisted, which makes or an EXCELLENT read.
Archie Sheridan is on so many pills for the pain and suffering of being kidnapped and tortured for ten days (she set a trap for him and Gretchen drove nails into Archie’s ribs, removed his spleen while he was awake, feed him handfuls of pills, carved on his torso and made him drink drain cleaner, just to name of few of her tricks and against rather steep odds Archie fell madly in love with her) by the beautiful serial killer, Gretchen Lowell but he has been called back from medical leave to lead a new task force and try to catch a new serial killer, dubbed the After School Strangler. Add in Susan Ward, whose father died when she was 14.  She’s a  pink haired reporter doing a piece on Archie, since he is a celebrity of sorts and as a freshman at Cleveland High, where one of the recent victims attended school, she may or may not have had an inappropriate sexual relationship with her drama teacher. Archie realizes almost too late that Gretchen has actually been setting her own trap, and Susan is the intended victim.
I won’t say who the After School Strangler turns out to be but as the story progresses it’s not hard to predict the outcome and that’s okay because there’s MUCH more to the book than the solving of the current crime. The characters run the show in Heartsick, which refers to the heart carved on Archie’s chest by Gretchen, and it’s much more satisfying to learn what happens to them AFTER the crime has been solved. 
Archie decides to quit seeing Gretchen on Sundays and try to reunite with his family and Susan tries to be a better reporter.
Fans of the serial killer genre, crime/mystery fiction readers and anyone who appreciates a first-rate suspense thriller are gonna eat this book up and since Heartsick is just the first in a whole series of Gretchen Lowell/Archie Sheridan novels, the fun’s just getting started.  
I have already started the second in the series called Sweetheart and can’t wait to see what Gretchen has up her sleeve for Archie this time around.
 Five stars!!!!!

 

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Book Description:

Published: July 12, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect.

Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.

As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.

Review-

“The traumatic memories of a teenager’s rape are medically erased, but lingering thoughts of the attack remain, infecting everyone in her close-knit community.

15-year-old Jenny Kramer thought the party she’d been invited to would be the moment when she’d finally blossom, maybe even get a moment alone with the dashing Doug Hastings. Instead she found herself drunk, in the woods, the victim of a vicious hourlong rape, of which Walker spares the reader no detail in this unnecessarily explicit debut. After she’s rushed to the hospital, Jenny’s parents—blubbering car salesman Tom and tightly put together homemaker Charlotte —decide to give her an experimental drug cocktail to erase her memories of the attack. If the process were successful, there’d be no book, so enter the skin-crawlingly smug narrator, soon introduced as psychiatrist Dr. Alan Forrester, who begins treating Jenny, along with her whole family, after her nearly successful suicide attempt. It’s difficult to empathize with a character—our narrator no less—who looks at a 15-year-old assault victim and wonders to himself “why [he] could not see the rape in her eyes.” As the well-to-do enclave of Fairview, Connecticut, tries to regroup in the wake of zero viable suspects, Tom Kramer makes it his mission to find Jenny’s rapist, jumping on every slim lead, like the sighting of a blue Honda Civic near the party and  a boy in a blue sweatshirt.  The introduction of one of Alan’s other patients, a soldier who endured the same treatment as Jenny, merely clutters an already busy story whose resolution is anything but satisfying.

A repugnant narrator, even an unreliable one, makes it difficult to focus on the true victim, one who is crushed under the weight of this ridiculous plot.” from Kirkus Reviews

I couldn’t have said it better. As the book went on I began to wonder if indeed the rape of Jenny and her well-being was the focus of the story or if it was the Doctor Forrester and his well-being. To tell you the truth, I still don’t know.

Don’t waste your time.

 

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

Book Description:

Published: May 2, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

Review –

Te story starts with a woman, Nel Abbott, who is found dead in a river in a spooky northern English town. It quickly emerges she is not the first person to meet a watery grave in Beckford. The mystery spirals out from this “did she fall or was she pushed” puzzle, and it is to Hawkins’s credit that she attempts to tell the story from multiple viewpoints, too many if you ask me.

The problem is that there are 11 of these characters. This is far too many and it seems the author battles to make these slightly troubled people distinct from one another. If reading the book you would have to keep looking for the name at the top of each page to see whose story you are in. If listening to the audio book version, which I did, it’s not as easy to keep all viewpoints separate and that’s my main complaint.

Paula Hawkins first book, The Girl on the Train, which sold over 15 million copies, had a certain kind of plausibility in its very focused suburban setting, but the whole “death stalks a strange northern-English town” idea feels incredibly hokey.

That being said, I loved it and with all its twists and turns, gave it five stars. It’s well worth reading or listening to just to see if you can manage all the points of view.

The Last Detective (Elvis Cole #9) by Robert Crais

Book Description:

Published: March 30, 2004

P.I. Elvis Cole’s relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. Then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten-year-old son Ben is staying with Elvis, the boy vanishes without a trace. When the kidnappers call, it’s not for ransom, but for a promise to punish Cole for past sins he claims he didn’t commit. With the LAPD wrestling over the case, and the boy’s estranged father attempting to take control of the investigation, Cole vows to find Ben first. But Cole’s partner, Joe Pike, knows more about this case than he has said. Pike lives in a world where dangerous men commit crimes beyond all reckoning. Now, one of those men is alive and well in L.A.—and calling Elvis Cole to war. . . .

Review –

Joining forces with his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, Elvis frantically searches for Ben with the help of LAPD Detective Carol Starkey, as Lucy’s wealthy, oil-industry ex-husband attempts to wrest control of the investigation. Amid the confusion of personal conflicts, Elvis and Joe are forced to consider a more troubling lead — one indicating that Ben’s disappearance is connected to a terrible, long-held secret from Elvis Cole’s past.

Venturing deep inside a complex psyche, Crais explores Elvis’s need for family – the military that embraced him during a troubled adolescence, his rock-solid partnership with Pike, and his floundering relationship with Lucy – as they race the clock in their search for Ben. The Last Detective is Robert Crais’ richest, most intense tale of suspense yet.

This book is a roller coaster ride which leaves you breathless but wanting more. The ending is bitter sweet but hopefully even Elvis Cole will one day  have his HEA.

Great read!

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Crow (Boston Underworld #1) by A. Zavarelli

Book Description:

Published: February 10, 2016

He’s a killer. A mobster.

The last man on earth I’d ever want to be with. I won’t lose my head just because he’s hot, Irish, and has a wicked accent to boot.

He’s one of the only leads in my best friend’s disappearance, and I don’t trust him.
So I’ve got a few rules in mind when it comes to dealing with Lachlan Crow.

1. Keep a clear head and don’t get distracted.
2. Do what’s necessary and never forget why you’re there.
3. Never, and I mean never, fall for him.

Fourth and final rule?

Throw out the book altogether. Because the rules don’t apply when it comes to the Irish mafia.

It was only supposed to be temporary, but now Lachlan thinks he owns me. He says he’s not letting me go.

And I believe him.

***

Lachlan.

I don’t know who she is. I don’t know why she’s here.

But if it’s my attention she wants, she has it.

The Russians want her dead, and now it’s up to me to look out for her. This girl is trouble. A distraction I can’t afford.

So why have I already decided she’s mine?

I’ve claimed her and there’s no going back now.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

Okay, first of all, is there a sexier Irish name than Lachlan? I don’t think so.

Lachlan is a mobster, a killer, a strong dominant male and a pretty good boxer to boot. Oh, yes, and sexy as hell!

Mack is a girl from Southie, a great boxer and is out to find her missing friend. She never stood a chance.

They both know that their relationship is fool-hardy and impossible but that doesn’t stop them. In between all the hot steamy sex scenes there is a real plot that keeps you turning pages, but the bad guys get what’s coming to them and Mack and Lachlan get their HEA!

Great read and it’s a standalone.

Five stars *****

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L.A. Requiem (Elvis Cole #8) by Robert Crais

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Book Description

Publication Date:July 22, 2009
The day starts like any other in L.A. The sun burns hot as the Santa Ana winds blow ash from mountain fires to coat the glittering city. But for private investigator Joe Pike, the city will never be the same again. His ex-lover, Karen Garcia, is dead, brutally murdered with a gun shot to the head.
Now Karen’s powerful father calls on Pike (a former cop) and his partner, Elvis Cole, to keep an eye on the LAPD as they search for his daughter’s killer–because in the luminous City of Angels, everyone has secrets, and even the mighty blue have something to hide. But what starts as a little procedural hand-holding turns into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. For a dark web of conspiracy threatens to destroy Pike and Cole’s twelve-year friendship–if not their lives. And L.A. just might be singing their dirge.
Review –
Although I haven’t read this series in order I love them. In this one, number eight, I found out a lot of background information on Joe Pike that I didn’t know and now he doesn’t seem so mysterious. Also, I can now understand why he acts the way he does. He is one of my favorite literary characters.
Looking forward to reading another in this series very soon. If you like crime drama you should try an Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novel.

Hush by Anne Frasier

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Book Description

Publication Date:September 24, 2010
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR
RITA AWARD AUTHOR

DAPHNE DU MAURIER AWARD AUTHOR

~~~
Hush What’s your greatest fear?
It’s criminal profiler Ivy Dunlap’s job to unravel the psyches of the most dangerous men alive. None haunts her dreams more than the killer who took her son’s life sixteen years ago, then silently disappeared into the dark. Now an urgent request for help from the Chicago police has reawakened Ivy’s greatest nightmare. The Madonna Murderer has returned to fulfill his calling. This time Ivy understands the killer and will face her greatest fear to stop him from killing again.
Review –
This is the first book I’ve read by Anne Frasier and could hardly put it down.  The plot was well scripted and the characters well developed. The Madonna Murderer was crazier than a lot of other book villains I’ve read about and the action kept me turning the pages.
I will be looking forward to reading more from this author.

Snatched: A Will Trent Book #6 by Karin Slaughter

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Book Description

Publication Date:May 14, 2012
A gripping, action-packed short story available only as an eBook—from a master of character, crime, and urgent suspense. Will Trent, a dedicated agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for fifteen years, knows that there’s definitely such a thing as a cop’s intuition. Which is why he should have listened to his own.
While in an airport restroom at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, Will overhears a girl’s pleading, plaintive voice: “Please, I wanna go home.” Something isn’t right here, thinks Will. He feels it in his gut. But he waits too long to act, and now the girl and the anxious, angry man she’s with have disappeared into the crowds at the busiest passenger airport in the world. After a desperate search and with time running out, Will makes a call to his supervisor, Amanda Wagner. Will’s partner, Faith Mitchell, immediately sends out an abducted child alert. The entire airport will soon be grinding to a halt: Almost 100 million passengers a year. Five runways. Seven concourses. Six million square feet of space that sprawled across two counties, three cities, and five jurisdictions. All shut down on a dime because Will has a hunch that he is certain is true: a girl, maybe six or seven years old, has been snatched from God knows where. And he intends to bring her back—no matter what it takes.
Review –
This was a short story in audio book form and held my attention  from beginning to end.
I have read other books in the Will Trent Series  so I’m familiar with the characters and their interactions which made this story even more enjoyable.
If you like a good action packed crime drama you should really think about this series to your “to be read” list.

Play Dead by Harlan Coben

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Book Description

Release date: December 31, 2012
A Harlan Coben Classic—now back in print!
No sooner had supermodel Laura Ayers and Celtics star David Baskin said “I do” than tragedy struck. While honeymooning on Australia’s Great Barrier Reed, David went out for a swim—and never returned. Now widowed and grieving, Laura’s search for the truth will draw her into a web of lies and deception that stretches back thirty years…

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Terrible secrets lead basketball star David Baskin to fake his death while honeymooning in the tropics in this manipulative but otherwise engaging first novel. His bereaved bride, supermodel Laura Ayars, not sure that David’s drowning was accidental, starts sleuthing–which proves dangerous when somebody begins killing people who may have the answers she wants. Meanwhile, David, fitted out with a new identity and appearance, tries out for his original team, the Boston Celtics, and “replaces” himself at his former position. Why he has faked his death is explained in the story’s penultimate surprise. But why he risks playing in front of fans who know his style is never addressed. Crucial coincidences abound, such as the love affair of David’s brother and Laura’s sister–adults who, as kids 30 years before, just happen to have witnessed their parents’ worst sins. Coben manufactures tension primarily by keeping key details out of his narrative, a method that eventually wears thin. The resolution comes as a relief, with less of a bang than its buildup promises. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Review –
First was Harlan Coben’s first novel and I didn’t know it existed until I found the audio version on sale and slid it into my auto cd player.  It is very fast paced with twists at every turn and every author should be so lucky to have such a masterpiece as their first novel.  I highly recommend this book.