Thriller buzz words: Are you looking for…
suspense; page-turner; heart-pounding action; roller coaster ride of a plot; can’t put the book down, main character uses wits & skills to battle a foe. Could also have components of mystery, romance & horror.

Click on the titles below to search the catalog

Coben, Harlan
Just One Look.
A seemingly innocuous twenty-year-old photograph turns Grace Lawson’s peaceful life upside down when her husband, Jack, mysteriously vanishes with the photograph and unanswered questions threaten her marriage and everything she knows. Human and realistic female protagonist as well as relentless suspense mixed with intelligent mystery—hard to put down. Coben is also known for his Myron Bolitar mystery series which have a good mixture of action, plot & character development.

All of Coben’s stand-alones are superb
Gone for Good,
The Innocent,
No Second Chance,
Tell No One,
The Woods,
Hold Tight.

Finder, Joseph.
Paranoia.
Trapped in a job he hates, Adam Cassidy, a young employee at a high-tech corporation, is caught attempting to manipulate the system and is offered a choice–prison, or spying at the headquarters of their competitor, Trion Systems. Seat-of-your-pants action…if you love spy games & business intrigue, this is for you.

This Massachusetts author has become more popular with his recent novels:
Killer Instinct,
Power Play
Vanished.

Koontz, Dean R.
Life Expectancy.
In this hilarious fable of decency adrift in the world, a dying man’s clairvoyant prophesies about his grandson, Jimmy Tock, reveal five terrifying and horrific events, occuring on five different days at different periods in his life, that will turn the young man’s world upside down. This novel is also an exuberant parody of literary and cinematic pop-fiction conventions. That neither Jimmy nor any of the other characters could possibly be real doesn’t prevent them from being richly sympathetic, and as with many a movie masterpiece, the story’s fundamental ridiculousness doesn’t prevent it from being emotionally powerful and thought-provoking. This author is also known for his horror-laden suspense and rarely writes a miss.

Macdonald, Ann-Marie.
The Way the Crow Flies.
Called by critics as Mystic River impressive, this book contains characters, family dynamics, and a time period that are all sharply rendered and tightly tied to the overriding theme of innocence betrayed. But perhaps MacDonald’s most impressive accomplishment is her uncanny ability, much like Donna Tartt’s in The Little Friend, to vividly re-create the wonder, humor, and fears of childhood. Twenty years after her early 1960s military father is forced to choose between loyalties in the wake of a local murder, Madeleine begins to understand the case’s implication and launches a search for the killer.

Preston, Douglas.
Tyrannosaur Canyon.
The search for a rare fossil leads to death and a deadly secret. This absorbing science-based thriller puts Michael Crichton to shame. If science and suspense as a mix attracts you…

Baldacci, David.
The Camel Club
Witnessing a murder, conspiracy theorist Harry Stone steals a crucial piece of evidence from the scene and is subsequently pursued. Baldacci is a master at building suspense, and the conclusion of this novel will leave readers breathless.
Now quite an exciting series, The Camel Club is followed by the equally engaging The Collectors.

Berry, Steve.
The Third Secret.
This Vatican thriller is an intriguing and timely book at the election of the new pope. Asking the question did Pope John Paul II reveal the full Fatima secret in 2000?

Also suggest The Amber Room & The Romanov Prophecy. (Russian suspense).
The Templar Legacy & The Alexandria Link
are the first two books in a series featuring Cotton Malone, a former U.S. Justice Department agent turned Copenhagen bookseller.

Rollins, James.
Map of Bones.
When several people are burned to death during the theft of a religious artifact, Gray Pierce, a new member of the U.S. SIGMA force, pursues a clandestine fraternity of alchemists who would use the artifact to establish a new world order. First in the Sigma Force series. Excellent entertainment and rollicking action. The next two SIGMA Force novels are:
Black Order &
Judas Strain.

Silva, Daniel.
The Kill Artist.
First in the Gabriel Allon series introduces the reader to an amazing and compelling character set in the not so distant past. The Israeli intelligence chief recalls two former agents to eliminate a top Palestinian terrorist. The former agents were once lovers and their pasts and their enemies come back to haunt them as the terrorist begins his campaign of murder. All of the books in this series are breathless espionage escapades mixing art restoration with life-threatening intrigue.

If they have read all of Silva, try…

Berenson, Alex
The Faithful Spy.
John Wells, an undercover operative who has infiltrated al Qaeda, is trapped between his terrorist associates and the CIA, which no longer trusts his loyalty, when he becomes a prime suspect in two bombings in Los Angeles.

Lawton, John.
Bluffing Mr. Churchill.
In 1941, Calvin Cormack teams up with MI5 officer Walter Stilton to find Wolfgang Stahl, an American spy masquerading as an SS officer, but Cormack must enlist the aid of Sergeant Troy of Scotland Yard after his partner turns up dead. This is the first Frederick Troy novel. Lawton meshes comedy and suspense with skill and energy, and seamlessly mixes fictional creations with real characters like H.G. Wells and Winston Churchill producing a distinctive, vigorous novel of wartime suspense.
The second is Black Out,
and the third is Old Flames.

Furst, Alan.
Night Soldiers.
A young man in Bulgaria in 1938 witnesses his brother’s death as a result of being kicked by a gang of thugs. He vows vengeance against Fascism and flees to Moscow, where he is trained as an agent of the NKVD, precursor of the KGB. He is soon caught up in many missions around Europe and becomes a hunted man. An engaging writer, Furst deploys communists, fascists, and Americans in Europe’s theater of war and supports the action and romance with well-researched detail.
Or try Kingdom of Shadows
or The Polish Officer.

Littell, Robert.
The Sisters, in which Littell brilliantly weaves quirky characters and puzzle-piece vignettes into an intricate, bizarre and highly entertaining tale.
–Legends. Struggling with disjointed memories about his past identities with the CIA, former field agent turned private detective Martin Odum wonders if he can trust his CIA psychiatrist and struggles to retain a hold on his sanity.

Heroes who work with & sometimes in spite of law enforcement

Child, Lee.
One Shot: A Jack Reacher Novel.
A man who despises ex-military investigator Reacher must rely on Reacher’s help after he is accused of shooting five people. Superior thriller shows Child at the top of his game—excellent series—good intro to the character and author’s style.
Series begins with Killing Floor.
Latest is Gone Tomorrow. Not necessary to read in order.

Hall, James W.
Buzz Cut.
Armed with electric fingertips, a terrorist plans to turn a cruise ship into a floating bomb. The reclusive Thorn, a ship employee, must work against the clock to sabotage the plan. May appeal to Clancy and Patrick Robinson readers.
First in the Thorn series is Under Cover of Daylight.

Wilson, F. Paul.
The Tomb.
This first in the Repairman Jack series is a riveting read and a startling introduction to a compelling character. Jack is a loner who survives below the radar screen of the law and government agencies. He fixes things for people—he fixes situations that the legal system could not or would not address. Even though his last girlfriend left him because of what he does, the reader likes Jack because he is courageous, innovative, and compassionate. Readers who want a modern-day adventure hero will forgive the fairly predictable plot and ending because Wilson’s prose is entertaining and his characters lively and sympathetic. This thriller will appeal to horror lovers who like Dean Koontz because of the mythological/supernatural nature of the evil Jack must combat, and to anyone who likes a rapidly paced plot that explodes all over the pages. In this book, Jack is hired to recover a mysterious stolen necklace, reputed to be accompanied by an ancient curse and encounters a secret world of magic and winged Bengali demons. Or suggest others in series–do not need to read in order for story.
Followed by Legacies, Conspiracies, and All the Rage.

Cain, Chelsea.
Heartsick.
Not for the faint of heart–and featuring a unique female villain, Gretchen Lowell, this protagonist, Archie Sheridan is addicted to painkillers and still bound to Gretchen, the beautiful serial killer who had abducted and tortured him before turning herself in. Portland detective Archie Sheridan is caught in another deadly duel with a murderer targeting teenage girls.
Followed by Sweetheart and Evil at Heart.

Gerritsen, Tess.
The Apprentice.
It’s a boiling summer in Boston. Adding to the city’s woes is a series of shocking crimes that end in abduction and death. The pattern suggest “the Surgeon,” serial killer Warren Hoyt. But Hoyt is behind bars, so this time it’s a copycat killer. Detective Jane Rizzoli is on the case, determined to finally end Hoyt’s influence. Second in Jane Rizzoli series.
Sequel to The Surgeon. Do not need to read in order, but you may want to for character continuity.

Gruber, Michael.
Tropic of Night.
When her sister is killed during a scientific study, an anthropologist fakes her own suicide and hides in Miami to prevent herself from becoming the latest victim in a string of ritualistic murders. This intelligent thriller builds tension from the first page. Gruber’s understanding of African witchcraft stands fully behind an exciting narrative populated by distinctly drawn characters such as Jane, who is also haunted by the awful murder of her sister and now finds herself confronting a shaman up to his bloody elbows in ritual murder. This book has movie potential written all over it, which is no criticism of its depth–simply a compliment to it.

Jackson, Lisa.
Shiver.
Detective Reuben “Diego” Montoya must team up with the prime suspect in a murder case to catch a serial killer who is keeping New Orleans in the grip of fear, an investigation that leads them to an abandoned asylum where unspeakable evil awaits them. Ms Jackson is at the top of her game in this cleverly plotted suspense novel. When you feel the hairs on your arms raise you know it’s superb. Fourth Reuben Montoya, need not read in order.

McDermid, Val.
Killing the Shadows.
When a killer who stalks crime writers murders her boyfriend, a prominent author, Professor Fiona Cameron is on the case, using her computer knowledge to hunt him down. A gripping read with layers of plot complexity, heart-stopping suspense, and guts and gore aplenty.

Slaughter, Karin.
Blindsighted.
Pediatrician and coroner Dr. Sara Linton, her ex-husband and chief of police Jeffrey Tolliver, and detective Lena Adams are on the case when a sadistic rapist and murderer begins targeting women in Grant County. This is an accomplished first novel that melds a riveting plot with a brutally graphic portrait of a sexual sadist. Sara and Lena are tough, complicated, and smart, and Jeffrey is a man who knows he has made mistakes but has found a way to live with them.
Second in the series is Kisscut. Do not need to read in order, but you may want to for character continuity.