Great escapes (Or what to read after ‘The Da Vinci Code’)
“Retribution” by Jilliane Hoffman. A first-rate crime novel with an edge – “Retribution” has a tightly woven plot, an evil bad guy and an intelligent heroine with a devastating secret, good cops, bad cops, gruesome crime scenes and excellent courtroom drama.
Fans of John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell will gobble up this book in a couple of days!
“Pompeii” by Robert Harris. Fast-paced, exciting and “explosive,” this novel recounts the last days of the doomed city. “Pompeii” is brimming with historical perspective, well-developed characters, plot twists and tension, and the last 100 pages will leave you turning pages as fast as you can.
“The Breathtaker” by Alice Blanchard. “The Breathtaker” is an irresistible rainy day thriller, described as “a taut and horrifying tale of murder and madness in the heart of tornado country.”
Mutilated bodies are discovered after a deadly twister strikes, but the police chief suspects foul play rather than foul weather is to blame. Get sucked into the whirlwind of tornado-chasers and psychopaths!
“The Codex” by Douglas Preston. A well written “Indiana Jones” style archaeological thriller about a treasure hunter/tomb raider named Maxwell Broadbent who disappears with his collection of priceless artifacts.
The race is on to discover Broadbent’s treasure, which contains a mysterious Mayan relic purported to cure cancer and other diseases. “The Codex” is a definite cure for Da Vinci withdrawals!
“Shutter Island” by Denis Lehane. When a patient disappears from a home for the criminally insane, which happens to be located on a mysterious island, two marshals are sent to investigate.
It soon becomes obvious that something creepy and strange is going on, and then a hurricane approaches, trapping everyone in the weirdness.
Lehane’s first book, “Mystic River,” was a work of genius and “Shutter Island” again displays this great writer’s talent for psychological suspense.
“No Second Chance” by Harlan Coben. When a prominent plastic surgeon awakens in a hospital bed, he finds that his wife has been killed and their baby kidnapped.
The ensuing drama involves multiple plot twists and false turns as well as some very charismatic characterizations. “No Second Chance” is a smart, fast-paced and well-engineered mystery.
“Naked Prey” by John Sanford. Returning character Lucas Davenport stars in “Naked Prey,” which may be John Sanford’s most compelling and satisfying novel to date.
This mystery is set deep in the frigid woods of Minnesota, and the opening investigation of a lynching quickly escalates into a plot involving stolen cars, a drug-smuggling ex-nun, gambling and kidnapping.
“The Murder Room” by P. D. James. Formidable detective Adam Dalgliesh investigates murders in a museum, killings that seem to mimic exhibits in the museum’s popular gallery called “The Murder Room.”
P. D. James masterfully crafts an intricate, dark and psychological mystery with a British flair.
“Master of the Rain” by Tom Bradby. Here’s a gripping detective story set in the exotic, opium-laced, corruption-riddled city of Shanghai, circa 1926.
Fans of Raymond Chandler and John le Carre will enjoy this atmospheric thriller, which is lushly descriptive and woven with themes of lust, corruption and romance.
“The First Law” by John Lescroart. John Lescroart lives just down the hill in Davis, and his best-selling crime/legal mysteries are great fun because they are set in San Francisco and the hero, a ragged-around-the edges D.A., drinks Pale Ale and hangs out in familiar locales around the Bay.
But besides the local touches, Lescroart’s books are suspenseful tales of big-city crime and punishment. His recurring characters are memorable and have dead-on personalities.
Other titles to check out – “The Vig” and “Nothing But the Truth.”
Compiled by Kim Carrow of Odyssey Books, 11989 Sutton Way, Grass Valley. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. The phone number is 477-2856.
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