Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer Reading Stampede…Part 3

The annual stampede of great summer reading is upon us; here is round three of my look at what to expect from both the tried and true veterans of the form to up and some up and coming new talents.

Suspicion – Joseph Finder (Dutton Books)

I love thrillers, there is just something exciting about being on that twisting turning rollercoaster that keeps me coming back for more. When you boil it down, one of the things that puts the thrill in thrillers is the writer’s ability to create tension in the story; the ability to pull that rubber band taught, almost to the snapping point. Simply put; no one does tension better than Joseph Finder.

Finder’s latest, Suspicion, finds struggling writer Danny Goodman caught squarely between a rock and a hard place; he needs a quick infusion of cash or this single father will need to tear apart his daughter’s life and remove her from a pricey private school. When a new school friend’s well to do father offers a life line in the form of no strings attached loan, how could Goodman resist?

When it turns out the loan came from a suspected money launderer for the brutal Sinaloa drug cartel, the DEA comes knocking on Goodman’s door waving around fraud charges and an “opportunity” the story is off to the races. Finder does a masterful job with the classic fish out of water storyline; what would a struggling biographer know about drug cartels and being law enforcement snitch? Goodman reacts like any father and does what he can to protect his family and himself and therein lays the tension in the story.

Rogue Code – A Jeff Aiken Novel – Mark Russinovich (Thomas Dunne Books)

Mark Russinovich is a senior tech guru for Microsoft and the author of numerous technical writings, who in his spare time has managed to knock out a series of high tech thrillers featuring computer security expert Jeff Aiken. The third book in the series, Rogue Code tackles the all too realistic threat that the New York Stock Exchange could be hacked and accounts plundered to the tune of millions and millions of dollars.

Aiken is called in to investigate a potential security at the NYSE, only to discover not only that they have been hacked, but it appears someone has left the proverbial door open. From there the race is on to not only get himself out from trumped up charges, but to put a stop to what could become a multi-billion dollar theft.

Often cited by those in the know for his tech accuracy, Russinovich may lose some readers with the sheer volume of not only technical jargon, but of the description of what is happening in a given scene. At times the book screams for a shot of additional dialog, but overall still delivers the goods.

Wolf – A Jack Caffery Thriller – Mo Hayder - (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Best-selling author Mo Hayder serves up the 7th installment of the Detective Jack Caffrey series, Wolf. This being my first venture into the mind of Ms. Hayder, I didn’t know quite what to expect. What I got was the desire to go back and flesh out some of the depth that is clearly part and parcel of the Caffery character; simply put there is a whole lot more to this guy then can be found in just one book.
Some may chafe at some of the more vicious twists and scenes that Hayder weaves into this tale of a home invasion that is also more than meets the eye, but I think she uses the device well to set the hook for the “final” twist. This is one that has kept me thinking and shivering well after I closed the back cover.




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