The Book Case by Nelson DeMille

The Book Case by Nelson Demille is a short mystery in which John Corey, a NYPD detective who appears in multiple Demille novels, is called to the scene of a death of a bookstore owner caused by a falling bookcase. At first it appears to be an accident, but Corey soon suspects murder. The entire novel takes place in the bookstore with Corey questioning the suspects. Nelson Demille is one of my favorite authors and John Corey is a great character, but this novel does not come up to the standard of his other superb works, perhaps because the short length does not allow for the intricacies of plot typical of a Demille novel. I did, however, enjoy reading it.

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The Terror Years by Lawrence Wright

Lawrence Wright in The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State gives an excellent accounting of the evolution of Islamic terrorism in the middle east and its spread to the rest of the world. Much attention is given to Osama bin Laden, the Saudi founder of al-Qaeda: Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who succeeded bin Laden as head of al-Qaeda; and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian jihadist who founded al-Qaeda in Iraq. The book discusses the consequences of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria and gives little hope for peace.

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One False Move by Harlan Coben

One False Move is the fifth book in the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. In this thriller, Myron helps Brenda Slaughter, a female black professional basketball star, search for her father who has disappeared. He also must protect Brenda from people who wish to kill her. Soon bodies pile up, and Myron faces mobsters and powerful men who want him dead. The novel moves at a fast pace, and has no boring pages.

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Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben

In Darkest Fear, Harlan Coben has an old girlfriend inform sports agent Myron Bolitar that he has a thirteen-year-old son. The boy has Fanconi anemia and will die unless he receives a bone marrow transport. Unfortunately, there is only one match. He has disappeared and possibly may be a serial killer. Myron is confronted by moral dilemmas such as can he harm innocent people to save his son and should he try to have another child with this married woman to create another potential donor.

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One False Move by Harlan Coben

One False Move is the fifth book in the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. In this thriller, Myron helps Brenda Slaughter, a female black professional basketball star, search for her father who has disappeared. He also must protect Brenda from people who wish to kill her. Soon bodies pile up, and Myron faces mobsters and powerful men who want him dead. The novel moves at a fast pace, and has no boring pages.

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Backspin by Harlan Coben

Backspin, published in 1997, is Harlan Coben’s fourth Myron Bolitar novel. As with the other Bolitar books, Myron’s friends Win and Esperanza plan prominent roles as Myron tries to rescue the kidnapped son of two golf pros. Many of the characters have secrets that determine their behavior and some lead to violence and murder.

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The Final Detail by Harlan Coben

In The Final Detail by Harlan Coben, sports agent Myron Bolitar returns from a three-week vacation to find one of his clients has been killed and his partner and best friend Esperanza has been charged with the murder. As with all the Myron Bolitar books, Myron teams with Windsor Horn Lockwood III, his wealthy, sociopathic friend, to solve the crime and win Esperanza’s freedom. Coben weaves a complex plot with wit, creating colorful characters, catchy dialogue, and an entertaining story.

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The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

In The Snowman, Jo Nesbo creates an exciting mystery/thriller in which Oslo Police Inspector Harry Hole seeks to stop a serial killer whose trade mark is a snowman left at the scene of each murder. Surprises fill the novel, and the suspense builds as the villain targets Rakel, Harry’s on-again, off-again lover. I highly recommend the book, although the complex Norwegian names make it a little difficult.

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A Stranger in the House

In A Stranger in the House. Shari Lapena has mastered another thriller. As in The Couple Next Door, she treats the reader to unexpected twists and turns and a surprise ending.

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The Stolen Marriage

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain is the story of a young woman who moves to Hickory, NC in 1944 to marry the stranger who impregnated her. It deals with the social taboos of that era such as the stigma of getting pregnant outside of marriage and the illegality of marriage between Negros and Whites. Much of the story revolves around the polio epidemic and the brave people who built a hospital dedicated to combating the disease.

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