May 18, 2010 by Reader's Connection
Apologies for my attempt to punch up this post´s title. Cheryl Holtsclaw of the West Indianapolis Branch has made up a splendid list of suspense novels, with commentaries; and the holiday Shavuot begins tonight at sundown (the Jewish Community Center will close at 5:00 p.m. and remain closed tomorrow).
There´s no connection between the two, I don’t think, (Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai, and some of the people in these novels have legal problems?) but my thanks go out to Cheryl and my best wishes to everyone observing the holiday.
Memorial Day by Vince Flynn
Mitch Rapp is a CIA operative with special skills that make him an invaluable asset. Less desirable, as far as higher-ups and politicians see it, is his tendency to do what he believes is right rather than blindly follow orders. Problems begin during a commando raid on an al-Qaeda stronghold in Afghanistan when Rapp discovers a plot for a terrorist attack on the US. As a result of this intelligence, US forces are able to find and dismantle an atomic bomb delivered by the terrorists to South Carolina. However, Rapp is convinced there is a second bomb planned to go off during the Memorial Day celebration in Washington, DC. It’s a battle against time—and sometimes the members of his own agency—which Rapp is determined to win.
Darkness Falls by Kyle Mills
Erin Neal, an expert on potential oil-field disasters, made the mistake of writing a book decrying excessive energy consumption. Now he’s a pariah living in the Arizona desert. His self-imposed exile is interrupted by Mark Beamon, head of US energy security. A plot to sabotage the world’s oil supply using bioengineered bacteria—a mutated version of the bacteria Neal developed to clean up oil spills—has been discovered. If the terrorists succeed in developing an airborne strain of the bacteria, it will be a world crisis of unimaginable proportions. Beamon and Neal are nobody’s idea of heroes, and yet the fate of the world now rests in their hands.
Smoker by Greg Rucka
Think professional bodyguard and a slender, bespectacled guy named Atticus Kodiak is not exactly what comes to mind. Add to that the fact that he’s lost a client or two along the way and he’s anything but a superhero. Still, he and his group take on the job of protecting a witness that the tobacco industry will go to any ends to keep from testifying. Kodiak and his group make mistakes, but it’s the imperfections that make this team of bodyguards all the more interesting.
The Charm School by Nelson DeMille
Set in the USSR in the 1980s when the Cold War between the US and Russia was still going strong, The Charm School chillingly depicts the lengths a country will go to in order to create highly effective spies. A tourist calls the US Embassy in Moscow and tells an unlikely story of an encounter he just had with an Air Force major, who, as it turns out, was shot down over Vietnam years before. When the tourist goes missing, an investigation is begun. Before long, it appears that rumors of Mrs. Ivanova’s Charm School are true, with the charm school being a KGB-run facility, staffed by American MIAs forced to teach Russian spies-in-training American ways so they can blend in. The problem is, how do you save the MIAs and render the school inoperable without igniting a political and diplomatic explosion?
The Smoke Room by Earl Emerson
“Experts estimated the pig fell just over 11,000 feet before it plunged through Iola Pederson’s roof.” That’s the first line of The Smoke Room, the end of the pig, and the beginning of rookie firefighter Jason Gum’s problems. If it hadn’t been for the pig, Jason wouldn’t have met Iola, and thus would have been working (instead of in Iola’s arms) when a call comes in. His team covers for him, but then he’s at their mercy when they commit a crime and call on him to return the favor. Emerson, a firefighter with the Seattle Fire Department for well over 20 years, is one of that elite group of writers who can have you laughing one minute, on the edge of your seat the next.
Paranoia by Joseph Finder
It starts out innocently enough, a prank, diverting executive slush fund money to pay for a loading dock crew member’s retirement party. Adam Cassidy’s shenanigans leave him open to charges of embezzlement, so when the CEO makes Adam an offer he can’t refuse—infiltrate a rival company and feed its corporate secrets back to Wyatt Telecom—Adam feels he has no choice. He takes on the role of corporate spy, enjoying the perks extended to a hot new rising star, until the game threatens to turn deadly.
Secret Sanction by Brian Haig
He’s the son of Alexander Haig, yes, that one, a West Point graduate, career military strategist, and special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. So he’s going to write very stiff, militarily-correct books, right? Wrong. Haig’s main character, Major Sean Drummond, could be likened to the Hawkeye Pierce of the JAG world. He’s sharp, no doubt, but he’s also a wisecracking maverick with no political or career aspirations. In Secret Sanction, Drummond gets called in to investigate the massacre of 35 Kosovo Liberation Army members who had been working with Green Berets. Given his buck-the-superiors reputation, he’s an unlikely choice and he encounters resistance from them right from the start: They want everything smoothed over; Drummond wants the truth. It’s an uphill battle, but he’s used to that and their manipulations are no match for Drummond’s determination.
The Tenth Justice by Brad Meltzer
Four young guys, straight out of college, embarking on new careers, and sharing a home: it’s a prescription for lots of wisecracking and horseplay. For Ben Addison, who has landed a job as clerk for a Supreme Court justice, it’s all fun and prestige and the invincibility that comes to a recent Ivy League graduate landing such a coveted position. But one day Ben is tricked into revealing a confidential court decision and then attempts are made to blackmail him into revealing more court decisions. Ben calls on his friends for help as the situation becomes more and more dangerous, but can he trust even them?