Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What I read: Thriller/ mystery authors

A few weeks ago, I did romance.....

Now, enough of the mushy stuff. Now we blow stuff up.... Thriller/ mystery authors.

Keith Thompson. Once a Spy .... if Jason Bourne had a son, and if Bourne had Alzheimers.... My review here.  There's a sequel called .... wait for it ... Twice a Spy.

The Spy Who Came for ChristmasDavid Morrell: Yes, he created John Rambo in his novel “First Blood.” However, I would suggest that it is not his best. In The Spy Who Came For Christmas, a spy tries to keep a baby from the mercenaries he'd been undercover with.  Wounded, he seeks refuge in a home while being chased; to keep the occupants calm as he prepares for war, he tells them a spy's version of the Christmas story.

 In Creepers, a group of urban explorers enter into an abandoned hotel, onto to discover that they're not alone. “Scavenger,” the sequel to Creepers, finds the survivors of the hotel incident trapped into a deadly game—a real life role playing game, set in a hostile wilderness filled with booby traps.

American Assassin: A ThrillerVince Flynn-- He writes about a CIA assassin named Mitch Rapp, and the first one was about terrorists taking over the white house. This was before terrorists became popular (1999), and he does a wonderful critique of what went wrong during the 1990s in the intelligence world.  In his first novel with Rapp, terrorists have taken over the Clinton White House, and he's sent in for recon. Now all he needs to do is not kill all of the terrorists himself.

One of the nice things about Vince Flynn is that he always has a domestic element to his novels. Domestic as in "do we have to kill the politicians before they get us all killed."  Again, Flynn has had politicians as antagonists since the 1990s, so he's not some sort of Tea Party individual.

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: Would you like to see a scientific version of fighting monsters?  Just start by reading Relic (for the love of all that's Holy, IGNORE THE MOVIE) and Reliquery, then let the games begin. Preston brings a unique knowledge of biology and anthropology to each of the books, and Child brings a great ingenuity with all things mechanical. So, for example, when the genetic mutation from the wilderness trashes the multi-million dollar security system, trapping a museum full of potential victims inside ... well, it gets fun.

If you want to read either individually-- just read Lincoln Child. Preston on is own is not Preston at his best. Lincoln Child has written Death Match (match.com meets serial killers), Utopia (Westworld meets Disney World), both of which are at the top of the list for recommendations for these two as individuals.

Area 7Matthew Reilly-- You can ignore this man's politics, mainly because, if he has any of his own, they're feeble minded.  However, he has only three books in which politics plays a role. Usually, he does a good job of setting up eight-sided shootouts, and no one ever stops running.  And I mean never.

Contest: A Doctor has to take out a violent criminal in his emergency room in the afternoon, and finds himself a contestant in an interstellar gladiatorial slug fest in the New York City Public Library. The winner gains prestige for his race. Losers don't go home.

ScarecrowTemple is a race for an element in the jungles of Latin America that makes uranium look like M&Ms. If you thought previous descriptions of A Pius Man have looked paranoid, you haven't seen anything yet.

Ice Station is just pure fun ... not to be mistaken for Ice Station Zebra ... a marine Recon unit led by Shane "Scarecrow" Scofield, visits a polar ice cap survey station, only to find everyone slaughtered. The British, the French, the Russians, everyone has a SpecOps team ready and waiting to kill anyone in the way between them and their prize.

Ice StationArea 7 is the sequel to Ice Station.  During a Presidential visit to an Area 51-facility, terrorists attack. And they take the facility.  Who was part of the President's security detail? One Shane Scofield.

And Scarecrow ... the world's deadliest assassins have a list of people who must die.  Each of these people is someone with the proven reflexes necessary to stop the world from being destroyed. Unfortunately for the assassins, Shane Scofield is on the list. is a nonstop running shootout. Each book involves at least a four to six sided shootout, so they don't have time to slow down.

The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force NovelJames Rollins -- Sandstorm, Map of Bones, Black Order, The Judas Strain.... oh, to heck with it, just look for any book labeled a “Sigma Force Novel.” Imagine Special forces soldiers with PhD's in physics.  Or, scientists with guns. Rollins was writing world spanning ancient mysteries and high-tech thrillers before anyone ever took note of Dan Brown. When this man writes cutting edge, he gives the footnotes, citing articles that are, in some cases, only available overseas.

He also has some one-shots like Subterranean, or Excavation, which is pretty much Indiana Jones, the next generation.

David Lindsay's career is, at the moment, based on four books about his scalpel wielding sociopath and serial killer named Dexter. Yes, these books spawned the cable TV show of the same name-- a serial killer who hunts serial killers. It starts with Darkly Dreaming Dexter, followed by Dearly Devoted Dexter, Dexter in the Dark, and Dexter by Design, and Dexter Is Delicious. Even if you've seen the tv show, read the books anyway.

David Cornwell's Sharpe series is entertaining-- a fictionalized infantry-man's view of the war against the tiny Corsican tyrant.

Joseph Garber- - his books Verticle Run and "In a Perfect State" are the best thrillers I may have ever read, second to Vince Flynn.  Best books ever. Trust me on this.

Clive Cussler -- if you've not heard of Dirk Pitt, go read about him.

Anyway, this is the short list. :)  Hope you find this enjoyable.

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