Tag Archives: Murder

Guest Room

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Title: The Guest Room

Author: Chris Bohjalian

Publisher: Doubleday, January 2016

Summary/Review: In the blink of an eye, Richard Chapman’s home goes from bachelor party venue to bloody crime scene in this riveting novel by Chris Bohjalian.

No one could have predicted the carnage that would occur, or imagine the tragic events that led to the doomed party.  As alcohol and indiscretions abound, two young women, or the “hired” entertainment, make a desperate life or death decision that will have tragic repercussions for all.

Chris Bohjalian is a master of writing a woman’s point of view, and this novel is no exception. The Guest Room doesn’t just bring to light one of the many terrible crimes committed against women throughout the world, but brings the horror into our lives, and into our homes.

Who will like this book?:  Someone who is looking for a literature-focused thriller with a deeper meaning.  Someone who doesn’t shy away from difficult or controversial topics.

If you liked this, try this:  If you’ve read (and loved) Chris Bohjalian before, this won’t be an exception.  However, the style is different from previous books.

Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator

If this looks like something you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!

 

 

Pretty Girls

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Title: Pretty Girls

Author: Karin Slaughter

Publisher: William Morrow, September 2015

*This book contains graphic descriptions of violence, particularly sexual violence against women, so be warned.*

Summary/Review: I found this novel a somewhat interesting read because it describes good, bad, and even horrible relationships, from a woman’s perspective.

Two decades ago the older sister of the two women involved in this mystery was abducted. Her body was never found. This destroys her parents’ marriage and emotionally cripples, to some extent, the remaining two girls’ development. One sister self-medicates with alcohol, drugs and sex. The other buries her misery and eventually marries a successful architect. Together they create a fairy-tale perfect, suburban marriage.

The story takes a terrible twist when the “good daughter” discovers (or does she?) horrible secrets about her architect husband after he is murdered in a mugging gone terribly wrong.

But what are we to believe? Are all his awful secrets actually true? Can he really be involved in a series of abductions and tortures of young women over the years? Is their perfect lifestyle financed by online snuff porn videos? If so, how did this behavior start and how could he have kept this twisted side of his life a secret for so long?

The sisters become almost action heroes as they uncover more and more, and worse and worse facts about their family, the dead husband and the fate of many young women over the years.

There are several dramatic plot twists which will probably blind-side the reader. You don’t want to know what they are in advance. This is a somewhat trashy page-turner so it won’t take long to read if you want to know all the details.

Who will like this book? Someone who’s a fan of criminal procedurals who won’t shy away from graphic violence.

If you like this, try this: Karin Slaughter has a huge repertoire of works, so if you like her writing you’ll have plenty to choose from.  If you’re looking for other crime procedurals written by women, try Lisa Gardner or Kathy Reichs.
Recommended by: Mark Z, Guest Reviewer

If this looks like something you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!

Murder House

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Title:   THE MURDER HOUSE

Author: James Patterson

Publisher: Little Brown and Company, 2015

Summary/Review: I know what you’re thinking: not another James Patterson book, he writes one every other month! I felt the same way until I read Murder House – it draws you in from the first page. Usually you find out right in the beginning who the killer is… boring, right? Not this time. There are several different characters. Even the Murder House – 7 Ocean Drive – is a character

There is a beautiful beachfront estate in the Hamptons which was the scene for some gruesome killings that have never been solved. Detective Jenna Murphy, who is from the Hamptons but hasn’t been back since she was a girl, returns after being forced to quit the NYPD. She is given a job by her uncle, the Chief of the South Hampton Police Department.

When a double murder occurs at 7 Ocean Drive and local resident Noah Walker is charged, Jenna takes an interest in the case. She starts to snoop around and that’s when it gets really interesting. There are a lot of questions and more suspects – even her partner Isaac Marks. Then her uncle is killed and another body is found, and there seems to be a pattern with this killer. He likes to cause pain with a sharp object into vital organs.

Jenna requests the help of a rookie, Ricketts, to find out about the owners of 7 Ocean Drive. Without giving too much away this opens up a whole new investigation that will keep you guessing right till the end. The twists and turns are perhaps the best made by James Patterson in a long time. Enjoy the ride. The ending was terrific too.

Who would like this book: A James Patterson lover like me, or anyone who enjoys a thrill ride right to the end!

If you like this, try this: Obviously James Patterson has a number of books out – you’re sure to like at least some of them!

Recommended by: Virginia, Circulation

Is this something you think you’d like?  Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!

NOS4A2

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Title: NOS4A2

Author: Joe Hill

Publisher: Harper Collins, 2013

Summary/Review: This story begins with a very young Victoria McQueen, a bike, and her encounter with a magic bridge. We are then introduced to a man named Bing Partridge who befriends a monstrous, evil, and hideous child abductor named Charles Talent Manx, who drives a magical 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith.

Their paths first collide when Victoria, at 17, avoids being kidnapped by Manx and taken to a make believe location called Christmasland, a place where all children never have any pain and where it is Christmas every day. Unfortunately, the children change while they are there; becoming creatures with razor sharp teeth and kill adults by playing the game “SCISSORS-FOR-THE-DRIFTERS”. Manx claims the children’s souls allowing him to live eternally.

Then, as an adult, Vic loses her own child, Bruce Wayne Carmody, to Manx. Her dangerous journey continues, trying to rescue her son with the help of Wayne’s dad Lou, and a stuttering librarian named Maggie, who seems to possess powers of her own.

This life and death tale of a mother’s love will keep you the edge of your seat for all 686 pages. This is one of my favorite novels of the year.

Who will like this book: If you are in the mood for horror, suspense, and adventure, then you will enjoy this story.

If you like this, try this: The Shining, Salem’s Lot, or It all by Stephen King, who happens to be Joe Hill’s father.

Recommended by: K.C. Davis, Circulation Assistant

Does this look like a book you’d like to read?  Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or place a hold!

Help for the Haunted

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Title: Help for the Haunted

Author: John Searles

Publisher: William Morrow, Sep. 2013

Summary/Review: Since I am not a fan of ghost stories, I was reluctant to read a book titled “Help for the Haunted” for worry that I would not sleep afterward, but I wanted to conquer my fear of the unknown. Although this book focuses on the paranormal, it becomes clear that you see what you want to see and believe what you chose to believe.

The Masons are quite successful in taming the unusual behavior of those possessed by spirits but are incapable of handling and helping their disobedient older daughter, Rose. When they agree to drive during a snowstorm to meet her in a church to talk, they do not know this encounter will end their lives. As their younger daughter, Sylvie, awaits their return to their car, she ends up being the only witness to the murderer. As Sylvie struggles with the past and present she starts putting together the pieces of her parents’ work and the events preceding their murder, which eventually lead her to the person who pulled the trigger.

“Help for the Haunted” is a good choice for book groups as it features interesting characters, including an evil doll named Penny, and provides several topics for discussion.

Who will like this book: Anyone who enjoys reading about mysteries with dark family secrets.

If you like this, try this: “The Returned” by Jason Mott

Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation

Summary/Review: “Help for the Haunted” is the story of two girls – Rose and Sylvie Mason – whose parents were helpers of the haunted (I kept thinking of the Warrens throughout).  Sylvie is the “good one”, always responsible.  She plays counterpart to her older sister Rose, whose bad temper, negative attitude, and overall rebellious behavior put a deep strain on the family.  When Sylvie’s parents drag her out of bed to drive to a church to meet Rose, who has left the house angry, she is awakened by gunshots only to find her parents dead in the church.  But what happened?  Who would have killed them?  Why did Sylvie tell the police she knew exactly who it was? And who is keeping the light on in the basement, waiting for her parents’ return?

I started this book, unfortunately, late one night while I was home alone.  What was I thinking?  The first half is extra creepy, laying the foundation for why the Masons became involved with people like Lynch (who Sylvie points to as her parents’ killer) and their pasts.  The book focuses on 14-year old Sylvie throughout, and the second half deals more with her sister, their relationship and past, and her desperation to find the real killer.  I found the book compelling and wanted to know, exactly, what happened to her parents and why.  While the ending didn’t come together as well as it could have (it’s clear Searles is an extremely talented writer, who I will definitely read again), I was pleased to find I was surprised at the unexpected finale.

Who will like this book? : Someone who’s not afraid of a little creepiness.  The book comes out in September and would make an awesome Halloween read.

Recommended by: LB, Library Assistant

If this looks like the type of book you’d like to read when it’s released, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check availability and place a hold!

Mistress

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Title: Mistress

Author: James Patterson

Publisher: Little Brown, 2013

Summary/Review: I know what you’re thinking: “another book by Patterson”.  It seems like he writes one a month!!!  The way I look at it is he is helping out other authors who are co-writing with him.  In this case, the co-author is David Ellis.

I really enjoyed “Mistress” because it was very intriguing. The main character, Ben, has some obsessions, a little OCD,  AND he is in love with Diana Hotchkiss (who works in the White  House).

When Ben witnesses her falling from her balcony in an apparent suicide, Ben is not convinced that it wasn’t a cold-blooded murder. He becomes obsessed with finding out the truth at any cost…including outsmarting federal agents, assassins, and even himself!  It is a roller coaster ride with a lot of twists and turns, like only Patterson can do. It also has an explosive ending.

Who will like this book: If you like quick reads, politics, and murder mysteries you will surely enjoy this book.  Anyone interested in trivia – a quirk the main character has is to spout off trivia in order to relate to the case.

If you like this, try this: Patterson has a huge repertoire of books to choose from, as does his co-author, David Ellis. If you’re looking for some authors that will kick-start your love of thrillers, try Dan Brown, Robert Ludlum, or Tom Clancy.

Recommended by: Virginia, Circulation

If you’d like to give this book a try, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or place a hold with your library card!

Hey! Did you know you could search for books by “tag”?   For example, you could look for books that are tagged with “crime” or search for some of the newest books by clicking “2013 releases” .  Tags are located on the right-hand side of the screen – check it out!

Let Me Go

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Title: Let Me Go

Author: Chelsea Cain

Publisher: St. Marten’s Press, 2013

Summary/Review: “Let Me Go” is the sixth book by Chelsea Cain featuring Detective Archie Sheridan, journalist Susan Ward, and Psychiatrist Gretchen Lowell. Gretchen was a consultant for the Portland police on a case involving a serial killer. During the investigation, Archie had an affair with her but only to find out that she herself was the killer. Archie spent 10 days of his life being tortured by Gretchen, only to let him go. Gretchen is captured but soon after escapes leaving Archie always wondering when she will show herself again.

In Cain’s latest novel, “Let Me Go”, Archie is working on a case involving Russian drug lords, a dead DEA agent, and an undercover CI named Leo Reynolds, Susan’s boyfriend. While Archie attends a party thrown by Jack Reynolds, Leo’s drug dealing father, a murder is committed. Upon reviewing the property’s surveillance video, Archie discovers Gretchen in attendance.

Now Archie must find Gretchen who has abducted Susan all the while trying to solve a murder. With time running out, Archie carelessly and desperately seeks Gretchen’s help to solve the most recent crime so Susan can be released.

Who will like this book?: If you love repeating characters, fast paced stories, and devilish crime novels, this book is just what you are looking for.

If you like this, try this:Heartsick” (reviewed previously on the blog), “Sweetheart”, and “Evil at Heart”, the first three Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell novels by Chelsea Cain. Starting at the beginning of this journey between Archie and Gretchen will give the reader a greater insight as to their twisted and complicated relationship.

Recommended by: K.C., circulation assistant

Does this look like something you’d like to read? Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check its availability and/or place a hold!

Rage Against the Dying

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Title: Rage Against the Dying

Author:Becky Masterman

Publisher: Minotaur Books, March 2013

Summary/Review: If you’re looking for a fast paced thriller that you just can’t put down, look no further. Rage against the Dying, the debut thriller by Becky Masterman, will not disappoint you.

Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn is adjusting to her new life as a newlywed in Tucson, Arizona. Forced into early retirement after shooting an unarmed suspect, the 59 year old Quinn has seemingly moved on. That is until the Route 66 Killer, the case that has haunted her for years, becomes news once again. Not only the most frustrating unsolved case of Brigid’s career, the Route 66 Killer cost the life of her protégé Jessica Robertson. Now a suspect has confessed and Brigid is once again drawn into this disturbing case. Laura Coleman, the new FBI agent assigned to Route 66, has asked for Brigid’s help but no one can foresee the horror that lies ahead.

This novel has everything: suspense, dark humor, and of course some blood and guts. I sincerely hope Brigid’s story does not end here. Unlike any character I’ve ever read, she is strong, smart, funny, and a little bit of a loose cannon. I can’t wait to see her again.

Who will like this book?: Anyone who’s not afraid of a little gore.  Someone looking for a thriller that they won’t be able to put down.

If you like this, try this:  If you liked Masterson’s writing, be on the lookout for more from her: this is a debut novel, but the story leads itself to more.  If you liked the intensity, try Chelsea Cain, who has a number of books including “Heartsick” and “Sweetheart”.  If you’re looking for the same level of darkness without the gore, try Neil Gaiman.

Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator

This book isn’t quite out yet, but we still have it on order, so visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to place a hold!

Defending Jacob

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Title: Defending Jacob

Author: William Landay

Publisher: Delacorte Press, 2012

Summary/Review: Andy Barber has been a well-respected assistant district attorney in Massachusetts for many years until his 14-year-old son Jacob is accused of killing former classmate Ben Rifkin. As the community presumes Jacob’s guilt before the trial starts, Andy and his wife, Laurie, struggle internally and externally to maintain their son’s innocence. Even after evidence points toward his son, Andy sticks to his belief that the neighborhood pedophile is responsible for this murder.

As the story unfolds, it brings up many questions, such as how well do parents know their own child, how far would they go to protect him, what role do genes and family history play in influencing an individual’s destiny, and do childhood actions indicate future behavior?

Defending Jacob is a compelling novel with a shocking ending. Once you start it, you can’t put it down.

Who will like this book?:  Someone who is interested in crime dramas but who is more interested in the psychology of crimes and the criminal mind.  Someone who is interested in
family bonds and how far someone will go to protect them.

If you like this, try this:  If you’re interested in novels about the criminal mind, try “Hannibal” or “Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris, which both focus on the question of mental insanity.  If you would like a newer novel that focuses on criminal minds, try any Chelsea Cain book.

If you are more interested in the suspense/thriller aspect, try Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” or the popular Stieg Larsson novels.  Michael Connelly and John Grisham are also well-known for their legal thrillers.

If you’re interested in this book, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check availability and place a hold! [Link will open in a new window]

Finally, this isn’t William Landay’s first book- his historical novel is focused on the Boston Strangler, entitled “the Strangler”, and he also writes other fiction such as “Mission Flats”.

Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation Assistant

The Poacher’s Son

Title: The Poacher’s Son

Author:  Paul Doiron

Publisher: St. Martin’s Minotaur, May 2010

Summary:  Mike Bowditch is a game warden for the state of Maine. Perhaps he chose this career to make amends for his father’s criminal acts. His father, Jack, is a Vietnam vet who has been divorced from Mike’s mother for several years. Since the divorce, Jack has tried to live as far from people as possible, living off the land and poaching game.

When two men are gunned down in an ambush, all evidence leads to Jack. One of the dead men is a Sheriff’s deputy and the other is a representative from Wendigo Timberlands, a company that has recently purchased close to half a million acres of forestland. Included in the purchase was land that had been used for privately owned camps and sporting lodges, one of the camps belonging to Jack  As a child,  Mike suffered from abuse and neglect at the hands of his father, but he cannot believe his father is capable of murder and sets out to prove his innocence.

The wilderness setting and the added family drama make “The Poacher’s Son” a compelling story. As an animal lover, however, I could have done without the descriptions of Jack’s hunting and trapping practices. In fact, I had to skim over the graphic details. Other than that, I really enjoyed this story and hope to hear more about Mike Bowditch in the future.

Who will like this book? Mystery fans and hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator