The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

The Hunt for Red October was the first techno-thriller novel by Tom Clancy. It was published in 1984 by the Naval Institute Press and the U.S. President, at the time, Ronald Reagan said of it, that he had enjoyed reading the book. I’m not surprised, it’s a real page-turner.

It’s a clever plot, with a lot of detail. Russian Naval Captain Marko Ramius, who is of Lithuanian descent, is at sea with his nuclear submarine. The sub is called Red October, hence the books name, and it is bristling with state-of-the-art ballistic missiles. The submarine utilises a silent propulsion system called the caterpillar drive. This means that audio detection by passive sonar is near impossible – this is deeply concerning for the Americans.

He appears to have gone rogue.

We first see a name, Jack Ryan, which we all know now. Jack Ryan works for the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst. Jack has a theory.  He believes that Ramius is intent on defecting to the United States.

Ramius kills the boats political officer, Ivan Putin, in case he tried to prevent him from defecting. He lies to the crew telling them that they are going to Cuba, but by this time the Russians are in hot pursuit having been notified of his plans by Ramius. The letter arrived after he had set sail.

The Russians pretend that they are on a search and rescue mission, but they will sink Red October if they have to.

As the Red October passes by Iceland whilst making its escape it comes close to the USS Dallas, a Los Angeles-class submarine. The American crew hear an unusual sound, the caterpillar drive, but they don’t initially think that it is as a submarine.

The Americans suspect the motives of the Russians and crews are on alert.

On the Dallas submarine the crew analyse the sonar tape again. They realise that what they heard was the new propulsion system of the Red October.

Jack Ryan then begins to work his magic.

Tom Clancy wrote many fantastic books in his career, but The Hunt for Red October has always been my personal favourite of his.

Buy the book or Audio of The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy from Amazon
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The Midnight Line by Lee Child

The Midnight Line by Lee Child

The Midnight Line by Lee Child is another in the Jack Reacher series. I sometimes have to wonder how he comes up with some of his diverse and compelling ideas – but then I think who cares, as long as I get to read them.

Jack Reacher looks into the window of a Mid-western town pawn shop and is surprised to see a West Point class ring. It dates from 2005. So hard to come by, it seems sad and strange that it would be pawned.

Reacher had been to West Point and he couldn’t imagine someone willingly giving something such as this up – if it was willingly.

It belonged to a female cadet who had graduated.

Reacher suspects the ring may have been stolen. Reacher interrogates the pawnbroker who says that the ring was sold to him by Jimmy Rat. He’s a biker who is also a nasty bit of work. Reacher ‘deals with’ the biker’s only to find out that the West Point ring had previously been in the possession of Arthur Scorpio, a fence who also has a laundromat in Rapid City, South Dakota. Reacher knows that Rat will have told Scorpio about him.

Reacher arrives in Rapid City and comes across a detective called, Gloria Nakamura. She has been tracking Scorpio and has tried to build a case against him with little success.

Reacher also meets a private investigator called Terrence Bramall. The PI had been hired by a woman called Tiffany Jane Mackenzie. She was desperate to find her sister, who was, he finds out, the owner of the ring. Her name being, Serena Rose Sanderson.

Reacher tricks Scorpio’s men into abducting him before he show’s them who’s boss! Eventually Arthur Scorpio gives Reacher a name – Seymour Porterfield. Reacher finds that this was the man who gave Scorpio the ring. But Scorpio has sent someone to kill Reacher.

He is consumed with a desire to find the owner of the ring. He tracks her across America to the west and on to a town called Mule Crossing in Wyoming. The plot is a real rollercoaster with crooks, illegal drugs and pharmaceutical companies with little in the way of ethics.

But as always this comes with a price as he tackles dishonest cops, bikers, thugs and a whole host of villains.

The Midnight Line is Lee Child’s twenty-second Jack Reacher book and was released in 2017.

Lee Child is one of the foremost writers of fiction around today and it’s easy to see why.

 

Kolymsky Heights Paperback by Lionel Davidson

Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson

Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson

Hidden deep in the never-ending darkness and solitude of Russia’s Siberia lies, Kolymsky Heights. Ultra-secret and hidden from the world.

Here in the wilderness the Russians have a top-secret research station where scientists, once there, cannot leave.

However, one scientist risks all in an effort to get a message to someone who can uncover Kolymsky Heights true purpose. His coded messages are meant for the one man who can help.

A superb piece of story-telling, by Lionel Davidson, at the highest level which has garnered praise from many quarters including:

‘Sensationally good. Cleverly conceived and brilliantly executed. One of the great thrillers of the last century.’ Charles Cumming

‘Hugely thrilling, brilliantly written, perfect for the beach. Like all the best holidays, I didn’t want this book to end.’ Anthony Horowitz, Telegraph

Lionel Davidson was a fantastic writer and Kolymsky Heights is a true tribute to a man of immense talents. Truly un-put-downable….

Ripper – The Secret Life of Walter Sickert by Patricia Cornwell

Ripper The Secret Life of Walter Sickert by Patricia Cornwell

Ripper The Secret Life of Walter Sickert by Patricia Cornwell

The enigmatic and eccentric painter, Walter Sickert, had an air of mystery about him. In more recent times the accusatory finger of suspicion has been levelled at him. It is now widely believed that he may have been either, Jack the Ripper or his accomplice.

The New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell spent millions researching the case and has uncovered important new evidence. Her book Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert, is a detailed account of the Ripper atrocities and the failure of the Victorian police force to solve this dastardly series of crimes.

Sickert’s art had a strange quality about it, verging on the ghoulish. He had a deep interest in the Jack’s crimes and claimed to have lodged in a boarding house where the landlady said she believed the Ripper had also lodged previously. Sickert even painted a picture depicting the Rippers room.

Patricia Cornwell’s research has been tirelessly executed and she has brought forth archival material which has not been seen before.

Ripper, The Secret Life of Walter Sickert follows on from Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper further expanding the depth of research and knowledge.

Patricia Cornwell has greatly added to this most gruesome of mysteries and her book is a must read for any sleuths among us.

Along Came A Spider by James Patterson

Along Came A Spider by James Patterson

Along Came A Spider by James Patterson

The novel Along Came a Spider written by James Patterson is a great introduction to this prolific and hugely successful writers work.

This book by Patterson introduced us all to Alex Cross and the series which followed. A great thriller which is well plotted and the Alex Cross books have dominated the detective novel lists for years.

Washington, D.C. Alex Cross, the renowned Washington D.C. forensic psychologist and homicide investigator, is tasked with looking in to the violent murder of two black prostitutes and a child in the projects.

Cross is furious when he is removed from the case to investigate a kidnapping of two white children at an expensive private school. He feels that there is a sense that the colour determines which case is the more important. The kidnapper is Gary Soneji, the school maths teacher.

The evil Soneji, buries Maggie Rose Dunne and Michael Goldberg alive, in a coffin made for the task, at a remote farmhouse.

Alex Cross and the FBI make a detailed search of Soneji’s apartment. They find a wealth of information about kidnappings and master criminals. In particular it appears that Soneji has a more than passing obsession with the Lindbergh baby kidnapping of 1932.

Soanji clearly has a warped desire to become infamous.

Cross hooks up with Jezzie Flanagan, the first female supervisor of the Secret Service and the head of the Secret Service investigative team, in a secret liaison which complicates matters.

During the investigation Roger Graham, an FBI agent, is killed by Soneji who disguises himself as a reporter.

A missing little girl named Maggie Rose . . . a family of three brutally murdered in the projects of Washington, D.C. . . . the thrill-killing of a beautiful elementary school teacher . . . a psychopathic serial kidnapper/murderer who is so terrifying that the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police cannot outsmart him – even after he’s been captured.

The police, FBI and the Secret Service are pitted against a true adversary in the guise of the violent psychopath, Soanji.

I don’t want to ruin the plot for you in this cleverly plotted and intricate game of cat and mouse where the stakes are the very highest.

Other authors have spoken very highly of James Pattersons work:

“An incredibly suspenseful read with a one-of-a-kind killer who is as terrifying as he is intriguing. One of the best thrillers of the year.”
Clive Cussler

“The best thriller I’ve come across in many a year. It deserves to be this season’s NO.1 best-seller.
Nelson  DeMille

Along Came A Spider by James Patterson is a superb read.

Moskva by Jack Grimwood

Moskva, written by Jack Grimwood

Jack Grimwood is a British writer who was born in Malta. His novel, Moskva, is a taut serial killer thriller and a magnificent piece of fiction.

In the mid-1980s a body of a naked man is found, it’s right hand little finger missing. It’s location, just beside the exterior of the wall of the Kremlin.

Shortly afterwards a fifteen year old girl vanishes. It is particularly concerning because she is the daughter of the British Ambassador.

Recently posted to Moscow, the disgraced military officer, Tom Fox, is entrusted with finding her. He sees a chance to redeem himself. However, the Soviets will not acknowledge the serial killer and cannot identify him and they do not want Fox poking his nose in.

The Soviets are determined to keep a lid on things and to hide the evil that lurks within their system.

Fox is on a race against time to prevent the girl from becoming the next murder victim.

This Cold War thriller is cleverly plotted and beautifully written, evoking another time and another place.

If his novel, Moskva, is anything to go by then Jack Grimwood is a man to watch….and most definitely to read!

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is a highly successfull American author of thriller and mystery novels thrillers with multiple threads woven into them. Many are set in and around New York and New Jersey.

Deal Breaker was written in 1995 and features a former basketball player turned sports agent, ports agent Myron Bolitar. He is about to cash in with Christian Steele, a quarterback, who is one of his premier clients. Bolitar is utterly engaging though hotheaded.

However, things begin to turn sour when the quarter back is contacted bey one of his past girlfriends. Particularly surprising as both the police and he had her as dead.
Myron is faced with the ugly back story of his industry where the façade is everything, especially the gateway to untold riches.

Trying to unravel the truth about a family’s tragedy, a woman’s secret, and a man’s lies, Bolitar is up against the dark side of his business where image and talent make you rich, but the truth can get you killed.

Deal Breaker is a superb novel which is a real page turner from start to finish. Harlan Coben is a superb writer.

Absolute Power by David Baldacci

Absolute Power by David Baldacci

Absolute Power by David Baldacci

 

Absolute Power was written by David Baldacci.

The novel opens when a professional burglar named Luther Whitney, breaks into the home of a billionaire in an upmarket Virginia suburb.  While trying to rob the house he sees the United States President and the wife of the billionaire having wild sex. While Whitney is watching their passionate sex becomes violent ending in the woman being killed as the Secret Service burst in on them. Whitney saw the killing through a large two way mirror door that concealed a closet room. In this hidden room the billionaire would sit watching as other men had sex with his wife. Whitney made his escape, but the Secret Service had already found out that someone had been watching. The Secret Service orchestrates a campaign to implicate Whitney in the murder of the billionaire’s wife. The agents try to track down Whitney, who goes on the run – though he wants to make sure the real culprit is exposed.

A very clever, believable plot that is a real page turner. David Baldacci is a master of his craft.

Absolute Power was made into a film starring Clint Eastwood.

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The Perfect Murder by Peter James

The perfect murder by peter james

The perfect murder by Peter James

The Perfect Murder is a novella by Peter James the bestselling author of the Roy Grace series. Committing the perfect murder and getting away with it is a recurring theme in the crime genre.

Victor Smiley is an unhappy man. His wife, Joan, passes her time ridiculing him and he has for years had no love for her.  He sees a local prostitute, called Kamila, to bring some excitement into his otherwise increasingly pointless life. He has no interest in his work at a factory and dreams only of escape. Joan has her own issues, the marriage is falling apart. She hardly sleeps with the grating sound of Victor’s snoring. Victor is oblivious to the fact that Joan is frittering away large sums of money building up credit card debt. She has her own secret amour, Don and she likes to impress him in constantly evolving sexy outfits.
Victor loses his job and riddled with debt he begins to formulate an escape route to a better life with Kamila. Joan, who he now loathes, has to be removed from his life, permanently. Victor is about to get a shock as he finds murder is also on someone else’s mind.

The Perfect Murder is a top notch novel that is tightly plotted and keeps the reader glued to the page.

Peter James is a very popular novelist who has had several of his novels made into films. He was educated and Charterhouse school and followed this with film school. Born in the UK Peter James lived for several years in North America where he worked as a film producer and screenwriter. He now lives in the UK.  His Roy Grace series was a Sunday Times number one bestseller.

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