Readers' Favorite

Featured Post

Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

May 19, 2023

3 Thrillers to Get Your Heart Racing

by MK French

Do you love the compelling feeling of not being able to put a book down? Thrillers are great when you want to turn pages faster than you can read. 

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

Hooker Avenue by Jodé Millman

book cover of thriller Hooker Avenue by Jode Millman
April 2022; Level Best Books; 978-1685120825
ebook, print (374 pages); thriller

Criminal defense attorney Jessie Martin discovers Lissie Sexton, a local prostitute, in a ditch. Lissie claims she escaped the attack of a killer, so Jessie's boss puts her into hiding. However, Lissie is also the key witness for Jessie's estranged friend Detective Ebony Jones, who is looking for her. Jessie is now caught: if she reveals Lissie's location, she compromises her client, her firm, and her professional ethics. If she doesn't, she risks alienating not just Ebony but the entire police department backing her.

The book takes place in Poughkeepsie, New York, and is very loosely based on an actual area of the city where prostitutes were working and getting picked off by a serial killer. For this book, Jessie finding Lissie isn't her only connection to killers. She had known a teacher who turned out to be a killer and still felt overly possessive of her, enough to keep calling her. It's in this frazzled state of mind during a storm that allows her to find Lissie, and it's because of that case with the teacher that Jessie wants to keep her reputation and career intact. She has her own demons besides the teacher which she's ashamed to reveal, so she let a lot slide. In the background to this is the conflict with her ex over their daughter, her new boyfriend, and his future competition for District Attorney. Ebony is Black, female, and a detective, so she's under a lot of pressure to perform and produce actionable results. A hunch to connect cold cases isn't enough, and Lissie is the only living witness they have.

This is a novel with legal tensions, as there's the need for the police to find a potential rapist and killer, and the need of a lawyer to protect their client. Jessie is caught between both, understanding that the police need to do their job, but her new boss is adamant that he won't help and she can't go against his wishes. This forces her to take matters into her own hands, much as Ebony does for the police. It's fascinating to see these two stubborn women handle this case from their own angles and put themselves at risk professionally in order to make sure that justice is done for women that normally have no voice at all in society. While it's not exactly the action-filled fare of a political thriller, this is still a thriller in its own way, and I had to stay up late to finish it. Definitely a great look into cases like this, and the machinations behind the scenes that help to get them solved.

Buy Hooker Avenue at Amazon

Liquid Shades of Blue by James Polkinghorn

book cover of domestic thriller Liquid Shades of Blue by James Polkinghorn
May 2023; Oceanview Publishing; 978-1608095506
audio, ebook, print (208 pages); psychological thriller

Jack Girard is a former lawyer and current Key West bar owner and finds out from his father that his mother is dead in an apparent suicide. This leads him back to Miami to face his tyrannical father, as well as recalling his brother's suicide when they were in college. Jack is dealing with family trauma, but his father thinks it might not have been suicide at all, but murder. She had revealed a secret to two people, and it's the same one Jack's brother took to the grave. Now Jack is in danger of becoming the next family tragedy.

We start out with the morning Jack gets the call from his father, who was more interested in controlling the narrative than anything else. There were stilted conversations with his friend, then a chapters-long flashback taking up the first quarter of the book. I already didn't like the Duke, and that just cemented it. He has zero regard for others, has no problem manipulating his family members, and chooses to believe in his own version of reality. The flashbacks don't end there, and Jack’s clumsy investigation doesn't go far in Miami. There are some threats along the way, with the biggest one a not surprising surprise given behavior earlier in the book. There aren't a lot of characters to keep track of, and most really aren't likable people. I'm not terribly surprised by Jack's response at the end, and think he'll be better off for it.

Buy Liquid Shades of Blue at Amazon

The Vanishing Hour by Seraphina Nova Glass

book cover of domestic thriller The Vanishing Hour by Seraphina Nova Glass
May 2023; Graydon House; 978-1525819582
audio, ebook, print (304 pages); domestic thriller

Grace Holloway had nearly died, so she keeps to herself and runs an inn in Rock Harbor, Maine. She's not the only one with something to hide in town, however, and young girls who looked like Grace did when she had been kidnapped are starting to disappear. Grace is drawn into the investigation against her will, but what she knows will change everything.

We get multiple POV's here, because young women are disappearing from the bad part of town, and older men apparently did as well. The determined mother, dedicated son, and Grace are all in town, and there's a growing sense of unease. People disappear in the late evening from the same general street, where the strip club, convenience stores and dive places are. Drug deals and hooking takes place there, increasing the fear that Aden and Kira have regarding what happened to their family. Grace is a shadow of a woman because of her trauma, too close to the missing girls who resemble what she used to look like. The investigation is mostly Kira, but Aden has his fair share of going into the different areas of town to talk to people that might have seen his father. The three of them finally meet and coordinate information, and the perpetrator isn't who you think it is.

The tension in the novel increases, especially in the second half of the novel. It's gripping, and I kept reading to get to the end. I had to stay up late and couldn't do anything else until it was done. This is an intense suspense novel, with a fitting ending that gives hope for the future.

Buy The Vanishing Hour at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us. Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up for our newsletter today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.


Post a Comment