Posts Tagged ‘paranoid’

Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

October 31, 2012

Bedbugs CoverTitle: Bedbugs

Author: Winters, Ben H.

Publication Date: 2011

Pages: 256

Geographical Setting: New York City

Time Period: Present Day

Genre: Horror Stories, Suspense Stories

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: When Alex, Susan, and little Emma Wendt move into a New York City brownstone boasting a prime location and an amazingly cheap rent, they happily embark on a new chapter of their lives.  Sure, the landlady may be slightly eccentric, and the previous tenants may have disappeared inexplicably, but these are small grievances compared to the perfection of the place.  Until the bedbugs show up, those notoriously hardy pests swarming ever-increasingly across the city.  When an exterminator finds no trace of the insects, Susan’s sanity shows signs of cracking.  Where are these bugs?  Why aren’t Alex and Emma being bitten, and what exactly is in the basement?  Winters’ story preys on our collective fear of creepy-crawlies delivering a good, old-fashioned horror story wrapped up in a modern-day package.  He draws inspiration from the best conventions of great horror classics: the hopeful beginning, the slightly off-kilter secondary characters, an ominous warning to stay out of the basement, the escalating psychological torture of a progressively unstable narrator, even a portentous portrait a la Dorian Gray.  This fast-paced novel will keep the pages turning until the chilling and twisted end; it will keep the lights on much longer than that.

Appeal Characteristics: creepy, menacing, fast-paced, foreboding, paranoid, plot-twist, details of New York City, dark, resolved-ending, off-kilter, manic, unsettling, compelling, plot-driven, suspenseful, movie-like

Subject Headings: New York City, Brooklyn, Bedbugs, Family, Haunted Houses, Secrets, Apartment houses, Paranoia

Three Terms Best Describing this Book: Creepy, Unsettling, Fast-Paced

Similar Fiction: 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

This horror classic shares many themes with Bedbugs chief of which is the unstable nature of the narrator’s mind.  Where Winters’ tale is completely resolved, Jackson’s leaves the reader with a little more ambiguity.  Read this as both source material and a genuinely scary story.

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Another classic horror story this time featuring the psychological torture of a young woman by neighbors whose eccentricities begin taking on a malevolent tone after Rosemary becomes pregnant.  The similar frame—everyday life slowly replaced by darkness—and paranoid feeling of this novel should appeal to readers who enjoyed Bedbugs.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

For anyone who wants a terrifying read with plenty of turns and surprises set in the modern landscape, look no further.  The menacing bed bugs are replaced here with a menacing—and very real—ghost.  Similar to Winters, though, Hill adds layers of poignant everyday struggles that interweave with the overall fight against the supernatural.

Bonus Watch-alike: The Innkeepers written and directed by Ti West

During the last operating days of the Yankee Pedlar Inn, Claire and Luke, the last remaining employees, are determined to expose the ghosts that haunt the one hundred year old building.  As the final night wears on, Claire’s psyche begins to unravel as the line between reality and imagination begin to blur.  A modern-day ghost story that feels like an homage to its predecessors, the movie finds plenty of common ground with Bedbugs.

Similar Non-fiction:

Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects by Amy Stewart

This natural history contains not just the story of the bed bug but all manner of creepy and devilish insects.  Stewart proves that bugs don’t have to be supernatural to be scary.

Death Sentence: The True Story of Velma Barfield’s Life, Crimes, and Punishment by Jerry Bledsoe

The horror story staple of sweet, grandmotherly, ladies hiding a menacing secret isn’t just fiction, as proved by this true crime.  An account of the life and murders of the only woman executed in the US between 1962 and 1998, this book will chill readers with accounts of Bledsoe’s crimes as much as it shows redemption by prison.

Songs from the Black Chair: A Memoir of Mental Interiors by Charles Barber

A closely detailed look at mental illness and the real tortures of the psyche from the mouths of the sufferers, this book is part memoir, part investigative science writing.  As a man himself living under the dark shadow of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Barber tells the stories of the insane with balance and respect.

Name: Jessica

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

October 3, 2012

Author: Sidney Sheldon

Title: Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 337

Geographical Setting: Many international cities including Berlin, Paris, and mainly Manhattan

Time Period: Modern times; 2004?

Plot Summary: A series of suspicious murders wracks the scientific world. Four murders occur within hours of each other, and upon further investigation, it is found that all these murders are linked through the ultra-secret, super high powered think-tank Kingsley International Group. Two widows of the murdered scientists meet in Manhattan with the head of KIG to beg him for assistance in finding their husbands’ killer, and he promises he will. Yet the longer they stay in New York, the more terrifying their lives become as multiple murder attempts are made on both their lives. Scared for their lives and not knowing who to trust, the widows begin a death defying adventure to uncover the secrets of their husbands’ deaths, and who is behind KIG.

Subject Headings: Widows, Think Tanks, Environmental Disasters, Weather Control, Murder, Attempted Murder, Escapes, Conspiracies, International Intrigue, Spy Stories, Romantic Suspense, Suspense.

Appeal: Plot Driven, Suspenseful, Urban, Violent, Dangerous, Foreboding, Paranoid, Romantic, Murderous, Evil, Thrilling, Fast-paced

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Plot Driven, Suspenseful, Romantic

Similar fiction authors and works:

Brown, Dan. The Lost Symbol When symbologist Robert Langdon discovers his friend has been abducted, he is out to solve the mystery and bring her to safety. This story is full of intricate plot twists and conspiracies that keep the reader guessing. Readers who liked the pacing and the conspiracy aspects of AYAOTD will enjoy this read.

Brown, Sandra. Lethal Like Are You Afraid of the Dark?  Lethal centers around two widows who are previously unaware of their husbands’ involvements in shady dealings. It is also fast paced and intricately plotted, with many twists and shocking revelations to keep the reader begging to know what happens.

Clark, Mary Higgins. Before I Say Goodbye This story deals with a corrupt business venture, similar to the corruption in Are you Afraid of the Dark?  It is suspenseful and plot driven, and takes place in New York City. There are also romantic aspects of this novel, although not as heavily as in AYAOTD.

Similar nonfiction authors and works:

King, David. Death in the city of light: the serial killer of occupied Paris Readers who enjoyed discovering who the killers were, and trying to work along with the plot twists, will enjoy this true crime. This would also be a good pick for readers who enjoyed the exotic locales as it is set in Paris.

Owen, David. The conundrum: how scientific innovation, increased efficiency, and good intentions can make our energy and climate problems worse Readers who enjoyed the aspects of environmental technology and climatology will enjoy this title.

Pooley, Eric. The climate war: true believers, power brokers, and the eleventh-hour fight to save the earth   Readers who enjoyed the big business and think tank aspects of this story as it relates to environmental well being, and the conspiracy theory aspects, might enjoy this title.

The Homeland Directive

August 8, 2012

Author: Venditti, Robert & Huddleston, Mike

Title: The Homeland Directive

Genre: Graphic Novel / Action Thriller

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 148 p.

Geographical Setting: United States

Time Period: Orwellian present

Series:

Plot Summary: This political/medical thriller takes place in a dystopian present setting where Dr. Laura Regan, head of the National Center for Infectious Disease, is a dedicated researcher and authority in the viral and bacteriological field. Her research partner is suddenly murdered and she is framed for his death. Soon she is drawn in the middle of a dangerous bio-terrorist conspiracy and has no option than evade law enforcement in order to uncover the truth. With the help of three rogue federal agents Dr. Regan manages to escape mercenaries and invasive cyber-detectives before the threatening scheme takes a dangerous turn against the lives of all Americans. In The Homeland Directive readers will find a page-turner government frame-up story with visually sophisticated artwork.

 

Subject Headings: Women researchers; Virologists; Murder investigation, Intelligence officers; Political crimes and offenses; Conspiracies; National security United States; Fugitives; Communicable diseases; Frame-ups; Civil rights.

Appeal: Cinematic, fast-pace, paranoid, intriguing, thought-provoking, thrilling, dangerous, suspenseful, action-oriented, plot-centered, political, unique artwork.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book:  Cinematic, fast-pace, intriguing.

Similar Fiction Authors and Works

Edmondson, Nathan. Who Is Jake Ellis; The story follows Jon Moore, a mercenary spy runaway, and his psychic invisible protector Jake Ellis. This is another fast-pace, action-packed and cinematic graphic thriller featuring a fugitive, secret agents, and suspense.

Willis, Connie. Doomsday Book; Kivrin is a time-traveling history student stranded in the Middle-Ages with the Black Death around the corner. To complicate the situation, a virulent influenza epidemic has also erupted at the Oxford research facility of her original time period.  This interesting science fiction plot deals with biological threads to civilizations and appeals to readers interested fictional apocalyptic stories associated with infectious, viral and bacteriological diseases.

Edmondson, Nathan. Activity. A military fictional thriller that follows a highly-trained and secret unit that gathers global conflict related intelligence to defend American interests. Just like The Homeland Directive, this graphic novel centers on advanced and secret missions and operations connected to potentially real larger threads to society.

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Guillemin, Jeanne. Biological Weapons: From the Invention of State-Sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism. A historical account focused on the issue of war and biological weapons from a military and political angle. This book includes information about biological agents and disease transmission, as well as the threat of bio-terrorism proliferation and national security.

Ventura, Jesse. American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies that the Government Tells Us. An account of controversial government conspiracies and cover-ups.For those who enjoyed the intriguing political aspects of The Homeland Directive, Ventura’s investigative work provides insight to real acts of deception in America.

Solove, Daniel J.. Understanding Privacy. A comprehensive overview of the concept of privacy, its complexity, and the boundless debates it generates in today’s evolving technological society.  The Homeland Directive tackles the question of personal privacy vs. national security; this thorough look at this relevant subject may interest those who would like to explore the topic further.

Fanny Camargo

Gone Girl

August 8, 2012

Author: Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Publication Date: 2012

Number of Pages: 415

Geographical Setting: North Carthage, Missouri and the Missouri Ozarks

Time Period: Present Day

Series:  No

Plot Summary: BrilliantAmy and handsome Nick are anything but the ideal couple they appear to be. After losing their jobs and moving from New York City to North Carthage, Missouri to care for Nick’s ailing parents, Nick and Amy find nothing rewarding in this rural and provincial burg. On their fifth anniversary, Amy vanishes . . . or does she? Resentment and jealously shatters their world and explodes into a game where people’s lives are the chess pieces. Alternating voices, told in first person, reflect Nick and Amy’s particular points of view. The story moves at a brisk pace, conveying a dark and disturbing tone. There are so many twists and turns in Nick and Amy’s version of events that the reader doesn’t know whom to believe.  The unpredictable accounts recorded by these unreliable narrators produce a feeling of unease adding to the suspense.  This is a riveting and spine tingling story from beginning to end.

Subject Headings: Murder suspects – Fiction, Missing women – Fiction, Conflict in marriage – Fiction, Husband and wife – Fiction, Married people – Fiction, Crimes against women – Fiction, Deception – Fiction, Secrets – Fiction

Appeal: builds in intensity, deliberate, engrossing, creepy, disturbing, suspenseful, emotionally-charged, menacing, paranoid, detailed, multiple points of view, intricately plotted, character driven, episodic, layered, strong language, rural, contemporary, journals, clever, pretentious

3 terms that best describe this book: builds in intensity, character driven, suspenseful

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Howatch, Susan. The High Flyer; Carter Graham, a successful lawyer, is married to Kim Betz, also a lawyer, who fits into her plans perfectly. Carter feels that everything is just perfect for her when Sophie, Kim’s first wife, reveals some disturbing secrets about Kim making Carter realize that she doesn’t know her husband at all. Full of suspense, this is a character-driven story where Howatch weaves together stories involving the occult, blackmail and murder. This is a suspenseful and compelling read.

Walters, Minette. The Breaker; The mysterious death of a young woman found on a beach and a seemingly drugged and wandering child lead the police of Dorset into a tangled web of lies, trying to discover who brutally killed Kate Hill-Sumner, yet let her young daughter go free. Suspense builds in intensity and deliberately in this intricately plotted and character-driven nail biter.

Watson, S.J. Before I Go to Sleep; This fast-paced yet chilling story tells of a woman who has an impaired memory and can’t make sense of the divergent tales told to her by the man she thinks is her husband and the journal she has kept, but can’t remember. The story is filled with psychological suspense, crammed with twists and turns leading to an unpredictable outcome.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Covington, Dennis. Cleaving: The Story of a Marriage; Presented using alternate voices, the couple recounts the struggles they encountered in their twenty year marriage and their search for spiritual redemption. This book provides a constructive counterpoint to the chilling game playing of Amy and Nick.

Flook, Maria. Invisible Eden: A Story of Love and Murder on Cape Cod; This edgy true-crime story imparts the unsolved murder of fashion writer Christa Worthington in her Cape Cod home in 2002. According to one attorney, “The more the police investigate her life, the uglier she gets.” People and secrets are revealed in a deliberate yet nonjudgmental way, presenting clear characterizations of the individuals involved. This is a chilling tale of suspense.

Gottman, John Mordechai. Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage: America’s Love Lab Experts Share Their Strategies for Strengthening Your Relationship; This primer offers ten principles to help couples examine their relationship. The author conveys thoughtful and practical advice for couples to use in a variety of situations, before those problems escalate.

Name: Patty Daniel

In the presence of mine enemies

March 28, 2012

Author: Harry Turtledove

Title: In the Presence of Mine Enemies

Genre: Science Fiction (Alternative Histories)

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 454p.

Geographical Setting: Berlin*

Time Period: Present-day (-ish)*

*In the Presence of My Enemies is a work of fictional alternate history wherein Germany has won the 2nd and 3rd World Wars (the 3rd resulting in the nuclear destruction of all significant American cities, and a new capital in Omaha, in case you were wondering about the home team) and has exterminated (to their satisfaction, at least—think slave labor) the world’s population of Slavs, Jews, Blacks, and a plethora of other racial, ethnic, and nationalist groups.  They are cozy with the Japanese Empire.

Series (If applicable): Not yet.

Plot Summary:  A small community of Jews, loosely allied by family and friendship, struggle to raise families, work, continue the Jewish faith, and survive clandestinely in “present day” Berlin as good “Germans” alongside their unknowing, yet legitimately Aryan, German friends and colleagues.  Adding to their many daily trials, the Reich has been hurled into a new and uncertain direction toward “reform” that leaves the Empire, and especially Berlin, in a heightened state of political and national unrest, boldness, and uncertainty, by the appointment of a progressive new Fuhrer and the political emergence of an enigmatic Party rabble-rouser (think Gorbachev and Yeltsin!).

Subject Headings: Nazi Party (Germany), Jews—German, World War 2, 21st century, Jewish families, Middle class families, Secrets, Secret identity, Identity (Psychology), Political upheaval, Political demonstration, Secret police, Police state, Fascism, Adolf Hitler, Revenge, Genetics, Germany—Politics and government, Genocide, Adultery.

Appeal: plot-driven, dark, surreal, steady, bleak, candid, claustrophobic, foreboding, melancholy, menacing atmosphere, paranoid, suspenseful, detailed, authentic, imaginative, intense, tense/anxious, multiple plot lines, thought-provoking, political, urban, concise, straightforward, ominous.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: plot-driven, dark, thought-provoking.

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

While the suggestion of reading this book might seem as appealing to a reader as stabbing themselves in the eye with a fork, it does merit consideration as Turtledove’s Nazi Empire is wholly dependent on it as both their Constitution and their Bible.  While the plot line of radical reformists calling for adherence to the more democratic-minded first edition of Mein Kampf in order to extend freedoms, liberties, and self-determination to the citizens and conquered nations of the Reich is clever and ironic, the real shivers happen as it becomes clear that Hitler has achieved God-like infallibility and reverence in Turtledove’s nightmare world.

What We Knew: Terror, Mass Murder, and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany by Eric A. Johnson

Can genocide become an everyday facet of society? Apparently so, the author would argue.  Over 3,000 Germans of the era (Jews and non-Jews, victims and perpetrators) took part in the research for this book.  The conclusion: the average German lived not in fear of the Gestapo or anything else for most of Hitler’s reign, but existed rather comfortably and prosperous.  The estimated 1/3 of Germany that knew of what was happening in the concentration camps, chose to ignore what was going on in their backyards, as well as those citizens that knew of the extermination through rumor.  By the time of Turtledove’s Reich, the extermination of millions (billions?) of people around the globe is viewed simply as historical fact and a privilege of the victors.  This book is a well-deserved kidney punch to German ambiguity and nostalgia when it comes to the pre-War years, as well as to those who think a movement like the Nazis could never threaten the globe again.

Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany by Marion A. Kaplan

This book attempts to answer the age-old question of why the Jews didn’t leave Nazi Germany en masse.  The author uses interviews, diaries, letters, and other first person accounts to portray a Jewish population as confused as they were frightened as the Nazis slowly stole freedom and property until they were trapped in a hostile country, completely deprived and isolated.  This book puts the machinations of genocide into motion with enough momentum to be a fully realized institution for the Jewish families in “Presence”, who know fully well any disclosure of their true identities would result in immediate execution.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Legendary and iconic sci-fi author Dick gives his version of a world in which the Germans and Japanese won the 2nd World War.  Almost a companion piece to In the Presence of Mine Enemies in depicting the goings-on on the other side of the globe, Dick portrays a 1960’s United States that is German-Japanese occupied and has reinstated slavery.  What few Jews who survived live hidden under the cloak of assumed identities.  Sound familiar?

1945: A Novel by Robert Conroy

This is another WW2 based alternate history.  The twist here is that instead of surrendering after the dropping of the atomic bombs, military extremists assume control of the nation, vowing never to surrender.  The ensuing U.S. invasion of the home island unleashes death and carnage in apocalyptic proportion.  This is all the more disturbing given the fact that in reality the Emperor being deposed in a coup by hardline generals vowing to fight to the last man, woman, and child was a very real possibility, narrowly escaped.

Into the Storm: Destroyermen, Book One by Taylor Anderson.

Again, WW2 is the stepping off point for this first book in an on-going series.  In the heat of battle the bloodies and battered destroyer USS Walker seeks escape from faster, deadlier Japanese boats by heading directly into a massive, otherworldly looking squall.  As the storm subsides, the Captain and colorful crew notice that while geographically things look familiar, everything else in the parallel Earth they find themselves trapped in is very, very different.  In no time at all, Walker is tossed into the middle of a genocidal (and carnivorous) war begun by the Grik (human sized vicious, but mindless, lizards) against the Lemurians (human sized noble and peace-loving lemurs).  As this New Earth is technologically somewhere in the 18th century, the allegiance, modern armament, and know-how of Walker and its crew may prove decisive to the fate of this world.

Name: Bill S.

The Heroin Diaries

November 16, 2011

nullAuthor: Nikki Sixx

Title:  The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star

Genre: Arts and Entertainment; Autobiographies (Adult literature); Biography; Memoirs; True Crime

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 413

Geographical Setting: California

Time Period: Early 1980’s – Present

Plot Summary:  When Mötley Crüe was at the height of its fame, there wasn’t any drug Nikki Sixx wouldn’t do. He spent days, sometimes alone, sometimes with other addicts, friends, and lovers, in a coke and heroin-fueled daze. The highs were high, and Nikki’s journal entries reveal some euphoria and joy. But the lows were lower, often ending with Nikki in his closet, surrounded by drug paraphernalia and wrapped in paranoid delusions.  Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx shares mesmerizing diary entries from the year he spiraled out of control in a haze of heroin and cocaine, presented alongside riveting commentary from people who were there at the time, and from Nikki himself.

Subject Headings: Sixx, Nikki, 1958-, Motley Crue, Rock musicians — United States – Biography, Drug addicts – Biography, Heroin addicts, Rock music, Drug addiction, heroin addiction

Appeal: Reflective, Candid, relaxed, bittersweet, uncomfortable, edgy, gritty, humorous, introspective, moody, paranoid, sobering, eccentric, insightful, realistic, character-centered, conversational

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Reflective, Candid, humorous

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Everyone loves you when you’re dead: journeys into fame and madness by Neil Strauss

Neil Strauss considers it his job to hang around celebrities, rock gods, porn queens, up-and-coming starlets, and iconic superstars long enough, whether it takes moments or months, to find that minute, the one when the curtain finally falls away and the real person is revealed.  This collection of stories about those moments would be good for any fan of candid memoirs like The Heroin Diaries

Tommyland by Tommy Lee

Co-written with Anthony Bozza, Tommyland is a quick, enjoyable romp through the life of rocker Tommy Lee that sucks you in from the first page.  Anyone interested in the wild times of Motley Crue from a different perspective should pick this up.

The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Neil Strauss

This is the life of Mötley Crüe, the heaviest drinking, hardest fighting, most oversexed and arrogant band in the world. Their unbelievable exploits are the stuff of rock ‘n’ roll legend.  The full story of Motley Crue from their beginnings to present day, a must have for rock biography fans.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Glass by Ellen Hopkins

Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she’s determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. She needs the monster to keep going, to face the pressures of day-to-day life. She needs it to feel alive.  The 2nd in a series, a gripping look at one person’s struggle with heroin, a good series for fans of heroin diaries.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

This groundbreaking classic is more compelling than ever for today’s readers. A sensation when it was first published and a perennial bestseller ever since, this real-life diary charts an anonymous teenage girl’s struggle with the seductive, and often fatal, world of drugs.   Another diary style book about the struggles with drugs and what a person goes through to shake the demons.

A hero ain’t nothin’ but a sandwich by Alice Childress

Dope. Smack. Junk. Heroin. No matter what you call it, you can’t change the fact that 13-year-old Benjie is on it. Oh no … he’s not hooked, though. He could stop anytime … really. But why is a young kid like Benjie using at all? A riveting novel about drug abuse, fans of The Heroin Diaries will enjoy this.

Name: Jason Rock

By Order of the President

October 5, 2011

Author: W.E.B Griffin

Title: By Order of the President

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 528

Geographical Setting: Africa, Angola, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Washington, D.C, United States of America

Time Period: Modern day

Series (If applicable): Presidential Agent Novels (Book 1)

Plot Summary: By Order of the President is a post 9/11 suspense filled thriller.  The main character Carlos Guillermo Castillo is an army officer assigned as a special assistant to the secretary of homeland
security after a Boeing 727 is hijacked from an Angola airport.  As Castillo learns who did the hijacking and why, the President veils the investigation to allow Carlos to get a closer look at the internal workings of the CIA and FBI. The book is richly detailed with military and aircraft terminology and would be appreciated by those desiring jargon filled text.  Castillo is an interesting character with a very culturally rich background.  Born in Germany and raised by his mother until she dies of cancer when he is 12.  He is then raised by his father’s Mexican American parents and although the two never meet Carlos’s father plays a large role in his life as well.  His father posthumously is awarded the Medal of Honor which directly plays into Carlos being admitted to West Point.

Subject Headings: Presidents United States, Murder, Green Berets. Delta Force, United States Dept. of Homeland Security, Government investigators, Hijacking of aircraft, Undercover operations, Military pilots, Americans in Angola, Boeing 727

Appeal: Character-driven, Intricately plotted, Fast paced, Richly detailed, Jargon filled, Action oriented, Investigative, Plot twists, Political, Suspenseful, Dramatic, Compelling, Intriguing, Edgy,
Dangerous, Paranoid,

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Character-driven, Intricately plotted, Fast paced.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Anti-Terrorism: Security and Insecurity after 9/11 by Sandra Magnusson.  This book documents the U.S government’s responses to terrorist activity since September 11th.

 More Secure, Less Free?: Antiterrorism Policy and Civil Liberties after September 11th by Mark Sidel.
This book covers the tensions of maintaining the war on terrorism and could be an interesting reading or used as a reality check after reading about Carlos Castillo’s adventure

 Modern Military Aircraft: The World’s Fighting Aircraft, 1945 to Present Day by Jim Winchester.
By Order of the President contains a fair amount of military aircraft jargon.  A non-fiction book like this could be a handy
a reference to readers confused by some of the terms.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Lethal, by Sandra Brown.
This faced paced thriller deals with internal issues within the
FBI.  There is also a terrorist element
as well as the main character is terrorized by her captor.

TailSpin, by Catherine Coulter.
Although this book may contain more romance than By Order of the President. This
thriller is similar in that it deals with FBI conspiracies/issues and aviation
disaster.

The Killing Ground, by Jack Higgins.
This thriller is similar to By
Order of the President in
that deals with anti-terrorism in a post 9-11
setting.

Name: Bill P.

I Am Not a Serial Killer

June 14, 2010

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Author: Dan Wells

Title: I Am Not a Serial Killer

Genre: Horror and Fantasy

Publication Date: 2010

Pages: 271

Geographical Setting: Midwest

Time Period: Current

Series: Yes, TBD

Plot Summary:

Utterly obsessed with serial killers and believing he is destined to become one, 15 year old John Wayne Cleaver lives by a set of very strict rules.  After all, he is a sociopath who has 3 indicators 95% of all serial killers possess.  There is one thing that separates him though; he does not want to hurt anyone, and despite being fascinated with the murderers and their victims, he finds the acts reprehensible.  John suddenly has to confront the rules he’s set up to keep himself and others safe when a serial killer comes to his small town.  He must think like a killer in order to catch the culprit and will have to control his demons that he has caged for so long.  This book is a great entry point for fantasy readers looking to ease their way into the horror genre.

Subject Headings: Horror, Fantasy, Thriller, Serial Killers, Demons, Supernatural

Appeal Terms: Dark, Haunting, Introspective, Psychological, Paranoid, Distant, Engaging, Measured, Open-Ended, Accessible, Direct, Small-Town

Three major appeals: dark, haunting, introspective

Fiction:

Darkly Dreaming Dexter: A Novel by Jeffry P. Lindsay

Readers interested in the ethical dilemma of killing “bad” people will cling to this series.  Also, the idea of caging a monster and drawing the line between right and wrong will gain appeal.

Shutter Island by Dennis LeHane

Ambiguity blurs the conclusion and readers are kept on edge, guessing what the outcome will be and who or which self will prevail in the end.

Gateways: A Repairman Jack Novel by F. Paul Wilson

Combining murders and the supernatural paced like a thriller, readers will draw many comparisons between the two.

Non-Ficiton:

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi

A chilling look at a prolific killer will entice readers who, like John, were interested in the murderers and the victims.

The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism by  David M. Kiely

Drawing upon the appeal of the supernatural and the psychology of the characters in this book, this may pair nicely with I Am Not a Serial Killer.

Who Killed Precious: How FBI Agents Combine High Technology and Psychology to Identify Violent Criminals by Paul H. Jeffers

Motives and predictors will serve as a point of access for readers looking to explore more deeply the thoughts of a violent criminal.

The Bourne Identity

February 23, 2010

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Author: Robert Ludlum

Title: The Bourne Identity

Genre: Adventure

Publication Date: 1980

Number of Pages: 535

Geographical Setting: Europe and America

Time Period: 1975

Series: The Bourne Trilogy

Plot Summary:  An unconscious man is pulled from the Mediterranean Sea.  His skull is split open, his body is riddled with bullets, and he appears near death.  Nursed to health again by a drunken surgeon, he wakes to find his memory gone.  Aided only by a piece of microfilm imbedded in his leg, and a handful of memory fragments, he travels to Europe under a false name in hopes of discovering his identity.  Yet the more he learns, the less he understands.  He is pursued by mystery assassins, shot at in public places, and called by strangers Jason Bourne, Cain, and Delta.  Who is he really?  What is his true name?  Most importantly, what is his connection to the notorious assassin known only as Carlos?  The more Jason uncovers the more certain he becomes that his past will kill him.  In the maelstrom of confused memories and conspiracy theories only Marie St. Jacques, a brilliant doctor of economics might be able to help Bourne untangle his memory and discover the truth.

Subject Headings:  Amnesia, Assassins, Internal intrigue, Spies

Appeal:  fast-paced, dramatic, engaging, series (characters), well-developed, action-oriented, cinematic, explicitly violent, flashbacks, investigative, plot-centered, plot twists, contemporary, political, chilling, dangerous, darker, gritty, hard-edged, paranoid, psychological, suspenseful, accessible, direct

3 terms that best describe this book:  Cinematic, Psychological, Suspenseful

Similar Works/Authors:

Non-Fiction:
Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World by William Arkin – This book examines and critiques the U.S.’s approach to intelligence and secrecy in the light of modern terrorism.

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner – A somewhat critical history of the CIA, it highlights critical moments and some of the company’s greatest failings.

Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent by Fred Burton – This memoir delves deep into the inner workings of the U.S. counterterrorism department.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Remote Control by Andy McNab – The first book in another action packed series rife with assassins, spies, and excitement.

Transfer of Power by Mitch Rapp – The first book in yet another series about a CIA operative.  Politics, terrorists, and high stakes will keep the reader interested.

Eye of the Storm by Jack Higgins – The first book in the Sean Dillon series of thrillers, it focuses on political assassinations.

Name:  Bethany Bates