Posts Tagged ‘twists’

Hothouse Orchid

February 23, 2010



Author: Stuart Woods

Genre: Thriller

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 294

Geographical Setting: Orchid Beach, FL (Fictional)

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): Holly Barker Series: Orchid Beach, Orchid Blues, Blood Orchid, Iron Orchid

Plot Summary:  The CIA sends Special Agent Holly Barker home to Orchid Beach for a long vacation after she allowed an international terrorist to escape twice.  Holly, the former police chief of Orchid Beach, is not home a day before when is attacked and finds herself embroiled in a serial rapist case. Holly finds herself confronting her former commander, Jim Bruno, the new Chief of Police of Orchid Beach, with whom she had charged with sexual harassment. Adding to the fray, is Lauren Cade who is working for the state police and is an investigator on the serial rapist cases.  She was once raped by Bruno who was acquitted of the crime. Is it just coincidence that there are a series of rapes occurring just when Bruno arrives in town?  Holly and Lauren set out to find the criminal behind these rapes that have now also turned into murder. Fast cars, high-speed boats and lifestyles of the well-to-do add to this rapidly moving story.

Subject Headings: Fiction, CIA-Fiction, Holly Barker- Fiction, Florida- Fiction, Police- Florida- Fiction, Police Chiefs- Fiction. Women-Crime Solving-Fiction

Appeal: contemporary, escapist, edgy, fast-paced, open-ended, plot-centered, investigative, multiple points of view, hard-edged, vivid, action-packed, corruption, strong language, dangerous, violent, serial characters, twists

3 terms that best describe this book: Suspenseful, engrossing, page-turner

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Strange Piece of Paradise by Terri Jentz
The author tells the story of her and her Yale roommates’ attack and near murder by a man with an axe. No one is ever caught and the author goes back to the scene of the crime fifteen years later and learns about several other murders that took place that year within the area. A haunting story of a woman and her quest to find justice.

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon
A classic and Edgar Award winner, this book takes us through the life of the everyday homicide cop. The reader follows various homicide cops and their cases and the toll this type of life takes on them.

The Blooding: The True Story of the Narborough Village Murders by Joseph Wambaugh
The true story of the first serial murderer and rapist who was caught and convicted through the use of DNA. The book does not only focus on the use of DNA testing, but the hunt that the police go through to find the killer.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

A False Dawn by Tom Lowe
Sean O’ Brien, a former Miami homicide detective, lives the lifestyle of the rich. Living on the St. John’s River in Florida, O’Brien has a riverfront cabin, a cabin cruiser and a life he loves. His life of leisure ends when he is a suspect in a string of rape/murders and he has to go back to work to prove his innocence.

Split Image by Robert B. Parker
After a high-ranking crime figure is found dead, Jesse Stone needs to get his act together to solve the crime.  Still battling his alcoholism, and his (latest) failed relationship with his ex-wife, Jess finds help in the form of Sunny Randall, a private investigator. Three plot-lines throw the two of them together in this continuing serial.

True Blue by David Baldacci
Two sisters, Mace Perry an ex-cop just released from prison and Beth Perry the chief of D.C.’s Metro Police, are out to solve the rape and murder of a noteworthy U. S. attorney.  If the two can solve the case, Mace feels that her name will be cleared and she will be reinstated as a cop.  A fast-paced read that takes the reader through the seedier areas of life.

Name: Noreen

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

October 28, 2009

Author:  Jeff Lindsay

Title:  Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Publication Date:  2004

Number of Pages:  304

Geographical Setting: Miami, Florida

Time Period: Present Day

Series (If Applicable): Dexter, 1

Plot Summary:  Dexter Morgan is a blood-splatter analyst for the Miami police department.  This is a good job for him because Dexter has a secret life that only he and his late foster father Harry knew about.  Inside Dexter is a monster who needs to kill and it is currently controlled by the “Code of Harry” which states that Dexter is only to kill bad guys – not good guys.  This job keeps him close to those bad guys that need to be taken care of.  A killer is on the loose in Miami cutting up women and Dexter starts to relate to the killer and uses his insight to help his sister, Deborah, who is also a cop move from “streetwalker” patrol to homicide.  Dexter understands what makes this guy tick and he begins to admire the killers work.  He struggles to live his life like other normal humans but inside he feels the Dark Passenger demand that he kill again.

Subject Headings:  Serial murderers, Forensic scientists, Psychopathic criminals, Vigilantes,
Murderer-detectives, Adoptees, PolicewomenMiami, Florida, PoliceMiami, Florida,
Brothers and sisters, Father and son, Serial murders, Serial murder investigation, Crime scene searches, Crime laboratories, Mutilation, Secrets, Personal conduct, Men/women relations,
Miami, Florida, Psychological suspense stories

Appeal: Dark, Methodical, Thriller, Horror, Graphic, Mutilation, Ominous, Strange, Twists, Unresolved ending, Series, Chilling, Measured Pacing, First Person Narration, Creepy, Psychological Suspense, Madness, Serial Killers, Disturbing, Page-Turner.

3 Terms that best describe this book: Disturbing, Graphic and Suspenseful

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

3 Non-Fiction Works

Inside the Minds of Serial Killers: Why They Kill by Katherine Ramsland – This book details a wide variety of motives for why people become serial killers. It shows that there is not a profile for serial killers.

Serial Killers: The Method and the Madness of Monsters by Peter Vronsky – This book talks about the history of serial killers and documents the psychological, investigative, and cultural aspects of serial murder.

Serial Killers and Mass Murderers: Profiles of the World’s Most Barbaric Criminals by Nigel Cawthorne – This book describes what makes ordinary people turn into killers.  It explores the minds of these people who commit these crimes and why people are so fascinated by them.

3 Fiction Works

Dearly Devoted Dexter: a Novel by Jeff Lindsay – Book 2 in the Dexter series continues the story of the first book.  There is a new serial killer on the loose and Sergeant Drakes is getting more suspicious of Dexter.

Deeper than the Dead by Tami Hoag – Two boys and a girl stumble on a murder victim of the “See No Evil Killer” who just may turn out to be the father of one of the boys.

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris – Will Graham has the ability to project himself into the minds of psychopathic serial killers.  He is called on to investigate the murders of two suburban families.

Name: Chris S.

Heart-Shaped Box

June 15, 2009

Author: Joe Hill

Title: Heart-Shaped Box

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 376

Geographical Setting: Piecliff, NY; Testament, FL; Moore’s Corner, LA

Time Period: 2002

Plot Summary: What kind of man would buy a ghost over the internet? Judas Coyne, retired death-metal rock star, has somehow survived his career and now spends his time collecting macabre items. His latest acquisition proves to be as deadly as it is demented, and Judas must confront his childhood and adult mistakes alike to survive. Judas’ character develops beyond a rock cliché into a person the reader cares deeply about, and the secrets revealed between horrifying moments keep the pages turning.

Subject Headings: Supernatural, ghosts, secrets, hypnotism, men/women relations, rock musicians, horror

Appeal: Suspenseful, darkly humorous, graphic, character-oriented, driven, twists, macabre, psychological, violent, compelling, conversational, intense

3 terms that best describe this book: Macabre, psychological, violent

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Ghosthunters: On the Trail of Mediums, Dowsers, Sprit Seekers, and Other Investigators of America’s Paranormal World by John B. Kachuba (Study of ghosthunters, including spiritual dowsers)

A History of Hypnotism by Alan Gauld (Accessible history of mesmerism and hypnotism that examines both cases and theories)

Motley Crue: The Dirt—Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band (Very dark tales of abused groupies and rock hedonism)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The Kill Riff by David Schow (suspenseful, revenge, violent, plot twist, death-metal background)

Ghost Radio: A Novel by Leopoldo Gout (revenge, ghost story, suspenseful, twists)

Bag of Bones by Stephen King (conversational tone, suspenseful, twists)

Name: Marisa