Archive for the ‘Suspense’ Category

ICE A Secret, A Rescue, A Terrifying Truth by Susan Brocker. Pub. Scholastic, 2022

February 18, 2022 Comments off

If I told you that this short exciting novel has a tiger, an elephant, lions, a white alsatian, a boy who tells lies and is set in Wanaka New Zealand in the death of winter you might say Yeh Right! But it is all true and the beauty of fiction is you can do this as a writer as long as it is believable. Fortunately this novel is and it has an ending to wonder over.

Zac is staying with his father, his stepmother and step sister and is a bit anxious. His father catches him out telling lies and is a little hostile so he is up against it. His father hates him playing computer games and wants Zac to get out and do things so arranges for him to work at a wild life farm with a delightful elephant named Kaya, an angry Tiger named Shaka an African trainer called Lwazi and a very shady owner called Peter Slagter which means butcher.

While in the kennels of a dog pound Zac takes a liking to a white alsatian and the dog clearly likes him. He takes it as a pet but it howls at the white mountains and clearly wants to get out there. Zac names him Ice and takes him out there or rather Ice takes him. What the two of them discover is mind blowing and leads to frantic action with a do or die ending.

It you love animals you are going to love this novel. It has an almost unlikely connection to the killing and use of endangered African animals. It had me on the edge of my seat for much of the novel.

Check it out you will not be disappointed.

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus. Pub. Penguin Books, 2021.

December 10, 2021 Comments off

This is the fifth Karen McManus novel and is every bit as good as the others which are reviewed elsewhere on this blog. It is a whodunnit in a high school setting and is a page turner. Once you start this you won’t want to put it down.

Ivy, Cal and Mateo have been friend since they were 12 years old. One day they bunked school and they all regarded it as one of the best days of their lives but the three have secrets from each other and 6 years later after some dramatic school events they do the same thing again. This day is one of the worst.

The novel opens with a profile of the lives and families of Ivy Cal and Mateo with each narrating a chapter as they do throughout the novel as the action changes after they decide to bunk school leave Carlton and go downtown to Boston. They stumble across a murder of a known school acquaintance and the rest of the action takes place in one day when secrets will out, and you will be kept guessing as to who is behind the murder and the reasons for it.

Caught in the action is a beautiful young art teacher called Lara, a mystery man called D, and someone called “the weasel who is running the drug business around town. There are other family members of each of the main characters involved and action that will keep you guessing.

A beautifully crafted plot where apart from the opening chapters and the clean up at the end, the action takes place in less than 12 hours and there are plenty of high points.

See if you can work out who the villain is, I thought I had but I was wrong. If you want a change of scenery over the holidays you will not regret reading this.

There is also a quirky ending which ties all the strings together.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Pub. Penguin Books, 2020.

September 29, 2020 Comments off

Avery Kylie Grambs is 17 years old, she lives in her car, her mother is dead, she has nothing to do with her father and she has a sister who is in a dysfunctional relationship with her boyfriend. She is positive in her attitude to life but the future doesn’t look hopeful.

Then she is visited by a lawyer who tells her she is a beneficiary in a will left by an eccentric billionaire Tobias Hawthorne who has four sons of similar age to Avery. When the will is read Avery has inherited $46 billion and the rest of the Hawthorne family are left scraps. Why?

The terms of the will are iron tight and if the family challenge it, they get nothing. Avery is taken by the family lawyers to Hawthorne Mansion, a fabulous house with a theatre, bowling ally and a thousand rooms, plus staff. Avery is advised by a lawyer and has a bodyguard who was same for Tobias Hawthorne.

The family are hostile and the terms of the will mean she has to stay in the house for a year in order to inherit what has been left her. She fears for her life and rightly so.

The paparazzi are all over the place and everybody wants to know who this Avery is. She has to relate to the four sons two of which she is attracted to.

The old man Hawthorne was a game player. He liked mysteries and promoted competition and games amongst his sons. The biggest mystery is Why Avery? She doesn’t know herself. The rest of the novel is spent working out the mysteries that the Old Man has set.

This novel is written in 91 short chapters that will keep you in the book long after you want to stop reading. It is compelling and very clever. I loved it you will too.