Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thrillers…Real And Make-believe

Thrillers keep us a wake at night turning the pages or listening close as we anticipate what will happen next. 

There are those thrillers that writers create in their minds and there are those that are taken from every day life. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on two make-believe thrillers and one based on a true story. 


Protecting one’s child will cause a parent to go to great extremes. When the child is sick that parent will do any and everything for a cure.

Microbiologist Richard Draman is focused on finding a cure for a genetic defect that is causing his 8-year-old daughter, Susie, to age at an accelerate rate. Funding is almost non-existent and then Richard receives data on new research that could cure his daughter.

However, there are hidden forces at work and Richard is accused of stealing the research. As their life as they knew it begins to crumble around them, Richard and his wife, Carly, are forced to go on the run with Susie.

Seeking help from a retired special forces operative, they begin to pull back the layers to find who is at the heart of the conspiracy. They soon find themselves caught in the middle between two powerful factions, both determined to control the research and the life-altering outcome.

Author Kyle Mills has created a heart-pounding, hold your breath thriller in THE IMMORTALISTS. The fast pace story is filled with twists and turns that will keep you wondering who really is trustworthy.

Benjamin L. Darcie does an excellent job narrating the story. His tones emphases the pain, fear and determination the protagonist feels trying to save his daughter’s life. Darcie’s distinct differentiation of characters gives depth to the story. With the combination of Mill’s writing and Darcie’s interruption, you even feel a little pity for one of the bad guys.

THE IMMORTALISTS is a spine tinkling journey to find hope for a loved one.
The Immortalists by Kyle Mills, Performed by Benjamin L. Darcie, Brilliance Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1455839858, Unabridged, 7 Discs, Listening Time 8 Hour, 24 Minutes 

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
SLEEPWALKER by Karen Robards

518-aKz0jpL._SL500_AA300_Discarding a cheating boyfriend, Micayla ‘Mick’ Lange is spending New Year’s Eve house-sitting for her ‘Uncle Nicco.’

A troublesome nightmare causes Mick to sleepwalk. She awakes to find herself downstairs in the mansion and hears a strange noise coming from Nicco’s office. Without thinking, Mick goes to investigate. That’s what she does, she’s a cop.

Jason Davis and his partner think they are robbing a gangster’s deserted house. As they leave with 3 suitcases filled with money, they stumble upon Mick. As Mick detains Jason, his partner manages to flee with 2 of the suitcases. Then the remaining suitcase is knocked down and the contents spill out.

Besides the money, there are incriminating photos of Nicco Marino at a supposed murder-suicide scene of a local politician. Mick sees the photos and knows the security cameras captured her looking at them. Nicco may have treated her life family, but she’s really not and now she’s in trouble.

As a means to an end, Mick pretends to be Jason’s hostage and the 2 flee with Nicco’s security giving chase. The pair make their escape through the Michigan wilderness to safety only to be pulled back when more lives are threatened leaving Mick wondering who she can really trust.

Throughout the story, Mick wrestles with her duty as a cop and her growing attraction to the robber. Jason has his own secrets and doesn’t want anything to do with the pretty cop, yet he becomes more and more protective of her.

Narrator Kate Rudd’s performance of the story brings out the depths of the characters. She does a wonderful job portraying the main characters as they battle the elements and fear for their lives. Rudd’s interruption of Mick and Jason’ bantering will have you laughing out loud. Her voice and style add much to this story.

SLEEPWALKER is a suspense filled adventure with bits of humor (especially where the suitcase is concerned), and a budding romance.

Sleepwalker by Karen Robards, Read by Kate Rudd, Brilliance Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1441843135, Unabridged, 10 Disc, Listening Time 11 Hours, 26 Minutes 

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

511zF1htVwL._SS500_ THE GIRL WITH THE CROOKED NOSE is fascinating, terrifying, insightful, compelling, haunting, and hard to put down.

The book is based on the true story of Frank Bender and his work. Bender, who died in July 2011, spent 35 years as a forensic sculptor. During the course of his career, Bender solved 9 murders and tracked down almost 30 fugitives. He was able to give the faceless back their identity and put a face on fugitives who had aged while on the run.

Bender, self-taught in his field, was obsessed with his work. He strived to bring justice to those unknown.

Author Ted Botha spotlights not only Bender’s professional life, but his private life as well. The book looks at Bender’s marriage and family life, the friends in his circle, the zany characters he encountered, and even his financial woes.

The main focus of the story, however, looks at Bender’s involvement with a very dangerous crime scene in Juarez, Mexico. Authorities there had no answers concerning more than 400 decomposing bodies that had been found year after year beginning in 1993. Bender worked hard on the case despite corrupt authorities and was able to reconstruct the facial features of several victims.

The book also contains numerous black and white photos showing Bender’s incredible work. THE GIRL WITH THE CROOKED NOSE is a haunting story of a dedicated man obsessed with helping name the unknown and the strides he made in his profession.

The Girl With The Crooked Nose: A Tale of Murder, Obsession, and Forensic Artistry by Ted Botha, Berkley Trade, @2011, ISBN: 978-0425246832, Paperback, 384 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Do you enjoy thrillers? Do you want them to be real or make-believe? Thanks so much for stopping by today.


  1. Oh, they sound like thrilling reads. Especially as I sit reading your post in the dark. I'll have a look at them.

  2. Mason - Thanks for profiling these thrillers! The Girl With the Crooked Nose sounds absolutely fascinating. I'm definitely going to look for that one!

  3. I occasionally will read a thriller, and generally find the crafting of story in them to be very well done. They give the author, and the reader, a different angle to approach their characters.

  4. The last one sounds really interesting.

  5. I love thrillers but they play with my mind for days.

    A forensic artist is an incredible field and a very important person to those who need to be indentified.


  6. Clarissa, your comment made me smile. I usually post in the dark or at least by a dim light. :)

  7. Margot, I think you will enjoy THE GIRL WITH THE CROOKED NOSE. It's a fascinating look at the profession and very haunting.

  8. Joanne, you are so right about the characters and a different angle.

  9. Teresa, I know what you mean about thrillers saying with you.

  10. The Girl with the Crooked Nose sounds amazing. It's definitely coming home with me.

  11. I like both and I am always fascinated by forensic type books like The Girl With the Crooked Nose which I have read.

  12. Nice blog. You might be interested in this post on Lee Child.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.