A Romantic Mystery

By William Manchee
Top Publications - 1999
ISBN :09666366635 - Hardcover

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com

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Attorney Richard Coleman is asked by client Franklin Fox to be the legal trustee for his 17-year-old daughter Erica Fox if anything should happen to him. Less than a week later, Richard gets a call in the early morning hours from a John Paul Moitz with the American Consulate in Berne, Switzerland, telling him that Franklin Fox had been killed in a skiing accident, and that Erica was quite distressed and claiming that Richard was her guardian. Richard goes to Switzerland and brings Erica home. Shortly after they return to the States, Erica seduces Richard and even though he knows that it is wrong, he lets it happen. Before long they are in love. Richard knows that he could lose his license if word of their liaison gets out; they are able to keep it quiet for quite a while until Erica’s Aunt Martha finds out. Aunt Martha really only wants the money. She could care less about Erica’s feelings so she decides to start a lawsuit against Richard and have him removed as trustee of the estate. 

Before Aunt Martha can reach her son Arnold about the lawsuit, she is murdered in her hotel room and Erica’s purse is found in the room. At about the same time Richard is found unconscious in an alley. The next day when he comes to, he remembers nothing about what happened to him. While he is watching a news broadcast, he hears that Erica has been arrested. He knows without a doubt that Erica could not murder anyone; he has to leave the hospital and find the real killer. Erica convinces Richard that if she is convicted they should make a death pact. Richard really doesn’t want to die, so he knows that he must find the killer before it’s too late. This is where the storyline really takes off!

Death Pact is so wonderfully written with plenty of surprises. I was guessing till the very end, and what an unexpected, shocking end it was! The setting is in Dallas in the 1980’s, and from the author’s descriptions, I felt as if I was there.

The characters are really well defined and believable, especially Aunt Martha -- The more that I read about her meanness, the less guilty I felt that she died so she couldn’t cause any more trouble. The romance was very fiery and passionate between Richard and Erica. You could almost feel the warmth radiate through the pages.

Death Pact is a grand read.  My highest score is a 5 and this book definitely deserves a HIGH  rating.

By Don Donaldson

Jove Books   - Oct. 1999
ISBN: 0515126500    - Paperback
Medical Suspense

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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Dr. Sarchi Seminoux, a Memphis Pediatric resident, gets a call from Marge, her nephew's adoptive mother, that they are bringing Drew into the emergency room, and Marge wants Sarchi to be there when they arrive.  Drew can't move or talk, but all his vitals are O.K., blood tests are all normal, he is breathing on his own.  They put him through all kinds of tests, but they all come back normal.  On the seventh day of Drew's hospitalization the HMO steps in and says that they will not pay the hospital bills unless Drew is moved to a clinic in New Orleans.  Dr. Latham is a brilliant brain surgeon and he seems to think that he can help Drew, but he refuses to go into any details with Marge or Sarchi.  Drew gets his operation, but Sarchi notices some side effects.  Sarchi decides to look into Dr. Latham's practices, but as she does, Dr. Latham tries to ruin Sarchi's reputation.  Can Sarchi make the hospital and the other Drs. see what Dr.Latham is and how he is harming patients?  And can she rebuild her reputation?

Dr. Latham the villain in DO NO HARM and has a god like ego.  He really believes that he has the right to use his craft in any way he chooses without, regard to the patient's future, or lack of one.  To me this is the worst kind of criminal, but sure makes an interesting character to read about.  Sarchi is a very bright heroine who will go to any lengths to make things right for every one.  I thought the story line was very intense and has a surprise ending.

By Catherine Coulter
Jove - August 2000
ISBN: 0-515-12860-0 - Paperback Reissue

Reviewed by: Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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The Edge is Catherine Coulter’s fourth title in her FBI suspense series. The first three are The Cove, The Maze, and The Target. In this one, FBI agents and good friends, Mac, Sherlock, and Sherlock’s husband Savich are back together again.

Mac, who was introduced in Coulter’s The Maze, is back. He is in the hospital recovering from a car bombing. On the light side, he is already making demands of the nurse who is also a friend, and on the serious side, he just had a bad dream that he and his sister, Jilly, drove over a cliff. The bad dream goes with the worried feelings he had been having about her for some time, but had brushed off after talking to their brother Kevin, who felt her growing eccentricities stem from living on the west coast. Now the worry and fears for her are back and this time even stronger, especially after he calls her husband Paul, and finds she really did drive off a cliff and is now in a coma. Mac heads out to Edgerton, Oregon, also known as The Edge, as soon as he is able. 

On arriving to The Edge, Mac finds his FBI credentials have preceded him and the only people who care to welcome him are the police -- Sheriff Maggie Sheffied and the Highway Patrolman who save his sister’s life. After being refused a room at a B & B, Mac decides to stay with the brother-in-law he barely knows. Paul and Jilly have been married eight years, and the only thing Jilly has ever told him is that Paul works in Pharmaceuticals and the sex is great. When Mac goes to visit his sister, he hears her voice in his mind yelling the name Laura. Once Mac finds her, confusion starts. To clear the confusion, Mac starts investigating on his own. Sherlock and Savich show up to help and everyone finds themselves far away from home and in serious danger.

The Edge is a pretty good suspense novel. I wouldn’t call it a thriller, even though there was an edge of the seat moment or two. The author has Mac and Jilly speaking in first person. Jilly’s part is in italics. The characters are strong and interesting, and the dialog and action kept the pages turning. The plot was pretty basic with one exception, but I can’t tell what that is without giving away the story. I will say the storyline, language, and sexual content is for mature audiences. As for spoilers from the last three books in the series, it didn’t seem as if there were any, but since I haven’t read them, I couldn’t say for sure.

By Jeffery Deaver

Simon & Schuster  - May 2000 
ISBN: 0684855631 - Hardcover

Reviewed by: Annie Bonneau, MyShelf.Com
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Remember the quadriplegic, expert criminologist, who has motion only in a small part of his neck and in one finger? What about his brilliant redheaded protégé who acts as his legs at crime-scenes? Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are back in the third installment of this mystery saga. After searching for an old-fashioned New York killer in The Bone Collector (1997) and tracking the tattooed Dancer through the streets of Manhattan in The Coffin Dancer (1998), the partners are now helping the local police in a North Carolina town find the kidnapper and murderer of two young women. 

When Rhyme travels to North Carolina to undergo an experimental and risky surgical procedure, hoping to increase his mobility, he has no idea that his talents as one of the nation’s best crime-scene analysts would be called into play on a case. With physical evidence collected by Sachs at various crime-scenes, he must locate a hideaway cabin where a bug-obsessed teenage boy may be holding nurse Lydia Johansson. Rhyme and Sachs have no more than 24 hours to track the suspect Garrett Hanlon, referred to as Insect Boy by the locals, before he kills the abducted nurse.

Insect Boy is not the only opponent Rhyme and Sachs must face. The local deputies are not keen to accept the arrival of New York cops on the scene and taking control of their case. The local deputies have dreamt of catching Insect Boy since his first presumed murder a couple years back, and are willing to do anything to catch him – dead or alive.

When Sachs starts having doubts about the identity of the “real” murderer, she rejects Rhyme’s assumptions and starts her own investigation. Now Rhyme, assisted by his aid Thom and a marine biology scientist, must work against his lover and most valued friend, in locating the abducted nurse before the local deputies.

Deaver does it again and has written a real page-turner thriller. The plot is both well defined and well written. Allies become enemies, and enemies become allies. You will find new interpretations of the title The Empty Chair throughout the book. Suspense fans will be well served.

By Michael Asher 
Harper Collins - Nov. 1999
ISBN: 0002259761

Reviewed by: Rachel Hyde, MyShelf.Com
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Unless they have just arrived from Outer Mongolia or Outer Space Tutankhamen’s tomb and its attendant curse is as well known as Jack The Ripper or Guy Fawkes.  Yet despite its well-worn aspect – or maybe because of it – it still attracts writers to exploit its mysteries and this book is the latest to do so.  Omar James Ross, maverick Egyptologist and half Hawazim (a tribe of nomads who live in the Western Desert) is drawn to Cairo after his friend manages to gasp out a final phone message before his body is found.  The body then vanishes from the morgue but it seen again alive causing Ross to get picked up by the brutal police and interrogated.  As contact after contact expires in mysterious circumstances Ross and the daughter of one of the casualties flee into the desert to join Ross’ mother’s people the Hawazim.  They are soon on course for a fabled lost oasis that will reveal all the secrets that Tutankhamen’s tomb hinted at and more besides. 

Egyptology, Tutankhamen’s curse, Akhenaton, desert tribes, Shepheard’s hotel, camels, souks, sand… is all here.  Reading this novel you learn a lot about those brave sons of the sands the Hawazim and there are chases across the desert, cruel police who don’t balk at torture, mysterious goings-on aplenty and more than hints that Egypt’s past had plenty of supernatural aspects.  Personally what I found was missing from this heady brew was a sense of fun and its lack made me feel that I had been given an exotic meal with one vital ingredient missing.  Elizabeth Peters does this sort of thing beautifully but without this elusive spark I found the whole thing rather ordinary.  For I do enjoy stories of this nature very much and read all that I find and what I have found is that a lot of writers like to do them but they are very difficult indeed to do well.  Read this one for its depiction of a modern Cairo a-seethe with political intrigue and nomads fighting to keep their way of life.  Then, for a perfect fantasy about lost oases and much of the magic of King Solomon’s Mines go out and buy Elizabeth Peters’ The Last Camel Died At Noon. 

By Catherine Dunbar
Poisoned Pen Press - July 2000 
ISBN: 1890208388 - Paperback
Suspense / Thriller

Reviewed by: Jo Rogers, MyShelf.Com
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In a departure from her usual historical novel, British author, Catherine Dunbar, brings us her first mystery, False Images.  A resounding success in the United Kingdom, Poisoned Pen Press will release the first U.S. edition in July. 

Leone Flemming, daughter of London judge, Sir Richard Flemming, is plagued by a recurring nightmare.  In her dream, she is six years old, and she is hiding behind the drapes while she listens to her mother, Julia Flemming, play the piano.  Her mother finds her, and kisses her goodbye as she is leaving.  Leone hesitates and runs after her mother, but she is too late to stop her from leaving, or to slow her down enough to prevent the fatal accident that takes her mother from her.  She feels her mother's death was her fault. 

Leone is now an adult, a businesswoman.  She and her friend, Philippa Hope-Brown, have an art gallery.  Phil runs the gallery and Leone restores and cleans paintings.  But the one she is restoring now troubles her.  Despite the fact that the Arthur Devis portrait of the Wallace family has been in the family for generations, Leone feels it is a forgery.  She is determined to be certain one way or another, but Lady Carleton's son, Piers, is equally determined that she not.  When the museum that is going to put the painting on exhibit orders the tests, Piers is furious.  And when the gallery is broken into, Leone feels Piers is responsible.  But the painting wasn't there, for Leone, in complete distrust of Piers Carleton, had taken the painting home with her. 

The burglary is all but forgotten as Phil discovers a major new talent in modern art, Steve Ross.  She throws herself into preparing for an exhibition of his work, and falls in love with the soft-spoken, quiet genius, whose work is the opposite of his character.  His emotions, which he seldom displays, explode from the canvas in brilliant and contrasting colors. 

Unbeknown to Leone, however, one of the men her father sentenced to prison has gotten out and is vowing revenge.  Vic Morenzo has vowed to get everyone responsible for his imprisonment, and the thug who ratted on him has already been found dead; the sight of his mutilated body still haunts the investigating officers.  He has vowed to kill all Flemming's family. 

Suddenly, Leone's old boyfriend reenters her life.  She and Jack Thursley broke off their relationship when she refused to go to Hong Kong with him and instead remained close to her father.  When he offers her a ride home from a book launch, she accepts, and when someone follows them, she figures it is a disgruntled Peirs Carleton.  Carleton's scheme of keeping himself afloat by selling off the family masterpieces and replacing them with forgeries had been exposed when Leone revealed the Devis was a fake. 

Leone first learns of Morenzo when the receptionist's boyfriend is attacked at the gallery and is stabbed almost to death.  From there, Leone's nightmare begins to change as she remembers more and more about the night her mother died. 

Jack and Leone draw closer together as they plunge into the past, trying to solve the puzzle that holds the key to the present.  What they find will keep you reading until the twisted surprise at the end. 

By Kyle Mills

Harper  - May 2000
ISBN: 0060193336 - Hardcover
Political Thriller

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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This is the 3rd installment of Mark Beaman. “Rising Phoenix was the 1st and “Storming Heaven” was the 2nd. 

Mark Beaman has been suspended by the FBI and is fighting a legal battle to keep himself out of jail. Beaman is hired by presidential candidate David Hallorin to find a file code named “Prodigy” that was found by Tristan Newberry hidden in a box in a warehouse where the Department of Agriculture had some old files. The “Prodigy” file was put in the wrong place to be lost forever. Before long, Tristan Newberry is found dead, and now the file is in the hands of his former lover Darby Moore.  Beaman must find Darby and the missing file. What Beaman doesn’t know is that the “Prodigy” file has been hidden in that warehouse since J. Edgar Hoover created it to use against Politicians. Beaman eventually changes sides and joins Draby in an effort to help the American public and to put himself back in the good graces of the FBI. 

With unforgettable action sequences that transport the reader everywhere from the run down prisons of Thailand to the icy covered snowfields of Wyoming, Free Fall has some of the same great characters as the previous two books, Rising Phoenix and Storming Heaven. There was too much rock-climbing for my taste even though I learned something on the subject. I really liked the character of Darby; She is energetic and a superhuman woman of admirable exploits who overcomes incredible obstacles in the book. Free Fall is a mix of suspense, carnage, and even a little humor thrown in.  Mr. Mills keeps the reader transfixed and turning pages to the very spectacular conclusion. 

By T. Davis Bunn

DoubleDay  - June 2000
ISBN:  038549615X  - Hardcover
Political Thriller
Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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 Marcus Glenwood was a partner in a very prestigious corporate law firm until he was involved in a car accident that killed his children and almost killed his wife, who blames him and is divorcing him. Worst of all he blames himself and is living in his own private hell.  Marcus decides to move back to his hometown of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, into the old Victorian manor that was his grandparents. Little did Marcus know that when he moved back to Rocky Mount, that the biggest and most difficult case of his lifetime would fall into his lap. The church of New Zion is that client. The church was founded with the first earnings of freed slaves, and Marcus successfully stops a court action made by a company that wants the churches historic cemetery relocated so they can build a factory in it’s place.  Marcus has won a battle against New Horizons Co., but the war is raging and it will not be so easy this time with the dirty tactics that New Horizons uses.

This book is very well written with lots of lovely, caring characters.  Dee Gautam, who works with Marcus, is a very enigmatic lady who provides Marcus with some very important info. Kristen is a young woman who has suffered her own family tragedy and whom Marcus finds himself drawn to. Charlie Hayes a retired judge and a supportive mentor who will serve as co-counsel.

T. Davis Bunn has a talent for creating a wide range of characters whose humanity and concern for each other is tremendously moving. Thought that the most compelling character of all was Marcus. While writing a thrilling trial filled with surprising twists and shocking revelations, T. Davis Bunn also pens an inspirational work about Marcus’s Path to self-forgiveness.  In the church of New Zion, Marcus finds a surrogate family who welcomes him with open arms, helps him go on with his life, and learn to love himself again.

Reading The Great Divide was like reading several stories that came together collectedly into a nice tight package. An immense read.  5 stars for sure.


By James Lee Burke
Doubleday 1999
ISBN 0385488432 - Hardcover
Suspense / Thriller

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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This is the 2nd book centered around Billy Bob Holland. The 1st was Cimarron Rose in 1997. 

When Holland takes on the defense of Wilbur Pickett, who has had a lot of bad luck in his past, now finds himself accused of stealing bearer bonds from the rich Dietrichs family. Holland is going up against Dietrichs. A family he does not care for because Dietrich has made a fortune running over people and tainting anyone who stands in his way, Holland cannot forget the passion he fills for Dietrich's wife Peggy Jean. 

James Burke makes you see the town and characters in your mind so clearly as he describes them. The only issue I had with this book is James Burke talks of rain on 25 pages of this book, but I find that hard to believe because this book takes place in Texas Hill country, and Texans know that it hardly ever rains in the Texas Hill country.  Other than that this book is a winner. Burke is a master at setting mood, laying in atmosphere. It's full with quirky, raunchy language that befits Texas. I am looking forward to the next installment of Billy Bob Holland. 

A brilliant novel of crime from the two-time Edgar Award winner, Gold Dagger award winner and New York Times Bestseller author of several books. 

By Stephen Horn
Harper Collins - May 2000    
ISBN: 0060194405 - Hardcover

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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Frank O'Connell has lost his family, his name, and a partnership in his father-in-law's prestigious Washington firm.  He now has to comb the cellblocks for clients.  One day while he is down in the cellblocks talking to a client, a woman in the next cellblock notices Frank, and when she gets out of jail, she goes to him and hires him. 

Ashley Bronson is the client and she is accused of killing Raymond Garvey, former Secretary of Commerce.  In the beginning, it appears to Frank that the most difficult thing about the case is that Ashley confessed.  He soon finds out that there is more to this case that meets the eye, and it started years before the murder. 

This is Stephen Horn's first novel and what a great read it is.  This is not just your typical mystery.  There are Russian American spies involved.  The courtroom scenes were as up and down as a roller coaster.  This was a fast-paced legal thriller with a tale of betrayal and murder all wrapped up in one suspenseful story. 

Kudos to Stephen Horn.  I cannot wait for his second book. 

By Larry Kahn
Redfield Publishers - Jan. 2000
ISBN:  0967307740 Hardcover
Mystery / Thriller

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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When Ben Kavner unwittingly stumbles upon a clue suggesting a 160-year conspiracy against the presidency, he must come to grips with a conflict between his wanting to win "the game" by becoming a partner in his law firm and his dream to make the world a better place.  While Ben is chasing conspiracy theories, the author weaves in two other frightening story lines. Christy Kirk, a young reporter, investigates the militarization of white supremacy groups and the African American resistance. LaRosa Smith, a beautiful African American woman, is the top advisor to the vice-president, who is running for president in the 2000 election. All three stories blend together as the plot reaches a stunning climax. 

Ben Kavner is the most likable but unlikely hero ever. He is a combination of intellectual, dreamer, lovesick-pup, and an oddball all rolled into one. You just can't help but love the guy. The other characters were somewhat realistic--likable. Sometimes I felt that the situations were a little far-fetched but the plot was exciting. 

The author Larry Kahn is an attorney for Bell South Corp. and this is his first novel. 

By Patricia A. Rasey 
Dark Star Publications  - March 2000
ISBN 1929034466 - eBook
Suspense / Thriller

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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Snake Gallego is a big, burly biker that gets accused of his wife's murder. Det. LeAnne McVeigh is the one who arrests Snake, but afterwards she has doubts that he is actually guilty. Chad Baker is the County Prosecutor and is also engaged to LeAnne; he thinks that they have the right man. Snake's alibi steps forward and he is freed. A serial killer is on the loose and must be caught. There are several suspects but the author gives just a hint of information to let you know it could be any of them. 

This is a very well written book. The plot goes along at a fast pace with a lot of suspense and electrifying, sexual tension between LeAnne and Snake. When you finally discover the killer you will be surprised by who it is. This was definitely a heart-racing novel in more ways than one. What a super read it was! I will not forget this one. 

By Nelson Demille
Time Warner - January 2000
ISBN: 1570426619 -  Audio Books
Read by: Scott Brick


Reviewed by: George Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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Flight 175 has a special passenger on board who is being escorted by federal agents. Asad Calied was a terrorist who had turned himself over to agents in Paris. As the plane made it’s final approach and landed, no one in the tower ever suspected the events that were taking place before him or her. 300 lives being taken was just the beginning of a long chain of events because Asad Calied was a Libyan terrorist bent on revenge.

I really enjoy a cloak-and-dagger, espionage type of mystery. I liked listening to this book. The listening was a little slow at first, but it got up to cruising altitude about half way through. Situations and words became colorful a few times, but didn’t detour me as I became involved with the story. 

By Boston Teran
Knoph Publishers -  1999
ISBN: 0375401881

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com

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Mr. Terans first novel is definitely one with emotional highs and lows! A gritty read! A real page-turner! 

In 1970, a young boy finds a woman's brutally murdered body. 25 years later, Bob Hightower, a deputy sheriff, is called upon to investigate a similar savage murder. The victims are his ex-wife and her husband. A group called “The Left Handed Path” kidnaps his daughter during this time. They are a satanic cult dealing in drugs and more. God is a Bullet, is about a father who goes through a suspenseful cat and mouse chase to find his missing daughter. 

If you like an excellent, powerful thriller, then you must read this book! I for one will reread it again in the future. I have to warn the faint of heart this one is graphic. 


By M.R. Sellars 
WillowTree Press  - June 2000
ISBN 0967822106 - Paperback
Suspense / Thriller

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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This is the debut of M.R. Sellars Rowan Gant Investigations series. 

Rowan Gant is contacted by a good friend Detective Ben Storm to answer questions about his religion, which is Wicca, and to give his alibi for the time of the murder. Rowan explains to his friend that even though he is a witch in "The Craft" their code is harm none, and they do not sacrifice animals or people. When Ben shows Rowan pictures of the crime scene, Rowan realizes he knows the victim. The victim, Ariel, was a student in the craft. Rowan and Ben set out to solve the murder. While they are working the case, other murders happen and they are even worse than the first. 

This book kept me in suspense to the very end, the author's description of the murders was so real I thought that I might be sick, and I loved it. That's what I look for in a good thriller. Harm None was so good I can't wait for his next book "Never Burn A Witch";  I hope the author will allow me to review it  also.

M.R. Sellars is the recipient of the "Linda White Literary Excellence" and the"Silver Quill Awards" for the short stories upon which the "Rowan Gant Investigations" are based on. 

By Joan Hall Hovey
Starlight Writers Publications
ISBN: 1-929034-96-2 - E Book
Suspense / Thriller

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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Katie Summers jumps into her car to go home after waiting several hours for her date that never shows up. Katie's eyes are drawn to her rear view mirror. Her eyes are stuck there as she looks at a sightless glaring set of eyes looking at her. A scream bubbles up in her throat. She loses control of her car and hits a wall. Everything goes black. This is just the beginning of a mystery that will leave you breathless. Katie is being stalked, and she has no idea who it might be or who would want to hurt her. 

From the moment that I started reading this book I was hooked. The author has a way of pulling you into this thriller very early on and keeping you there wondering just who the stalker is until the very end of the book. Along with an excellent mystery you get a very tender love story between Katie and Dr. Jonathan Shea. 

This is a book that will stick with me for a long while. As I was reading, my heart would beat fast and the hair on the back of my neck stood straight, and to me that is the true sign of a good thriller. When you read this one make sure that the lights are on and that all your doors are locked. 

By Jerry Jellison
Write Way Publishing  - Feb. 2000
ISBN 1885173725  - Hard Copy
Suspense / Thriller

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com

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Megan Roark, aspiring author and full time editor for a major New York Publishing house, starts receiving black envelopes with chapters of an unsigned work. At first she believes the chapters are fiction. Gradually she begins to believe that the author is actually telling his own story. Megan hears a news report of a body being found and realizes the name is same as one of the women in the chapters sent to her. Megan finds out who is on the case, a Lieutenant Colunga, and calls him with details but refuses to give her name for fear of becoming a victim. 

Go along on the journey to find this sadistic serial killer who is looking for love in all the wrong places. Jerry Jellison guides the reader into the soul of this sadist killer who wears a mask of sanity while going about his daily job in society. The first four chapters are slow to get started but after that the story really takes off fast. 

By Mari Ulmer
Poisoned Pen Press - April 2000
ISBN 1890208302 – Hardcover
Mystery / Thriller

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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This is the first in a series of books by Ulmer, the complete cycle of epic proportions will follow the sacred and secular calendar through key times of the year. This book takes place in Taos, Los Alamos and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The author paints the scenes so perfectly of these towns you feel as if you are seeing them right in front of you. This is a mystery that takes you through Satanism, Witchcraft, and modern day science. Christina Garcia Y Grant, who had given up her law practice, decides to come out of retirement to help Hermandad, who has been set up for a murder. 

The book has interesting some twists and turns in it.  I had some problems following the story line because it is so rich in Latino tradition, which I know nothing of. 

By Lisa Scottoline
Harper  -  2000
ISBN: 0694523100 - 3 Cassettes - Abridged Audio
Read by Kate Burton
Suspense / Thriller

Reviewed by: Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com

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The scene opens with a lawyer trying to frame himself for murder. Just like the cops in the story who are dying to hang a lawyer, I was pulled in to the story line immediately.  As a reader, right away questions popped into my mind like, what is he up to? Who is he protecting? Why is he willing to sacrifice himself? Or did he really do it? The detectives are just as curious; one feels it’s a “duck” (easy case), and that the lawyer “loves himself” (is guilty), while the other “doesn’t like him” (thinks their being played). Also on the case is a DA who lives for courtroom drama and loves putting people away, and the defendant’s inexperience lawyer, who everyone underestimates, including herself. 

With so many suspense / thrillers being written, it really tests an author’s talent to produce a genuine edge gripping, page-turning story line again and again. Ms. Scottoline seems to have that talent. Although the plot was a bit simple for me to solve, the path to getting there was entertaining. In listening to the audiotape, my daughter and I would became so involved to the point we had to either rewind it or turn it off and discuss it. There are scenes and remarks that made us cringe… like the autopsy; but for the most part the twist and turns had us holding our breath is suspense. 

As to the audio listening itself, I think a male voice would have been better. Expect a strong storyline with and intense theme and language -- after all it is a Lisa Scottoline thriller! 

By Judith McNaught
Pocket Books - July 1999
ISBN: 0671000853 - Paperback

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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In this gripping tale of murder and betrayal, a policewoman, Sloan Reynolds, has never met her father and sister, Paris, until she hears that her father and his associates are suspected of fraud, conspiracy, and murder. Sloan agrees to enter into her father's life while hiding the fact that she is a cop to try and get the goods on her father. Sloan must maneuver through a maze of deceit and passion to try and find someone who she can trust. 

Night Whispers has too many characters, and a lot of the storyline is left open. The biggest disappointment was to pull us into a relationship between Sara and Jess and leave it undeveloped. Noah's history needed more exploration than it got. 

Judith McNaught has had eight New York Times Bestsellers and more than Twenty million books in print. 

By Joan Hall Hovey

iUniverse.Com  - May 2000
ISBN: 0595003664 - Paperback

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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Ellen Harris has had a lot of tragedy in her life. At 16 her mother and father were killed in a auto accident where they were both drinking, even when they were alive Ellen was still the care giver for her younger sister because her parents were always drunk. Then she lost her 36-year-old husband to a massive heart attack. All she had left after that was her little sister Gail Morgan, whom she had raised after her parents died. Ellen was so happy that in 5 days she would see Gail as she was flying from New York to spend the holiday season with Ellen in their hometown of Evansdale, Maine. Ellen was so proud of Gail who was becoming a big time singer.  When Ellen gets to the airport to pick up Gail, she finds out that Gail was not aboard her flight Ellen senses in her mind that something is definitely wrong. Ellen goes to use the phone as she begins to dial in her peripheral vision she sees a policeman walking towards her and walking with him is her best friend Myra, Ellen notices the look of anguish on Myra’s face, all at once Ellen feels like a cold hand has been laid on her heart and made the blood drain from her body. 

Gail had been savagely beaten, raped and strangled. Ellen loses touch with reality at first and than she knows what she must do, go to New York and try and find the killer herself. Ellen goes on TV to try and draw out the killer but as she sits there she knows that she must challenge the killer to come after her. That’s when things really get scary. 

At first Ellen gets a call from the killer, than there is a note placed under the windshield wipers of her car that says in red letters YOU’RE IT. Now the hunter becomes the hunted. Ellen was brave while putting herself in danger, but smart enough to know that when she challenged the killer, she was way in over her head, but she had to go through it with a little help. That made her a more believable heroine to me 

 I loved Ms Hovey’s first book Listen To The Shadows and I love Nowhere To Hide even better. Ms. Hovey has created a serial killer who is truly a monster of all monsters, that is so terrifying you will make sure that all the lights are on and that all the doors are locked up. I actually checked mine twice while reading this book.  After I went to bed, I still had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach thinking about the killer and his brutal attacks on women. 


By Lisa Gardner
Bantam - July 1999
ISBN: 0553576798

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com

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Wanna feel the edge of your seat? Or be kept on your toes? This is the thriller for you! It is most certainly a book to read with all the lights on. 

Melanie has no memory of her life before she was adopted, even though she was 9 years old at the time. Now someone wants to give her, her memory back, even if it includes the darkest nightmare the Stokes family must ever face ... the murder of their first daughter. As Melanie pursues every lead to find her identity, two seemingly unrelated events come together putting her very life at stake. Melanie fears the family that she loves the most maybe the people that she should trust the least. 

Excellent from the start! Grips your attention.


By Scott Turow
Farrar, Straus and Giroux  - 1999
ISBN:  0374281947   - Hardcover

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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A gripping, suspenseful book about corruption, deceit and love.

Robbie Feaver is a personal injury lawyer with a very good reputation. That is, until U.S. Attorney Stan Sennett uncovers Feaver's dirty secret. Feaver has been bribing judges in the Common Law Claims Division to win favorable judgments.   Now Sennett wants to use Feaver to go undercover to get the guy at the top. The character of Robbie Feaver is a likable con artist with a big heart. There are other characters in the book that are just as well written as Feaver, like agent Evon Miller who becomes very close to Feaver even though he is married to someone that he loves very much. Raimey, his wife, has Lou Gehrig’s disease and is dying. You feel the attraction of Robbie and Evon right through the pages of the book. There is also Justice Brendan Tuohey. All of their lives become the mystery at the core of the book, and there are a lot of surprises as you read.

Personal Injuries is a legal thriller at it's best, but than again that's Mr. Turow's style. So I’m not surprised that all of Mr. Turow's books have been International Best Sellers.

A Bomber Hanson Mystery

By David Champion
Knoll -  Jan. 1999
ISBN:  1888310936  -  HC
Legal Suspense

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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PHANTOM VIRUS is the fourth installment of David Champion's series of legal mysteries. The first is "Mountain Massacres," the second "Nobody Roots For
Goliath," and "Celebrity Trouble" is the third.

Angelo Scioria has lost his daughter, Merilee, to a virus called "Wanns" (an aids like virus) that was supposedly passed to her by her dentist.  He has already been sued, and the Sciorias won a 2-million dollar lawsuit from the estate of the dentist.  Now Angelo and his wife, Regina, have heard from a Dr. Walter Daimler, from Berkley College, that the drug JCD that was used for Wann's patients is toxic and killing patients rather than helping them. Angelo and Regina go to ostentatious lawyer Bomber Hanson to see if he will take the case to sue Dr. Carl Valentine, the maker of the JCD drug.  At first, Bomber does not want to help them, but soon changes his mind.  Bomber sends in his son Todd as he always does to investigate.  Todd, with his very engaging personality, gets the witnesses to open up and testify in court; that's where Bomber comes in with his flashy courtroom style.  But is that enough to win this case?

PHANTOM VIRUS is a free-flowing story line with lots of surprises mixed in.  Bomber Hanson woos the courtroom with the flamboyant theatrics he is known for.  It’s a book that you will not be able to put down until you have finished; it really grabs you right from the very beginning.

By James Patterson
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN:  0316693286  - Hardcover
Suspense / Thriller

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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 We first met Alex Cross in  Kiss the Girls, where a devilish duo went after women. Then there was Cat and Mouse where a bloodthirsty butcher was after his family. Now there is the Weasel, a chilling villain that no reader will forget. I know that I won't for a long while. Alex and his partner John Sampson want to search for the Jane Doe killer, but their tyrannical boss George Pitman orders them to investigate a high-profile murder of a rich white man instead. This book combines a love story of great tenderness and a plot of relentless suspense at a heart pounding pace. I found the court room scenes to be rather boring, other than that the story is believable, and the ending is so exciting that you will want the book to go on and on. 

James Patterson is a past winner of the prestigious Edgar's Award. Mr. Patterson is a heck of a writer who makes you believe the characters are real. 

By Sandra Levy Ceren
Andrew Scott Publishers  - May 1999
ISBN:  0966986105

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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There’s only two ways a reader can read this one and it not affect his or her mind or life, either with the lights on or during the daytime. It’s that intense and riveting. 

There is a danger along the San Diego coast, where a slasher, rapist is targeting young lonely single women.  After one of Dr. Cory Cohen’s patients is killed, Cory decides to get involved, but the police do not want her help, needless to say that does not stop Cory. She bands together a group of psychologists in hopes of finding out how many of their patients are receiving calls from the rapist, they also attempt to come up with a pattern. Cory decides to go even further by putting herself in harms way to get this maniac. I call him a maniac because the rapist they are dealing with is a brutal, unemotional psychopath like no other I have ever read. 

The author does an excellent job of literally putting the reader into the mind of the killer. I promise as you read Prescription for Terror, you too will wonder with a feeling of fear could there really be such an evil creature as this running around our streets. This psychological thriller is one of the best that I have read. 

It was fast paced -- a real page-turner. I can hardly wait for the sequel.

By David Baldacci
Warner Books  - 1999
ISBN:  0446525774 – Hard Cover

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com

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A political thriller with nonstop action, and an astounding look into the inner sanctums of our government.

The villain Robert Thornhill, a deputy director of The Central Intelligence Agency hates the FBI because they have more money & power than his CIA. This character is the ultimate bad guy. You get the impression that he has no good in him at all. In a wooded area of Northern Virginia a small house at the end of a gravel road, security apparatus and hidden, miniaturized cameras is being used by the FBI to interview one of the most important witnesses the agency has ever had.  A few people know about the secret meeting, and a violent drama is about to begin for them. Faith Lockhart is the secret witness who must go on the run with Lee Adams, a man that she does not know and does not trust yet.

Adams and Lockhart are very likable characters, but I felt that the author didn't develop his characters quite enough. I have no problem with language in a book, but it seemed to me that this one had too much foul language compared to his other books, but I feel it’s still to good a read to pass up.

Davis Baldacci is also the author of ABSOLUTE POWER, which is very good also. If you like SAVING FAITH and haven’t read ABSOLUTE POWER, I recommend it. It’s no wonder why David Baldacci is always on the New York Times Best Seller list. 

A Stan Turner Mystery
By William Manchee
Top Publications - 2000
ISBN: 09666366694 - Trade Paperback

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com

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Second Chair is the 3rd installment of Stan Turner, The 1st was UNDAUNTED and the 2nd was BRASH ENDEAVOR.

Dallas Attorney Stan Turner and his wife Rebekah are having a Christmas party with family, friends, and clients as their guests. During the party the lights go out. As Stan gets the fuse changed and the lights come back on, he hears a scream. Stan rushes to where he heard the scream come from and sees his friend and CPA Bobby Wiggins lying in the flowerbed face up. The cause of death is massive coronary caused by the fall on the ice. Marleen Wiggins decides to sue Stan for 2 million dollars because of negligence in not sanding the sidewalk.

This is only one of the cases that Stan is working on. Stan is asked to defend a young woman named Sarah Winters for killing her child, which she claims to remember nothing about.  Before the trial even gets started, Stan and his family start getting threats through the mail, the letters are cut out of magazines so they can not be traced, the first one said:





After a court appearance, Stan’s beautiful corvette has all of its tires slashed and windows broken out and a message scratched on his hood saying;  “ YE SHALL NOT ESCAPE THE VENGEANCE OF THE LORD. -- DOOMSLAYER.

Even after all of that, Stan decides to keep on defending Sarah because he believes in her innocence. After the trial starts, Stan is all most run down in the parking garage, his dog is also killed in their back yard, and his trial note book is stolen out of his office the night before a court appearance and he must recreate the note book in 8 hours before court reconvenes.

Stan Turner is a very pleasant guy and the kind of lawyer that we would all love to have in our corner. All of the characters are believable and fit into the plot.

William Manchee has done it again with  "Second Chair". I have not had the pleasure of reading the first two Stan Turner Mysteries, "Undaunted" and "Brash Endeavor" but you can bet that I will be adding them both to my private collection of books. I have had the honor of reading  “ Death Pact “ to review, and I will say that it is the best book that I have ever read so far; "Second Chair" is a close second to "Death Pact."

William Manchee can spin a tale that totally keeps you holding on and wanting more. You can bet that I will read anything that this talented author puts out.

Kudos to William Manchee for a 5 star read again!

By Mary Higgins Clark
Published by Simon and Schuster - 1995
ISBN: 0684815451

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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A very special story about the power of love and a child’s faith and courage. 

Catherine Dorman's husband is very sick with leukemia and must go to New York for a life saving operation. Catherine decides to take her sons with her to lesson their fears about their father. On Christmas Eve Catherine takes her sons to see Rockefeller Center's famous Christmas tree. As they are stopped to listen to street music Brian the youngest son sees a woman take his mother's wallet, which has a very special gift. Brian, not able to get his mother's attention decides to follow the woman and get his mother's wallet back. Brian is headed for a journey that will threaten his life. 

I have read all of Mary Higgins Clark's titles. I feel she is a master at what she does. She is a favorite of mine and always will be. 

By Kyle Mills
Harper - Jan. 2000
ISBN: 0061012513 - Paperback
Political Thriller

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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This is the 2nd installment of Mark Beaman; the 1st was “Rising Phoenix “ 

FBI special agent Mark Beaman is not your model book hero; he is overweight, smokes, and drinks too much.   His ways and refusal to play by the rules cause him major trouble with his bosses so he is transferred from Washington D.C. to Flagstaff, Arizona, and given one more chance to change his ways or be fired. 

A millionaire couple Eric and Patricia Davis are murdered in their home and 15 year-old daughter Jennifer is missing. Beaman is on the case, and at first, he thinks that Jennifer is guilty. Beaman set off on a trail that takes him from a remote backwoods survivalists cabin into the Utah mountains through the headquarters of a cult like church called the “Church of Evolution” that seems to be ahead of him where ever a clue leads him.  Just when Beaman thinks he’s close to solving the case, he discovers that the murder and kidnapping is far more menacing and far-reaching than he first thought.  As Beaman falls back on his old unorthodox work methods, he discovers that nothing is what it seems, and finds himself the victim of a mysterious harassment.  Beaman must find the killers and at the same time warn the people before America is brought to it’s knees 

Storming Heaven is filled with a very likable cast of characters, and some that are not so likable but that is what makes for an spine tingling and fast paced read.   Mark Beaman is an extraordinary investigator with an unselfish drive to solve crimes and seek justice, whether by the book or his own way. 

Great Read.


By Barbara Parker
Dutton - May 2000
ISBN:  0525945423

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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Suspicion of Malice is the third installment of Gail Conner and Anthony Quintana -- Suspicion of Deceit was first and Suspicion Betrayal was second. 

 The barbaric murder of Roger Cresswell took place in the shadows of an exclusive party on the Miami waterfront. The Victim is the heir to a yacht building family, and the suspects abound within this family driven by jealousy, greed, and malice. Bobby Gonzales is accused of killing Cresswell, and he is the secret lover of Angela Quintana. Angela goes to Gail Conner (her fathers ex-lover) and asks her to help clear Bobby. Angela tells Gail that Bobby has an airtight alibi that happens to be represented by Anthony Quintana.  The air crackles with electricity when Anthony and Gail find themselves locked together on opposite sides of a capital case, but with an innocent mans life hanging in the balance, there is no room for venomous emotions and no margin for error, somehow they must work together to save Bobby’s life.  Could this case destroy whatever is left of their relationship completely or bring them closer than ever before? 

Barbara Parker writes piercing dialogue and brings a great cast of characters who are very interesting to life.  The plot moved swiftly to a gratifying end.  Best of all was the sparks between the two protagonists that kept things animated throughout the book. 

By Tricia Allen 

Top Publications - 2000
ISBN: 1929976003 - Trade Paperback

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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David Weather is a Dallas County Assistant District Attorney in 1947. He is assigned the case of Philip Bauman, a Houston shipping line heir, socialite, dilettante man about town who stands accused of a brutal slashing murder that took place in Dallas.  The killing was similar to several murders that started up in Houston during the war.  The Houston killer, dubbed the “Maniac” in the hometown press, was credited with 17 straight razor murders in and around the city.  Most of the dead were prostitutes, while a few were plain old dirt poor, ignorant girls.  David must make his case while he has a reporter, Francy Cotton, on his trail wanting a story even though she knows that Judge Skelton has imposed a gag order.  Francy also wants David to talk about his dad's death that took place in 1932.  Francy feels that it was murder and not an accident.  David must battle several issues at once.  An anonymous messenger threatens his fiancee, Leslie Holcomb, while old and new family secrets endanger his freedom and his life.

The story line was very interesting and well plotted.  The characters fit well into the story line.  Descriptions of the crimes are frank and gruesome at times.  This is a good read

By Barry H. Smith 
Erica House Publishers
December 1999
ISBN 1893162060 - Paperback

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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TWILIGHT DYNASTY is an upfront, supernatural thriller that will hold you in your seat or scare you right out of it. 

A coed named Amanda Stewart runs out of the Muskoka Woodlands of Canada chased by a creature.  Ben Parker who happens to be a reporter rescues her. Amanda is the niece of Kyle Morrow, a high-powered lawyer who is well respected by his peers.  Morrow feels that his life is missing something so he decides to try past life regression. This is where I began to lose interest, but decided to read on and boy was I glad that I did. Ben Parker does a newspaper article on his rescue of Amanda ordeals; Morrow realizes that the creature was an exact representation of the creature that Ta-Lon, Kyle's Atlantean incarnation, had succumbed to in his last regression session."  Kyle must be very careful how he handles the situation or he will be defeated.  It will be a battle of good verses evil. 

Barry H. Smith has written a captivating book of supernatural terror.  It is filled with cults, magic, demons and heavenly visitors.  It is very well written and will most definitely hold the attention of those who thrive on this genre. 

By Sandra Brown
Narrator: Gary Cole
Bantam Doubleday Dell – 1998
ISBN: 0553478265 - Audio - 4 cassettes

Reviewed by: Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Co
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I have to give Gary Cole credit for bring this tale alive. He did it very well! 

Whew, I don’t know if listening to this title was wise, especially at bedtime. I was expecting a suspenseful romance, but what I heard was a violent, intense-filled tale of cruelty, revenge and murder with two evil prison escapees named Carl and Myron. I cringed each time the narrator, Mr. Cole, read their parts. Carl is seeking revenge on a family and on his way he leaves a trail of terror, sorrow and murder. A father, a (deaf) daughter-in-law and her son know they may be in danger; their choice is to face it head on, but not without some losses along the way. A drifter finds himself drawn to the family ranch and the deaf daughter-in-law. A retired Sheriff, Ezzy, who wife just left him due to his obsession of a twenty-year old murder, decides to help out. Both Ezzy and the reader will find the old murder following them throughout the present day story. 

An Un-abridged version of this story is available. I found the abridge version left out some of the points explaining the deaf character’s deafness. 

By L.C. Hayden
Top Publications - 1999
ISBN: 096663666X -

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com

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Debbie Gunther had a dreadful childhood. When her mother died in childbirth, her father blamed her and would not take her to raise her. Debbie was raised for eight years by her grandmother, who let her know on a daily basis that she was not wanted there. So, at the age of eight, her grandmother got in touch with her father and told him to take Debbie, or she would have him brought up on abandonment charges. Debbie's father took her but he treated her badly the whole time that he had her.

After a choir teacher of Debbie's told her how much she looks like a famous Las Vegas singer named Colette, Debbie learns everything she can about Colette and becomes an impersonator for the stage. Debbie is hired at the Crystal Palace Casino--the very place that Colette was working and where she was murdered.

Debbie is apprehensive from the very beginning. She receives a note, which she tries to ignore, but the very dress that Colette is murdered in arrives for her and then roses arrive for Debbie--all yellow with one red rose in the middle, the same exact bouquet that Colette was given on stage just before she was shot. Debbie believes that the only one she can confide in is Dan Springer, a young reporter who is supposed to do a story on Debbie. Dan Springer has his own conflicts to deal with. There is a strong attraction between Dan and Debbie, but Dan is determined not to fall for Debbie. Debbie's problem is wondering if she can trust Dan to find out who wants her dead before it is too late.

This a top notch suspense story filled with a lot of fast-paced action along with more twists and turns than you have ever seen and an ending that is truly a surprise for the reader. The characters are real, and they all have their own agendas. The characters of Dan and Debbie are written with such rich details they feel like true friends to the reader. This book is set with Las Vegas as the background. L.C. Hayden has done it again. First there was “Who's Susan” and now “When Colette Died.” I can hardly wait for her next book to come out. 

By  L.C. Hayden

Top Publications
ISBN: 1551971828 - 1998

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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When Susan Haynes goes to Happy Child Day Center to pick up her son Tommy, the manager Ms.Cortez tells her that she had already signed her son out at noon. Susan freaks because she knows that this is not true. She then calls her husband, Jeff at the bank, and he tells her to call the police. Susan is somewhat afraid to call the police because of her background. See, Susan does not remember 18 years of her life. All that she has been told is that the family chauffeur, Saul, dropped her off in Dallas at Bell View Mental Institute at the age of 8 years old completely catatonic.

As the investigation begins, everyone is willing to believe and assist Susan, but with each detail of her psychiatric care revealed in news reports, people begin to blame her. She is then left with only the support of her husband Jeff and Detective Harry Bronson, the detective assigned to investigate what happened to little Timmy. Jeff, feeling that he can no longer trust her, eventually deserts her too. Detective Bronson tells Susan that he needs her to take a polygraph test because the District Attorney's Office had doubts. He assures her that he does believe her, but that this will help prove she is innocent of kidnapping her son.

She begins to feel that her past is connected to her son’s disappearance so she decides to go back to Pine Basin, New Mexico without telling anyone. She sets out to answer the questions to her past and hopefully find Timmy. 

The book from the very first page mesmerized me. The author keeps you hanging on to her every word, and it stays that way through the entire book. There are so many ups and downs in the book that you feel like you are on a roller coaster ride. This book is filled with characters that are real to life. My two favorite characters are Susan, who was willing to risk life and limb to recover her son, and Detective Bronson, who is a Columbo-kind of cop that dresses and appears to be incompetent, but watch out for him. He is as sly as a fox and he sticks by Susan the entire time when even her husband abandons her. This was a well-written, high-pitched suspense story with an ending you would not believe.

By Greg IIes
Putnam  - Aug.2000
ISBN: 0399146245 - HC

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
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24 HOURS is one of those books that once you start reading it, your heart starts to race and your hands refuse to release the book until you have finished reading the whole book, and boy is it worth it.

John Hickey is a mad genius, one of the worst kind, who has mastered the crime of kidnapping.  Hickey is so good at it, he can exact his crime in 24 Hours.   With hellish precision, he squeezes a family's pressure points, extorts the ransom and vanishes into thin air, leaving the hostages alive (his promise is the kid always makes it out alive), but the family is too shattered to call the police.  Hickey has carried out his plan five times now and hasn't been caught.  He has his sights on his next victim, Abby Jennings, the five-year old daughter of Dr. Will Jennings and his wife, Karen, of Jackson Mississippi; this time there is a possible problem that Hickey does not know about.

Greg IIes takes a parent's greatest horror, the kidnapping of a child, and turns it into a whopper of a chiller.  As the title tells us, the book takes place in 24 HOURS.  But in that 24 hours, though you move along at a frenzied pace, you also get to know each and every character intimately.  The story line is disturbing and yet fascinating at the same time.

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