A thriller book recommendation: The Murder of Willie Lincoln: A Novel (John Hay Mystery) by Burt Solomon

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2zGLLHK.
I won’t spoil the suspense of how Hay goes about proving or dismissing his suspicions over Willie’s death. See if you don’t come away from this engaging roman a clef hoping that Mr. Solomon finds something else for John Hay to apply his fertile mind.
Book description from Google Books:
The Murder of Willie Lincoln is an exciting historical fiction debut by award-winning political journalist and Washington insider Burt Solomon.Washington City, 1862: The United States lies in tatters, and there seems no end to the war. Abraham Lincoln, the legitimate President of the United States, is using all his will to keep his beloved land together. But Lincoln’s will and soul are tested when tragedy strikes the White House as Willie Lincoln, the love and shining light in the president’s heart, is taken by typhoid fever.But was this really the cause of his death? A message arrives, suggesting otherwise. Lincoln asks John Hay, his trusted aide—and almost a son—to investigate Willie’s death. Some see Hay as a gadfly–adventurous, incisive, lusty, reflective, skeptical, even cynical—but he loves the president and so seeks the truth behind the boy’s death. And so, as we follow Hay in his investigation, we are shown the loftiest and lowest corners of Washington City, from the president’s office and the gentleman’s dining room at Willard’s Hotel to the alley hovels, wartime hospitals, and the dome-less Capitol’s vermin-infested subbasement. We see the unfamiliar sides of a grief-stricken president, his hellcat of a wife, and their two surviving and suffering sons, and Hay matches wits with such luminaries as General McClellan, William Seward, and the indomitable detective Allan Pinkerton.What Hay discovers has the potential of not only destroying Lincoln, but a nation.
The book is rated 3.62/5 at goodreads.com, from 81 ratings. See 21 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iUOPrX.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iTu7IN.

A thriller book recommendation: Based on a True Story by VIGAN DELPHINE DE

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2iOyGEv.
Two things, first: One, Delphine de Vigan’s Based on a True Story is a powerful novel of suspense. Two, Based on a True Story may or may not be based on truth.
Book description from Google Books:
What would you do if your closest friend tried to steal your life? ‘Combining the allure of Gone Girl with the sophistication of literary fiction, Based on a True Story is a creepy but unapologetically clever psychological thriller’ Independent Today I know that L. is the sole reason for my powerlessness. And that the two years that we were friends almost made me stop writing for ever.Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and unable to begin writing her next book, Delphine meets L.L. is the kind of impeccable, sophisticated woman who fascinates Delphine; a woman with smooth hair and perfectly filed nails, and a gift for saying the right thing. Delphine finds herself irresistibly drawn to her, their friendship growing as their meetings, notes and texts increase. But as L. begins to dress like Delphine, and, in the face of Delphine’s crippling inability to write, L. even offers to answer her emails, and their relationship rapidly intensifies. L. becomes more and more involved in Delphine’s life until she patiently takes control and turns it upside down: slowly, surely, insidiously.Based on a True Story is a chilling novel of suspense that will leave you questioning the truth and its significance long after you have turned the final page.
The book is rated 3.95/5 at goodreads.com, from 2705 ratings. See 442 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iOyK7d.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iPHSbK.

A thriller book recommendation: The Murder of Willie Lincoln: A Novel (John Hay Mystery) by Burt Solomon

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2zGLLHK.
I won’t spoil the suspense of how Hay goes about proving or dismissing his suspicions over Willie’s death. See if you don’t come away from this engaging roman a clef hoping that Mr. Solomon finds something else for John Hay to apply his fertile mind.
Book description from Google Books:
The Murder of Willie Lincoln is an exciting historical fiction debut by award-winning political journalist and Washington insider Burt Solomon.Washington City, 1862: The United States lies in tatters, and there seems no end to the war. Abraham Lincoln, the legitimate President of the United States, is using all his will to keep his beloved land together. But Lincoln’s will and soul are tested when tragedy strikes the White House as Willie Lincoln, the love and shining light in the president’s heart, is taken by typhoid fever.But was this really the cause of his death? A message arrives, suggesting otherwise. Lincoln asks John Hay, his trusted aide—and almost a son—to investigate Willie’s death. Some see Hay as a gadfly–adventurous, incisive, lusty, reflective, skeptical, even cynical—but he loves the president and so seeks the truth behind the boy’s death. And so, as we follow Hay in his investigation, we are shown the loftiest and lowest corners of Washington City, from the president’s office and the gentleman’s dining room at Willard’s Hotel to the alley hovels, wartime hospitals, and the dome-less Capitol’s vermin-infested subbasement. We see the unfamiliar sides of a grief-stricken president, his hellcat of a wife, and their two surviving and suffering sons, and Hay matches wits with such luminaries as General McClellan, William Seward, and the indomitable detective Allan Pinkerton.What Hay discovers has the potential of not only destroying Lincoln, but a nation.
The book is rated 3.62/5 at goodreads.com, from 81 ratings. See 21 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iUOPrX.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iTu7IN.

A thriller book recommendation: A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2zE8nbQ.
A Talent for Murder is the first in a series and has been optioned for TV: it’s not difficult to see why. Wilson not only knows his subject but he deftly moves this Agatha Christie tale away from mere literary ventriloquism and into darker, more psychological territory.
Book description from Google Books:
‘I wouldn’t scream if I were you. Unless you want the whole world to learn about your husband and his mistress.’ Agatha Christie, in London to visit her literary agent, boards a train, preoccupied and flustered in the knowledge that her husband Archie is having an affair. She feels a light touch on her back, causing her to lose her balance, then a sense of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of the incoming train. So begins a terrifying sequence of events. Her rescuer is no guardian angel; rather, he is a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative kind. Agatha must use every ounce of her cleverness and resourcefulness to thwart an adversary determined to exploit her genius for murder to kill on his behalf.  ‘Wilson not only knows his subject but he deftly moves the tale away from mere literary ventriloquism and into darker territory. Great fun, too’ Observer   ‘The queen of crime is the central character in this audacious mystery, which reinvents the story of her mysterious disappearance with thrilling results’ Guardian ‘A thoroughly clever entertainment and a fitting homage to the great author, but it has a chilling melancholy all its own’ The Tablet What readers are saying about A Talent for Murder:  ‘The initial premise of the story is pure genius, and when the reader realises by the end of chapter one whose head they are inside, goose bumps are guaranteed to occur’ Greg, Goodreads, 4 stars   ‘A darkly twisting tale of murder and manipulation’ Erin Britton, NetGalley, 4 stars   ‘This is a must-read for crime fiction fans, and Agatha Christie fans especially who will discover a new side to the Queen of Crime herself!’ Vincent, Goodreads, 5 stars   ‘I enjoy Agatha Christie and this book did not disappoint. I devoured this book in two days’ Annie, Goodreads, 4 stars   ‘Great mystery and action novel featuring Agatha Christie as you’ve never seen her before. Part biography/part thrill ride this is one novel I didn’t want to end’ Nikkia Neil, NetGalley, 5 stars   ‘An intriguing homage that stirs the imagination of the amateur sleuth in all of us … A Talent for Murder is one novel that definitely deserves attention and praise’ Elspeth G. Perkin, Goodreads, 4 stars   ‘This was a really good read especially for fans of Agatha Christie and even those who have never read her books’ Teresa, Goodreads, 4 stars   ‘So, so enjoyable! Great for book club discussion due to the “real” mystery behind it’ Kaylee Mitchell, Goodreads, 5 stars   ‘A fun read for Christie fans’Roman Clodia, NetGalley, 4 stars ‘I’ll admit to being totally drawn along by this novel; I couldn’t wait to keep reading and find out how it would all turn out.  I really would recommend this book as an interesting account of Christie’s missing eleven days; you will be entertained’ Kate Baty, 4 stars, NetGalley   ‘An exciting novel, a must for all Christie fans! Did you see what was happening? Did you spot the red herrings? The obvious clues. No? I didn’t and that is probably what makes this a very clever novel’ Joanne D’arcy, NetGalley, 5 stars   ‘A very enjoyable read, in the tradition of Christie herself, well researched and inventive … plenty of unexpected plot twists to keep you on your toes. What fun!’ Lisa Friel, NetGalley, 4 stars   ‘Unusual and entertaining’ Tina Stringer, NetGalley 4 stars ‘Entertaining, feasible plotting and an authentic narrative make this a highly enjoyable read’ J Graham, NetGalley, 4 stars
The book is rated 3.45/5 at goodreads.com, from 381 ratings. See 131 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2zE8B2G.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iOLPNH.

A thriller book recommendation: A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2zE8nbQ.
A Talent for Murder is the first in a series and has been optioned for TV: it’s not difficult to see why. Wilson not only knows his subject but he deftly moves this Agatha Christie tale away from mere literary ventriloquism and into darker, more psychological territory.
Book description from Google Books:
‘I wouldn’t scream if I were you. Unless you want the whole world to learn about your husband and his mistress.’ Agatha Christie, in London to visit her literary agent, boards a train, preoccupied and flustered in the knowledge that her husband Archie is having an affair. She feels a light touch on her back, causing her to lose her balance, then a sense of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of the incoming train. So begins a terrifying sequence of events. Her rescuer is no guardian angel; rather, he is a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative kind. Agatha must use every ounce of her cleverness and resourcefulness to thwart an adversary determined to exploit her genius for murder to kill on his behalf.  ‘Wilson not only knows his subject but he deftly moves the tale away from mere literary ventriloquism and into darker territory. Great fun, too’ Observer   ‘The queen of crime is the central character in this audacious mystery, which reinvents the story of her mysterious disappearance with thrilling results’ Guardian ‘A thoroughly clever entertainment and a fitting homage to the great author, but it has a chilling melancholy all its own’ The Tablet What readers are saying about A Talent for Murder:  ‘The initial premise of the story is pure genius, and when the reader realises by the end of chapter one whose head they are inside, goose bumps are guaranteed to occur’ Greg, Goodreads, 4 stars   ‘A darkly twisting tale of murder and manipulation’ Erin Britton, NetGalley, 4 stars   ‘This is a must-read for crime fiction fans, and Agatha Christie fans especially who will discover a new side to the Queen of Crime herself!’ Vincent, Goodreads, 5 stars   ‘I enjoy Agatha Christie and this book did not disappoint. I devoured this book in two days’ Annie, Goodreads, 4 stars   ‘Great mystery and action novel featuring Agatha Christie as you’ve never seen her before. Part biography/part thrill ride this is one novel I didn’t want to end’ Nikkia Neil, NetGalley, 5 stars   ‘An intriguing homage that stirs the imagination of the amateur sleuth in all of us … A Talent for Murder is one novel that definitely deserves attention and praise’ Elspeth G. Perkin, Goodreads, 4 stars   ‘This was a really good read especially for fans of Agatha Christie and even those who have never read her books’ Teresa, Goodreads, 4 stars   ‘So, so enjoyable! Great for book club discussion due to the “real” mystery behind it’ Kaylee Mitchell, Goodreads, 5 stars   ‘A fun read for Christie fans’Roman Clodia, NetGalley, 4 stars ‘I’ll admit to being totally drawn along by this novel; I couldn’t wait to keep reading and find out how it would all turn out.  I really would recommend this book as an interesting account of Christie’s missing eleven days; you will be entertained’ Kate Baty, 4 stars, NetGalley   ‘An exciting novel, a must for all Christie fans! Did you see what was happening? Did you spot the red herrings? The obvious clues. No? I didn’t and that is probably what makes this a very clever novel’ Joanne D’arcy, NetGalley, 5 stars   ‘A very enjoyable read, in the tradition of Christie herself, well researched and inventive … plenty of unexpected plot twists to keep you on your toes. What fun!’ Lisa Friel, NetGalley, 4 stars   ‘Unusual and entertaining’ Tina Stringer, NetGalley 4 stars ‘Entertaining, feasible plotting and an authentic narrative make this a highly enjoyable read’ J Graham, NetGalley, 4 stars
The book is rated 3.46/5 at goodreads.com, from 379 ratings. See 131 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2zE8B2G.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iOLPNH.

A thriller book recommendation: Based on a True Story by VIGAN DELPHINE DE

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2iOyGEv.
Two things, first: One, Delphine de Vigan’s Based on a True Story is a powerful novel of suspense. Two, Based on a True Story may or may not be based on truth.
Book description from Google Books:
What would you do if your closest friend tried to steal your life? ‘Combining the allure of Gone Girl with the sophistication of literary fiction, Based on a True Story is a creepy but unapologetically clever psychological thriller’ Independent Today I know that L. is the sole reason for my powerlessness. And that the two years that we were friends almost made me stop writing for ever.Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and unable to begin writing her next book, Delphine meets L.L. is the kind of impeccable, sophisticated woman who fascinates Delphine; a woman with smooth hair and perfectly filed nails, and a gift for saying the right thing. Delphine finds herself irresistibly drawn to her, their friendship growing as their meetings, notes and texts increase. But as L. begins to dress like Delphine, and, in the face of Delphine’s crippling inability to write, L. even offers to answer her emails, and their relationship rapidly intensifies. L. becomes more and more involved in Delphine’s life until she patiently takes control and turns it upside down: slowly, surely, insidiously.Based on a True Story is a chilling novel of suspense that will leave you questioning the truth and its significance long after you have turned the final page.
The book is rated 3.95/5 at goodreads.com, from 2694 ratings. See 439 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iOyK7d.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iPHSbK.

A thriller book recommendation: Broken River: A Novel by J. Robert Lennon

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2iyfdYD.
There are moments here of chilling violence, and of nuanced comedies of manners; the result is a heady novel that distills a host of anxieties into something offbeat and hard to shake.
Book description from Google Books:
The most inventive and entertaining novel to date from “a master of the dark arts” (Kelly Link)A modest house in upstate New York. One in the morning. Three people—a couple and their child—hurry out the door, but it’s too late for them. As the virtuosic and terrifying opening scene of Broken River unfolds, a spectral presence seems to be watching with cold and mysterious interest. Soon the house lies abandoned, and years later a new family moves in.Karl, Eleanor, and their daughter, Irina, arrive from New York City in the wake of Karl’s infidelity to start anew. Karl tries to stabilize his flailing art career. Eleanor, a successful commercial novelist, eagerly pivots in a new creative direction. Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Irina becomes obsessed with the brutal murders that occurred in the house years earlier. And, secretly, so does her mother. As the ensemble cast grows to include Louis, a hapless salesman in a carpet warehouse who is haunted by his past, and Sam, a young woman newly reunited with her jailbird brother, the seemingly unrelated crime that opened the story becomes ominously relevant.Hovering over all this activity looms a gradually awakening narrative consciousness that watches these characters lie to themselves and each other, unleashing forces that none of them could have anticipated and that put them in mortal danger. Broken River is a cinematic, darkly comic, and sui generis psychological thriller that could only have been written by J. Robert Lennon.
The book is rated 3.55/5 at goodreads.com, from 925 ratings. See 151 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iwM1kq.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iwM5ka.

A thriller book recommendation: The Ice by LALINE PAULL

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2iDCbxf.
It’s a rousing passage that, in its simultaneity and its resistance to simple causative relationships, brings the novel closer to the complexity and truth of life and of nature.
Book description from Google Books:
An electrifying story of friendship, power and betrayal by the bestselling, Baileys-prize shortlisted author of The Bees. It’s the day after tomorrow and the Arctic sea ice has melted. While global business carves up the new frontier, cruise ships race each other to ever-rarer wildlife sightings. The passengers of the Vanir have come seeking a polar bear. What they find is even more astonishing: a dead body. It is Tom Harding, lost in an accident three years ago and now revealed by the melting ice of Midgard glacier. Tom had come to Midgard to help launch the new venture of his best friend of thirty years, Sean Cawson, a man whose business relies on discretion and powerful connections – and who was the last person to see him alive. Their friendship had been forged by a shared obsession with Arctic exploration. And although Tom’s need to save the world often clashed with Sean’s desire to conquer it, Sean has always believed that underneath it all, they shared the same goals. But as the inquest into Tom’s death begins, the choices made by both men – in love and in life – are put on the stand. And when cracks appear in the foundations of Sean’s glamorous world, he is forced to question what price he has really paid for a seat at the establishment’s table. Just how deep do the lies go?
The book is rated 3.73/5 at goodreads.com, from 226 ratings. See 77 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2hcLQKR.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2hbqAVT.

A thriller book recommendation: The Mayor of Casterbridge (Penguin Classics) by Thomas Hardy

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2ivRvMi.
Hardy’s reworking of Oedipus Rex, set in the author’s native Wessex in the 1840s. Michael Henchard, a drunken journeyman labourer…The novel is Hardy’s most powerful study of will and character and the irresistibility of fate.
Book description from Google Books:
A haunting study of guilt and lost love in Penguin Classics, Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge is edited with an introduction and notes by Keith Wilson. In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town. This edition includes an introduction, chronology of Hardy’s life and works, the illustrations for the original serial issue, place names, maps, glossary, full explanatory notes as well as Hardy’s prefaces to the 1895 and 1912 editions. Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), born Higher Brockhampton, near Dorchester, originally trained as an architect before earning his living as a writer. Though he saw himself primarily as a poet, Hardy was the author of some of the late eighteenth century’s major novels: The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891), Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), and Jude the Obscure (1895). Amidst the controversy caused by Jude the Obscure, he turned to the poetry he had been writing all his life. In the next thirty years he published over nine hundred poems and his epic drama in verse, The Dynasts. If you enjoyed The Mayor of Casterbridge, you might like George Eliot’s Silas Marner, also available in Penguin Classics. ‘The greatest tragic writer among the English novelists’ Virginia Woolf ‘Visceral, passionate, anti-hypocrisy, anti-repression … Hardy reaches into our wildest recesses’ Evening Standard
The book is rated 3.80/5 at goodreads.com, from 45079 ratings. See 1699 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h7KsZT.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2h5h9r1.

A thriller book recommendation: My Absolute Darling: A Novel by Gabriel Tallent

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2h7WAKw.
My Absolute Darling is, very obviously, difficult to read, particularly the scenes that detail Martin’s abuse. But it’s also nearly impossible to put down.
Book description from Google Books:
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  “Impossible to put down.” –NPR “A novel that readers will gulp down, gasping.” –The Washington Post   “The word ‘masterpiece’ has been cheapened by too many blurbs, but My Absolute Darling absolutely is one.” –Stephen King A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl’s heart-stopping fight for her own soul. Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle’s escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero–and in the process, becomes ours as well. Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.
The book is rated 3.85/5 at goodreads.com, from 6211 ratings. See 1436 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iy5d1i.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2h8z1S5.