aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Thoughts on USA Today’s “Summer Thrillers” list

The text is lifted straight from USA Today, my thoughts in brackets.

•Stalin's Ghost _By Martin Cruz Smith (Simon & Schuster, $26.95, in stores)_Thrill factor: * * * * (out of five) Why it's hot: Its dead-on portrayal of life in the new Russia, nostalgia for the Cold War era and the unarmed Renko's dogged determination to solve several murders despite attempts on his life. [Thought: Martin Cruz Smith had never even been to Russia when he wrote Gorky Park.]
•Hooked _By Matt Richtel (Twelve, $24.99, in stores)_ Thrill factor: * * * * The story: A note dropped on Idle's table in an Internet cafe tells him to leave immediately. He does so just seconds before the cafe explodes. Could the message have come from his lover who died four years before? Why it's hot: Everyone has secrets and nothing is what it appears to be. Our growing addiction to the Internet and e-mail takes on horrifying proportions. [Thoughts: Hm, sounds like someone has been taking lessons from Harlan Coben. And Hooked has already been used at least twice for a thriller title.]
•Dead Connection_By Alafair Burke (Henry Holt, $19.95, July 10)_Thrill factor: * * * * Why it's hot: Burke taps into a cultural hot-button issue: the increasing popularity of online dating sites and the very real possibility that the person you are connecting with is lying about who he/she is. [Thought: she’s James Lee Burke’s daughter – you know that doesn’t hurt. Again, the title is the same as a very well received YA thriller by Charlie Price.]
•The Secret Servant _By Daniel Silva (Putnam, $25.95, July 24)_Thrill factor: * * * * * The story: Allon is called into action when fundamentalist extremists kidnap the daughter of the American ambassador to Great Britain — who also is the goddaughter of the U.S. president. Why it's hot: Allon is Israel's Jack Bauer. In true Bauer fashion, shootouts, kidnappings and international terror plots follow him wherever he goes. [Thought: can you say “high-concept,” boys and girls?]
•Beyond Reach _By Karin Slaughter (Dell, $25, July 31)_Thrill factor: * * * * * The story: A murder investigation involving Lena Adams, a maverick Grant County detective, uncovers deep layers of corruption, greed and violence in a rural county. [Thought: I remember when she was at the Malice Domestic fan conference in 2000, before her first book, and the rumors were she had just signed a million dollar book deal. Not that I was jealous or anything.]

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Tags: thrillers
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