Daily Archives: June 9, 2009

Suspense-Thriller Challenge COMPLETED


Hosted by J. Kaye, this challenge was all about reading sub-genres of suspense-thrillers. The challenge was a two year challenge, which I started in March 2008. To see the books I read and get links to the reviews, visit this post.

I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. I have a lot of books on my TBR stacks in this genre, and this was a perfect excuse to read them.

My favorite books for the challenge were:

  • The Tenderness of Wolves, by Stef Penney (an historical thriller)
  • Down River, by John Hart (a psychological thriller)
  • Breathing Out the Ghost, by Kirk Curnutt (a noir thriller)
  • Christine Falls, by Benjamin Black (a literary thriller)
  • The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, by Kate Summerscale (a true crime thriller)

Thank you, J. Kaye for hosting this fun challenge!

Malice – Book Review

malice Handsome in a rugged way. Athletic and muscular rather than thin. With a square jaw and eyes that could cut through any kind of lie, he’s smart and pensive, his emotions usually under tight rein.

And yet he has an Achilles heel.

One that will bring him down.

– from Malice, page 59 –

After the questionable death of his ex-wife Jennifer, Homicide detective Rick Bentz slides into alcohol abuse and is devastated when he is involved in the shooting death of a twelve year old boy and unable to solve the horrific murder of twin girls. He leaves Los Angeles and takes a job in New Orleans where he gets his life back on track and marries Olivia, an independent and beautiful woman.

Fast forward twelve years.

While recovering from a bruised spinal cord and upon waking from a coma, Bentz has a vision. He sees Jennifer – not once, but several times; and then he gets a manila envelope with recent photos of her and a copy of her death certificate with a red question mark written on it. Shaken, Bentz returns to California and quickly becomes embroiled in the old department politics while fresh bodies start turning up…all connected to him.

Lisa Jackson’s fast paced and newest thriller Malice hit the stores in April. The plot unfolds quickly and readers do not have to wait long for the thrills. This book is all about plot – not a disappointment to readers of this genre.

Although I enjoyed the novel (and it was a very quick read for me), it was not without its faults. There were quite a few typos in my finished copy which always annoys me. Also, at times the plot felt a bit contrived – things were not always believable, and the ending was wrapped up pretty neatly.  In fairness to Jackson, this type of genre fiction seems to play on the edges of believability with the evil characters being really bad, the benevolent characters being really good, and the plots being a bit exaggerated. That said, Jackson writes this type of story as good as any, having written more than 75 novels and with more than 10 million copies of her books in print.

Malice is good escapism reading – a fast moving plot, lots of dialogue, and menace around every corner. For readers who like to curl up with a book of suspense and let their palms sweat, Jackson’s book is sure to please.