Tag Archives: genre: thriller

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

Gone Without a Trace

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

Published by: Berkley Books on April 18, 2017
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Hannah comes home one day to find her boyfriend has completely disappeared. It’s not just that he’s not at home. Everything of his is gone. He’s disappeared from her social media. His phone number is missing from her contacts. And his place of employment says he no longer works there. It’s as though his entire existence was a figment of her imagination. Except she knows it wasn’t. And her friends can confirm that for her. But where did he go? And why did he leave? And why do things keep turning up in her apartment when she’s not home? And why does she have the feeling that someone is watching her from a distance? She’s determined to find answers, regardless of what it means for everything else in her life.

This is definitely a page-turner. It opens with such an incredible question: How can someone completely disappear from your life? And did they do so willingly or should you immediately suspect foul play of some kind? Hannah feels like she might be losing her mind, and there’s clearly good reason why she may feel that way. The complicated web of connections and the untangling of it that is the plot of this story will keep you wondering right through to the end of the book.

[This review is based on an advance review copy received from the publisher via the First to Read program.]

A Hard Winter Rain by John Inman

A Hard Winter Rain

A Hard Winter Rain by John Inman

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on March 4, 2012
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Sean Andros is a street hustler. He’s good at what he does, and it pays well, but it’s not what he’d planned for his life. Having run from his conservative religious family in Indiana, it’s what he fell into when he arrived in San Diego. But he takes some solace in that he’s bringing pleasure to his clients.

When one of Sean’s clients is murdered, he panics. Not least because the murderer is still in the apartment. Fearing for his life, he runs to a nearby bar, looking for help even if he doesn’t know what shape it might take. He just knows he needs to get away.

Harry Connors has been interested in Sean since his friends gifted Sean to him for his birthday. There’s something about him that Harry just can’t shake. But he knows he should. The age difference is one thing. What Sean does for a living is another. But Harry knows what he wants. So when a disheveled Sean comes into his bar one night in need of help, Harry jumps at the chance.

But the danger is very real. An unexpected demon from Sean’s past has found its way to San Diego and no one is safe…

This one is a bit intense. Certainly more intense than I’d expected from the description. And it’s full of twists that kept me glued to the page.

I did feel like Sean and Harry went from zero to sixty a bit quickly. But I do recognize they had some history and the circumstances probably pushed things to the extreme. It just took a little time to wrap my head around it.

Recommended read, with content warning caveats.

Content warnings: sexual assault, violence, incest

Rubble and the Wreckage by Rodd Clark

24480921Title: Rubble and the Wreckage (A Gabriel Church Tale, Book 1)
Author: Rodd Clark
Published: January 30, 2015
Pages: 315
Publisher: Driven Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]

Christian Maxwell has always wanted to merge his interest and background in psychology and writing on a project. He can think of no better project than a book about a serial killer. They’ve been done before, but his project is unique in that he has found a killer who has yet to be caught by the police–Gabriel Church. Despite some initial misgivings, Christian accepts Gabriel’s offer to tell his story, an offer that Christian knows might lead him down a dark path. When the two start spending time together and Gabriel leads Christian to some truths about himself, that path he’s wandering might just get a bit darker than he expected–especially when he realizes he might be falling in love with a confessed and unrepentant murderer.

There are some real moments of intensity here in what I think is a rather original story. Toss in the fact that it’s set in Seattle, and I definitely felt like I was able to immerse myself in the book. There are a few apparent typos and naming inconsistencies, but I read a review copy and it’s possible those have been fixed and worked out in the final print edition. And while I appreciated the intensity of the characters and their relationship, there were a few points where things move a bit more slowly than I would have liked and the intensity fades just a bit.

That said, I did enjoy the book overall. As this is billed as the first in a series, I’m somewhat curious to see what happens next for either or both of these men.

Content warning: graphic descriptions of violence