The Rhythm Section
By: Mark Burnell
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
Stephanie Patrick’s life is destroyed by the crash of flight NEO027. Her family was on board and there were no survivors. Devastated, she drops out of college and her life spins out of control as she enters a world of drugs and prostitution—until a journalist discovers that the crash wasn’t an accident. There was a bomb planted on the plane. Filled with rage, and with nothing left to loose, she focuses on one goal: revenge.
The opportunity to obtain it arrives quickly when Stephanie is approached and recruited by an extremely covert intelligence organization. She is young, smart, and beautiful—and has no family, making her the perfect candidate. The organization offers her a deal. She must undergo rigorous training; learn how to control her heart rate and breathing (“the rhythm section”); and learn how to efficiently use weapons. Then, she will assume a new identity and commit acts of terrorism on behalf of the organization. When she completes these assignments successfully—and proves her loyalty—she will be offered the opportunity to take out the terrorists who brought down flight NEO027. She has nothing to lose.
As “Petra,” a mercenary terrorist based out of Germany, and as “Marina,” an international businesswoman based in London, she enters the brutal world of international espionage, and adapts quickly. She is able to numb her feelings and act on instinct alone. But as the stakes get higher, Stephanie begins to question what her value really is. Is the organization telling her the truth–do they know who caused flight NEO027 to explode? Or are they using her for some other agenda? More important: Is avenging her family worth the price she is paying? And if it isn’t—will the organization that created her let her go?
The book caught my attention when I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation starring Blake Lively. It looked interesting, and I like this genre, something fast to read in the summer time between huge tomes (which comprises 90% of my to-read queue at this point). Plus, I needed something like this to read in the meantime as I’ve been meaning to carve some time to catch up on Daniel Silva’s books again.
By: Amy Stuart
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA via NetGalley
Malcolm is gone. Disappeared. And no one knows where or why.
His colleague and fellow private investigator, Clare, is certain she can find him, as she holds the key to his past. She arrives in the oceanside city where he last lived and starts digging around. Not only is Malcolm gone without a trace, so is his wife, Zoe. Everyone who knew the perfect couple sees Malcolm as the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance. Everyone except Clare. She’s certain there’s more at play that has nothing to do with Malcolm, a dark connection to Zoe’s family business and the murder of her father years ago.
As Clare pulls back the layers, she discovers secrets the entire community is trying desperately to leave in the past. As for Malcolm, his past is far more complex—and far more sinister—than Clare could ever have imagined. He may not be innocent at all. As she searches for the man who helped her build her career as a private eye, Clare discovers that many women are in grave danger. And she is among them.
Here we are, the final book in Clare’s story. I’m a big fan of the previous two books, they’re so suspenseful and interesting and Clare is such a fantastic and complex character. So yeah, I had to request for the final volume in her story if I could; many thanks to the publisher for approving an eARC of this book for me to read. This book will be released on 07 July 2020. May contain some mild spoilers if you’re not familar with the previous two books in the series!
The Hellfire Club
By: Jake Tapper
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Charlie Marder is an unlikely Congressman. Thrust into office by his family ties after his predecessor died mysteriously, Charlie is struggling to navigate the dangerous waters of 1950s Washington, DC, alongside his young wife Margaret, a zoologist with ambitions of her own. Amid the swirl of glamorous and powerful political leaders and deal makers, a mysterious fatal car accident thrusts Charlie and Margaret into an underworld of backroom deals, secret societies, and a plot that could change the course of history. When Charlie discovers a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of governance, he has to fight not only for his principles and his newfound political career…but for his life.
I follow a few political commentators/analysts online and I think it was last year that they started mentioning this book quite a bit. I was intrigued so I had this book on my wishlist for a while. Then I picked it up some time ago, enticed by a sale.
The Last Painting of Sara De Vos
By: Dominic Smith
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase
This is what we long for: the profound pleasure of being swept into vivid new worlds, worlds peopled by characters so intriguing and real that we can’t shake them, even long after the reading’s done. In his earlier, award-winning novels, Dominic Smith demonstrated a gift for coaxing the past to life. Now, in The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, he deftly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the golden age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth.
In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke’s in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain–a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she’s curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.
I found out about this book from Mel @ Book Musings and had it on my wishlist for a while. I then encountered it again for a very good price and decided to pick it up. I enjoy reading about art and discovering the world of art dealing and whatnot through these thriller/suspense/historical fiction novels.
By: Amy Stuart
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of Touchstone Books
How do you find the truth in a town full of secrets?
Sally Proulx and her young boy have mysteriously disappeared in the stormy town of High River. Clare O’Dey is hired to track them down, hoping against all odds to find them alive. But High River isn’t your typical town.
In a town where secrets are crucial to survival, everyone is hiding something. And the police clearly have an ulterior motive beyond solving the case. Malcolm Boon, who hired Clare, knows more about her than he reveals. Their benefactor, Helen Haines, is concealing a tragic family history of her own. As the truth surges through High River, Clare must face the very thing she has so desperately been running from, even if it comes at a devastating cost. Compulsively gripping and twisty, Still Water is a deep dive of a thriller that will leave you breathless.
I really enjoyed Amy Stuart’s first novel, Still Mine, but did not get around to reading Still Water right away. Many thanks to Touchstone Books for reaching out and offering a galley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.