Thursday, May 13, 2010

Harriet Returns

The Executor
Jesse Kellerman
Putnam, Apr 2010, $25.95
ISBN: 9780399156472

Harvard University kicks out thirty year old graduate student Joseph Geist for slacking; the philosophy major was doing none of his class work. Reeling from that blow though he knows he is at fault, Joseph takes a second shot to the gut when his girlfriend ends their longtime relationship.

Needing gainful employment that does not require work, he answers a personal ad in the Harvard Crimson. Elderly Austrian expatriate Alma Spielmann seeks a meaningful conversationalist to discuss and argue issues. He answers the call and is hired. They become more than just employer-employee as the pair becomes friends. She invites him to move into her Cambridge house for free room and board; he accepts her offer. However, Alma’s nasty nephew Eric resents the non-family freeloader though ironically he depends on his aunt’s generosity for his finance and he occasionally visits her to see if the old hag’s health is failing.

This is a superb psychological suspense thriller that grips the audience once the triangle is set as fans of Jesse Kellerman anticipate something bad is going to happen but wonder to whom. The three key players come across as real with Joseph caring for his employer and Alma for her employee with angry Eric stirring the mix. Jesse Kellerman is at the author’s best with this strong character driven thriller that will readers wondering throughout who if any will be left standing.
Harriet Klausner

Nowhere To Run
C.J. Box,
Putnam, Apr. 2010, $25.95
ISBN: 9780399156458

Wyoming Game Warden Joe Picket investigates a hunting complaint in a remote section where a female runner vanished years ago. Entering the woods, Joe feels a creeping sensation up and down his spine that someone is stalking him.

However, paranoia can prove genuine when someone ambushes Joe. He barely escapes from the woods. Joe reports that survivalists and a female attacked him. His account leads to a media frenzy as a runner’s parents pray their daughter is alive as this is the first time they can hope and a horde of rent a soldiers arrive to free the woman from the survivalists.

Nowhere to Run is an exhilarating Picket thriller that grips the audience once Joe knows he has a stalker tracking him and never slows down until the final climatic denouement. This thriller is fast-paced throughout with terrific twists that hook fans even deeper into the story line. Like Joe, fans will wonder when is government too intrusive yet when must the government intrude on the lives of competent individuals making rational but outside the box choices that places no one else in harm. Harriet Klausner

Witch in Time
Madelyn Alt
Berkley, Apr 2010, $23.95
ISBN: 9780425232613

Over the last nine months in Stony Mill, Indiana, the sensitives feel a chaotic energy surge sweeping the town and leading to murder and mayhem. The witches and the sensitives are friends so arrange a coalition led by Liss the witch who has deliberately developed her powers and encourages her co-worker Maggie O'Neill to do so too as she is a strong empath.

Maggie gets involved in the chaotic energy when she goes to the hospital with her boyfriend Marcus Quinn to see her sister Mel giving birth. The spirits follow Maggie into an elevator where she overhears a conversation that implies someone’s death. A few days earlier student Jordan Everett died from an enlarged heart caused by steroid use. Not understanding what the spirits are telling her, Maggie remains with Mel overnight. She overhears an argument between a woman who just gave birth and a man who is not her husband. Her sister’s husband vanishes while Maggie believes Jordan’s death is linked to another death a few days after her sister gave birth to twins. Now she has to prove her assertion with evidence beyond witchery and intuition.

Madelyn Alt’s paranormal amateur sleuth mysteries are always fantastic fun. With a good deal of sensual feelings exchanged between the heroine and her significant other, A Witch In Time has cross genre appeal to romance readers too. Maggie works the case with the spirits trying to tell her the solution, but they are too cryptic, which both frustrates and motivates her. Readers will enjoy this refreshing tale in an original series as learning who the culprit is from those beyond will not hold up in court. Harriet Klausner

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