Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Summer Thriller List

IMG_4625Summer is almost upon us and it’s one of my favorite seasons. What’s not to love? If you’re a music fan, there are a million concerts to go to. If you’re a foodie, you can eat outdoors at a myriad of restaurants. And, of course, if you’re a book lover there are numerous titles you can read in bed, on the beach or at the airport. To help you decide which books are worth reading, I’m going to share with you a few titles that I’m either currently reading or will be reading very soon.

FACEOFFFaceOff

This anthology is curated by the International Thriller Writers, which is the terrific organization that hosts ThrillerFest every year. This collection features some of the best writers in the business, including Lee Child, Steve Berry, and Michael Connelly, just to name a few. Check out the synopsis below and pick up a copy of the book here.

Synopsis 

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci and including stories by Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, and more, this one-of-a-kind anthology pulls together the most beloved characters from the best and most popular thriller series today. Worlds collide!

In an unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers have paired their series characters—such as Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, and Lincoln Rhyme—in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW). All of the contributors to FaceOff are ITW members and the stories feature these dynamic duos:

  • Patrick Kenzie vs. Harry Bosch in “Red Eye,” by Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly
  • John Rebus vs. Roy Grace in “In the Nick of Time,” by Ian Rankin and Peter James
  • Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy vs. Aloysius Pendergast in “Gaslighted,” by R.L. Stine, Douglas Preston, and Lincoln Child
  • Malachai Samuels vs. D.D. Warren in “The Laughing Buddha,” by M.J. Rose and Lisa Gardner
  • Paul Madriani vs. Alexandra Cooper in “Surfing the Panther,” by Steve Martini and Linda Fairstein
  • Lincoln Rhyme vs. Lucas Davenport in “Rhymes With Prey,” by Jeffery Deaver and John Sandford
  • Michael Quinn vs. Repairman Jack in “Infernal Night,” by Heather Graham and F. Paul Wilson
  • Sean Reilly vs. Glen Garber in “Pit Stop,” by Raymond Khoury and Linwood Barclay
  • Wyatt Hunt vs. Joe Trona in “Silent Hunt,” by John Lescroart and T. Jefferson Parker
  • Cotton Malone vs. Gray Pierce in “The Devil’s Bones,” by Steve Berry and James Rollins
  • Jack Reacher vs. Nick Heller in “Good and Valuable Consideration,” by Lee Child and Joseph Finder

So sit back and prepare for a rollicking ride as your favorite characters go head-to-head with some worthy opponents in FaceOff—it’s a thrill-a-minute read.

The Vessel

The Vessel 

This novella was written by Taylor Stevens, an immensely talented author whom I interviewed last year after meeting her at ThrillerFest. This short story serves as an appetizer for those waiting for the author’s next novel, The Catch, which is coming out in July. If you like Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, you’ll love Taylor Stevens’ character, Vanessa Michael Munroe. I highly recommend getting a copy of The Vessel.

Synopsis 

Some people were easy to find. Others took hunting and patience. The most difficult was a target who knew she was coming, and he knew. How could he not? When you backed a predator into a corner, when you took and destroyed all that she loved, when you made a game of ruining lives and sadism for you was sport, but then you failed to kill the predator: you’d better know she was coming back. This was an inviolable law. She wasn’t dead, and so she was coming for him. She had his face, had the name of a city. In the right hands, anything could be mined into so much more. She would find him. Kill him. Simple as that.

Cross Purposes

Cross Purposes 

Thomsas B. Sawyer is a phenomenal writer. In addition to being the former head writer of Murder, She Wrote, he’s written several books and a play. His newest novel, Cross Purposes, sounds very intriguing and I can’t wait to check it out this summer. You can pick up a copy of this new mystery here.

Synopsis 

Manhattan Private Investigator Barney Moon can hack, charm or con his way into or out of damned-near anything. Barney is driven — to solve cases, nail bad guys, and to anyplace not reachable via the NY Subway. Barney never learned to drive. And, like most born/bred New Yorkers, he regards pretty much anywhere else as “Out-of-Town.” But there is one place for which he has a particular, lifelong aversion: Los Angeles, California (which he thinks of as an Alien Planet). And — guess where he finds himself stranded? In CROSS PURPOSES, a case takes the reluctant Barney and his driver, Al Drobowsky to Los Angeles to obtain a single fingerprint. Things quickly get complicated. That night, of what by then seems sure to be only two in Tinseltown, Al learns he must immediately return to Brooklyn. Next morning, Barney notices his rented car being hot-wired by a young woman. Pragmatically, in exchange for not having Melodie Seaver arrested, he enlists the gorgeous 18-year-old Southern California delinquent to drive him around for — at most — one day. Except that things quickly escalate for this comically ill-matched pair, into murders, conspiracies, and mortal danger. Very fortuitously, the Good News for Barney: Melodie’s driving skills are awesome. Together, our off-the-wall team narrowly survives, and solves the complicated mess they’ve stumbled into.

The Tenth Circle

The Tenth Circle 

Another novel on my to-read list is Jon Land’s latest, The Tenth CircleThis book has received great reviews and if it’s anything like his previous work, it’ll be a compelling read from start to finish. Learn more about this Blaine McCracken novel by reading the synopsis below and pick up a copy of the book here.

Synopsis 

Blaine McCracken races to stop terrorists from unleashing an ancient weapon of unimaginable power at the president’s State of the Union speech

Blaine McCracken pulled off the impossible on a mission in Iran, but his work has just begun. Returning to the US, he faces another terrible threat in the form of Reverend Jeremiah Rule, whose hateful rhetoric has inflamed half the world, resulting in a series of devastating terrorist attacks. But Rule isn’t acting alone. A shadowy cabal is pulling his strings, unaware that they are creating a monster who will soon spin free of their control.

Finding himself a wanted man, McCracken must draw on skills and allies both old and new to get to the heart of a plot aimed at unleashing no less than the tenth circle of hell. A desperate chase takes him into the past, where the answers he needs are hidden amid two of history’s greatest puzzles: the lost colony of Roanoke and the Mary Celeste. As the clock ticks down to an unthinkable maelstrom, McCracken and his trusty sidekick, Johnny Wareagle, must save the United States from a war the country didn’t know it was fighting, and that it may well lose.

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