Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Mystery”

Audible Review: A Deadly Shade of Gold

A Deadly Shade of Gold is the fifth book in the Travis McGee series. In this entry, McGee picks up the phone and hears a voice from the past, he can’t help it. He has to meddle. Especially when he has the chance to reunite Sam Taggart, a reckless, restless man like himself, with the woman who’s still waiting for him. But what begins as a simple matchmaking scheme soon becomes a bloody chase that takes McGee to Mexico, a beautiful country — and one from which he hopes to return alive. John D. MacDonald has really gotten the hang of writing for this character, and it shows. The dialogue is entertaining, and there are action-packed events throughout this Audible Original.

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Audible Review: The Deep Blue Good-By

For 20 years ⁠— from 1964 through 1984 ⁠— the Travis McGee novels by John D. MacDonald were a mainstay in the mystery genre. With each of the 21 titles including a color in their name, this was one of the first examples of books in a series having a theme. Living on a houseboat called The Busted Flush, which he won in a card game, the protagonist, McGee ⁠— who is neither a cop nor an investigator ⁠— is a “salvage consultant” for hire, regularly finding himself in a variety of mysterious predicaments. The first novel in the series, which had a major influence on Lee Child — the author of the best-selling Jack Reacher series — explains how McGee only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: he’ll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half.

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Book Review: The President Is Missing

As you probably gathered from my previous post, I was excited about reading The President Is Missing. Unfortunately, after reading 10 chapters, I lost interest in the book. It failed to capture my attention because nothing compelling occurred in the first 10 chapters. Something shocking has to happen in the first chapter of a thriller so that it makes me want to keep turning the pages to see how it all comes together. Unfortunately, it seems that Bill Clinton’s influence on this book was to the story’s detriment as it moves at a snail’s pace and is bogged down by political jargon and details that get in the way of the James Patterson’s normally fast-paced writing style. I made a decision a few years ago to stop reading books that aren’t good. I realized that there is no need to waste hours of my time on a book that isn’t enjoyable. To my disappointment, The President Is Missing is one of those books.

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

After Anna is one of Lisa Scottoline’s best books, and it’s my favorite of hers since 2015’s Corrupted. Similar to CorruptedAfter Anna jumps back and forth through time. However, in this new thriller Lisa applies a unique approach. There are two main storylines: one moves forward in time, while the other moves backward. As I read this intricately-woven tale, I was amazed that Lisa was able to keep everything straight. Most authors would slip up at some point. I can only imagine how harrowing the revision process must have been for this novel. Aside from the technical virtuosity on display, this book sings from an emotional standpoint. The characters are intriguing, fully-realized, and unpredictably believable. And the plot’s biggest twist is one I didn’t predict, even though I was able to foretell some of the smaller subsequent details. After Anna is a five-star classic that all thriller and mystery enthusiasts should read. You won’t be disappointed.

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Book Review: Escape Clause by John Sanford

escape-clauseI’ve met John Sanford twice and seen him speak multiple times at ThrillerFest over the past few years, yet I’ve never read one of his novels…until now. I just finished Escape Clause last night and it was a solid novel with some major flaws.

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Book Review: Plum Island by Nelson DeMille

Plum IslandWant to hear something strange? I met Nelson DeMille twice before reading one of his books. Seriously! I met him at a Harlan Coben book signing and then I met him at ThrillerFest last year, so I finally decided it was time to read one of his books – especially since I’ve heard such great things about them. The one I decided to start with was Plum IslandRead more…

Book Review: Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline

Keep Quiet

Yesterday I finished Keep Quiet, the latest novel by one of my favorite authors, Lisa Scottoline. This book is about Jake, a father who’s looking to get closer to his son. Despite his good intentions, he makes a decision that could tear his family apart.

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Book Preview – The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose

The Collector of Dying Breaths - M.J. Rose

A few days ago I received a copy of The Collector of Dying Breaths by the immensely talented M.J. Rose, and I look forward to reading it soon. So far, this book has received excellent reviews on Amazon and Goodreads with people calling it “a richly detailed and imaginative novel” and “as beautifully evocative as previous entries in the [Reincarnationist] series.”

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Book Review – Laguna Heat by T. Jefferson Parker

Laguna Heat

I just finished reading a book that came out the year I was born: 1985. Entitled Laguna Heat, it’s the debut novel by T. Jefferson Parker. I met the author last July at ThrillerFest and immediately liked him after seeing his hour-long interview with D.P. Lyle. This interview provided me with insight into Parker’s writing style, motivations and interesting behind-the-scenes information about his impressive body of work. I picked up a copy of Iron River while I was there so he could autograph it, but I decided that the first book of his I would read was Laguna Heat, mainly because I think the title sounds great.

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Harry Bosch Comes To Life On Amazon Instant Video

BoschI just finished watching the pilot episode of Bosch on Amazon Instant Video where it can currently be viewed for free. This show, which is based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling books featuring the character Harry Bosch, has a stellar cast of top-notch actors that have appeared in shows such as The WireLost and The Killing. The plot is compelling and extremely well paced, and the ending left me smiling because it was so well done. If you enjoy police procedurals, mysteries or thrillers, you absolutely must watch this show.

After doing so, please make sure to fill out Amazon’s survey. This is one of 10 pilots that was just launched by Amazon Studios and the shows that are the most watched and most well received will get the green light for a full season. The good news is – it’s completely up to us whether or not Bosch lives to fight another day. Trust me, after watching it, you’ll be glad to fill out the brief survey and give the show a five-star review – it’s that good.

You can watch the show for free here, and you can fill out the survey here.

To whet your appetite, below are three clips from the pilot:

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