Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Thriller”

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: Exposed by Lisa Scottoline

On my honeymoon I finished reading the latest thriller by Lisa Scottoline, Exposed, and it was highly entertaining. As with many of Lisa’s books, this one centers on an ethical dilemma. It also spends a lot of time on interpersonal relationships, which many thriller writers fail to do. It’s one of the reasons why Lisa is so good at her craft – she takes the time to develop characters so readers are more invested in the outcome. By the end of the book, I was definitely fully engaged in what was going on, and the last twist was so surprising I read it twice. While Corrupted still remains my favorite book by this talented author, Exposed is absolutely worth reading – even if you’re not on your honeymoon.

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Book Review: One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is one of my favorite authors and I love reading her domestic thrillers that are released every spring. Her latest, One Perfect Lie, is a solid thriller. However, I didn’t find it nearly as compelling or satisfying as her previous work.

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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: Damaged by Lisa Scottoline

LisaLisa Scottoline released a terrific book this week entitled Damaged. It’s yet another compelling thriller from one of my favorite writers. What separates Lisa from her peers is that her books feature characters, plots and dialogue that have an unparalleled level of emotional depth. When you’re reading her books you can’t help but feel connected to the characters and the decisions they make. I had this experience when reading Damaged. Read more…

Book Review: Bullseye by James Patterson 

Bullseye is James Patterson’s newest thriller and the latest entry in the Michael Bennett series. Unfortunately, it’s not very good. It takes several chapters for the protagonist to show up, which is never a good sign as that only delays my being introduced to the character to which I’m supposed to relate. And the premise isn’t all that compelling. It failed to pull me in and keep my attention like Patterson’s far superior thriller, The Games, which was also recently released. Every once in a while a good author releases a boring book. For James Patterson, Bullseye is it.

Book Review: The Games by James Patterson

btn3-square-1536I just finished The Games by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan and it was excellent. This novel was perfectly timed as it deals with two major sporting events, one of which is right around the corner: the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. There are two parallel storylines at play in this novel, neither of which I’ll divulge in my review because I don’t want to spoil either of them. However, I can tell you that the storylines are compelling and that both are brought to satisfactory conclusions. As with all of James Patterson’s thrillers, the pacing in this book is tremendous. The pages fly by and no words are wasted. Every page and chapter move the story and the characters forward, toward the novel’s thrilling climax. The Games is one of my favorite James Patterson books, and I highly recommend it.

Book Synopsis

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil–home to beautiful white-sand beaches, gorgeous women, stunning natural beauty, and the world’s largest Carnival celebration–knows how to throw a party. So it’s a natural choice to host the biggest spectacles in sports–the World Cup and the Olympics. To ensure that the games go off without a hitch, the organizers turn to Jack Morgan, the unflappable head of the renowned international security and consulting firm Private. But when events are this exclusive, someone’s bound to get left off the guest list.

Two years after the action nearly spilled from the field to the stands during soccer’s championship match, Jack is back in Rio for the Olympics. But before the cauldron is even lit, the only thing more intense than the competition is the security risks. When prominent clients he’s supposed to be protecting disappear, and bodies mysteriously start to litter the streets, Jack is drawn deep into the heart of a ruthless underworld populated by disaffected residents trying to crash the world’s biggest party. As the opening ceremonies near, with the world watching in horror, Jack must sprint to the finish line to defuse a threat that could decimate Rio and turn the games from a joyous celebration into a deadly spectacle. 

Book Review: Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

Most WantedA couple days ago I finished reading Lisa Scottoline’s newest thriller, Most Wanted. This book’s fascinating premise reeled me in from the start, but did it keep me compelled from the first page to the last? Watch my book review below to find out:

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Book Review: Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

91xiR2VC2qLI recently finished reading Harlan Coben’s newest thriller, Fool Me Once. As many of you know, Harlan is my favorite author. However, does his latest novel live up to his tremendous reputation? Watch my book review below to find out whether or not you should pick up a copy of Fool Me Once:

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