Michael Cavacini

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Archive for the tag “Thriller”

Audible Review: One Fearful Yellow Eye

One Fearful Yellow Eye, which is a strange title for a book, is about extortion. To be more specific, it’s about extorting $600,000 from a dying man. The victim of this extortion is the husband of Travis McGee’s ex-girlfriend. Set in Chicago, this mystery is a nice change of pace for the series.

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Movie Review: Unhinged

Over the summer I was reading Fangoria, and I came across information about a new movie starring Russell Crowe called Unhinged. I looked it up and learned that not only was it about engaging in road rage with the wrong guy, but it was coming to movie theaters. With COVID running rampant across the world, I definitely didn’t put myself at risk by going to a theater to watch this movie. However, I couldn’t wait to see it when the film made its debut on streaming platforms. I’m glad I did because it’s one of Russell Crowe’s finest performances and a rollercoaster of emotions.

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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 Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

I love thrillers and I’m a huge video game fan. The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver is supposed to blend the two together. The problem is video games aren’t referenced until over 100 pages in. To make matters worse, the first chunk of the book is rather boring. Even more puzzling, what appears to be the main mystery of the story is resolved within the first 130 pages. Not all thrillers need to follow a formula but they should be well structured and true to their description. As a video game fan, I was let down. As a thriller fan, my interest became non-existent after 130 pages. With this in mind, I can’t recommend this book. It’s a shame because I was looking forward to reading it.

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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