Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Thriller”

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Robert Louis Stevenson

STORY OF THE DOOR

Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye; something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years. But he had an approved tolerance for others; sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure of spirits involved in their misdeeds; and in any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove. “I incline to Cain’s heresy,” he used to say quaintly: “I let my brother go to the devil in his own way.” In this character, it was frequently his fortune to be the last reputable acquaintance and the last good influence in the lives of downgoing men. And to such as these, so long as they came about his chambers, he never marked a shade of change in his demeanour.

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Audiobook Review: Found by Harlan Coben

Found is the third entry in the Mickey Bolitar young adult series by author Harlan Coben. You can read my review of the first book here and the second book here. So, how does Found stack up to the other two novels and is it worth your time? Read on to find out.

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Murder, She Wrote: Murder on Parade

I met the late, great author Donald Bain at ThrillerFest, and I had the pleasure of interviewing him in 2013. He was a kind and gifted man, and when Donald Bain passed away in 2017 I was devastated. Thankfully, his amazing Murder, She Wrote novels live on. Around the time of the 4th of July this year, I decided to read Murder on Parade because it too takes place during the 4th of July. Is it any good? Read on for my thoughts.

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Audiobook Review: Seconds Away by Harlan Coben

I recently reviewed Shelter by Harlan Coben, the first book in the Mickey Bolitar series of young adult novels by my favorite author. Next up is Seconds Away, the second book in this series. As with the first, I opted to listen to the audiobook version. Read on for my thoughts on this novel.

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Audiobook Review: Shelter by Harlan Coben

Shelter by Harlan Coben is the author’s first foray into young adult fiction. It’s also the first of three books in the Mickey Bolitar series. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because this series focuses on the nephew of Myron Bolitar, best known as the lead protagonist in the majority of Harlan Coben’s thrillers.

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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.

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