In this, their third adventure after 2006's THE COLLECTORS, the Club led by Oliver Stone is bent on protecting honorary member Annabelle Conroy even though she swindled $40 million from an Atlantic casino king. However the government conspiracy thwarting group is also facing elimination from homeland Security agent Harry Finn. On the surface Finn is just a regular guy but he is also a cold blooded killer. His killing is methodical and motivated by revenge for the death of his father, an alleged traitor, at the hands of CIA Cold War cell Triple 6.
Just as the Camel Club is now led by Oliver Stone, Triple 6 was led by John Carr. The problem is the two are one and the same man. Reluctant to return to the world of secrets from his past but needing to protect the Camel Club, Annabelle and himself Stone leads the fight on two fronts and renews amicable enmity with old friends.STONE COLD is another fast-paced thriller revolving around revenge, secrecy and murder past and present. BALDACCI reinforces his vivid characters and the overall theme of the series: the price of government secrets is sometimes higher than the simple truth.
A stand-alone book or the beginning of a new series, Pandora's Daughter is the latest from Iris Johansen.
One night driving home distressed over the loss of a patient Dr. Megan Blair is tail-gated and run off the road. Seemingly random this act was a determined one that will change her life forever. When her Uncle Phillip learns of what happened he makes a phone call and Neal Grady appears in Megan's life. Megan learns that she is a "listener", hidden away since her mother's death for protection. She learns that her memories of Sarah's death twelve years ago have been altered and her inherited psychic powers dampened. With Neal's help Megan again hears the echoes of past events, and goes off to seek the man, Molino, who murdered her mother and is now intent on murdering her and the rest of her bloodline. With the help of multi-talented Harley and feisty Renata, they also seek a family ledger listing all the other descendants of Pandora, if only to keep it out of Molino's hands.Iris Johansen is again on top of the bestsellers lists with this exciting paranormal thriller. From the moment Sarah tells Megan to run and hide to a cliff-hanging experience Pandora's Daughter is continuous action. The story line is fast-paced, with interesting plot twists, and loaded with action although a romantic subplot seems unnecessary. Fans will appreciate Megan as her "normal" life as a doctor is destroyed by a maniac whose one reason for living is killing all the potential Pandoras.
In Exile Richard North Patterson has created an intelligently crafted legal and political thriller. Like the rest of his books Exile is a social conscious novel where protagonists find themselves embroiled in a socially divisive ethical issue and so while reading the reader becomes more informed about the different perspectives existing on the issue. Here the two main characters represent different sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. David Wolfe and Hana Arif first meet at Harvard law school. Their love affair seems doomed from the start - he is Jewish and American she is Palestinian, grew up in a refugee camp and is promised to Saeb in an arranged marriage. A choice is made. David moves to San Francisco and Hana returns to Palestine with Saeb whom she marries.
Fast-forward thirteen years. David's life is on track: he is engaged to Carole and his political career is taking off; one character in the book calls him the "Jewish JFK". That evening he is dining with the Israeli Prime Minister in visit to San Francisco on a peace mission. He receives a phone call from Hana, whom he has not seen or talked to in thirteen years. She is in San Francisco with Saeb and their 12 year-old daughter. Just hearing her voice throws him into turmoil.
The next day the Israeli Prime Minister is assassinated by two suicide bombers. One of the suicide bombers survives and is being questioned by the FBI. When Hana as well as Saeb are questioned in connection to this terrorist act David agrees to advise them and his life corkscrews out of control.
Soon Hana is arrested as the mastermind and David finds himself unable to abandon her. Forced to confront his feelings about love, justice and the Israeli-Palestinian debate David finds himself on a journey of self-discovery. First because of his ideals of justice (the right to a fair trial and because he believes there is insufficient evidence against Hana even as he wonders about her innocence or guilt) he gives up his future career in politics, lets go of his relationship with his fianc�e, daughter of a Holocaust survivor; Hana's case becomes the most challenging case of his career and requires that he look deep into not her life but also that of her militant husband. Seeking answers David pits national security interests of the US and Israel against the interests of his client; he considers the evidence against her insufficient and fears that there may be a conspiracy with her as scapegoat but he is not certain. He goes to Israel and the West Bank where he learns that appearances are not at all what they seem and that the truth has several definitions. One character puts it succinctly as the archaeological. The historical, the theological and then the political. David encounters a broad spectrum of individuals from both Israel and the West bank and finds that Hana's case is at the intersection of Middle Eastern politics. Throughout this journey as David meets different players in Israel and the West Bank Richard North Patterson enlightens the reader on the history, the socio-political, the experiential and religious points-of-view concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict not to mention highlighting the psychological barriers ingrained history can create. As one character puts it "there are so many stories, so many ways to look at the same thing. At times I envy those with only one truth. But that is the problem with this place - people do not hear one another's stories." In a very even-handed manner it seems as if all perspectives and points of view are presented, over-running the basic plot line but then it is the insights provided to the conflict in very realistic and personal manners that make this thriller work. Ironically even as the two main characters are sometimes over-shadowed by the fascinating side characters/plots, using his two main characters as backdrop Richard North Patterson has crafted yet another book that reminds us that societies are made up of individuals with stories to tell and that those same individuals sometimes get lost in the debates.The end point is, of course, Hana's trial - a trial filled with international ramifications and startling information. Engrossing and informative Exile is a difficult book to put down. Not only because of the personal drama that unfolds but also because of the detailed journey into the complicated politics of the Middle East. Complex, controversial, emotional and deeply rooted is how Richard North Patterson defines the conflict in his afterword where he admits to only one bias "that only a two-state solution aimed at a secure Israel and a viable Palestine holds any hope of freeing both peoples from the past." However he also clearly indicates that he was not taking sides or implying the correctness of any point of view but rather attempting to create a "compelling narrative that interweaves the varying experiences and perspectives of Jews and Palestinians, and suggests why the prospect of a lasting peace remains so elusive." Without doubt in Exile that is what he has done.
The Apocalypse Stone - Pete EARLEY
Entertaining but unsatisfying this thriller mixes religion, politics, courtroom drama. Evan Spencer would appear to have it all including a career as Virginia Circuit Judge he likes to believe he earned on merit and not thanks to his marriage into the richest and most influential family of Virginia. One day he receives from a long-forgotten and recently dead friend a smooth white stone in the mail. As we learn from a priest tracking the stone it was held by Jesus himself when he said "judge not lest ye be judged". It is the "judgement stone". Shortly thereafter he starts experiencing pain in his left hand and has visions concerning a case that is before him. Suddenly everything he believes in is called into question and he is forced to confront his empty life. Illustrating the well-known adages that money can't buy you happiness and that money isn't everything the novel twists and turns to a predictable end.