Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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The Sandman by Lars Kepler

When 23 year-old Mikael is found wandering in the countryside outside of Stockholm, it comes as a shock to many. Mikael and his sister Felicia have been missing for 13 years, and were thought to be the victims of serial killer Jurek Walter, now serving a life sentence inside a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Mikael tells the police that his sister is still alive, and that they were being held by The Sandman, but he’s unable to give them any details about their captor, or the location.

13 years ago, Detective Inspector Joona Linna sacrificed everything to try to catch Jurek, always certain that he had an accomplice. Now, it becomes imperative to get Jurek to talk as time runs out for Felicia. Joona brings in the only officer he trusts to be able to infiltrate the hospital, and be able to stand up to Jurek’s mind games – Saga Bauer. Saga will have to go deep undercover in the psychiatric facility where Jurek is being held, and she’ll have to get to him before he gets to her.

To label this book as a “thriller” is an understatement. It is a never ending roller coaster ride of non-stop twisty action that never lets up, even at its conclusion. Even if you’re not a fan Swedish crime fiction, definitely put this one on your TBR list!

 

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A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis

While her father lays dying in the hospital, Elsa Myers is called in to assist NYC detective Lex on the case of a missing high school student Ruby, from Queens, NY.

Ruby’s last whereabouts were her shift at a local coffeehouse where the last footage on security cameras is ruby reaching under the counter to turn the cameras off, which makes authorities think she might have known her abductor. Neither her boyfriend nor her friends are offering up any information.

Being in Queens brings Elsa back to her own childhood home that her father recently sold. And that causes memories of her own dark past, one that she still hasn’t forgotten as evident by the scars on her arms. As Elsa is trying to solve the case and bring Ruby back home, alive, she learns of other abductions that might be connected to Ruby’s disappearance. But everything comes to a head for Elsa as she struggles with her past and the events of the present.

Overall, a solid first crime novel and hopefully the start of a new series. We need to see more of Elsa and Lex.


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The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

As a flight attendant, Cassandra’s job offers her the chance to enjoy many of the pleasures that can be found in glamorous locations. This trip turns out to be different. The morning after a date with a very handsome man, when Cassandra wakes up, she’s not in her own hotel room. She can’t remember most of what happened last night, and the very handsome man is very dead. Terrified, Cassandra leaves the hotel without calling the police, and heads out to catch her flight home. She soon finds herself caught in a web of her own lies, afraid to come clean, and unsure of the truth – did she kill him?

As always, Bohjalian has crafted a a compelling and multi layered story. Cassandra is about as unreliable witness as you can get, and yet you keep hoping that she’ll somehow make it through without digging herself deeper, or caught by whoever murdered her date.

Other titles by Chris Bohjalian include: The Guest Room, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, and The Sandcastle Girls.


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The Ultimatum by Karen Robards

Bianca St. Ives has spent her whole life running heists with her dad. But this last one has not gone as planned. The money is missing from the vault and Bianca is the only one left of her team besides her getaway driver, Doc. She has to get out before midnight. She manages to escape with the help of a stranger named Mickey. As they race to the meet up point they find a road block. The next thing they know the truck with Bianca’s father and other associates is blown up.

Five months later, Bianca is getting on with her life. She is working at her security firm, Guardian Consulting, in Savannah, Georgia. She isn’t 100% convinced her dad is really dead but she hasn’t heard from him. She has hired Doc to work at the company and to monitor her dad’s secret email that clients can contact him on for jobs. When a job comes up Bianca decides to take even though it could be a trap. While on this job, Bianca runs into Mickey again, who’s name is Colin Rogan and works for the government. It soon becomes clear that this is a trap. Now the good guys and the bad guys are after her because they think she knows where her dad is. But he’s dead, isn’t he?

This was a different route for Karen Robards. It was more a spy thriller than romantic suspense, which Robards is known for. I liked it. It is the first in a new series. The next one due out in 2018 is called The Moscow Deception.


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Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Susan Ryeland is an editor for a small publishing firm in London. One of their top selling authors, Alan Conway, has just turned in his newest book featuring the detective Atticus Pund. Susan spends the weekend reading the book. It is about a small town and one of the villagers turns up dead. And then another one. Atticus Pund is asked to look into the deaths and solves the case. Except Susan doesn’t know how it ends because the last chapter is missing.

Susan calls Charles, the owner of the publishing company, to find out if he has the missing pages. She doesn’t hear from him and when she goes into the office she finds out why. Alan Conway is dead. It looks like he committed suicide and Charles even has a letter that Alan had sent that is basically a suicide note. But Susan isn’t convinced. She starts looking into his “suicide” and finds the village he lives in is very similar to the village in his book. Susan starts to find that the characters are based on the villagers. She is even more convinced that Alan was murdered. Will she figure out this mystery before it too late and the killer takes her life?

This was a very good mystery. It is in fact two mysteries in one book, since we have the book Alan wrote and then the mystery of his death. I really enjoyed how this book was laid out. Sometimes Susan got on my nerves but overall I liked the characters.


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The Wrong Man by Kate White

In this standalone (White also writes the Bailey Weggins mysteries) novel, New York City interior decorator Kit Finn is on vacation and scouting out materials for a client in Islamorada, Florida. She runs into an intriguing man, Matt Healy, staying at her hotel who asks her for dinner. The attraction is so hot that Kit even lets him take her to bed, even though he is upfront about their night only be casual.

This is why she is surprised to hear from him back in NYC. He invites her over for dinner, but when she reaches Matt’s apartment, the man who lives there is not the same man who she met in Florida, although the stranger claims his name is Matt Healy. Completely bewildered, she doesn’t know what to think. And now the real Matt Healy wants Kit to talk to his hedge fund firm’s security manager because he believes his identify has been stolen.

Kit has been unwittingly drawn into a crime that has resulted in at least one death. When her Florida man returns on this scene claiming that he is a victim in all this, she questions if she can trust the man who has already deceived her once.

This was an equally entertaining read as White’s other books. My only complaint is that you wish Kit would have gone to the cop’s right away as most rational people would have done, so that might annoy some readers.


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Before I Fall

Sam and her three friends are the most popular girls at school.  After leaving a party, the girls get in a car wreck. When Sam wakes up she thinks maybe it was all a dream but soon realizes that she is reliving the same day all over again. Not sure what is happening she doesn’t change anything and needs up in the car accident again. Sam wakes up again and it is the same day again. Determined to change her future, Sam starts to slowly change. After a week, Sam might finally have figured it out.

For the most part I enjoyed this movie. I did not like the ending. But other than that it was a pretty good movie. It is based on the book by Lauren Oliver, which I did not read. Starring, Zoey Deutch, Jennifer Beals, and Halston Sage. Rated PG-13