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Posted by on 13 Mar, 2024 in Bestseller, British Crime, Crime, Television shows, Thriller | 0 comments



My reading in early March has been dominated by three fast paced crime thrillers that offered plenty of excitement and some clever plotting.

Still See You Everywhere by Lisa Gardner (Century, 12 March 2024)

Lisa Gardner continues her popular series about Frankie Elkin, a drifter who specialises in finding missing people, with Still See You Everywhere, (Century, 12 March 2024).

This is the third book in the Frankie Elkin series, and follows up on One Step Too Far, which was one of my favourite thriller reads of 2022:

Still See You Everywhere, opens with Frankie being contacted by Kaylee Pearson, aka The Beautiful Butcher, a brutal serial killer on death row in Texas. Kaylee is going to be executed in three weeks, and she wants Frankie to find her younger sister, Lani, who she suspects was abducted twelve years ago by Kaylee’s former abusive lover, a wealthy mogul.

According to The Beautiful Butcher’s sources, Lani is being held captive on a Hawaiian island, which is the site of an exclusive luxury resort. The only way to gain access to the island is for Frankie to go undercover. But can Frankie really trust the word of a serial killer? Once on the island she finds a range of dangers, plenty of suspicious co-workers and an incoming tropical storm, which is about to cut her off from the outside world.

The Frankie Elkin books are notable for their tough, gripping story telling and their not always likeable central character. Frankie requires some patience, and can be frustrating at times, but she has a good heart and is very capable at what she does. With her flaws and emotional issues, she makes for an interesting character who eventually wins you over.

Still See You Everywhere requires some suspension of disbelief, but it is a very exciting and engaging read. After a slowish start, the pace quickly picks up and the rest of the book rockets along. There are surprises a plenty, and the book builds to a satisfying ending.

Adding to the enjoyment are Lisa’s vivid descriptions of the Hawaiian island on which the action is set, and her ability to make you feel the heat and the crushing of crabs under your feet. The witty dialogue and Frankie’s observations also add to the pleasure.

Probably not as good as One Step Too Far, but I think that Lisa’s many fans will be more than satisfied with Still See You Everywhere.

Still See You Everywhere is released in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States on 12 March 2024.

Black Wolf by Juan Gomez-Jurado (Macmillan, 12 March 2024)

Juan Gomez-Jurado’s Red Queen was one of my reading highlights of 2023. Introducing Spanish detective extraordinaire Antonia Scott, it was a briskly paced and totally absorbing crime thriller that had an enjoyable patina of quirkiness.

Black Wolf, (Macmillan, 12 March 2024), is the follow-up to Red Queen and is the second entry in a proposed trilogy.

Antonia Scott is the lynchpin of the Red Queen project, which was created to work behind the scenes to solve the most dark, devious and dangerous crimes. In southern Spain, in the Costa del Sol, a key mafia figure is found brutally murdered in his villa. His pregnant wife, Lola Moreno, barely escapes an attempt to kill her and is on the run. At the same time an unusual shipping container arrives in Spain from St Petersburg, with the corpses of nine women. Now Antonia, with the help of her protector Jon Gutierrez, must track down the missing Lola. But they are not the only ones – a dangerous hitman, known as the Black Wolf, is also on her trail. And Antonia Scott, still plagued by her personal demons, must outwit, out-maneuver, and, ultimately, face this terrible, mysterious killer.

Red Queen was a very enjoyable crime thriller, but I think that the Black Wolf is even better. The pacing is quicker and the story has more momentum. Being the second novel in a series, less time is spent on establishing the background for the two central characters, and there is more focus on the story. Switching the viewpoint between the various characters also really adds to the suspense, especially in the early sections when the reader becomes caught up in Lola’s desperate attempts to escape from her pursuers.

Black Wolf is more of a thriller than a murder mystery, but there are several very good surprises, which I did not see coming, and the bloody finale is very exciting, and unexpected. There is one twist involving the Black Wolf that seemed unlikely, but otherwise it was a totally gripping novel.

As with Red Queen, the character of Antonia Scott adds depth and interest to the book, as does the descriptions of modern Spanish society, and the various cultural references. One of the best thrillers that I have read so far this year.

Juan Gomez-Jurado and the ‘Red Queen’ series are already a big hit in Spain, spurred on, in part, by the recent television adaption of Red Queen. Available on Amazon Prime, it is well worth a watch.

Black Wolf was released in Australia and the United States on 12 March 2024 and in the United Kingdom on 14 March 2024. Thanks to the publisher and the Canberra Weekly for a copy of the book for review.

On The Run by Max Luther (Canleo, 14 March 2024)

Also offering brisk pacing and non-stop action is On The Run by Max Luther, (Canleo, 14 March 2024).

British Special Ops bodyguard Alex Drayce has just finished a successful, but violent, job in Los Angeles when he is presented with the opportunity to make some quick cash for a week’s work. All he has to do is to help Carlos Garcia find his daughter, who has gone missing in Las Vegas. It is a seemingly simple task, but things quickly spiral out of control and Drayce soon finds himself on the run. Wanted by the police for murder and chased by a Mexican cartel out for vengeance, Drayce has to use all of his skills to just stay alive.

This is an action packed, no holds barred read. The story zips along like a Jack Reacher novel, full of well choreographed fight scenes and plenty of suspense. The characters are well sketched, and the plot has enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. The descriptions of Las Vegas and elsewhere are evocative and there is a good gritty feel to the story.

Alex Drayce is a great character and On The Run is a very satisfying action thriller. I am looking forward to the next instalment in the series.

On The Run is released in the United Kingdom and the United States on 14 March 2024, and is available on Kindle in Australia. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of the book for review.

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