Posted by Gail | Filed under Gail Pleasures
Is there any greater summer pleasure than cuddling up in the shade with a great book. If you have extra time off this summer and you’re looking for something to read on the beach or under a tree, here are a few thrillers to keep you guessing to the very end.
Here’s a five-star read, to which I was riveted. Blood Memory by Greg Iles tells the story of “Cat” Ferry, a forensic odontologist, a specialist in bite marks and the clues they provide. She’s a woman plagued by a fragile psyche she keeps pickled in booze.
Cat’s latest case involves a disturbing murder in New Orleans where, at the scene of a brutal murder she’s paralyzed by a panic attack. It’s only the first. At the next scene of the suspected serial killer, Cat blacks out over the victim’s mutilated corpse. She scampers home to try to come to terms with this new development and the child she has growing inside her.
When some of Cat’s forensic chemicals are spilled in her childhood bedroom, two bloody footprints are revealed that send shocks through Cat’s memories. Cat’s father was murdered when she was 8, but she always thought the crime happened in the garden. The bloody footprints suggest otherwise. Driven by this fragment of her past, Cat is driven to reconstruct the decades-old crime and unlock her past.
The Firefly by P. T. Deutermann is another terrific thriller. At midnight, in a secret medical clinic in Washington, D.C., two foreign doctors and their team are completing plastic surgery on an anonymous client who is changing the appearance of his face, among other things. After the procedure, the operating room erupts in violence, and the clinic is ablaze.
Washington police conduct an arson investigation, with inconclusive results. But one tantalizing fragment of evidence suggests that a terrorist bombing may be imminent. With the presidential inauguration quickly approaching, retired Secret Service agent Swamp Morgan is recalled to active duty. His task: investigate the incineration of the medical clinic as a “firefly” – Washington-speak for something that looks like a threat but isn’t. Or is it?
The first book I read by Daniel Suarez was Daemon and I liked it so much I immediately bought Kill Decision. I was NOT disappointed. In this book Daniel Suarez takes that fact that unmanned weaponized drones are being used by America in the Middle East to ask what if they were being used against America. This is a fast-moving piece of fiction that keeps you glued.
Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned – and thanks to her research, automated – drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets without human intervention.
Together, McKinney and Odin must slow this advance long enough for the world to recognize its destructive power, because for thousands of years the “kill decision” during battle has remained in the hands of humans – and off-loading that responsibility to machines will bring unintended, possibly irreversible, consequences.
But as forces even McKinney and Odin don’t understand begin to gather, and death rains down from above, it may already be too late to save humankind from destruction at the hands of our own technology.