The Bricklayer


Noah Boyd - 2009
    and there is no other option. No one who can help.No one but the Bricklayer. The Bricklayer is the pulse-pounding novel introducing Steve Vail, one of the most charismatic new heroes to come along in thriller fiction in many years. He's an ex–FBI agent who's been fired for insubordination but is lured back to the Bureau to work a case that has become more unsolvable — and more deadly — by the hour.A woman steps out of the shower in her Los Angeles home and is startled by an intruder sitting calmly in her bedroom holding a gun. But she is frozen with fear by what he has to say about the FBI — and what he says he must do...A young agent slips into the night water off a rocky beach. He's been instructed to swim to a nearby island to deposit a million dollars demanded by a blackmailer. But his mission is riddled with hazardous tests, as if someone wanted to destroy him rather than collect the money...Vail has resigned himself to his dismissal and is content with his life as a bricklayer. But the FBI, especially Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon, needs help with a shadowy group that has initiated a brilliant extortion plot. The group will keep killing their targets until the agency pays them off, the amount and number of bodies escalating each time the FBI fails. One thing is clear: someone who knows a little too much about the inner workings of the Bureau is very clever — and very angry — and will kill and kill again if it means he can disgrace the FBI. Steve Vail's options — and his time to find answers — are swiftly running out. Noah Boyd's The Bricklayer is written with the bracing authenticity only someone who has been a crack FBI investigator can provide. And in this masterful debut Noah Boyd has created a mind-bending maze of clues and traps inside a nonstop thrill ride that is sure to leave readers exhilarated and enthralled.

The Killer's Wife


Bill Floyd - 2008
    She has moved from the West Coast to North Carolina with her young son, adopting a new name and a new life. But the world that she has created for herself is shattered when the father of one of her ex-husband's victims begins stalking her, then confronts her late one night. In the days that follow, he exposes Leigh, in newspapers and on television, to a startled North Carolina community. And just as her marriage to Randall Mosley, a man who became known to the world as a deviant serial killer, is brought back to light, a more deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. A new killer has emerged, one whose methods are frighteningly similar to those used by Mosley, who is awaiting execution thousands of miles away. Leigh and her son appear to be in the assailant's scope, and it becomes clear that he is more than a copycat killer his targets are all tied to Leigh's former life. With the clock ticking down and the victims of a new killer mounting, Leigh is forced to probe the darkest corridors of her past to protect her life and her son's. She must also confront her own feelings of responsibility: Leigh has always professed her ignorance, but how complicit was she in her husband's horrific murder spree, as it was taking place? From a major new voice in suspense, The Killer's Wife is a story driven by psychological insight and harrowing revelations, asking how well you can ever really know the person sleeping beside you.

The Ultimatum


Karen Robards - 2017
    Manipulator. Con artist. Call it what you will—Bianca St. Ives is the best in the business. Growing up, Bianca St. Ives knew she was different from all her friends. Instead of playing hopscotch or combing her dolls' hair, she studied martial arts with sensei masters and dismantled explosives with special-ops retirees. Her father prepped her well to carry on the family business. Now a striking beauty with fierce skills, the prodigy has surpassed the master.She's known as the Guardian. Running a multinational firm with her father, she makes a living swindling con men out of money they stole—and she's damn good at it. She does things on her own terms. But her latest gig had a little hiccup—if you count two hundred million dollars and top secret government documents going missing as little. Her father also died on the mission. The thing is, the US government doesn't believe he's really dead. They'll stop at nothing to capture Richard St. Ives, a high-value target and someone who has been on most-wanted lists all over the world for over two decades, and they mean to use Bianca as bait. With only a fellow criminal for backup and her life on the line, it's up to Bianca to uncover the terrifying truth behind what really happened...and set it right, before it's too late.

Quiet in Her Bones


Nalini Singh - 2021
     My mother vanished ten years ago. So did a quarter of a million dollars in cash. Thief. Bitch. Criminal. Now, she's back. Her bones clothed in scarlet silk. When socialite Nina Rai disappeared without a trace, everyone wrote it off as another trophy wife tired of her wealthy husband. But now her bones have turned up in the shadowed green of the forest that surrounds her elite neighborhood, a haven of privilege and secrets that's housed the same influential families for decades.The rich live here, along with those whose job it is to make their lives easier. And somebody knows what happened to Nina one rainy night ten years ago. Her son Aarav heard a chilling scream that night, and he's determined to uncover the ugly truth that lives beneath the moneyed elegance...but no one is ready for the murderous secrets about to crawl out of the dark.Even the dead aren't allowed to break the rules in this cul-de-sac.

The Wolf


Lorenzo Carcaterra - 2014
    You’ve never met me, and if you’re lucky you never will. But in more ways than you could think of, I own you.   I run the biggest criminal operation in the world. We’re invisible but we’re everywhere. Wherever you go, whatever you do, however it is you spend your money, a piece of it lands in our pockets.   You would think that with that kind of power I would be invincible. You would be wrong. I made a mistake, one that a guy like me can never afford to make. I let my guard down. And because I did, my wife and daughters are gone. Murdered by terrorists with a lethal ax to grind.   That was my mistake.   But it was also theirs.   I wasn’t looking for a war with them. No one in my group was. But they’ve left me with nothing but a desire for revenge—so a war is what they’ll get. The full strength of international organized crime against every known terrorist group working today. Crime versus chaos.   We will protect our interests, and I will protect my son. We won’t get them all, but I will get my revenge, or I will die trying.   They will know my name.   They will feel my wrath.   They will fear The Wolf.

Lethal


Sandra Brown - 2011
    But that "sick" man turns out to be Lee Coburn, the man accused of murdering seven people the night before. Dangerous, desperate, and armed, he promises Honor that she and her daughter won't be hurt as long as she does everything he asks. She has no choice but to accept him at his word.But Honor soon discovers that even those close to her can't be trusted. Coburn claims that her beloved late husband possessed something extremely valuable that places Honor and her daughter in grave danger. Coburn is there to retrieve it -- at any cost. From FBI offices in Washington, D.C., to a rundown shrimp boat in coastal Louisiana, Coburn and Honor run for their lives from the very people sworn to protect them, and unravel a web of corruption and depravity that threatens not only them, but the fabric of our society.

Six Years


Harlan Coben - 2013
    . . and the secrets and lies at its heart. Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for . . . but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for more than a decade, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out. As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart—and who lied to him—soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction. Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking page-turner that deftly explores the power of past love and the secrets and lies that such love can hide.

Killer Instinct


Zoë Sharp - 2001
    Charlie makes a living of sorts teaching self-defence to women. It's a skill she picked up out of necessity having been kicked out of the army for reasons she prefers not to go into.So, when Susie Hollins is found dead after she mistakenly tussles with Charlie at the New Adelphi Club, Charlie knows it's only a matter of time before the police come calling. What they don't tell her is that the unlucky Hollins is the latest victim of a homicidal rapist stalking the local area.Charlie finds herself inadvertently drawn into the investigation when the New Adelphi's enigmatic owner, Marc Quinn, offers her a job. Viewed as an outsider by the existing all-male security team, her suspicion that there's a link between the club and the serial killer doesn't exactly endear her to anyone. Charlie has always taught her students that it's better to run away than to stand and fight. But, when the killer starts taking a very personal interest, it becomes clear that he isn't going to give her that option.

Storm Cycle


Iris Johansen - 2009
    While she continues to climb the corporate ranks, her beloved twin sister is plagued by a chronic illness that will eventually kill her, leaving Rachel all alone. Serendipity in the form of a mysterious email lands in Rachel’s lap one day, but not without a price. Thousands of miles away, archeologist John Tanek sits trapped inside a collapsed Egyptian tomb with a functioning laptop. He knows that Rachel is the only person who can help him, but time is quickly running out. It turns out the collapse was no accident. John has discovered something very valuable in that tomb, something that humankind has been searching for throughout history, something that Rachel could use as it may hold the key to her sister’s cure. While Rachel orchestrates his rescue, she soon finds herself trapped in a dangerous web of deceit and murder. Can she put her trust in John Tanek? She’d do anything to save her sister. Will they both live long enough to unravel the ancient mystery they’ve found inside the tomb?With Johansen and Johansen’s fast-paced action, charismatic characters, and impeccable research, Storm Cycle will carry you away.

Third Degree


Greg Iles - 2007
    The day begins with the jarring discovery that, soon after ending an affair, Laurel is pregnant. But when she returns home to find her husband ashen, unkempt, and on the brink of violence, a nightmare quickly unfolds. In the heart of an idyllic Mississippi town, behind the walls of her perfect house, Laurel finds herself locked in a volatile standoff with a husband she barely recognizes. Confronted with evidence of her betrayal, she must tread a deadly path between truth and deception while a ring of armed police prepares a dangerous rescue. But Laurel's greatest fear -- and her only hope -- lies with her former lover, a brave man whom fate has granted the power to save both Laurel and her children -- if she can protect his identity long enough....

White Cargo


Stuart Woods - 1988
    A self made multi millionaire at 50, he has a loving wife and a beautiful teenaged daughter. And after years of hard work, he is taking his family on the ultimate dream sabbatical: a two year cruise to the South Pacific via the Panama Canal, aboard his custom built forty three foot yacht.He gets as far as Colombia.Off that country’s cocaine dusted shores, Cat’s bliss – and his dearly loved family – are permanently shattered by an event so unexpected, so savage, and so tragically final that it leaves Cat completely devastated. Consumed by terrible guilt, he returns home alone, a broken man. Investigations by both the Colombian authorities and the U.S. State Department prove fruitless.Then, late one night, Cat is awakened by the telephone and, from far away, over a static filled line, an achingly familiar voice utters a single, electrifying word.Driven by a mixture of hope and anguish, Cat slips back into South America on a desperate search for the daughter he cannot bring himself to believe is dead – a search that will take him down the corridors of cocaine financed palaces. Aided by an Australian ex convict, a beautiful television journalist and a man known to him only as “Jim”, Cat follows a trail of blood and graft, white powder and white slavery, and discovers in himself an unsuspected capacity for ruthlessness and cunning, and – even more surprising – a rekindled capacity for love.

Dead Watch


John Sandford - 2006
    Her husband, a former U.S. Senator, has been missing for days. Kidnapped? Murdered? She doesn't know, but she thinks she knows who's involved, and why. And that she's next.Hours later in Washington, D.C., a cell phone rings. The White House chief of staff needs Jacob Winter now. His chief investigator and an Army Intelligence veteran, Winter knows how to move quickly and decisively, but he's never faced a problem like this. The disappearances are bad, but when the blackened body shows up barbed-wired to a tree, Winter knows there is much worse to come. And soon enough, there is. Large forces are at work, determined to do whatever it takes to achieve their ends. Winter will have to use all his resources not only to prevail but also to survive. And so will the nation. . . .

Landslide


Desmond Bagley - 1967
    Hired by the powerful Matterson Corporation to survey land before they build a great new dam, he begins to uncover the shaky foundations of the Matterson family and becomes a fly in their ointment. Matters are complicated when he falls in love with Claire Trinavant, the last link to a forgotten family whose name strikes a mysteriously resonant chord.

Devil's Corner


Lisa Scottoline - 2005
    Attorney Vicki Allegretti goes to meet a confidential informant and finds herself facing a loaded 9 mm Glock semiautomatic weapon, wielded by a panicky teenager. Violence is the last thing this neophyte lawyer expects. The case is easy, the kind given to new ADAs to help them cut their teeth. Yet almost before she has time to react, her partner is dead, shot in the chest.From that high-octane introduction to her job, Vicki vows to continue with the case, protect her informant, and find the shadowy figure behind the death of her partner. This decision will take her to the depths of the federal detention center’s “bowl,” to a row house on the street where she grew up, and to the posh suburbs where her parents now live. Set against the gritty backdrop of a modern American city and imbued with Lisa Scottoline’s trademark style and wit, Cater Street is the story of a determined young lawyer seeking justice.

We'll Meet Again


Mary Higgins Clark - 1999
    When Julia is released from prison at the age of 36, the first item on her agenda is to settle the score with her former friend.