Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

Uncubicled by Josh McMains

I’m not quite sure what drew me to this book (the low price helped), but the thought of a “corporate” thriller intrigued me.  Apparently that is the type of book you get when an electrical engineer and Dr. Pepper addict decides to take a stab at a novel.

Joe Tompkins was a normal guy, a software engineer working in the corporate world.  Everyone has annoying coworkers, and one day, Joe couldn’t take it anymore and smacked his coworker, Gilmore, in the face with a computer keyboard (that part actually made me laugh… am I a sick person?) and started a domino effect.  Joe hid in the bathroom, then fled the office building, thinking he was a fugitive.  When no one tried stopping him, he decided to flee town and then maybe kind of robbed a bank (can you rob a bank if it’s your own money?).

At the same time, Ned Dyer, also a software engineer, leads a pretty normal life but is always looking over his shoulder.  Three years prior, he received a threat that told him to leave his job in Georgia and not tell anyone why he was leaving (and Ned didn’t even know why).  Ned moved back to Illinois and started his life over and even gained a fiancée, Sue.   One night at dinner, Ned got the feeling that something was wrong and he was right – Sue ended up getting kidnapped in the parking lot and Ned also got captured by members of the “Agency” for questioning.

Along the way, you learn about Joe and Ned’s past and how their former coworkers, Meg, Dan, Schultz, and Fischer, get involved in this fiasco and run both from the law and from the people from this “Agency” who are trying to kill them.  Not everyone is who they seem…

While my summary may not make this book sound like the most interesting book out there, I was hooked.  If I tell you too much about the plot, it’ll give it all away.  What I loved about this book was that it was told slightly out of order and each section was noted by date/time and focused mainly on the experience of one or a few characters.  It made me pay attention more in order to try to piece together what was going on and how everything tied together.  The book seemed really long compared to some of the other Kindle books I read (Amazon says it’s 372 pages) but a LOT went on.  I wasn’t even halfway through the book and I couldn’t believe how much had taken place already.  It kept me reading.

Another thing I loved about this book is that I could relate to the characters in a certain sense.  The characters were normal people who got caught up in a crazy situation.  The one catch is that the book does get into some software programming descriptions and such, so that may be a turn-off to some people.  I thought it was interesting.  I did feel like the end was a little harder to read… maybe too much explanation and not enough action anymore.

Overall, I think this was a great effort by first time writer, Josh McMains.  I’ve heard that he may try to make a sequel, which would be awesome, since the end was left open for more to happen.  Just a heads up, if you’re looking to find this book, either buy it for the Kindle ($2.99) or you can also get a PDF version to download for only a few bucks on the website,  Go out and buy the book so it’ll convince Josh McMains to write a follow up!

Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger

I can’t remember why I chose to buy this book.  Maybe it was on sale for the Kindle.  Maybe the summary looked interesting.  Either way, it had been sitting in my queue of unread books on my Kindle for awhile so I decided that it was just the type of book I wanted to read.  I like to mix up my genres and go from chick lit to suspense novels to memoirs and I try not to read two books of the same genre in a row.  Unless two really good chick lit books come out at the same time.

In “Beautiful Lies“, Ridley Jones is a normal 30-something woman in New York City when she gets thrust into the spotlight after saving a little boy from being hit by a car.  Out of the blue, she receives an old photo of a family and a simple note asking “Are you my daughter?”  Ridley is confused but asks her parents about it, who tell her she’s crazy and are offended that she’d even think that she was anything but their daughter.  Right at this same time, Ridley meets her hot new neighbor, Jake, who she is instantly attracted to, although he seems a bit dangerous and Ridley really doesn’t know anything about him.

Ridley confides in Jake about the photo and he immediately offers to help her do some research.  The deeper that Ridley and Jake get into both their research and their relationship, the more troubling things come to the surface about both Ridley’s family and Jake that make her regret not throwing away that picture and never saying a thing.  She starts to realize that the people who she loved and trusted may not be who she thought they were.  But she’s too far in and it’s too late to turn back…

I’m deliberately leaving a lot of details out, so I apologize for the short, vague summary.  I tend to only read the book jacket summary when I first download a book and then leave it sit for awhile before I read it, so I had no clue what this book was awhile when I first started reading it.  I think it helped add to the page-turningness (did I just make up a new word?) of the book.  Some of the reviews online aren’t very positive, but I actually liked this book.  The premise and the whole story is pretty unbelievable in reality, but really, what book isn’t like that?  I was surprised by a few turns that the story took that I didn’t guess beforehand (which I’m usually pretty good at doing).

This was Lisa Unger‘s first novel that came out a few years ago and since then, she’s released a few other books in the same suspense/thriller/mystery/whatever you want to call it genre.  I will be putting her on my list of “must read more of his/her books” authors!

Exposure/Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins

Two books in one post!  I started reading Brandilyn Collins recently because these two books were free on Kindle, of course.  I like reading thriller and mystery types of books as long as they aren’t too complicated; I think I have a pretty short attention span.  Both of these books were really easy to follow but definitely surprised me at the end – but I’m not saying why!!

Exposure” is is interesting because there are really two stories going on within one, each chapter alternates between storylines.  In one story, a bank manager, Martin, partners with the mafia to help pull of a bank robbery, but when the mafia guy comes back to collect the cash, Martin is murdered.  His wife and daughter are a witness to this and then need to figure out how Martin was involved .  Once his wife figures it out, she has to figure out how to keep the mafia away so she doesn’t get herself and her daughter killed, too.  In the other story, a newspaper columnist named Kaycee who writes about her own fear and paranoia.   She soon finds herself in a situation where she’s questioning her fears and wondering if they’re in her own head or if it’s really happening.  When a young girl that she is close to is kidnapped, the fear and paranoia gets worse until Kaycee is finally forced to confront her worst fears.  I’ll let you read the book and figure out the rest!

Dark Pursuit” is about a girl name Kaitlin, a recovering drug addict, who has cleaned her life up, gotten a good job, and has a great boyfriend who is a police officer.  After coming home from work one day to find a dead woman on her bed, Kaitlin knows her boyfriend is involved and is afraid for her life.  She goes to her estranged grandfather for help, who happens to be an author of crime novels.  They devise a plan to keep Kaitlin safe and to confront her boyfriend, of course, things go terribly wrong.

I liked both of these books, they kept me on my toes (is that possible when reading a book?) and I wanted to turn the page to see what happened next.  Most of the mystery/thriller books that I like happen to have a female main character; perhaps it helps me identify with them more.  Brandilyn Collins has a number of other books in this genre and most of them seem to be parts of short (three to four book) series.  If all of her other books are like these two, I’ll definitely keep reading.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Jaci has read 1 book toward her goal of 35 books.

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