October Reviews


Current Issue
Additional New Mysteries
Readers Recommend
Small Press
Featured Authors
Books In Audio
Hard Cover Archives
Submission Guidelines
Short Stories
Mystery links

Click on links for buying info with Amazon!


Heat Shock by Robert O. Greer

Publisher: Mysterious Press ISBN: 0892967536

A little bit of Dick Francis (well, instead of horses we have gamecocks) and a whole lot of Robin Cook style suspense and we get Heat Shock.

This is the first book of this author I am reading, and I found it real interesting. Medical thrillers of the like of Robin Cook were a staple diet of mine till about 5 years back- but of late his thrillers have sort of become redundant (I stopped with Abduction), and Greer is a welcome new voice in the medical thriller genre.

Dr. Carmen Nguyen breaks the cardinal rule in a doctor- patient relation. She gets personally involved with the problems of a patient. Luke Redstone is dying from cancer- and his only wish is that someone would take care of his prized possession- a flock of fighting cocks. Though initially Dr. Nguyen takes the job to humor the dying man, she soon finds the task interesting. What follows is an amusing look into the world of high stakes gamecock fighting- its equally arduous and a big-buck involved game just like horseracing.

To add mystery there is the regular presence of a bunch of villains hell-bent on destroying these magnificent birds. As the birds come into the care and possession of Dr. Nguyen, she slowly learns another secret- these are not ordinary birds- Raised on Uranium rich soil, their genetic and chromosome structure have been changed, such that they are more strong, more powerful.. bordering on invincibleness and more ruthless…

What follows is an exciting journey where the young doctor tries to replicate the physical invincibility of the cocks into human beings….

A grand, grand read- I eagerly await the next Greer thriller.

                                                                         Narayan Radhakrishnan 


Red White and Blue Murder by Bill Crider

Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur ISBN: 0312271859

It’s July in Texas, and the small county that Sheriff Rhodes oversees is definitely feeling the heat. With the 4th of July swiftly approaching, and no rain in the forecast, there’s the threat of fire in the air.  And when a man is found burned to death, it’s not only fire the sheriff has to worry about, but murder.  When his prime suspect also becomes the victim of foul play, things only go from bad to worse in the hottest summer that the people of Blacklin County can remember, in a place where politics can be murder.

In this delightful tale of small town shenanigans, readers are in for a laugh out loud good time.  With a cast of characters straight out of Mayberry RFD, this eccentric county of neurotically amusing folks is sure to entertain and warm the heart.  Rhodes is perfect as the bemused and overly patient sheriff, solving murders with charm, appeal, and just a smidgeon of luck.  So if you’re looking for some chuckles along with some mild suspense, minus the violence and pathos that are usually part of the genre, this is the perfect read for a light-hearted day.      


Lie Still by David Farris

Publisher: William Morrow ISBN: 0060505540 

Medical resident Malcolm Ishmail is stunned and bewildered when his latest case turns from a simple procedure to one of life and death.  Working the E.R. in a small town in Arizona, a young boy is brought in with symptoms of an asthma attack, but what should’ve been simple, now has turned ugly when the boy slips into a coma after being treated by Ishmail.  Things go from bad to worse when the attending nurse begins to accuse Ismail of negligence in his treatment.   But soon, after even more unsettling events, Ishamil begins to suspect that the whole incident may have ties to events months previous when he was involved in a torrid affair with his professor in Phoenix, a woman whose brutal intelligence could not hide her deadly faults as a physician, a woman  who Ishamil could not allow to continue practicing once he knew the truth.  Fearing he is the victim of a vicious plot of revenge, and facing the ending of a career he has put his whole life into, Ishmail must find the answers before it’s too late. 

This intelligent and thrilling debut from Ferris shows much promise.  Written with compassion and insight into the field of medicine, Ferris has put out a tale that is both suspenseful and dynamic.  And although some elements may seem a bit far-fetched, the events depicted still paint a frightening and realistic picture of the medical world gone mad.  In a world where survival depends upon politics and bureaucracy, and tenure and reputation, and where the patient’s care too often is obscured behind these meaningless attributes, this discerning look at life as a doctor caught in the middle comes highly recommended.         


Masks of Murder by C.C. Canby

Publisher: J-Press Pub ISBN: 1930922043

Reviewed by Narayan Radhakrishnan

Welcome Mr. Canby (I guess, a pseudonym), the newest police procedural author on the block.

MASKS OF MURDER, the debut work by C.C. Canby is a good read, but there is nothing unique or spectacular about it. Sure there is suspense, sure there is action and intrigue, sure there is mystery- but in a market filled with James Pattersons and police procedurals of Ian Rankin, George Pelecanos and the lot, Canby’s got a very, very tough competition.

Detective Zeke Mallard has been murdered in his garage. His wife finds the body, brutally and repeatedly stabbed to death, and immediately informs Zeke’s partner Detective Richard Lanslow. For Lanslow, Zeke was his mentor, and so with lot of gusto and determination Lanslow launches into an investigation. The rookie young detective’s investigation opens a whole new can of worms, and he soon realizes that Zeke enjoyed a secret life, unknown to his friends, colleagues and even his wife, and frankly Zeke was not a ‘very likeable’ person. Lanslow’s investigation leads him to a young man Andrew White, whose girlfriend had an affair with Mallard. White had wanted revenge, and had in fact planned to kill Mallard- but someone else had done the deed before that.  Soon there is a second murder, and slowly Lanslow realizes that things are not what they seem to be. What follows is exciting action in the style of James Patterson, but with a subtle noir touch, that would keep the reader intrigued and thrilled.

A good read, though not a great one.