Tag Archives: Thriller

375E: Very dark YA, MC teen boy dies saving girl he kidnapped

Published date2002-2007 at least that is when we had it in Australia
Story– MC is a teen boy who doesn’t have any friends and is in high school, he is “good” however he is timid and very unsure of himself – he has a crush on a beautiful popular girl from school but she doesn’t know he exists- he makes friends with a boy who is nice to him and a little weird who has a group of friends outside of school so he introduces MC to them- the friends are all boys and they have extreme views and want to act out violently, however MC doesn’t care about this as he doesn’t think the boys will act on it and it’s better than being alone- one day the leader of the group devises a plan to kidnap someone from school to hold them hostage (for reasons I cannot remember sorry), the leader has a car and weapons and makes MC get involved as he is a weak character- it turns out the leader of the group wanted to kidnap the girl from MCs school who he has a crush on and he feels very conflicted about this but doesn’t know how to voice this and get out of the group or tell the police- they kidnap the girl and hold her hostage in a friend’s house but the kidnapping makes the news and it becomes a full blown investigation which escalates the situation quickly- MC had thought that they would just release the girl after the leaders demands are met however due to the kidnapping becoming breaking news he realises there is no way out- he tries to come up with plans to help her escape and make her feel less distressed without getting caught by the leader but it doesn’t work- the leader of the group decides that because his demands are not taken seriously by the police he will take the girl into the woods at night and kill her by hanging her- they tie her up and take her into the woods and put a noose around her however something happens and i think she slips and she suddenly becomes hung – at this point the police have found them and they all run away except MC who desperately tries to cut her free- he manages to save her however there’s a siege and the police find him and start shooting at him and so he runs- the story ends quickly after this chase as he is shot dead.
As you can see this is an incredibly dark story and I was super surprised that it was YA and in my school library! The book absolutely wrecked me for weeks when I was 15. I think it must be out of print as I can’t find it anywhere on google/goodreads.

367W: The Undead Fetus

A male news reporter finds his pregnant wife dead. He is attacked and ends up in hospital. The police tell him the fetus is missing/stolen. He comes back home to find the fetus there. He buries it, but it crawls back out. His wife turns out to be an ancient god. There’s a cyclops. The town has a Halloween parade.

360K: Last blue canister plagues cop

Book is from the late 70s/early 80s, I think, because I believe I read it in high school or college. Paperback. Author name was something ridiculously simple that I was sure I would remember. I was naive in that assumption. Many thousands of books later, I still remember this as worthy of re-reading.
Plot: cop searching for a serial nerve gas bomber. Four blue canisters of gas in total, first attack was on a subway or train, with nuns and children among the victims. Cop eventually finds the culprit, but not the last canister. We, the reader, know it’s hidden in the desert and unlikely to ever be found. Last scene in the book is the cop in bed with his honey, unable to sleep, and she asks what he’s thinking about. Answer of course is the location of the last canister he’ll never find.
I remember thinking someone ought to alert the authorities that such a terrible plot was now “out there” for people to see. Again, naive, but it was a very different time than we know now.
I was reading a lot of Robert Ludlum and Jack Higgins at the time, so someone of the similar mindset might remember this one. Great writing, engaging characters, enough plot twists and storyline development to be worth trying to find.  I have googled “blue canister nerve gas fiction book” so many times I’m surprised the authorities aren’t looking for me. Oh well.

358H: Cold War spy thriller set in Africa

As a child (sometimes in the 80’s or early 90’s) I read a book about a brilliant and charismatic Cold War era African leader who uses military cunning to successfully invade two of his neighboring countries (I believe Togo and Benin) .

The plot revolves around the leader setting the two countries against one another by having a mercenary frame one country for planting a bomb in the other. The leader than promises each country his support in a future war, but ends up invading and taking over both countries.

The book features an American or British white citizen visiting the country, befriending the African leader and falling in love with with a black tall singer. He joins the final battle in the book.

I also recall a minor scene where a pedophile communist spy was able to discover the plot by getting a government official drank, but he is killed prior to being able to share the info.

Another character is a British white secretary which works for the African leader and becomes his mistress.

I did extensive online research but could not find the book.

350X: Sensory-Enhanced Man’s Girlfriend Not What She Seems (Solved!)

The novel is about a man who works at an agency for people with advanced senses who use them to foil art thieves and bank robberies, and throughout the course of the story the protagonist becomes more and more paranoid as he is continuously foiled by a cat burglar who knows which poisons he is weak against. He believes his girlfriend is cheating on him, and gave away his secret, but it turns out she Is the cat burglar. The infidelity is a lie planted by his best friend, who is secretly a mobster trying to get revenge for a robbery he foiled.
I distinctly remember one specific scene, where he hits a man in the face with a large dildo.

348W: Who Kidnapped Toddler? (Solved!)

British psychological thriller, probably 2019. Small child disappears from yard while young mother carelessly supervises her playtime.  Meanwhile, a married woman is in  a relationship which begins to reveal itself as rather strange and secretive. Her evasive husband becomes a suspect when coworker points finger in his direction, but his alibi is that his delivery route is far from the kidnapping site. Clues and suspicions build until his wife can no longer avoid suspecting his cagey behavior and question his guilt.

344G: Backstabbing (Literally?) Females At Dream Beach House (Solved!)

The book was a paperback fiction.  I read it probably 10 or 15 years ago.  I do not remember the title or the author.  I believe the female author had a common first name but spelled slightly different (example – Lynda instead of Linda – but that wasn’t the name)
There were four female characters- collegemates- and a male college student that was dating one of the girls.  Two of the girls were best friends but hung out with two others.  The male college student was an architect and dreamed of building the perfect house in the perfect spot (on a beach)  One of the friends was a flashy blond who was rich and ended up stealing and marrying the man from her classmate because she could give him the property to build that perfect house.  The other classmate was a strange person who eavesdropped on the other three girls and often heard them making fun of her (she never forgot that)
I am not sure how many years later the rich blond invited everyone to her big beautiful home her husband had built on the beach for a reunion.  The one classmate had married and had children (average kind of boring life) and her best friend had married a cop who was paralyzed in the line of duty (living sad life) (if I recall correctly)  They didn’t really want to go to the reunion but ended up going.
In the meantime over the years the fourth member of their group was the butt of their jokes.  She wasn’t pretty.  Short and chubby.  I think she had red frizzy hair etc.  She had blossomed.  Lost weight and had become a famous writer/author.  She was well off and she apparently held a grudge all those years – and was out to get revenge.
My memory is pretty blurry about the time they spent on the beach.  The blond had become an alcoholic, not pretty any more.  Her husband said he had always loved the first girlfriend and was making a play for her at his beach house.  The climax in the story was when the author lady tried to kill one or more of them during a big storm that blew in.
I enjoyed the story and was hoping to find the author’s name to see if she had written any other books.  I have been looking for years with no luck.  This is the last I will try.  I hope you can finally solve my mystery.

340L: The Woman Who Can See Killers In Photographs (Solved!)

This is the plot of the book.  In the story a woman has to go to her brother’s town because he is murdered.  She finds out that she has a special gift in that when she looks at photographs she can see a killer.  She can also see how the killer will kill someone.  Her brother had this gift and was killed because of it.  She meets a woman (can’t remember if this woman was a police officer or some kind of specialist) who believes in her gift.  Later this woman who helps her is killed along with the rest of her family.  Later a man who I think is some kind of specialist who knows about this gift meets her and helps her.  He is trying to find other people who have this gift.  He asks her to look at a photograph and she sees a killer and is able to tell him that this killer will I think plant a bomb somewhere.  At the end it seems like this man is killed but he survives and is rushed back to his home which I think is in another country.  The woman is not told that this man has survived.

I cannot remember the title or author of this book.  I want to read any sequels that are written.

I hope you are able to help me.

328F: Terrorist plot foiled by mismatched federal agents

I listened to an audiobook from a library a couple years ago and have been searching for several years for it, but have been unable to find it. The library has torn itself apart trying to find it and I have physically gone through every audiobook but still can’t find it.

Here is what I remember:
The book starts out in Washington.  A terrorist plot is discovered by a female agent, FBI?, and is brought to the appropriate gov agency. The director knows that this is an extremist op and calls in a recently retired/parted CIA or some other black ops agent.  He has had his fill and is reluctant to take the mission but makes a deal that  this really will be his last mission.  He grudgingly accepts the mission and they are sent undercover to Europe/England to track down and kill the terrorist quietly. I think it was sanctioned by the President. He is an “off the books” guy and is not tied down by following the law while the female agent is by the books. She slowly learns what it takes to accomplish their mission and slowly warms to the guy. They have to use fake names, fake credits, and stay off the grid while tracking the terrorist, as I think the terrorists found out about it and began tracking them. I remember they try to buy some guns from some Eastern European gangsters and get into a shootout in a London garage when the deal goes bad. He has to use his contacts to get around and to track terrorists. I know they rented a seedy hotel room and he went out to get food and a burner phone and someone came to attack them while she was alone. They had to deal with the underworld trying to get info on the terrorist. I think the book ends when they catch-up with the terrorist attack around the London eye(ferris wheel?). The terrorist may have been a suicide bomber with a dirty bomb, but can’t remember for sure..
For some reason I thought it was written by a female author but I have searched every female action/suspense writer and have not found it.  All I listen to is spy/action novels and the title must have popped out when scanning the titles but it wasn’t obvious.