Archive for the ‘Mysteries & Thrillers’ Category

You Review: The Lie – Hesh Kestin

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Reviewed by Barbara Povel

The Lie is a modern day story set in the Middle East, in Israel and Palestine. We all hear about it in the news, the conflicts, the tragedies, and the crimes against humanity from both sides.

It’s written by Hesh Kestin, an Israeli correspondent who is also a veteran of the Israeli army.  Knowing that in advance, I wondered which path he was going to take in telling his story… and was pleasantly surprised! The main caracter is a female Israeli defence attorney for Palestinians who are accused of terrorist activities. She is known to be against torture as a way of interrogation, but is asked by the government to decide when torture could be used as a legitimate method. When her own son is kidnapped by Hezbollah, one Palestinian man might have the information needed to find him back. He happens to be an old colleague of hers, and a longtime friend of the family; their mothers are very close. Will she stand by her beliefs, or is torture admissible if it could save her son’s life?

The book is a bit like a movie: going from one location to the other and back and I just couldn’t put it away until I knew what had happened. It’s not just a thriller, it’s also a story about people and humanity and the roles women play.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

There is no ebook available (yet) for The Lie, but there is an ebook available of an earlier book by Kestin: The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats.

You Review: The Intern’s Handbook (Kill Your Boss) – Shane Kuhn

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Reviewed by Natalie Gerritsen

Human Resources, Inc. is an elite hitmen agency which poses as a placement agency for office interns. The assassins trained by Human Resources, Inc. are almost without exception orphans, ‘raised’ by the agency to become ruthless killers. Their targets are corrupt businessmen, so getting an internship is the perfect opportunity to get close to a victim. The downside to this approach is the fact that the hitmen have to retire when they are twenty-five, because no one would believe an older intern.

John Lago is one of these hitmen about to retire. He is the star of the agency and is about to start his final assignment. He describes this assignment in ‘The Intern’s Handbook’, meant to help the new interns/assassins. But he doesn’t know this last job is going to be a lot harder than it looks, especially when a beautiful woman shows up to complicate things.

Kill Your Boss (a.k.a. The Intern’s Handbook) by Shane Kuhn is just the best kind of pulp: funny, dark, sometimes vulgar and full of action. John Lago is the kind of messed-up hero I love: skilled in all types of combat, weaponry and espionage, but with a damaged heart, which could just turn out to be a heart of gold.

This is a book you will read in one or two sittings and it will entertain you all the way through. Six months from now, you probably won’t remember too much about it; it just isn’t that kind of ‘impressive’ literature, but then again, it doesn’t pretend to be. If you’re in the mood for some straight-up entertaining action, pick up this book and just enjoy yourself for a few hours.

Blogmistress’s note:  The Intern’s Handbook is the US title of the book; Kill Your Boss is the UK title.  Because why have the same title across the globe in this internet age, right?  ;-)

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Ebook available of Kill Your Boss.

You Review: The Game Trilogy by Anders de la Motte

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Reviewed by Andrée Walch

Game, Buzz and Bubble are the three titles that make up this trilogy.  I will not go into details for each of these books but make a general résumé about them.

The two main protagonists are Henke and Rebecca, his sister. Henke is simply hanging to life. Drugs, alcohol, petty thefts and so on are his main occupations. Rebecca is a police officer/body guard. They do not have much contact with each other, which does not mean that they do not love the other one and help out, if it is possible.

One day Henke sits in the train and finds a mobile. While he is thinking if it is worth taking to sell on later, the phone comes alive and invites him to a game. Intrigued and with nothing better to do with his life, Henke accepts and from that moment on his life gets much more interesting. Thrilling and … dangerous, even life-threatening. Because the game consists of doing stuff like spraying gas in the face of someone, rolling a stun grenade under the coach of the King of Sweden while he passes with his cortège, well, you can see in which direction it goes.

The story alternates between Henke and Rebecca. You start to wonder when both paths will cross. The first time they do it nearly costs Rebecca her life, without her knowing that her brother provoked the incident.

To make it short the whole story leads you into the world of hackers, bloggers (you ever wonder how some hotels have always such good feedback on certain sites?), internet, IT services, betrayal, violence and so on. The GAME, the Game Master, Henke’s friend Manga (who wants to be called Farouk because he has converted to Islam, and who is an IT genius); the intrigue flows through all three books. The story is well-written, but …

After the first two books I had to take a break of several weeks before being ready to continue on with book three. I could not take it anymore, it was simply too much, I had become fed up.  The constant changing between Henke’s and Rebecca’s point of view started to get to me. Also, some situations fitting so perfectly into each other… For example, Henke jumps from a building to save his life and lands – on the roof of his sister’s car, which is parked right underneath, although first Rebecca wanted to go some place different and had a very sudden change of mind.

I cannot complain that the story is not plausible. No, it is, it is well-written, well thought through and believable.  But only up to a certain point. Perhaps with having or taking a break after each book the story would not seem so oppressing?

Also, in every stage of Henke’s life something happens to him. There is not one moment where he can simply hang around and just be. The story leads him to different parts of the world before bringing him back to Stockholm, where the whole game finally comes to an end, with a final betrayal and revealing who the Game Master is. Well, this one I saw coming slowly but surely throughout book number 3, Bubble.

I do not know how the publisher wants to sell this trilogy, one book after the other or all three together in a package, but, and this is purely my personal opinion, I would recommend taking a break between reading the different books. Let it sit for a while and then go on with the next book. I was so “full” with the first two books that I was afraid that I might hate the third one if I went right on reading it without taking a break.

All in all Anders de la Motte’s Game Trilogy is not bad at all, it is an interesting milieu and the storyline is a bit different from the many other books you can find in the Mysteries/Thrillers corner.

Blogmistress’s note: The publisher decided just the opposite, and released all three books in December.  :-)   The original books, in Swedish, were released one year apart each time.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

ABC’s Gift Ideas: Manga, Military History, Music, Mysteries/Thrillers

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The gift-giving season is upon us – hooray!

The ABC Staff has rummaged through their sections and order lists, and come up with another year’s worth of wonderful gift ideas for you: from fiction to history to cookbooks to children’s books to travel to non-books and onwards.

In a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month, you will find what we think will make great gifts, whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas or just like giving books to people. And since we’re a bookstore, these posts will be alphabetical by subject. :-)

Today you’ll find gift ideas for Manga, Military History, Music and Mysteries & Thrillers as picked out by section buyers Ester, Sophie, RonG, Pleun and Jouke. Bear in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg – come to either one of our stores to browse many, many more titles in any of these subjects.

We are ready as ever to be your personal shoppers again this year, and hope you will find our selections useful and inspiring!

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit pas 2013), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.


This Just In: Mysteries & Thrillers

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Six Recently-Arrived Titles from the Mysteries & Thrillers Section:

Please be sure to contact our stores for an exact stock check!

EBooks available for The Cuckoo’s Calling, Winter of the World, Salvation of a Saint, and The King’s Deception.