Tag: Crime

Thrilling New Crime and Thriller Novels

This is the perfect week to read some books that are full of suspense. I love a good page turner and with these titles, you’ll want to keep reading until you reach the end.

  1. The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James

Image via Amazon

The Sundown Motel is a novel about a motel in Fell, New York. Like most, it has people from out of town that are just passing through. However, something is a bit off about this motel. The town locals are trying to keep the secrets hidden but Viv Delaney, the night clerk, is ready to uncover what’s hidden, just as her aunt tried to do thirty-five years ago. So now, more than ever, Viv is determined to find out what secrets lie within the motel.

2. You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Image via Amazon

You Are Not Alone follows the story of Shay Miller, a woman who wants her life to be more exciting. She wants a job that excites her, to fall in love, and to be more outgoing. However, it’s hard to do any of that when her life is so isolating. Then she meets the Moore sisters, who are everything Shay wants to be. They always get what they want, they have a great group of friends, and their life is glamorous. What’s not to love? But what Shay doesn’t know is, as much as she wants their life, they want hers as well.


3. The Other Mrs. By Mary Kubica

Image via Amazon

The Other Mrs is about a family that moves into a small town in Maine from Chicago. Unfortunately, when they move in they find their new neighbor, Morgan Baines, dead in her home. Sadie, the wife and mother of the new family, is shaken up by the murder. It doesn’t help that, being the new family in town, all eyes fall on them. Sadie dives into the mystery and begins to uncover the truth about what happened to Morgan the night she died. Sadie has to tread lightly though, because the more truth she discovers, the more she might have to lose.

4. Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

Image via Amazon

Saint X follows Claire, who was just seven years old when her older sister Alison was found dead during their family vacation on the Caribbean Island of Saint X. Now, Claire, is working in New York and just so happens to run into Clive Richardson, one of the men that was arrested and then released for the murder of her sister. This sends Claire on a mission to find out the real truth as to what happened to Alison. There was barely any evidence and the timelines didn’t match up, so the murder has been unsolved for years, and now Claire has the chance to find out who her sister really was. Claire begins to shadow Clive and an attachment forms between the two, as they are both connected by what happened to Alison.

5. Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald

Image via Amazon

Behind Every Lie follows Eva, who wakes up in the hospital after being struck by lightning. When she wakes up, she learns that her mother is dead, and Eva was just down the street from her, unconscious. Now, Eva is a person of interest in her mothers murder, but she can’t remember what happened. Eva has to work hard to clear her name, so she goes to London, where her mom used to live, and uncovers secrets that someone doesn’t want her to know. As she begins to learn about her mother, Eva starts to have some violent memories, and now she is unsure if she can trust anyone, including herself.


All images via amazon

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5 Authors Who Were Also Murderers

Just because you wrote a good book doesn’t mean you haven’t killed someone. In fact, just because you haven’t written a good book doesn’t mean you haven’t killed someone. Heck, you could not write a book, not intend to write a book, and still kill someone. But that’s not what this site is about. This site is about books, and occasionally the worlds of literature and murder overlap. Here are five authors who murdered someone.


5. William S. Burroughs


As the story goes, he didn’t mean to kill her, but he did. A key member of the Beat Generation, William S. Burroughs appears in Jack Kerouac’s breakout 1957 novel On The Road. Written on one long scroll of paper so he didn’t have to change pages on his typewriter, Jack Kerouac wrote this iconic piece of literature in three weeks in April of 1951, fueled by coffee. William S. Burroughs was the inspiration behind On The Road‘s character of Old Bull Lee.

William S Burroughs sitting at his type writer, hands folded in lap, looking at camera.


William S. Burroughs had his own writing career long before On The Road was published. In fact, his first novel, Junkie, was released in 1953, a first-person narrative about a man struggling with heroin addiction. This novel was published initially under the pseudonym William Lee.


Book cover for William Burrough's 'Junkie'


But let’s go back to 1951. While in Mexico City, Burroughs and his second wife, Joan Vollmer, were drunk while she was undergoing withdrawal from a heavy amphetamine habit. Drunk and a little high, they decided to play William Tell.


For those who don’t know, William Tell is a game in which one player shoots an apple off the top of another person’s head, usually with a crossbow. However, in this instance, Joan placed a highball glass on top of her head and William S. Burroughs used a pistol to attempt to shoot it off. Unfortunately, he missed.


William S. Borrough's wife, Joan


While awaiting trial, Burroughs wrote the novel Queer about a young man looking for Yage, a hallucinogen, in South America. At the end of his trial, Burroughs was given a two-year suspended sentence and in 1959 his magnum opus, Naked Lunch, was published.


William S. Burroughs holding a shot gun in a garden, looking at camera.


William Seward Burroughs II, post-modernist author and primary figure of the Beat Generation, died on August 2nd, 1997 at the age of eighty-three.


4. Anne Perry


Anne Perry with arms folded looks at camera, lightly smiling


Author of the Thomas Pitt detective series and the William Monk detective series, Anne Perry is an English author whose life story was the basis for Peter Jackson’s film Heavenly Creatures. Released in 1994, the film follows the 1954 Parker-Hulme murder case about two teenage friends, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, who eventually murdered Parker’s mother.


Parker was sixteen at the time, while Hulme was fifteen. According to The True Crime Library in Christchurch, New Zealand, the girls bludgeoned the woman to death with half a brick enclosed in an old stocking before running into town and claiming that Parker’s mother had fallen and hit her head.


Movie poster for Heavenly Creatures


Their story fell apart upon closer inspection and the two were arrested. Too young for the death penalty, the girls each received five years in prison.

At the time of the film’s production and release, it was not known that upon her release from prison, Juliet Hulme had changed her name to Anne Perry.

After the film was released and Perry’s identity discovered, the New Zealand Herald claimed, “…Perry has told the London Times Saturday Magazine that although they were never lesbians the relationship was obsessive”.

On her website, Anne Perry writes, “I began the ‘Monk’ series in order to explore a different, darker character, and to raise questions about responsibility, particularly that of a person for acts he cannot remember. How much of a person’s identity is bound up in memory?”


3. Blake Leibel

Not everyone who authors graphic novels with shocking descriptions of murder is a murderer themselves, but this guy is.

Blake Leibel wearing glasses look at camera in black and white photograph


In 2015 the graphic novel Syndrome was published, containing unsettling depictions of bloodletting and, straight from CBS Los Angeles, it transpires that Blake Leibel murdered his girlfriend and left her body “drained of all of her blood in a crime that a prosecutor said mirrored the script of a graphic novel he co-wrote.”


Blake Leibel and Iana Kasian


The Los Angeles Times also notes that Leibel, “was expressionless. Dressed in a yellow jail shirt and blue scrubs, he uttered only one word, answering ‘yes’ when the judge asked if he would waive his appearance at an upcoming court hearing”.

He was convicted in June 2018.


Image Via Los Angeles Times

Before his graphic novel, he worked on 2008’s Spaceballs: The Animated Series, based on the 1987 film by Mel Brooks, as a creative consultant.


2. Liu Yongbiao


Liu Yongbiao standing next to statue with hand on his foot


Back in 2005, Chinese writer Liu Yongbiao broke onto the scene with his story collection, A Film, which won China’s highest provincial critical achievement: the Anhui Literature Prize. In 2010, his novel about a writer implicated in a wave of unsolved murders, The Guilty Secret, was published.

In 2013, he cemented his literary status when he was elected to the China Writers Association.


Image result for Liu Yongbiao crime author

Image Via All That’s Interesting

Backtrack to November 29th, 1995, when Liu and a friend, Wang Mouming, checked in a guesthouse. All That’s Interesting states that they had “the intention of robbing other guests” but “when the two were caught stealing by a guest, Wang and Liu are believed to have used clubs and hammers to kill the guest as well as the guesthouse’s two owners (an elderly couple) and their thirteen-year-old grandson in order to completely cover their tracks.”

Twenty-two years later, Shanghaiist reported that blood samples led investors to the fifty-three-year-old writer and the sixty-four-year-old legal consultant.


Liu Yongbiao in custody


The NY Post states that Liu told the investigators who arrested him that, “I’ve been waiting for you all this time”.


1. Mark “Chopper” Read

Chopper with two guns crossed over his chest and two in his waistband

Image Via Pinterest

Have you read Mr. Read’s work? He wrote crime novels and several children’s books, one of which was called Hooky the Cripple: The Grim Tale of the Hunchback Who Triumphs, published in 2002 by Pluto Press and illustrated by Adam Cullen.

According to ABC News, Mark Read spent his early years robbing drug dealers before kidnapping and torturing members of the criminal underworld. Eventually, he was caught and charged with armed robbery, assault, and kidnapping. Perth Now reports that he spent only thirteen months outside of prison between the ages of thirty and thirty-eight. He also cut off his ears in prison.

Later in life, Mark Read found solace in writing.


Mark 'Chopper' Read with a cigar in his mouth and sunglasses on standing in front of a wall graffitied yellow and red


In 1991 he wrote the story of his life Chopper, from the inside: The confessions of Mark Brandon Read and several other non-fiction books, but he has also dabbled in children’s literature.


Book cover for Hooky the Cripple featuring a hand holding a bloody knife


There have been several attempts to ban Hooky the Cripple, but the movie based around his life, 2000’s Chopper starring Eric Bana, received critical praise upon its release.

Back in 2013, Read told the  New York Times, “Look, honestly, I haven’t killed that many people, probably about four or seven, depending on how you look at it.”

Featured Image Via kmuw.org

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12 Heart-Pounding Thrillers for Your 2020 TBR

Sometimes there’s nothing better than getting lost in a new thriller that gives you goosebumps and keeps you on the edge of your seat. If you’re looking to get your fix of heart-pounding thrillers in 2020, you’ll want to add these 12 chilling books to your TBR pile.


1. The Tenant by Katrine Engberg



Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner have just been assigned to a murder case that left one young woman, Julie, dead with an unfamiliar pattern carved into her face. Immediately, the detectives begin to look at Julie’s landlady, Esther, who has just written the recently deceased woman into her latest mystery novel. As they try to piece together who murdered Julie, they find that there may be another sinister force in the picture who’s controlling Esther’s every move.


2. The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben


The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben CR: FSG


Having once been a feral child living alone in the woods, Wilde has no idea where he comes from or how he ended up alone at such a young age. Thirty years later, Wilde is now tasked with finding a missing girl, forcing him to go back to the community that outcasted him as a young boy. Teaming up with television crime attorney Hester Crimstein, the two must find the girl, uncovering dangerous secrets along the way that will threaten to unravel the entire community and destroy millions of lives.


3. Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald


When Eva Hansen is struck by lightning, she thinks that’s the worst of her problems—until she awakes in the hospital to the news that her mother has been murdered and she has no memory of the events that happened before the lightning incident. With the police suspicious of Eva and her possible involvement in the murder, Eva has no choice but to travel to London to uncover her mother’s past and clear her name for good.


4. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James


Carly Kirk has never fully gotten over the mysterious disappearance of her aunt Viv who went missing before Carly was born. Unable to shake the feeling that something sinister occurred, she moves to Fell,
New York, ready to visit the last place her aunt was seen: the Sun Down Motel. Determined to find answers for what happened to Viv, she quickly finds herself in the middle of the terrifying mysteries that
surround the motel.


5. The New Husband by D.J. Palmer



After the disappearance of Nina Garrity’s husband, she thought she had suffered enough… and then she finds out he was having an affair. A year and a half later, Nina does her best to move on now that her
husband is presumed dead. But moving on won’t be as easy as she anticipates when she meets Simon, a fellow widow.

As the two fall in love, her daughter sees the red flags surrounding Simon, forcing Nina to look further into his past. Ultimately, her investigation reveals a shocking secret that will change her and her family’s life forever.


6. Blue Flowers by Carola Saavedra


Marcos is on his own for the first time in a long time after getting divorced and finds himself miserable at best. After moving into a new apartment, he begins receiving letters from an anonymous woman who believes she’s writing to her ex who once lived in the apartment.

As he receives more and more letters from the mysterious “A.”, he becomes obsessed with her and finding out who she really is, going to all extents to find out her true identity.

7. Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier


Marin and her college sweetheart Derek had a seemingly perfect life. But then their son Sebastian goes missing, turning the couple’s world upside down. A year after losing Sebastian, the case has gone cold
and Marin and Derek are no longer the happy couple they used to be.

Desperate for answers about Sebastian, Marin hires a private investigator but instead, the P.I. learns that Derek is having an affair with a much younger woman. Armed with this new information, Marin decides she’ll do whatever it takes to make sure this woman is forced out of Derek’s life for good.

8. The Better Liar by Tanen Jones


Sisters Robin and Leslie were on completely different pages the last time they spoke. But now, their father has died and if Leslie wants to gain her half of the inheritance, she’ll have to track down Robin.
Unfortunately for Leslie, Robin is dead.

Worried she won’t get the money she so desperately needs from her late father, she finds a woman who is nearly identical to Robin and the two begin a risky arrangement that will benefit both of them in the end. But both women are hiding perilous secrets that eventually come to the surface, putting both of their lives in danger.

9. The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell


Tabitha Girard will never forget the man who broke her heart: Connor Ford. When he unexpectedly appears in her life years later, she can’t shake the feelings she has for him despite the fact that he’s
married. But everything changes when his wife commits suicide, leaving Tabitha and Connor to fully commit to their relationship.

However, things go sideways when Tabitha happens upon the diary of
Connor’s late wife—a diary that claims Connor had something to do with her death.

10. Hi Five by Joe Ide


As the daughter of the biggest arms dealer on the West Coast, Christiana is used to getting her way. But when her boyfriend shows up dead in her Newport Beach boutique, she’s suddenly caught in the middle of an investigation where she’s the primary suspect.

To hopefully get her out of trouble, Christiana’s father hires a private investigator, Isaiah Quintabe, to prove her innocence. What Isaiah doesn’t know is that Christiana has multiple personalities and if he can’t clear her name, he and his girlfriend’s lives will be
on the line.

11. Don’t Ever Forget by Matthew Farrell


When Police Investigator Susan Adler is called to the scene of a murder involving a fellow state trooper, she has no idea that this seemingly simple case will end up being one of the most complicated and vicious cases she’s ever worked on. In no time, Susan is tracking down a car that belongs to a nurse who has gone missing, taking one of her elderly patients with her.

Before Susan knows it, she finds herself in the middle of an intricate case that will take multiple lives and lead her to one horrific killer.

12. Master Class by Christina Dalcher

In Master Class, students must participate in standardized testing meant to determine their “quotient.” If you score high enough, you are allowed entrance to top-tier schools that will dramatically improve your life. On the other hand, if you score too low, you’re sent to a federal boarding school, giving you limited options for the future.

For Elena Fairchild, a teacher at a top tier school, she’s never had to worry about her daughter’s performance. But all of that changes when the nine-year-old performs poorly on a test and she’s taken to a federal school hundreds of miles away. Now, Elena must do whatever it takes to get her back.

Bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark Dies Aged 92

Author Mary Higgins Clark, known by her fans as the “Queen of Suspense” has died at the age of ninety-two. Ms. Clark wrote bestsellers such as A Stranger is Watching‘ and ‘The Cradle will Fall, which later were adapted into films. Her publishing company, Simon and Schuster has confirmed that she died peacefully “surrounded by family and friends.” During her career, Ms. Clark wrote thirty-eight suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. She has also co-authored five suspense novels with her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, and five novels with bestselling author, Alafair Burke.


Image via Getty Images


Mary Higgins Clark was born in New York City in 1927. After graduating high school, she attended secretarial school before working in an advertising agency for three years. She then worked as a Pan Am flight attendant, but left after a year to marry her husband Warren Clark and start a family. They had five children together. After her husband died suddenly at the age of thirty-five, Ms. Clark began writing short stories and radio scripts in order to support her family. Her agent then persuaded her to begin writing novels. Ms. Clark drew inspiration for her storylines from news stories.



According to the Washington Post, she would attend murder trials and discuss medical terminology with doctors to have better knowledge when writing her novels. Her first book was reprinted seventy-five times and her books have been translated into thirty-five languages. In 2000, Simon and Schuster awarded her a $64 million contract for her next five books, making her the highest-paid female author at the time. Each of her books has been a bestseller and there are more than a 100 million copies of her books in print in the United States.


Image via gritdaily


Ms. Clark graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy in 1979. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the university in 1998 among twenty other honorary doctorate degrees. She has also received the Gold Medal of Honor from the American-Irish Historical Society in 1993, the Spirit of Achievement Award from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in 1994, and the Authors Guild Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community in 2018 among many others.



Mary Higgins Clark always had a special bond with her fans. In a statement by her editor Michael Korda, he said, “Nobody ever bonded more completely with her readers than Mary did. She understood them as if they were members of her own family.” She is survived by her five children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


Image via USA Today 

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New Release Will Have You On The Edge of Your Seat

New York Times best-selling author Lisa Gardner released her newest novel, When You See Me, this past Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.

The novel follows FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren and their team as they follow the digital crumbs of the late serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. This book reunites some of Gardner’s most popular characters,  Detective D.D. Warren, FBI Agent Kimberly Quincy and vigilante Flora Dane. The trio must summon their collective skills, and face the traumas of their past, in order to uncover the secrets Ness brought to his grave.


image via dead good books

When You See Me is Gardner’s twentieth suspense novel. Some of her other titles include, Look for Me, Never Tell , and The Neighbor, which won Thriller of the Year.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, the novel is “An emotionally powerful page-turner. Fans of kick-ass female investigators will be well satisfied.”



New York Times best-selling author Gregg Hurwitz saysWhen You See Me is another rocket-fuel-propelled thriller from Lisa Gardner. This culmination of her great talents sees the return of her finest characters who collide with an intrigue that starts out chillingly intimate and explodes into a sky-high denouement that will leave you breathless.”

featured image via amazon

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