Mishka Rao

Muir’s Gambit, a Must-Read Spy Game Prequel by Michael Frost Beckner

The Bottom Line: Spy Game screenwriter Michael Frost Beckner resurrects timeless Cold War tradecraft in a new must-read series. Muir’s Gambit, a prequel to the classic espionage film Spy Games starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt, is set 48 hours prior to the original. The book returns familiar characters Nathan Muir and Tom Bishop, and introduces a new protagonist, CIA attorney Russell Aiken. Once Muir’s protégé, Aiken is still stinging from being cast aside …

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Pool Man, a Darkly Funny Horror Novel by Dan McDowell

The Bottom Line: McDowell’s newest nightmare is fresh, darkly funny and deserving of every horror fan’s attention. The beating heart of Dan McDowell’s award-winning Nightmare in Riverton series is the infamous Oak Hollow Hotel. Far more than just a setting, the Oak Hollow has also served as the book’s primary center of gravity, suspense and suffering. In the tradition of the Amityville Horror, McDowell has …

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The Handler, a Believable Terrorism Thriller by Jeffrey S. Stephens

The Bottom Line: A taut terrorism thriller that mesmerizes with a dizzying global conspiracy and believable stakes. Fans of Kyle Mills and Brad Thor will love The Handler. The Handler opens in New York City as two radicalized Muslims, Mustafa Karahan and Roshan Al Ghamdi, conduct recon for a terror attack. It’s a familiar setup with one terrifying twist: neither knows about the other’s existence, …

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The Child Riddler, a Slick Spy Thriller by Angela Greenman

The Bottom Line: A slick spy thriller that balances a futuristic counter-terrorism mission with the battle for its heroine’s soul.  Zoe Lorel is an elite operative in an international spy agency called Global Threat Assessment (GTA). The GTA faces an increasingly sprawling network of malevolent organizations that includes ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Real IRA, the KKK and others. Zoe’s boss and uncle, Easton Hughes, calls …

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When You Leave Me, an Irresistible Small Town Murder Mystery by Susan Wingate

The Bottom Line: An intense, irresistible small town murder mystery that crackles with twists.  When You Leave Me dangles its delicious first clue in the opening sentence: a shoe containing a human foot, one of several that have washed ashore on the San Juan Islands over the past year. Does it belong to Larry Michaels, whose footless body was found months earlier?  Susan Wingate’s fifth Friday Harbor novel – which …

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Just Underneath, an Enthralling Collection of Sci-Fi and Horror by Jason Palmer

The Bottom Line: Jason Palmer’s potent, enthralling shots of sci-fi and horror prove the short story format is what the world needs right now.  In the tradition of versatile literary icons Dean Koontz and Stephen King, novelist Jason Palmer has proven equally successful when tackling sci-fi and horror – such as in Thrash, his superb superhero thriller – or in an urban crime setting, such …

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Woman Over the Edge, a Smoldering Small Town Romantic Suspense Thriller

The Bottom Line: A provocative, smoldering small town romantic suspense thriller that fans of Big Little Lies will love. Each summer, high school sisters Bella and Mia Hughes work in their family’s lakeside resort in Minnesota. After hours, they spend their time hanging out with a close circle of friends and flirting with boys on the lake. But their idyllic summer existence comes to an …

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Gag Me, a Must-Read Whodunnit by Susan Wingate

The Bottom Line: A must-read whodunnit that is fresh, funny and truly innovative. Gag Me transports readers into the fragile psyche of a small-town waitress whose best friend, Winsey, is murdered. She works at a diner in tiny Friday Harbor, Washington, and had the misfortune of being the last person seen with Winsey. As such, she’s called in for questioning, and soon after, taken to …

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Eyewitness, a Captivating Psychological Thriller by T.R. Folsom

The Bottom Line: A winning blend of psychological thriller and sci-fi that is simultaneously captivating, eerie and moving. Fifteen years after a car accident destroyed her eyesight and her family, 30-year-old Emily Warner regains her vision through a miraculous cornea transplant. It’s actually her second procedure. The first was a failure, and not just because her body rejected the donation. Shortly after the operation, Emily …

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The Pine Barrens Stratagem, a Smoldering and Timely Crime Thriller by Ken Harris

The Bottom Line: A contemporary crime thriller that works on every level, from the smoldering investigation to the whipsaw banter between characters you’re bound to love. Ken Harris’ The Pine Barrens Stratagem centers around Steve Rockfish, a private detective hit so hard by the COVID-19 pandemic that he’s on the verge of losing everything. Creditors are even threatening to repossess his car, a 2015 Dodge …

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