Thrillers, Suspense & Mystery

A Deadly Covenant

Michael Stanley (White Sun Books)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

A Deadly Covenant by Michael Stanley is the eighth entry in the Detective Kubu mystery. The young Detective Kubu has just joined the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department and is eager to prove himself. In rural Botswana, a backhoe unearths the skull of a long-dead Bushman and Kubu accompanies Ian MacGregor, a Scottish pathologist to watch and learn. When eight more skeletons are uncovered, Ian and Kubu are aware they might not be dealing with a cold case. The locals claim to know nothing about the massacres, but when an elde...

Time 2 Die

Brent Ladd (Morgan James)

| Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro

In 1906, Charles Henry Warren is unexpectedly felled by Typhoid. Soon, his family is fighting for their lives against the deadly disease. The Warren’s cook, Mary Mallon, appears to have avoided contracting the dreaded disease. However, another family is soon affected by the virus and the commonality is Mary. She is a carrier of the disease and authorities quarantine her. Her danger to society is seemingly contained. In the present day, Joel and Codi are two FBI agents operating out of the Special Projects division. They handle cold cases and h...

The Distance Between Us

A. C. Burch (HomePort Press)

| Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro

Celia Jane Strongue has long sought to emerge from the shadow of her husband, Stanley (“The Scrap Metal King of Hunts Point”). Upon his death and her inheriting his wealth, Celia plans to establish herself on Cape Cod. She plans to win over the locals with her largesse. Her plans to meet with renowned artist Mavis Chandry are dashed when she is electrocuted at Mavis’ home. Helena Handbasket inherited a large estate at HomePort and has become a patron of the arts. However, Helena’s role as beloved socialite is wreaking havoc in her marriage. He...

The She Shed

Leah Orr (Orrplace Press)

| Reviewed by Morgan Amos

Hidden secrets, friendships, and skeletal remains make Leah Orr's The She Shed a captivating read! When Lilly Mae's dog, Dexter, finds a human jawbone in the backyard of Adeline Murphy's home, things take an undesirable turn as Adeline flees, leaving her niece Charlotte baffled and trying to figure out what has happened and why. It has been over a week since anyone has heard from Adeline, and everyone is stunned, wondering what must have happened to her. Charlotte learns of her aunt's disappearance from her old friend, Derek McAl...

The Skin Thief

T.E. MacArthur (Indies United Publishing House, LLC)

| Reviewed by Michael Rothrock

The Skin Thief by T.E. MacArthur is an enthralling paranormal thriller with a terrific setting and intriguing characters. Tessa lost her partner in a past mission that went awfully wrong. Now she has the chance at redemption and the only opportunity to prove herself to her employer, a secret agency she works for. Her employer asks her to take on a mission that is already doomed. Many have died without completing it. She is desperate and reaches out to Jack de Sombras, her old partner and a man considered a traitor. Jack is hesitant but accepts...

Officers Down

Eliot Sefrin (BookBaby)

| Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro

On July 4, 1976, Detective Sergeant Matt Holland and his partner Officer Rachel Cook responded to a burglary in progress in their Brownsville precinct. The pair surprised a group of individuals in the basement of an apartment building. One of the group apparently charged Holland and Holland discharged his firearm during the melee, accidentally killing a young man. Holland and Cook cope with shock as they are forced to endure a lengthy questioning by Internal Affairs in the wake of the shooting. The young man who Holland had shot was a...

Officers Down

Eliot Sefrin (BookBaby)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

''Even in the glow of morning there was darkness.'' These are words that open Officers Down by Eliot Sefrin, a tantalizing thriller with strong and resonant themes, a deft exploration of racism in a poor community. The opening is a dark premonition of the strong premise that opens the narrative — the murder of an innocent Black teen, an eighth-grader. Responding to a 911 Call, New York City police officers Matt Holland and Rachel Cook accidentally kill an innocent Black teen in a poor neighborhood in a city that is already reeling from the tens...

An Inch from Oblivion

Sam Polakoff (Komodo Dragon, LLC)

| Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro

Dave Ostrinsky is a Baltimore Detective running on fumes, physically and mentally. A mental error at work leads to a temporary suspension. During a relaxing bike ride, Dave runs over an animal and is almost killed. A mysterious object is found in Dave’s skull during surgery. The surgeon who discovered the item is nonplussed. Upon further examination, the item appears to be an electronic device. When informed of this, Dave considers the possibility of the device factoring into his recent behavior. The surgeon, Dr. Ivy McDermott, becomes more co...

Diamond City

Marianna Boncek (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro

Art Moran is the commanding police officer of a two-man squad located in Forestdale, New York. In 1955, Art is contacted to handle an emergency in Diamond City. Diamond City is a tight-knit community living uphill from Forestdale led by a spiritual leader named Father Abraham. Art and his subordinate Carl are shocked by the discovery of a murdered teenager. The young woman was the victim of a violent assault before her death. Father Abraham wants a contained investigation, but Art is determined to conduct a thorough investigation. Events begin...

When She Comes Knocking

Dan McDowell (Black Rose Writing)

| Reviewed by Morgan Amos

After the death of their son Jake, Ben and Hannah Decker hope for a new beginning when they move into their home at 1737 17th Street in Dan McDowell's When She Comes Knocking. Ben is a sales rep in the pharmaceutical industry, and Hannah is an artist. Ben and Hannah try their best to cope with the loss of their eldest son while still raising and being there for their youngest, Davey. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned once they meet their new neighbor, Jean Jackson. While Jean is a welcome distraction for Hannah, Ben feels she has u...

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