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The Hit

Government assassin Jessica Reel has gone rogue. Someone has to stop her, but no one can match her skill and resourcefulness, except maybe Will Robie.

A hitman sent out to stop a fellow hitman is a pretty tired plot. But David Baldacci keeps it interesting and suspenseful in this second book of the Will Robie series

The Hit (2013) has plenty of action and tension as Jessica and Will try to get the upper hand on each other.

In addition to the compelling story, I enjoyed the audiobook for its background music, sound effects, and dual narrators (Ron McCarty and Orlagh Cassidy).

Visit Overdrive to read the ebook or listen to the audiobook today.



Home Before Dark

If you like stories about a haunted house then you will probably enjoy Home Before Dark (2020) by Riley Sager. This is the story of a Victorian estate in Vermont which the Holt family moves into to fix up. Baneberry Hall was built by William Garson in the mid 1800s. He lived there with his family and then a few other generations of the Garson's did also. William's daughter Indigo kills herself in 1889 which begins all the hauntings in the house. Many families and people come and go over the years with a number of murders and suicides that happen in the house. The Holt family is not disturbed by this history and move in . Not much has changed over the years. Over a decade of antiques and personal items are left from previous families. The Holt family suddenly leaves in a panic 3 weeks later to never return. The father Ewan Holt, writes a book about the haunted house and their families' experiences and makes lots of money from the book. 25 years later he dies and his daughter, Maggie inherits the money and the house. She can't remember her personal experiences from when she lived there those 3 weeks when she was a child and goes to the house to fix it up to sell. She always felt that the book was fictional and that her dad made most of the stories up. The past catches up with her and she finally resolves the mysteries of the house.


Check out the ebook or listen to the eaudio on Overdrive.


Zoo 2

In this short story sequel to Zoo, the adventure starts with Jackson Oz narrowly escaping from a polar bear. He and his family have set up housekeeping in the arctic thinking they would be safe from infected animal attacks.

Oz and wife Chloe were considering the dubious safety of Greenland when Oz gets invited to join a new effort to end the pandemic of animal attacks. There is a concern that the infection could spread from animals to microbes. Then the infection begins to be noticed in some humans in remote areas. Oz joins a team of researchers to capture an infected human alive. Infected humans are as savage as their animal counterparts but can speak and know how to use weapons.

This is an exciting standalone story but I recommend reading Zoo first—and check out my review of that title. Jay Snyder's excellent reading won't let you put this audiobook down till the end. Listen to the audiobook via Hoopla or read the ebook via Overdrive. Check out Zoo 2 (2016) by James Patterson and Max DiLallo today.



Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Clay lost his Silicon Valley job due to the recession and takes a job at an unusual bookstore, working odd hours. The few customers that patronize the store are a curious bunch and seem to return again and again without buying anything, but rather check out very old books. He soon discovers a pattern to the activity which leads to a 500-year-old mystery.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (2012) by Robin Sloan is a fun read, with elements of suspense and mystery, plus plenty of quirky characters. For those who like to listen, narrator Ari Flakos sets the tone just right. Listen to the audiobook or read the ebook on Overdrive.

We have an entire list of Books for Book Lovers—check it out!


Zoo

Grad student Jackson Oz has been noticing an uptick in violent animal attacks in this sci-fi bestseller. No one important will listen. He's dismissed as a crank. He travels to Africa to research the phenomenon firsthand. There he meets ecologist Chloe Tousignant. He would rather research Chloe but he has a serious girlfriend back home in the U.S. The lions snap (pun intended) him back to business.

The animal attack scenes are pretty exciting and following the search for the cause of the animal behavior is interesting. Zoo (2012) is a good thriller. I really liked it. I'm not sure how much of this book is James Patterson and how much is Michael Ledwidge, but Zoo is sometimes referred to as Zoo 1 because Patterson teamed up with someone else, Max DiLallo, to write Zoo 2, a short story sequel.

Visit Overdrive to read the ebook or listen to the audiobook of Zoo. Then, check out the ebook or audiobook of Zoo 2 for more stories in the same universe.



Goodnight Beautiful

Don't plan on getting anything done at home once you start Goodnight Beautiful (2020) by Aimee Molloy). What a wild ride: so creepy and so entertaining to read! Sam Statler is a well-liked psychotherapist in upstate New York. He's a newlywed; he and his wife Annie are very happy together. One stormy afternoon after leaving his office, Sam just disappears into thin air. Even his car can't be found. Annie feels something really terrible has happened. Many others, including the police, think that Sam has just taken off, due to serious financial troubles. So, who is right? Filled with several surprising twists, Goodnight Beautiful is one novel you won't want to miss.

Read the ebook from Overdrive.



Die Hard

John McClane (Bruce Willis), currently separated from his wife, is an NYPD cop invited to her company Christmas party in a Los Angeles skyscraper. When terrorists seize the building and a group of hostages, McClane is their only chance of escape. Die Hard (1988, R) sets the standard for action/hostage movies and catapulted Willis into becoming an action hero movie megastar. Also starring Alan Rickman as his nemesis. Get the "Die Hard Collection" binge box to watch the entire series. It is also featured in the "Christmas Gone Wrong" binge box.


An Unwanted Guest

Looking for a weekend getaway, best friends Riley and Gwen book a room at a small quaint inn in the middle of the woods where they are away from the bustle and hustle of city life. Joining them is a group a people who come from varying backgrounds coming for a calming weekend. Everything is going well until they hear a scream in the middle of the night and wake up to find a fellow guest at the bottom of the stairs. Caught in the middle of a snowstorm, they have no choice but to spend their weekend inside with someone who might be lurking in the shadows. Tensions rise as suspicion grows with every minute and the group begins to wonder if they will make it to the end of their trip alive.

Check out An Unwanted Guest (2018) by Shari Lapena. Visit Overdrive to read or listen to the book. For similar books, check out our lists of Psychological Suspense and Domestic Thrillers.


Beat the Reaper

This is a funny book, but the humor is very dark. Peter Brown tells the story himself. He is an emergency room intern. His real name is Pietro Brnwa, and he's a mob hitman. Because the story is told by this former hitman, the language is pretty crude. Very crude. But it has to be, given his background. And the violence is bone crushingly graphic. Still, Beat the Reaper (2009) is really funny. Author Josh Bazell has an M.D. from Columbia (the university, not the country), giving authenticity to Dr. Brown.

The tough guy narration by Robert Petkoff brings Dr. Brown to life. This audiobook is first class entertaining (if you're okay with language and violence). Get this audiobook and thank me later.

Listen to the book on Hoopla or read the book on Overdrive.



Ready Player One

In the year 2045, the real world is so dismal that everyone escapes by spending as much time as possible in a virtual reality universe known as the OASIS. When the creator of this universe dies, he bequeaths his vast fortune and rights to the OASIS to the first person who can find three eggs hidden in the game itself. In order to find these eggs, the gunters (short for "egg hunters") must learn everything they can about 1980s pop culture, especially about how to play the video games of the time.

Wade Watts, an indigent teen living in a stacked trailer park, is determined to be the winner of the contest. Standing in his way is IOI, Innovative Online Industries, a corrupt corporation that will stop at nothing to take control of the OASIS. This sci-fi thriller is exciting right until the end, and especially appealing to anyone who grew up in the 1980s.

Borrow Ready Player One (2011) instantly on Overdrive—both the ebook and audiobook are available.

And stay tuned: Ernest Cline's sequel Ready Player Two will be released November 24.



A Stranger in the House

Tom and Karen Krupp live a happy married life until the night of Karen's accident. Suddenly, Karen has no recollection of her crash or why she had been speeding in the worst part of town on the night of a mysterious man's murder. Karen's uncertainty has placed her under suspicion of murder and the police have started coming around. Tom starts to question if his wife is really the person he believes her to be, and their marriage slowly begins to spiral. With the police at their door and a curious neighbor across the street, the Krupps' happy life begins to hang by a thread.

A Stranger in the House (2017) by Shari Lapena is a fast-paced psychological thriller. Visit Overdrive to read the ebook or listen to the audiobook. For more stories in this vein, check out our lists: Psychological Suspense and Domestic Thrillers.



All Good Things

I recommend the movie All Good Things (2010, rated R), based on a true story from the early 80s about New York real estate heir David Marks (Ryan Gosling) and the disappearance of his wife Katie (Kirsten Dunst). Gosling does an amazing job with the transformation of his character in how he changes over the years of his marriage. He tries to outrun his past, but his family and wealth bring him back into the family business.

Watch All Good Things on Hoopla today or check out the DVD. The inspiration for the movie may be stranger than fiction: read about the strange case of Robert Durst.

The Last Flight

Claire and Eva both have reasons for wanting to disappear, so when they happen upon each other at the airport, they decide to take the other person's flight. However, when one of the planes crashes, the danger they thought they were leaving isn't far behind.

The Last Flight (2020) by Julie Clark is a great readalike for The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine, The Passenger by Lisa Lutz, and Peter Swanson.

Borrow The Last Flight instantly from Hoopla today.



The Rainmaker

I enjoyed watching The Rainmaker (1997, rated PG-13). John Grisham is definitely one of the better writers when it comes to courtroom drama or lawyer/drama kind of story, and this is an adaptation of his 1995 novel of the same name. Matt Damon and Danny DeVito work well together, and there is plenty of drama and suspense because of Rudy's (Damon) clients. The ending is somewhat bittersweet, but it's all part of why this is an excellent movie.

Check out The Rainmaker (directed by Francis Ford Coppola) on Hoopla today—and then browse our lists featuring lawyers in the movies (original and more).



You Were Always Mine

Jessica Chamberlain is newly separated and lives in a small Iowa town with her two beloved sons. She misses her husband and hopes to get her marriage back on track. One morning, she receives a phone call that breaks her world apart. As she tries to make sense of a horrible tragedy, she is drawn into a mysterious web of lies. Everything seems to lead back to Gabriel, her adopted 7-year-old son.

You Were Always Mine (2018) by Nicole Baart is a good family drama that keeps the reader turning the pages quickly.