The Diviner’s Tale by Bradford Morrow

The Diviner’s Tale by Bradford Morrow (2011)
The story begins with Cassandra (Cass) Brooks telling of her premonition of her brother's death which sets the scene for a suspenseful tale of family secrets; a nice setup for the mystery that follows. Cass has other unusual gifts, she is a diviner; the kind that can track down water sources. While on a dousing job she comes upon the shocking vision of a young girl hanged from a tree. When she returns with authorities to the site, the body has vanished, leaving in question Cassandra’s credibility if not her sanity.

Although it becomes easy to identify the villain of the piece, it is still a well plotted story with an interesting array of players. I came to admire the main character for her resilience and found this novel to be a good read.

For other psychological suspense novels here is a list of  staff recommendations.

Shattered by Karen Robards

Shattered by Karen Robards (2010)
A young attorney returns home to Kentucky to care for her terminally ill mother. While at work, she stumbles across a cold case which, of course, leads to danger. Throw in some romance, and this is a story that’s fun to read and hard to put down.

For other romantic suspense titles, check out our bibliography. Read an excerpt on the author's website.

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton (2010)

Edie Burchill is at loose ends. She has lost her boyfriend and her London apartment and is sleeping on her boss’s couch. Unexpectedly she learns that her mother has spent the early months of WWII as a young evacuee at Milderhurst Castle, owned by renowned author Raymond Blythe. Blythe was the author of The True History of the Mud Man, a childhood classic and Edie’s favorite book. Now the castle is crumbling and Blythe’s three elderly daughters live there in seclusion until they invite Edie into their home. Then mysterious disappearances and deaths are revealed and Edie sees how the past has impacted not just the Blythes, but her own past as well.

 Watch the author discuss her writing of The Distant Hours and view reviews.

Memorial Day by Vince Flynn

Memorial Day by Vince Flynn (2004)
Flynn’s books are centered on very current and interesting subjects, such as terrorism and various ways to combat it. His books are nonstop action and hard to put down.

Memorial Day is the fifth book featuring CIA Agent Mitch Rapp.

Preview the book and watch an interview with the author on YouTube.

Echo Park by Michael Connelly

Echo Park by Michael Connelly (2006)
A good L.A. crime story featuring Harry Bosch. Harry has been trying to prove who murdered a young girl for several years. Now out of retirement and working in the Open-Unsolved Unit with his current partner Kiz Rider, Harry has a chance to prove who murdered Marie Gusto. This is a good story which reveals the behind the scenes information one never gets from a newspaper about murders. The author is excellent at describing details without boring the reader. An enjoyable read for mystery fans.

Watch a YouTube.com video depicting the opening chapter and read the New York Times review.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (2000)
The prequel to The Da Vinci Code contains almost every element of a good story. Its suspense will make you turn the pages like wildfire, and the plot twists and turns enough to keep you guessing until the end. The romance adds interest, and the history is fascinating. CHECK IT OUT!

If you like the book, be sure to watch the movie and visit the Angels and Demons website.

Rag and Bone by James R. Benn

Rag and Bone by James R. Benn (2010)
Billy Boyle, currently assigned to Eisenhower's staff, was formerly a cop in South Boston. When "incidents" (such as inconvenient dead bodies) occur that threaten the Allied alliances, Billy and his driver, a former Detroit cop, investigate. In this case, it is late 1943. Eisenhower is about to come to England to plan the D-Day invasion. It is very important that the Russian allies keep up their fight on Germany's eastern front while the US, Canada, and England plan invasion from the west. So, the dead body of a Soviet spy which might be linked to the recently discovered dead Polish officers in the Katyn Woods could cause big problems for the Allied cause. Part mystery, part spy thriller, the Billy Boyle series has a great feeling for wartime England.

Read a review and visit the author's website.

Box 21 by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

Box 21 by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom (2009)
Swedish crime is intriguing. If you liked the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson, this book is for you. It is second in the Ewert Grens thrillers, a series with cutting edge crime and dark characters. I suggest reading the first book, The Beast, because two stories converge in Box 21 – an unfinished thread from the first book and a brand-spanking new blockbuster in the second. Although much of the plot circles around the sex slave trade, the authors show restraint in portraying this grueling subject.

Starred reviews indicate that this series could really fly. Time will tell.

For more on the authors, check out their website.

Devil’s Garden by Ace Atkins

Devil’s Garden by Ace Atkins (2009)
Fatty Arbunkle
was a silent movie comic at the top of the box office when he was accused of murdering a young starlet in a drunken debauch. Sam Hammett (later known as Dashiell) was a Pinkerton operative hired to work on the case. Those two sentences are true. What author Atkins does with them is to develop a marvelous feel for the time, early 1920s, the place, San Francisco, and the characters, real and imaginary.

Pick up a copy of the book at Indian Prairie or the Woodridge Public Library and join the Crime Readers Book Club discussion on December 16, 2010, 7 p.m. at the Downers Grove Wine Shop, 1240 75th Street.

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

House Rules by Jodi Picoult (2010)
In her latest novel, which is one of her best, a teenage boy with Asperger’s syndrome is accused of murder. Not only is this book really difficult to put down, you can also learn a great deal about Asperger’s and forensic science. Jodi Picoult sure does her research while creating her novels. Excellent read!

Read an excerpt from the book and visit this bestselling author's website.

Act of Treason by Vince Flynn

Act of Treason by Vince Flynn (2006)
Recently I made a 300 mile drive alone and was afraid of falling asleep at the wheel. A good friend suggested that I get a book on CD by Vince Flynn to play in the car – and she could guarantee I wouldn’t fall asleep. She was right!

I selected Act of Treason and did not have one sleepy moment on my trip. It was truly spellbinding and suspenseful and I enjoyed every minute and looked forward to every new chapter. It was a fast-paced as well as high anticipation story. I look forward to reading another one of his novels!

Check out the author's website and take a sneak peak of the book.

Delusion by Peter Abrahams

Delusion by Peter Abrahams (2008)
Nell Jarreau's geologist fiancé was murdered on a summer night in Louisiana as they were walking. Her eyewitness identification of Alvin Dupree resulted in a life sentence for the killer. Nell married the lead detective on the case; they raised her daughter and led an idyllic life for nearly 20 years until a hurricane struck. During the cleanup, new evidence surfaced that ultimately proved Dupree innocent. He was released from prison and Nell's world began coming apart.

Nell wonders if she made a mistake. Is this new evidence credible? Who is telling the truth? Is the reporter lying to write a sensational story? The suspense level in this book builds and builds as Nell discovers inconsistencies and possible alternate theories. The man who she believes killed her fiancé is free, her husband is uncommunicative and angry, and her college student daughter, once open and chatty, is now closed and sullen, demanding information about her birth father's life. The plot thickens, new clues surface, new motivations are uncovered and the twists and turns continue.

Also try While I Was Gone by Sue Miller and Just One Look by Harlan Coben.

Read the Bookreporter.com review and visit the author's website.

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (2008)
If you've read Michael Connelly's other mystery books, you'll understand the characters from previous novels. This is the first Michael Connelly book I've read and it didn't matter that I did not know the characters from his other books.

You'll immediately think of the O.J. trial in LA. The opening line on page 3 is the book's theme: "Everybody lies.  Cops lie. Lawyers lie. Witnesses lie. The victims lie. The trial is a contest of lies." The book offers  interesting insights into a lawyer's mind. The Brass Verdict has an easy writing style and is fun at the end when all the characters in the plot merge.

Check out the author's website and read the EW.com review.

Spade and Archer by Joe Gores

Spade and Archer by Joe Gores (2009)
Gores has imagined Sam Spade's life prior to events in The Maltese Falcon. If you are familiar with the original novel, Hammett's other stories and his life, this book is a delight as you can catch carefully inserted tidbits from all of the above. The book opens in 1921 with Spade opening his own office and ends in 1928 with secretary Effie announcing that Miss Wonderly is waiting in the outer office, and is she a knockout.

Read more about the author and take a look at the New York Times review.

L. A. Requiem by Robert Crais

L. A. Requiem by Robert Crais (1999)
If you like a book that has flashback info about things that happened before the time of this story, you'll like this book for that detail. If you do not like flashbacks interrupting the story you're reading, you won't like this book.

I enjoyed this book, which is the first by Robert Crais that I've read. Therefore, I wasn't familiar with Elvis Cole and I think Crais' readers of previous books will be happy to learn about Joe Pike through the flashbacks to know his history growing up and working at LAPD. I liked all the characters in this story regardless of their habits because the author has given each character a reason to like him/her. It was an enjoyable read and a page turner of suspense. If you've been to LA and Palm Springs area, you'll relate to the places where the action takes place.

Preview the book before you visit the library and visit the author's website.