Two recent thrillers by well-established writers offer great entertainment and page-turning escapism.
"The Boyfriend" by Edgar Award-winning author Thomas Perry (Mysterious Press, $25) brings back private detective Jack Till, a retired Los Angeles homicide cop who first appeared in "Silence".
Till is a typical private eye, with much determination and a little money. That changes when he's hired by the parents of a beautiful woman who was brutally shot to death. A month after her death, the police are still clueless.
Catherine Hamilton was a high-priced professional escort with strawberry blonde hair who lived in a gated apartment complex and drove a new black Mercedes.
As an independent call girl, she used the Internet and was exceptionally good in her profession. She had a boyfriend who had recently moved in with her.
Till uses his expertise, discovering that Hamilton was on of five such women murdered in cities around the country in a similar manner.
Joey Moreland has killer good looks and an unusual agenda. He's a devious sociopath with a checkered deadly past; Till's trying desperately to track him down.
As the body count escalates, Till diligently is on Morelands trail. There are numerous chase scenes and plot twists, enough to please any independent action filmmaker.
Perry, one of America's best crime novelists, offers an exciting tale that should please his dedicated legion of eager readers.
"Blood Gospel" by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell (William Morrow, $27.99) is the first book in a new series.
If you're a fan of these two authors, you're in for a real surprise - this action-packed, gripping thriller has many supernatural overtones.
It offers carefully crafted, memorable characters, including vampires. It helps if you can suspend disbelief and accept some alternative interpretations of the Bible.
This fast-paced, well-researched tale begins in Israel in ancient times, then skips to the present when an earthquake there kills hundreds, revealing a buried tomb. A Vatican priest, an archaeologist and a military forensics expert investigate.
They're attacked; soon the hunt is on for a holy artifact, a book rumored to be written in Jesus' blood.
The highly entertaining plot focuses with a vengeance on dark, hidden secrets; at least two other books are planned in "The Order of the Sanguines" series.
This is ideal for lovers of unusual religious conspiracy!
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop,
has reviewed crime novels and Michigan books regularly since 1987.
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This review was published by the Lansing State Journal on April 21, 2013.