Chilling Thrillers

Make sure you're not alone in the house and leave the lights on when you read these unnerving stories of intrigue and murder.

Revenge

By Stephen Fry

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A brilliant recasting of the classic story The Count of Monte Cristo, Revenge crackles with the wit and intelligence readers have come to expect from this hugely talented author, actor, and comedian, yet it reveals an intriguingly deep, much darker side of his imagination. Ned Maddstone is a happy, charismatic Oxford-bound seventeen-year-old whose rosy future is virtually preordained. Handsome, confident, and talented, newly in love with bright, beautiful Portia, his father an influential MP, Ned enjoys an existence of boundless opportunity. But privilege makes him an easy target for envy, and in the course of one day Ned’s charmed life is changed forever.

A promise made to a dying teacher combined with a prank devised by a jealous classmate mutates bewilderingly into a case of mistaken arrest and incarceration. Drugged and disoriented, Ned finds himself a political prisoner in a nightmarish, harrowing exile, far from home and lost to those he loves. Years pass before an apparently mad, obviously brilliant fellow inmate reawakens the younger man’s intellect and resurrects his will to live. The chilling consequences of Ned’s recovery are felt worldwide.

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Reservation Road

By John Burnham Schwartz

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At the close of a beautiful summer day near the quiet Connecticut town where they live, the Learner family--Ethan and Grace, their children, Josh and Emma--stop at a gas station on their way home from a concert. Josh Learner, lost in a ten-year-old's private world, is standing at the edge of the road when a car comes racing around the bend. He is hit and instantly killed. The car speeds away.         

From this moment forward, Reservation Road becomes a harrowing countdown to the confrontation between two very different men. The hit-and-run driver is a small-town lawyer named Dwight Arno, a man in desperate need of a second chance. Dwight is also the father of a ten-year-old boy, who was asleep in the car the night Josh Learner was killed. Now Dwight must decide whether to run from his crime or to pay the price for what he did. Ethan Learner, a respected professor of literature at a small New England college, has seen his orderly world shattered in a single moment, yet persists in the belief that he can find the unknown man who killed his son. Behind their stories are those of eight-year-old Emma, who can't stop thinking her brother's death was her fault, and of Grace, who must find the strength to keep herself and her family together, and to be the mother Emma so badly needs.

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Quantico Rules

By Gene Riehl

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Puller Monk is a gambler. High stakes get his adrenaline flowing. But his dark side is about to catch up with him at a time when his life and the future of this nation hang in the balance.

As an FBI agent in charge of a SPIN squad (Special Inquiries), Monk’s job is to investigate the background of Judge Brenda Thompson, a presidential nominee to the Supreme Court and the first African-American woman to be nominated for this high office. The judge’s history appears flawless, until a seemingly innocent statement turns out to be anything but. Suddenly Monk and agent Lisa Sands are propelled down a trail of corruption and murder that leads to the top of the government, to the very heart of the Constitution, and to a face-off with a brutal killer who will stop at nothing to carry out his deadly mission.

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Poison

By Kathryn Harrison

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A story set during the Spanish Inquisition follows the experiences of silk-grower's daughter, Francisca, whose obsessive love affair with a priest results in a witchcraft charge, and Princess Maria Luisa, who is attacked when she fails to conceive.

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Long After Midnight

By Iris Johansen

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At twenty-nine, research scientist Kate Denby was a workaholic, divorced, and the mother of an eight-year-old son. And she was weeks away from making a major genetic breakthrough. If she lived that long.... Danger has arrived in Kate's backyard with a vengeance, starting with an explosion at a Seattle pharmaceuticals plant and a car bombing at her son's Little League game. Then came the shocking warning: the attacks were connected and she was the next target. Stalked by a remorseless killer, Kate must put her trust in a total stranger, a man whose intentions are nearly impossible to fathom. For no matter what happens, she must protect her son and her work, the work that could save millions of lives. But someone will do anything to keep her miracle from unfolding. Someone not interested in holding out hope but in buying and selling death.
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Killing Me Softly

By Nicci French

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Portrays a forbidden love turned into a dangerous obsession that drives a woman to impulsively abandon her old life and marry a charismatic stranger.

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Harm's Way

By Stephen Walsh White

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In this gripping tale of psychological suspense, Dr. Alan Gregory returns to solve the murder of a close friend by a suspected serial killer. But his search for answers leads only to more deadly questions.
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Brain Fever

By Valerie Sayers

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Off his medication and slowly going mad, Timothy Rooney, aging boy wonder of the South Carolina lowlands, heads for New York City to search for Bernadette, an ex-wife from a six-day marriage, and to spend the fifteen thousand dollars he has hidden in his shoes.

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Blue Lonesome

By Bill Pronzini

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Jim Messenger is a CPA who hates his job, loves jazz, and can't forget a woman he has seen eating at the Harmony Cafe. She goes by the name of Janet Mitchell, and when he introduces himself, her only comment is, "It won't do you any good." When she commits suicide, Messenger is driven to find out why. Her name is only the first of the lies he uncovers.

In "historic Beulah," Nevada, secrets coil like rattlesnakes ready to strike, and suffering lies like a suffocating blanket over lives put on hold. Starting with one slender clue, Messenger embarks on a search for the truth that becomes a rite of passage. By the end, lives have been changed, a horrible murder brought to light, and a quiet, little town irrevocably torn apart.

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Blind Justice

By James Scott Bell

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Criminal lawyer Jake Denney has hit rock bottom. But when a childhood friend is accused of murder, Jake puts away the bottle and takes the case in a last-ditch effort to restore his dignity and renew his spirit.
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