book reviews

2 Thrillers from NetGalley

NetGalley has an excellent collection of fiction, broken down by genre and author. I always check there first when I hear of a book I want to read (though their books are mostly pre-publication) or am looking for a good story in a particular genre.  Here are two mystery/thrillers I found:

  1. The Whispering Room — an FBI agent sets out to prove her husband didn’t commit suicide and ends up in the middle of a plan to destroy the world as we know it
  2. Enigma — a man who seems to be crazy tries to save the life of a woman who has never heard of him; the only clue is that he refers to himself as an ‘enigma’

The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk #2)The Whispering Room

by Dean Koontz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Dean Koontz’s second installment of the Jane Hawk series, The Whispering Room (Random House 2017), Jane Hawk continues her quest to prove that her husband, a highly-decorated Marine, didn’t commit suicide but instead was murdered. She’s not only been fired from the FBI but they are chasing her as a rogue agent who is a danger to the country she used to serve. The fact that she has been threatened by the people she’s chasing and that her son has been threatened doesn’t seem to matter to them. that doesn’t stop Hawk. She’s more than happy to use her prodigious brain and exceptional problem-solving skills to track the people down that she holds responsible. She’s fired from the FBI but that doesn’t stop her from chasing the people she holds responsible for her

Hawk is one of those characters you don’t meet often enough in thrillers.

“Life had too much meaning to process, that every minute of life was rich with meaning, crammed full to the top with meaning. Some of its meaning was as clear and poignant as a needle in the neck, some of such a joyful nature that your buoyant heart seemed capable of lifting you high among the birds, although much of life’s most profound meaning lay beyond her understanding, latent and mysterious. “

She’s smart, driven, and focused on what she must do to right the wrongs. Very little gets in her way and almost no one can outthink her. For example, here’s how she selected her car:

“The car had been stolen in the U.S.; significantly souped-up in Nogales, Mexico; given a new engine number; repainted; and consigned to an unlicensed auto-sales operation across the border in Nogales, Arizona. The car dealer operated out of a series of unmarked barns on a former horse ranch, and he didn’t accept checks or credit cards. Or make loans. She paid with some serious cash she’d taken away from some bad people in New Mexico. The vehicle’s GPS, with its identifying transponder, had been stripped out, so the Escape couldn’t be tracked by satellite. For now she was done with the San Gabriel.”

As for cleverness, on a scale of one to ten, I constantly asked myself, “How the h*** will she get out of this one?” Though I didn’t read the first in the series, I still lost little time getting up to speed on the plot and felt it stood on its own nicely.

One complaint though and this is a spoiler: The story doesn’t end with the last page. It’s only the beginning.

Enigma (FBI Thriller, #21)Enigma

by Catherine Coulter


In Catherine Coulter’s 21st in the FBI Thriller series, Enigma (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster 2017) FBI Agents and husband-and-wife Savitch and Sherlock find themselves trying to unravel a mysterious attack on a pregnant woman by a man who seems demented, claiming he is an ‘enigma’. When the woman goes into labor right after the attack is thwarted and delivers her baby, the infant is immediately kidnapped and the man who attacked her ends up in a coma and barely escapes being killed in his hospital bed. A surprise twist binds the new mother and the attacker together and it’s up to Savitch and Sherlock to find her child and unravel the mystery that surrounds him. All this is going on while another part of Savitch’s team is chasing an escaped prisoner who is vicious and remorseless.

As with all the books in this series, Enigma is a tightly-plotted, fast-moving winner of a read. Definitely recommended to thriller lovers, as is the rest of the series.

View all my reviews

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

46 thoughts on “2 Thrillers from NetGalley

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  4. Attempt #2 to comment. Ugh. Anyhow, I love Koontz! He’s such a master. Not a big fan of him branching into series books lately because I’m so impatient, and his stories are so fast paced, and he sometimes switches genre in the middle of a series. *sigh* We just finished the Odd Thomas series, and it was epic. It’s like saying goodbye to Harry Potter for my hubby and I. We didn’t want it to end.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was just saying the other day that I can’t handle realistic horror anymore. I’ve become addicted to the No Sleep Podcast, which is horror stories written by Redditers and read by professional narrators. The stories are scary, but it’s more Twilight Zone-twisty scary where it might be paranormal or just someone killing someone–but not someone kidnapping someone and torturing them for days and we get every single detail… Both Dean Koontz and Stephen King tend to be a little too realistic for me in my old age. But when I was younger I loved them. It just felt like they were more on the paranormal/larger-than-life sorts of things back then, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve never read any of Coulter’s books. The FBI Thriller series is far along. Can these books be read as standalones? I saw a previous one (#17 in the series I think) in a store yesterday and was wondering that.
    Thanks for telling us about these two books. ( :

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can sense the intensity of these books from your excellent review, Jacqui! The premise of Dean Koontz’s book had me hooked and I was further pulled in by the extracts. But then you had to review, Enigma…wow! So many questions, so few answered I feel I just have to read this one too! Oh well, they’re on my TBR list and many thanks for the recommendation!

    Liked by 2 people

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