Best of 2015: Best Thriller

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Before I get into today’s award, I have to take a moment to congratulate the Kansas City Chiefs on their first playoff win since 1994.  And no, the game wasn’t actually at Arrowhead today (thankfully – it was too stinking cold here in KC today!) but the picture is one of my own, and therefore near and dear to my heart.   After books, music and photography, the Chiefs and Royals are two of my biggest passions.  I have been a lifelong fan, through the good, and the, well, we will just call them the not so good years.   I do actually remember the last playoff win pretty clearly, and it was exciting, but it was the year we got Joe Montana – it was kind of expected as part of signing him.   It was great – the last time we won the superbowl was a few years before even this old lady was born, and our playoff appearances have been few and far between.   And if you aren’t really familiar with Kansas City, we support our teams, always.   But when they do big things, we celebrate BIG!   (If you have any doubt google the 2015 Royals World Series Parade and realize that crowd of 800,000 that showed up for it is in a metro area that clocks in not a whole lot over a million total.)   So today is a very exciting day in the Chiefs Nation!  Not only did we win our first postseason game in 22 years, we started off the game with the first kickoff return touchdown (106 yards) in the history of the post season.   We also had only the third shutout game in the history of post season play.  (And then the little bit about being our 11th consecutive win – last week’s win #10 sat an all time Chiefs franchise record.)   Pretty darn impressive for a team that started out this season 1 -5.   GO CHIEFS!!!

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Okay, okay, yes, this is still a book blog and we are still in the midst of our Best of 2015 awards.   The award winners themselves have been chosen for several weeks, and most of the awards are made and just waiting for me to choose what order to present them in, and I have done very little planning on that.   But since I missed posting yesterday (again, I apologize – I hope everyone saw my note apologizing on Facebook last night) I knew I had to drag myself down from swinging on the living room chandelier in celebration and get in here and post an award today.  And I realized I had the perfect award to present today, because I happen to know the author who is receiving the award today is also a lifelong Chiefs fan, and I am sure she is as excited as I am.   So, without further ado, I will present the Best Thriller of 2015 to Angie Martin for The Boys Club!   Congratulations Angie!

Thriller

The book was actually released in the latter half of 2014, but since I didn’t read it until January of 2015, it was still eligible, and though I read a good number of thrillers (a genre that has long been a favorite of mine) in 2015, as I have in almost every year in memory, this one truly falls very high in my list of all time favorites as you will see when I repost my original review below.  This book has won quite a number of awards since it was published (and I realize much more prestigious awards than this one from my little blog) but there is a very good reason for the all the awards and accolades – the book is absolutely fantastic.  I have said it before and I will say it again – I would put her (and Logan) up against any of the biggest names in the genre.   And it is one I can recommend to absolutely anyone.   I will admit I gave absolutely no thought to this as I read it, but the author pointed out in an interview I read some time after reading the book that all of her books are clean reads.  No cussing, any sex is behind closed doors, and even the violence that goes along with it being an edge-of-your-seat-can-not-put-down thriller, is not particularly graphic.  I do happen to know she has a number of projects currently in the works, but I hope she remembers that she has promised a sequel or series to be built around this first book about The Boy’s Club and Gabe Logan.   I would be thrilled to see the numbers one day rival John Sandford’s Prey catalog (one of those “big names” I would easily pick her over, and I absolutely love Sandford, particularly the Virgil Flowers series,) but will take whatever she can give us.   I recommend this one on a regular basis to a wide variety of readers of both sexes, a wide range of ages, and who prefer any number of diverse genres.   It is just one of those that has elements with universal appeal and is just so darn good!  I suppose I have babbled enough – though I could go on and on…and on.   I will just add a little trip through the way back machine to my original review last year.   (I lied – one more little note – for those of you who like audiobooks, this one was released in that format this year as well.   I personally have a hard time following audiobooks and prefer to see the words in front of me, but I did listen to several chapters of this one, and have to say that the voice actor did an excellent job.)

The Boys Club

Angie Martin – The Boys Club   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PLW1XA8?ref_=cm_cr-mr-title

Kudos to the New Queen of the Thriller!, January 3, 2015

5 Stars

Angie Martin has outdone herself with this one! While I really liked her first novel, False Security, with The Boys Club and Gabe Logan she has vaulted to new heights. Logan now sits up with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers as my favorite action heroes.

Logan has never had an easy life; the story begins with Schaeffer grabbing him out of jail at age 15 to recruit Logan to his newly formed, soon to be called “The Boys Club”, project. Schaeffer is former FBI now heading out on his own to right some things the FBI simply can’t. The main goal is always to save innocent lives, even if that requires not so innocent methods.

The story fast forwards many years to a current job. (Hopefully, as Lee Child has done, we will eventually get some more in depth detail about what exactly went on during those years. This is a character I want to know much, much more about.) Logan winds up in a sticky situation, a scenario we know he is all too familiar with, as something doesn’t go quite right. As he returns to The Boys Club headquarters, known as The Church, to be bandaged and debriefed, the odd feeling weighs heavily on him. Then things get really interesting when instead of being debriefed and taking some much needed time off, everyone not currently in the field is called in for a huge job that has to come together in less than 24 hours.

Logan is assigned to lead the operation, which happens to be to save the daughter of his worst enemy from a hit her father has put on her. Thus we get to meet the very intriguing and beautiful Sara Langston as Logan kidnaps her.

Almost unbelievably, the story, which has not had a dull moment, continues to get more and more exciting clear through until the epilogue. I realize this book has won awards under the romantic suspense genre, which are certainly well deserved, but I think that description limits it a bit as I would put it up against any thriller. The romance is well done, and as a reader you are definitely pulling for the couple to somehow find a way to be together regardless of the seemingly impossible circumstances, but the romance, to me, is most definitely secondary to the action/suspense/thriller aspects of the story.

As I mentioned as I started this review, I have read another offering by this very talented newer author, which I also gave 5 stars too because her writing style is fantastic, and False Security is also a page turner like this one. As I sat to write this review I realized that the big difference between the two is how much more likeable the hero, and especially the heroine, are in The Boys Club. Regardless, I will be looking forward to further installments on both series.

For adult reading only, for violence and sexual situations (though the sexual scenes are not explicit.)

Very highly recommended!

******

Congratulations again, Angie!  I cannot wait to see what you share with us next, as the next installment of an existing series or as something new all together.  You are on my very short list of must read authors without even reading a synopsis.

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