Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

Hitting Screens, Week of Aug. 22

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

9780765322470Just one adaptation opens in the coming week but  it will not make much noise, since it opens in a limited number of theaters (also on VOD), which is unfortunate because it received strong reviews when it premiered at this year’s SXSW.

I Am Not a Serial Killer is based on the 2009 thriller of the same title by Dan Wells. The first in a series, it received a starred review from Kirkus, which called it a “gory gem …this deft mix of several genres features a completely believable teenage sociopath (with a heart of gold), dark humor, [and} a riveting mystery.” Other titles in the series received equally strong reviews from both Booklist and Kirkus.

The plot line is reminiscent of  another series, Dexter. In this case, the main character is a 15-year-old struggling with the realization that he exhibits the classic personality traits of a serial killer. As he fights his own tendencies, he uses his special knowledge to try to help solve a series of murders happening in his small town.

The movie stars Back to the Future‘s Christopher Lloyd and, as the main character, Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are).

INFERNO’s Olympic Bounce

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

MV5BMjIwMjUyODExOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjE0NDM4ODE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_It might not be the gold medal that Michael Phelps and the American women gymnastics earned last night, but the next Dan Brown film adaptation, Inferno, won its own Olympic competition. On the strength of a trailer played between high profile events, the novel jumped on Amazon, rising from #384 to #6.

9780804172264_02d10Inferno (PRH/Anchor; trade pbk. ISBN 9780804172264; May 6, 2014; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) spent five straight weeks at #1 on the NYT hardcover bestseller list , and an additional 13 weeks in the top five.

It’s the fourth of the Robert Langdon novels but the third film adaptation, after The Da Vinci Code and Angels & DemonsThe third novel, The Lost Symbol, was attempted, but was abandoned after the screenplay proved difficult, running through three screenwriters.

Ron Howard again directs, with Tom Hanks starring as Langdon, a Harvard symbologist who cannot seem to stay out of trouble. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, Rogue One), Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi), Omar Sy (The Intouchables), and Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) also join the cast. David Koepp (Indiana Jones/Crystal Skull, Angels & Demons, Jurassic Park) wrote the screenplay.

Entertainment Weekly provides a concise summary of the action, saying Langdon “attempts to untangle a deadly mystery rooted in history, and this time, he finds himself swept up in a murderous conspiracy and plague tied to Dante Alighieri’s Inferno and the nine circles of hell.”

The first movie was a blockbuster.  Angels and Demons followed three years later. Although deemed a success, it did not do as well as its predecessor. Collider points out that the seven-year gap between the last film and the new one raises the question of whether “the audience remains all this time later.” If the book’s movement on Amazon’s rankings is an indicator, the answer to that question is yes.

The movie premieres on October 28, 2016 in the US with an international start date of October 12th.

As we pointed out when the first trailer appeared, several tie-ins arrive in September:

Inferno (Movie Tie-in Edition)
Dan Brown
Trade Paperback, (PRH/Anchor)
Mass Market, (PRH/Anchor)
Audio CD (PRH/Random House Audio)
Inferno (Movie Tie-in edition en Espanyol), (PRH/ Vintage Espanyol)

 

Crystal Ball: YOU WILL KNOW ME

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

9780316231077_73720With her 8th novel, a dark thriller about a young female gymnast, You Will Know Me (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), author Megan Abbott is poised to break out,

It got the NPR bounce on Amazon (rising to #145) after Maureen Corrigan reviewed it on yesterday’s Fresh Air, using gymnast metaphors to describe it as a “terrific new psychological suspense novel [with] a plot that somersaults and back flips whenever a safe landing seems in sight.”

It’s been racking up positive reviews, with the daily NYT ‘s critic Jennifer Senior enthusing that Abbott “is in top form in this novel … filling her readers with queasy suspicion at every turn.”

The timing of the release conveniently ties in to the Summer Olympics.  Interviewed by  Entertainment Weekly  Abbott says that the inspiration for the parents in the novel came directly from US Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, who recently pulled off a nail bitter to qualify for the women’s all-around finals. Abbott references video footage that went viral in 2012, but Aly’s mom and dad are also getting noticed this year (see video below).

Holds are soaring, with some libraries we checked running as high as 5:1.

NYT BR Surveys Thrillers

Friday, July 29th, 2016

In a rare move, The New York Times Book Review devotes a full issue to a single genre.  Summer Thrills, offers 19 reviews, some covering multiple titles, that highlight buzzy books (reviewed by buzzy authors) and titles new to the scene.

9780316231077_73720Sophie Hannah (Woman with a Secret) reviews Megan Abbott’s You Will Know Me (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), a novel about murder and an Olympic hopeful. Hannah says that Abbott “sticks the landing,'”admiring the “glittering carapace of [her] lush, skillful, subtle writing,” praising some of the novel’s “radical and satisfying” elements, and calling it “brilliant” and “excellent.”

9780316300506_ffac5Lee Child, whose Jack Reacher thrillers are reliable best sellers, reviews The Death of Rex , by  C.B. George (Hachette/Lee Boudreaux Books; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), set in contemporary Zimbabwe and focused on three married couples.

Part of the buzz around the novel is the author. George is a pseudonym for a writer Child doubts is new at the game, writing that it is unlikely the novel is a debut, in fact “it would be astonishing if it were — like being able to play the Moonlight Sonata with no prior experience of the piano. Therefore ‘C.B. George’ must be a pen name, and speculating about who — or, more accurately, what kind of established writer — lies behind it became a matter of ongoing interest, illuminated by what I took to be clues scattered throughout the text.” In the end Child decides “C.B. George is a screenwriter — and now also a novelist of great quality.”

9781632865267_4b4489780399175015_cd34fAnother best-selling author, Joseph Finder, reviews two books by insiders. The first is the latest by Stella Rimington (the former director general of MI5 said to be the model for 007’s M). Breaking Cover (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample) is the ninth Liz Carlyle thriller and Finder says Rimington writes it with “crisp authority.”

Matthew Palmer works in the US State Department, with stints on the National Security Council, and has written two novels previous to The Wolf of Sarajevo (PRH/Putnam; OverDrive Sample). This one Finder says contains “some
truly exciting scenes … And its conclusion is thrilling … The aura of authenticity on the smaller scale helps lend gravity to plot twists that, in other hands, might have seemed outlandish.”

9781101982730_2f87eA debut, the historical thriller The Devils of Cardona, Matthew Carr (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample), is the first crack at fiction by a nonfiction author. It is set in 1584, Spain and involves the Inquisition and the murder of a priest. Reviewer/author Esmeralda Santiago says that it advances through “well-structured chapters and harrowing scenes” and that it “is as exciting as it is enlightening from its first pages to its satisfying end.”

Titles we have covered such as Missing, Presumed, Dark Matter, and Crow Girl also get attention.

Holds Alert: TRULY MADLY GUILTY

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Truly Madly GuiltyClose behind the holds leader for the week (and perhaps the summer),  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine) is Liane Moriarty’s latest psychological thriller, published today, Truly Madly Guilty (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Holds have risen dramatically since we wrote about it on Friday, but if readers agree with reviewers, they may stall. The NYT gave it a less than stellar early review, USA Today chimes in today, calling it a “summer bummer,” accusing it of stringing out its mystery and not being “as much fun as The Husband’s Secret or Big Little Lies.”

Stephenie Meyer Changes Genres

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

9780316387835_23f09Stephenie Meyer will release her second novel for adults this fall, a thriller starring a female secret-agent, The Chemist  (Hachette/Little, Brown on November 15).

The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, and USA Today are all reporting the story based on a press release.

As quoted in the WSJ Meyer says:

The Chemist is the love child created from the union of my romantic sensibilities and my obsession with Jason Bourne/Aaron Cross … I very much enjoyed spending time with a different kind of action hero, one whose primary weapon isn’t a gun or a knife or bulging muscles, but rather her brain.”

It will be the first thriller by the author most famous for her YA Twilight saga novels and will her second adult novel after her SF  novel, 2008’s The Host.

James Patterson’s BookShots

Monday, June 6th, 2016

9780316317146_ddc89Arriving tomorrow is the first in James Patterson’s new original trade paperback series, titled BookShots. The first in the series features his most popular character, Cross Kill: An Alex Cross Story (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), it is just 144 pages long. [UPDATE: a second BookShot will also be released tomorrow, Zoo 2 : A Zoo Story, James Patterson, Max DiLallo. The series will release 2 to 4 titles the first week of each month, see list below].

CBS Sunday Morning featured an interview with Patterson yesterday [Note: the video of the interview is no longer available]. He explains the idea behind BookShots,

“This is a little bit of a revolution … unfortunately for a lot of people …books [have become] just too long for them to deal with … [BookShots] are very, very fast-paced. They’re like reading a movie.”

CBS correspondent Anthony Mason is surprised to learn that Patterson writes books in longhand, rather than using a computer, to which the author replies “Yeah, well, thank God I don’t work on a computer because then I’d be really prolific!”

Twenty-three BoosShots will be released in 2016. Mason says that Patterson, who is famous for using co-authors, is “involved in every single one of them” and Patterson adds for “80% of ’em I did the outline.”

Included are titles that appear distinctly non-Pattersonesque, listed as “James Patterson’s BookShots Flames.”

9780316276580_36369 9780316320139_227d3 9780316276412_5b7f4

Below are the titles scheduled through the end of the year.

The Trial: A BookShot : A Women’s Murder Club Story, James Patterson, Maxine Paetro, July 5

Little Black Dress, James Patterson, Emily Raymond, July 5

Learning to Ride , Erin Knightley, James Patterson (Foreword by), July 5

The McCullagh Inn in Maine , Jen McLaughlin, James Patterson (Foreword by), July 5

Chase: A BookShot : A Michael Bennett Story, James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge, Aug. 2

Let’s Play Make-Believe, James Patterson, James O. Born, Aug 2

113 Minutes : A Story in Real Time, James Patterson, Max DiLallo, Sept. 6

Hunted, James Patterson, Andrew Holmes, Sept. 6

Sacking the Quarterback, Samantha Towle, James Patterson (Foreword by), Sept. 6

The Mating Season, Laurie Horowitz, James Patterson (Foreword by) Sept. 6

$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal, James Patterson, Hilary Liftin,  Oct. 4

French Kiss : A Detective Luc Moncrief Story, James Patterson, Richard DiLallo, Oct. 4

Killer Chef, James Patterson, Jeffrey J. Keyes, Nov. 1

Dazzling: The Diamond Trilogy, Part I, Elizabeth Hayley, James Patterson (Foreword by), Nov. 1

Bodyguard, Jessica Linden, James Patterson (Foreword by), Nov. 1

The Christmas Mystery : A Detective Luc Moncrief Story, James Patterson, Richard DiLallo, Dec. 6

Black & Blue, James Patterson, Candice Fox (With), Dec. 6

Radiant: The Diamond Trilogy, Part II, Elizabeth Hayley, James Patterson (Foreword by)

Holds Alert: BEFORE THE FALL

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

9781455561780_68236On the strength of what amounts to a full court press of coverage and to-die-for buzz, Before the Fall, Noah Hawley (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample) is racking up impressive hold figures at many libraries we checked, soaring as high as a 23:1 ratio.

One reason for the long queues, libraries bought low even in the face of starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly and even though Hawley is well-known as the force behind the popular FX adaptation of Fargo.

Glowing consumer reviews came out on the eve of publication or the day of, also suggesting the media was expecting a hit. In a NYT‘s Sunday Book Review (posted on May 30, in print on June 5), author Kristin Hannah says:

“Noah Hawley really knows how to keep a reader turning the pages, but there’s more to the novel than suspense. On one hand, Before the Fall is a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel. On the other, it is an exploration of the human condition, a meditation on the vagaries of human nature, the dark side of celebrity, the nature of art, the power of hope and the danger of an unchecked media. The combination is a potent, gritty thriller that exposes the high cost of news as entertainment and the randomness of fate.”

In their review published the day the novel hit shelves, The Washington Post says it is “superb and cleverly constructed” and “should become one of the summer’s hottest sellers.”

The day of publication, USA Today wrote: “Noah Hawley has a hit show as the award-winning creator of FX’s quirky crime drama Fargo. Now he’s eyeing the best-seller lists: Before the Fall … is poised for takeoff.”

Rounding out the praise, it is an Amazon Editors Pick as a Best of the Month, an Indie Next pick, and it made the widely-syndicated St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s summer reading list.

So why the low order numbers at libraries? As The Wall Street Journal notes the author may be suffering from the track record of his previous titles. WSJ says: “Between 1998 and 2012, Mr. Hawley published four novels, none of which could be called a hit. At a low point, in 2008, there was The Punch, a family story that sold a mere 281 print copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen BookScan.”

But Hawley is a hot property now, following his Emmy-winning work on Fargo (he also worked on Bones).

Before The Fall sold to Sony before it was published, and Deadline Hollywood reports that Hawley “will produce the feature with John Cameron.” Publisher Grand Central, reports WSJ, “ordered an initial print run of 88,000 copies and has since reprinted an additional 16,000 copies. Foreign rights have been sold in 24 territories and counting.”

The attention continues. NPR’s Morning Edition got in on the buzz yesterday, interviewing the author.

Jack Ryan Wins The Name Game

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

9780425269367Speculation is swirling over who will be the next 007, but we now know who will run the spy game on this side of the Atlantic.

John Krasinski is the next Jack Ryan.

The Office favorite will star as the famous fictional CIA agent, following in the footsteps of the film stars Chris Pine, Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and Alec Baldwin.

This time, however, Ryan is not headed to the big screen, but to an Amazon TV series.

While details are sketchy and no air date is known, Deadline Hollywood is reporting that “expectations are for the show to go straight-to-series” (translated: bypassing Amazon’s “try it out” pilot stage). It will not be a direct adaptation but “a new contemporary take on the character in his prime as a CIA analyst/operative using the novels as source material.”

9780425197400Jack Ryan first appeared in 1984 in The Hunt for Red October (PRH/Berkley, 2013 is the most recent edition), which was also the first film adaptation (starring Baldwin).

Clancy went on to write a series of novels focused on Ryan’s rise from agent to the President of the United States before beginning a new series featuring his son, starting with The Teeth of the Tiger (PRH/Berkley, 2004).

Stephen King’s IT To Begin Filming (Again)

Monday, April 25th, 2016

9781501142970_c0849Fans may take with a grain of salt the newly announced release date of Sept 8, 2017 for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel It (cover, at left, from the S&S/Scribner trade paperback, released in January). The project has been on the burner since 2012. Back in December of 2014, it was confidently announced that it was set to begin filming the following summer, with True Detective‘s Cary Fukunaga directing.

Fukunaga left the project last May and has since been replaced by Andy Muschietti. Entertainment Weekly reports that “Fans of King’s novel should be pleased with the current take on the script” quoting the producer saying it will be in two parts, one “from the point of view of the kids, and then making another movie from the point of view of the adults, that could potentially then be cut together like the novel. But it’s gonna be a really fun way of making this movie.”

Currently filming, also after many delays, is the movie adaptation of King’s The Dark Tower, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. It is set for release Feb. 17, 2017, so two long-awaited King adaptations may arrive next year.

SHARP OBJECTS To HBO

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Sharp ObjectsHBO has bought the rights to the TV adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects (PRH/ Shaye Areheart, 2006), starring Amy Adams. Deadline characterizes the deal as part of a “very competitive situation” (i.e., many others were bidding on it, indicating it’s a hot property).

The show runner is Marti Noxon (Girlfriends’ Guide To DivorceBuffy the Vampire Slayer) with Flynn writing many of the episodes. Jean-Marc Vallée will direct all the episodes. He has experience adapting books in this genre. He also directs HBO’s Big Little Lies, based on the book by Liane Moriarty, set to debut some time next year starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern.

This is the third of the Flynn’s novels to be adapted, following Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris and Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron. Earlier this year, it was announced that Flynn’s short story, “The Grownup,” was sold to Universal. Originally published as “What Do You Do?” in Rogues, an anthology edited by George R. R. Martin, it was subsequently released in hardcover as The Grownup (PRH/Crown. Nov. 2015).

Not the LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

9781476789644_f5ddfJessica Knoll’s 2015 debut thriller, Luckiest Girl Alive, is soaring up the Amazon charts once again due to a raw, confessional essay the author wrote for Lenny, a newsletter and website founded by Lena Dunham along with Jenni Konner, the showrunner for Girls.

Knoll discloses in the essay that the horrific rape segments of her novel are based on her own life story, events she first said were entirely fictional.

“The first person to tell me I was gang-raped was a therapist, seven years after the fact. The second was my literary agent, five years later, only she wasn’t talking about me. She was talking about Ani, the protagonist of my novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, which is a work of fiction. What I’ve kept to myself, up until today, is that its inspiration is not.”

The New York Times also reports the story, extending on the essay with an interview with Knoll who told the paper of the aftermath of the rape:

“No one was treating me like a victim; they were treating me like I was a perpetrator, like I was getting what I deserved … The message I internalized was that nothing bad happened; you did something wrong.”

Luckiest Girl Alive remains in high demand in every library we checked with holds queues still present at many. Reese Witherspoon optioned the film rights, and Knoll is hitting the road for a book tour to support the paperback edition of her novel (S&S, April 5).

FOOL ME ONCE, Julia Roberts to Star and Produce

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

9780525955092_9a9ceJust one week after it was published, Harlan Coben’s novel, Fool Me Once, Harlan Coben (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) is on the way to the big screen with Julia Roberts set to produce, according to Deadline,  and star as a former Army helicopter pilot who discovers something unsettling on her two-year old daughter’s nanny cam, images of her recently mudered husband.

Despite their cinematic qualities, only one of Coben’s novels has been adapted, the 2006 French film, Ne le dis à person (Tell No One). The rights to several others have been acquired, but are still listed as in development.

 

THE KIND WORTH KILLING

Monday, March 21st, 2016

The Kind Worth KillingAmong the many books cited as a worthy successor to Gone Girl, including The Girl on the Train, was a title that considered as better than either by several librarians on  GalleyChat, The Kind Worth Killing, by Peter Swanson (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Sample).

It did not quite become a household name, but the rights were picked up for a film, which now has a director, Agnieszka Holland, according to Deadline.

Of the book, Holland says she was,

 “ … really intrigued by this story. It’s full of paradoxes and I love paradoxes. The main heroine is tough as steel, but also as fragile as glass. Is she a victim? A psychopath? An avenger? What a great role for a talented actress! The story line is unpredictable, the genre feels fresh. A psychological thriller, which sometimes veers off towards black comedy, mixing humor with gore, genuine emotions with a detective mystery. The Kind Worth Killing will be fun to shoot, but even more fun to watch!”

Holds Alert: THE WIDOW

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

9781101990261_aa3b7Holds are growing in libraries on Fiona Barton’s The Widow (PRH/NAL; BOT; OverDrive Sample), which the A.V. Club headlines as “a delightfully trashy thriller.” A debut, orders are light, so requests are outpacing copies.

Little wonder. It is a book much in the news. Currently rising on Amazon’s sales rankings, it is the verge of breaking on to best seller lists.

As we reported, it is a March Indie Next pick, a People pick, and listed in the WSJ  as a potential big thriller of the year.

In the Washington Post, Lisa Scottoline notes, “Barton is a veteran British journalist who has reported for the Daily Mail and other publications, so it comes as no surprise that her prose is deft and her story well told. What does come as a surprise is that her novel is also richly character-driven in a way that is both satisfying and engrossing.”

Barton talks about her background as a reporter, the basis for her character, in an interview in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune. She is at work on a second novel that will also feature Kate Waters, the reporter in The Widow.