Reviews of Lie Still & Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin

I recently discovered Julia Heaberlin when my local book club selected to read and discuss Lie Still, and I enjoyed the book so much, I also read her debut novel, Playing Dead as well, which received high praise from all of the members of my book club.

Both novels appealed to me because they are set in North Texas, where I live, and Heaberlin does a great job of emphasizing the regional characteristics of this area, its locale, expressions, food, and the overall idiosyncrasies that distinguish Texas from anywhere else.  Although Heaberlin may be considered a regional writer, the themes of her novels are certainly universal, transcending geographical limitations.

Although the storylines in both novels are very different, Heaberlin is consistent in weaving together complex, twisty-turny mysteries that will keep you guessing right up until the end.

I recommend both books for readers who enjoy psychological thrillers and are rich in local flavor.

Lie Still Book Cover

Published July 2013

Genres: Mystery Thriller, Psychological Thriller

Purchase from Amazon: Lie Still: A Novel

In the tradition of Lisa Unger’s Beautiful Lies and Nancy Pickard’s The Scent of Rain and Lightning comes a twisting, riveting novel of shifting trust and shattered lives. Lie Still delves deep into the heart of an opulent Southern town, where gossip is currency and secrets kill.

When Emily Page and her husband move from Manhattan to the wealthy enclave of Clairmont, Texas, she hopes she can finally escape her haunted past—and outrun the nameless stalker who has been taunting her for years. Pregnant with her first child, Emily just wants to start over. But as she is drawn into a nest of secretive Texas women—and into the unnerving company of their queen, Caroline Warwick—Emily finds that acceptance is a very dangerous game.
 
It isn’t long before Caroline mysteriously disappears and Emily is facing a rash of anonymous threats. Are they linked to the missing Caroline? Or to Emily’s terrifying encounter in college, years earlier? As the dark truth about Caroline emerges, Emily realizes that some secrets are impossible to hide—and that whoever came for Caroline is now coming for her.

Continue reading

Sunday Series Spotlight: SEAL Team Six Outcasts

Today, I’m spotlighting a Military Suspense/Thriller series co-authored by two former Navy SEALs, Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin.  I haven’t had the chance to read the series, but it’s now on my reading list. In fact, all four of their books listed below look like excellent reads.

About the Series

A group of outcasts who take on those who threaten U.S. security but without the support of the government. (from Goodreads)

Genres: Military Suspense, Thriller

SEAL Team Six Outcasts ( #1)

SEAL Team Six Outcasts Book Cover

Published May 29, 2012

Publisher: Gallery Books/ 352 pgs

3333e-goodreads-button

They are the Outcasts. Because people don’t want to know what they do. 

Alex Brandenburg: SEAL Chief Petty Officer and Outcasts Team Leader. Disobeyed direct orders by refusing to let a deadly terrorist live to kill another day. Francisco “Pancho” Rodriguez and John Landry: SEAL Petty Officers First Class. Took the pursuit of justice into their own hands with explosive results. Catherine “Cat” Fares. Navy Petty Officer. Holds an unbeatable record for pissing off the top brass with her strongly stated opinions on the combat readiness of women. 

The team’s mission: Take out the seven terror merchants vying to take Bin Laden’s place. The team’s status: Expendable. 

When America’s controversial Phoenix Program was buried during the Vietnam War, a new program rose from its ashes. A top-secret Special Operations unit, with a core mission to combat terror wherever they find it, Bitter Ash grew ever more necessary in a new world of Islamic fanaticism. Now, Bitter Ash is forming a special team, a SEAL Team Six with a difference. It is Tier One, on par with SEAL Team Six and Delta, but it will report directly to Bitter Ash, and its fight will take place under the cover of dark. 

With Bin Laden dead, the petty leaders within al Qaeda struggle to assume his role at the top. The president of the United States doesn’t want any of them left to dominate . . . and that means he has only one choice. But doing what’s needed without political repercussions will take a small team flying under the radar. A team capable of finessing the U.N.’s distinctions on national sovereignty and acts of war. A team like the Outcasts. 

With no official support from their government and no one to rely on but themselves, the Outcasts must track down each target. Hot on the tail of the third, Brandenburg and the team start to realize that they are closing in on a larger plot, one that puts the security of the United States in dangerous jeopardy. The terrorists are threatening American territory once again, and the Outcasts will have to do what SEALs do best. Whatever it takes to keep their country safe.

Buy from Amazon: Outcasts: A SEAL Team Six Novel

Continue reading