Posts Tagged ‘thriller’


I love being able to covet a whole trilogy at once. I really do. And have I got a cool sounding one today!

It’s actually interesting because books 1 and 3 feature the same guy. Who’s maybe a loser and maybe not. He’s definitely a drunk, an alcoholic, if I gotta use the proper terms. He loses it all over these two books… is there redemption for him? I hope so. I like redemption stories.

And the second book, Zenith Rising, is the one that makes me a bit nervous. It’s about a former member of the band, and it may not be Rock Fiction even though the dude’s a rocker. I’m going to have to spend some time with my nose in a book to be able to tell.

So anyway, here’s the description of book one, Zenith Falling:

Joelle married Rob Williams, lead singer of the rock band Zenith, before she was old enough to know better. She has spent years following Zenith around while they struggle to become rock stars. Only now, alcoholism has replaced the talent that once was going to make Rob a legend, leaving Joelle’s life spiraling out of control. The problem is there isn’t a soul in the world that cares, including her husband.

Nick Lassiter is a powerful business magnate in Seattle, Washington, and was acquainted with Joelle long ago, before she became Joelle Williams. Nick’s return to Joelle’s life gives her a link to a world outside of Zenith. A world that starts to become far more appealing than the crazy, alcohol dominated one she lives in. Until the fateful night when her entire life implodes and Nick is the only person she has to run to. Joelle soon sees only one thing clearly: Nick Lassiter has become so much more than just a friend who can save her.

When Zenith disbands and Rob tries to get sober, Joelle begins to discover her own identity outside of Zenith, and the person she finds is nothing like the young, fragile girl who needed rescuing when Nick first met her. Who she discovers just might be a woman worth loving.

I like this concept; it’s fresh, although it seems harrowing. This could be a real keeper.

But then we get to the second book. Like I said, it’s maybe not Rock Fiction…

Dr. Erica Heathersby is the last person Spencer Mattox, ex-band member of Zenith, should ever be attracted to. When Erica offers Spencer a job, he resents her for it, because she is successful in her career, her life, and as a person, in ways Spencer believes he can never be. But Erica soon finds her medical practice the target of political debate, and herself the target of someone’s violent desires. Erica turns to Spencer for protection, which develops into a relationship that neither of them is prepared for. Erica knows that in order to keep Spencer from destroying what they have built together; she has to overcome the devastating past he tries to hide. But then again, none of it will matter, if Erica doesn’t survive what is fast becoming someone’s deadly intention towards her.

Sounds like a thriller, not a romance. And I have a lot of questions, like why an ex-rocker provides protection.

The third book brings us back to Joelle and Rob. Or only Rob.

Rob Williams used to be the lead singer of his band, Zenith, before his alcoholism destroyed his career, his marriage and his life. Now, writer, Rebecca Randall wants to chronicle his recovery and in the process, establish herself as a successful author. What this mother of three young girls doesn’t realize is how well the tattooed, former rocker, Rob fits into her small town, country life. That is until Rebecca’s estranged husband comes home and wants to rebuild their relationship. As Rob leaves and attempts to make his dreams of Zenith come true, Rebecca’s life falls into a depression that nothing, short of divorce, will end. But how can Rob, now lead singer of Zenith, ever return to Rebecca’s ordinary life?

I guess what gets me here is that this is almost about the people *around* the band and not the rockers themselves. Which is fine; we’ve seen that done in other books before. The question remains if it’s Rock Fiction or not, and how all of this is handled and like I said, color me curious.

Does anyone know what color curious really is? Anyone got a 64 color that’s called curious?


Here’s an unusual one! It’s Tess Gerritsen, author of a whole slew of books, mostly medical thrillers, and she’s now got a work of Rock Fiction that might sorta be horror and might sorta be another thriller — hey, do what you love, right?

It’s called Playing with Fire, and here’s the description:

A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.

The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.

Now, I gotta say, this doesn’t hold up next to the review Susan sent me. That review made it sound a lot better than this does, so much that she wants to pick up a copy and read it. She said something about Jeremy Wagner and his book, which she said was something Joss Whedon wished he wrote and maybe this might be up that same alley.

Whatever. I think the alley is dark and scary and maybe I’m not down with this, but I know Susan is and I bet some of you are and if nothing else, it sure is a break from the tried and true and familiar and all that.

So bring it. I’ll try it, but one single heebie jeebie and it’s going right back to Susan!

Here’s another one I came on pretty randomly, but the good news for random searching is that it’s the first in a series. Always good to start with the first, right?

It’s a mystery about what happens when police psychologist starts to investigate the death of a rocker chick, Maggi O’Kane. Mayhem ensues, as it always does in these sorts of books — they are mysteries and thrillers for a reason, right? Just as romances follow a rough formula, so do mysteries and thrillers.

Three of my Rock Fiction loving friends reviewed this already (sheesh. Thanks for sharing the love!), and all three had great things to say about it.

Hopefully, my  turn is next. Maybe? Please?

This review was originally posted at West of Mars. It is being posted here, at its new permanent home.

I’ve read a lot of Rock Fiction by this point in time, and I’m pleased to say Anthony Neil Smith’s The Drummer doesn’t fit any mold I’ve encountered.

I like true originals, and maybe it’s a stretch to say The Drummer is a true original. But the plotline – of an aging rocker who is on the run, hiding from the Feds and his past – is different and fresh enough that it’s hard to not appreciate its structure.

Cal is hiding, calling himself Merle Johnson, when the singer from his old band appears in his life. Maybe Cal hasn’t been so careful, after all.

And then all hell breaks loose, and Cal is dragged into a situation that at times seems implausible and doesn’t leave our hero much room for controlling what’s going on around him. It works because sometimes, life happens to you. Not every male character in a thriller is a take-action sort of guy. Cal is certainly not an action hero, but that’s okay. From the get-go, he refuses to be. He’s in hiding, after all. Retired from the spotlight that loves both drummers and heroes alike.

Musically, this book is solid. From an editing perspective, I spent way too much time wincing and wishing it had been given a better polish, and not just from a stylistic perspective, either.

There’s more to say, much more. Cal’s past is both typical and shocking, all at the same time. There are some twists that you may or may not see coming, but it’s all in the fun vein of Eighties Hair Rock, and it may be a bit more insidious than it felt at the time – yes, I was there – but it also fits right in with what the period was truly like.

A West of Mars recommended read. It’s different. It’s fresh. It’s a little dark, a little disturbing in parts, but overall, it’s worth the time.