Posts Tagged 1st edition

Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner

Fear Nothing by Lisa GardnerI must confess that when I caught up with Lisa Gardner recently I had not read her latest thriller, so our conversation was about anything but her new book.

This is how it goes – shortly thereafter I get a call from our friend, and the mystery writer’s favorite groupie, Russell Ilg.  Russ asks if I have read Lisa’s latest book, Fear Nothing.  I admit that I haven’t, and Russ says, “Put down what ever you’re reading now and read it.  When your in about a quarter of the way of it you’ll understand why!”

I seldom stop in the middle of a book, but Russ has never steered me wrong, so I picked up Fear Nothing and read to the very passage that had excited him so.  Right there on the page is a minor character; yes you guessed it, named Russ Ilg.  Writers have come to know Russ, and his name is one of those that that works well in almost any story line.  Previously he has appeared in novels by Blake Crouch and Alan Jacobson. Both Blake and Alan dispose of the character is grisly fashion.  Lisa treats him a little better, leaving the part of  Russ Ilg as a minor player in a novel filled with exceptional characters.

I have enjoyed Lisa Gardner’s earlier novels, especially those that feature Boston homicide Detective D.D. Warren.  Gardner’s 2009 D.D. Warren title, The Neighbor, was honored as Book of the Year by the International Thriller Writers.

Fear Nothing is a complex study of character development wrapped in a murder mystery.  Gardner continues to grow D.D. Warren, and introduces us to a wide grouping of possible suspects, any of who could be the “Rose Killer.

Gardner lays down the mystery moving from first person dialogue to third person observer with precise skill and timing.  The story opens with D.D. Warren slowly recovering after being injured at a crime scene.  Plagued by no memory of the attack, and severe pain from her injury, D.D. teams up with her pain therapist, Dr. Adeline Glen, who has a dark history of her own that is revealed as the story develops.

This is a tale of two sisters, one a successful doctor who can’t feel pain, the other already serving a life sentence for multiple murders, including the murder of 12 year old Donnie Johnson when she was only 14.  These are the daughters of the infamous serial killer Harry Day, sisters connected by a mysterious bond.  Their separate worlds are about to collide, as they work with DD to catch a predator copying their late father’s murders.

Well Lisa, sorry that I hadn’t read Fear Nothing when I saw you so I could say, “Wow, damn, I was blown away . . . best ever!”  And to Russ Ilg, thanks, I only wish you had been a victim of the “Rose Killer.”  Maybe next time.

John Hutchinson, VJ Books

VJ Books Announces Alex Berenson as Author of the Month

New York Times Bestselling author Alex Berenson is Author of the Month at VJ Books

Counterfeit Agent by Alex Berenson

“The world is a different place since the events of 9-11, and new heroes have entered the stage to root out the evil before it once again falls upon us. We can all sleep a little better knowing that Alex Berenson’s “faithful spy,” John Wells is still on the job. The Counterfeit Agent is a must read thriller that shows us just how in touch Berenson really is with the events of the day” reports John Hutchinson, owner, VJ Books, specializing in signed and collectible mysteries, science fiction, adventure and horror titles.

Alex Berenson was born in New York in 1973 and grew up in Englewood, N.J. After graduating from Yale University in 1994 with degrees in history and economics, he joined the Denver Post as a reporter. In 1996, he became one of the first employees at, the groundbreaking financial news Website.

In 1999, he joined The New York Times. At the Times, he covered everything from the drug industry to Hurricane Katrina; in 2003 and 2004, he served two stints as a correspondent in Iraq, an experience that led him to write The Faithful Spy, his debut novel, which won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel.

He has now written seven John Wells novels and one work of non-fiction, The Number. He left the Times in 2010 to devote himself to writing fiction, though he still contributes occasionally to the Times.

About “The Counterfeit Agent

In an Istanbul hotel, a deep source warns a CIA agent that Iran intends to kill a CIA station chief. Quickly, John Wells is called in to investigate, but before he can get far, the tip comes true–which means that the next warning the source gives will be taken very seriously indeed. And it’s a big one. We’ve put a package on a ship from Dubai to the United States. A radioactive one. A bomb? Not yet. It’s a test run.

As the threat level jumps and the government mobilizes, something still doesn’t smell right to Wells’ old CIA boss Ellis Shafer, and so he sends Wells on a private mission to find out what’s going on. But the two of them are swimming against the tide. From Guatemala to Thailand to Hong Kong to Istanbul, Wells uses every skill he has, including his ability to go undercover in the Arab world, to chase down leads. But it might not be enough. Soon, there might be nothing anyone can do to pull the United States back from the brink of war.

Praise for:

“Berenson’s strength is his deep understanding of geopolitics and of the shoddy compromises it demands. He clearly has excellent contacts in the world of shadows. Wells is a complex and satisfying protagonist, tackling bad guys across the world’s conflict zones.”–The New York Times Book Review

“[A] volcanic shocker . . . Working with plot elements that are terrifyingly realistic, research that rings as true as today’s headlines, and characters that brim with integrity and swagger, Berenson puts John Wells right up there with the best of espionage fiction’s greatest heroes.”—Library Journal

VJ Books is offering autographed copies of The Counterfeit Agent, as well as many other signed titles by Alex Berenson, many at special “Author of the Month” pricing.

VJ Books Announces Lisa Gardner as Author of the Month

VJ Books Announces Lisa Gardner as Author of the Month with the Book Release of “Fear Nothing”

Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner

“Lisa grew up in Oregon, and we are pleased that her work is getting the recognition it deserves. Her mysteries are crisp, taunt thrillers that deliver every time. I can’t wait to read this one!” reports John Hutchinson, owner, VJ Books, specializing in signed and collectible mysteries, science fiction, adventure and horror titles.

Lisa began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, her work as a research analyst for an international consulting firm parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of internationally bestselling suspense novels.

With over 22 million books in print, Lisa is published in 30 countries. Her success crosses into the small screen with four of her novels becoming movies and personal appearances on television shows.

Lisa Gardner’s novels have also received awards from across the globe. Her novel, The Neighbor, was recognized as the Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers in the United States and Grand Prix des lectrices de Elle, prix du policier in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne duMaurior Award presented by RWA in 2000 for The Other Daughter.

Lisa lives in New Hampshire with her auto-racing husband and black-diamond skiing daughter. She spends her days writing in her loft with two barky shelties and one silly puppy. Her website has numerous videos and book reviews.

About “Fear Nothing”

DD Warren returns in a tale of two sisters, one a successful doctor who can’t feel pain, the other already incarcerated for multiple murders. Daughters of infamous serial killer Harry Day, their separate worlds are about to collide as they work with DD to catch a predator copying their late father’s murders.

Praise for:

“Lisa Gardner delivers an intelligent, sophisticated, psychological thriller in her latest installment “Fear Nothing”… Gardner continues to show why she is on the short list of top thriller writers today.” – Suspense Magazine

“Gardner has become one of the best psychological thriller writers in the business. The compelling characters, the shocking plot and the realistic atmosphere of how police operate make this a “must read” for any suspense aficionado.” — Associated Press on Catch Me

VJ Books is offering autographed copies of Fear Nothing, as well as many other signed title by Lisa Gardner, many at special “Author of the Month” pricing.


The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

Gods of Guilt by Michael ConnellyI’m not very fond of Mickey Haller – he’s a hard man to like.  His daughter doesn’t even have much use for him.  He makes his living, working out of the backseat of a Lincoln town car, defending the dredges of society – pimps, prostitutes, and the occasional killer.  Sometimes his has no scruples, like when he has his new client strategically stage his business cards around the courthouse holding cell.

Mickey is a defense attorney, one without a friend on the prosecution side.  Mickey has one moral compass though – he believes that everyone deserves a defense, even when the popular opinion is that his client should be locked up and the key thrown away.

Sometimes when he wins the release of the defendant it comes back to bite him, and that is just what happened when his just-freed client kills again.  It couldn’t come at a worse time, causing Mickey to lose his bid to become LA District Attorney, and the resulting scandal causes a rift between him and his daughter.  It didn’t help the latest victims are a friend of his daughter and the friend’s mother.

In The Gods of Guilt, Mickey’s new client is a cyber-pimp accused of killing one of the prostitutes that he manages.  As it turns out the victim is one of Mickey’s former clients that he thought he had helped get free of the trade.

As Mickey maneuvers through the case he learns that he is deeply connected with the motives for this murder, and that people from his past were not what they appeared to be at the time.  As the two cases converge Mickey is faced with a dilemma that strikes fear in the heart of the “Lincoln lawyer.”  His client just may be innocent.

Michael Connelly is the master and he proves that you don’t have to like the main character to love the book.  His wordsmith can get overlooked as you try to deal with unlikable characters, but don’t be fooled.  There is no one better a spinning a yarn than Michael Connelly.

His courtroom scenes are top notch, building a true legal thriller with a murder mystery thrown in just to keep it interesting.

I may long to read more about Harry Bosch (I like him), but Mickey’s story is one that needs to be told and has to be read.