Tag Archive: William Morrow


Review by C.J. Bunce

Quentin Tarantino sparked the resurgence of the pulp crime novel with his 1990s homage movies.  The Internet, and especially eBay, found new homes for basements and attics full of the paperback novels.  Digital ebooks made out-of-print books accessible to nearly anyone across the planet.  And the Hard Case Crime imprint combined new talent with the best of the old, reprinting lost novels and publishing shelved novels from crime writers of the past, many for the first time.  Rio Youers’ new crime novel, No Second Chances, now available for pre-order here from publisher William Morrow, is the latest in a trend of authors mixing echoes of Hollywood’s past with its grimy, ugly corners in the pulp crime niche.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Stirring up international relations on the heels of a pandemic is the theme of the latest Pike Logan novel, End of Days, following up on 2020’s Hunter Killer and 2021’s American Traitor (discussed here at borg). Writer Brad Taylor is back with the sixteenth novel in his series, which follows special ops agents Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill, a duo that keeps getting drawn into foreign lands for missions involving international espionage.  Fans of the series will learn in this entry whether a wedding is in the cards for the lead pair, as they try to thwart a group of militants aiming to bring on a religious war through a string of terrorist acts.  As with prior novels in the series, get ready for that 1980s world-at-war vibe, with Pike Logan as a character you’d have once seen played by Steven Seagal.

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Reviewed by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is having the worst day at work.  Newly back on the job as Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Virginia, she’s juggling a potential serial killing, a winter storm, uncooperative colleagues, intrusive reporters, family drama, a missing cat—and, oh, yes, a poisoning attempt.  And that’s just the first 50 pages of Patricia Cornwell’s latest mystery, Autopsy. It stars her tough, street-smart, and experienced forensics expert—the 25th in the long-running Scarpetta series, which began in 1990.  It will satisfy longtime series fans, maybe even woo over a few new readers, and it will have you ready for the forthcoming TV series, slated to star Jamie Lee Curtis as Scarpetta.

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Our borg Best of 2021 list continues today with the Best Books of 2021.  If you missed them, check out our reviews of the Kick-Ass Heroines of 2021 here, the Best Movies of 2021 here, and the Best in TV 2021 here.  And we wrap-up the year with our additions to the borg Hall of Fame tomorrow.  We reviewed more than 100 books that we recommended to our readers this year, and some even made it onto our favorites shelf.  We don’t publish reviews of books that we read and don’t recommend, so this shortlist reflects only this year’s cream of the crop.  So let’s get going!  

   

Best Sci-Fi, Best Tie-In Novel – Moments Asunder by Dayton Ward (Gallery Books).  An engaging read and fun-filled start to a new trilogy, full of great throwbacks to all the Star Trek series, with several surprise characters and incorporated events, and a great update to Wesley Crusher.  Runner-up: Star Trek: Picard–Rogue Elements (Gallery Books), by John Jackson Miller, provided a great story for a newer character, pulling into the mix the future of some familiar characters including the classic villain Kivas Fajo.    

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A year after the release of his book Hunter Killer, Brad Taylor is back with the fifteenth novel in his Pike Logan series, arriving in bookstores today.  American Traitor finds the long-time special ops character with his newly adopted daughter trying to create something of a more domestic life.  His first step?  A vacation in Australia with girlfriend/partner Jennifer Cahill.  Pike Logan has been around the world a few times, and so why not meet up with former colleague Clifford “Dunkin” Delmonty on his way to a relaxing dive off the coast?  Unfortunately for Pike, this is a political espionage series, which means no easy vacation awaits, and the need to kill off a few people in self defense who try to interrogate him when he arrives at his friend’s apartment.  Soon he’s sucked back into a clash between nations.  American Traitor arrives in bookstores and here at Amazon today.

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last Odyssey

Fans of James Rollins novels will be happy to hear the 15th novel in his Sigma Force series has arrived.  Billed as a thriller, The Last Odyssey finds Rollins piecing together obscure and fantastical elements from the writings of Homer with his fictional version of an Illuminati.  Think Knights Templar, the Holy Grail and other lost artifacts of lore, Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code or the secrets of Nicolas Cage’s character in the National Treasure movies.  Rollins pulls in Leonardo da Vinci as a character, but his ideas are something more out of Erich von Däniken’s pseudohistory and pseudoscience or Leonard Nimoy’s In Search Of–taking some of the most unlikely and untenable of possibilities from real history and connecting them together into an action/adventure story.

Coincidence after coincidence, characters there at the right time every time with knowledge of the most obscure data point necessary to move the characters to the next locale–for fans of Rollins’ brand of storytelling, it just doesn’t matter.  The zanier the ideas the more they come back for more.  And they’ll likely be pleased with this next installment.

The novel starts off well, with a promising opening act.  Rollins presents a group of people who uncover a medieval ship inside a far-away Greenland iceberg.  It contains Renaissance era and even ancient artifacts, items you might find in a roleplaying game or video game story like Assassin’s Creed or Tomb Raider, and you get the feeling this will be a romping fantasy quest.  The reader is teased with the concept of the Earth opening up with Ray Harryhausen or Clash of the Titans adventure via a glimpse of a mythical creature and extrapolations of ancient technology in the form of automaton robots.  But is that really what is going on?

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