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Suspense Book Recommendations: Jane Harper & R.D. Brady

It’s thriller book recommendation time again! Guys, I’ve done it. Fallen hard for two new-to-me thriller authors: Jane Harper and R.D. Brady. But before we get too far, I just want to pause and thank you for all the good feedback I’ve been receiving about these book recommendation posts and videos. I’m glad that you’re enjoying them!

Now, on to the book recommendations…

Jane’s writing is the perfect blend of atmospheric tension, believable characters and an intriguing storyline that will keep you guessing right up until the end of the book. Her suspense novels (there are three out to date) are set in the Australian bush.

The first two are part of the Aaron Falk series. I read these out of order accidentally, but it made no difference as each reads as stand alone novel.

Photo by Taylor Barber on Unsplash

It Started with Force of Nature

You might remember from my Book Recommendation last month my praise for the second in this series, Force of Nature. After devouring it, I went back and read the author’s debut novel and the first in series, The Dry. I was pleasantly surprised to find I enjoyed it nearly as much.

It Continued with The Dry

The Dry is set during a severe drought in a very small town in the outback of Australia. It’s called Kiewarra. Farms are failing and animals are dying or being killed because there is not enough water to keep them alive. People are depressed and scared. Old bitterness and anger is stirred by the never-ending heat. Aaron Falk, a federal agent, learns that his best friend from childhood is dead…and it looks like he’s responsible for killing his family, too. When Falk receives a letter from the friend’s father that says simply, “Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral,” he is filled with equal parts dread and grief.

Throughout the book, as Falk tries to unravel the events surrounding his friend’s death and apparent homicidal actions, more and more questions come to the surface.

Questions Such As…

Why did Falk leave town so suddenly with his own father as a teen? What really happened to a teenage suicide victim? Why do so many people in town mistrust and even hate Falk? The further he digs into the investigation of his friend’s farm and life in Kiewarra, the more tangled the story and motives—not only Luke’s but others in town—become.

A truly great book with lots of nature elements and entirely immersive sense of place, this book was a “Highly Recommend” for me.

Note: a small child is murdered in this story. It happens before Falk appears on the scene, but is referred to frequently throughout the book. I usually steer far away from books that involve any animal or childhood torture/abuse/death but in this case it was not a focus of the storyline. It was carefully handled by the author but be warned if you, too, avoid these situations in books.

Hominid by R.D. Brady

After finishing The Dry, I was bereft, looking in vain for another book that would hold my interest as thoroughly. I tried a Gothic mystery that has been waiting patiently for me, but it wasn’t doing the trick. So, I set it aside and scrolled through my wish list on Amazon. I quickly snapped up a copy of Hominid by R.D. Brady. I’m still on my nature/survival suspense book kick that started earlier last year when I read Wicked River by Jenny Milchman. I loved that book and thought that Hominid, a mystery about Bigfoot and the study of cryptozoology would hit the spot. It has!

Bigfoot + Suspense Novel = Good Story

I’m not quite finished this one yet, but am thoroughly enjoying it. The plotline is pretty simple: Dr. Tess Brannan, a researcher and scientist, has dedicated her life to trying to find Bigfoot. Tess is determined to show the world the Bigfoot is real. She had her own frightening encounter with something in the woods at a very young age. She plans to do that by thorough research and undeniable evidence. When she partners with a multi-millionaire CEO who offers her a grant to support her research, things start to quickly get out of control.

Set in the deep wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, this book is fast-paced. It’s also full of great characters and interesting research around the subject of cryptozoology. Cryptozoology is the study of animals which are currently unknown to mankind.

Thriller and Suspense Books in the Queue

There are SO many good-looking books on my #TBR list that it will be hard to pick my next read. What book recommendation would interest you most, dear reader?

Should I choose The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron or start the famous outdoor mystery Anne Pigeon series by Nevada Barr? Will I pick the Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne or The River at Night by Erica Ferencik? (Thanks to the lovely readers in the Suspense, Mystery and Thriller book group for all of these suggestions.) So many good ones to choose from!

What are you reading this week? Please share in the comments and let me know. Maybe it’s something I should add to my list…

Remember: I have a lot of great suspense book and thriller book recommendation videos for you over on my YouTube channel. 🙂

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