TT14 Larry’s Post-Holiday Recommended Thrillers

Larry gives us his recommended thrillers, plus a couple to avoid.

Making thriller recommendations isn’t easy, but in this episode, Larry and Dave discuss a couple definite reads:

As the new movie, Jack Reacher (which Larry recommends) is hitting theatres, it might be a good idea to check out the Lee Child novel it’s based on, One Shot.  Reacher is a unique character in thriller fiction, fitting the mold of the lone, traveling crime-fighter in the mold of the Lone Ranger.  Never staying in one place very long, living a very spartan life, but making a difference wherever he goes.  Childs has written 17 Jack Reacher novels.
Larry gives One Shot 3.5 stars out of 5

Larry’s favorite of today (and one of his favorites any day) is Michael Connelly.  Connelly’s new Harry Bosch novel is Black Box.  Bosch is a cold case unit detective who finds himself investigating some apparent homocides that took place during the Los Angeles riots in 1992.  It’s a fascinating puzzle that leads in many unexpected directions.  A winner from Connelly.
Larry gives Black Box 4.5 stars (at least) out of 5

Less exciting is David Baldacci’s John Puller novel, Forgotten.  While Baldacci is a highly talented writer, this particular thriller wasn’t up to his usual standards.  Larry feels this book is derivative of the Jack Reacher concept, perhaps a little too close.  Larry also felt the plot, involving modern-day slave trading, was perhaps a bit unrealistic.
Larry gives Forgotten 2.5 stars out of 5
Today’s clinker is John Grisham’s The Racketeer.  Larry feels that Grisham is highly talented, as reflected in his earlier novels (Pelican Brief, The Client), but more recent works are not up to his real capability.  Larry particularly takes issue with Grisham’s stated disdain for research and/or realism.  The book is far-fetched, and definitely not up to Grisham’s clear talent and should be avoided.
Larry gives The Racketeer 1 star out of 5


TT13 Thriller Thursday News for January 10, 2013

New thrillers by Dave Barry and James Pemberton, plus organized crime, and an online book tour.

After a holiday break, Vicki is back with more book news and some interesting articles from the thrillersphere.

Milt Rosenberg’s WGN Radio Show, Extension 720, ended on December 20, unbeknownst to us when we mentioned it in the podcast.  The podcast itself is not available via iTunes, but is still showing up at  Here’s a direct link to a great conversation about organized crime in Chicago: Extension 720 – Organized Crime Episode


TT12 Jon Land Interview

Jon Land talks about  his latest novel, Pandora’s Temple.

Jon Land

Jon Land brings back a well loved thriller character, Blaine McCracken, after a years-long hiatus.  Pandora’s Temple is a thriller with elements of fantasy and sci-fi, making for a very exciting read.  Land talks with Larry Thompson and Dave Dufour about the idea for the novel and a bit about his writing process.

From the Amazon Blurb for Pandora’s Temple:

Rogue special-operations agent McCracken has never been shy about answering the call, and this time it comes in the aftermath of a deepwater oil rig disaster that claims the life of a onetime member of his commando unit. The remnants of the rig and its missing crew lead him to the inescapable conclusion that one of the most mysterious and deadly forces in the universe is to blame: dark matter, both a limitless source of potential energy and an unimaginably destructive weapon.
Joining forces again with his trusty sidekick Johnny Wareagle, McCracken races to stop two deadly enemies who want the dark matter at all costs. A powerful energy magnate and the leader of a Japanese doomsday cult both seek the ultimate prize for their own nefarious reasons, and McCracken and Wareagle’s mission to defeat them takes the duo on a nonstop journey across the world and thousands of years into the past where the truth lies in the ancient Pandora’s Temple, built to safeguard the world’s most powerful weapon.
McCracken’s only hope to save the world is to find the mythical temple. Along the way, he and Wareagle find themselves up against Mexican drug gangs, killer robots, an army of professional assassins, and a legendary sea monster. The hero of nine previous bestselling thrillers, McCracken is used to the odds being stacked against him, but this time the stakes have never been higher.
This book features an illustrated biography of Jon Land including rare images from the author’s personal collection.
Jon also chats about the changing face of book publishing, and the ways authors produce and get paid for their work.  Land’s publisher Open Road Integrated Media, is in the vanguard of “new publishing,” and the author gives us some insights into that relationship as well.


See Jon’s website for more information about him and his other books.

Jon Land is the bestselling author over 25 novels. He graduated from Brown University in 1979 Phi Beta Kappa and Magna cum Laude and continues his association with Brown as an alumni advisor.

Jon often bases his novels and scripts on extensive travel and research as well as a twenty-five year career in martial arts.  He is an associate member of the US Special Forces and frequently volunteers in schools to help young people learn to enjoy the process of writing.

Jon is the Vice-President of marketing of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and is often asked to speak on topics regarding writing and research.