It’s July and I hope everyone’s having a good Summer so far.

Here in Kingston, Ontario the weather has been fairly miserable with lots of rain. However that’s okay because reading is an all season sport.

Whether it’s lounging out back in front of the pool reading as the sun hits me and I sip on a cold beer, or the rain batters off the windows and I cuddle up with a blanket, hot tea and my kindle – it always works out.

I was in the mood for standalone thrillers this month. I read last months Book of the Month which was The Switch by Joseph Finder and loved it. What I think Finder does best is introduce you to the protagonist and within just 2 chapters you’re suddenly rooting for them. It’s really a unique skill as he does it it in a non-obvious way. You’re reading it and then realize “Goddamn I’m already so invested in this character”.

That put me in the mood for other standalone thrillers and I read quite a few. Probably the one that hooked me most though was The Widow by Fiona Barton. Not that it was an amazing book or anything – I mean it was good but not 5 stars good. However the characters and the story were just that good combination that had me giving up my work at around noon one day, and sitting out back in the sun so I could read the last 40% of the book uninterrupted.

So that’ll be the topic of the month and a nice easy one – what standalone thrillers do you recommend? More on that below.

I finished the month off by starting the much heralded Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva. It’s honestly ridiculous that I hadn’t read that series yet – in the last year it’s became the 2nd most popular series on the site(after Reacher). I think I was just peeved at Silva for abandoning the Michael Osborne series. However one book in and I’m absolutely hooked and I think that’s my July all planned out for reading. Loved the ending of the Kill Artist – so well done.

Other than reading I’ve just been hard at work on the new book project Like I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters this is using a new engine which will eventually make adding authors/series to a breeze. It’ll also give us the opportunity to do many other things such as notifying you of new books by authors you like, finding recommendations easier and of course one strongly requested feature – filtering by genre.

The site seems to be struggling right now in regards to traffic however so if you have a Facebook page, Twitter etc or your own blog or website, I’d really appreciate you sharing a link to It’d help us out massively! Thanks!

Each month we give away 2 prizes to 2 random subscribers of $25 each in the form of Amazon gift certificates.

To win all you have to do is be a subscriber. Nothing more! When we go to hit “Publish” we take a list of all of our subscribers, throw them into a random draw and those are the winners.

Our winners this month are Linda L. from Elizabethtown, PA and Robin C. from Clarksville, TN. Both of you have been e-mailed. If you don’t see anything, check your junk folder or contact me.


Book Recommendations:

In this section I give 4-5 random book recommendations. They can be old books, they can be new. But either way – I recommend you read them if the type of genre they are in appeals to you. Feel free to e-mail suggestions to as many of the suggestions each month are from our readers. If you wish to add a description for the book around the same size as the ones below that’d be great too!

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles: I received so many e-mails about this series last month it was incredible. This is the 5th book in the “Penn Cage” series by Greg, however it has its own little trilogy – the Natchez Burning Trilogy. It’s Natchez Burning, The Bone Tree and Mississippi Blood. You can jump right in to Natchez Burning. I personally haven’t read this series yet but the e-mails I got have pushed it right up my list. So many amazing complements thrown the series way. If you’re looking for some Summer reading, the Natchez Burning Trilogy is for you!

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence: The first in a new series by Mark Lawrence. If you’re looking for a fantasy novel featuring a strong female protagonist which is NOT a Young Adult book then this is for you. It features a world where young girls are raised to be killers at a Convent. Some of the girls have rare talents – none moreso than Nona Grey. Trained as a killer since she was 9 years old, this is essentially a coming of age fantasy about this mysterious girl. From all accounts it’s an excellent book – dark, violent and with terrific writing. Read more about it.

As The Crow Flies by Damien Boyd: This is the first book in the excellent DI Nick Dixon crime thriller series by Boyd. he started writing the series in 2013 and it currently has 7 books. If you’re a Kindle unlimited member on Amazon they’re all free with that too! In the first book, Dixons old rock climbing partner dies and what is seen as an accident. Dixon thinks otherwise however and looks into it. Dixon realizes there’s a lot more to his old partner than what he knew though – and that he had quite the list of enemies. A lot of talk and description about rock climbing in the book which was something different and quite interesting to read about.

Power Down by Ben Coes: The first book in the Dewey Andreas series by former Delta Force member Ben Coes. It may not sound it based on the characters name, but Dewey is the type of badass that you’ll like if you enjoy Mitch Rapp, Jack Reacher etc. I read the first one when it came out based on Vince Flynns recommendations and loved it. Never did get round to reading the rest but I will soon. This is a great one which hooks you right from the beginning. A terrorist attack wipes out a lot of Deweys crew and he’s out for revenge. Coes is a solid writer and this is a great debut from him. A good series to sink into over the Summer.

Book of the Month: House of Spies by Daniel Silva

The 17th book in the Gabriel Allon series comes out this month.

Like I said above – the Allon series is the 2nd most popular book series on our site next to the Jack Reacher series. It features Gabriel Allon, who works as an art restorer but is also an assassin.

I personally just finished the very first book – The Kill Artist – and I don’t want to read the description of this one in case of spoilers! However it’s great news for Allon fans and if you’ve never read this series, get started now.

Your Thoughts:

Last month I asked you about the worst book to movie adaptations. The feedback is later in the newsletter.

This month I want you to recommend a good standalone thriller/mystery.

It doesn’t have to be completely standalone – it could be the first book in a series featuring recurring characters, or a book set in a universe that the author has created. One example of that would be any Linwood Barclay standalones which generally fall under the same universe although only have tiny references to past books.

Write the title of the book, the author, and then a brief description. Here’s a couple of examples from my own recommendations:

The Winner by David Baldacci: A dirt poor single mother who lives in a trailer is given the gift of a lifetime – it can be fixed that she can win the lottery and won $100 million. The only rule is she must leave America forever and take on a new identity. But she just can’t do that.

The Tenth Justice by Brad Meltzer: A young lawyer has it all – a top job and great friends that he lives with. However he makes a mistake – revealing a confidential court decision – and now his world is coming crashing down with someone blackmailing him leading him to not know who to trust.

The Day Before Midnight by Stephen Hunter: Terrorists take over a nuclear complex at 7am and the good guys have until midnight to stop an all out nuclear war. This is one of my favourite books of all time – just action packed and will have you reading all night long. Man – just thinking about it I think I’ve got to go back and read it again.

E-mail us your feedback to or just reply to this e-mail, and we’ll pick the best comments and feature it in next months newsletter.

Reader Mailbag:

Read it here.

Order of Books » Newsletter » July 2017 Newsletter

One Response to “July 2017 Newsletter”

  1. sefcug: 7 years ago

    The Freedom Broker by K.J. Howe:
    The daughter of a billionaire oil tycoon is also an operative of a kidnap rescue company deals with his kidnapping and that of his son twenty years ago.
    This is a debut novel, billed as the first of a series.


Leave a Reply