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Posts tagged ‘kidnapping’


Knockout by Catherine Coulter

Cover art for Knockout. Image via Amazon.

Title: Knockout

Author: Catherine Coulter

Year of Publication: 2009

Genre Keywords: action/adventure,crime,  FBI, kidnapping, paranormal, psychic powers, suspense, thriller.

Summary: A little girl named Autumn has a larger-than-life power: the ability to talk telepathically to others who share her gift. But the sinister family from which she’s inherited it will stop at nothing to get Autumn on their side so they can take advantage of her powers, and she and her mother are on the run. After seeing Agent Dillon Savich on television, she uses her extraordinary brain to call on him for help, and Dillon becomes deeply involved in trying to save her. At the same time, he and his wife Agent Lacey Sherlock pursue a pair of young bank robbers driven forward by an out-of-control teen girl bent on revenge for the robbery-gone-wrong that killed her mother.

Who’ll Love It: Thriller fans who thrive on action and suspense will get sucked right into the high-stakes, high-energy story. Looking from a different angle, though, readers with an interest in dysfunctional families will be fascinated as well – the action grows out of a history of Autumn’s power-hungry relatives and why her father left the brood, and also out of the family dynamics that turned a mother-and-daughter bank-robbing team into a dead mother and an orphaned fugitive.

Series Alert! Catherine Coulter has been writing FBI thrillers about Dillon and Lacey – and other agents, too – since 1996. Find out more by visiting her website.

The Lost Symbol

Cover art for The Lost Symbol

Image via Knopf Doubleday.

Title: The Lost Symbol

Author: Dan Brown

Year of Publication: 2010

Genre Keywords: action/adventure, archaeology, CIA, conspiracy theory, Freemasonry, kidnapping, metaphysics, mystery, religion, symbology, thriller.

Summary: Now-famous symbology professor Robert Langdon is invited to give a last-minute lecture in Washington, D.C. . . . but when he gets there, he finds he’s been tricked by a violent madman in need of a symbologist who can deliver the closely-guarded Masonic pyramid, crack its code, and lead him to the human race’s greatest source of wisdom, guarded for centuries by the Freemasons. If Langdon can decipher this high-stakes puzzle, his mentor Peter Solomon goes free; if Langon fails, Solomon dies. Langdon enlists the aid of Solomon’s sister Katherine, a scientist on the verge of a major breakthrough in Noetic Science, to try to solve the puzzle posed by the Masonic Pyramid.

Who’ll Love It: Any thriller fans will eat up the standard roller-coaster plot with the twists and turns typical of Dan Brown. But Brown has stepped up his game to create a genuinely well-written mystery full of interesting scientific and philosophical information and even a few touches of sparkling humour. It has a quality of storytelling that his past works have lacked, which makes the “intellectual thriller” a lot more thrilling as a puzzle for clever readers who enjoy solving mysteries or reflecting on ideas but have, in the past, been turned off by Brown’s stilted style. If a literary snob like me loved this story, who wouldn’t?

Is That Real? Dan Brown throws a lot of weird-but-true facts into The Lost Symbol. You can check out a scattering of them here on his web site. And that’s only the beginning!  Katherine’s area of expertise, noetic sciences, actually exists. A Google search on Freemasons can open a door bigger than anything I can link to here. And Brown makes a point of noting  that “all rituals, science, artwork, and monuments in this novel are real”. The Lost Symbol can be the inspiration for further reading about a lot of fascinating (and fantastically strange!) stuff. Find out what’s fact and what’s fiction!

A Masonic symbol carved in stone

Image via Debate It Out.

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