William Gagliani

tructured around four fatal falls, Icarus is a gripping new thriller from the writing team that turned out the 1999 hit, Gideon. With the flair of a Hitchcock tribute, its suspense grabs from the start, cranking up the tension as the action moves relentlessly forward.

Russell Andrews is actually a pen name for the duo of writer/editor Peter Andrew Gethers (author of The Cat Who Went to Paris and several other books) and mystery novelist David Russell Handler (who wrote the Stewart Hoag mysteries). Their styles blend to create an entertaining novel in which not everything is as it seems.

When a madman flings young Jack Keller's mother to her death from a high-rise window, the event triggers Jack's lifelong acrophobia. He works his way through college and meets Caroline, a young woman from a wealthy Southern family. They combine their skills to open Jack's, a restaurant that launches an international chain of upscale steak joints.

Meanwhile, unable to have children of their own, Jack and Caroline take in Kid, a friend's orphaned teenage son.

When Kid disappears near the end of his successful college football career, Jack and Caroline are heartbroken and retreat into their lucrative business.

Then, during the opening of a Charlottesville Jack's, tragedy strikes in the form of a botched robbery attempt. Jack is nearly paralyzed in a fall, needing more than a year to recover from his injuries. Kid reappears just as mysteriously as he left, returning as a physical therapist with a Midas touch. During his workouts with Jack, Kid reveals coded details of the Team, the dozen or so sexy women he's dating simultaneously, each referred to by a telling nickname: the Rookie, the Entertainer, the Destination, the Mortician and the Mistake. When a third fatal fall occurs, Jack is plunged knee-deep into trouble, convinced that one of Kid's women is a murderer.

The plot careens in directions unexpected enough to throw off most readers (and we've intentionally concealed some of the more bizarre plot twists to save the surprise). If you like your vacation reading fast-paced and harrowing, Icarus will take you to new heights.

Bill Gagliani is the author of Shadowplays, an e-book collection of dark fiction.

tructured around four fatal falls, Icarus is a gripping new thriller from the writing team that turned out the 1999 hit, Gideon. With the flair of a Hitchcock tribute, its suspense grabs from the start, cranking up the tension as the action moves relentlessly forward. Russell Andrews is actually a pen name for the duo […]

A speculative spy thriller Tim Powers is a masterful melder of fact and fiction, reality and unreality, realism and surrealism. This foremost North American magic realist (author of The Anubis Gates, World Fantasy Award-winner Last Call, Earthquake Weather and many others) mesmerizes readers with hidden layers of plots and conspiracies. His latest novel, Declare, is vintage Powers speculative fiction based on documented facts. Fact: Kim Philby was a British intelligence operative who defected to the Soviet Union. Fact: Philby worked for both sides and precipitated the greatest British cold war spy scandal. Fact: Philby spent years in the Middle East with his father, a noted Arabist. Powers excels at connecting historical dots his own way, placing Philby precisely where he was at any given time, but with different and far more fanciful motivations. In Nazi-occupied Paris, British double agent Andrew Hale proves a worthy nemesis for Philby, though his connection to the stuttering spy remains mysterious until a chilling climax on Mount Ararat's frozen peak. In the early 1960s, Hale is called back to atone for his failure on Mount Ararat years before, when the men he led were either killed or driven insane. Hale's journey is a mind-blowing trip through the cold war.

Blending his Le CarrŽ-style plot with history, theology, the Arabian Nights and the true nature of the ankh (anchor), Powers proves how vibrant fantasy can be. If you yearn for an original, innovative author, you can't miss with Tim Powers.

A speculative spy thriller Tim Powers is a masterful melder of fact and fiction, reality and unreality, realism and surrealism. This foremost North American magic realist (author of The Anubis Gates, World Fantasy Award-winner Last Call, Earthquake Weather and many others) mesmerizes readers with hidden layers of plots and conspiracies. His latest novel, Declare, is […]

After a wedding day fiasco, Seattle FBI agent Andie Henning is ready for an assignment any assignment. The one she's given is a doozy, and could prove to be a real career-maker or career-killer.

A possible serial murderer appears to have claimed three lives. The first two are males so similar as to be twins. The third is a woman, strangled and displayed with the same MO. Andie is not an experienced profiler, but she'll be working with one, the nearly burned-out Victoria Santos. The agents notice the killer seems to target victims in pairs. The next victim may well be a woman, which leads the investigators to power attorney Gus Wheatley.

Gus's wife is missing. After years of a loveless marriage, the distracted head of a huge and powerful law firm is shocked to learn that his wife did not pick up their young daughter from tumbling class. In fact, Beth Wheatley has disappeared, and it doesn't take long for everyone involved to realize the third victim fits Beth's description but it isn't her, only a lookalike. Is Beth Wheatley to be the next victim? A phone call, which could only have come from Beth, forces Gus to admit the possibility that she may not be an innocent captive. Victim or accomplice? This becomes the central question of James Grippando's new novel. The author also explores the definition of spouse abuse, for although there are suspicions of physical abuse, it turns out that Gus has only ignored his wife. Suddenly thrust into the uncomfortable role of both father and mother, Gus's life and routine are altered forever. The emotions swirling around him are as realistically heart-wrenching as those of his grieving daughter.

After solid reviews for his previous thrillers, The Abduction and Found Money, ex-trial lawyer Grippando enters John Sandford territory with this tale in which an FBI agent faces her first undercover mission, a father faces his first true experience with fatherhood, and Seattle faces yet another serial killer. Under Cover of Darkness packs a punch as it examines themes recognizable from the evening news, especially with its references to Waco and similar situations. It's a gripping tale that crests with a surprise twist and a satisfying climax.

Bill Gagliani is the author of Shadowplays, an e-book collection of dark fiction from Ebooksonthe.net.

After a wedding day fiasco, Seattle FBI agent Andie Henning is ready for an assignment any assignment. The one she's given is a doozy, and could prove to be a real career-maker or career-killer. A possible serial murderer appears to have claimed three lives. The first two are males so similar as to be twins. […]

Where were you during the '60s? Whether you served, marched, or missed it all, something in this major new work by Stephen King will put a lump in your throat. Though he is known as the King of Horror, King's real talent has always been describing the horror people perpetrate on each other. He may use the supernatural as a catalyst, but King's best work is about people who remind us of ourselves because they sound like us and think like us, even when at their worst.

Structured as two novellas and three short stories, Hearts in Atlantis is nevertheless a novel in which some strangeness what King refers to as the Ray Bradbury kind of childhood makes an appearance and leaves its mark, but cannot rival what the '60s wrought on an entire generation. Bobby, Carol and Sully-John grow up and grow apart in startling ways during the summer of 1960, helped along toward their destinies by a trio of bullies, an eerie older man, and the Low Men in Yellow Coats who hunt him. The story "Hearts in Atlantis" begins with hearts you can break, moves on to a ruthlessly destructive card game which turns its obsessed players into sheep, and finally wraps around again to flesh-and-blood broken hearts. Pete Riley tells how knowing Carol for a short time changes him from a kid with a Goldwater bumper sticker to a gassed-out peacenik and what it does to Carol the activist, whom he loves and loses in a few short weeks during this time of social upheaval. These two novellas form both the bulk of the book and its emotional center.

In "Blind Willie," one of the bullies now a Vietnam-haunted vet finds a certain penance in his bizarre daily ritual that both embraces and overturns '80s greed. "Why We're in Vietnam" follows Sully-John through the dark remains of the war, to his death in the present day. And the funeral in "Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling" brings the book full-circle, with an understated emotion that will take you by surprise and wring out your heart with its sad yet redeeming inevitability. You will see Stephen King in a new light. Read this moving, heartfelt modern tragedy and weep for our lost conscience.

Bill Gagliani is a librarian and writer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Where were you during the '60s? Whether you served, marched, or missed it all, something in this major new work by Stephen King will put a lump in your throat. Though he is known as the King of Horror, King's real talent has always been describing the horror people perpetrate on each other. He may […]

After eight years as an Atlanta Falcon, Tim Green knows his football. Having earned a law degree, he knows his way around that end of the business, too. He's witnessed criminal behavior in the NFL and, as a Fox Sports commentator, he's still plugged into the heart and soul of the game. Now Green author of The Dark Side of the Game brings his guns to bear on several of the NFL's unspoken bugaboos race, religion, and righteous rage. The result is an uneven but highly entertaining novel which dares to pluck aside the locker room curtain. Less a thriller than a morality play, Double Reverse follows Clark Cromwell, a born-again player on the LA expansion team Juggernauts (slyly styled after the Cowboys), as he falls in love with Annie, seemingly the girl of his dreams. Meanwhile dealing with a substantially reduced post-injury contract, he is shocked when Annie turns out quite different than expected. Enter Trane Jones and his flamboyant, videocamera-wielding agent Conrad Dobbins. Jones is the bad boy of the NFL, signed to a bloated contract with money shaved from Clark's renegotiated salary. Dobbins is behind a huge but shady stock manipulation deal with the piratical CEO of Zeus Shoes. The beautiful lawyer/agent Madison McCall (previously in Green's Outlaws) helps Clark with his contract, but ends up owing the Juggernauts' owner a favor a favor which comes due when Trane Jones's new girlfriend is murdered with his golf club. Strangely, the victim is Annie, Clark's old girlfriend. The case takes on O.

J. Simpson overtones, and Madison soon finds suspicion shifting along with motive. That you might be able to figure out the identity of the culprit isn't the point the point is that peek behind the curtain. While locker room dialogue often degenerates into familiar sports cliches, it's clear Green knows his stuff. By dealing specifically with race and the new religious trend, Green explores vital issues, but he avoids lobbing the hardballs. Still, the most fun is to be had trying to spot the real names behind some of the characters. Green is at his best when describing the bone-crunching, spine-rattling full contact of the NFL, in which players ignore pain that would cripple normal people. He wears his opinion of the morality factor in professional football openly on his sleeve, flavoring this non-traditional thriller with painful realism.

William D. Gagliani is the author of Icewall in Robert Bloch's Psycho and Other Stories.

After eight years as an Atlanta Falcon, Tim Green knows his football. Having earned a law degree, he knows his way around that end of the business, too. He's witnessed criminal behavior in the NFL and, as a Fox Sports commentator, he's still plugged into the heart and soul of the game. Now Green author […]

When a drunk Ted Conway is fired from his last-chance hotel job, his ever-patient wife Janet finally decides it may be time to take their three children and leave him. Ted has spiraled to a point where even his perfect teenage twins, Jared and Kim, can't stand him.

But then Ted's Aunt Cora, who never much liked him, dies in the Shreveport sanitarium which had been her home for years and inexplicably leaves Ted the family mansion, along with its bloody history of murder and mysterious disappearances. Another chance? Janet allows Ted to convince her that he can stop drinking, and that the mansion can be converted into an inn. Unfortunately, the Conway name is despised in St. Albans, and the new Conways meet opposition right from the start, not least from an obsessed Catholic priest, and also from Jake Cumberland, last descendant of the voodoo-practicing Conway servants.

Suddenly Janet detects a change in Ted, who becomes the husband she's missed for years. But why has Jared picked up all of Ted's worst qualities? Why has Jared and Kim's Twin Thing suddenly been silenced? And what of Father MacNeill's secretive attempt to deny Ted the zoning variance he needs to remodel the crumbling mansion?

Set aside superficial comparisons to Stephen King's classic The Shining it's Jared, the son, who appears to have succumbed to the mansion's supernatural influence. And the results are quite different. John Saul may not break any new ground here, but he has fashioned a slick, competent thriller in which deftly drawn characters must face the demons in their own lives to conquer that which claims the family's souls. That the list of survivors remains unpredictable to the end is testament to Saul's experienced approach, which has resulted in almost two dozen novels, many of them bestsellers. Not known as a stylist, Saul uses a straightforward, uncluttered voice to good effect. Told with narrative verve from a sliding point of view, and with a penchant for realistic teenage dialogue, The Right Hand of Evil is gripping and fast-paced.

Bill Gagliani is a librarian and writer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

When a drunk Ted Conway is fired from his last-chance hotel job, his ever-patient wife Janet finally decides it may be time to take their three children and leave him. Ted has spiraled to a point where even his perfect teenage twins, Jared and Kim, can't stand him. But then Ted's Aunt Cora, who never […]

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