5 The Rescue
You’re up to the last book on our list and may have realized that there is still nothing lighthearted here. And now this final book is by Nicholas Sparks so is there any way that it can end happily? Actually, these lovers stand a chance. As with other Sparks novels, this one is a formulaic romance about kind, noble and good-looking people. That may not be a genre that we approve of on a literary level but there’s no denying that Sparks is good at what he does. Your heartstrings are tugged even as your eyes roll. But it’s more than that: We give this novel extra credit for actually letting the characters get together in the end.
4 The Last Precinct
Don’t worry, we’re back to corruption and crime. This is the 11th book in Patricia Cornwell’s series about Dr. Kay Scarpetta. If you haven’t read the first ten, then this isn’t the place to start. But if you have, then you’ll probably enjoy seeing all the loose knots get tied up somewhat neatly. If you don’t really care about those knots, then you’ll want to skip most of the first half of the book. After all, a detective novel without a new mystery seems a little pointless and we only get that in the middle. By that time, there aren’t enough pages left for things to move slowly so the pace picks up and the action is nonstop. So although you might be thinking that it’s time to give up on Kay Scarpetta, by the end of this book you’ll be ready for #12.
3 The House on Hope Street
If suspense and violence aren’t you thing, try this one. You can count on Danielle Steele for a guaranteed tearjerker. Although we don’t necessarily see the appeal of being forced to cry, if that’s what you’re interested in then this book satisfies. Towards the beginning a wife loses her loving husband with whom she shared a successful business and five adorable children. Cry #1. She then has to fight to overcome the difficulties while comforting distraught children. Cry #2. Then her son is in a near fatal accident. Cry #3.She begins a relationship with a wonderful guy but her kids can’t accept it yet and so the couple splits up. Cry #4. And then things come together and everyone who is still alive lives happily ever after, which brings us another cry but this time in a good way.
2 The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession
Imagine a world where true Christians have been taken up to heaven, leaving the world a chaotic hellhole with the antichrist as the secretary-general of the U.N. Now a few more people convert and end up having to fight to bring him down. Now imagine it going on for sixteen full-length books. This is the seventh book in the series and a plot summary will mean very little if you haven’t read the first six. So in the meantime we’ll just tell you that despite the Christian themes here, this is primarily a novel of assassinations, explosions, mysterious disappearances and even a couple of riots. It doesn’t quite reach the suspense of a good Tom Clancy, but considered it’s part of a sixteen book religious series, we were pleasantly surprised.
1 The Brethren
Topping our list is the usual John Grisham fair. This one’s got the full menu of conspiracy, scam and corrupt government with a side of spy games. In a fictional minimum security prison, three former judges get together to run a scam by way of letters to wealthy men on the outside and just happen to end up with a presidential candidate in their trap. He, in turn, is being manipulated by a corrupt CIA director. While it’s a good read, and provides the usual suspense that Grisham offers, this isn’t one of his best. Unlike some of his other stories, all the various plotlines are driven by the bad guys. There’s no character who you really want to root for, so things can get a little depressing.
Despite the century’s brand new start, the year 2000 didn’t offer anything revolutionary. Disagree? Let’s hear your claim!