Category Archives: 2007


Shelby Adams Lloyd. Grains of Sand. New York: Xlibris, 2007.

Jean Rein is frightened–her husband Mark was murdered, and now she’s getting threatening phone calls.  Reeling from shock and pain, she decides to leave her home and her career in Washington, DC.  Jean is fortunate in that her husband was a successful broker, so she is able to buy a beautiful Victorian house and adjoining property in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.  There she begins to make a new life for herself, finding work, making friends, and reconnecting with family.  She even finds a new love, but there is no escaping the many horrible things that will happen to her.  The phone calls continue, and Jean begins to believe that she is being followed.  She hires a bodyguard, and when he is murdered, Jean fears that she will never escape the terror.  Finally she is kidnapped and brutally assaulted.  Only by pretending to go along with the madman who has stalked her is she able to break free.

This book contains graphic scenes of sex and violence.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Coast, Lloyd, Shelby Adams, New Hanover, Suspense/Thriller

E. B. Alston. Hammer Spade and the Merchants of Death.Timberlake, NC: Righter Publishing, 2007.

In this, the third novel in the Hammer Spade Series, Spade is asked to join a law enforcement operation against a large drug organization that hopes to set up headquarters on the North Carolina coast.  The money is good, but the mission is extremely dangerous–Spade and his crew are to hunt down and kill members of an international criminal organization who murdered six federal agents and a high-ranking DEA official just outside Bath, North Carolina. It’s meant to be a long-term assignment because the DEA wants to lull the organization’s kingpin into thinking that the locals are too dumb and inattentive to know what he’s up to.  Once the new organization is established–and they’ve knocked out all the local dealers–Spade and his crew will make their move.  But there are complications–an attractive DEA agent who may have a personal motive for the killings and the need to make Mr. Big’s death look as though it was something other than a government hit-job.  This is not an easy assignment.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Alston, E. B., Beaufort, Coast, Hyde, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller, Tyrrell

Dixie Land. Return to Serenity. Kernersville, NC: Alabaster Books, 2007.

Maggie and Ross Harrington, the main characters in Land’s previous novel, Serenity, are back in this sequel, Return to Serenity.  Maggie and Ross are now married, and they are raising Maggie’s son, Tyler, as their child even though Tyler’s father is Maggie’s dishonest, drug-abusing ex-fiancé, Michael.  Maggie and Ross are happy–they have become a true family and the network of friends evident in the first novel are present in this one too.  Because friends Caroline and Charlie are willing to mind little Tyler, Maggie and Ross are able to slip away for a romantic vacation in the Caribbean.

That vacation is Maggie and Ross’s last moment of bliss before problems from the past come back for another assault on the couple. Ross’s ex-wife Melanie has cancer, and she asks Ross and Maggie to take in her daughter (who is not Ross’s child).  Melanie’s request opens old wounds, but Melanie is not a threatening or frightening person, as is Tyler’s father, Michael.  Michael will stop at nothing to get Maggie and Tyler back. As in the past, Michael manipulates Maggie’s friends to get information on her, and while he appears to be using the courts to get Tyler, that is just a way to distract Maggie while he puts his true plan in motion.


Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Coastal Plain, Land, Dixie, Suspense/Thriller

Big Adam. Kill. New York: iUniverse, 2007.

Most teenagers who have grown up in a small community dream of moving away and seeing the world. Leaving rural Cherokee in western North Carolina is all that Amy, Carmen, Fred, Jason, and Mike think about. In a few months they will graduate from high school, move west, and leave their parents’ strict rules behind.

This desire becomes more of a reality when Mike reveals to the group that he is the sole beneficiary of a friend’s life insurance policy. If they agree to help him murder Joseph, a youth pastor, Mike will split the $50,000 policy with his accomplices. Although the two were close when Mike was a freshman and Joseph was a senior, they eventually went their separate ways. Mike resents Joseph’s encouragement to live a Christian life. Seeing this as their best way out, Mike’s friends eagerly agree to assist him. Carmen, an atheist, dislikes Joseph for pushing his views on others; Amy, Mike’s girlfriend, only wants to please him; and Fred and Jason are simply bored and looking for action. They meticulously plan the brutal torture that they will commit, buying weapons and staking out an appropriate place. They also prepare a camera so that they can record the horrific scene.

Although the group feels pleased in the days after the attack, their scheme soon begins to unravel. They learn that upon becoming engaged, Joseph removed Mike’s name from his policy; the murder was in vain. A classmate inadvertently witnessed the crime. And Amy’s mother found the tape that documented the gruesome episode and she turned it into the police. The pressure of these developments lead the five begin to turn against each other. As the cops close in on them, it becomes clear that more than one life was ruined as a result of their plot.

The torture scene, described a few different times throughout the novel, is especially graphic.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Big Adam, Mountains, Suspense/Thriller, Swain

D. L. Walker. Scaffold. Baltimore, MD: PublishAmerica, 2007.

Professional wrestling is almost a world of its own. With a set code of rules, wide variety of characters, outlandish gimmicks, and carefully planned pageantry, the form of entertainment is very popular among young and old alike. Because of the nature of the sport, however, its history is wrought with controversy.

Although personal injury lawyer Bill Watson does not necessarily buy into all of the pro wrestling hype, he is willing to take his son to an event at a local high school in Charlotte featuring some of his favorite players. When a stunt goes terribly wrong and two wrestlers fall from a scaffold, resulting in the death of one and paralysis of another, Bill becomes suspicious. How could something that is supposed to be scripted result in such tragedy? As Bill begins to investigate the case, he uncovers the sinister truth behind one federation’s manager.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

1 Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Mecklenburg, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller, Walker, D. L.

Edward Vaughn. The Forgiven. New York: Xlibris, 2007.

Kathleen Kelley grew up in a sheltered and deeply religious family in Omaha, Nebraska. Her strict parents placed well-intended expectations on her, and their daughter grew up to be very naive. When Kathleen follows her boyfriend to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, she cuts ties with her family and entrusts her future to someone she does not know very well. He quickly proves to be a poor choice, and Kathleen soon finds herself alone and penniless. She begins dancing and becomes a cocaine addict, eventually prostituting herself.

Although Kathleen is miserable at the turn in her life, she finds a glimmer of hope in her daughter. Sadly, one of her johns violates her trust and kidnaps her child, molesting the girl before killing her. Kathleen is heartbroken, but the police and media rapidly condemn her as the murderer. She does not refute her negligence, but Kathleen venomously denies committing the heinous murder.

Though most people in Cumberland County persecute Kathleen, her public defender does not believe that someone who had previously trained to become a nun would later kill her daughter. He works to clear her name and to find the criminal; he also falls in love with his client. Throughout her ordeal, Kathleen must find the strength to forgive herself for her past life in order to start anew as an exonerated citizen and loved wife.

The Forgiven is the second novel in Edward Vaughn’s “Cumberland County Series.”

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Coastal Plain, Cumberland, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller, Vaughn, Edward

O. C. Strunk. An Ever-Fixed Mark. Baltimore: Publish America, 2007.

Matthew Glass, psychologist and former university administrator, moved to North Carolina after the death of his wife and daughter.  He’s opened up a cafe and a bookstore in the coastal town of Calabash, and there he connects with a diverse group of people: Tomeka who cooks at the cafe; Tizzy who runs the bookstore; Micki, a college-age Korean orphan whom Matthew intends to adopt; and Christopher Fry, a retiree who befriends Matthew.

As this novel opens, Christopher has just died, in what appears to be an accident. When Christopher’s long-estranged daughter arrives to make funeral plans, Matthew is in for a few surprises: Christopher has left Matthew his house and his dog, and the circumstances of Christopher’s death don’t square with the cautious and precise man that Matthew knew.  As Matthew spends time at his new house he gets a better sense of Christopher’s professional achievements and his compassion, and he uncovers some puzzling things: a stash of the local community newspaper with strange marking on some of the papers and books on the animal-human bond.  With Micki’s help, Matthew follows the clues in Christoper’s things, but those clues lead to cruelty, corruption, and murder, not the treasure that Micki expected.

This is the second book in the Matthew Glass Mysteries.  The first book was set in Maine.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Brunswick, Coast, Mystery, Novels in Series, Strunk, O. C.

David Shaffer. Dead Right. Kernersville, NC: Alabaster Book Publishing, 2007.

Harry Caine is a private investigator who is beginning to make a name for himself in Palm Beach, Florida.  When a satisfied client recommends him to one of her friends in North Carolina, Harry and his assistant Mona Morgan come north to investigate a very cold case.  Margaret Elizabeth Roy was a well-liked woman in her early twenties when she was brutally murdered in 1988.  Margaret’s aunt, a wealthy and influential woman in (fictitious) Davie, North Carolina, has pressured the police to keep the case open and has paid several investigators, but all of the investigations came to dead ends.

Margaret’s husband, Lloyd Roy, was the prime suspect since day one, but Harry’s intuition tells him to check on Margaret’s work relationships in addition to her personal ones.  In a novel with a number of red herrings, Harry and Mona’s systematic and logical investigation leads them to the truth. This is a satisfying novel for readers who like a traditional whodunit.

This is the third book in the Harry Caine Mysteries series, but the first one set in North Carolina.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Forsyth, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Shaffer, David

Joyce M. Jacobs. Mobile Acres. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007.

Mobile Acres is a quiet, well-maintained trailer park in Shallotte, North Carolina. Although the stories of how each neighbor got to the mobile home community varies, they are all connected by their choice to live in their tight-knit village. Everyone looks out for each other, no matter the circumstances and with little thought to their fellow resident’s background. When an unthinkable crime takes place at Mobile Acres, the neighbors band together to give each other comfort and to restore their sense of safety. Joyce Jacobs presents trailer park life in a way that is rare, highlighting the sense of community that is often overlooked.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Brunswick, Coast, Jacobs, Joyce M.

Nancy Gotter Gates. When Push Comes to Death. Kernersville, NC: Alabaster Book Publishing, 2007.

Tommi Poag has been rebuilding her life after her husband left her for a younger woman, another lawyer in his firm.  Tommi has bought a condo and gotten a job as an office assistant at a small insurance agency.  The pay isn’t good, but she has met some nice people.  One of them is Nina Sellars, a woman who has just moved back to Greensboro after years in Hollywood.  Nina and Tommi are distantly related through Tommi’s ex-husband, and the women enjoy each others company.

Tommi is looking forward to meeting Nina’s husband, Cap, but before that can happen he dies in an accident.  Only the police don’t think it was an accident, and they arrest Nina for her husband’s death.  Nina’s lawyer is Tommi’s ex-husband, who rebuffs Tommi’s offer to help investigate the death.

Nina’s family is more appreciate of Tommi’s help, but as she questions the eyewitness to the accident and pokes around in Cap’s business and his personal behavior, more bad things happen–there is a suspicious fire at Tommi’s condo and several people are poisoned.   As Tommi and Nina’s father work together they feel a mutual attraction, but before their relationship can develop they have to face some ugly family secrets.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Gates, Nancy Gotter, Guilford, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont