Book Reviews: Gideon’s Corpse by Preston and Child, The Betrayed Wife by Kevin O’Brien

Hi, friends. I hope you had an enjoyable weekend and that your Tuesday is off to a good start. We had friends over on Friday for a small pool party then spent our weekend gearing up for a family reunion we’re hosting this coming weekend.

We had a scare on Saturday when we walked out front and realized our door was standing open. It was a windy day and when I opened it (about twenty minutes earlier) I must not have shut it tightly. The problem is I have a totally indoor cat. To say that I was spastic is putting it mildly. I looked all over for Raven, starting with her “safe spot” under our bed then went room to room while hubby looked outside. Five minutes of frantic searching without results and I was on the verge of blubbering. I decided to take one more look under the bed and there she was, tucked at the end, blissfully unaware I was seconds from a meltdown. Needless to say, she has been getting lots of extra fussing and cuddles.

And now on to this week’s book reviews, both of which garner five big glitzy stars from me.

Book cover for Gideon's Corpse by Preston & Child shows title in large lettering overlaying a file with tear, nuclear symbol in backgroundGideon’s Corpse
by Preston & Child
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’re probably aware I’m a HUGE fan of the writing team of Preston and Child. Gideon’s Corpse is the second novel in the Gideon Crew series (currently at five novels). I read the first when it was released a few years ago but wasn’t immediately smitten. Then a certain someone (ahem…Marcia) convinced me I needed to give book two a try.

Dr. Gideon Crew is a unique combination of con artist, ex-professional thief, and brilliant physicist. Recruited by a mysterious and powerful organization to run interference in impossible situations he routinely lands in a melting pot of danger. In Gideon’s Corpse, Crew finds himself acting as a liaison to the FBI when a former colleague and top nuclear scientist takes a family hostage at gunpoint. The outcome leads to a terrorist plot to vaporize a major American city in ten days—and the clock is ticking.

I remembered very little about the first in the series but had zero difficulty falling into the story. It starts off with a bang (the hostage situation) and moves at a blistering pace. Gideon pairs up with a strait-laced FBI agent. Much of the fun of the novel is watching the two work together, gaining respect for the other’s methods and for each other.

Clues build in a clever, twisty manner but just when you think you know where the plot is headed it does a complete 180 leading to an explosive, action-packed conclusion.

If you like your characters with a mix of trickster and quick-thinking brilliance, Gideon Crew is your man. He has a good heart, sometimes makes stupid mistakes, but somehow always manages to land on his feet. I will definitely be reading the rest in this series (thank you, Marcia!). Preston and Child once again deliver the kind of intelligent thriller that has become their trademark.

Amazon Link
Genre: Terrorism Thrillers > Medical Thrillers


Book cover for The Betrayed Wife by Kevin O'Brien shows the face and neck of a blond-haired woman from the nose downThe Betrayed Wife
by Kevin O’Brien

I can always count on Kevin O’Brien to deliver a juicy thriller, and he does not disappoint with his latest, The Betrayed Wife. This book has it all­—a not-so-perfect marriage, illicit affairs, dark family secrets, suspicious deaths, and an illegitimate child.

Shelia O’Rouke has had to overlook a number of her husband’s indiscretions, so when sixteen-year-old Eden shows up claiming to be his daughter, Shelia tries to make the best of it. She welcomes the girl into her home and encourages her three children to do the same. But Eden has an insolent attitude and a creepy boyfriend. It isn’t long before things start to go horribly wrong. Someone tampers with the breaks on Shelia’s car, rigs her washer so that she is almost electrocuted, and tries to poison her. An obnoxious tenant moves into the house next door, and an anonymous caller starts sending Shelia and her teenage son, Steve, mysterious texts. O’Brien has a knack for writing teenagers, and he juggles several successfully in this novel.

As usual, the deftly-orchestrated plot serves up plenty of misdirection to keep the reader guessing. Although I did (eventually) decipher the ending and motive prior to the conclusion, I followed several false trails before putting the pieces together. There are characters to hate, characters to love, and a multi-layered mystery that ties up neatly at the end. Riveting from start to finish, the book works as a psychological thriller, domestic thriller, and page-turning suspense novel. Finished in two sittings and highly recommended!

Amazon Link
Genre:  Domestic Thrillers > Serial Killer Thrillers

59 thoughts on “Book Reviews: Gideon’s Corpse by Preston and Child, The Betrayed Wife by Kevin O’Brien

  1. I have so had the same thing happen with our doors and cats. For a while, it seemed like I was the only one in the house that could manage to close the doors to the outside until the latch clicked in. Only 1 cat escaped though and he only went a few doors down before he realized what he had done and started crying for us to find him. Love Preston and Child! Sounds like great reads 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh, I’m so glad you found your cat, Tessa! Poor guy probably realized what a mistake he made slipping outside.

      I’m now flipping the lock every time I shut the font door. We don’t have a screen door, so I’m doing double follow-up to make sure it’s secure. Raven and I are so bonded. If I lost her I’d be a basket case. I almost was that day!

      And I didn’t realize you were a Preston & Child fan. Those guys can do no wrong, LOL!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oooh, another Preston & Child fan! I’m in awe of pretty much anything they write. I want to catch up on this series, and I’m also eagerly awaiting Old Bones, book #1 of their new Nora Kelly series. Love those guys!

      I read the first Outlander when it was originally released, but it’s been so long I forget pretty much everything. Happy reading, Noelle!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great reviews, as always! I can so sympathize with you worrying you lost your cat. Mine will come occasionally when I call for him, but he’s a cat, after all. I can never count on it. You’re hosting the family reunion at your house? Sounds like a houseful! But after seeing the pictures of your kitchen, it can handle the hordes. Hope you have a great time!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I was spastic over Raven. She always comes when I call, but she’s never been outside before. And she was hiding in the house because we had visitors right before “the incident.” In fact, we were walking them from the back of the house to their car when I realized the front door was open. She come when I call her, but not if she knows there are visitors about. She’s okay with 1-2 people, but this was a group of four, so she preferred to hide.

      Thanks for the well wishes on the family reunion. We’re looking forward to it. And yes, I will be putting that kitchen to good use! 🙂

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  3. I would have been in a panic, Mae. Before we rescued Bond, he was returned to the shelter by other owners because he kept running out of the house when the door was opened, and they lived on a busy street. He’s escaped several times since we’ve had him (try finding a black cat outside at 10pm at night – if he didn’t have white feet, he’d have been long gone), but has settled down, finally.

    I’ve read Preston and Child years ago, but it’s been so long, I can’t remember the book – but I know I enjoyed it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m so glad Bond has settled down. They say cats won’t roam far but I don’t trust that. Those people should have been more careful with him, but then if they had been, he wouldn’t have fallen into such a great home with you and your family.

      And I know what you mean about black cats. Raven is solid black except for an ultra-thin wisp of white on her belly. Did you ever notice when they close their eyes, their face disappears? That’s why I didn’t see her at first under the bed. She’s so dark she blended with the shadows. With her eyes closed I couldn’t see her at all.

      The first Preston & Child book was Relic. Could have been the one you read as it gained a lot of attention and was made into a movie…although the producers left out the best character–Pendergast! When I think of that, I’m still dumbfounded!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These both sound wonderful. Thanks for sharing. I haven’t bitten the bullet yet on the Preston and Child books (my TBR is huge and those books are more expensive than most), but I’m getting closer and closer to reading them!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I have a bunch of them on Kindle. When you’re ready, maybe I can loan them to you through the Kindle Library. I’m not sure how that works, but I think it can be done. Marcia and I are besotted with Pendergast. After she finished reading the series, she’s been snatching up everything she can get her hands on by them, LOL.

      And the Kevin O’Brien book was a big, fat, juicy beach read. I devoured that one in two days.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s hope we both have a better Wednesday, LOL. At least my headache has toned down 🙂

      Thanks for the well wishes about Raven. I think you know how attached I am to her (just like you are with your dogs). I was fighting tears the whole time I was looking for her. I would have been blubbering but my two grand nieces were there and I didn’t want to upset them. Raven has been getting lots of hugs, cuddles and lap time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I remember when that happened but didn’t realize he had roamed away. I bet you made it clear to your pool never never to make THAT mistake again! Pets are part of the family.

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  5. You already know my feelings on Preston & Child, A.X.L. Pendergast, Gideon Crew, and now Wyman Ford, so I’ll just say that I’m SO glad you’ve been there to talk about our mutual Pendergast fixation, and now I’m there for you while you see how you like the rest of the Gideon books. Comparing notes is fun! Though I often think P&C are flawed writers in some ways, they have the magic touch where it concerns pulling me so far into a series, I can’t stop reading until I’ve finished the very last book I can get my hands on. (And when I’m able to overlook errors about wildlife and nature in key scenes, you know the team is doing something very right!)

    Counting the days until their next release, and then the months until spring’s release of the next Pendergast book!

    Haven’t read any Kevin O’Brien, but I’m adding his name and this book to my list! Great reviews, Mae! Sharing! Now read on, my friend! We have books to discuss! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m so glad you coerced, er…suggested, I give Gideon another try, Marcia. 🙂
      I’m not sure what didn’t work for me with the first book except that perhaps I was too far gone on Pendergast to allow room for Gideon. He’s never going to equal A.X.L. for me (who could?) but I’ve grown attached to him and look forward to the rest of the series. You know I’ll be emailing you about them as I read. Right now I’m squeezing in a few others between stories–although my present choice is proving to be kind of mediocre after the two riveting novels I featured here.

      Kevin O’Brien is an auto-buy author for me from way back. I couldn’t really get into his last release (first time ever) but he really knocked it out of the ballpark with The Betrayed Wife. I couldn’t put it down!

      And you know, I’m probably going to have to add Wyman Ford to my TBR too. I did really enjoy him in Impact. Happy reading, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • What? You read Book 3 but didn’t finish #1 or #2? Or did I miss something? I finished #1 already and thoroughly enjoyed it, and in spite of my determination to catch up on some OTHER books, I couldn’t resist starting #2. Loving it, as well. I like me some brilliant heroes, and Preston & Child do a good job with those, for sure. 😀 Off to check out some Kevin O’Brien for the Ol’ TBR Pile! 😀 (Oh, and yes. I think you have to let some time lapse after a Pendergast book before taking up another hero. He sets a pretty high bar! 😀 <3)

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      • Pedergast is unreachable, I think 🙂

        And yes, I read book #3 not realizing it was part of a series. That tells you it works fine as a stand alone. I did start #1 a few years ago but then got sidetracked. Looks like you’re going to have me going back to examine it again. And I can’t wait until you reach Linc’s books. I’ve read a lot of his. Terminal Freeze (although slow in the get go) had me on the edge of my seat for the last half.

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      • Sorry I just saw this, Lauralynn. Yep, Mae called it. I’m besotted with Pendergast for sure, and have enjoyed the other books. I got sidetracked with some major fantasy stuff, but hope to start on Child’s books next. I’ve already downloaded several. But as far as characters go, A.X.L. is a hard one to top, for sure. I love everything about him, except for some of the very weird things he considers gourmet fare. (I mean, fish lip soup? 😯 Come on!) 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • My cousin had a cat named Harley (she and her husband ride). Keep your kitty safe, Jacquie. As I type this, Raven is hanging just a few feet away. I would have been devastated had she gotten outside.

      And both books were awesome. I devoured them in minimal time which is always a good sign 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love all the Gideon books! He’s quite an interesting character. I noticed you omitted a very important thing about Gideon, so either you didn’t want it to be a spoiler, OR maybe that thing hasn’t been introduced into the series yet. I honestly can’t remember. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t realize you’d read the Gideon books too, LauraLynn. I ‘m finding I really like him now that Ive given him a proper chance.

      And yep, you’re right. I admitted that important feature about Gideon because I was afraid it might deter someone from giving the books a chance. I know it was a major obstacle for me with book one, but now I’ve placed my trust in the authors to resolve it in a satisfactory manner. Time will tell. In any event, I’m enjoying the heck out of him! 🙂

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  7. Thanks for the book tips, Mae. SO glad Raven was ok – we’ve been there in that situation with an escape artist dog. Long story short; five hours of frantic looking (and blubbering), only to find her two dorrs down sitting next to the neighbours dog in his kennel! Little tart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It sounds like you have an ideal place for your cats to enjoy the outdoors, Robbie. And I’m so glad they stick mostly to your property.

      Both books were fabulous, but Kevin O’Brien’s is a super easy read. It flies by at a quick pace, and yes–it has plenty of chill factors in it. I think you’d enjoy it!

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  8. OMG, Mae, I can empathize with your meltdown over Raven and the open door. Years ago someone left my kitchen door just slightly ajar, not quite secure. This was when we had our precious Bassett hound, Daisy Josette. When I came home from work and opened the garage door, out ambled Daisy. By the time I pulled over, exited the car, and tried to guide traffic she had “ambled” at full speed to the next block. Luckily she was entranced by something there and more or less waited for me to drive over and lug her sweet butt into the car. I’m glad Raven was safe under the bed. Thank you for all the marvelous books you share.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ve had that happen–the door thing. It makes me wonder if I’m getting too old! So glad your cat was safe. My dog is afraid of everything so I don’t think even an open door would entice him outdoors.

    Good reviews. Both sound interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacqui, it’s the first time we ever had the door open like that. Now, I lock it from the inside each time. My husband is convinced Raven wouldn’t have wandered far if she got out, but I worry about something scaring her that would frighten her off. In any event, (fingers crossed) it’s not going to happen again.

      Both books are excellent! 🙂

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  10. Whew! Raven is safe! It’s scary wondering what happened to an MIA pet. Years ago one of our cats went AWOL. A day went by (they are indoor/outdoor cats but always come in at night), then the next day heard her crying from the top of the silo! She had somehow managed to get onto the granery and into the silo (we suspect she was hunting pigeons), and got stuck. We had to rescue her twice before we found where she was getting into the silo and patched it up.

    Great reviews! Now if I can whittle my TBR list down…

    Liked by 2 people

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