Five Books To Binge Read During Christmas Break

Merry Christmas, thriller fans! 

It seems a lot of people are taking time off between Christmas and the start of 2018 because our inbox has been flooded with readers looking for recommendations to binge on while waiting to ring in the new year. If that’s you, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! 

Browse our list of five binge-worthy books below. To order, simply click on the book’s title or the “Order Now” link after the book info. Happy reading! 


 

Ben Coes Trap The DevilTrap The Devil by Ben Coes 

Book info:  “Only one man stands between a powerful cabal planning an invisible coup of the U.S. government and their brutal goals―Dewey Andreas.

A group of some of the most powerful people in the government, the military, and the private sector, has begun a brutal plan to quietly take over the reins of the U.S. government. They’ve begun to remove the people who stand in their way―and replace them with their own sympathizers and puppets. They’ve already taken out the Speaker of the House―whose death was made to look like an accidental drowning―and the president and vice president are next. Once they have their own people in place, they plan to start a bloody, brutal war on an unimaginable scale.

On restricted duty while he recovers from injuries incurred on a previous mission, Dewey Andreas is sent to Paris by CIA Director Hector Calibrisi. The Secretary of State is going there for secret talks, and Dewey is to be an extra layer of security above the State Department team. But what should be an easy mission couldn’t go more wrong. The cabal has sent in a hit man to take out the Secretary of State and lay the blame for this murder at the feet of Dewey himself.

With the Secretary of State dead, shot by Dewey’s weapon, Dewey is on the run and out in the cold, desperately trying to unravel the plot before the conspirators succeed in killing millions of innocents.”

Why it’s awesome: Ben Coes is insane. . . in a good way! Over the past few years, this guy has gone from serious up-and-comer to one of the biggest names in the action thriller genre. His latest political thriller reads like 24 on steroids. A few months ago I said Ben Coes is the next Vince Flynn, and this book proves it. Dewey Andreas has faced impossible odds and dangerous threats more times than I can count, but this time it’s different. The stakes are higher, and when you’re least expecting it, Coes punches you right in the gut with an emotional twist that elevates his entire series to new heights. 

If you’re down to read this Christmas break and want to get your binge on, make this the first book you dive into. 

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cj-box-vicious-cirlce-updated-cover-artVicious Circle by C.J. Box 

Book info: “The Cates family had always been a bad lot. Game warden Joe Pickett had been able to strike a fierce blow against them when the life of his daughter April had been endangered, but he’d always wondered if there’d be a day of reckoning. He’s not wondering any longer. Joe knows they’re coming after him and his family now. He has his friend Nate by his side, but will that be enough this time? All he can do is prepare…and wait for them to make the first move.”

Why it’s awesome: C.J. Box has developed his characters better than anyone else over the years, and it continues to pay off in new ways. By bringing back Dallas Cates (the much-hated rodeo king who first appeared in Box’s Stone Cold), Box gives Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett another worthy adversary to square off with. Longtime fans of Box’s series will recall that Dallas was first seen in the Picketts’ family room next to Joe and Marybeth’s daughter, April. He was slimy and dislikable then, but was much worse a book later when he returned in Endangered. That was the book where the Picketts and Cates had it out. . . things got Western, but they were never officially settled. Now things have come full circle–Dallas is back and looking to finish what was started two books prior.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to read the other books in Box’s series (though you absolutely should!) to figure out what’s happening in this one. Box gets readers up to speed, then takes ’em on one heck of a fun, suspense-filled, and action-packed ride. 

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Meg Gardiner UNSUBUNSUB by Meg Gardiner

Book info: A riveting psychological thriller inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer, about a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier.
 
Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.

The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack’s failure to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh—was the final nail in the coffin for a once-promising career.

Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.

Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the depths of the abyss?”

Why it’s awesome: There is a reason why UNSUB was picked up to be made into a TV show. . . because it’s really, really good. Caitlin Hendrix is a cop who, after growing up and seeing her father’s life ruined by a serial killer tormenting the Bay Area, finds herself chasing the same madman two decades later. Gardiner writes with Don Winslow-like finesse but mixes in Harlan Coben-like twists and turns. The ending is brilliant and will stay with you long after turning the final page. 

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steve-berry-the-lost-orderThe Lost Order by Steve Berry

Book info: “The Knights of the Golden Circle was the largest and most dangerous clandestine organization in American history. It amassed billions in stolen gold and silver, all buried in hidden caches across the United States. Since 1865 treasure hunters have searched, but little of that immense wealth has ever been found.

Now, one hundred and sixty years later, two factions of what remains of the Knights of the Golden Circle want that lost treasure―one to spend it for their own ends, the other to preserve it.

Thrust into this battle is former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone, whose connection to the knights is far deeper than he ever imagined. At the center is the Smithsonian Institution―linked to the knights, its treasure, and Malone himself through an ancestor, a Confederate spy named Angus “Cotton” Adams, whose story holds the key to everything. Complicating matters are the political ambitions of a reckless Speaker of the House and the bitter widow of a United States Senator, who together are planning radical changes to the country. And while Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt face the past, ex-president Danny Daniels and Stephanie Nelle confront a new and unexpected challenge, a threat that may cost one of them their life.

From the backrooms of the Smithsonian to the deepest woods in rural Arkansas, and finally up into the rugged mountains of northern New Mexico, The Lost Order by Steve Berry is a perilous adventure into our country’s dark past, and a potentially even darker future.”

Why it’s awesome: Think National Treasure meets Jason Bourne. . . or Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Mitch Rapp. First of all, who doesn’t love a good conspiracy? The Knights of the Golden Circle were one of the most powerful secret societies in American history. That sells this book on its own, but Berry packs so much awesomeness into this one that it’s hard to explain it without spoiling anything. There’s action, there are twists you’ll never see coming, and there are tons of historical facts woven into the fiction. From start to finish, this book is nearly unputdownable. You’ll learn a lot and it’s a ton of fun to read. It’s hard to beat that! 

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The president's shadow.jpgThe President’s Shadow by Brad Meltzer

Book info: “A severed arm, found buried in the White House Rose Garden.

A lethal message with terrible consequences for the Presidency.
And a hidden secret in one family’s past that will have repercussions for the entire nation.
 
To most, it looks like Beecher White has an ordinary job. A young staffer with the National Archives in Washington, D.C., he’s responsible for safekeeping the government’s most important documents . . . and, sometimes, its most closely held secrets.
 
But there are a powerful few who know his other role. Beecher is a member of the Culper Ring, a 200-year-old secret society founded by George Washington and charged with protecting the Presidency.
 
Now the current occupant of the White House needs the Culper Ring’s help. The alarming discovery of the buried arm has the President’s team in a rightful panic. Who buried the arm? How did they get past White House security? And most important: What’s the message hidden in the arm’s closed fist? Indeed, the puzzle inside has a clear intended recipient, and it isn’t the President. It’s Beecher, himself.
 
Beecher’s investigation will take him back to one of our country’s greatest secrets and point him toward the long, carefully hidden truth about the most shocking history of all: family history.”
 
Why it’s awesome: I can remember when this book came out. Honestly. . . Meltzer had me at “severed arm in the Rose Garden,” and I was chomping at the bit to read it. Spoiler: it doesn’t disappoint. Take everything I wrote about Steve Berry above and double it here–Meltzer is the king of mixing historical facts into his all-too-believable fiction. It’s actually the third book in the series, but you don’t have to read the first two to enjoy this one. Meltzer brought his A-game with this one. Of all the books he’s written, this one is my favorite. 

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