Get ready, because Black Friday is just around the corner and Christmas is right on its heels. The holidays will be here before you know it, so to lend a hand, I’ve compiled a guide to help you score big with the readers in your life this year.
First and foremost, if you haven’t already, check out my Amazon Influencer page here. I don’t personally sell these (or any other) products, but last year Amazon officially recognized The Real Book Spy as an “online influencer” and asked me to compile a list of items I use on a daily basis. Over time, that list has grown, and I personally use and endorse each product you’ll find on the list.
For everything else, browse the list below!
Unless you’re buying a hardcover or paperback copy, you’ll need an e-reader to browse your favorite titles. It turns out that there are actually some really affordable options, including several models of Kindles and even the more powerful iPad lineup from Apple.
E-readers are on the rise, and when it comes to gift-giving, you can actually purchase someone who might be traveling, or even just someone who doesn’t have room for an expanding hardcover collection, a tablet pre-loaded with dozens of books. Here’s a couple of devices I’ve personally used . . .
- The next generation of our best-selling Fire tablet ever – now thinner, lighter, and with longer battery life and an improved display. More durable than the latest iPad
- Beautiful 7″ IPS display with higher contrast and sharper text, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, and up to 8 hours of battery life. 8 or 16 GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for up to 256 GB of expandable storage.
- Just ask Alexa for quick access to the information and entertainment you want. Ask questions, play music, check your calendar, get the news, weather, and more.
- Ask Alexa to call or message almost anyone, or make video calls to family and friends with a Fire tablet, Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App. Instantly connect to enabled Echo devices.
- Enjoy millions of movies, TV shows, songs, Kindle eBooks, apps and games – including Netflix, Facebook, HBO, Spotify, and more.
- Prime members get unlimited access to over a thousand books and magazines, millions of songs, and thousands of movies and TV episodes – at no additional cost.
- Watch downloaded videos anywhere with a Prime membership, Netflix plan, or Showtime subscription.
Note: If 7″ just isn’t big enough for you, they do make an even bigger 10″ model that’s more expensive, but packs a bigger punch.
- The thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet—with a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight.
- Now waterproof, so you’re free to read and relax at the beach, by the pool, or in the bath.
- Enjoy twice the storage with 8 GB. Or choose 32 GB to hold more magazines, comics, and audiobooks.
- Now with Audible. Pair with Bluetooth headphones or speakers to listen to your story.
- A single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours.
- The built-in adjustable light lets you read indoors and outdoors, day and night.
- Get instant access to new releases and bestsellers, plus over a million titles at $2.99 or less.
Note: There are two things about the Paperwhite that make this device stand out. First, it’s waterproof, which is awesome even if you’re not planning to sit and read by the pool or on the beach. Just knowing it’s protected from spills is nice. Secondly, for those who are planning to read while lounging by the pool or on the beach, this is the only e-reader I’ve come across that makes reading in the sunlight possible. It’s a simple device, sure, but it’s elite at what it’s asked to do: provide a nice reading experience without all the frills of a more tricked-out tablet.
- Up to $119 in savings on Fire HD 10 tablet, 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, and a Kid-Proof Case, versus items purchased separately ─ plus a 2-year worry-free guarantee.
- Not a toy, a full-featured Fire HD 10 tablet with a brilliant 10.1” 1080p Full HD display (1920 x 1200), 32 GB internal storage, and up to 10 hours of mixed-use battery life. Add a microSD card for up to 256 GB of expandable storage.
- The included 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited gives your kids access to 15,000 popular apps and games, videos, books, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more. Your subscription will then automatically renew every month starting at just $2.99 per month plus applicable tax. You may cancel at any time by visiting the Amazon Parent Dashboard or contacting Customer Service.
- 2-year worry-free guarantee: if they break it, return it and we’ll replace it for free. No questions asked.
- Our largest display, now with over 2 million pixels, stereo speakers, Dolby Audio, and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi—perfect for watching Full HD videos, playing games, reading books, and streaming content seamlessly.
- Add even more content to your child’s profile in FreeTime to give them selected access to apps in your personal library, such as Netflix, YouTube, and Minecraft.
- Easy-to-use parental controls allow parents to personalize screen time limits, set educational goals, filter age-appropriate content, and also manage web browsing and content usage. Parental controls can be set on device or online through Amazon Parent Dashboard. Additionally, access all tablet features in the adult profile by entering your passcode.
- Amazon Parent Dashboard with Discussion Cards enables parents to discover the titles their kids enjoy and connect with them through rich conversations about these titles.
Note: I’ve got half-a-dozen broken devices that prove kids are accident-prone when it comes to electronics. Thankfully, Kindle made a version of their popular Fire HD tablet just for them. This device doesn’t have the power of, say, Apple’s most basic iPad model, but it does offer more parental peace of mind because kids won’t have access to everything on the web thanks to Kindle’s kids-in-mind design. Also, this Kindle is available in a variety of colors ranging from blue to pink.
- 7.9″ Retina display (diagonal) with anti-reflective coating, 2048 x 1536 Resolution at 326 pixels per inch (ppi)
- Dual-Core A8 Chip with Quad-Core Graphics with 64-bit architecture, 128GB Capacity
- 802.11a/ b/ g/ n/ ac WiFi + MIMO(WiFi only Version), Bluetooth 4.2, 8MP iSight camera with 1080p video Recording, FaceTime HD camera, Lightning to USB Charging
- Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into Home button, Two speaker audio,, Apple Pay supported, Apple iPad Smart Cover compatible (Sold separately, custom options available)
- Apple iOS, Up to 10 Hours of Battery Life, Weights 0.65 lbs, Color: Space Gray
Note: My wife and I have six kids. After previously buying Kindles, they all (minus our one-year-old) have this exact model of iPad. The price tag is a bit higher than Kindle, that’s true, but the iPad does so much more than Amazon’s e-reader. Aside from having access to all the best apps in the world and a nearly unlimited amount of streaming content, the iPad comes equiped with iBooks — which is my personal favorite reading app out there. The real kicker, though, is that the iPad has a Kindle app, so you can actually read Kindle books (and transfer them right from your Amazon account) on Apple’s leading tablet. For us, it’s been worth the money to get these for our kids, but all the above options are solid choices too.
BONUS: You can always snag an Amazon gift card too, which can be used for ebooks, e-readers, or even audiobooks and/or physical copies too. Get those here.
Now on to the books . . .
The Other Woman by Daniel Silva
From Daniel Silva, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author, comes a modern masterpiece of espionage, love, and betrayal
She was his best-kept secret …
In an isolated village in the mountains of Andalusia, a mysterious Frenchwoman begins work on a dangerous memoir. It is the story of a man she once loved in the Beirut of old, and a child taken from her in treason’s name. The woman is the keeper of the Kremlin’s most closely guarded secret. Long ago, the KGB inserted a mole into the heart of the West—a mole who stands on the doorstep of ultimate power.
Only one man can unravel the conspiracy: Gabriel Allon, the legendary art restorer and assassin who serves as the chief of Israel’s vaunted secret intelligence service. Gabriel has battled the dark forces of the new Russia before, at great personal cost. Now he and the Russians will engage in a final epic showdown, with the fate of the postwar global order hanging in the balance.
Gabriel is lured into the hunt for the traitor after his most important asset inside Russian intelligence is brutally assassinated while trying to defect in Vienna. His quest for the truth will lead him backward in time, to the twentieth century’s greatest act of treason, and, finally, to a spellbinding climax along the banks of the Potomac River outside Washington that will leave readers breathless.
Fast as a bullet, hauntingly beautiful, and filled with stunning double-crosses and twists of plot, The Other Woman is a tour de force that proves once again that “of all those writing spy novels today, Daniel Silva is quite simply the best” (Kansas City Star).
Spymaster by Brad Thor
The newest thriller in the #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and #1 Publishers Weekly bestselling series!
Across Europe, a secret organization has begun attacking diplomats. Back in the United States, a foreign ally demands the identity of a highly placed covert asset. In the balance hang the ingredients for all-out war.
With his mentor out of the game, counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath must take on the role he has spent his career avoiding. But, as with everything else he does, he intends to rewrite the rules—all of them.
In Spymaster, Scot Harvath is more cunning, more dangerous, and deadlier than ever before.
If you have never read a Brad Thor novel, this is the place to start!
Red War by Kyle Mills
The #1 New York Times bestselling series returns with Mitch Rapp racing to prevent Russia’s gravely ill leader from starting a full-scale war with NATO.
“Mills is the only writer capable of filling the enormous void left by Vince Flynn.”—The Real Book Spy
When Russian president Maxim Krupin discovers that he has inoperable brain cancer, he’s determined to cling to power. His first task is to kill or imprison any of his countrymen who can threaten him. Soon, though, his illness becomes serious enough to require a more dramatic diversion—war with the West.
Upon learning of Krupin’s condition, CIA director Irene Kennedy understands that the US is facing an opponent who has nothing to lose. The only way to avoid a confrontation that could leave millions dead is to send Mitch Rapp to Russia under impossibly dangerous orders. With the Kremlin’s entire security apparatus hunting him, he must find and kill a man many have deemed the most powerful in the world.
Success means averting a war that could consume all of Europe. But if his mission is discovered, Rapp will plunge Russia and America into a conflict that neither will survive.
“In the world of black-ops thrillers, Mitch Rapp continues to be among the best of the best” (Booklist, starred review).
The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WHO IS NOLA BROWN?
Nola is a mystery
Nola is trouble.
And Nola is supposed to be dead.
Her body was found on a plane that mysteriously fell from the sky as it left a secret military base in the Alaskan wilderness. Her commanding officer verifies she’s dead. The US government confirms it. But Jim “Zig” Zigarowski has just found out the truth: Nola is still alive. And on the run.
Zig works at Dover Air Force Base, helping put to rest the bodies of those who die on top-secret missions. Nola was a childhood friend of Zig’s daughter and someone who once saved his daughter’s life. So when Zig realizes Nola is still alive, he’s determined to find her. Yet as Zig digs into Nola’s past, he learns that trouble follows Nola everywhere she goes.
Nola is the U.S. Army’s artist-in-residence-a painter and trained soldier who rushes into battle, making art from war’s aftermath and sharing observations about today’s wars that would otherwise go overlooked. On her last mission, Nola saw something nobody was supposed to see, earning her an enemy unlike any other, one who will do whatever it takes to keep Nola quiet.
Together, Nola and Zig will either reveal a sleight of hand being played at the highest levels of power or die trying to uncover the US Army’s most mysterious secret-a centuries-old conspiracy that traces back through history to the greatest escape artist of all: Harry Houdini.
The Terminal List by Jack Carr
“Double the trouble, twice the action, and quadruple the enjoyment. Careful while reading this one, it could leave a mark.”—Steve Berry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Order
A Navy SEAL has nothing left to live for and everything to kill for after he discovers that the American government is behind the deaths of his team in this ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller.
On his last combat deployment, Lieutenant Commander James Reece’s entire team was killed in a catastrophic ambush that also claimed the lives of the aircrew sent in to rescue them. But when those dearest to him are murdered on the day of his homecoming, Reece discovers that this was not an act of war by a foreign enemy but a conspiracy that runs to the highest levels of government.
Now, with no family and free from the military’s command structure, Reece applies the lessons that he’s learned in over a decade of constant warfare toward avenging the deaths of his family and teammates. With breathless pacing and relentless suspense, Reece ruthlessly targets his enemies in the upper echelons of power without regard for the laws of combat or the rule of law.
An intoxicating thriller that cautions against the seduction of absolute power and those who would do anything to achieve it, The Terminal List is perfect for fans of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Stephen Hunter, and Nelson DeMille.
Skyjack by K.J. Howe
In the follow-up to her exhilarating debut, The Freedom Broker, K.J. Howe delivers a “riveting” and “rip-roaring” thriller perfect for fans of Sandra Brown and Lisa Gardner.
International kidnap expert Thea Paris is escorting two former child soldiers on a plane from an orphanage in Kanzi, Africa, to adoptive parents in London when the Boeing Business Jet is hijacked and forced to make an emergency landing in the remote Libyan desert.
When the dust settles on a tense negotiation, Thea finds herself at the beck and call of a ruthless criminal who will stop at nothing to crush his rivals, even if it means forcing her to break international law.
Revealing a deadly conspiracy that connects the dark postwar legacy of World War II to the present, this case will bring all parties to an explosive conclusion that will decide the fate of millions across Europe and the Middle East.
Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz
Forever and a Day is the story of the birth of a legend, in the brutal underworld of the French Riviera, taking readers into the very beginning of James Bond’s illustrious career and the formation of his identity.
M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. “We have no choice. We’re just going to bring forward this other chap you’ve been preparing. But you didn’t tell me his name.”
“‘It’s Bond, sir,’” the Chief of Staff replied. “James Bond.”
The sea keeps its secrets. But not this time.
One body. Three bullets. 007 floats in the waters of Marseille, killed by an unknown hand.
It’s time for a new agent to step up. Time for a new weapon in the war against organized crime.
It’s time for James Bond to earn his license to kill.
Agent in Place by Mark Greaney
From Mark Greaney, the New York Times bestselling author of Gunmetal Gray and the coauthor of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels, comes a high-stakes thriller featuring the world’s most dangerous assassin: the Gray Man.
Fresh off his first mission back with the CIA, Court Gentry secures what seems like a cut-and-dried contract job: A group of expats in Paris hires him to kidnap the mistress of Syrian dictator Ahmed Azzam to get intel that could destabilize Azzam’s regime. Court delivers Bianca Medina to the rebels, but his job doesn’t end there. She soon reveals that she has given birth to a son, the only heir to Azzam’s rule–and a potent threat to the Syrian president’s powerful wife. Now, to get Bianca’s cooperation, Court must bring her son out of Syria alive.
With the clock ticking on Bianca’s life, he goes off the grid in a free-fire zone in the Middle East–and winds up in the right place at the right time to take a shot at bringing one of the most brutal dictatorships on earth to a close…
Overkill by Ted Bell
Putting it all on the line to rescue his kidnapped son pits counterspy Alex Hawke against Russian President Vladimir Putin in this action-packed thriller from New York Times bestselling author Ted Bell.
On a ski vacation in the Swiss Alps high above St. Moritz, Alex Hawke and his young son, Alexei, are thrust into danger when the tram carrying them to the top of the mountain bursts into flame, separating the two. Before he can reach Alexei, the boy is snatched from the burning cable car by unknown assailants in a helicopter.
Meanwhile, high above the skies of France, Vladimir Putin is aboard his presidential jet after escaping a bloodless coup in the Kremlin. When two flight attendants collapse and slip into unconsciousness, the Russian leader realizes the danger isn’t over. Killing the pilots, he grabs a parachute, steps out of the plane . . . and disappears.
Hawke has led his share of dangerous assignments, but none with stakes this high. To save his son, he summons his trusted colleagues, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard Ambrose Congreve, former U.S. Navy SEAL Stokley Jones, Jr., and recruits a crack Hostage Rescue Team—a group of elite soldiers of fortune known as “Thunder & Lighting.” Before they can devise a rescue plan, Hawke must figure out who took his boy—and why. An operative who has fought antagonists around the globe, Hawke has made many enemies; one in particular may hold the key to finding Alexei before it’s too late.
But an unexpected threat complicates their mission. Making his way to “Falcon’s Lair,” the former Nazi complex created for Hitler, Putin is amassing an impressive armory that he intends to use for his triumphant return to Moscow.
Only one man can smash the Russian president’s plan for domination—a master counterspy who will cross every line to save his son . . . and maybe save the world itself in the bargain.
The Kremlin Conspiracy by Joel C. Rosenberg
New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg returns with a high-stakes political thriller set in Russia.
Everything he learned to protect our president, he must use to take out theirs.
With an American president distracted by growing tensions in North Korea and Iran, an ominous new threat is emerging in Moscow. A czar is rising in the Kremlin, a Russian president feverishly consolidating power, silencing his opposition, and plotting a brazen and lightning-fast military strike that could rupture the NATO alliance and bring Washington and Moscow to the brink of nuclear war. But in his blind spot is former U.S. Secret Service agent Marcus Ryker, trained to protect but ready to kill to save his country.
Operator Down by Brad Taylor
Former Special Forces Officer and New York Times bestselling author Brad Taylor delivers a heart-pounding thriller where Pike Logan’s search for a Mossad agent and ally puts him on a collision course with a ruthless military coup in Africa—and tests his loyalties to the Taskforce.
It was to be a simple mission. Nothing more than assessing whether a merchant in the fabled Israeli Diamond Exchange was involved in a scheme that could potentially embarrass the state of Israel. But nothing is ever simple in the world of intelligence, as Aaron Bergman—a former leader of an elite direct action team under the Mossad—should have known. Executing the operation as a contractor, a cutout that gave the State of Israel plausible deniability, he disappears without a trace.
Pike Logan and his team know none of this, but he’s tracking an American arms dealer in Tel Aviv who may—or may not—be attempting to sell sensitive nuclear weapons components to the highest bidder. When Pike’s team breaks up an attempt at killing Shoshana, Aaron’s partner, they stumble upon much more than they expected—a concerted conspiracy to topple a democratic African country.
Beginning to untangle a web that extends through both the American and Israeli intelligence community, Pike is forced to choose between his Israeli friends and his Taskforce mission, even as the execution of the coup begins to form. At the heart of it is Aaron, and his disappearance is the one mistake the plotters made. Because Shoshana is the greatest killing machine the Mossad has ever produced, and she will stop at nothing to help Aaron, even if it means killing Pike Logan.
Bloody Sunday by Ben Coes
The latest in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Dewey Andreas series.
North Korea, increasingly isolated from most of the rest of the world, is led by an absolute dictator and a madman with a major goal―he’s determined to launch a nuclear attack on the United States. While they have built, and continue to successfully test nuclear bombs, North Korea has yet to develop a ballistic missile with the range necessary to attack America. But their missiles are improving, reaching a point where the U.S. absolutely must respond.
What the U.S. doesn’t know is that North Korea has made a deal with Iran. In exchange for effective missiles from Iran, they will trade nuclear triggers and fissionable material. An exchange, if it goes through, that will create two new nuclear powers, both with dangerous plans.
Dewey Andreas, still reeling from recent revelations about his own past, is ready to retire from the CIA. But he’s the only available agent with the skills to carry out the CIA’s plan to stop North Korea. The plan is to inject a singular designer poison into the head of the North Korean military and in exchange for the nuclear plans, provide him with the one existing dose of the antidote. But it goes awry when Dewey manages to inject a small amount of the poison into himself. Now, to survive, Dewey must get into North Korea and access the antidote and, while there, thwart the nuclear ambitions of both North Korea and Iran. And he has less than 24 hours to do so―in the latest thriller from Ben Coes.
American Operator by Andrews & Wilson
An explosive, high-stakes thriller of espionage and counterterrorism by the Wall Street Journal bestselling authors of Tier One.
A shocking attack in Ankara leaves the US Ambassador to Turkey dead and his chief of staff, Amanda Allen, in the hands of brutal terrorists. But Allen is no ordinary diplomat. She’s undercover CIA. The DNI and the President turn to Ember, America’s premier black-ops task force, and its deadliest weapon, former Tier One Navy SEAL John Dempsey, for help. To find Allen, Ember gets embedded in the most dangerous battlefield on Earth: Syria. But when all communications are disabled by an attack in Turkey, Dempsey finds himself with no backup—a lone shadow warrior racing against time to rescue Allen from her captors before she reaches her breaking point.
What Dempsey doesn’t realize is that Allen is just a pawn in a much larger game. A new player has already been unleashed: a legendary mercenary who matches the American Operator in skill, tactical prowess, and a killer instinct for survival. Now there is far more at stake than a kidnapped CIA agent. Dempsey and his team better get this one right, because the balance of power for the entire Middle East rests on their shoulders. And the new threat is far more dangerous than any Dempsey has encountered in his decades waging war against terrorism. Game on.
Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz
Evan Smoak―government assassin gone rogue―returns in Hellbent, an engrossing, unputdownable thriller from Gregg Hurwitz, the latest in his #1 international bestselling Orphan X series.
Taken from a group home at age twelve, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as an off-the-books government assassin: Orphan X. After he broke with the Orphan Program, Evan disappeared and reinvented himself as the Nowhere Man, a man spoken about only in whispers and dedicated to helping the truly desperate.
But this time, the voice on the other end is Jack Johns, the man who raised and trained him, the only father Evan has ever known. Secret government forces are busy trying to scrub the remaining assets and traces of the Orphan Program and they have finally tracked down Jack. With little time remaining, Jack gives Evan his last assignment: find and protect his last protégé and recruit for the program.
But Evan isn’t the only one after this last Orphan―the new head of the Orphan Program, Van Sciver, is mustering all the assets at his disposal to take out both Evan (Orphan X) and the target he is trying to protect.
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Tom Clancy Line of Sight by Mike Maden
Jack Ryan Jr. finds that the scars of war can last a lifetime in the latest entry in Tom Clancy’s #1 New York Times bestselling series.
Twenty-six years ago, Dr. Cathy Ryan restored the eyesight of a young Bosnian girl who had been injured during an attack in the Bosnian War. Today, her son Jack Ryan Jr. has agreed to track down the young woman and deliver a letter from his mother. What he finds shocks them both.
The helpless child has grown into a remarkable woman. Aida Curic is a self-possessed beauty with a big heart and an even bigger secret who runs a controversial refugee agency near Sarajevo. Jack finds himself deeply drawn to both her and her country, but soon finds himself in the crosshairs of the seething ethnic tensions and ancient blood feuds of the Balkans, the region of Europe where empires go to die. If Jack can’t navigate the world of secret service agencies, special operators and local mafias to save Aida, Sarajevo will prove the be the fuse that lights the next world war.
Tom Clancy Oath of Office by Marc Cameron
Marine officer. CIA analyst. President. Jack Ryan has devoted his life to protecting the United States. What if this time, he can’t? President Ryan and the Campus return in the latest entry in Tom Clancy’s #1 New York Times-bestselling series.
Freedom may have finally arrived in Iran. As protests break out across the country, the media rejoices over the so-called Persian Spring. Western leaders are ecstatic. Members of Congress and the Cabinet clamor to back the rebels. Only President Jack Ryan remains wary.
Meanwhile, he has plenty to handle at home. A deadly strain of flu is ravaging the United States as spring floods decimate the Southeast. An unethical senator wants to bring down the Ryan presidency and is willing to lean on fabricated bot-planted stories to do it.
But the scariest story is the most closely guarded one. Two Russian nuclear missiles have been hijacked. The Campus gets their first break when Jack Junior connects with a rogue Russian intelligence officer in Afghanistan–only to be abducted soon after arriving. John Clark and the rest of the Campus team race to track the missiles and rescue their colleague.
As sensationalized stories spin out of control and the stolen missiles remain out of reach, President Ryan’s toughest challenge emerges: How do you meet an enemy head-on, when he won’t even show you his face?
Field of Valor by Matthew Betley
Set in the aftermath of Betley’s “machine-gun pace” (Booklist) Oath of Honor and the discovery of a deadly global conspiracy, the president requests Logan West to form a covert task force with the mission to dismantle a nameless enemy.
With the full resources of the Justice Department, Intelligence Community, and the military (not to mention presidential pardons pre-signed), Logan must battle a secret organization with the connections and funding to rival many first-world nations. The goal of this organization is both singular and sinister—to pit the United States against China in a bid to dismantle the world’s security and economy. Back on US soil, Logan and his task force pursue the elusive foe from the woods of northern Virginia to the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, from suburban Maryland across the urban sprawl of Washington DC. The stakes have never been higher for Logan or America itself…
Reaper: Ghost Target by Nicholas Irving and A.J. Tata
The explosive new thriller series written by Nicholas Irving, the New York Times bestselling author of The Reaper and star of Fox’s American Grit.
American hero, or unhinged vigilante?
In Reaper: Ghost Target, Vick “The Reaper” Harwood is an esteemed sniper with a record kill count―33 kills in 90 days―when he is knocked out under mortar attack in Afghanistan. He wakes up back in the United States with little memory of what happened, his spotter and gun both unrecovered from the battlefield. Harwood has resigned himself to slowly picking up the pieces of his life, training Special Forces snipers in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and starting a promising relationship with an Olympic medalist named Jackie.
But when a series of assassinations start occurring in the area, Harwood can’t explain why he just happens to be nearby for each killing―or how a sniper rifle that matches the description of the one he lost seems to be involved. His memory of the past few days is hazy and full of blackouts, and even he has to wonder, is he being framed? Or is he the killer?
As Harwood runs from the authorities, his girlfriend falls off the radar, his missing spotter resurfaces, and the assassinated men are outed as drug and sex traffickers. Nothing is adding up. Harwood realizes he has to unravel this mystery, and fast, or find himself paying the ultimate price for crimes he may not have committed.
Man of War by Sean Parnell
“An exciting, action-packed debut! Bristling with intrigue, deceit, power, and treason—once you pick this book up, you will NOT be able to put it down. Sean Parnell has knocked it out of the park!”—Brad Thor
The New York Times bestselling author of Outlaw Platoon makes his fiction debut with this electrifying military thriller—a gripping tale of action, suspense, and international intrigue that introduces a compelling new hero, Eric Steele.
Eric Steele is the best of the best—an Alpha—an elite clandestine operative assigned to a US intelligence unit known simply as the “Program.” A superbly trained Special Forces soldier who served several tours fighting radical Islamic militants in Afghanistan, Steele now operates under the radar, using a deadly combination of espionage and brute strength to root out his enemies and neutralize them.
But when a man from Steele’s past attacks a military convoy and steals a nuclear weapon, Steele and his superiors at the White House are blindsided. Moving from Washington, DC, to the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, Steele must use his considerable skills to hunt this rogue agent, a former brother-in-arms who might have been a friend, and find the WMD before it can reach the United States—and the world is forever changed.
Past Tense by Lee Child
Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child, “a superb craftsman of suspense” (Entertainment Weekly).
Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.
At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.
The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, Was he ever there in the first place?
As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense . . . and deadly.
The Disappeared by C.J. Box
Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett has two lethal cases to contend with in this electrifying #1New York Times-bestseller from C. J. Box.
Wyoming’s new governor isn’t sure what to make of Joe Pickett, but he has a job for him that is extremely delicate. A prominent female British executive never came home from the high-end guest ranch she was visiting, and the British Embassy is pressing hard. Pickett knows that happens sometimes–these ranches are stocked with handsome young cowboys, and “ranch romances” aren’t uncommon. But no sign of her months after she vanished? That suggests something else.
At the same time, his friend Nate Romanowski has asked Joe to intervene with the feds on behalf of falconers who can no longer hunt with eagles even though their permits are in order. Who is blocking the falconers and why? The more he investigates both cases, the more someone wants him to go away. Is it because of the missing woman or because he’s become Nate’s advocate? Or are they somehow connected? The answers, when they come, will be even worse than he’d imagined.
Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch teams up with LAPD detective Renée Ballard to solve the murder of a young girl in the new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.
Detective Renée Ballard is working the night beat — known in LAPD slang as “the late show” — and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin.
Ballard can’t let him go through department records, but when he leaves, she looks into the case herself and feels a deep tug of empathy and anger. She has never been the kind of cop who leaves the job behind at the end of her shift — and she wants in.
The murder, unsolved, was of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally killed, her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy, and to finally bring her killer to justice. Along the way, the two detectives forge a fragile trust, but this new partnership is put to the test when the case takes an unexpected and dangerous turn.
Dark Sacred Night for the first time brings together these two powerhouse detectives in a riveting story that unfolds with furious momentum. And it shows once more why “there’s no doubt Connelly is a master of crime fiction” (Associated Press).
After Anna by Lisa Scottoline
Riveting and disquieting, After Anna is a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline keeps readers on their toes until the final shocking page.
Nobody cuts deeper than family…
Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.
Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.
Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.
The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER OWN MURDER?
New York Times bestselling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz has yet again brilliantly reinvented the classic crime novel, this time writing a fictional version of himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes.
One bright spring morning in London, Diana Cowper – the wealthy mother of a famous actor – enters a funeral parlor. She is there to plan her own service.
Six hours later she is found dead, strangled with a curtain cord in her own home.
Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric investigator who’s as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. Hawthorne needs a ghost writer to document his life; a Watson to his Holmes. He chooses Anthony Horowitz.
Drawn in against his will, Horowitz soon finds himself a the center of a story he cannot control. Hawthorne is brusque, temperamental and annoying but even so his latest case with its many twists and turns proves irresistible. The writer and the detective form an unusual partnership. At the same time, it soon becomes clear that Hawthorne is hiding some dark secrets of his own.
A masterful and tricky mystery that springs many surprises, The Word is Murder is Anthony Horowitz at his very best.
Wrecked by Joe Ide
In this outrageous novel from Joe Ide, “the best thing to happen to mystery writing in a very long time” (New York Times), the case of a young artist’s missing mother sets IQ on a collision course with his own Moriarty.
Isaiah Quintabe–IQ for short–has never been more successful, or felt more alone. A series of high-profile wins in his hometown of East Long Beach have made him so notorious that he can hardly go to the corner store without being recognized. Dodson, once his sidekick, is now his full-fledged partner, hell-bent on giving IQ’s PI business some real legitimacy: a Facebook page, and IQ’s promise to stop accepting Christmas sweaters and carpet cleanings in exchange for PI services.
So when a young painter approaches IQ for help tracking down her missing mother, it’s not just the case Isaiah’s looking for, but the human connection. And when his new confidant turns out to be connected to a dangerous paramilitary operation, IQ falls victim to a threat even a genius can’t see coming.
Waiting for Isaiah around every corner is Seb, the Oxford-educated African gangster who was responsible for the death of his brother, Marcus. Only, this time, Isaiah’s not alone. Joined by a new love interest and his familiar band of accomplices, IQ is back–and the adventures are better than ever.
Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner
In this exhilarating thriller inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix faces off against a charming, merciless serial killer.
In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another, from her car at a stoplight. A mother is ripped from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin.
Caitlin’s unit discovers the first victim’s body in the woods, laid out in a bloodstained white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest’s darkness. Around the bodies, Polaroid photos are stuck in the earth like headstones, picturing other women with their wrists slashed. The women in the woods are not the killer’s first victims, nor are they likely to be his last.
To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind; he is a confident, meticulous killer, capable of charming his victims until their guard is down, snatching them in plain sight. He then plays out a twisted fantasy—turning them into dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin’s profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people’s trust. But can they apprehend him before it’s too late? As Saturday night approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims his next victim.
The Sinners by Ace Atkins
In the new novel from New York Times-bestselling crime master Ace Atkins, violence comes in many forms…and this time it may be more than Quinn Colson can handle.
The Pritchards had never been worth a damn–an evil, greedy family who made their living dealing drugs and committing mayhem. Years ago, Colson’s late uncle had put the clan’s patriarch in prison, but now he’s getting out, with revenge, power, and family business on his mind. To make matters worse, a shady trucking firm with possible ties to the Gulf Coast syndicate has moved into Tibbehah, and they have their own methods of intimidation.
With his longtime deputy Lillie Virgil now working up in Memphis, Quinn Colson finds himself having to fall back on some brand-new deputies to help him out, but with Old West-style violence breaking out, and his own wedding on the horizon, this is without a doubt Colson’s most trying time as sheriff. Cracks are opening up all over the county, and shadowy figures are crawling out through them–and they’re all heading directly for him.
The Outsider by Stephen King
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.
An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.
As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.
Robicheaux by James Lee Burke
New York Times Bestseller
James Lee Burke’s most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in this gritty, atmospheric mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana.
DAVE ROBICHEAUX IS A HAUNTED MAN.
Between his recurrent nightmares about Vietnam, his battle with alcoholism, and the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts at Spanish Lake live on the edge of his vision.
During a murder investigation, Dave Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he’s investigating, one which involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave’s beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves. What emerges is not only a propulsive and thrilling novel, but a harrowing study of America: this nation’s abiding conflict between a sense of past grandeur and a legacy of shame, its easy seduction by demagogues and wealth, and its predilection for violence and revenge. James Lee Burke has returned with one of America’s favorite characters, in his most searing, most prescient novel to date.
The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker
A 4MK Thriller
Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.
Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.
The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
Brad Thor’s Summer 2018 Fiction Pick for THE TODAY SHOW!
“Eerie, dark, and compelling, [The Book of M] will not disappoint lovers of The Passage (2010) and Station Eleven (2014).” –Booklist
WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE UP TO REMEMBER?
Set in a dangerous near-future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart but on the world itself.
One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.
Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.
Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.
As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.
Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.
Can’t-Miss Suspense Thrillers
The Three Beths by Jeff Abbott
From New York Times bestselling writer Jeff Abbott, a psychologically intense and emotionally gripping new suspense novel about a daughter’s desperate search for her missing mother-one that may lead her closer to home than she ever anticipated.
My mom would never leave me.
This has been Mariah Dunning’s motto. Her compass. Her belief. So when she glimpses her mother–who’s been missing for the past year–on the other side of a crowded food court, Mariah’s conviction becomes stronger than ever. Or is she losing her mind?
An unlikely coincidence?
When Beth Dunning disappeared without a trace, suspicion for her murder-despite the lack of a body or any physical evidence-immediately fell upon Mariah’s father. Until Mariah stumbles upon two other recent disappearances from Lakehaven. And all three women had the same name: Beth.
Or a sinister connection?
Mariah would give anything to find out what happened to her mother, and clear her father’s name. But the truth may be more devastating than she could have imagined…
Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison
The follow-up to her critically acclaimed Lie to Me, J.T. Ellison’s Tear Me Apart is the powerful story of a mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter even as their carefully constructed world unravels around them.
One moment will change their lives forever…
Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she’s suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.
Who knows the answers?
The race to save Mindy’s life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family’s deepest secrets.
With vivid movement through time, Tear Me Apart examines the impact layer after layer of lies and betrayal has on two families, the secrets they guard, and the desperate fight to hide the darkness within.
The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
THE REESE WITHERSPOON X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK FOR NOVEMBER AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER
“One of the most twisted and entertaining plots.“―Reese Witherspoon
“Whiplash-inducing.”―New York Times Book Review
“Such fun you’ll cheer [Emily’s] chutzpah.”―PEOPLE
“This thriller will hit close to home.”―Refinery29
The most twisty, addictive and gripping debut thriller you’ll read this year.
HE LOVES YOU: Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet.
BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.
AND SHE’LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.
The Other Woman will have you questioning her on every page, in Sandie Jones’ chilling psychological suspense about a man, his new girlfriend, and the mother who will not let him go.
Dead Man Running by Steve Hamilton
Alex McKnight–hero of Steve Hamilton’s bestselling, award-winning, and beloved private eye series–is back in a high-stakes, nail-biting thriller, facing the most dangerous enemy he’s ever encountered.
On the Mediterranean Sea, a vacationer logs on to the security-camera feed from his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Something about his living room seems not quite right–the room is bright, when he’s certain he’d left the curtains closed. Rewinding through the feed, he sees an intruder. When he shifts to the bedroom camera, he sees the dead body.
Martin T. Livermore is the key suspect in the abduction and murder of at least five women, but he’s never been this sloppy before. When the FBI finally catches him in Scottsdale, he declares he’ll only talk to one person: a retired police officer from Detroit, now a private investigator living in the tiny town of Paradise, Michigan. A man named Alex McKnight.
Livermore means nothing to McKnight, but it soon becomes clear McKnight means something to Livermore…and that Livermore’s capture was only the beginning of an elaborate, twisted plot with McKnight at the center. In a hunt that will take him across the country and to the edge of his limits, McKnight fights to stop a vicious killer before he can exact his ultimate revenge. And his grand finale will cut closer to home than he ever could have imagined.
November Road by Lou Berney
Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America—a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.
Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out.
A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans’ mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry has learned that everybody is expendable. But now it’s his turn—he knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead, and Guidry suspects he’s next: he was in Dallas on an errand for the boss less than two weeks before the president was shot. With few good options, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas, to see an old associate—a dangerous man who hates Marcello enough to help Guidry vanish.
Guidry knows that the first rule of running is “don’t stop,” but when he sees a beautiful housewife on the side of the road with a broken-down car, two little daughters and a dog in the back seat, he sees the perfect disguise to cover his tracks from the hit men on his tail. Posing as an insurance man, Guidry offers to help Charlotte reach her destination, California. If she accompanies him to Vegas, he can help her get a new car.
For her, it’s more than a car— it’s an escape. She’s on the run too, from a stifling existence in small-town Oklahoma and a kindly husband who’s a hopeless drunk.
It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope—and find each other on the way.
Charlotte sees that he’s strong and kind; Guidry discovers that she’s smart and funny. He learns that’s she determined to give herself and her kids a new life; she can’t know that he’s desperate to leave his old one behind.
Another rule—fugitives shouldn’t fall in love, especially with each other. A road isn’t just a road, it’s a trail, and Guidry’s ruthless and relentless hunters are closing in on him. But now Guidry doesn’t want to just survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time.
Everyone’s expendable, or they should be, but now Guidry just can’t throw away the woman he’s come to love.
And it might get them both killed.
Need to Know by Karen Cleveland
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Perfect husband. Perfect father. Perfect liar?
Vivian Miller. High-powered CIA analyst happily married to a man she adores, mother of four beautiful children. Until the moment she makes a shocking discovery that makes her question everything she believes.
She thought she knew her husband inside and out. But now she wonders if it was all a lie. How far will she go to learn the truth? And does she really . . .
. . . NEED TO KNOW?
Closer Than You Know by Brad Parks
Brad Parks delivers a riveting, emotionally powerful stand-alone domestic suspense thriller perfect for fans of The Couple Next Door and What She Knew.
Disaster is always closer than you know.
It was a lesson Melanie Barrick learned the hard way growing up in the constant upheaval of foster care. But now that she’s survived into adulthood—with a loving husband, a steady job, and a beautiful baby boy named Alex—she thought that turmoil was behind her.
Until one Tuesday evening when she goes to pick up Alex from childcare only to discover he’s been removed by Social Services. And no one will say why. It’s a terrifying scenario for any parent, but doubly so for Melanie, who knows the unintended horrors of what everyone coldly calls “the system.”
Her nightmare grows worse when she arrives home to learn her house has been raided by sheriff’s deputies, who have found enough cocaine to send Melanie to prison for years. The evidence against her is overwhelming, and if Melanie can’t prove her innocence, she’ll lose Alex forever.
Meanwhile, assistant commonwealth’s attorney Amy Kaye—who has been assigned Melanie’s case—has her own troubles. She’s been dogged by a cold case no one wants her to pursue: a serial rapist who has avoided detection by wearing a mask and whispering his commands. Over the years, he has victimized dozens of women.
Including Melanie. Yet now her attacker might be the key to her salvation… or her undoing.
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE SUMMER—SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING SCANDAL’S KERRY WASHINGTON
An addictive psychological thriller about a group of women whose lives become unexpectedly connected when one of their newborns goes missing.
A night out. A few hours of fun. That’s all it was meant to be.
They call themselves the May Mothers—a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.
When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they are looking for a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.
Thirteen days. An unexpected twist. The Perfect Mother is a “true page-turner.” —B.A. Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.