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Joe Hartlaub

Biography

Joe Hartlaub

Senior Writer
josephhartlaub@gmail.com

Joe Hartlaub is senior writer/reviewer for Bookreporter.com and has been with the site since 1997. In addition to reviewing for Bookreporter.com, Joe has had a number of short stories published in the crime and horror fields and is an actor, having had a supporting role in the critically acclaimed film LA-308. An entertainment attorney specializing in music and publishing, Joe lives in Westerville, Ohio with his family, who permit him to do a number of things that he probably shouldn't. He describes himself as a boring guy who lives a very interesting life. He has been a vociferous reader since he was four years old, starting with the Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie comic strips, before graduating to the Hardy Boys mystery series (the original one) before being thoroughly corrupted by Mickey Spillane and Richard Prather.

Joe Hartlaub

Reviews by Joe Hartlaub

by Lee Child - Fiction, Short Stories, Suspense, Thriller

Get ready for the ultimate Jack Reacher experience: a thrilling new novella and 11 previously published stories, together for the first time in one pulse-pounding collection from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child. NO MIDDLE NAME begins with “Too Much Time,” a brand-new work of short fiction that finds Reacher in a hollowed-out town in Maine, where he witnesses a random bag-snatching but sees much more than a simple crime.

by Ace Atkins - Fiction, Mystery

Connie Kelly thought she’d found her perfect man on an online dating site. She fell so hard for M. Brooks Welles that she wrote him a check for almost $300,000, hoping for a big return on her investment. But within weeks, both Welles and her money are gone. Enter Spenser, who quickly discovers that everything about Welles is phony. But uncovering the truth won’t be easy, as he’ll have to keep the mystery man alive long enough to get back his client’s money. As the trail winds from Boston to backroads Georgia, Spenser will need help from trusted allies Hawk and Teddy Sapp to make sure Welles’ next con is his last.

written by Agnete Friis, translated by Lindy Falk van Rooyen - Fiction, Mystery

Ella Nygaard has been a ward of the state since she was seven years old, the night her father murdered her mother. She doesn’t remember anything about that night or her childhood before it --- but her body does. The PTSD-induced panic attacks she now suffers incapacitate her for hours at a time, sometimes days. After one particularly bad episode lands Ella in a psych ward, she discovers that her son, Alex, has been taken from her by the state and placed with a foster family. Desperate not to lose him, Ella kidnaps Alex and flees to the seaside town in northern Denmark where she was born. But being there forces Ella to confront the demons of her childhood --- the monsters her memory has tried so hard to obscure.

by Brian Freeman - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Tens of thousands of people crowd into Duluth for the city's biggest annual event: the Duluth Marathon. But in a terrifying echo of the Boston bombing, there is an explosion along the race course, leaving many people dead and injured. Within minutes, Jonathan Stride, Serena Dial and Maggie Bei are at work with the FBI to find the terrorists behind the tragedy. One spectator remembers being jostled by a young man with a backpack not far from the bomb site. He spots a Muslim man in a tourist's photo of the event and is convinced that this was the individual who bumped into him in the crowd. But are the answers behind the bombing more complex than anyone realizes?

by Jo Nesbø - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

The murder victim is a self-declared Tinder addict. Two days later, there’s a second murder: a woman of the same age, a Tinder user, an eerily similar scene. The chief of police knows there’s only one man for this case. But Harry Hole is no longer with the force. He promised the woman he loves --- and himself --- that he’d never go back: not after his last case, which put the people closest to him in grave danger. But there’s something about these murders that catches his attention, something in the details that the investigators have missed. Now, despite his promises, despite everything he risks, Harry throws himself back into the hunt for a figure who haunts him, the monster who got away.

by Dennis Lehane - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

SINCE WE FELL follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths.

by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Fifteen months ago, Detective Lindsay Boxer's life was perfect --- she had a beautiful child and a doting husband, Joe, who helped her catch a criminal who'd brazenly detonated a bomb in downtown San Francisco. But Joe wasn't everything that Lindsay thought he was, and she's still reeling from his betrayal as a wave of mysterious heart attacks claims seemingly unrelated victims across San Francisco. As if that weren't enough, the bomber she and Joe captured is about to go on trial, and his defense raises damning questions about Lindsay and Joe's investigation. Lindsay must connect the dots of a deadly conspiracy before a brilliant criminal puts her on trial.

by Peter Blauner - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Nathaniel Dresden never really got along with his father, an infamous civil rights lawyer who defended criminals and spearheaded protest movements. As an act of rebellion, Natty joined the U.S. Army and served in Iraq, coming back with a chest full of commendations and a head full of disturbing memories. But when his father is found murdered near the peaceful confines of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Natty is forced to deal with the troubled legacy of their unresolved relationship. He also has to fend off the growing suspicions of NYPD Detective Lourdes Robles, a brash Latina cop with something to prove, who thinks Natty might bear some responsibility for his father’s death.

by William Lashner - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

A lifetime ago, brutally efficient fixer Phil Kubiak coldly cleaned up the messes of shady clients from Miami to Las Vegas by any means necessary --- short of murder. Now he’s one eye and one working leg short of the man he used to be, scarred beyond recognition, and with the feds and criminal organizations in hot pursuit. Throwing back sour beer in a dingy bar, Phil recounts the long story of his bitter life to the only person left to listen. Across the splintery table, a journalist in pursuit of a career-making interview seeks not only an award-winning profile but also something more…something darker. Will what she sees in Phil’s empty gaze spur her toward forgiveness --- or vengeance?

by John Sandford - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house gets robbed, and suitcases full of cash disappear, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Lucas Davenport --- who now works for the U.S. Marshals Service --- takes the case, which quickly spirals out of control, as cartel assassins, including a torturer known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools,” compete with Davenport to find the Dixie Hicks shooters who knocked over the counting house. Things get ugly really fast, and neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives Davenport might have saved; to them, he’s just another large target.