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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 Don Winslow - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Denny Malone is “the King of Manhattan North,” a highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant who has done whatever it takes to serve and protect in a city built by ambition and corruption, where no one is clean --- including Malone himself. What only a few know is that Denny Malone and his partners have stolen millions of dollars in drugs and cash in the wake of the biggest heroin bust in the city’s history. Now Malone is caught in a trap and being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the Job, his family, and the woman he loves, trying to survive while the city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all.

by Joseph Finder - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Michael Tanner accidentally picks up the wrong MacBook in an airport security line. He later discovers that the owner is a US senator and that the laptop contains top secret files. When Senator Susan Robbins realizes she’s come back with the wrong laptop, she calls her young chief of staff, Will Abbott, in a panic. Both know that the senator broke the law by uploading classified documents onto her personal computer. If those documents wind up in the wrong hands, her career in politics will be over. When Will fails to gain Tanner’s cooperation, he is forced to take measures to retrieve the laptop before a bigger security breach is revealed. Suddenly Tanner finds himself a hunted man, terrified for the safety of his family and able to trust no one.

by Adam Mitzner - Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

By day, Ella Broden works as a buttoned-up attorney on some of the city’s most grueling cases. By night, she pursues her passion for singing in the darkest clubs of Manhattan. No one knows her secret, not even her younger sister, Charlotte. But it seems she’s not the only one in the family with something to hide. When Charlotte announces she’s sold her first novel, Ella couldn’t be more thrilled…until she gets a call that her sister has gone missing. Ella starts investigating with the help of Detective Gabriel Velasquez, an old flame in the NYPD, and what she finds is shocking. If art imitates life, then Charlotte's novel may contain details of her real-life affairs. And any one of her lovers could be involved in her disappearance.

by Stuart MacBride - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Welcome to the Misfit Mob. It’s where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can’t get rid of, but wants to: the outcasts, the troublemakers, the compromised. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy turns up at the Oldcastle tip, it’s his job to find out which museum it’s been stolen from. But then Callum uncovers links between his ancient corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting. No one expects the Misfit Mob to succeed, but right now they’re the only thing standing between the killer’s victims and a slow, lingering death. The question is, can they prove everyone wrong before he strikes again?

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

MATCHUP takes the never-before-seen bestseller pairings of FACEOFF and adds a delicious new twist: gender. Eleven of the world’s best female thriller writers, from Diana Gabaldon to Charlaine Harris, are paired with 11 of the world’s best male thriller writers, including John Sandford, C.J. Box and Nelson DeMille.

by Maile Meloy - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. But when they all go ashore for an adventure in Central America, a series of minor misfortunes and miscalculations leads the families farther from the safety of the ship. One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone. The disintegration of the world the families knew --- told from the perspectives of both the adults and the children --- is riveting and revealing. The parents, accustomed to security and control, turn on each other and blame themselves, while the seemingly helpless children discover resources they never knew they possessed.

by Hallie Ephron - Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Seven-year-old Lissie and her four-year-old sister, Janey, were playing with their porcelain dolls in the front yard when a puppy scampered by. Lissie chased after the pup as it ran down the street. When she returned to the yard, Janey and her precious doll were gone. Every year on the anniversary of her disappearance, Lis and Janey’s mother places an ad in the local paper with a picture of the toy Janey had with her that day, offering a generous cash reward for its return. For years, there’s been no response. But this year, the doll came home. It is the first clue in a decades-old mystery that is about to turn into something far more sinister --- endangering Lis and the lives of her mother and daughter as well.

by Anne Holt - Fiction, Mystery

On an early April afternoon, a bomb goes off in the Islamic Cooperation Council’s offices in Oslo, killing 23 people. The Police and Security Service suspect an extremist organization to be responsible for the attack, a suspicion that grows stronger when threats of yet another, bigger explosion during the planned celebration of the Norwegian constitution reach the authorities. Hanne Wilhelmsen is approached by her long-lost friend, Billy T., whose son Linus has undergone some disturbing changes recently. As the mood of the city darkens, Hanne tries to help Billy T. reach out to Linus and realizes that Oslo is up against forces far more terrible and menacing than ever before.

by Steve Hamilton - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Nick Mason has been given a true mission impossible: infiltrate WITSEC, the top-secret federal witness-protection program that has never been compromised, locate the three men who put his boss Darius Cole behind bars for life, and kill them. But first he has to find them --- they’re ghost prisoners locked down around the clock in classified “deep black” locations by a battalion of heavily armed U.S. marshals charged with protecting them --- and the clock is ticking. As he risks everything to complete his mission, Mason finds himself being hunted by the very man he replaced, the ruthless assassin who once served, then betrayed, Darius Cole.

by Alan Drew - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Detective Ben Wade has returned to his hometown of Rancho Santa Elena in search of a quieter life and to try to save his marriage. Suddenly the community, with its peaceful streets and excellent public schools, finds itself at the mercy of a serial killer who slips through windows and screen doors at night. As Ben and forensic specialist Natasha Betencourt struggle to stay one step ahead of the killer --- and deal with painful episodes in the past --- Ben’s own world is rocked again by violence. He must decide how far he is willing to go, and Natasha how much she is willing to risk, to protect their friendship and themselves to rescue the town from a psychotic murderer and a long-buried secret.