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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 Eryk Pruitt - Fiction, Hard-boiled Mystery, Humor, Mystery

Jack Jordan is a smooth-talking con artist with a penchant for the fast life. He has snuck into Lufkin, Texas, in the dead of night with little more than a beat-up Honda, a hollowed-out King James Bible full of cocaine, and enough emotional baggage to sink a steam ship. Summer Ashton is his partner-in-crime, but lately her mind has begun to slip. They’ve told their fair share of lies, and she’s having a devil of a time remembering what’s the truth. And recently, she’s been hearing voices. Unfortunately for both of them, she’s the brains of the operation. Furthermore, they have begun to tire of one another. For these two career grifters, the sleepy East Texas countryside is but another pit stop on their rampage across the American South. Will it be their last?

by Dirk Kurbjuweit - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Randolph Tiefenthaler insists he had a normal childhood, though he grew up with a father who kept 30 loaded guns in the house. A modestly successful architect with a wonderful family and a beautiful home, he soon finds his life compromised when his father, a man Randolph loves yet has always feared, is imprisoned for murder. FEAR is the story of the twisted events leading up to his father’s incarceration.

by Lachlan Smith - Fiction, Mystery

Attorney-detective Leo Maxwell seeks an exit strategy from his family’s deepening entanglement with a ruthless prison-based gang. Caught between the criminals and the FBI, Leo charts his own path in defending a young woman who was manipulated into brazenly murdering a member of the Aryan Brotherhood in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. When the consequences strike heartbreakingly close to home, Leo, his brother Teddy, and the rest of the family are forced into a winner-takes-all confrontation with men who don’t care how many innocents they harm in achieving their goals.

by Nic Joseph - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Detective Steven Paul has had the same nightmare for as long as he can remember, a strange symbol figuring prominently into his terror. He decided long ago that the recurring dreams are nothing more than an unfortunate side effect of his often traumatic profession. Until, that is, he's assigned to the case of Emily Lindsey, the beautiful, elusive and controversial blogger found alone, who can't possibly know the symbol from his nightmares...unless she does.

by James Patterson and James O. Born - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

An idyllic country town in the Maine woods is haunted by an epidemic emptying its streets and preying on its youth. When local cops uncover a grisly crime scene buried deep in the woods, they consult the vacationing Detective Michael Bennett, who jumps at the chance to atone for his own sins. A young, hardscrabble and forgotten girl is haunted by a traumatic history. Homeless and destitute, she represents the closest thing Bennett has to a partner in his frantic hunt for the ghostlike perpetrator behind the violence. Will Bennett and his unlikely ally unmask the culprit before anyone else winds up haunted?

by Jussi Adler-Olsen - Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

In a Copenhagen park, the body of an elderly woman is discovered. The case bears a striking resemblance to another unsolved homicide investigation from over a decade ago, but the connection between the two victims confounds the police. Across town, a group of young women are being hunted. The attacks seem random, but could these brutal acts of violence be related? Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q is charged with solving the mystery. Meanwhile, after an earlier breakdown, their colleague Rose is still struggling to deal with the reemergence of her past --- a past in which a terrible crime may have been committed. It is up to Carl, Assad and Gordon to uncover the dark and violent truth at the heart of Rose’s childhood before it is too late.

by Reed Farrel Coleman - Fiction, Mystery

Jesse Stone, still reeling from the murder of his fiancée by crazed assassin Mr. Peepers, must keep his emotions in check long enough to get through the wedding day of his loyal protégé, Suitcase Simpson. The morning of the wedding, Jesse learns that a gala 75th birthday party is to be held for folk singer Terry Jester. Jester has spent the last 40 years in seclusion after the mysterious disappearance of the master recording tape of his magnum opus, The Hangman's Sonnet. That same morning, an elderly Paradise woman dies while her house is being ransacked. What are the thieves looking for? And what's the connection to Terry Jester and the mysterious missing tape?

by David Lagercrantz - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Lisbeth Salander has never been able to uncover the most telling facts of her traumatic childhood, the secrets that might finally, fully explain her to herself. Now, when she sees a chance to uncover them once and for all, she enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, the editor of the muckraking, investigative journal Millennium. And she will let nothing stop her --- not the Islamists she enrages by rescuing a young woman from their brutality; not the prison gang leader who passes a death sentence on her; not the deadly reach of her long-lost twin sister, Camilla; and not the people who will do anything to keep buried knowledge of a sinister pseudoscientific experiment known only as The Registry.

by J. D. Robb - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Larinda Mars, a professional gossip, has been murdered. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally. Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. Along the way, though, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know.

by Craig Johnson - Fiction, Mystery

A younger sheriff confronts Walt Longmire with a photograph of 25 armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff's Association junket. The young Walt was ill-prepared for the machinations of 24 veteran sheriffs, let alone the cavalcade of curious characters that accompanied them. The photograph --- along with an upcoming parole hearing for one of the most dangerous men Walt has encountered in a lifetime of law enforcement --- hurtles the sheriff into a head-on collision of past and present, placing him and everyone he cares about squarely on the tracks of runaway revenge.