Book Reviews

Three Thrilling Books Will Help Heat Up Your Winter

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Book critic Alan Cheuse reviews three books to help heat up your winter — all thrillers — The Rage by Gene Kerrigan, Ratlines by Stuart Neville, and The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter.


Now some page-turners for the winter months. Our reviewer Alan Cheuse found three new thrillers that he says will keep you entertained through snow and storms.

ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Ireland serves as the setting for two of these In journalist Gene Kerrigan's "The Rage," Dublin becomes the focus of an engrossing police procedural After a botched armored car holdup, a minor criminal named Vincent Naylor goes on a killing rampage. A good Dublin cop appropriately named Bob Tidey tries, in the face of frustrating police bureaucracy and corruption, to put a stop to the rising tide of blood.

Novelist Stuart Neville, in his new book called "Ratlines," sends us to Belfast and back to 1963, when Northern Ireland had become an asylum of choice for some Nazis on the run. A crime fighter and ex-war hero named Albert Ryan, this guy a government intelligence agent, gets called in by the corrupt minister for justice to investigate the murders of some of these nasty types, in what seems like a plot to get to a former ex-SS man and presumed embezzler. Some terrible things happen as Ryan tries to serve two masters, his government and his conscience

The crime at the center of "The Third Bullet," journalist Stephen Hunter's intelligent new thriller also carries us back to 1963; to the traumatic day in Dallas when President John Kennedy took a bullet to his brain. As Hunter dramatizes, this is the third and fatal bullet on that day. His main character, an ex-war hero named Bob Lee Swagger, is a man of great nerve and ballistic skills. As his nemesis in this high stakes forensic mystery puts it: He's Ole Miss quarterback, every NASCAR driver, every tiny-town police chief or state trooper rolled into one.

Bob Lee Swagger, he takes on an investigation that carries us to Russia, to Texas and deep into the heart of a murder conspiracy against the young president. In a novel, like the other two books, that will make you oblivious to everything else in the world

BLOCK: That's reviewer Alan Cheuse recommending some winter thrillers. They are "The Rage" by Gene Kerrigan, "Ratlines" by Stuart Neville, and "The Third Bullet" by Stephen Hunter.



This is NPR.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from