Betrayal takes its inspiration from the notorious Amanda Knox case, and it's one I'm going to be reading very soon. Can't wait!
In the meantime, please enjoy this great guest post from Gregg in which he discusses his top ten favourite books! Pleased to see that one of my all time favourites, White Oleander, made the list!
Betrayal (Empty Coffin #2) by Gregg Olsen
Release date: September 2012
In this action-packed thriller sequel to Envy, foreign exchange student Olivia Grant is stabbed to death after a party--and the prime suspect is her best friend. As twins Hayley and Taylor Ryan get pulled into the aftermath of this Amanda Knox-like crime, they realize nothing is what it seems. Could it be betrayal of the ultimate kind?
Betrayal features real-life crime-solving techniques, heart-stopping suspense, plenty of red herrings, hard-hitting ethical questions, and information about the Amanda Knox case that inspired the novel. As the crime unravels, so does the twins' past…and they must face off against a family member who may unexpectedly have carried out the worst betrayal of all.
Guest Post: Author Gregg Olsen talks Top Ten Books!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Every so often a book comes out that transcends a given genre and unites readers of all ages into the total immersion of an author’s creation. J.K. Rowling, of course, did that with her Potter series. But I think Suzanne Collins did it one better. (I say that because, I’m not a fantasy type person) and I think the world she created for Katniss and the rest rings true.
Carrie by Stephen King
It wasn’t YA, but it was the kind of book that I loved reading when I was growing up. In many ways, I think that Carrie White stood in for any of us teens who viewed ourselves as outsiders of one kind or another. King’s brilliant ability to make us care about her – feel sorry for her – even when she literally brings down the house on her high school prom – was a sign of even more great work to come. Loved The Shining too.
Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith
I’m including this because I had the pleasure of doing an event with Smith earlier this year in Philadelphia. Writers often support each other by exchanging books at such things. I didn’t expect to LOVE his book as much as I did (even though he was a wonderfully charming guy). I was riveted. Literally in lockdown myself until I finished. I can’t wait to read his next book.
The Fault of our Stars by John Green
A brilliant book by the best writer in YA. There, I said it. The story Green spins is at once tragic and laugh-inducing. Is cancer funny? No, but people facing tragedy can be very funny. Humor is healing. While women authors rule the YA genre there’s a man named John Green who doesn’t do vampires and such – but is writing books with words that sparkle on the page. Instead of vampire skin in the sunlight. You know what I mean.
Post Mortem by Patricia Cornwell
This is the book that made me want to try my hand at crime fiction. Patsy Cornwell’s first half dozen books featuring Kay Scarpetta are wonders of plot and characterization. She was able to bring us right into the autopsy suite and focus our unflinching eyes on things we never could have imagined. TV has sort of stolen the forensic examiner’s thunder (CSI and all that crap) but Post Mortem took us there first.
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
I think I was about 12 when I read the story of two kids trying to figure out if a sculpture of an angel is a real Michelangelo while hiding out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I loved the mix of a detective story with a brother and sister trying to do what adults had missed. After all, this was a Michelangelo? Or was it? Sure they were running away from home, but in that escape, they found a purpose. The book is as good today as it was when I was a kid.
Son by Jack Olsen
Two books shaped my career as a true crime writer. This one is the first. Son tells the story of a notorious serial rapist in Spokane, Washington. Nothing ever happens in Spokane – the idea of bad things happening in benign places are a theme of mine in my YA series, Empty Coffin – until Kevin Coe terrorizes the community. As Jack Olsen (no relation, but later a mentor) writes the story, it is more about a family. You see, Kevin’s clan is ruled by his over-the-top mother, Ruth Coe. Ruth could not have been invented by a novelist – or at least she wouldn’t have been believed. To secure her son’s freedom, Mommie Worst puts out a hit on the judge who oversaw her son’s trial.
Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule
Here’s the second true crime classic that is a must read. Ann Rule wrote a tale of Diane Downs, a psychopath who wanted to bed down with her boyfriend so much (and one who didn’t want kids) that she pulled over one dark night in a rural part of Oregon and shot her son and two daughters. One girl died, the boy was paralyzed, and Diane became a true crime megastar. I interviewed her in prison long after her murders. She was miffed about Farrah Fawcett playing her in a TV movie. Said she wasn’t pretty enough.
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Yes, I loved an Oprah book. Why not? I’ve always thought of the kids who are abandoned by their parent’s crimes. In White Oleander, Janet Fitch gave us Astrid, a teenager, who loved and hated her mother for the life she’d created for her. Nothing feels more lost than feeling as if you never mattered. This was 1999, before the YA boom, but I think the heart of the book is great YA.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The perfect American novel. Harper Lee only wrote one book (though some now say she wrote In Cold Blood by that friend of hers, Truman Whatshisname) and she knew that she should quit while was ahead. Writers today are on publication treadmill, but that’s another story
Many thanks to Gregg for the great guest post! The Betrayal blog tour continues tomorrow at Serendipity Reviews.