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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 Peter Robinson - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Two suspicious deaths challenge Detective Superintendent Alan Banks and his crack investigative team. A young local student’s body is found in an abandoned car on a lonely country road. The death looks like suicide, but there are too many open questions for Banks and his team to rule out foul play. Meanwhile, a man in his 60s is found dead in a gully up on the wild moorland. Post mortem findings indicate that he died from injuries sustained during a fall. Was it an accident? Or was he pushed? As the inconsistencies multiply and the mysteries surrounding these two cases proliferate, a source reveals a piece of information that shocks the team and impacts the investigations.

by Yrsa Sigurdardottir - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Vaka sits on the cold steps of her new school. Her father appears to have forgotten to pick her up, her mother has forgotten to give her this week’s pocket money, and the school is already locked for the day. With no way to call home, she resigns herself to waiting on the steps until her father remembers her. When a girl approaches, Vaka recognizes her immediately from class, and from her unusual appearance: two of her fingers are missing. The girl lives at the back of the school, and Vaka asks to call her father from the girl's house. That afternoon is the last time anyone sees Vaka. Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja are called in and soon find themselves at the heart of another shocking case.

by Jenny Rogneby - Fiction, Hard-boiled Crime Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

A man blows himself up outside the Parliament House in Stockholm, but miraculously survives. Was he a lone wolf, or are there more heinous acts to follow? Leona Lindberg is put on the case. But Leona, who has barely escaped her trials from the last case, is focused on other things. Her family is shattered, she is living under threat and desperately needs liquid assets. It's lucky, then, that she can think outside the box like no other detective. With one foot on each side of the law, she mounts a special operation of grand proportions. And the higher the risk, the higher the rewards.

by Jonathan Kellerman - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Summoned to a run-down former strip joint, Dr. Alex Delaware and LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis find themselves crashing a wild "Saints and Sinners"–themed wedding reception. But they’re not the only uninvited guests. A horrified bridesmaid has discovered the body of a young woman, dressed to impress in pricey haute couture and accessorized with a grisly red slash around her neck. What’s missing is any means of identification, or a single partygoer who recognizes the victim. The baffled bride is convinced the stranger snuck in to sabotage her big day --- and the groom is sure it’s all a dreadful mistake. But Delaware and Sturgis have a hundred guests to question, and a sneaking suspicion that the motive for murder is personal.

by Laura Benedict - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

There's a stranger living in Kimber Hannon's house. He tells the police that he has every right to be there, and he has the paperwork to prove it. But Kimber definitely didn't invite this man to move in. He tells her that he knows something about her, and he wants everyone else to know it too. "I was there. I saw what you did." These words reveal a connection to Kimber's distant past, and dark secrets she'd long ago left buried. This trespasser isn't after anything as simple as her money or her charming Craftsman bungalow. He wants to move into her carefully orchestrated life --- and destroy it.

written by Lars Kepler, translated by Neil Smith - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

The Swedish National Crime Unit receives a video of a young woman in her home, clearly unaware that she's being watched. Soon after the tape is received, the woman's body is found horrifically mutilated. With the arrival of the next, similar video, the police understand that the killer is toying with them, warning of a new victim, knowing there's nothing they can do. Detective Margot Silverman is put in charge of the investigation, and soon asks Detective Joona Linna for help. Linna, in turn, recruits Erik Maria Bark, the hypnotist and expert in trauma, with whom Linna has worked before. Bark is leery of forcing people to give up their secrets. But this time, Bark is the one hiding things.

written by Ragnar Jonasson, translated by Quentin Bates - Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Young policeman Ari Thór tries to solve a 50-year-old murder when new evidence surfaces. But the case proves difficult in a town where no one wants to know the truth, where secrets are a way of life. He's assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town in quarantine, the past just might come back to haunt them.

by Alex Michaelides - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

One evening, Alicia Berenson, a famous painter, shoots her husband Gabriel, an in-demand fashion photographer, five times in the face. Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander --- a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations --- a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.

by A.F. Brady - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Peter Caine, a cutthroat Manhattan defense attorney, worked ruthlessly to become the best at his job. On the surface, he is charming and handsome, but inside he is cold and heartless. He fights without remorse to acquit murderers, pedophiles and rapists. When Charlie Doyle, the daughter of the Manhattan DA --- and Peter’s former lover --- is murdered, Peter’s world is quickly sent into a tailspin. He becomes the prime suspect as the DA, a professional enemy of Peter’s, embarks on a witch hunt to avenge his daughter’s death, stopping at nothing to ensure Peter is found guilty of the murder. But the truth of who killed Charlie is more twisted and sinister than anyone could have imagined.

by Joseph Finder - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Juliana Brody, a judge in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, is rumored to be in consideration for the federal circuit, maybe someday the highest court in the land. At a conference in a Chicago hotel, she meets a gentle, vulnerable man and has an unforgettable night with him. But back home in Boston, Juliana realizes that this was no random encounter. The man from Chicago proves to have an integral role in a sex-discrimination case she's presiding over. Juliana discovers that she's been entrapped, her night of infidelity captured on video. It soon becomes clear that personal humiliation, even the possible destruction of her career, are the least of her concerns, as her own life and the lives of her family are put in mortal jeopardy.