Mystery and Suspense Thrillers


The Third Woman

     He was an ordinary man, a pillar of the community and a respected member of society. He could be you or your brother or your father. And yet, this professional man, a dentist, is embroiled in the murder of the lover of his ex-wife. He is arrested for the crime and although he pleads his innocence, the evidence all points to him as the killer. He has no alibi, witnesses place him at the scene, he fought with and threatened to kill the victim, he had the motive, the means, and the opportunity. This unusual mystery thriller challenges the reader with many twists and turns and keeps the reader guessing. It's a real page turner. The story is set in the fabled North Shore of Long Island, the 'Gold Coast', where the wealthy live and play. He was arrested for a crime he claims he did not and could not commit. Is he the innocent man he professes to be? He is innocent ... isn't he?

     Professional Review for The Third Woman

     The Third Woman flirts with suspense, spinning an impressively intricate web of deceit, Secrecy, and, above all, sex. The novel presents a nicely crafted mystery that resists disclosing itself until the final pages and is full of dead ends, red herrings. and startling revelations. I especially love the tense foreshadowing that surrounds the dentist chair. When Arthur Marks brashly shows up for his dentist appointment the morning after his dentist finds out about his year long affair with his wife, the writing subtly suggestive of a murder scene - especially when Ken promises Arthur he will die with all of his teeth. The murder scene that does occur in the chair, however, is withheld until the final pages of the book. I was also impressed by the accuracy of the courtroom scenes. These scenes are written with a sense of authority and know-how, as well as a familiarity with the complexities of contemporary law. Great job!"

                                                                            ... The Writer's Digest



     Suppressed is the strange and puzzling tale of Richard Markham, a New York City Police Captain in the Homicide Department. Early in the investigation of the brutal murders perpetrated against young beautiful women, Captain Markham comes to believe that he is the murderer he is searching for. This  psycho-analytical suspense thriller, with its various twists and turns, will keep the reader guessing until the final suspense packed ending.

     Professional Review for Suppressed

     Many fans of the mystery genre believe that the relative quality of a new novel lies in whether or not one wishes to continue reading once the mystery has been solved. Voracious readers of this genre will have no problem turning the pages of this book, Gene Ligotti's second mystery novel. Suppressed is the strange and puzzling tale of Captain Richard Markham of the New York City Homicide department. After his wife's death, Captain Markham quickly married a woman much younger than he, causing a rift with his college-graduate daughter, Veronica. After Veronica's best friend is brutally murdered, Captain Markham not only begins an investigation into the killer's identity but also attempts to repair the damaged relationship with his daughter. Suppressed is much more than a mystery novel; it is a touching story of a father's love for his daughter. Die-hard mystery fans will not be disappointed, though - as the I novel progresses, more young women are found murdered at the hands of the "Karnation Killer", as the media comes to dub the perpetrator of the crimes. In a surprising twist, Captain Markham soon begins to believe that he is the serial murderer that he is seeking. Readers will be kept guessing until the final suspense-packed ending.

                                              ... Sarah Taft Managing Editor GUIDE Magazine 



     Reversal is the unique tale of an undying love set upon the tapestry of the science of genetic bio-technical advancements. In the world of pharmaceutical cosmetics every company strives to find the fountain of youth for women. They never dream their endeavors will achieve a complete reversal to the woman's own youth. In Reversal, Contessa Industries finds a phenomenal formula that causes an amazing transformation. A sixty-four year old woman truly reverses into the beautiful thirty-two year old she once was. The reader goes on an emotional roller coaster of mystery where he/she will question the value of immortality against a normal life filled with love and happiness. Although intrigue, lust, deception, and murder are all evident I this novel, it is truly a love story with several major twists which will keep the reader enthralled and guessing. Can unreciprocated love live in the heart of a man for over thirty years? The dramatic suspenseful conclusion will surprise even he most astute reader.



     Ultimate Betrayal, Gene Ligotti's latest endeavor, is a suspense-filled novel of an all-consuming desire for revenge and of a love that wouldn't die. Ryce Traden works on a fishing boat in Montauk, Long Island. His dream is to own a fishing boat and to marry the love of his life, Taylor Banning. Wesley Drake is Ryce's best friend and he also wants Taylor.

     The need for money to buy a boat sets factors exploding into the novel's driving force. On advice of his 'friend', Ryce goes beyond the 12 mile limit and picks up drugs thinking they are merely knock-offs.

     A judge and a lawyer, protecting their smuggling ring, put Ryce in prison telling everyone that he died at sea. Years later, Ryce escapes, plans his revenge against those who betrayed him and hires a lawyer for a new trial with many exciting courtroom surprises. The suspenseful ending is electrifying as Ryce fights with Wesley in his final act of vengeance.

Review: I just finished ULTIMATE BETRAYAL and couldn't wait to let you know how much I LOVED the book. Honestly, it was one of those few stories I could not put down. It held my interest every moment and I was alaways anxious to find out what would happen next.

Clearly, you are a brilliant, gifted writer. I feel privileged to know you and look forward to seeing you in the group discussion next month.

Until then, thank you for providing me with a wonderful reading experience. I look forward to delving into another one of your stories soon.

Renee Wurst


   Identical twins ... the idea alone stirs unique thoughts of something special because identical twins are exceptional in this complicated world of ours. Originally designated to be one person, the original cell splits and two separate, but identical human beings were the result. Identical in appearance, but are they identical in their mind, heart and soul? Certainly nature vs. nurturing comes into play, but really, deep down, how alike are they?

     Although the initial setting for this story is the Catskill Mountains in New York, Ligotti takes you to the big cities of New York City, New Orleans and Houston and then on to an Afghanistan war zone, before returning you to where it all started, a horse farm in the Catskill Mountains.  

     This story is about identical twins who part company in their late teens and live separate and different lives. Will the way they live change the way they think and act or was it predetermined by genetics?

     How far apart from their 'oneness' will they be taken? Incredible Deception will guide you through each of their separate lives and then bring them together in a spell binding and dramatic conclusion where one twin forces himself to return to the home he hated and to a woman ... his wife ...  that he doesn't know. It's a must read for those who love a love story and readers of suspense thrillers.

PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS for Incredible Deception


     "Liars should have good memories", is the proverb Ligotti quotes as we approach the final chapters of his new thriller, Incredible Deception. Dishonesty is at the core of this story, but who is lying? The author takes us from the Catskill Mountains to Ireland and back again. In between, in order to ascertain the truth, we also visit Texas and Louisiana.

     It is difficult to summarize the plot of the book without spoiling the ending so, I will not make the attempt. However, suffice to say that I picked up the book and placed it back down at the last page in one sitting. At several points I was certain I had figured it all out ... only to be deceived again. Looking at the other works of Ligotti, this one by far kept me guessing longer. I enjoyed this project of his to an even greater degree, not just because it kept me wondering where he would take me next, but, because of character development. In this book he engages the reader by not merely concentrating on a plot driven approach. We truly get to know Blake, Brock, Megan, Keenan, Jennifer and the remaining figures. Buy this book and you will get to know them too.

     Nice work Dr. Ligotti. We have benefited from your putting down the drill and picking up the pen.

                                                                    ... An Amazon Customer.

     What an exceptional story Ligotti has created here ... a blend of two such unique individuals, despite being identical twins. I think that juxtaposition made for a very interesting premise to the story, but the stories could have easily stood on their own. Ligotti spent so much time working out truly stunning prose that it was a pleasure to read, from start to finish. I've never been much of a romance fan, but the exciting suspenseful moments of this book more than made up for the occasional romantic tangent, and I think the book was generally well-balanced in terms of both plot and character face -time. I wasn't as drawn into the "deeper" questions that this book aroused, perhaps because it seemed as though they they would have more of an impact on the result of the story, as I expected, but they didn't. The twin concept inspired more personal curiosity, but I don't think the book delved into it quite as much as it could have, philosophically speaking, I mean. Generally, I enjoyed the progression of the story, and particularly the ending, which came as a surprise, and made the entire experience that much more intriguing. Nicely done, Mr. Ligotti.

                                                                             ... Veritas Vincit "Bill"

     The subject of identical twins has always fascinated me, and while the description of this book made it seem as though that would be the focal point of the story, that didn't turn out to be completely true. We experienced two very different novels, and built two very different pictures of the world through the eyes of our main characters. It was beautifully written in terms of establishing two engaging perspectives for readers to enjoy, and it never became too caught up in the plot to distract the readers from the ultimate question the book was asking ... what defines us as individuals? Are we destined to follow a course laid out by our blood and bones? Or are we nurtured or neglected into the people we become?

     This parallel novel forces us to face some challenging questions that every individual can relate to, but ups the anti, per se, by couching the story within the fascinating study of identical twins. I thoroughly enjoyed the respect paid to hard and fast science, which complemented the reading experience and the plot, rather that distracting us from it. I think the conclusion was a bit of an odd choice, but the book was leading up to some sort of a resolution. This wasn't the final conclusions that I was reaching, nor what I had expected, but it made for an excellent thought provoking book.

                                                                            ... John J. Staughton    

     I found the beginning of this book to creep along,but I stuck with it to see if it would improve. I'm glad I did because it turned out to get better and better. Gene Ligotti spun a tale of identical twins that were so alike in looks they couldn't be identified one from the other, but with  very different character and values. He took us on a journey to understanding both of the young men and how different their lives turned out until the very end.

                                                                             .... An Amazon Customer

     Blake and Brock are identical twins, so identical that even their parents struggled to tell them apart. Somehow their father knows, for some unknown reason he seeks out Blake to beat him constantly. The last one was so severe after Blake stayed out all night that he left his son for dead. Nursed back to health by his mother and brother, he knows the next time he may not be so lucky and he sets out on his own.

     Originality is the theme that makes this novel so unique, although two boys' journey into manhood isn't an original concept, but adding the twist of identical twins adds an unusual insight into that special connection between twins no matter how far apart they are. Add the surprise of deception and Ligotti creates an excellent tale of suspense and intrigue, keeping his readers captivated in this outstanding thriller.

                                                                          ... Cheri Clay

     What and excellent read! I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns!

                                                                                    ... Chris Smith

     While the identical twins grow up together of course, their lives separate once they are a little older. The story begs the question of whether they will remain alike or does your environment determine how you perceive and live your life? Does an easier life make you a certain way and does a harsher environment change how you feel about things? Perhaps it is genetics that decides who we are to become. This book answers all of those questions in its own way and while it is a fictional account, it still has a compelling and suspenseful story.

     This is part romance and part suspense and honestly, I like the suspense part best. I've never been a romance reader much but this book had me interested from the beginning and until the very end.

                                                                               ... Karsun

     New York author Gene Ligotti has gained a following for his suspense filled novels, now eleven in number with the release of INCREDIBLE DECEPTION.

... As is Gene's signature, he offers a Prologue that creaks a door on a mysterious thriller.

... The author's plot synopsis is succinct. ... Gene serves his readers well, offering a dissection of the conundrum of twinning as well as creating a thriller with characters about whom we not only care but can understand their plights. He says much of this in prologue, and so we understand the purpose of that prologue. Ligoti has led us on a chase not unlike scribing a book ... and the ending is smashing! This is a strong story, well crafted by a man who knows his game. Highly recommended.

                                                                                               ... Grady Harp


COMMENTS FROM READERS for Ultimate Betrayal:


     "I just finished "Ultimate Betrayal" and just had to tell you how much I enjoyed it. Terrific opening, really grabs the reader. Action scenes were very exciting all the way through and a poignant ending. What more can you ask for? Enjoyed the heck out of it. Great Job!"

                                                                                                   ... Joseph Cordaro


     "The book is great!. I can't put it down!" ... Livia Liberatoscioli


     "I just finished reading your brand new book and I must say it is truly your best. It has great clarity and flow. It is certainly the most engaging of your works. I especially enjoyed the way in which you 'broke up' the book by occasionally having a very short chapter that served as a bridge to an important scene. I love the way you quote famous writers at the head of a chapter, thus setting the tone for the reader. There is one problem, however, There will be much pressure on you as we await your next work!"

                                                                                               ... Dr. John J. Siefring


     "Great story! It seems like it would make a colorful movie. I see the scene with the Chinese freighter and the Cost Guard cutter, and the Ritz in Paris, the Costume Ball and , of course, the courtroom scene.

                                                                                                   ... Lewis Barton