Auntie M enjoyed the Bette Midler movie “For the Boys” and decided to title this post after that as these books all have suspense and action in common, popular with male readers. This is NOT to say that women don’t read these books–of course they do! But if you’re looking for a gift for a male reader, try one of these.

white lies
Stephen Leather’s Spider Shepherd series are among top sellers in the UK. This year’s White Lies brings Shepherd back for his 11th outing with MI5. When a former trainee is presumed kidnapped in the wilds of Pakistan, he joins the rescue mission with disastrous results. With Shepherd tortured by al-Qeda terrorist, it will be up to MI5 Controller Charlotte Button to rescue him in the most unorthodox way. Fast-paced and action-filled.

For the dog lovers on your list, you can’t go wrong with David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter series. The newest, Hounded
,finds Andy and girlfriend Laurie Collins arriving at a crime scene discovered by his good friend, policeman Pete Stanton. When the body of ex-con Danny Balfour is found, the victim’s four-year old son and basset hound need care and Pete asks the couple to assume to prevent both boy and dog from going into the system. But once Pete comes under suspicion in the death, he will need Andy to put on his lawyer cap to clear him. A nice mix of humor and sleuthing. Why not get the entire series?

Darkest Hour
Tony Schumacher brings a different ending to World War II in The Darkest Hour, as he the imagines London of 1946 and how it would be if the Nazis won the war and occupied Great Britain. John Henry Rossett is an unlikely hero: a former war hero and policeman whose family died during the attacks on England and has become an alcoholic. Depressed, with little future before him, Rossett works for the SS in the Office of Jewish Affairs, seemingly unaffected by rounding up Jews for deportation–until he finds an 8 yr-old boy hidden in the chimney of a house he raids. Will Jacob be Rossett’s salvation or his downfall? That remains to be seen as the unlikely duo struggle to stay alive and one step ahead of every group after them as Rossett comes to understand he can trust no one. Intriguing and original, an imaginative thriller.

desert god
South African writer Wilbur Smith’s newest entry in his ancient Egypt series, Desert God , is perfect for the reader who enjoys historical epic novels. Focusing on the character Taita, this slave and advisor to the pharaoh finds himself caught up in a quest to destroy the army of Hyksos and for an alliance with Crete. This takes him on a journey up the Nile through Arabia and over the vast seas of ancient times. With shifting loyalties and never knowing whom can be trusted, Taita’s struggle is as action-packed as any present day novel, as it describes the customs and culture of a time from long ago.

And in Paperback:

We return to Stephen Leather and his Nightingale series for Lastnight. The newest in his supernatural detective series find Nightingale searching for the killer of Goths who all have a tattoo connecting them to a Satanic child-sacrificing cult. Called the Order of Nine Angles, the Order soon has Nightingale himself in its sights and will do anything to stop him bringing them to earth. His solution is unorthodox and will have readers flipping pages to find the resolution.

Wash Stratagem
Adam LeBor’s new novel, The Washington Stratagem
, is the sequel to The Geneva Option, which introduced UN covert negotiator Yael Azoulay. Having a strong and sexy woman at the center of the action is a nice twist, as Yael is tasked with confronting a lobbying and asset management group in Washington, DC, about extensive links to US involvement in Middle Eastern wars. Treading a delicate line, Yael must combine international politics and her life as a spy as she races to root out the corruption she finds. Both novels would make a great gift together.

James W. Hall has written 13 Thorn novels, all featuring the fly-tying investigator and his sidekick, and returns with Going Dark,a strong entry in the suspense genre. His nemesis this time is ELF, the Earth Liberation Front, an extremist environmental group whose usual means of damage is arson. This time the stakes are raised when they target Florida’s largest nuclear plant, and they’ve managed to involve Thorn’s newly-discovered son, Flynn. Helping Flynn escape from remote Prince Key while at the same time foiling their attempts will lead Thorn to his craziest idea yet. Look for the newest Thorn, Big Finish, later this month.

Runner follows Patrick Lee’s strong thriller debut, The Breach, featuring former black-ops soldier Sam Dryden. Running at 3 AM has never been so dangerous for Dryden once he encounters 12-yr old Rachel, who only recalls her last two months in a secret prison. Soon it’s obvious protecting Rachel will be more of a chore than he’d expected, as heavily armed crews drive them both across the nation to find answers to whom is pursing her, and why–and all as Dryden suspects that running into Rachel may not have been a coincidence. Warner Brothers has film rights and this action-packed suspense novel will easily translate to the screen.

It’s easy to see why Lee Child calls Dreda Say Mitchell’s first John MacDonagh novel “Breathless from the first word and thrilling to the last.” Mac wakes up in a trashed hotel room without any memory of how it got that way, bloodied and in pain. He soon discovers his lover’s body in the bathroom, and with evidence pointing to him as her killer, Mac must find the real killer even as he races against time and his grief to clear himself. Tracking him down is none other than DI Rio Wray,an ambitious black female detective on her way to the top, even if it means proving her close friend Mac is a killer. Fascinating look at the world of undercover cops and first of a new series destined to be a winner by this award-winning crime writer.