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The August edition of THE BIG THRILL is here!

In our August issue, go behind the scenes to learn how authors create their worlds. In the cover story, Megan Abbott shares how she crafted a dark and suspenseful narrative in a bright suburban community. In “Up Close,” Eric Van Lustbader discusses the inspirations for his stand-alone novel: corruption, war in the Middle East, and the occult. In “Turning Point,” Hank Phillippi Ryan talks about a beloved main character who investigates crime in Boston. And other top-notch novelists discuss their work, from Peter Robinson and Linda Fairstein to Rick Mofina and Susan Spann.

In “Author Guided Tour,” Dawn Ius roars along the Vegas Strip. And in “Industry Focus,” Richard Krevolin gives valuable insight into the challenge of novelists writing screenplays.

We’ve got even more great interviews to share, including Michéle Rowe, John F. Dobbyn, Mark Pryor, Leanna Renee Hieber, Lynn Cahoon, Elaine Viets, and many more.

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Featured Articles

Author Guided Tour: Dawn Ius in Las Vegas

Author Guided Tour: Dawn Ius in Las Vegas

Can You Take the Sin Out of Sin City? By Dawn Ius I remember my first time to Las Vegas like it was yesterday, even though I was 14 years old. My family stopped there overnight on our way to Disneyland. I was too young to go into the casinos, obviously not old enough to drink, and, admittedly, a bit naïve. I recall being fascinated—and horrified—by the number of flyers depicting half-naked women that littered the streets. As we strolled along the infamous Strip, I could barely take a step without crushing someone’s boobs. I found one of those flyers stuck to the bottom of my shoe when we got back to our camper—the girl in the picture looked about 16, her shiny white hair more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Turning Point: Hank Phillippi Ryan by Wendy Tyson

Turning Point: Hank Phillippi Ryan by Wendy Tyson

Writing a Gutsy Heroine From the Heart By Wendy Tyson Hank Phillippi Ryan is well known on several fronts. She’s an award-winning on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate and an award-winning bestselling crime author. Fans love her Charlotte McNally series and her Jane Ryland thrillers—as well as her anthologies and short stories. How does she do it all? This month in The Big Thrill, Hank shares a few of her secrets. She also gives us a glimpse into AIR TIME and DRIVE TIME, her two summertime releases from the popular Charlotte McNally series. Thanks to some innovative moves, Charlotte is back. Congratulations on the recent release of AIR TIME and the upcoming release of DRIVE TIME. What an exciting summer—two releases in the Charlotte more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Industry Focus: Richard Kevolin

Industry Focus: Richard Kevolin

From Coffee Shop to Big Screen: Hollywood for Writers By Layton Green This month I have a special guest on International Thrills.  I’d wager that all writers have at least one mentor who has impacted their careers along the way, from high school English teachers to professional editors to older writers.  I have several, and one of them is Rich Krevolin, an extraordinary storyteller who has spent most of his life creating stories in various forms and imparting his wealth of knowledge to students the world over.  Rich is an award-winning screenwriter, author and playwright who taught for many years in the USC film school, considered by most to be the No. 1 film school in the world.   Rich has tutored more than 20,000 screenwriters more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
International Thrills: Raymond Khoury

International Thrills: Raymond Khoury

Conspiracy Thrillers and THE END GAME By Joanna Penn Raymond Khoury is a New York Times bestselling novelist and award-winning screenwriter. Raymond’s latest book is THE END GAME and you can find him on his website. USA Today bestselling thriller author J.F.Penn interviewed Raymond for The Big Thrill. Although you grew up in the U.S., you’re originally from Lebanon, which was once described as the Paris of the East, and now is more known for civil war. How does the Middle East and your experiences flow into your writing? Growing up there and going to architecture school during the civil war years has had a huge influence on my view of life, and by extension, on my writing. The urgency, the pacing, it all comes more »

By June 30, 2016 Read More →
Up Close: Interview with Brad Thor

Up Close: Interview with Brad Thor

A Story of Deadly Rivals  By J. H. Bográn Scot Harvath is back. Those words send chills down the spines of Brad Thor readers everywhere. With novel Number 15 in the series about to hit the stores, anticipation soars for the next page-turner revolving around Harvath, an ex-Navy SEAL Secret Service agent. Deep within the Caucasus, Moscow has its own special kind of operative. As a child, Sacha Baseyev endured an unimaginable horror. Today he lives and breathes for only one reason—to kill. And he will kill as many Americans as it takes to accomplish his mission. When a clandestine American operations team is ambushed near Syria, all signs point toward a dangerous informant in Brussels. But as Harvath searches for the man, he uncovers another actor—a rogue player hell-bent on forcing America’s hand and drawing the nation into a confrontation deadlier than anyone could have imagined. Thor discusses the challenges of more »

By June 30, 2016 Read More →
Get It Right: J.J. Hensley

Get It Right: J.J. Hensley

Portraying the Secret Service Accurately By J.J. Hensley True story:  The shot rang out from somewhere behind me.  Instantly, I shielded the person walking beside me and began pushing her away from the threat.  The protectee instinctively struggled against my efforts, but I held firm, refusing to relinquish my grip.  No matter the cost to me, I would not allow an assailant to get a clean shot at the intended target.  The protectee was stunned.  The crowd around us was mortified.  The realization I came to next was one I will never forget. It is no secret that the United States Secret Service protects the President of the United States.  That aspect of the job has been described—with varying levels of accuracy—in countless books and more »

By June 30, 2016 Read More →

Between the Lines

Between the Lines: Megan Abbott

Between the Lines: Megan Abbott

Finding Darkness in Bright, Shiny Places   By Nancy Bilyeau A video went viral after the London Olympics, taken of the parents of American gymnast Aly Raisman as they watched her compete on the uneven bars. The couple flinched, drew together and leaned back as one, fixated on their daughter. Although sitting in the spectators’ area, the gymnast’s parents seemed to move as she moved, utterly unaware of how they might appear. Reaction to the video on the Internet was amused, scornful, and appalled. How could it be healthy for parents to be that identified with their daughter? Novelist Megan Abbott had an altogether different response. Could she explore the world of female competitive gymnastics—specifically, the family of the gymnast—in her next novel of suspense? more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Between the Lines: Joseph Finder

Between the Lines: Joseph Finder

Building the Perfect Hero By James W. Ziskin Joseph Finder writes high-octane bestselling novels of suspense, conspiracy, and ruthless corporations. His books have garnered top industry awards including the ITW Award for Best Novel (Killer Instinct 2006), both the Barry and Gumshoe Awards for Best Thriller (Company Man 2005), and the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel (Buried Secrets 2011). Two of his standalone thrillers, High Crimes and Paranoia, have been made into major motion pictures. Following up on last year’s standalone New York Times bestseller, The Fixer, Finder is back this month with GUILTY MINDS. Featuring the bruising and brilliant “private spy” Nick Heller, GUILTY MINDS is the third novel in this popular series (after Vanished and Buried Secrets). This time, Heller is hired more »

By June 30, 2016 Read More →
Between the Lines with Daniel Palmer

Between the Lines with Daniel Palmer

Embracing the Legacy—and Setting a New Mark By Austin S. Camacho I’ve heard that varied experiences, an artistic temperament, or even genetics could predict writing talent. By any of those measures it’s no surprise that Daniel Palmer has turned out a steady flow of bestsellers. After earning his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer. He’s an accomplished blues harmonica player. And he’s the son of bestselling author Michael Palmer, whose legacy lives on because Daniel’s been asked to continue his father’s oeuvre. Which means now two of Daniel’s novels are being released at the same time. MERCY is the second Michael Palmer medical thriller Daniel’s written in the tradition of his late father. In it, Dr. Julie Devereux more »

By May 31, 2016 Read More →
Between the Lines with Charlaine Harris

Between the Lines with Charlaine Harris

Extraordinary Characters Hiding Among the Ordinary By Nancy Bilyeau The place is Texas. We find ourselves in a small town, and by that I mean a very small town. One streetlight, a diner, a few stores. It’s quiet. And the people … well, this is a Charlaine Harris book, and the people are definitely not what they seem. It doesn’t stay quiet for long. Harris’s latest book, NIGHT SHIFT, is the third in her new series. These exciting mysteries revolve around the residents of Midnight, Texas: an Internet psychic named Manfred who may or may not be a real psychic; Fiji, a woman who runs a New Age witchcraft shop for a good reason; a gay couple, Chuy and Joe; a pawnshop owner, Bobo; another couple, more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Between the Lines: Interview with Lisa Scottoline

Between the Lines: Interview with Lisa Scottoline

Finding the Monstrous in the Ordinary By Robert Rotstein The best thrillers begin with ordinary, even joyous events and explore how one unfortunate turn can threaten everything that a person holds dear. And “best thriller” describes Lisa Scottoline’s compelling new novel MOST WANTED, in which a couple’s dream—to have a child—becomes a nightmare, placing at risk a woman’s unborn child, her marriage, and ultimately, her life. Christine Nilsson is a devoted school teacher and a loving wife. She and her husband, Marcus, desperately want a baby, but Marcus suffers from fertility problems. After much soul-searching and research, they decide to use a sperm donor, and Christine becomes pregnant. Then, after two months, she discovers that her donor might be a serial killer. Against her husband’s more »

By March 31, 2016 Read More →
Between the Lines with Harlan Coben, by A.J. Colucci

Between the Lines with Harlan Coben, by A.J. Colucci

Lessons From the Master of the Twist By A.J. Colucci Crime writer Harlan Coben is arguably today’s Master of the Who-Done-It. The author is known for leaving a trail of breadcrumbs along the way to fool readers into thinking they know the ending when they don’t. FOOL ME ONCE is the latest novel to demonstrate his skill at the double-twist. It grabs you from page one, and tosses your sensibilities around like a ragdoll, until the shocking end. I started the book early morning, broke for a quick lunch and closed it around midnight. I’m still not sure what my family ate for dinner. If you read Coben, you know what I’m talking about. Since his breakout novel, TELL NO ONE, he’s been churning out more »

By February 29, 2016 Read More →

Special to the Big Thrill

Up Close: Eric Van Lustbader by Jessica Driscoll

Up Close: Eric Van Lustbader by Jessica Driscoll

Inspired By Real-Life Corruption and War By Jessica Driscoll From the prolific author of the Bourne series comes a new standalone thriller, ANY MINUTE NOW, a dark tale ripped from the headlines and inspired by Eric Van Lustbader’s fascination with the occult, the continuing war in the Middle East, and the “terrible price soldiers are asked to pay.” “The ongoing corruption obscured by the fog of war both frighten and anger me,” he says. ANY MINUTE NOW kicks off with Red Rover, the blackest of black ops teams, losing one of its own on a top-priority mission. The group is unexpectedly disbanded, leaving Greg Whitman and Felix Orteño to replace their lost team member with Charlize Daou. Daou, a brilliant and talented arms expert, becomes more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Turning Point: F. Paul Wilson

Turning Point: F. Paul Wilson

Tossing Off the Security Blanket By Ann Voss Peterson F. Paul Wilson, a physician who has written numerous international bestsellers—from the Repairman Jack urban mercenary series to science thrillers and iconic horror novels like The Keep—tells Ann Voss Peterson why he’s changing course with his new release PANACEA. Okay, it seems every time you turn around, someone is starting a new series, and here you’ve gone and stopped one. Repairman Jack has such a wide and loyal fan base, all I can do is scratch my head and ask why? Yeah, I know. It seems like a dumb idea. I remember mentioning to Lee Child that I was planning on shutting down the series and he said, “Why would you ever want to do that?” more »

By June 30, 2016 Read More →
Author Guided Tour: Simon Toyne Explores Arizona

Author Guided Tour: Simon Toyne Explores Arizona

In Search of Redemption in 118-Degree Heat A man walks barefoot from a burning plane wearing an elegant suit jacket with his name stitched into the label. Ahead of him, a small town shimmers in the desert heat. He doesn’t know where he is, or who he is, or even if he was on the crashed plane—the only thing he knows for sure is that he has come to the town to save someone. This is the opening scene of THE SEARCHER and also the first solid image I had of the story. A new book often starts this way for me, with a scene or an image, and from this glimpse I knew I needed to find a desert town, so I booked a trip to more »

By May 31, 2016 Read More →
Trend Report:  Can the Devil Make Us Do It?

Trend Report: Can the Devil Make Us Do It?

By Dawn Ius From Paradise Lost to Rosemary’s Baby, Satan hasn’t exactly been hiding in hell when it comes to storytelling. But in the last decade, with supernatural fiction cycling through vampire/werewolf/zombie, it seems the Prince of Darkness lingered in the shadows of society’s fascination, waiting to take his moment in the cultural spotlight. Could the time be now? “Horror fiction—and genre fiction generally—feeds upon the anxieties of the moment, and spits them back at us in transfigured, mythologized forms,” says Andrew Pyper, bestselling author of several literary horror stories, including The Demonologist, winner of the ITW award for Best Hardcover Novel in 2014. “Even on the intimate level of the people in our immediate lives and the conversation around the ‘sociopath next door,’ we turn, more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Author Guided Tour: E.M. Powell Takes Us to Medieval Ireland

Author Guided Tour: E.M. Powell Takes Us to Medieval Ireland

By E.M. Powell The island of Ireland occupied a unique place in the medieval world. It was, as far as the millions of inhabitants of Europe were concerned, It. Nothing else existed to the west (sorry, Americas). In a 7th Century letter to the Pope, Saint Columbanus refers to the Irish as the ‘Dwellers at the Earth’s Edge.’ And even by the 12th Century, Gerald of Wales, royal clerk to England’s King Henry II, still confirmed Ireland as ‘the farthest western lands…Beyond the whole horizon only the ocean flows and is borne on in endless space.’ Now, Henry had a keen interest in Ireland and, as it happens, so do I—it being the land of my birth and all. But I also have a keen interest in more »

By February 22, 2016 Read More →
Turning Point: Gregg Hurwitz Launches a Series

Turning Point: Gregg Hurwitz Launches a Series

A Compelling Protagonist for ORPHAN X By R.G. Belsky So why does a best-selling thriller writer like Gregg Hurwitz decide to launch a new series now, after putting out a string of hugely successful stand-alone books? Hurwitz, author of the highly anticipated ORPHAN X, says it’s because it took him 15 novels to find a character he wanted to spend that much time with–but he finally has one in Evan Smoak. “A book series is a huge step,” Hurwitz said when we interviewed him about the debut of this exciting series hero, who is already being compared to the likes of Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne. “It’s not just who you’re living with that book and that year. It’s the next book. And the next. more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →

Domestic Thrillers

Love Her Madly by M. Elizabeth Lee

Love Her Madly by M. Elizabeth Lee

By Vivian Rhodes LOVE HER MADLY, the debut novel by author, M. Elizabeth Lee, is more than a thriller—it examines the demands inherent in meaningful relationships and just how much one is willing to sacrifice for the sake of true friendship. Glo, Cyn, and Raj are college students whose lives become entwined through the love they feel for one another. At first, their unorthodox relationship seems to work, but when Cyn disappears while on a trip to Costa Rica, things get complicated. This month, I chatted with Lee to get the scoop on what inspired this thrilling debut, and what readers can expect from her next. What inspired you to write LOVE HER MADLY? The seed of the novel came to me when I was more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Still Mine by Amy Stuart

Still Mine by Amy Stuart

By April Snellings Hard-boiled detective fiction and domestic suspense are two genres that, at least historically, have rarely intersected. With some notable exceptions, the former has long been the province of macho, lone-wolf antiheroes; the latter, by contrast, is dominated by protagonists wrestling with relationships that bind to the point of suffocation. But the most exciting genre writers delight in obscuring or altogether obliterating such distinctions, and that brings us to Amy Stuart. With her debut novel, STILL MINE, Stuart has delivered a powerful thriller that blurs the lines between the hard-drinking detective and the fragile abuse victim. Stuart’s protagonist is both, and the novel is just as concerned with unraveling the mystery of her past as uncovering the fate of the missing woman she’s trying to find. STILL MINE centers on Clare, a woman who has carefully engineered her own disappearance. Fleeing from her husband, Clare arrives in the insular mountain more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Little Girl Gone by Gerry Schmitt

Little Girl Gone by Gerry Schmitt

By Cathy Perkins Gerry Schmitt, New York Times bestselling author of multiple cozy mysteries, has released her first thriller, Little Girl Gone. In an advance review, St. Paul Pioneer Press said, “Schmitt has a great sense of the creepy.” LITTLE GIRL GONE is indeed creepy. On a frozen night in an affluent Minneapolis neighborhood, a baby is abducted from her home, and her teenage babysitter assaulted. The parents are frantic, the police are baffled, and, with the perpetrator already in the wind, the trail is getting colder by the second. Enter Afton Tangler, the family liaison officer who pulls together random clues and sniffs out a sinister woman who creates “reborn” dolls. Suspense magazine put it succinctly—Schmitt is “a real pro.” The author shared some more »

By June 30, 2016 Read More →
Someone Must Die by Sharon Potts

Someone Must Die by Sharon Potts

When the past haunts the present, the solution may be deadly Award-winning author Sharon Potts’s much anticipated domestic thriller was recently released with a rave review in Publishers Weekly. The story revolves around Aubrey Lynd, whose six-year-old nephew vanishes from a neighborhood carnival, raising suspicions about who abducted him. Could it have been Aubrey’s mother?  As Aubrey begins to expose a series of lies, she is thrown into a high-stakes game where her nephew’s life is at risk—and time is running out. Potts took some time this month to share with The Big Thrill her inspiration for this pulse-pounding story, and why “family” is often at the core of her work. What makes SOMEONE MUST DIE different from most domestic thrillers? SOMEONE MUST DIE revolves more »

By June 30, 2016 Read More →
The Last Time She Saw Him by Jane Haseldine

The Last Time She Saw Him by Jane Haseldine

By L. E. Fitzpatrick THE LAST TIME SHE SAW HIM is the debut pulse-quickening story from debut author Jane Haseldine. She’s taken time out to tell The Big Thrill about the inspiration behind her story. THE LAST TIME SHE SAW HIM sees journalist Julia relive a horrific experience from her childhood. Where did you get the inspiration for this storyline? The book isn’t based on any specific crime. But for me, the worst stories are the ones about children who are victimized, abducted, or hurt in any way. For the book, I thought a lot about what scares me the most, and that is anything bad happening to my children. But then I started to think, what if a person had already endured a similar more »

By May 31, 2016 Read More →
It Takes One by Kate Kessler

It Takes One by Kate Kessler

By Cathy Perkins A former juvenile delinquent, Kate Kessler fell in love with thrillers at an early age, though it took her decades to finally try writing one. IT TAKES ONE is the first in a new thriller series where a criminal psychologist uses her own dark past to assist law enforcement in catching dangerous killers. Years ago, Audrey Harte helped her best friend Maggie kill Maggie’s abusive father, and paid the price with a conviction and jail time. Now, home for the first time in years, Audrey’s the prime suspect in another murder—Maggie’s. To find the real killer, Audrey will have to remember what it was like to be one. Kessler takes time this month to talk to The Big Thrill about the inspiration more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →

International Suspense

When the Music’s Over by Peter Robinson

When the Music’s Over by Peter Robinson

Crime Fiction Ripped From the Headlines By Nancy Bilyeau In 1987, Inspector Allan Banks made his first appearance in the crime novel Gallows View. Canadian author Peter Robinson won glowing reviews for his novel, which followed Banks’ move from London to the Yorkshire town of Eastvale. This summer marks the 23rd outing for the tenacious Banks, in the novel WHEN THE MUSIC’S OVER.  In between the two publications, Robinson’s series has earned a loyal following, consistently good reviews, and awards ranging from the Anthony and the Barry to the Edgar and CWA’s Dagger in the Library. WHEN THE MUSIC’S OVER is set in Eastvale, as were its predecessors. Robinson, who was born in Leeds, draws on his childhood memories of Yorkshire, in part, to create the more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Cambodia Noir by Nick Seeley

Cambodia Noir by Nick Seeley

By J. H. Bográn PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: the end of the line. Lawless, drug-soaked, forgotten—it’s where bad journalists go to die. For once-great war photographer Will Keller, that’s kind of a mission statement: he spends his days floating from one score to the next, taking any job that pays; his nights are a haze of sex, drugs, booze, and brawling. But Will’s spiral toward oblivion is interrupted by Kara Saito, a beautiful young woman who shows up and begs Will to help find her sister, June, who disappeared during a stint as an intern at the local paper. Cambo offers a hundred kinds of trouble a young reporter could get mixed up in—but June came with secrets and terrors of her own. Cambodia is not the only more »

By March 31, 2016 Read More →
Lost King by H.B. Moore

Lost King by H.B. Moore

By H.B. Moore At the age of 14, I met the Coptic pope, Patriarch Shenouda III, who lived in exile in Alexandria. The Coptic Church is the largest Christian religion in the Middle East, and according to tradition, the church was established by St. Mark in the first century, taking on a different position over Christology from that of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. I’d traveled to Egypt with my father on a business trip, and for an American teenager from Utah, this trip was the beginning of my fascination with ancient Egypt. As an elementary school student, I’d lived in Maadi, Egypt, but those memories had well faded by my teen years, limited to over-crowded trains and the dark soulful more »

By February 29, 2016 Read More →
The Capitalist by Peter Steiner

The Capitalist by Peter Steiner

By J. H. Bográn In THE CAPITALIST, St. John Larrimer’s fraudulent financial investment is revealed and he flees to his luxurious Caribbean retreat.  The money of course has been safely laundered in real estate and off-shore accounts.  “It’s how capitalism works,” says Larrimer.  It’s Darwin, with cash.  Unfortunately for him, Louis Morgon, a defrocked CIA operative, is one of Larrimer’s victims.  Louis didn’t lose much, but Pauline, his lover, did, and worse, her brother, who was responsible for their investments, took his own life.  For Louis Morgon, injustice on this order is an itch that has to be scratched.  And he’s not above a little fraud of his own to bring Larrimer down. Besides writing novels, the author has made a living as cartoonist for more »

By February 29, 2016 Read More →
The First Order by Jeff Abbott

The First Order by Jeff Abbott

A Deadly Search for the Truth By R. G. Belsky Jeff Abbott left readers eager for more when he ended Inside Man, his last Sam Capra thriller, with a shocking cliffhanger. Sam–a betrayed ex-CIA agent who now owns bars around the world while battling international crime –discovered that the brother he thought was dead is somehow still alive. Now we get the answers about that–and a lot more–in THE FIRST ORDER, the fifth book in the Sam Capra series. “I like when readers are impatient for the next book; that means I’m doing my job,” Abbott said when I asked him about using the final few pages of his previous book to set up the story for THE FIRST ORDER. “I think you always want to leave them wanting more. There, I wanted to set up more »

By December 31, 2015 Read More →
An Unbeaten Man by Brendan Rielly

An Unbeaten Man by Brendan Rielly

Brendan Rielly graduated from college with a major in Government and Legal Studies—but as is the case in his family of storytellers, his heart led him to fiction writing at Notre Dame and his first novel, AN UNBEATEN MAN. This month Rielly answers a few questions for The Big Thrill about what it was like to write his first thriller, and what comes next for the characters, and for the author. Tell us about AN UNBEATEN MAN. Michael McKeon is a microbiologist at Bowdoin College who discovers a microbe that consumes oil and turns it into natural gas. Because of the potential to unlock difficult-to-tap oil reserves or to clean up huge oil spills, this should be a breakthrough that defines a career, but instead, more »

By November 30, 2015 Read More →

Contemporary Thrillers

Turning Point: Hank Phillippi Ryan by Wendy Tyson

Turning Point: Hank Phillippi Ryan by Wendy Tyson

Writing a Gutsy Heroine From the Heart By Wendy Tyson Hank Phillippi Ryan is well known on several fronts. She’s an award-winning on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate and an award-winning bestselling crime author. Fans love her Charlotte McNally series and her Jane Ryland thrillers—as well as her anthologies and short stories. How does she do it all? This month in The Big Thrill, Hank shares a few of her secrets. She also gives us a glimpse into AIR TIME and DRIVE TIME, her two summertime releases from the popular Charlotte McNally series. Thanks to some innovative moves, Charlotte is back. Congratulations on the recent release of AIR TIME and the upcoming release of DRIVE TIME. What an exciting summer—two releases in the Charlotte more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Free Fall by Rick Mofina

Free Fall by Rick Mofina

By James W. Ziskin Hailed as “one of the best thriller writers in the business” by Library Journal, Rick Mofina is the acclaimed author of 19 novels and many short stories. Mofina writes standalones and four series (Reed-Sydowski, Jason Wade, Jack Gannon and Kate Page). He has garnered numerous nominations and awards, including the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in 2003 for Blood of Others. A 30-year veteran journalist for the Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald and Southam News wire service, among others, Mofina uses his journalistic experience to write tight, white-knuckle thrillers. Reporter Kate Page returns in Mofina’s latest thriller, FREE FALL, a terrifying race against time as airplanes start falling out of the sky for unknown reasons. Kate Page is a tenacious heroine more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Killfile by Christopher Farnsworth

Killfile by Christopher Farnsworth

By E. M. Powell I’m sure we all treasure the wisdom of our friends. But I’m equally sure we envy Christopher Farnsworth this particular relationship: “A good friend of mine says that writing is painting yourself into a corner—and then flying out.” Even better is that Farnsworth has acted upon this advice. His latest release, KILLFILE, most definitely flies and then some. For starters, it has such an original and compelling premise. Psychic John Smith was trained by the CIA to weaponize his unusual talents. Not only can he hear people’s thoughts, he can also bend the will of others to his own. He has moved on from government service to private consultancy to the very wealthiest. Hired to investigate a young software genius and more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Dancing With the Tiger by Lili Wright

Dancing With the Tiger by Lili Wright

Lili Wright’s debut novel, DANCING WITH THE TIGER, is set in Mexico, a country the author knows well. Wright lived in Mexico twice, and she infuses this rollicking novel of art and addiction with her reporter’s eye for vivid detail. The story begins when a meth-addicted looter digs up what he believes is Montezuma’s funerary mask, a priceless artifact. A tense chase ensues as an eclectic cast of characters pursues the treasure for very different reasons. In addition to the meth-addicted looter, there is a masked tiger, an expat art collector, a dying drug lord, a lesbian housekeeper, and most importantly—Anna Ramsey, a 30-year-old American with a history of bad choices. Ramsey needs the mask to redeem her father—and save herself. Here, Wright chats with more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Brain Storm by Elaine Viets

Brain Storm by Elaine Viets

By Joe Moore Changing course in the middle of a successful writing career is a big gamble. Especially moving from light, humorous novels to much darker, serious subject matter. When I heard that my friend Elaine Viets was doing just that with her new novel, BRAIN STORM, I had to find out why. It came as no surprise that her motivation grew from events in her life. Now I know that this course change will be just as successful as her previous path. Here’s what I learned. Elaine, why write a dark psychological suspense novel? You’re best known for your funny Dead-End Job mysteries and cozy Mystery Shopper novels? I started writing dark novels, the Francesca Vierling newspaper mysteries for Bantam Dell. Then the publisher’s more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Tag, You’re Dead by J. C. Lane

Tag, You’re Dead by J. C. Lane

By Matt Ferraz In TAG, YOU’RE DEAD, author J.C. Lane presents a chase around the city of Chicago, where the innocent game of tag becomes a matter of life and death. Writing from the point of view of six different characters, the author decided to do something radically different from her previews books, published under the name of Judy Clemens. No spoilers here, though. You can see the result this month, when the book comes out. Your book is set in Chicago. What’s the importance of this city in your story? I have always loved Chicago. I grew up in northern Indiana, so when our family went to “the city,” it was Chicago, where we visited the Field Museum, Orchestra Hall, The Museum of Science more »

By June 30, 2016 Read More →

The Best of the Rest

The August 2016 Edition of The Big Thrill is Here!

The August 2016 Edition of The Big Thrill is Here!

In our August issue, go behind the scenes to learn how authors create their worlds. In the cover story, Megan Abbott shares how she crafted a dark and suspenseful narrative in a bright suburban community. In “Up Close,” Eric Van Lustbader discusses the inspirations for his stand-alone novel: corruption, war in the Middle East, and the occult. In “Turning Point,” Hank Phillippi Ryan talks about a beloved main character who investigates crime in Boston. And other top-notch novelists discuss their work, from Peter Robinson and Linda Fairstein to Rick Mofina and Susan Spann. In “Author Guided Tour,” Dawn Ius roars along the Vegas Strip. And in “Industry Focus,” Richard Krevolin gives valuable insight into the challenge of novelists writing screenplays. We’ve got even more great more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Africa Scene: Michéle Rowe by Michael Sears

Africa Scene: Michéle Rowe by Michael Sears

Finding the Psychological Truths By Michael Sears Michéle Rowe is an author, script writer and story originator for film and television with a big reputation and a string of prizes to her name, as well as nominations for an Oscar for Best Documentary and an International Emmy award.  When she turned her hand to writing crime fiction, she was equally successful.  In 2011 she won the UK Crime Writers Association’s Debut Dagger, and in 2013 her debut novel, What Hidden Lies, was published in South Africa to critical acclaim (and later in North America and Germany).  It’s the first book in a trilogy featuring the continuing main characters.  The second novel, HOUR OF DARKNESS, was recently released by Penguin Random House South Africa. HOUR OF more »

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Killer Look by Linda Fairstein

Killer Look by Linda Fairstein

Murder in New York’s Garment District By Dawn Ius Each of Linda Fairstein’s Alex Cooper crime novels is set in an iconic part of New York —from the opera house to Lincoln Center, and all points inbetween. In KILLER LOOK, Fairstein’s 18th book in the bestselling series, she tackles the Garment District with a thrilling exploration of the city’s famous fashion industry. But this is no clichéd catwalk drama or model in distress story. Instead, Fairstein goes behind the scenes to uncover the dark underbelly of the industry’s business core. “One of the challenges was to not write about the runway model as a victim,” she says. “That’s been done, and overdone. But the Garment District has been on my mind for a long time, more »

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Deadly Secrets by Jen Talty

Deadly Secrets by Jen Talty

By Cathy Perkins Bestselling author and business entrepreneur Jen Talty transitioned from teaching and training business software applications to handling the technical end of a digital publishing company. Along the way, she made the leap from hockey mom to romantic suspense author.  And what suspense she writes! Or as NYT bestselling author Jennifer Probst put it, “DEADLY SECRETS is the best of romance and suspense in one hot read!” DEADLY SECRETS is a romantic suspense thrill ride. Patty Harmon had a plan for her life. What she planned as a “moment” with New York State Trooper Reese McGinn interrupts that agenda when Patty finds herself pregnant. Constantly on the move trying to escape the past, McGinn had vowed never to put down roots. With a more »

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Friend of the Devil by Mark Spivak

Friend of the Devil by Mark Spivak

By Amy Lignor Although Mark Spivak is an award-winning author, he has just recently taken his first foray into fiction. With a background as a writer and editor in the areas of wine, food, and culinary travel, Spivak’s debut novel is about America’s most famous chef…and the deal he makes to achieve fame and fortune. Now working on a political thriller, Spivak does not wish to hold himself to any one specific genre. Instead, as he explained in our interview, his multitude of thoughts and ideas make for an exciting future as he walks a variety of paths to create memorable stories. ___ This is your first fiction title after publishing non-fiction work. Can you tell readers the differences between the two, and whether you more »

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Shattered by Death by Catherine Finger

Shattered by Death by Catherine Finger

By Catherine Finger As a thriller writer, my Judeo-Christian roots are on display every time I create the classic Good v. Evil scenario inherent in the genre. I love playing with the idea of justice, and choosing whether or not the good girl or guy will win in the end.  And I really enjoy the process of creating a memorable bad guy or girl. My goal as I craft thrillers is to come up with an antagonist worthy of Police Chief Jo Oliver—my protagonist.  Nothing makes my heroine look better than pitting her against a skilled antagonist. Nothing makes my readers respect her more than watching her put herself in harm’s way in order to protect others from a cunning adversary. Creating bad guys—and girls—who more »

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The Short List by Frank Zafiro and Eric Beetner

The Short List by Frank Zafiro and Eric Beetner

By Guy Bergstrom Two partners, working together—that’s the foundation of many crime novels. THE SHORT LIST adds two more twists: there are alternating chapters from the heroes, Cam and Bricks, written by the partnership of authors Eric Beetner and Frank Zafiro. Zafiro lives in Washington State and served as a police officer for 20 years. Beetner is a crime author based in LA. While they’ve both written a long list of other novels, this is the second time they’ve collaborated on a Cam and Bricks story. Beetner took time to explain how this partnership happened and what they expect for the future. What inspired you to team up for this project? Frank and I have known each other online for a while, ever since I more »

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Terror in Taffeta by Marla Cooper

Terror in Taffeta by Marla Cooper

By George Ebey This month, author Marla Cooper brings us TERROR IN TAFFET, the first installment in her Destination Wedding mystery series. Kelsey McKenna thinks she’d planned out every detail of her client’s destination wedding in San Miguel de Allende. But what she hadn’t planned on was a bridesmaid dropping dead in the middle of the ceremony. When the bride’s sister is arrested for murder, the mother of the bride demands that Kelsea fix the matter at once. Although Kelsea is pretty sure investigating a murder isn’t in her contract, crossing the well-connected Mrs. Abemathy could be a career-killer.  Before she can leave Mexico and get back to planning weddings, Kelsey will have to deal with stubborn detectives, late-night death threats, and guests who didn’t more »

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