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The July edition of the Big Thrill is here!

28 new thrillers from ITW Members, including debut novels from Teri Anne Stanley and Wendy Tyson, plus new nonfiction from Steven Philip Jones. Don't miss the Between the Lines Interview with Karin Slaughter by A.J. Colucci; a Special to the Big Thrill: THE KILLING novel: The Rewards and Challenges of Bringing Linden and Holder to the Page by Karen Dionne; a second Special to the Big Thrill: A Q&A with Simon & Schuster Senior Editor Sarah Knight by Barry Lancet; and don't forget to visit the Africa Scene with Annamaria Alfieri.

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Featured Articles

The July 2014 Edition of The Big Thrill is Here!

The July 2014 Edition of The Big Thrill is Here!

We’re kicking off the month of July with twenty-eight new thrillers from ITW Members, including debut novels from Teri Anne Stanley and Wendy Tyson, plus new nonfiction from Steven Philip Jones. Don’t miss the Between the Lines Interview with Karin Slaughter by A.J. Colucci; a Special to the Big Thrill: THE KILLING novel: The Rewards and Challenges of Bringing Linden and Holder to the Page by Karen Dionne; a second Special to the Big Thrill: A Q&A with Simon & Schuster Senior Editor Sarah Knight by Barry Lancet; and don’t forget to visit the Africa Scene with Annamaria Alfieri. Hot off the press: Click on the book title below to read the feature story or click here to scroll through all of this month’s articles. more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
Special to the Big Thrill: THE KILLING Novel: The Rewards and Challenges of Bringing Linden and Holder to the Page by Karen Dionne

Special to the Big Thrill: THE KILLING Novel: The Rewards and Challenges of Bringing Linden and Holder to the Page by Karen Dionne

What It’s Like to Write a Television Tie-In Novel by Karen Dionne There are two broad categories of television and movie tie-ins. A novelization is a retelling of the show or movie. An original novel based on the show uses the show’s characters, but the story is the author’s. Neither are fan fiction, since tie-in authors are hired by the license holders to write their books. Well-known tie-in writers include Kingsley Amis, Raymond Benson, Lawrence Block, Orson Scott Card, Leslie Charteris, Arthur C. Clarke, Max Allan Collins, Ian Fleming, Jonathan Maberry, David Morrell, and Robert B. Parker to name just a few. Tie-in books are published by major publishing companies, sell tens of millions of copies worldwide, and regularly appear on the New York Times, more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
The June 2014 Edition of The Big Thrill

The June 2014 Edition of The Big Thrill

Read the stories that were featured in the June edition of The Big Thrill.

By May 31, 2014 Read More →
Between the Lines: The Authors of FACEOFF by Anthony J. Franze and Robert Rotstein

Between the Lines: The Authors of FACEOFF by Anthony J. Franze and Robert Rotstein

By Anthony J. Franze and Robert Rotstein What would happen if two dozen of the world’s bestselling authors got together to pen a book of short stories pairing up their beloved series characters? If there was a thriller writer dream team? And what if the compilation was edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci? Readers will find out in FACEOFF, an anthology released this week from Simon & Schuster. In a first-of-its-kind collaboration curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW), twenty-three critically acclaimed authors crafted eleven electrifying stories where their iconic characters go head-to-head. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for readers,” Baldacci said. “I’m honored to be at the helm of this amazing ship.” Over the past few months, THE BIG THRILL, more »

By May 31, 2014 Read More →
The May 2014 Edition of The Big Thrill is Here!

The May 2014 Edition of The Big Thrill is Here!

Read the stories that were featured in the May edition of The Big Thrill.

By April 30, 2014 Read More →
A Between the Lines Interview with Steve Berry by Paula Tutman

A Between the Lines Interview with Steve Berry by Paula Tutman

By Paula Tutman There is a respect for history. There is a love of history. There is a reverence for the art of passing history from one generation to another. And then there is what Steve and Elizabeth Berry do—preserving history with well-worn running shoes laced up, ready to go, while wearing many different hats. New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry’s latest historical thriller, THE LINCOLN MYTH, puts you on the wall as a fly, eavesdropping on a historical figure whose life and death are well-travelled territory. But Berry’s Harold “Cotton” Malone will not allow you to sit in a high school history class with your eyes glazing over waiting for the bell to ring. Cotton Malone will, once again, fall off his secret-agent more »

By April 30, 2014 Read More →

Between the Lines

A Between the Lines Interview with Karin Slaughter by A.J. Colucci

A Between the Lines Interview with Karin Slaughter by A.J. Colucci

By A.J. Colucci When it comes to murder, Karin Slaughter pulls no punches. The internationally acclaimed author of thirteen novels believes crime fiction writers have an obligation to tell the truth. “Even though we’re writing fiction, we need to remember that the crimes we write about happen to real people every single day. We need to tread carefully. We need to honor their stories.” As a result, her novels are not for the faint of heart. The crimes are brutally realistic, the terror is genuine and the tension between the characters is palpable. With a name like Slaughter, perhaps it was fate. Her two hugely popular series, Will Trent and Grant County, have sold more than thirty million books that have been translated into thirty-two more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
Between the Lines: The Authors of FACEOFF by Anthony J. Franze and Robert Rotstein

Between the Lines: The Authors of FACEOFF by Anthony J. Franze and Robert Rotstein

By Anthony J. Franze and Robert Rotstein What would happen if two dozen of the world’s bestselling authors got together to pen a book of short stories pairing up their beloved series characters? If there was a thriller writer dream team? And what if the compilation was edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci? Readers will find out in FACEOFF, an anthology released this week from Simon & Schuster. In a first-of-its-kind collaboration curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW), twenty-three critically acclaimed authors crafted eleven electrifying stories where their iconic characters go head-to-head. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for readers,” Baldacci said. “I’m honored to be at the helm of this amazing ship.” Over the past few months, THE BIG THRILL, more »

By May 31, 2014 Read More →
A Between the Lines Interview with Steve Berry by Paula Tutman

A Between the Lines Interview with Steve Berry by Paula Tutman

By Paula Tutman There is a respect for history. There is a love of history. There is a reverence for the art of passing history from one generation to another. And then there is what Steve and Elizabeth Berry do—preserving history with well-worn running shoes laced up, ready to go, while wearing many different hats. New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry’s latest historical thriller, THE LINCOLN MYTH, puts you on the wall as a fly, eavesdropping on a historical figure whose life and death are well-travelled territory. But Berry’s Harold “Cotton” Malone will not allow you to sit in a high school history class with your eyes glazing over waiting for the bell to ring. Cotton Malone will, once again, fall off his secret-agent more »

By April 30, 2014 Read More →
A Between The Lines Interview with Andrew Peterson by Brett King

A Between The Lines Interview with Andrew Peterson by Brett King

By Brett King It’s time to KILL again. In 2008, author Andrew Peterson made his debut with the powerhouse novel FIRST TO KILL. His novel introduced a complex hero named Nathan Daniel McBride to a legion of faithful readers and spawned a series of popular and tightly constructed thrillers, all bearing the signature “kill” in the title. April 29 marks the publication of READY TO KILL, the explosive fourth installment in the bestselling series. As with earlier books, Andy’s latest novel doesn’t disappoint. Trained as a Marine Corps scout sniper, Nathan McBride has retired as a CIA operations officer to run a private security company with his best friend, Harv. However, a cryptic message referencing a top-secret U.S. operation changes Nathan’s plans for a quiet more »

By March 31, 2014 Read More →
A Between The Lines Interview with Allison Brennan by Julie Kramer

A Between The Lines Interview with Allison Brennan by Julie Kramer

By Julie Kramer Paperback queen Allison Brennan’ s Lucy Kincaid character regularly lands on bestseller lists for the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY. But now, Brennan is venturing into hardcover territory with NOTORIOUS, a new thriller featuring an investigative reporter protagonist. In a starred review, BOOKLIST dubbed her latest work the start of “a terrific new series.” Nine years ago, Brennan traded politics for publishing and has since become the author of twenty-three acclaimed romantic suspense novels. Yet she doesn’t take success for granted, and is always working to up her game, with novellas, short stories, and soon, hardcover heroine, Maxine Revere. What’s the biggest challenge going from mass market paperback to hardcover? The biggest challenge was overcoming my own fear. It’s a huge more »

By February 28, 2014 Read More →
A Between The Lines Interview with Jennifer McMahon by Paula Tutman

A Between The Lines Interview with Jennifer McMahon by Paula Tutman

By Paula Tutman So many characters so little time. How on earth will author, Jennifer McMahon pull it off in her soon to be released thriller, THE WINTER PEOPLE? She will tell you, it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. When you can scare the pants off yourself—that’s a thriller. While many authors swear by the ‘process’, they outline, they journal, they keep a strict writing schedule—McMahon listens to her heart and the urge to stretch herself creatively.“I knew I wanted to do something different; something bigger and more complex than my previous books,” she says. She goes on to say how surprised she was in what her heart was saying to her hands. Cue the scary music! “I thought I was going to more »

By January 31, 2014 Read More →

Special to the Big Thrill

Special to the Big Thrill: THE KILLING Novel: The Rewards and Challenges of Bringing Linden and Holder to the Page by Karen Dionne

Special to the Big Thrill: THE KILLING Novel: The Rewards and Challenges of Bringing Linden and Holder to the Page by Karen Dionne

What It’s Like to Write a Television Tie-In Novel by Karen Dionne There are two broad categories of television and movie tie-ins. A novelization is a retelling of the show or movie. An original novel based on the show uses the show’s characters, but the story is the author’s. Neither are fan fiction, since tie-in authors are hired by the license holders to write their books. Well-known tie-in writers include Kingsley Amis, Raymond Benson, Lawrence Block, Orson Scott Card, Leslie Charteris, Arthur C. Clarke, Max Allan Collins, Ian Fleming, Jonathan Maberry, David Morrell, and Robert B. Parker to name just a few. Tie-in books are published by major publishing companies, sell tens of millions of copies worldwide, and regularly appear on the New York Times, more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
Special to the Big Thrill: Industry Focus:  A Q&A with Simon & Schuster Senior Editor Sarah Knight by Barry Lancet

Special to the Big Thrill: Industry Focus: A Q&A with Simon & Schuster Senior Editor Sarah Knight by Barry Lancet

By Barry Lancet Lovers of thrillers and mysteries will find Sarah Knight’s pedigree of more than passing interest. During her long career at several major publishing houses, Knight has worked with a star-studded array of writers, including James Lee Burke, Stephen Hunter, Jeffery Deaver, Taylor Stevens, and Gillian Flynn, among many others. Before she moved over to Simon & Schuster to work with the house’s stable of bestselling crime writers, Knight plied the editorial waters of Scribner, Henry Holt, and, most recently, Random House, where she was fortunate to edit Gillian Flynn’s DARK PLACES and then pick up a little property called GONE GIRL—only to accept a job offer from S&S soon after. She still finds leaving behind that future bestseller painful to recall. While more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
Special to The Big Thrill: Screenplay vs. Novel Writing by Terry Hayes

Special to The Big Thrill: Screenplay vs. Novel Writing by Terry Hayes

By Terry Hayes Not long after I had first moved to Hollywood, I ended up in a meeting with several senior studio executives on the 20th Century Fox lot. The subject we were dealing with was a remake of PLANET OF THE APES, the classic 1968 movie starring Charlton Heston as an astronaut and the great Roddy McDowell as a chimpanzee. Oliver Stone was a producer – and being courted assiduously by Fox to also be the director – and Don Murphy, who some years later would be hugely instrumental in bringing the Transformer movies to the screen, was the other producer. My role was to write the script – an assignment which had come my way thanks to my writing work on, among other more »

By April 30, 2014 Read More →
Special to the Big Thrill: Top Ten Firearms Mistakes in Fiction by Chris Grall

Special to the Big Thrill: Top Ten Firearms Mistakes in Fiction by Chris Grall

By Chris Grall There is nothing I love more than a good story. I’ve been a voracious reader since the second grade, when I cut my teeth on just about every Hardy Boys book ever written. As I grew older and left Frank and Joe behind, my taste evolved to more complex fare. Growing up also meant a career, which for me happened to cultivate an expertise in firearms and tactics. Put those two things together and you have an avid reader who recognizes weapon errors in fiction. If it were just firearms instructors who notice these mistakes, I wouldn’t worry too much about them. However, with between 270 to 310 million firearms in the United States* it’s a good bet that simple errors could more »

By March 31, 2014 Read More →
Special to the Big Thrill: ITW’s Online ThrillerSchool

Special to the Big Thrill: ITW’s Online ThrillerSchool

THRILLER SCHOOL: ITW’s New On-Line Craft School Want to write a better thriller? Want to crack into publishing? Or maybe the bestseller list? Here’s your chance. Thriller School begins April 7. Fiction writing isn’t easy. Not for anyone. Whether you’re writing your first manuscript or your fiftieth, it’s difficult and time-consuming work. And a life-long pursuit. Professional writers never cease improving their craft. I think every writer understands this simple truth. Virtually any writer will tell you that regardless of how many times you’ve done it or how far up the bestseller list you’ve climbed, that first blank page is a scary proposition. Fears and self-doubts always rise up. But experienced writers will quickly add that the more you know, the more you write, and more »

By January 31, 2014 Read More →
Special to the Big Thrill: R.L. Stine and the Return of Fear Street by Dawn Ius

Special to the Big Thrill: R.L. Stine and the Return of Fear Street by Dawn Ius

By Dawn Ius It started with a tweet. A one-hundred-forty-character plea from a fan asking R.L. Stine to revive the sprawling creeptastic series that vaulted the FEAR STREET author from funny man to “the Stephen King of children’s literature.” For Stine, the request came as quite a shock. It had been more than fifteen years since he’d abandoned the harrowing halls of Shadyside High School, leaving behind nearly one-hundred books that have sold more than eighty million copies worldwide. “Before I knew it, a whole bunch of people started tweeting me with the same request,” he says. Fans of all ages began reminiscing about gory deaths, favorite characters, and the books they’d dug out of their basements and passed on to younger generations. “These kids more »

By January 1, 2014 Read More →

Crime Fiction

Cornered by Alan Brenham

Cornered by Alan Brenham

By Christine Goff Writing just seemed like a natural career move for Alan Brenham, former U.S. Treasury special agent, patrol officer, criminal prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and a current reserve deputy sheriff. His first novel, PRICE OF JUSTICE, received the Best in Police/Crime Fiction Award from the Texas Association of Authors 2012–2013 and was a finalist for the 2014 International Book Awards and the Eric Hoffer Award’s The da Vinci Eye, as well as the 2013 Beverly Hills Book Award. Now, his second novel, CORNERED, due out in July, is launching to great acclaim. Kirkus Review, for one, praised it as “A rock-solid thriller….multiple scenes of nail-biting intensity…first-rate crime fiction…” Perhaps the most gratifying comment comes from one of Brenham’s favorite authors, Michael McGarrity, New more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
Terminal Life: A Suited Hero Novel by Richard Torregrossa

Terminal Life: A Suited Hero Novel by Richard Torregrossa

By Dan Levy During a time when the favored attire of anti-heroes can range from a wife-beater T-shirt soaked with blood and caked with gunshot residue to whatever the nearest Wal-Mart carries to militia gear and camo paint, it’s nice to see certain heroes emerge that still value a suit. And not a jump suit, flight suit, or space suit. In the case of TERMINAL LIFE: A SUITED HERO NOVEL, the business suit is the hero’s attire of choice. You know, the kind that spawned the pejorative “a suit” to describe a group of men usually painted as ego-inflated idiots, inept law enforcement, or establishment types that are not to be trusted. For Luke Stark, the protagonist in TERMINAL LIFE, author Richard Torregrossa explained the more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
The Natural Law by Steve Attridge

The Natural Law by Steve Attridge

By Ethan Cross Steve Attridge’s work has been described as “Brilliant…thought-provoking, dark, and very, very funny.”With THE NATURAL LAW, his fifteenth book, the bestselling and award-winning author continues the string of success with another exceptional book, this one featuring protagonist Paul Rook. Rook is a philosopher and a crime investigator, but he only works for criminals. He finds them more interesting and he has a secret agenda. When a criminal client of his is brutally murdered his investigations take him into a murky world of government conspiracies and a bizarre community of lost souls living rough beneath a London Bridge. Tell us about THE NATURAL LAW in one line. The murder of a petty criminal leads Paul Rook, investigator and philosopher, into a world of more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
The Killing: Uncommon Denominator by Karen Dionne

The Killing: Uncommon Denominator by Karen Dionne

By Jeff Ayers Fans of the AMC series The Killing will be thrilled to hear that Karen Dionne has written an original novel based on the critically acclaimed show. When firefighters respond to a suspected meth explosion at a trailer park, they discover a man’s body in a neighboring trailer, unburned but with terrible head wounds. The meth cooker lies in critical condition, and undercover narcotics officer Stephen Holder feels a kinship with the child the man leaves behind. Then another man’s body is discovered in a shipping container at the Port of Seattle, shot execution-style. For Homicide Detective Sarah Linden, two cases soon become one, and she must unravel a complex web of addiction, greed, and betrayal to reveal a killer. Dionne’s riveting adaptation more »

By May 31, 2014 Read More →
St Kilda Blues by Geoffrey McGeachin

St Kilda Blues by Geoffrey McGeachin

Writing historical crime fiction obviously requires that a huge amount of time and effort be spent on researching the location and era your characters will be inhabiting before you can even come close to creating the lives they will be leading and the challenges, characters, and crimes they will encounter. Once you complete your research, you then have to toss most of it out the window, leaving just enough to convince your readers that what is happening is really happening in that place and time. Trying to cram most of that research in to the story to justify the time spent can kill a story deader than the girl they drag out of the lake at the start of ST KILDA BLUES. ST KILDA BLUES, more »

By May 31, 2014 Read More →
Sniper: A Thriller by Vaughn C. Hardacker

Sniper: A Thriller by Vaughn C. Hardacker

When a lethal sniper kills four people on Boston Common, local homicide detective Mike Houston and his partner Anne Bouchard are sent to investigate the case. Amidst the blood and terror, detective Houston discovers similarities—the killer’s positioning, his choice of victims, and his apparent code of “ethics”—between the crime scene and his own training as a US Marine scout/sniper. And with the staging of the scene set for prime shock value, Houston has to wonder what it is this murderer intends to accomplish. The connection is later confirmed in the worst possible way when the sniper strikes again, this time killing Houston’s ex-wife, severing what’s left of the bond between Houston and his estranged daughter, Susie. It’s time to settle scores, and as the death more »

By May 31, 2014 Read More →

Adventure Thrillers

Enzan: The Far Mountain by John Donohue

Enzan: The Far Mountain by John Donohue

By Basil Sands This month we introduce to you author John Donohue’s latest novel ENZAN: THE FAR MOUNTAIN, an awesome thrill ride of martial arts action that goes deeper than mere fists. From his home near New Haven, Connecticut, Donohue is an expert on the study of martial arts. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology, researches and trains in the martial arts, and has been banging around the dojo for more than thirty years. He is the author of ten books, including the award-winning Connor Burke martial arts thrillers SENSEI, DESHI, TENGU, KAGE, and now ENZAN: THE FAR MOUNTAIN. Tell us about ENZAN: THE FAR MOUNTAIN. ENZAN is the fifth book in the thriller series that features Connor Burke and his master teacher Yamashita. While a more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
Deep Black Sea by David M. Salkin

Deep Black Sea by David M. Salkin

By Laurence O’Bryan David Salkin is what some would call a renaissance man. He’s an award-winning author, the Mayor of Freehold Township, New Jersey, and a Master Graduate Gemologist. His books have spanned military espionage, action-adventure, horror, mystery, and science fiction. In his latest, DEEP BLACK SEA, a crew of seven aboard a specially designed research submarine sit three miles down in the dark world beneath the sea. When they bring aboard the bacteria that enables certain animals to survive in the seven-hundred degree poisonous water of the black smoker, they have no idea that one of the researchers plans on using them as his test subjects. Salkin recently answered a few questions about his fascinating new novel for THE BIG THRILL. What can readers more »

A Magnificent Crime by Kim Foster

A Magnificent Crime by Kim Foster

By Christine Goff Some writers receive their calling in childhood and chart their course from there. Kim Foster had multiple callings. She grew up reading and writing fiction—her first love. Dissections in biology class prompted her second calling—medical school. Medicine won out. How could it not with the encouragement showered upon her by guidance counselors, teachers, parents, and random street people? But fortunately for thriller readers everywhere, Foster just couldn’t stop writing. After thirteen years of stitching up people’s lacerations, treating their sore throats, and checking their blood pressure, she signed a three-book deal with Kensington Books. Her first e-book, A BEAUTIFUL HEIST, hit the digital waves in 2013 with A MAGNIFICENT CRIME scheduled for release in June 2014. As her protagonist Cat Montgomery knows, more »

By May 31, 2014 Read More →
The Charlatan’s Crown by Amy Lignor

The Charlatan’s Crown by Amy Lignor

By Caridad Pineiro We’re very lucky to have Amy Lignor with us to chat about her writing and THE CHARLATAN’S CROWN, the latest release in her successful Tallent & Lowery series. Amy writes not only young adult and adventure/suspense stories, but also is Editor-in-Chief of Hallowed Ink Press, a new publishing house. She’s also a reviewer and ghost writer. The daughter of research librarians, Amy has a love for books and information and claims that “if the New York Public Library would let me live in their basement, that’s where I would be.” She has put that love to use in creating books that meld historical locations with detailed puzzles. Thank you again for taking the time to chat with us, Amy. Prior to your more »

By May 31, 2014 Read More →
Jade Sky by Patrick Freivald

Jade Sky by Patrick Freivald

By Ethan Cross Matt Rowley hasn’t been human for years. A commando for the International Council on Augmented Phenomena, he hunts down superhuman monsters the military can’t handle. But his abilities come with a price: bloodthirsty whispers that urge him to acts of terrible violence. An encounter with a giant, angelic being with wings of smoke and shadow casts him into a world of inhuman brutality, demonic possession, and madness, where he must choose between his family and his soul. Tell us about JADE SKY in one line. To hunt monsters, the UN needed monsters. Do you have any marketing advice for your fellow authors? Any techniques that you feel have worked especially well for you? Build relationships. If your only interaction with people is more »

By April 30, 2014 Read More →
Fatal Snow by Robert Walton

Fatal Snow by Robert Walton

By Dan Levy Marcel Proust once said, “Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.” Proust was right. Not sure? Think of a favorite family vacation you took as a child. Then, call a parent or a sibling and ask them to recount the same trip. We want our memories preserved our way—embellishments and all. Which is what makes FATAL SNOW such an interesting first novel by Robert Walton. A restaurateur and real estate salesperson living in the Northeast, it’s hard to image why he would write about an archeologist running for his life in the dead of winter through Wyoming’s Grand Tetons—until you ask him. “I was an archeology major in college,” explained Walton. “In the late 1970s, more »

By April 30, 2014 Read More →

Contemporary Thrillers

The Wolf by Lorenzo Carcaterra

The Wolf by Lorenzo Carcaterra

By Austin Camacho Bookstore shelves are filled with thrillers pitting courageous heroes against organized crime or terrorists. But until now we have not seen criminal and terrorist organizations pitted against each other. This inspired concept is the basis of THE WOLF, the latest novel from Lorenzo Carcaterra. THE WOLF, the first book in what promises to be a blockbuster series, shows us the events that drive the heads of the International Organized Crime Syndicate to declare war on the international terror networks. It turns out that mobsters can be much more effective than law enforcement, which is out-numbered and encumbered by all those pesky rules. In the novel, the highest levels of organized crime are led by Vincent “The Wolf” Marelli. He may not be more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day

The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day

By James W. Ziskin Imagine being shot at point-blank range in a darkened hallway by someone you’ve never met. And imagine that your assailant promptly turns the gun on himself, depriving you of any chance of knowing why he did it. Somehow you survive the attack and manage to pull through months of surgeries and rehab and return to your job. But what if your colleagues assume you are somehow to blame, that the true motivation for the attack was something you had done? One of the cruelest injuries of the attack is the callous blackening of your name by vicious gossip. And then there is the haunting question in your own head: Why? Why did that young man shoot me? I recently talked to more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
Sacrificial Muse by Maegan Beaumont

Sacrificial Muse by Maegan Beaumont

By Dawn Ius Maegan Beaumont knows where her dark places are—and she doesn’t mind getting dirty. Because at the bottom of that black pit is a creative force that drives her writing and inspires the creation of Sabrina Vaughn, the damaged protagonist in Beaumont’s award-winning thriller CARVED IN DARKNESS, and the sequel out this month, SACRIFICIAL MUSE. Vaughn’s job is to hunt down murderers—a job she does very well despite her dark and tortured past. At seventeen, she was abducted by a psychotic killer, raped and tortured for nearly three months, and then left for dead in a deserted churchyard. She survived. “There is, in all of us, a will to survive,” says Beaumont, who before becoming a full time writer and mom worked in more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
The Fever by Megan Abbott

The Fever by Megan Abbott

By Tim O’Mara Since I’d just spent the previous week preparing for this interview by reading DARE MEand THE FEVER—both of which drip with the drama of teenage girls—I had the strange feeling I’d gone through high school with Megan Abbott. So I asked her, since high school is all about finding a label that fits, how would she label herself as a writer? “I’m a crime novelist,” she said. “I can’t imagine not being a crime novelist. It’s how I understand story.” So, what about this whole “Queen of Noir” thing? “My stories are about people in dark places. To me, they’re stories about power. We can all relate to having something taken away or wanting something so badly. My characters often come from more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
The Directive by Matthew Quirk

The Directive by Matthew Quirk

By Steph Cha Matthew Quirk is kind of a big deal. He went to Harvard, where he studied history and literature, and straight after graduation, he went and worked for this magazine of import, name is on the tip of my tongue…ah yes, The Atlantic. As if that weren’t enough to make your mom ask if he’s single, he then went on to write two acclaimed thriller novels, THE 500(his 2012 debut) and the brand new sequel, THE DIRECTIVE, both published by Little Brown. THE 500 introduced his protagonist Mike Ford, a Harvard Law graduate tangling with the insidious Washington, D.C. elite. That novel won the Black Ribbon Award and the Thriller Award for best debut, and was nominated more or less everywhere else nominations more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
Phantom Instinct by Meg Gardiner

Phantom Instinct by Meg Gardiner

By Terry DiDomenico I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. I remember reading Nancy Drew and quickly moving on to the Hardy Boys because I craved more action. Mysteries filled the void for a while. Then I found thrillers, starting with David Morrell and Jon Land’s Blaine McCracken. Yes, I was getting action, but in my experience, most of the kicking ass was done by men. That is, until I discovered Meg Gardiner. In my recent introduction to Meg’s stand-alone novels, RANSOM RIVER and SHADOW TRACER, I found what I consider true thriller, kick ass heroines: Rory Mackenzie and Sarah Keller. From there it was a small leap to follow Harper Flynn in PHANTOM INSTINCT, Gardiner’s latest release. Gardiner opens PHANTOM more »

The Best of the Rest

Elective Procedures by Merry Jones

Elective Procedures by Merry Jones

By Cathy Perkins Elle Harrison is back in Merry Jones’s latest release, ELECTIVE PROCEDURES. Recovering from her husband Charlie’s death, Elle Harrison agrees to visit a fortuneteller with a girlfriend. The fortuneteller predicts that Elle will travel, meet a new man, and, oh, by the way—Elle’s aura is filled with death, the dead are drawn to her, and death will follow her everywhere. Elle is shaken, but she tries to ignore the ridiculous prediction. She and her pals travel to Mexico where one of them has arranged cosmetic surgery, planning to recuperate in a plush hotel suite. But more is going on at the hotel than tummy tucks. As dangers swirl, Elle is forced to face her unresolved issues with Charlie, even as she races to more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
Deadly Assets by Wendy Tyson

Deadly Assets by Wendy Tyson

By Derek Gunn Mystery and thriller writer…dog lover…dreamer—these are the words that greet you on Wendy Tyson’s website. The themes carry over into her writing and appeared in our correspondence during the writing of this article. I mean what’s not to like about this woman? DEADLY ASSETS is the second book in the Allison Campbell mystery series but don’t let that worry you about jumping straight in. Allison Campbell is Philadelphia’s premier image consultant and helps others reinvent themselves. She is a gutsy woman who had to rebuild her life and her own confidence when an old case went wrong and she lost her practice and her husband. Today, she is well-heeled and polished and moves in a world of powerful executives, wealthy, eccentric ex-wives, more »

By June 30, 2014 Read More →
Crime Rib by Leslie Budewitz

Crime Rib by Leslie Budewitz

By John Clement In preparation for this piece, I sent Leslie Budewitz, author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mystery series, an email asking if there were any questions she was absolutely sick of being asked. She told me the only thing that makes her sweat is when people ask how long it took to write CRIME RIB, the follow-up to her Agatha Award–winning first novel, DEATH AL DENTE. She told me keeping track of her time isn’t easy, largely due to the fact that she is, for lack of a better word, busy. She’s published short stories in numerous magazines (including Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock), she’s working concurrently on two separate mystery series, and as if that’s not enough, she’s also a practicing lawyer. more »

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Undiplomatic Murder by Donald Bain

Undiplomatic Murder by Donald Bain

By George Ebey Author Donald Bain brings us the latest in the Margaret Truman Capital Crimes series, UNDIPLOMATIC MURDER. In this installment, Washington, D.C. PI Robert Brixton’s younger daughter is slaughtered while sipping wine with him at an outdoor café when a teenage terrorist blows herself up. This sends the cynical, furious Brixton on a quest to uncover who was behind the bombing, and takes him into the murky world of lying politicians, international arms dealers, and deceiving alleged do-gooders, including the leader of a cult on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where, to discover the truth, Brixton lays his life on the line. THE BIG THRILL recently checked in with Bain to learn more about his work on the series as well as the more »

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Skin of the Wolf by Sam Cabot

Skin of the Wolf by Sam Cabot

By Jeremy Burns She’s a veteran novelist. He’s a professor in Rome. Together, they write as Sam Cabot, whose debut novel BLOOD OF THE LAMB drew comparisons to THE DA VINCI CODE and THE HISTORIAN. The two members of this writing duo, S. J. Rozan and Carlos Dews, sat down with THE BIG THRILL to discuss SKIN OF THE WOLF, the sequel to BLOOD OF THE LAMB. Tell us a little about yourselves and how you came to be a writing team. ​Rozan: We met in Italy, through a writing workshop where we both teach. I was between projects and Carlos had an idea…​ Dews: I was living my life as an expat in Rome and had a dream to write a thriller set here. I more »

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Deadly Chemistry by Teri Anne Stanley

Deadly Chemistry by Teri Anne Stanley

By Donna Galanti Teri Anne Stanley’s debut novel, DEADLY CHEMISTRY, just released and USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox notes that “[w]ith fast-paced, clever writing, strong heroines, and to-die-for heroes, Teri Anne Stanley is definitely one to watch!” In DEADLY CHEMISTRY, former undercover cop Mike Gibson has been laying low, working as a maintenance man to put his troubled younger brother through college. But when a beautiful scientist enlists Mike’s help to repair the damage done to her lab by a group of vandals, Mike finds that his, and his brother’s pasts, are about to be brought to light. Laura Kane was happy having a secret crush on the hot maintenance man at Tucker University, but when the drug she was studying is stolen, Laura has more »

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The Africa Scene with Annamaria Alfieri

The Africa Scene with Annamaria Alfieri

The Africa Scene — An Interview with Annamaria Alfieri author of STRANGE GODS By Michael Sears Annamaria Alfieri is the author of three critically-acclaimed historical mysteries set in South America. The Washington Post said of her debut novel, “As both history and mystery, CITY OF SILVER glitters.” The Christian Science Monitor chose her BLOOD TANGO as one of ten must-read thrillers, and Kirkus Reviews said of INVISIBLE COUNTRY, “Alfieri has written an antiwar mystery that compares with the notable novels of Charles Todd.” With that sort of track record, it’s exciting to see her focus move to Africa. Her new novel, STRANGE GODS is set in the burgeoning British East African town of Nairobi in 1911. Described as OUT OF AFRICA meets Agatha Christie, it more »

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The African Contract by Arthur Kerns

The African Contract by Arthur Kerns

By Guy Bergstrom Arthur Kerns comes to the business of writing novels after a long career in the FBI and intelligence community. So was he a spy? “No,” Kerns said, “and if I had been I’d say no. I worked counterespionage, so you could say I was in the counter-spy business. A similar, but separate discipline.” His latest novel, THE AFRICAN CONTRACT, is set in many countries where Kerns has worked, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, and South Africa. Kerns said Africa has always pulled at him. “Years ago, Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac were pop stars,” Kerns said. “I wanted to join in on the African safaris, Spanish bullfights, and of course go ‘on the road.’ When I tried writing I found I didn’t more »

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