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The July edition of THE BIG THRILL is here!

This month The Big Thrill offers 50-plus new titles for your summer reading pleasure—from mysteries and YA to thrillers of every stripe.

Our cover story featuring bestselling author Gayle Lynds delves into her latest book and much more about her fascinating career. In our International Thrills column, Irish bestseller John Connolly unveils his newest Charlie Parker adventure. And on the Africa Scene, an interview with one of the leaders of South African crime fiction, Mike Nicol.

In our Big Break segment, perennial hit-meister Joseph Finder talks about his early days and his path to the bestseller list. And in a Special to The Big Thrill, Edgar-nominated author Manda Scott explores the intricacies of the increasingly popular “dual time line” suspense novel.

We also have the latest works by Julia Dahl, Kay Kendall, Jenny Milchman, Lori Rader-Day, and Cathy Scott, in addition to exciting debut novels from Eileen Magill, Ronnie Allen, Erik Therme, Alex Gilly, and M. J. Arlidge, among many others. Explore and enjoy!

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Featured Articles

As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman

As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman

By Anthony Franze I met Jenny Milchman three years ago when I applied to ITW’s Debut Authors Program. A nervous new author, I was welcomed by this woman with seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm. I soon learned a few things about Jenny. One, she loves Jack Reacher novels—I mean loves them. Two, she is one of the most talented, kind, and generous authors you’d ever hope to meet. A little backstory: Jenny’s road to publication was not easy. She struggled for more than a decade—seven unpublished novels—before finally getting her break. Despite it all, including a pile of rejection letters a foot tall, she didn’t grow bitter or jaded or turn her back on the publishing community. Instead, she stuck to it, honed her craft, more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Africa Scene: An Interview with Karin Brynard

Africa Scene: An Interview with Karin Brynard

By Joanne Hichens Joanne Hichens chats to Karin Brynard, journalist, political correspondent, and award-winning author of the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize and Two M-Net Awards. Here, she answers questions about WEEPING WATERS, the translation of her debut Afrikaans novel, PLAASMOORD. This richly textured and complex crime novel begins with Sara returning to the family farm in the Kalahari, after her sister, the prophetic and talented artist, Freddie, is murdered. Sara, an astute journalist, soon discovers that underlying the crime is a complex web of lies and deceit. Let’s kick off with a few questions around this concept of ‘Farm Murder’, which seems specifically a South African phenomenon. Can you comment on farm murder in general? It seems the ‘nostalgic’ story of the ‘African farm’ more »

By May 31, 2015 Read More →
The Black Mask of Crime Fiction

The Black Mask of Crime Fiction

By Gary Phillips As the special effects-laden Avengers: Age of Ultron racked up box office receipts worldwide, continuing the dominance in the superhero movie genre that Marvel has enjoyed for some time, let’s take a couple of step backs from costumed do-gooders—and I’m including you in those torn Dockers of yours, Hulk—battling super-strength robots tearing up our cities. Rather, let’s talk about some other more down to earth heroes from the past and re-booted present. First, there’s the recently-released thirteen “TV” episodes of Daredevil, another Marvel character, on Netflix. In this new version, DD is updated—created by writer Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett, who premiered in his own comics magazine in 1963—and his arc is not one of fighting super-villains, but racketeers. The look more »

By May 31, 2015 Read More →
International Thrills: An Interview with Bestselling UK Thriller Author Tom Harper

International Thrills: An Interview with Bestselling UK Thriller Author Tom Harper

By J. F. Penn (NOTE: This interview with Tom Harper can be watched on YouTube here.) Tom Harper is the international bestselling author of eleven historical thrillers, including his latest, ZODIAC STATION. He recently took some time off to talk to The Big Thrill. Tell us a bit more about you and how you started your writing career. It’s something I’d always wanted to do. I remember being eight years old and telling my teacher that I wanted to be an author when I grew up. By the time I finished university, I hadn’t shaken that idea and I knew it’s what I wanted to do. I also knew that it was incredibly unlikely. So I went to work for an actuarial consultancy for a more »

By April 30, 2015 Read More →
Africa Scene: An interview with Penny Lorimer by Michael Sears

Africa Scene: An interview with Penny Lorimer by Michael Sears

By Michael Sears Penny Lorimer was born in England, but has lived in South Africa from the age of six months. She grew up in Johannesburg, studied drama at the University of Cape Town, and was an actress for five years, supplementing her inconsistent income by waitressing and working for the Johannesburg Public Library. After leaving the acting profession, she held a variety of positions, including union administrator, radio newsreader, dialogue coach for television, film editor’s assistant, and PA to an archbishop. She now works in the education sector for a national group of independent high schools serving economically marginalized communities. FINDERS WEEPERS, her debut mystery, was published in South Africa in May last year. It’s a powerful and moving story, and exposes the current more »

By April 30, 2015 Read More →
Close Quarters by Adrian Magson
By April 30, 2015 Read More →

Between the Lines

Between the Lines Interview with New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds

Between the Lines Interview with New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds

By Anthony Franze She’s been called the “female Robert Ludlum” and the “Queen of Espionage.” She’s broken barriers for women in fiction, and co-founded one of the world’s leading organizations for writers. And, oh yeah, she writes kick-ass New York Times bestsellers. You guessed it, she’s Gayle Lynds, and this month, she’s back with a vengeance with THE ASSASSINS (St. Martin’s Press, June 30). On the heels of her smash hit The Book of Spies, this latest story is about what happens when two spooks get caught in the crossfire of a business dispute—one involving six of the world’s most deadly assassins. Part heist story, part espionage thriller—one hundred percent adrenaline—THE ASSASSINS should go down as Lynds’s best novel to date. And that’s saying something more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines with New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer

Between the Lines with New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer

By Nancy Bilyeau In 1997, The Tenth Justice, the first novel Brad Meltzer published (and the second one he wrote) hit the bestseller list. Himself a recent grad of Columbia Law School, Meltzer wrote a book about a mistake made by a conscientious clerk for a Supreme Court Justice and the deepening crisis that unfolds from that mistake. This month, he publishes his tenth novel, THE PRESIDENT’S SHADOW. It is a fast-paced, high-stakes thriller that begins with the discovery of a severed arm in the Rose Garden of the White House. At the center of the story is a nerdy National Archivist who holds his own among characters trained in violence and steeped in betrayal. Meltzer’s stories are often about consequence and trust, with plot more »

By May 31, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author Jeffery Deaver

Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author Jeffery Deaver

Before Jeffery Deaver became one of the most successful writers in the country, he was a journalist, a lawyer—and even a folk singer. But from the time he was in grade school, he knew that he wanted to write fiction. And not just any fiction—commercial, popular fiction. Books that kept readers up all night. So, some thirty-five years ago, he decided it was time to give it a try. Deaver is the first to admit that his early novels didn’t sell as hoped. But he didn’t give up; he learned from his early work, honed his craft, and worked hard to become a master storyteller. In the mid-1990s, Deaver released The Bone Collector, which featured quadriplegic protagonist, Lincoln Rhyme. The book has been named one more »

By April 30, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author J. A. Jance by Dawn Ius

Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author J. A. Jance by Dawn Ius

The Art of Being True By Dawn Ius New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance can trace her love of literature all the way back to elementary school where she was introduced to the magical world of Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz series. She was, of course, fascinated by the stories, but even then, as an impressionable second-grade student in Mrs. Spangler’s class, Jance sensed “the author” behind the curtain and quickly realized that that is who she wanted to be—the person putting the words on the page. Since 1982, Jance has been doing just that, with her latest thriller COLD BETRAYAL marking her fiftieth novel. More than twenty million copies of her books are in print, and they have been translated into eighteen more »

By March 31, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author C. J. Box

Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author C. J. Box

By Josie Brown C.J. Box’s novels have been lauded by readers and critics alike for their complex plots, true-to-life characters, and his stark lyrical depiction of the New West. His latest novel—ENDANGERED—is no exception. Box’s soft-spoken but hard-hitting protagonist, Joe Pickett, is back—and this time, it’s personal. When a young woman found beaten to near death turns out to be Joe’s stepdaughter, Joe’s gut tells him that the perpetrator isn’t the man in custody, but her boyfriend, rodeo champion Dallas Cates. Proving it means facing off with the whole Cates clan, who will do anything to protect Dallas. What does it take to write books that grab readers both by the hearts and throats? The Big Thrill recently interviewed Box to find out. Joe Pickett’s more »

By February 28, 2015 Read More →
A Between The Lines Interview With Lisa Gardner

A Between The Lines Interview With Lisa Gardner

By Dawn Ius Resting prominently on Lisa Gardner’s desk is her International Thriller Writers Award for best thriller, a ceramic giraffe, and an article about how to identify a psychopath. The ITW hardware represents the much-appreciated recognition from Gardner’s peers, while the giraffe is a gift from her daughter who understands her mother’s obsessions. As for the article on how to identify a psycho (spoiler alert: They’re everywhere), the piece is just one of the many resources this self-proclaimed research junkie will use to write such twisted psychological thrillers as her latest, CRASH & BURN. With more than twenty-two million copies of her bestselling novels sold worldwide, one might think this is starting to feel old hat for Gardner. But while she’ll concede there’s a more »

By January 31, 2015 Read More →

Special to the Big Thrill

Special to The Big Thrill: The Big Break with Joseph Finder

Special to The Big Thrill: The Big Break with Joseph Finder

The Big Break: Breaking Into the Thriller Game Joseph Finder’s Road to the Bestseller List By Jeremy Burns Joseph Finder is considered a modern master of the thriller genre. A founding member of the International Thriller Writers, his accolades include a Gumshoe Award (Company Man), a Barry Award (also for Company Man), the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel (Buried Secrets), and the ITW Award for Best Novel (Killer Instinct). His books are critically acclaimed New York Times bestsellers, and two of his books have been turned into Hollywood blockbusters (High Crimes and Paranoia). But Finder’s writing career hasn’t always been so rosy. In fact, some of the obstacles in his path might have seemed nigh impossible at the time, making his current level of more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Special to The Big Thrill: Dual Time Line Thrillers

Special to The Big Thrill: Dual Time Line Thrillers

Riding the Pretty Horses: thoughts on dual time line thrillers By Manda Scott Writing a thriller is like riding a horse: some days it plods along with its nose to the ground and you’d go faster if you got off and carried the wretched thing, while on others it spooks at every plastic bag in the hedge and bolts at speed in directions you never imagined going. Once in a rare while, you and your mount click into a rather miraculous harmony that carries you forward smoothly, effortlessly, beautifully… until the next plastic bag (or the phone call from an editor), brings it all crashing down. Still, there are some kinds of writing that have always struck me as way more scary than the standard “get more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Thriller Writers Giving Back: The Sweet Dreams Boxed Set Helping to Fight Diabetes

Thriller Writers Giving Back: The Sweet Dreams Boxed Set Helping to Fight Diabetes

By Austin Camacho Thirteen great new thrillers for $9.99 is a sweet deal. Now you can get that deal while contributing to a very worthy cause. Just grab the SWEET DREAMS Boxed Set (Thirteen New Thrillers by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes Research). This limited edition collection is a dream-come-true for avid readers. But how did thirteen brand new novels and novellas written by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors end up in one giant e-book? That was the work of Brenda Novak and her charity, the Online Auction for Diabetes Research. Novak, a bestseller in her own right, had personal reasons for curating this boxed set and contributing the money it raised to the Diabetes Research Institute. “When my son was diagnosed more »

By May 31, 2015 Read More →
Ten Years of ThrillerFest: The Masters Speak

Ten Years of ThrillerFest: The Masters Speak

By Kimberley Howe Ten years ago, the first ThrillerFest launched in Phoenix, Arizona. Since this inaugural event, the International Thriller Writers organization has grown exponentially, and the NYC-based conference now annually hosts 1,000 thriller enthusiasts from across the globe. The presentation of a lifetime achievement accolade called the “ThrillerMaster Award” is the pinnacle of our weeklong gathering. Ten iconic authors have received this award, and we wanted to check in with these masters of suspense to explore their views of the thriller genre. 2006 Clive Cussler Our first ThrillerMaster’s adventure novels introduced readers to a spectacular underwater world of treasures, taking us on Dirk Pitt’s journeys into the ocean’s depths. In this case, fiction mirrored reality, as the California-born Cussler founded a non-profit organization called more »

By May 31, 2015 Read More →
Special to the Big Thrill: Next Steps: ITW’s New Radio Show by John A. Connell

Special to the Big Thrill: Next Steps: ITW’s New Radio Show by John A. Connell

By John A. Connell My debut thriller will launch in a few days. The galleys are out, the blog tour has commenced, events have been scheduled. I am, at the same time, excited and nervous. Once a new writer manages to conquer the seemingly insurmountable hurdles of landing an agent and a publishing deal, a whole new set of challenges awaits. You only have to look at the statistics to know that the chances for a new writer being discovered and launching a successful debut novel are daunting. I won’t recite those statistics here, just to say that, to beat those odds, more pressure than ever is on the writer’s shoulders to promote themselves and their work—to stand out in the ever-increasing demand for a more »

By April 30, 2015 Read More →
Special to the Big Thrill: Digging Deep for a Story by Gary Grossman

Special to the Big Thrill: Digging Deep for a Story by Gary Grossman

By Gary Grossman OLD EARTH is a geological thriller that spans all of time—cutting backward and forward along the space-time continuum as the suspense builds and the mystery unfolds. It begins with an exploration by Galileo in 1601, jumps to a contemporary dinosaur dig in Montana, crosses back centuries to the Inquisition, and ultimately considers the very origins of civilization. Through the investigation of paleontologists Quinn McCauley and Katrina Alpert, readers are taken on a globe-hopping adventure. Yet, just as the characters stumbled upon their find, Galileo provided me with quite an accidental discovery that became central to the plot development and excitement of OLD EARTH. I originally outlined a purely present-day story: an excavation leads to a mysterious find, the find sets up an more »

By April 30, 2015 Read More →

Crime Fiction

Cash Landing by James Grippando

Cash Landing by James Grippando

“It reads like a movie script. . . . Only this was no blockbuster action film. It was a real-life crime drama straight from the streets of Miami.” Those aren’t James Grippando’s words. They come straight from the FBI’s official website, the bureau’s own description of one of the biggest airport heists in history—$7.8 million in cash stolen by a band of amateur thieves. That real life caper is the inspiration for James Grippando’s twenty-fourth thriller, CASH LANDING, released from HarperCollins. Who were the real-life crooks?   The mastermind, Karls Monzon, teamed up with his uncle, an ex-con; his cocaine-addicted brother in law; and an insider who worked for Brinks Security, Onelio Diaz. Diaz was Monzon’s neighbor and friend since childhood, and he drove one of more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
The Devil’s Share by Wallace Stroby

The Devil’s Share by Wallace Stroby

Interview by Scott Adlerberg Born and raised in New Jersey, Wallace Stroby had a long career as a journalist before turning to novel writing.  He worked for the Asbury Park Press as a police reporter, and was a Sunday features editor for the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.  His years writing and editing for newspapers helped him develop the razor-sharp prose, compelling sense of character, and precise attention to detail that mark his books. THE DEVIL’S SHARE, Stroby’s new novel, is his seventh overall and the fourth about professional thief Crissa Stone, who debuted in 2011’s Cold Shot to the Heart. The Big Thrill talked with Stroby about his early books and his latest effort. Your first two books, The Barbed-Wire Kiss (2003) and The Heartbreak Lounge more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt

Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt

REMEMBER MIA is a thriller that puts you in the midst of every mother’s worst nightmare: her baby has disappeared. When Estelle Paradise’s baby daughter is taken from her crib, she doesn’t report her missing. A week later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car miles from home, with a gunshot wound to the head and no memory. The only thing she can recall is the blood…so much blood. She knows she holds the key to what happened that night—but what she doesn’t know is whether she was responsible. Tell us about your background. You are originally from Europe? I was born in Germany. I read English literature in high school—I remember Bram Stoker’s Dracula, C. S. Forester’s African Queen, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—but other more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Rampage by Alan Brenham

Rampage by Alan Brenham

The stakes soar both professionally and personally for Austin PD Detective Jason Scarsdale as he finds himself in a race against time to hunt down a vicious gang hell-bent on murder. Realizing that his new partner, the attractive divorcee Tatum Harper, could be trouble in more ways than one, he tries to run her out of Homicide. Will their partnership destroy his romantic relationship with long-time girlfriend Dani Mueller? Will they both survive their harrowing face-off with the increasingly unhinged gang leader? “Precise and unequivocally gripping; an edge-of-your-seat ride from beginning to end.” ~Kirkus Reviews “This gritty crime thriller is an absolute gift to fans of the genre…[a] tale of murder, Texas style…an intriguing set of crimes…a man and a woman working long, tense hours more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge

Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge

With its breakneck pacing and fascinating characters on display from the first page, EENY MEENY opens with a compelling and terrifying premise. A young couple wakes up trapped in an abandoned diving pool without food or water. There’s no escape. Instead there is a loaded gun with a single bullet, and a phone with enough battery life to receive one message: to walk free, one of them must kill the other. Kill or be killed—no choice. When other pairs are given the same orders in increasingly twisted ways, the brilliant but damaged Detective Inspector Helen Grace (reminiscent of Prime Suspect’s Jane Tennison or Stella Gibson in the TV series The Fall) finds herself racing against time and confronting dark chapters of her own past. Published more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Before it’s Too Late by Jane Isaac

Before it’s Too Late by Jane Isaac

By George Ebey Jane Isaac is the author of several works of crime and suspense including, An Unfamiliar Murder and The Truth Will Out. Her latest book, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE, is due out this June and introduces us to her new character, Detective Inspector Will Jackman. Following an argument with her British boyfriend, Chinese student Min Li is abducted while walking the dark streets of picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon alone. Trapped in a dark pit, Min is at the mercy of her captor. Detective Inspector Jackman is tasked with solving the case, and in his search for answers, discovers that the truth is buried deeper than he ever expected. The Big Thrill recently checked in with Isaac to discuss her book and what elements are needed more »

By May 31, 2015 Read More →

Adventure Thrillers

Ashstorm by A. D. Starrling

Ashstorm by A. D. Starrling

ASHSTORM is the fourth novel in the award-winning thriller series Seventeen by A.D. Starrling. The other novels in the series have been nominated for and won several awards since their publication in 2012, with the third novel Greene’s Calling being a finalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. This month, Starrling answered a few questions for The Big Thrill about the series that fans can’t get enough of. The Seventeen series comprises an unusual blend of history, science, action, suspense, and an intriguing supernatural twist on the concept of immortality. Tell us how you came up with the series idea for Seventeen. Seventeen started life with a simple but striking image. Imagine the number seventeen written in blood-red paint on a black marker more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Gray Vengeance by Alan McDermott

Gray Vengeance by Alan McDermott

By David LeadBeater GRAY VENGEANCE is the fifth title in the Tom Gray action thriller series, recently released by Thomas & Mercer. Gray is an ex-soldier who runs a security company, and his journey started in England when he kidnapped five repeat offenders and paraded them on the Internet, letting the people of Britain decide their fate. That ended with Gray being whisked off to the Philippines with a new identity, but trouble wasn’t far away as local terrorists took him hostage. Close friends from the UK went to his rescue, but once again, nothing was what it seemed, and soon Gray and his crowd were in a fight for their lives. Gray eventually returned to Britain, but the journey home was fraught with danger more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
A Brilliant Deception by Kim Foster

A Brilliant Deception by Kim Foster

Fresh from pulling off her latest heist, Cat Montgomery believes she’s ready to leave her thieving lifestyle behind. But old habits die hard. When she’s recruited to retrieve the Lionheart, a legendary medieval ring made from the finest gold and excavated from the grave of Robin Hood, Cat’s determined to end her career with a bang. Or so she thinks…until the Caliga Rapio, a mysterious brotherhood of thieves, beats her to the punch. Now she has to hightail it to Venice to swipe it back. With two old flames thrown into the mix and an Interpol agent hot on her tail, things are about to get a lot trickier. Cat’s troubles only worsen as she realizes the legend of the Lionheart runs deeper than she more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Black Scorpion by Jon Land

Black Scorpion by Jon Land

By Austin Camacho What can one man do against a huge criminal organization bent on world domination? Jon Land shows us in BLACK SCORPION: THE TYRANT REBORN, and thriller fans will love getting the answer. The man in question is Michael Tiranno, whose cunning and ruthlessness in business earned him the nickname “The Tyrant.” Land introduced him in The Seven Sins. In that novel, Tiranno saved Las Vegas from a terrorist attack. This impressive character fully deserved to return in an even bigger adventure. “You’d find him captivating, fascinating, charismatic, engaging, and a bit brash,” Land says. “The Tyrant inside him only emerges when he, someone close to him, or someone vulnerable, is harmed or threatened. The question, of course, then becomes which is the more »

By March 31, 2015 Read More →
Snake Pass by Colin Campbell

Snake Pass by Colin Campbell

By Sidney Williams Colin Campbell’s Resurrection Man returns in SNAKE PASS, a new thriller that looks back on the protagonist’s deadly standoff during his police career in Yorkshire. Readers know Jim Grant, The Resurrection Man, as a special operative who stayed in the United States after a British case brought him to American shores. In Jamaica Plain, Montecito Heights, and Adobe Flats he’s been troubleshooting dangerous situations for an unnamed U.S. security agency. In the first novel in the series, Jamaica Plain, a press photo of Grant with his hands extended during a standoff with a gunman earned his nickname, and his adventures have earned praise from outlets such as Library Journal, which noted of SNAKE PASS: “Campbell’s gritty noir style and hard-hitting action scenes more »

By March 31, 2015 Read More →
Aftershock by Philip Donlay

Aftershock by Philip Donlay

By Dawn Ius If you knew Philip Donlay in high school, you probably caught him just “flying around.” At seventeen, he was the only student in the school with his pilot’s license—a rare accomplishment for most, but for Donlay a somewhat natural progression in his life’s navigation. Growing up in Wichita, Kansas, the Air Capital of the World, coupled with the fact that Donlay’s grandfather was a pilot, Donlay’s love of flying was essentially part of his DNA, as natural as breathing air. Over the years, he’s been a flight instructor, flown a private jet for a Saudi prince, and for twenty-eight years, flew a corporate jet for a Fortune 500 company, logging almost 14,000 hours of flight time. Even still, he remembers his first more »

By February 28, 2015 Read More →

Contemporary Thrillers

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

By Taylor Stevens The third time I met Vicki Pettersson, she offered up a confession. Squished in at a small round table in a local coffee shop, she leaned forward conspiratorially and said, “I was so intimidated when first we met. I thought if you were anything like Munroe, you were going to hate me.” I shook my head and tried not to laugh. This type of reader reaction happens often enough that it became material for a tongue-in-cheek piece about the many traits I share with a quasi-psychotic, knife-wielding, butt-kicking, anti-hero, but I never would have expected it from Vicki. Her stories are just as dark as mine, if not darker, her characters as smart and capable, and her readers often think the same more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Devil’s Harbor by Alex Gilly

Devil’s Harbor by Alex Gilly

By Alex Gilly When I was a child, I read comics. When I was a teenager, I read books. My parents were both readers, so reading seemed an ordinary thing to do. I have French heritage, and though we didn’t live in France, the comic-book “albums” I read were in French. We had hundreds of them at home—Tintin, Asterix, all of Blake and Mortimer. But my favorites, by an unreachable distance, were Blueberry by Charlier and Giraud, and Barbe Rouge—Red Beard—by Charlier and Hubinon. Both were adventure stories. Blueberry is the nickname of a Union cavalry officer named Donovan, who, after the Civil War, rides into the untamed West, drinks hard, womanizes, plays his trumpet, and fights injustice and cruelty wherever he encounters it—which is more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman

As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman

By Anthony Franze I met Jenny Milchman three years ago when I applied to ITW’s Debut Authors Program. A nervous new author, I was welcomed by this woman with seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm. I soon learned a few things about Jenny. One, she loves Jack Reacher novels—I mean loves them. Two, she is one of the most talented, kind, and generous authors you’d ever hope to meet. A little backstory: Jenny’s road to publication was not easy. She struggled for more than a decade—seven unpublished novels—before finally getting her break. Despite it all, including a pile of rejection letters a foot tall, she didn’t grow bitter or jaded or turn her back on the publishing community. Instead, she stuck to it, honed her craft, more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Fallen: A Cassidy & Spenser Thriller by Carey Baldwin

Fallen: A Cassidy & Spenser Thriller by Carey Baldwin

By Kristi Belcamino Carey Baldwin’s first book, Judgment, the opening volume in her series featuring forensic psychiatrist Caity Cassidy and FBI profiler Atticus “Spense” Spenser, is a finalist for the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award and the Booksellers Best Award. In addition, Judgment was named “A Best Book of 2014” by Suspense Magazine. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of her new book, FALLEN, and I know readers will love it. Having met Baldwin at Bouchercon in Long Beach last fall, I know that besides being generous and optimistic, she has grit. She’s worked hard for everything she’s achieved in her life and is insanely supportive of other writers. Baldwin was kind enough to answer a few questions about her work and more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Acoustic Shadows by Patrick Kendrick

Acoustic Shadows by Patrick Kendrick

Acoustic Shadows Inspired by Patrick Kendrick People have asked how I come up with ideas for my novels and my pat answer is, “I read the newspapers.” While this is not an original concept, with my newest work, ACOUSTIC SHADOWS, one cannot miss the headline-inspired storyline of the novel. It begins with a shooting at an elementary school. When I was touring and doing signings for my last book, Extended Family, I would do a lecture on “Mass, Spree, and Serial Killers,” accompanied by slides, historical information, and anecdotes about various killers over the years. The lecture pointed out the differences between these types of killers: Mass murderers: one event, one location, multiple victims, usually targeted, meant to be a statement and garner lots of more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Gemini: The Sign Behind The Crime by Ronnie Allen

Gemini: The Sign Behind The Crime by Ronnie Allen

By Donald J. Bingle Brooklyn native Ronnie Allen worked for the New York City Department of Education for more than thirty years as a classroom teacher, staff developer, crisis intervention specialist, and mentor for teachers who were struggling. Along the way, she saw the horrors inflicted by child abuse on both the victims and society as a whole. She carries through this theme in her novel GEMINI, which also includes intriguing information about holistic healing and alternative therapies, such as Reiki and crystal healing. Combining a love of the crime genre and her psychology background with her alternative therapies experience, writing psychological thrillers is the perfect venue for Ronnie. In GEMINI, Barbara Montgomery, school psychologist by day and stripper by night, has an emotional meltdown more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →

The Best of the Rest

International Thrills: A Conversation with John Connolly

International Thrills: A Conversation with John Connolly

By J. F. Penn John Connolly is the bestselling author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, the Samuel Johnson novels for middle-grade readers, and co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders plus other works. His latest book, A SONG OF SHADOWS, is the thirteenth book in the Charlie Parker mystery series. USA Today bestselling thriller author J. F. Penn interviewed John for The Big Thrill. Your latest book, A SONG OF SHADOWS, weaves European history into a string of murders in Maine, all while Charlie Parker recovers from devastating injuries. How much of the story is based on historical truth? Why did this particular aspect of Nazi history interest you? My eye had simply been caught by the ongoing attempts of the United States to extradite more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
Africa Scene: Mike Nicol Speaks

Africa Scene: Mike Nicol Speaks

By Michael Sears Mike Nicol is one of the leaders of South African crime fiction, and his Revenge trilogy—Payback, Killer Country, and Blackheart—are important novels of the dark side of twenty-first century South Africa. After an excursion with new characters, Mike has returned to the next generation of the Revenge trilogy characters in POWER PLAY. For my money it’s his best thriller so far, and that’s starting from a high base. Deon Meyer has said of Mike’s style that it is “by far the best in South Africa” and that he creates “deliciously complex characters.” If you haven’t read any of his books yet, you can start with this one as a standalone. After that you’ll want to read all the others. Before coming to more »

By June 30, 2015 Read More →
House of Homicide by Eileen Magill

House of Homicide by Eileen Magill

By Abby Normal HOUSE OF HOMICIDE is a battle between good and evil. Our protagonist, Cindy Fairbank, tries to do right by her family but unwittingly puts them in danger when she buys a suburban house that seems to be perfect. When Cindy hears about an urban legend that centers on her house, she dusts off her investigative journalist skills and begins to research the stories. She discovers that there is much more to the history than expected, with a series of gruesome homicides spanning over forty years and restless souls of murder victims who are clamoring for revenge. As Cindy gets close to uncovering the killer, the killer gets close to her and the ones she loves. To find out more, let’s talk to more »

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Q Island by Russell James

Q Island by Russell James

By Russell James It takes a lot to scare a horror writer. I mean, I dissect fear for a living. The most violent horror movies don’t elicit a flinch. I can face a clown without wetting myself. But one thing really scared the hell out of me. New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The Category 4 storm blew ashore, flooded swaths of the city, cut off power, cut off help. Those who hadn’t evacuated were isolated from the world. In the face of this ultimate stress test of society, how did it do? It collapsed within hours. Looting was almost instantaneous. There were widespread reports of people just abandoning critical jobs as they prioritized saving themselves or their families. 23,000 people turned the Superdome into something more »

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Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day

Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day

By James W. Ziskin Lori Rader-Day’s debut novel, The Black Hour (2014), was an instant critical and commercial success. In addition to the starred-review hat trick (Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal), The Black Hour garnered nominations for several prestigious awards, including the Mary Higgins Clark, the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the Barry for Best Paperback Original, and the Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award for Best First Mystery. It won the Lovey Award for Best First Mystery at the Love Is Murder conference. Rader-Day’s second novel, LITTLE PRETTY THINGS (starred review from Booklist), tells the story of two former high school friends and track rivals, who have taken very different paths since their graduation. Maddy Bell, always a step faster on the track, more »

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Heaven Sent by Ann Simas

Heaven Sent by Ann Simas

The bad-luck threes. . . Sophie Doyle is not having a good day. She’s without a car, because hers was stolen. She’s without a washer and dryer, because hers tanked on the same day. She’s overslept because of a power outtage and when she finally arrives late for work, she’s told her employment is terminated due to budget constraints. Could things get any worse? Never ask, “What next?” Hit in the crosswalk by red-light runner, Sophie finds herself dead on the sidewalk, observing a good Samaritan trying to resuscitate her. Suddenly, she thrust into a tunnel of incredibly bright light, where she meets…God? Sophie likes it in Heaven where it’s nice and warm and welcoming, but she’s told she can’t stay. Her assignment? Return to more »

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A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White

A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White

Loreth Anne White’s atmospheric, psychological thriller, “pushes the traditional boundaries of the romantic suspense genre,” according to Amazon’s editors, who selected A DARK LURE as one of their four Kindle First picks for June, 2015. Within the first week of its kindle release, A DARK LURE hit # 1 in the Amazon kindle store. The book officially launches July 1. Tell us a little about A DARK LURE With A DARK LURE, I wanted to take a classic serial killer trope, where a heinous villain returns years later to hunt down his lone survivor—a woman who bears the deep physical and emotional scars of her narrow escape—but I also wanted to hopefully layer it, make it as much a story of survival, and self acceptance, more »

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Bum Rap by Paul Levine

Bum Rap by Paul Levine

The Big Thrill sat down with Paul Levine to discuss BUM RAP, his new legal thriller (Thomas & Mercer July 1). “BUM RAP brings together the protagonists from Levine’s series: Jake Lassiter, the linebacker-turned-lawyer, and Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord, squabbling Miami law partners. In a starred review, Booklist calls the novel, “an irresistible Florida crime romp.” Paul, has it really been twenty-five years since Jake Lassiter burst onto the crime fiction scene with your first novel, To Speak for the Dead?   Is that a polite way of saying Jake’s old…or that I am? Only that the Lassiter novels are one of the longest running series in contemporary crime fiction. To what do you attribute their longevity? Maybe because readers grow attached to characters and more »

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