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The September edition of THE BIG THRILL is here!

September is back-to-school time for kids--and for readers of The Big Thrill too, although the lessons could not possibly be more entertaining than in this month's stories. Cover subject Robert Dugoni not only tells us how he crafts his bestselling books but explains why so many lawyers long to become novelists and why Seattle is the perfect place to dispose of a body (yes, really).

In “International Thrills,” Simon Toyne takes us along on his journeys, whether it’s to a hilltop of southern France or a barren desert in Arizona, to research and write his novels. Roger Smith of “Africa Scene” gives an enthralling interview on how his fiction deals with the hypocrisies of modern Cape Town, while Charles Todd discusses the stress suffered by his characters in World War I England and France.

This month marks a return of our popular "Industry Spotlight," with attorney Susan Spann shedding some light on the dark corners of publishing contracts. Thrillerfest Executive Director Kimberley Howe tells why this year’s conference hit some all-time highs. And Art Taylor delivers a frank and fascinating perspective on just what it's like to edit a crime anthology.

We also have interviews with J. A. Jance, Ethan Cross, Nancy J. Cohen, Stephanie Pintoff, Alan Gratz, John Lutz, Shane Gericke, Lynne Raimondo, and many more!

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Featured Articles

International Thrills: An Interview with Simon Toyne

International Thrills: An Interview with Simon Toyne

   From French Citadels to the Arizona Desert By J. F. Penn Simon Toyne is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Sanctus trilogy, a genre-stretching, end-of-days epic involving ancient history, modern technology, religious conspiracy, and rollercoaster-quick storytelling. Often described as the British Dan Brown, Toyne has written books that to date have been translated into 28 languages and published in 50 countries. USA Today bestselling thriller author J. F.Penn interviewed Simon for The Big Thrill. You can watch the video discussion here or read the transcript below. First of all, just give us an overview of THE SEARCHER so that people have a sense of what it’s about. Solomon Creed is a man on an epic journey of redemption. He arrives at the beginning more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Africa Scene: An interview with Roger Smith on Cape Town corruption

Africa Scene: An interview with Roger Smith on Cape Town corruption

By Joanne Hichens Roger Smith’s thrillers are published in eight languages and two are in development as movies in the U.S. His books have won the German Crime Fiction Award and been nominated for Spinetingler magazine’s Best Novel awards. As compelling as ever, SACRIFICES is knotted like a noose that starts to tighten from the very first page. Wealth insulates Michael Lane and his family from South Africa’s violent crime epidemic until his disturbed teenage son, Christopher, commits a crime that throws the delicate balance into a spin-cycle of revenge and retribution that threatens to destroy Michael Lane and everything he loves. I’m curious to know why SACRIFICES has only been published in South Africa two years after it was first released. SACRIFICES was released digitally more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Industry Spotlight: Susan Spann on the Five Things This Publishing Lawyer Wishes Authors Knew

Industry Spotlight: Susan Spann on the Five Things This Publishing Lawyer Wishes Authors Knew

When faced with a new book contract, it seems like many authors fall into one of two camps: Either avoidance (“I’m sure it’s fine”) or suspicion (“I’ve got to stop them from cheating me!”). According to lawyer Susan Spann, herself a thriller author, there’s another way. “Whether or not an author works with an agent, understanding industry standards and ‘normal’ contract terms is critical to the author’s ability to act as his or her own best advocate,” says Spann. Here are the five essential things to be aware of: Ensure your royalties are truly “Gross” (and what that means). In general terms, “gross” means the entirety of a thing, while “net” means what’s left over after certain deductions are made from the gross amount. In more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Murder Under the Oaks: Bouchercon Anthology 2015

Murder Under the Oaks: Bouchercon Anthology 2015

Behind the Scenes of Editing a Crime-Fiction Collection By Art Taylor For the second year in a row, Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, has partnered with Down & Out Books to debut an anthology of short fiction at the convention—taking place this year in Raleigh, North Carolina, from October 8th to 11th. Sales of MURDER UNDER THE OAKS benefit Wake County Public Libraries in the convention’s host city, and as a native North Carolinian myself, I was thrilled to be invited to serve as editor for the collection. MURDER UNDER THE OAKS will include plenty of high-tension, high-stakes drama: a personal protection specialist battling a virtual reality program that’s turning against its owner; a Kansas City schoolteacher traveling in Mexico with a makeshift garrote and more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
The Devil’s Game by Sean Chercover

The Devil’s Game by Sean Chercover

The Search for a Dangerous Truth By Dawn Ius It should get easier. The writing. The waiting. But after penning five critically acclaimed thrillers, Sean Chercover admits that in some ways, it actually gets harder. “What gets easier is, you’ve been there before,” he says. “So when you hit the midpoint of your first draft and you become suddenly convinced that this is the worst book in the history of books and you’re murdering trees for no good reason, you say, ‘Ah, I’ve reached the midpoint of the first draft,’ instead of freaking out that your book is fatally broken.” This underlying insecurity, coupled with the challenges of an ever-changing publishing landscape, can cripple some writers, but for Chercover, it fuels his drive to continue more »

By July 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 →

Between the Lines

Between the Lines with Robert Dugoni on ‘Her Final Breath’

Between the Lines with Robert Dugoni on ‘Her Final Breath’

Insights From the Master of Seattle Menace By Robert Rotstein An acclaimed author of legal thrillers with his David Sloane series, Robert Dugoni decided to undertake a new challenge: a thriller featuring a woman, Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite. The result proved the adage “Change is good.” My Sister’s Grave became a No. 1 Amazon and New York Times best seller. Tracy Crosswhite returns in Dugoni’s HER FINAL BREATH (Thomas & Mercer, September 15, 2015). Still scarred from the investigation into her sister’s 20-year-old murder, Crosswhite is drawn into an investigation of a string of homicides perpetrated by a serial killer known as The Cowboy. A stalker leaves a menacing message for Crosswhite, suggesting that the killer or a copycat could be targeting her personally. more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines Interview with Linda Fairstein

Between the Lines Interview with Linda Fairstein

Why the Best-Selling Author Made a Point-of-View Switch By E. M. Powell It’s a brave author who does something radically different in a successful long-running series. But in DEVIL’S BRIDGE, the 17th outing for New York prosecutor Alex Cooper, Linda Fairstein does just that. In this terrific, suspenseful read, things are definitely not going well for Alex. An escaped convicted rapist is stalking her, a trial is going south, and a hacker has potentially accessed her most secure information. The book takes a dramatic—and unexpected—swerve when Alex is kidnapped and the search is on to find her. But we readers don’t know where she is, either. Instead, we must join Alex’s lover, Detective Mike Chapman, in his increasingly desperate search. This plot device brings the reader more »

By July 30, 2015 Read More →
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 →

Special to the Big Thrill

Special to the Big Thrill: ThrillerFest X by Kimberley Howe

Special to the Big Thrill: ThrillerFest X by Kimberley Howe

By Kimberley Howe The mood at the Hyatt was exhilarating and energizing this year—what better testament to ten years of dynamic success at Thrillerfest? We’ve grown from a small event in Arizona to a widely respected international conference for writers, industry professionals, and enthusiasts of the thriller genre. As co-founder Gayle Lynds shares: “ITW was based on a dream.  Author organizations come and go, and there were no guarantees ITW would not only survive but thrive.  What a thrill (truly) to see so many happy people hurrying down the halls of ThrillerFest and sitting in audiences and talking animatedly on panels.  I particularly loved Daniel Palmer’s song at the banquet, which seemed to encapsulate the extraordinary experience of young ITW and ten ThrillerFests, from that first more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
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 →

Crime Fiction

The Grid by Harry Hunsicker

The Grid by Harry Hunsicker

By David Healey Harry Hunsicker’s third book in the Jon Cantrell thriller series could be described in many ways as a twenty-first century Western. For starters, THE GRID is set in Texas. Cantrell is a lawman but also a drifter, having found employment as a rural county sheriff after a prickly history as a DEA contractor. He wears boots and carries a gold-plated star. Instead of a violent death in a saloon brothel, he is soon investigating a killer who knocks off cheating husbands looking for hookups online. Cantrell’s challenges don’t end there. However, in THE GRID, it’s not a cattle rustler or a train robber who rides into town, but rather a terrorist that is attacking power-generating stations. It’s all in a day’s work more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Robert B. Parker’s The Devil Wins by Reed Farrel Coleman

Robert B. Parker’s The Devil Wins by Reed Farrel Coleman

By Kurt Anthony Krug For Reed Farrel Coleman it’s been quite a year. Not only has the Long Island author ended one series and begun another but he’s also continuing a beloved series with ROBERT B. PARKER’S THE DEVIL WINS. “I have come to be a Parker fan in the last 10 years or so,” says Coleman. “Hey, I was late to the party, but I’ve sure enjoyed it. Parker was an unusual and exceptional talent in that he was a writer’s writer and a reader’s writer. As a pro myself, I could see the techniques he used to make it look easy. How his prose was disarming, straightforward, economic, sometimes poetic, but never self-conscious. His prose never screams ‘Look at me!’ or goes out of its way more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Hard Latitudes by Baron R. Birtcher

Hard Latitudes by Baron R. Birtcher

By Charlie Cochrane Many writers have hidden (or not so hidden) “other” lives. There are times you read an authors’ website and think, “Oh! How interesting, I wonder what that’s about?” In Baron Birtcher’s case, my curiosity related to his interest in music: I mean, not many authors can have founded an independent record label. Normally, unless you’re brave enough to mail the person concerned (and they have the time to respond), you don’t get the chance to have that inquisitiveness rewarded. One of the true delights of conducting interviews for The Big Thrill is having licence to be nosey. Baron, ever since reading your website, I’ve been humming “Ruby Tuesday” to myself. I can remember the original Rolling Stones track coming out—are you a more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Best Laid Plans by Allison Brennan

Best Laid Plans by Allison Brennan

Newly minted FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid is settling into her job in San Antonio, Texas, when the corpse of Harper Worthington, the husband of a sitting congresswoman, is found naked in a motel on the wrong side of town. It’s up to Lucy to locate the last person to see him alive: a teenage prostitute who seems to have vanished into thin air. When forensics determines that Harper was poisoned, Lucy and her new by-the-book partner dig deep into his life to find out who might want him dead. Why did Harper lie to his wife and his staff? Was he involved in an illicit affair? Embezzling money? Laundering money for a drug cartel? Or was he simply a pawn in someone else’s dangerous game? more »

By July 30, 2015 Read More →
FireCop by R. J. Beam

FireCop by R. J. Beam

Fire Cop tells the story of two police officers working in a typical Wisconsin city dealing with the resurgence of methamphetamine. Officer Ben Graystock takes the law into his own hands when he starts to set dealer’s homes on fire. Meanwhile police officer and volunteer firefighter Stuart Thompson is assigned to investigate these arsons.            

By July 30, 2015 Read More →
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 →

Adventure Thrillers

Blind Justice by Ethan Cross

Blind Justice by Ethan Cross

By Jeremy Burns Ethan Cross burst onto the scene in 2011 with his blockbuster debut, The Shepherd, which rocketed its way to national and international bestseller status. Now, after further success with a prequel novella and two full-length sequels starring serial-killer-hunting investigator Marcus Williams, the secretive Shepherd Organization, and show-stealing antagonist Francis Ackerman, Jr., Cross has set his sights on a new series, one with a unique protagonist and a compelling world. The author sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss his newest surefire hit, BLIND JUSTICE, starring an investigator who sees the clues and connections others don’t despite not seeing what most of us do. Tell us a little about yourself. I am the International Bestselling Author of The Shepherd, The Prophet, The more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Search and Destroy by James Hilton

Search and Destroy by James Hilton

Brothers Danny and Clay Gunn were brought up an ocean apart, but blood will out. Both served in the military, and both know how to kill, taking work as private military contractors and freelance fixers. But when they save a female journalist in the Nevada desert, it is they who become the targets, pursued by clandestine paramilitary forces … To stay alive they must turn the tables, stop running, and become hunters once again.     *****   James Hilton is the author of several Kindle-release titles and short stories. He is a Fourth Dan Blackbelt in Shotokan Karate, as has worked as a martial arts instructor, which has been invaluable in crafting his fight scenes. He is currently planning a YA series. He lives more »

By August 30, 2015 Read More →
Protocol Zero by James Abel

Protocol Zero by James Abel

James Abel is a pseudonym for journalist Bob Reiss, who has covered the Arctic—the setting for PROTOCOL ZERO—for the magazines Smithsonian, Parade, Readers Digest, and Outside. He also wrote the nonfiction book The Eskimo and the Oil Man about the opening of the Arctic, advised 60 Minutes on Arctic issues, and has appeared as a guest on Morning Joe, Dan Rather Reports, Al Jazeera, and Nightline, discussing Arctic security and potential conflict. PROTOCOL ZERO begins as a party of four scientific researchers, a family of three and their guide, makes a satellite call for help, but by the time Alaskan police arrive they are all dead. It looks like a murder/suicide, but then Marine bio-terror expert Joe Rush discovers that all the dead were sick more »

By July 30, 2015 Read More →
Silent Creed by Alex Kava

Silent Creed by Alex Kava

In the 15 years I’ve been writing thrillers, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people—from medical examiners and crime-lab directors to criminal profilers and homicide detectives. Because I don’t have a background in forensics or law enforcement, I’ve had to rely on experts who have generously offered their time and shared their experiences. Their real-life details have breathed life into my novels, and their friendships have enriched me personally as well as professionally. Through these experts, I’ve been able to write what I did not know. Over the years my research has taken me through a variety of topics: the Ebola virus (Exposed); Munchausen syndrome by proxy (At the Stroke of Madness); the underground trafficking of body parts (Damaged); domestic terrorism (Black Friday); more »

By July 30, 2015 Read More →
Devil’s Pocket by John Dixon

Devil’s Pocket by John Dixon

The follow-up to the critically acclaimed Phoenix Island, which reads like “Lord of the Flies meets Wolverine and Cool Hand Luke” (F. Paul Wilson, creator of Repairman Jack) and inspired the CBS TV show Intelligence. With a chip in his head and hundreds more throughout his body, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman was turned from an orphan with impulse control issues into a super-soldier. Forced into the mercenary Phoenix Force group, he begins to fear he’ll never escape. Sent to a volcanic island to fight for them, he’ll compete in a combat tournament that awards teens with survival for merciless brutality. But just when all looks lost, he spies a friendly face…and possibly a way out. ***** On Phoenix Island: “Fantastic… superbly suspenseful… unpredictable and frightening. Phoenix more »

By July 30, 2015 Read More →
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 →

Contemporary Thrillers

The Girl in the Maze by R. K. Jackson

The Girl in the Maze by R. K. Jackson

R. K. Jackson’s lyrical, twisty psychological thriller debut follows an aspiring journalist as she uncovers dark truths in a seaswept Southern town—aided by a mysterious outcast and pursued by a ruthless killer. When Martha Covington moves to Amberleen, Georgia, after her release from a psychiatric ward, she thinks her breakdown is behind her. Taking a summer internship with the local historical society, Martha is tasked with gathering the stories of the Geechee residents of nearby Shell Heap Island, the descendants of slaves who have lived by their own traditions for the last three hundred years. As Martha delves into her work, the voices she thought she left behind start whispering again, and she begins to doubt her recovery. When a grisly murder occurs, Martha finds more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
No Hard Feelings by Mark Coggins

No Hard Feelings by Mark Coggins

By Seth Harwood Mark Coggins’ work has been nominated for the Shamus and the Barry crime fiction awards, and selected for best of the year lists compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Detroit Free Press and Amazon.com, among others. His novels Runoff and The Big Wake-Up won the Next Generation Indie Book Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) respectively, both in the crime fiction category. In NO HARD FEELINGS, Coggins pairs his aging series protagonist August Riordan with a determined, aggressive young woman named Winnie who literally feels no pain. Told in alternating points of view, the book describes a cut and thrust battle to the death between these uneasy partners and a shadowy villain known only as “The Winemaker.” What was more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Hostage Taker by Stefanie Pintoff

Hostage Taker by Stefanie Pintoff

By Valerie Constantine Throngs of holiday makers crowd the streets of New York in anticipation of the Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center, but a short distance away, police and the FBI are responding to a terrifying hostage situation at iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Traffic stops, the celebrations are put on hold, and the newscasters begin their non-stop reportage. HOSTAGE TAKER by Stefanie Pintoff, takes us through one day of a nail-biting and tension-filled standoff between an unknown hostage taker and FBI Special Agent Eve Rossi. She’s smart, gutsy and tough, and her secret team of notorious former criminals with their huge egos and disregard for the law is completely believable. A merciless hostage taker who has targeted Eve asks the question, “What are you more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
The Fury by Shane Gericke

The Fury by Shane Gericke

By Jeff Ayers Bestselling author Shane Gericke has been held at knifepoint, hit by lightning, and shaken the cold, sweaty hand of Liberace. His latest work is THE FURY, a sweeping novel of global terrorism that will release in trade paperback, eBook, and audiobook on September 4th. His earlier novel Torn Apart was shortlisted for the prestigious Thriller Award for Best Novel, and named a Book of the Year by Suspense magazine. His debut novel, Blown Away, was selected as the year’s Best First Mystery by RT Book Reviews, which also named his Cut to the Bone a Top Pick. His books have been translated into German, Chinese, Turkish, and Slovak. Gericke’s new novel, THE FURY, is a bit of a departure in terms of more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Slaughter by John Lutz

Slaughter by John Lutz

By John Raab John Lutz’s work includes political suspense, private-eye novels, urban suspense, humor, occult, crime caper, police procedural, espionage, historical, futuristic, amateur detective, thriller—he has conquered virtually every mystery subgenre. He is the author of more than 40 novels and over 200 short stories and articles. His novels and short fiction have been translated into almost every language.  He is a past president of both Mystery Writers of America and Private Eye Writers of America. Among his awards are the MWA’s Edgar, the PWA’s Shamus, the PWA Life Achievement Award, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s Golden Derringer Lifetime Achievement Award. Lutz is the author of two private-eye series, the Nudger series, set in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Carver series, set in Florida, as well as many standalone more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
The Devil’s Game by Sean Chercover

The Devil’s Game by Sean Chercover

The Search for a Dangerous Truth By Dawn Ius It should get easier. The writing. The waiting. But after penning five critically acclaimed thrillers, Sean Chercover admits that in some ways, it actually gets harder. “What gets easier is, you’ve been there before,” he says. “So when you hit the midpoint of your first draft and you become suddenly convinced that this is the worst book in the history of books and you’re murdering trees for no good reason, you say, ‘Ah, I’ve reached the midpoint of the first draft,’ instead of freaking out that your book is fatally broken.” This underlying insecurity, coupled with the challenges of an ever-changing publishing landscape, can cripple some writers, but for Chercover, it fuels his drive to continue more »

By July 30, 2015 Read More →

The Best of the Rest

A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd

A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd

The Dangerous Life of a World War I Nurse By Dawn Ius Caroline and Charles Todd certainly aren’t the first mother/child team to co-write fiction—but for this duo, with more than two dozen thrilling books under their collective belts, writing together is a natural progression of their already close relationship. As long as they’re not in the same room. With the release of PATTERN OF LIES, the team’s seventh book in the popular Beth Crawford series, Caroline and Charles took some time with The Big Thrill to reflect on what made them join forces creatively, where this book takes readers, and what fans can expect next. “When we started working together, we were over 400 miles apart,” Charles says. “So in many ways it was more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Just Another Termination by Linda Thorne

Just Another Termination by Linda Thorne

By George Ebey In Linda Thorne’s exciting debut, JUST ANOTHER TERMINATION, a career human resources manager flees bad bosses and guilt-ridden memories due to her coerced role in a wrongful termination that prompted a suicide. She finally lands a job with a good employer, but her new workplace is spun into turmoil when a young female employee is found shot to death. Then another murder occurs, and there’s a connection—both are linked to a double homicide twenty-five years earlier. Knee-deep in the investigation, the protagonist finds information that draws her back into the life of one evil, prior employer, and keeps the memory of the suicide heavy on her mind. The Big Thrill recently caught up with Thorne to learn more about her and her more »

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Primal Force by D. D. Ayres

Primal Force by D. D. Ayres

By Jessica Driscoll Passion and suspense are front and center in D.D. Ayres’ fourth installment of the K-9 Rescue Series, PRIMAL FORCE. Dog trainer Jori Garrison has little interest in romance and spends all of her time training her Warrior Wolf Pack, special dogs taught to work with disabled veterans. Wounded veteran Lauray Batisse is resistant to a new service dog, having lost his beloved K-9 in Afghanistan. But sparks fly when Jori and Lauray cross paths, pushing these two together on an adventure that heats up when enemies start hunting them down. Extraordinary canines, fierce attraction, and danger are the elements at play in PRIMAL FORCE, and Ayers was kind enough to take a break from the action to answer a few questions for more »

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Error in Diagnosis by Mason Lucas, M.D.

Error in Diagnosis by Mason Lucas, M.D.

By Dan Levy If there were more Dr. Gary Birken’s in the world, fiction writers wouldn’t have to worry about creating larger than life characters. Father. Grandfather. Avid basketball and tennis player. Black belt in martial arts. And he’s not just a physician; but the Vice Chief of Staff, Surgeon-in-Chief, and Chief of Pediatric Trauma at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in South Florida. Oh yeah, and his sixth novel, ERROR IN DIAGNOSIS, debuted August 25. Perhaps what pushes Birken into the larger than life category, at least for me, is the “all in” nature that seems to define how he pursues everything. According to Birken, “I used to read everything in sight. One night, I had the idea for a story. I sat down at more »

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Contract to Kill by Andrew Peterson

Contract to Kill by Andrew Peterson

When Toby Haynes witnesses a double murder—and suspects his boss, Tanner Mason, as the perpetrator of the crime—he does the only thing he can think of: he calls in Nathan McBride. CIA special ops veteran McBride and his partner, Harvey Fontana, respond to their friend’s plea. As they launch a covert investigation into Mason, the security chief for one of the nation’s leading private military contractors, they discover that not everything is as it appears. Mason and his inner circle are leading a top-secret operation to tackle a wave of crime plaguing the US-Mexican border, and the murder may have been part of their complicated strategy—or part of a more menacing agenda. Soon McBride and Fontana find themselves engaged in a deadly game. With a more »

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Killer Run by Lynn Cahoon

Killer Run by Lynn Cahoon

Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—has somehow been talked into sponsoring a 5k race along the beautiful California coast. The race is a fundraiser for the local preservation society—but not everyone is feeling so charitable… The day of the race, everyone hits the ground running…until a local business owner stumbles over a very stationary body. The deceased is the vicious wife of the husband-and-wife team hired to promote the event—and the husband turns to Jill for help in clearing his name. But did he do it? Jill will have to be very careful, because this killer is ready to put her out of the running…forever! “Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover’s more »

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Broken Chain by Lisa von Biela

Broken Chain by Lisa von Biela

Dr. Kyle Sommers is one of a team of CDC doctors deployed nationwide to find the cause. Along with his wife Gretchen and young daughter Lara, he travels to St. Joe, Minnesota to investigate after a particularly gruesome murder shocks the small town. Frantic to find the answer before more people die and haunted by the secret that destroyed his father, Dr. Sommers uncovers the shattering truth behind the seemingly unconnected crises. And when he does, he discovers his own family is in grave danger. Something has gone horribly wrong with the food chain. And nothing will ever be the same. Part medical detective story, part post-apocalyptic tale, BROKEN CHAIN examines what might happen if a major component of our food supply had to be more »

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The Smoke Hunter by Jacquelyn Benson

The Smoke Hunter by Jacquelyn Benson

Deadly beasts, improvident rum consumption, and a treasure-hunting suffragette: Jacquelyn Benson’s debut novel, THE SMOKE HUNTER, is a smart, fun ride in the tradition of Indiana Jones and The Mummy. The Big Thrill caught up with Jacquelyn to chat about genre-bending, magic mirrors, and dangerous men. Ellie is such a smart protagonist. What inspired you to create her?   Ellie did not come naturally to me. When I set out to write THE SMOKE HUNTER, I started with the idea of a heroine who was something of a broken woman. I made it almost all the way through my first draft with her and hated almost every minute of it. Then this startlingly clear vision popped into my mind: a woman dragging her suitcase down the pavement, both terrified and exulted by the more »

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