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The May edition of THE BIG THRILL is here!

For our May issue, we interview authors with every kind of perspective imaginable. In the cover story, Charlaine Harris talks about her new mystery series—and what it was really like to live through her last series becoming a phenomenon. Heather Graham tells why she headed north, changing her fictional setting, in “Turning Point.” Marcia Clark, David Baldacci, John Sandford and John Hart each share insights into the craft they’ve developed that’s propelled them to the top of the bestseller lists. And, stepping back from current trends, we learn from editor and writer Tom Nolan on what makes Ross Macdonald a timeless classic.

In “Author Guided Tour,” Linda Fairstein takes us on a journey to some fascinating spots in New York City. Dawn Ius dances with the devil in “Trend Report,” interviewing those behind some of the hottest demon-driven stories in pop culture. And we learn about writing crime fiction set in Ghana from Kwei Quartey in “African Scene.”

This month marks the debut of our newest column, “Off the Page.” Author Michael Sears goes in-depth on the research, the creative effort and the compassion that led to developing an autistic character in his acclaimed Jason Stafford series.

A woman-from-history trifecta awaits readers in interviews with Susanna Calkins on writing a 17th century ladies’ maid turned printer’s apprentice; Mary Sharratt on a thriller featuring a woman who may have been thisclose to William Shakespeare; and Radha Vatsal on launching a fearless woman reporter who takes on 1915 New York.

And check out our interviews with Andrew Case, Jon McGoran, A.J. Tata, Jeremy Burns, Lisa Black and many, many more.

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Featured Articles

Turning Point: Heather Graham

Turning Point: Heather Graham

  Heather Graham Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple By Dawn Ius Heather Graham has traveled the fictional globe with her bestselling romantic thrillers, but until now has steered fairly clear of New York, despite a deep-rooted family connection that is ripe with stories for the taking. Now, Graham takes readers to the Big Apple in her latest release, FLAWLESS. The story centers on criminal psychologist Kieran Finnegan, her three less-than-innocent brothers, the Irish pub they co-own in the heart of New York City—and a series of thefts in the city’s thriving Diamond District. Kieran is in the midst of “unstealing” a flawless stone taken by her youngest brother in a misguided act of vengeance when she meets FBI agent Craig Frasier, who more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
International Thrills: Obinna Udenwe

International Thrills: Obinna Udenwe

Writing a Conspiracy Thriller Set in Nigeria By J.F. Penn Nigerian author Obinna Udenwe’s latest book, SATANS AND SHAITANS, is out now in Kindle edition, and available for pre-order in paperback. USA Today bestselling thriller author J.F.Penn interviewed Obinna for The Big Thrill. Tell us a little about you and your writing background I come from Abakaliki, a rice-rich town in South Eastern Nigeria. I was born in 1988 in a small missionary hospital that I mention in Satans and Shaitans. I grew up in a university neighborhood and as a child experienced gang activities/wars and killings, armed robberies, political instability and incessant strike actions by teachers and civil servants. Perhaps my experience as a child in this environment prepared me to become a writer. more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Common Ground: Writers Answer Our Questions, by Dawn Ius

Common Ground: Writers Answer Our Questions, by Dawn Ius

Common Ground: Chasing the Thrill—For Real By Dawn Ius Anyone with Google Maps and access to Yelp can pinpoint the exact address of the best pub in New York (Finnegan’s?) A deeper search might even net you pictures of the bar’s interior. Thanks to modern technology, novelists can complete  this—and almost any research—from the comforts of their home. But even some of the most-savvy Yahoo searchers sometimes just want to break from virtual life and experience the sights, the sounds, and the energy of a time and place no amount of keyboard clicking can replicate. In some cases, though, authors can get much more than they bargained for. In this issue of The Big Thrill, we asked our some of our authors this: What is the most terrifying thing that more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Industry Spotlight: When An Author Hits the No. 1 Spot

Industry Spotlight: When An Author Hits the No. 1 Spot

By Andy Martin After observing Lee Child at work for one year as he wrote his 20th thriller, Andy Martin, a Cambridge educator and author, wrote ‘Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me.’ Martin’s book was written and at the printer when that Lee Child novel hit bookstores in September 2015 and made it to the No. 1 spot on bestseller lists.  Martin was with Child on tour in Washington, D.C., when the news broke last autumn, and he shares their conversation with The Big Thrill: _____ Lee Child was having a pizza. As a result of poor parenting, he always leaves the crusts. Followed by some kind of fudge pudding with chocolate ice-cream. And coffee. Black. Room service in the more »

By March 31, 2016 Read More →
Africa Scene: Interview with Todd Moss

Africa Scene: Interview with Todd Moss

A Diplomat Turns Thriller Writer   By Michael Sears Todd Moss has the perfect background to write political thrillers about diplomacy around the world. In 2007 he was the top U.S. diplomat in West Africa, and he’s the author of four books on international affairs. He is now at the Center for Global Development in Washington and a professor at Georgetown University. We’re fortunate that he’s chosen to use his knowledge and experience to write heart racing thrillers (in the words of the Washington Post). James Fallows of The Atlantic wrote that as Tom Clancy used fiction to illuminate the world of the military, you use it to reveal the world of diplomacy. Would you tell us a little about your background and some of more »

By March 31, 2016 Read More →
International Thrills: Interview with Dolores Redondo

International Thrills: Interview with Dolores Redondo

Creating a Visceral Sense of Place   By Layton Green The Basque Country boasts some of Spain’s most breathtaking scenery and mouth-watering cuisine.  It is also, at least within the pages of the runaway hit THE INVISIBLE GUARDIAN by Dolores Redondo, a place of dark crimes and buried secrets, a pocket of Old Europe engulfed in mythology and superstition. A  No. 1 international bestseller, THE INVISIBLE GUARDIAN follows a homicide inspector who returns to her long-abandoned hometown to solve a series of eerie murders.   The novel was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger Awards and named Best Crime Novel of the Year by La Vanguardia.  It’s a fascinating read and the first novel of the Baztán trilogy to be translated into English. Dolores hails from San more »

By March 31, 2016 Read More →

Between the Lines

Between the Lines with Charlaine Harris

Between the Lines with Charlaine Harris

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

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

Between the Lines: Interview with Lisa Scottoline

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

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

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

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

By February 29, 2016 Read More →
Between the Lines with Maverick Novelist Barry Eisler

Between the Lines with Maverick Novelist Barry Eisler

What Happens If Our Government Takes Surveillance One Step Further By Josie Brown An interview with author Barry Eisler is always timely and provocative, to say the least. A prolific author, this former CIA operative and attorney has landed on numerous bestseller lists with novels based on his iconic assassin anti-hero, John Rain. He has won both Bouchercon’s Barry Award and Mystery Inc.’s Gumshoe Award. Those who read his blog know that Eisler is a staunch public advocate of human rights—a topic covered in his latest thriller, THE GOD’S EYE VIEW—as well as authors’ rights. Since both are hot topics for those of us who write (and read) thrillers, yes, you’ll want to read what he has to say. When, and how, did the idea more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Between the Lines with Ian Rankin

Between the Lines with Ian Rankin

Crime Fiction, the Reality of Evil, and Some Really Great Music By Nancy Bilyeau There came a time, not long ago, when Ian Rankin, 55, decided he needed a break. He’d written nearly 30 novels and short-story collections, many of them reaching the top of the bestseller lists. In fact, it’s been estimated that Rankin is responsible for 10 percent of all crime fiction sales in the UK. He’s won four Dagger Awards from the Crime Writers’ Association and snared the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. The man who describes himself as a “frustrated rock star” bought a house in Edinburgh in the same neighborhood as Alexander McCall Smith and, for a time, J.K. Rowling. But wealth and literary awards can’t protect against more »

By December 31, 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 December 30, 2015 Read More →

Special to the Big Thrill

Trend Report:  Can the Devil Make Us Do It?

Trend Report: Can the Devil Make Us Do It?

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

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

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

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

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

Turning Point: Gregg Hurwitz Launches a Series

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

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Industry Focus: Being Published in France, by Anne Trager

Industry Focus: Being Published in France, by Anne Trager

Anne Trager has over a quarter of a century of experience working with the French in translation and publishing. She founded Le French Book, a mystery and thriller publishing house dedicated to translating French mysteries and thrillers into English. She is frequently asked about going the other way around, from English to French. Here she shares insights, in Part One. France—the name itself evokes the good life, with food, wine, lovely countryside, and a huge network of independent booksellers and readers who love authors. Better yet, France is a country where one out of four books sold is a mystery or thriller, one out of five books published is a mystery or thriller, and a quarter of the bestsellers are mysteries or thrillers. The country more »

By November 30, 2015 Read More →
In the News: Florida Benefit for Navy SEALs

In the News: Florida Benefit for Navy SEALs

By A. J. Tata Like the protagonists in their own novels, 25 suspense writers descended on Tampa, Florida, in full force on November 7th to support the SEAL Legacy Foundation inaugural fundraiser at the Tampa Bay Book Festival. From No. 1 New York Times bestsellers to debut authors, the writers first rallied at the home of Jeff and Wendy Wilson for an evening of renewing and forging friendships in the name of a worthy cause. Jeff, who is the co-author with Brian Andrews of the Nick Foley Series and the Tier One Series as well as a medical doctor and Navy veteran, spent countless hours organizing and fundraising for the event. “While on active duty in the Navy, my greatest pride was to have served in more »

By November 30, 2015 Read More →
Jewish Noir: Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds, edited by Kenneth Wishnia

Jewish Noir: Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds, edited by Kenneth Wishnia

By Dawn Ius Some of today’s best-known crime writers have come together to create JEWISH NOIR, an anthology of new stories that examine the re-emergence of noir in Jewish culture. Edited by Kenneth Wishnia, the book’s 32 compelling offerings tackle issues such as the long-terms effects of the Holocaust, sexual abuse in an insular ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn community, amoral  businessmen, and, much to Wishnia’s surprise, multiple stories on bullying. “No less than three of the contributions focus on characters having been bullied for being Jewish,” he says. The anthology is truly a diverse collection of work by an eclectic group of authors—some of whom aren’t even Jewish. “This is a compilation of ‘not the usual suspects,’ ” Wishnia says, noting that among the stories by the more more »

By November 30, 2015 Read More →

Crime Fiction

That Darkness by Lisa Black

That Darkness by Lisa Black

By Amy Lignor Lisa Back is a writer first and a forensic scientist second.  These two passions came together for in a series of suspense stories of absolute perfection. The writer of unforgettable bestsellers starring forensic scientist Theresa MacLean (Trail of Blood, Evidence of Murder, and Takeover), Black takes her readers on fast-paced journeys, possibly sparked by a latent fingerprint or a spot of blood. Black was kind enough to take time out and talk with The Big Thrill about her latest title, giving us a peek into her latest offering, her writing career, and even her thoughts on what the elusive Ripper might manage to pull off in the high-tech forensic world of 2016. When did you have the desire to add writing to more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
The Big Fear by Andrew Case

The Big Fear by Andrew Case

By Andrew Case We knew they didn’t care about us because they scheduled us during lunch. Every spring, the New York City Council would hold budget hearings, asking every city agency to come forth, boast about their performance, and beg for a little supplemental funding. Each year, I would write the testimony for the board chair and executive director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board—the city’s official all-civilian agency dedicated to investigating police misconduct. All the criminal justice agencies—the NYPD, the District Attorneys, the Department of Corrections, and us—would be scheduled for the same day. And every year, year in and year out, we would be scheduled from 12:15 to 1:15, and every member of the city council save two would finish fawning over New more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
All Things Nice by Sheila Bugler

All Things Nice by Sheila Bugler

By Dan Levy What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice And all things nice That’s what little girls are made of. But are they really? This stanza from the poem (or nursery rhyme), credited to English poet Robert Southey, is a preeminent theme in Sheila Bugler’s third Ellen Kelly novel, ALL THINGS NICE. The book is more than an opportunity to evolve the series protagonist and create something new for fans to devour. For Bugler, it was the chance to explore how individual demons find new life through parenting. “As a mother myself, I’m only too aware of how easy it is to mess up this important job. I always think loving your children is easy, but being a good parent? That’s the more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Ross Macdonald: Three Novels of the Early 1960s by Tom Nolan (editor)

Ross Macdonald: Three Novels of the Early 1960s by Tom Nolan (editor)

Revelatory Stories from a Master of Crime Fiction By Nancy Bilyeau In spring 1959 the California newspapers were full of stories about a young woman’s disappearance. Linda Millar, a 19-year-old honor student, vanished from the University of California Davis campus. For more than a week, her distraught Santa Barbara parents, Kenneth and Margaret, tried to find her, hiring a private detective and asking the media to publish stories on the search. Linda read a written appeal from her father in one newspaper and telephoned home. She had been wandering through Northern California and Reno, Nevada. “She just wasn’t herself,” said a private detective. The problems of Linda Millar ran deep. Three years earlier, driving drunk, she hit three pedestrians and killed one, a 13-year-old boy; more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
The Killing Forest by Sara Blaedel

The Killing Forest by Sara Blaedel

By Matt Ferraz Known as the Queen of Crime in Denmark, Sara Blaedel is the author of the Louise Rick series, which just reached its seventh volume with THE KILLING FOREST. Louise Rick is a member of the Special Search Agency, an elite unite dedicated to finding the missing, and her search for a 15-year-old boy leads her to an ancient religious cult. We talked to Sara about the series, her writing career and the challenges she had to face as a woman writing about crime. Introduce us to your main characters. Louise Rick is a smart, hardworking, sometimes stubborn, independent woman, who takes her work as a police officer very seriously.  She’s human; she’s been through her own struggles and very difficult times, some of which she continues to work through.  She’s both extraordinary and an everywoman.  more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Down the Darkest Street by Alex Segura

Down the Darkest Street by Alex Segura

By Sidney Williams Reporter Pete Fernandez’s life is in ruins when he makes his return in Alex Segura’s DOWN THE DARKEST STREET, the follow-up to his debut, Silent City. As the book opens, Fernandez’s best friend is dead, his newspaper is career lost, and his ex-girlfriend is staying with him while her own marriage falls apart. Despite those problems, Fernandez is drawn into an investigation involving a missing girl and is soon put in the path of a vicious and calculating killer who is “cutting a swath of blood across Miami.” While the prospects are grim at the outset, Segura says his new novel “tells a tale of redemption, survival and the sordid backstreets of Miami — while asking the question that many are too scared more »

By March 31, 2016 Read More →

Adventure Thrillers

Starrie by Heidi Ruby Miller

Starrie by Heidi Ruby Miller

By Basil Sands Due to some business travel to Fairbanks Alaska I had the chance to read STARRIE by Heidi Ruby Miller in two sittings on the same day. And let me just say, I’m glad I had that opportunity. STARRIE is one ripping fast book and a well told story. I loved it! It was a perfect diversion as I looked out the airplane window across the billowing clouds and Alaskan mountains Miller uses research for her stories as an excuse to roam the globe. With degrees in anthropology, geography, foreign languages, and writing, she knew early that penning fast-paced, exotic adventures would be her life. She’s put her experiences and studies to paper in her new, far-future novel. She took a short break more »

By February 29, 2016 Read More →
Pegasus Down by Philip Donlay

Pegasus Down by Philip Donlay

By Alison McMahan In college, Philip Donlay was once asked to write an article. He got a B on it, which made him angry. He sent the article off to a magazine, then, in the way of freshmen, forgot about it, until a check showed up in the mail. This experience left him with the idea that writing is easy. Just write something, send it off, and a check shows up in the mail. Because he spent the next few decades flying all kinds of airplanes all over the world, it took him years to learn the truth. He wrote his first three novels while working as a pilot. It was difficult, but he learned as he went. Oceanview bought his third novel. Donlay has more »

By February 29, 2016 Read More →
Yeti by Richard Edde

Yeti by Richard Edde

By Richard Edde These days the line between fact and fantasy keeps getting increasingly blurred. That gray area between truth and fiction gets narrowed to a fine line. With all the advances in science and technology, the things we read in the books we buy and see in the movies can certainly cause us to pause. I have always enjoyed those novels whose plots were made plausible within a background of scientific information. The reader no longer knows what is fact or fiction but doesn’t care because the story is so good. Since college I have been fascinated with the science of our human origins and the fossils that make up the collection of early humans and proto-humans. I read everything I could get my more »

By February 29, 2016 Read More →
Forsaken by Ken Newman

Forsaken by Ken Newman

By Jeff Ayers In Ken Newman’s new novel, FORSAKEN, Maggie Black is the champion of a fallen angel she loves as a father. She relishes her heroic life of danger and intrigue-until the day the angel betrays her and sends a witch to kill her. However, the assassin, Mrs. Kerr, fakes Maggie’s death and kidnaps her. Renamed Hajar, which means forsaken, Maggie is forced to commit crimes to support her master’s lifestyle. When all seems lost, hope arrives in the form of a world-weary adventurer, Gideon Kane. He bargains for Maggie’s freedom, offering Mrs. Kerr a prize the power-hungry woman can’t resist-the Tree of Life, whose fruit can turn mortals into gods. Ken Newman has loved stories of the supernatural since listening to his grandmother’s more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Powerless by Tim Washburn

Powerless by Tim Washburn

By Jeff Ayers In Timothy Washburn’s novel POWERLESS, a massive geomagnetic solar storm strikes without warning. It destroys every power grid in the northern hemisphere. In one week the human race is flung back into the dark ages. After which, survival becomes everything. Only one man—army veteran Zeke Marshall—is prepared to handle a nightmare like this. But when he tries to reunite with his family in Dallas—across a lawless terrain as deadly as any battlefield—he discovers there are worse things in life than war. And there are terrible and unthinkable things he’ll have to do to survive… Washburn chatted with The Big Thrill about his new book. What sparked the idea for POWERLESS? I read an article in a journal about the effects of space more »

By December 31, 2015 Read More →
Knight’s Cross by Christine Kling

Knight’s Cross by Christine Kling

By Christine Kling Writers often talk about writing a book of the heart, a phrase which refers to writing a book that may not be marketable, but one that the author feels compelled to write anyway. Some authors refer to this as a book that haunts you, a story they absolutely must tell. I’ve come to think of the third book in my Shipwreck Adventures series, KNIGHT’S CROSS, as a book of the heart, but not because it emerged from somewhere deep in my soul or psyche. I use the phrase to describe this book that grew out of my experiences of meeting and falling in love with the man who is now my husband. My books are international adventure thrillers, and I have sailed more »

By December 31, 2015 Read More →

Contemporary Thrillers

Three Minutes to Midnight by A. J. Tata

Three Minutes to Midnight by A. J. Tata

By Alex Segura The novels of Brigadier General A. J. Tata don’t go unnoticed, that’s for sure. Even former President George W. Bush is a fan. Tata’s well-researched, authentic, and engaging novels are built to keep readers on edge from the first page on, and his latest, THREE MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT, is no exception. The second of Tata’s novels featuring Jake Mahegan, THREE MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT finds the Delta Force vet on the trail of his mother’s murderer. But when an Army geologist is kidnapped, Mahegan must figure out if the two threads are tangled together. When nuclear plants on U.S. soil fall under attack, that question is answered with deadly results. As time winds down, Mahegan must track down the homegrown terrorists hell-bent on more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
eXXXtrem by Svea Tornow

eXXXtrem by Svea Tornow

By Anne Tibbets “… Michelle’s biography did not come out of thin air.” Deep in the shadows of Hamburg, Germany, prostitute Michelle gets sucked into the underground scene of snuff movies. Looking for the baby sister of an old friend, her best customer, a policeman named Paul, refuses to help. After a brutal rape, Michelle swears vengeance—and to find the vanished girl. eXXXtrem by Svea Tornow is dark, twisted, and as real as the sunrise. “I wanted to show many aspects of my city,” Tornow says. “The dark underbelly as well as the rich suburbs. More than that, I wanted to explore the topics of family, friends, and trust. Because sometimes you cannot have it all.” The second novel in an ongoing series, eXXXtrem follows more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Deadly Savage by Dave Edlund

Deadly Savage by Dave Edlund

By J. H. Bográn After the success of Crossing Savage and Relentless Savage, comes the third book by Dave Edlund, DEADLY SAVAGE. This time Peter Savage finds himself in peril when militants invade the Belarusian State University in Minsk. Held hostage by gunmen who look like Russian soldiers, Peter uncovers a plot to kill thousands of innocent civilians—and lay the blame on the United States. In a desperate attempt to avoid a global war, Commander James Nicolaou and Peter are called to the front lines, and the stakes have never been higher. DEADLY SAVAGE brings the now familiar globe-trotting adventures, the high-octane plots, and plenty of action in a novel that as Gary Scout says, “…will leave you breathless, and worried, because it just might more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Redemption Road by John Hart

Redemption Road by John Hart

A Search For Light in Dark Places By R.G. Belsky The wait is over for John Hart fans. Five years after his last book, Hart–the best-selling thriller author whose writing about the South has been compared to John Grisham and Pat Conroy–is back with the eagerly anticipated REDEMPTION ROAD. So why the long gap between books? Hart says it took him that much time–including a year spent on a failed novel that he discarded after 300 pages–to find the character he really wanted to write. “I began that fifth, failed novel without understanding what my hero wanted and valued, and how far he would go to achieve those things,” Hart told us. “It was, in retrospect, an exercise in hubris. After four bestsellers I was overconfident. more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
The Last Mile by David Baldacci

The Last Mile by David Baldacci

Writing About a World Not Black and White By J. H. Bográn They say that word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing technique for selling books. I believe book lending is a close second. A few years ago, a friend lent me David Baldacci’s The Winner. The novel was about a dirt-poor single mother forced into a scheme that began by winning $10 million in the lottery. After I devoured the book in record time, I returned it—yes, I’m one of those—and told my friend that I felt I was the winner, because I’d just discovered a new favorite author. I’ve read plenty of his books since then, so when the editors asked me if I´d like to interview Mr. Baldacci and read his latest novel, you can bet I was sofa-jumping. Can you tell us in your own words, what’s THE LAST MILE about? Amos Decker, my hyperthemesia detective with more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Extreme Prey by John Sandford

Extreme Prey by John Sandford

Keeping a Series Fresh By Dawn Ius Back in the early 90s, John Sandford’s son was driving through Omaha in the evening when his car struck a deer head, and the animal’s horns punctured his tire. Knowing his limited-use spare wouldn’t get him through Nebraska, he called his father, already a bestselling thriller writer, for advice. Using an early mapping program—created long before Google—Sandford was able to navigate directions to an open tire store. His son was back in business within 15 minutes. The event marked a significant shift in Sandford’s thinking: Technology had taken a huge step forward, and if he wanted to stay relevant, he needed to get on board. Now, with the release of EXTREME PREY, the 26th book in the Lucas more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →

The Best of the Rest

The May 2016 Edition of The Big Thrill is Here!

The May 2016 Edition of The Big Thrill is Here!

For our May issue, we interview authors with every kind of perspective imaginable. In the cover story, Charlaine Harris talks about her new mystery series—and what it was really like to live through her last series becoming a phenomenon. Heather Graham tells why she headed north, changing her fictional setting, in “Turning Point.”  Marcia Clark, David Baldacci, John Sandford and John Hart each share insights into the craft they’ve developed that’s propelled them to the top of the bestseller lists. And, stepping back from current trends, we learn from editor and writer Tom Nolan on what makes Ross Macdonald a timeless classic. In “Author Guided Tour,” Linda Fairstein takes us on a journey to some fascinating spots in New York City. Dawn Ius dances with more »

By May 1, 2016 Read More →
Deadly Dunes: A Mac McClellan Mystery by E. Michael Helms

Deadly Dunes: A Mac McClellan Mystery by E. Michael Helms

By Eyre Price It’s not often that a writer is more heroic in real life than the characters he creates on the page, but E. Michael Helms is exactly that.  A Vietnam combat veteran, it was his harrowing all-too-true adventures that first brought Mr. Helms to the printed page and earned him the critical acclaim and devoted readership that has followed him over the course of his career. Recently, I had the pleasure and honor of asking Mr. Helms about his heroic past, his tough-as-nails fictional alter ego, and other topics. Your debut as an author was with 1990’s The Proud Bastards, a memoir of your experience as a Marine in the Vietnam War.  What are your reflections of that publishing experience? That book was more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Hunt the Dragon by Don Mann & Ralph Pezzullo

Hunt the Dragon by Don Mann & Ralph Pezzullo

By David Healey When it comes to dealing with the trouble spots of the world, the United States government must have Seal Team Six on speed dial. In SEAL TEAM SIX: HUNT THE DRAGON, the newest novel featuring Navy SEALS from the writing team of Ralph Pezzullo and Don Mann, the main character, Thomas Crocker, goes from Russia to Las Vegas and finally to a deadly covert mission to North Korea. Although HUNT THE DRAGON is a work of fiction, it’s built around the very real missions of SEALS all over the world. These covert operators take over where diplomacy ends and direct military action would be out of the question. “I wanted to give some sense of how busy these guys are,” said Pezzullo, more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Murder at the 42nd Street Library by Con Lehane

Murder at the 42nd Street Library by Con Lehane

By Grant McKenzie Murder at the 42nd Street Library is Con Lehane’s first book in an irresistible new series that introduces librarian and amateur sleuth Raymond Ambler, a doggedly curious fellow who uncovers murderous secrets hidden behind the majestic marble façade of New York City’s landmark 42nd Street Library. The story opens with a murder in a second-floor office of the iconic, beaux-arts flagship of the New York Public Library. Ambler, the curator of the library’s crime fiction collection, joins forces with NYPD homicide detective Mike Cosgrove in hopes of bringing a murderer to justice.  So we had to ask . . . Libraries have always been special places for writers, but what inspired you to set a mystery in New York’s landmark 42nd Street more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
The Dark Lady’s Mask by Mary Sharratt

The Dark Lady’s Mask by Mary Sharratt

On the Trail of Shakespeare’s Hidden Partner By Nancy Bilyeau Mary Sharratt’s talent for creating richly imagined worlds of the past, in novels such as Vanishing Point, Daughters of the Witching Hill and Illuminations, has won her multiple literary awards. In her new book, she brings to life a little-known woman of Elizabethan England named Aemilia Bassano Lanier, who was the first professional woman poet. As the world celebrates Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death, THE DARK LADY’S MASK takes readers on a suspenseful journey that asks: Was this woman his secret lover and collaborator? What drew you to the story of Aemilia Bassano Lanier? Aemilia Bassano Lanier (also spelled Lanyer) was the first professional woman writer in England. She was such a strong more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
It Takes One by Kate Kessler

It Takes One by Kate Kessler

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

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
Mission Hill by Pamela Wechsler

Mission Hill by Pamela Wechsler

By Ken Isaacson Pam Wechsler spent more than 15 years working as a prosecutor at the local, state, and federal levels. She’s served as an Assistant District Attorney and Assistant Attorney general in Boston, and she was a trial attorney for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. She’s investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of crimes, including murder, witness intimidation, sexual assault, drug trafficking, stock market manipulation, and political corruption. About 10 years ago, Wechsler moved to Los Angeles to work as a legal consultant and writer for network television shows. Her credits include Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Law and Order: Trial by Jury, Conviction, and Canterbury’s Law. It’s no surprise then that Wechsler’s debut novel, MISSION HILL, features Abby more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →
The Good Spy by Jeffrey Layton

The Good Spy by Jeffrey Layton

By L. E. Fitzpatrick THE GOOD SPY is the latest espionage thriller from Jeffrey Layton, acclaimed author of Blowout, Warhead, and Vortex One. His latest work is in the coastal waters of the American/Canadian border.   Russian naval officer Yuri Kirov faces a race against time to save the remaining crew of his marooned submarine amid escalating political tensions and a jealous husband. Jeffrey Layton kindly took the time out to discuss his latest book with The Big Thrill. THE GOOD SPY follows Yuri Kirov as he tries to save the world. Tell us a bit about the perilous situation that Yuri finds himself in and the dangers confronting him. Yuri Kirov is a Russian Federation naval intelligence officer who specializes in underwater surveillance. He is aboard a more »

By April 30, 2016 Read More →