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The February edition of THE BIG THRILL is here!

We could theme this issue The Bold Ones. For the February issue, we interviewed authors who are taking it to the next level with their work—and thanks to The Big Thrill, you find out how. Barry Eisler’s page-turner The God’s Eye View paints a picture of NSA spying that even Snowden couldn’t imagine. Marcus Sakey’s Written in Fire brings readers a White House in ruins. Barry Lancet’s Pacific Burn sets loose nightmarish dangers in Tokyo. Reed Farrel Coleman writes a story of a damaged ex-cop in a Long Island that’s definitely not the Hamptons. And Mark Alpert’s new thriller The Orion Plan creates an all-too-realistic scenario of aliens’ invading New York City.

In “Turning Point,” Gregg Hurwitz tells why he turned from writing stand-alone novels to launching a series with Orphan X. Dawn Ius, in “Trend Report,” finds out where espionage fiction is headed—perhaps not quite where you think. “International Thrills” heads to Argentina and the career of the fascinating Claudia Piñiero. And in “Africa Scene,” James Fouche reveals how much reality is in his novel’s picture of corruption in South Africa.

And there’s more! Check out our stories on Matthew FitzSimmons, Carol Goodman, John A. Connell, Kat Martin, Laurent Guillaume, and twenty other authors of suspense fiction.

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Featured Articles

Trend Watch: Is There a New Spy Game in Fiction?

Trend Watch: Is There a New Spy Game in Fiction?

By Dawn Ius When the Soviet Union collapsed, there was a general feeling among publishers that with the inevitable wane of espionage, spy fiction must come to an end too. Which was a shame, since the genre had a passionate following. “The Cold War was really the lens through which many people educated themselves about geopolitics,” says “Queen of Espionage” author Gayle Lynds, whose novels have been published in 20 countries. “The New York Times pulled its regular spy novel column,” says Lynds. “Photojournalists who regularly roamed the world covering news stories couldn’t get a gig. People were exhausted by the Cold War and didn’t want to think about anything outside our borders. There was even a bill introduced into Congress to shut down the CIA—though more »

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

Industry Focus: Being Published in France, Part Two, 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 into French. Here she shares tips. This is the second of a two-part article. In part I of this article, I covered the French market and readers. Here, I’ll discuss selling foreign rights to French publishers and whether or not you could/should go it alone. How to sell your rights in France French publishers are quite vocal about wanting to work with authors directly, and bypassing agents all together. This of course is easier more »

By December 31, 2015 Read More →
International Thrills: An interview with J.S. Law

International Thrills: An interview with J.S. Law

By J.F. Penn British author J.S. Law is a former submariner from the Royal Navy and the author of the debut thriller TENACITY, set partially on a nuclear submarine. USA Today bestselling thriller author J.F.Penn interviewed J.S.Law for The Big Thrill. You can watch the video discussion here on YouTube or read the transcript below. So first of all, tell us a bit more about you and your writing background. Like most authors, I’ve been writing since I was a child. I even found some fairly amusing emotional poetry that I’d written when I was in my early teens. I used to enter lots of short story competitions, but it was probably about six years ago that I decided I really wanted to be a more »

By December 31, 2015 Read More →
Trend Watch: The Unstoppable Domestic Thriller, by Dawn Ius

Trend Watch: The Unstoppable Domestic Thriller, by Dawn Ius

By Dawn Ius Is your beloved significant other actually a psychopath? How much should you trust the woman sleeping beside you? Does your child have a dark secret? These are not the kind of questions normally asked in traditional thrillers that involve crime, terrorist plots, international espionage, globe-trotting adventure, or hard-boiled detectives. The plot lines of a domestic thriller are set within familiar environments—homes, families, and spousal relationships. They are the kinds of thrillers that come with their own brand of suspense—the disturbing feeling that it could happen to me. Not exactly new territory, but the domestic thriller does seem to be enjoying an upsurge in popularity. “Certainly two of the biggest books in recent years, The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, have more »

By December 31, 2015 Read More →
Craft Fix: Lifting the Middle of the Thriller Plot

Craft Fix: Lifting the Middle of the Thriller Plot

By James Scott Bell The best thrillers are about more than thrills. They are about how and why a character transforms, becomes a different person, a stronger person, through a confrontation with death. Example: Lethal Weapon is about more than the thrilling takedown of a drug ring run by ex-mercs. It was about the return to humanity of a suicidal cop. When we first meet Martin Riggs, he is on the brink. Wanting to die because of despair over his wife’s murder, Riggs throws himself into any danger with criminals, hoping he’ll get shot. His staid, nearly-retired partner, Roger Murtaugh, accuses Riggs of a ruse in order to draw “psycho pay,” Riggs says he thinks every day about eating a bullet, even pulls out a more »

By December 31, 2015 Read More →
Industry Focus: The Five Things This Media Expert Wishes Authors Knew

Industry Focus: The Five Things This Media Expert Wishes Authors Knew

By Brian Feinblum I began promoting authors and books to the media in 1989, working for a small publisher. I went on to do the same at another independent book publisher. Since then, I have worked with more than 1,000 authors and launched many books in all genres. For the past 17 years I have served as the chief marketing officer for the nation’s largest book promoter, Media Connect. We have seen many changes in the last quarter-century, from how books are sold and produced to how they are promoted and reviewed. Thriller authors certainly have witnessed a lot of changes and seen an increase in competition. Ebooks have exploded, though the rate of growth has slowed greatly. The media opportunities for thrillers are now more »

By December 31, 2015 Read More →

Between the Lines

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 →
Between the Lines with Story Master Steven James

Between the Lines with Story Master Steven James

By Anthony Franze Last year, fans of Steven James’s Chess series saw the end of an era when he closed an eight-book story arc with Checkmate. Named a Suspense Magazine Best Book of 2014, Checkmate allowed FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers to face a longtime nemesis and brought a satisfying conclusion to the series that began nearly a decade ago with The Pawn. James, who Publishers Weekly has called a “master storyteller at the peak of his game,” thought it was time, and he had no shortage of other projects, including his popular Jevin Banks series. But Patrick Bowers wouldn’t let go. Readers wanted more of the FBI environmental criminologist who James once described as “cool under pressure, a little dark, a little haunted.” So more »

By November 30, 2015 Read More →
Playing With Fire: Between the Lines with Tess Gerritsen

Playing With Fire: Between the Lines with Tess Gerritsen

Writing a Page-Turner Set to Haunting Music By Dawn Ius Story inspiration can come from anywhere—a news clipping, a random conversation with strangers, a slash of graffiti. For international bestselling author Tess Gerritsen, the creative spark for her latest release, PLAYING WITH FIRE, struck while touring the centuries-old Venetian Ghetto. There, the story of Julia and Lorenzo came to her with such force, she composed a haunting piece of music that not only guided her in writing this novel, but also wove itself deep into the story’s theme. The book centers on accomplished violinist Julia Ansdell, who discovers the “Incendio Waltz” in a darkened antique shop in Rome. But every time she plays the complex and unusual piece, it seems to inspire her young daughter to more »

By November 1, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines: Sue Grafton on X

Between the Lines: Sue Grafton on X

The Truth About Writing a Series: “Right Back to Square One” By Nancy Bilyeau There are series and then there are series. In 1982, Sue Grafton, a Kentucky-born writer with a fondness for Ross Macdonald, published A Is for Alibi. The novel introduced readers to Kinsey Millhone, a young female private investigator working in the fictional California town of Santa Teresa. As the books made their way through the alphabet, the mystery series attracted a growing, deeply loyal following and won Grafton multiple Anthony Awards and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. One caveat: She has vowed to never option her books to Hollywood and made her children promise to do the same “or else I will come back and haunt them.” more »

By September 30, 2015 Read More →

Special to the Big Thrill

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 →
Novelist Guided Tour: Mark Alpert on the IBM Lab

Novelist Guided Tour: Mark Alpert on the IBM Lab

By Mark Alpert I love visiting laboratories. I’m a science journalist as well as a novelist, and I’ve discovered that the best way to fully understand a complex scientific subject is to meet the researchers in their labs and encourage them to explain their work. So in 2011, when I was seeking story ideas for Scientific American, I arranged to get a tour of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. Set on a low hill thirty miles north of Manhattan, the IBM lab is a legendary incubator of innovations. For instance, it’s the birthplace of DRAM circuits, the memory chips at the heart of most laptop and desktop computers. The lab is also where I got the idea for more »

By November 1, 2015 Read More →
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 →

Crime Fiction

The Mentor by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

The Mentor by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

By Jaden Terrell As a longtime lover of cinema, Italian author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli began her writing journey with screenplays. From there, she progressed to fan fiction based on movies—in fact, her first novel was a piece inspired by The Mummy. Today, the pacing she learned from these iconic films is reflected in her novels. As one might expect from a woman who writes in multiple genres, her reading tastes are eclectic, ranging from Little Women to The Silence of the Lambs. Although her degree is in biology, Monticelli works as a researcher, scientific and literary translator, freelance web copywriter, and author. Her novels, all of which were originally written in Italian, include L’isola di Gaia (The Isle of Gaia), Affinità d’intenti (Kindred Intentions), more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Paying for Pain by Paul McGoran

Paying for Pain by Paul McGoran

By Paul McGoran Paul McGoran is no academic, but his volume of short stories from New Pulp Press, PAYING FOR PAIN, is prefaced with an essay on the noir genre that displays a thoughtful and deeply-considered interest in the theoretical side of crime fiction. In the essay, he identifies five essential elements of noir—crime, obsession, fatalism, perversion, and betrayal. He then announces the theme of his collection as the “geography of noir”—McGoran’s term describing the genre’s predilection for urban settings. As with any book of short fiction, however, it’s the stories that matter. And PRAYING FOR PAIN contains a quartet of suspenseful noir tales and a 100-page novella titled, No Good Deed. It’s a world peopled with ex-cons, Mafiosi, common thugs, killers, accountants, clerics, models, more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Wake Me Up by Justin Bog

Wake Me Up by Justin Bog

By Sidney Williams Following two critically acclaimed collections of short fiction, Justin Bog’s novel WAKE ME UP has arrived from Gravity Books. It’s a psychological thriller that unfolds from the point of view of Chris, a small-town teenager who’s sunk into a coma due to a brutal beating. Set in 2004 in a college-town in Montana, the story unfolds in Chris’s voice from the depths of his coma. He sees how his own wrath and other circumstances led him into harm’s way. Chris wants—needs—the reader to hear his story so he can wake up. Just as he did in his award-winning short fiction, which includes the Suspense Magazine award-winning anthology Sandcastle and Other Stories, Bog deploys a deft and thoughtful approach to crime and its more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
City of Rose by Rob Hart

City of Rose by Rob Hart

By Anne Tibbets CITY OF ROSE brings to life the winding streets and wet alleys of Portland, Oregon, where former thug Ash McKenna struggles to rebuild his life, away from his dark past in New York City. The second installment of Rob Hart’s Ash McKenna series, CITY OF ROSE takes place less than a year after New Yorked, pulling the reader along on a noble quest to find a lost little girl. CITY OF ROSE is full of action, witty dialogue, and interpersonal struggle. Readers who loved Ash’s direct, and at times brutal tactics in New Yorked will be pleased to see how Ash has learned from his big city trials and tribulations…Mostly. “The important thing is, he’s always got to believe he’s doing the more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
The Girls She Left Behind by Sarah Graves

The Girls She Left Behind by Sarah Graves

From the bestselling author of the Home Repair is Homicide series comes a thriller about an escaped kidnapper and rapist who once held three girls prisoner for fifteen years. In THE GIRLS SHE LEFT BEHIND (Bantam Hardcover; On Sale 1/12/16) Sarah Graves ventures in an edgier, darker direction and takes readers inside the mind of a twisted killer. In the remote backwoods of Bearkill, Maine, a forest fire rages out of control. As embers swirl dangerously in the smoke-filled air, a teenage girl with a history of running away has dropped out of sight again. Lizzie Snow, a prickly but effective female deputy, thinks Tara Wylie is up to her old tricks—until her mother receives a terrifying text message. And when news gets out that more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Helsinki Homicide: Behind Closed Doors by Jarkko Sipila

Helsinki Homicide: Behind Closed Doors by Jarkko Sipila

By Cathy Perkins Jarkko Sipila maintained a successful career as a crime reporter for Finland’s leading newspaper and television station before turning his fingers to the keyboard for fiction. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS is the 15th in the Helsinki Homicide series, the sixth to be translated into English. As he watches his townhouse burn up in flames, Detective Lieutenant Kari Takamaki recalls an old saying: the most dangerous are those who plot their revenge in silence. As the game gets tougher for both the authorities and the criminals, Takamaki and his team are put on the defensive. But how do a Finnish gangster living in Bangkok and a raped woman in Helsinki fit into the picture? In your short synopsis, you mention a rape trial and more »

By December 31, 2015 Read More →

Adventure Thrillers

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 →
Blind Reef by Peter Tonkin

Blind Reef by Peter Tonkin

By Karen Harper Peter Tonkin’s first novel, Killer, was published in 1978. His work has included the acclaimed “Mariner” series that have been critically compared with the best of Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley and Hammond Innes. In BLIND REEF, Richard and Robin Mariner’s quest to rescue a kidnapped girl leads them into the perilous heart of the Sinai desert. They suddenly find themselves saving the lives of several refugees when their boat flounders on Shaab Ruhr Siyoul, known as the Blind Reef. One of the survivors, Nahom, is of particular interest to the Mariners. His twin sister, Tsibekti, has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom by smugglers. Shocked by Nahom’s story, Richard and Robin soon become dangerously involved, travelling into the heart of the Sinai in their quest to find the lost more »

By December 31, 2015 Read More →
Blood Tracks by Matt Hilton

Blood Tracks by Matt Hilton

By Jeremy Burns For many thriller fans, author Matt Hilton is synonymous with his action hero and ex-counterterrorism soldier, Joe Hunter. Now, Hilton dials up the intrigue with the first in a new mystery series starring Tess Grey and “Po” Villere. BLOOD TRACKS, which hit shelves in the UK in November and makes its global debut February 2016, forces an unlikely partnership in an action-packed quest to solve not only a staggering cross-country mystery, but also the ghosts of their own pasts. This month, Hilton answered a few questions for The Big Thrill, giving readers a peek into his new book. Tell us about BLOOD TRACKS. BLOOD TRACKS is the first in a new series featuring investigator Tess Grey and renegade ex-con Nicolas “Po” Villere. more »

By November 30, 2015 Read More →
The Cain Prophecy: Lilitu Trilogy Book 3 by Toby Tate

The Cain Prophecy: Lilitu Trilogy Book 3 by Toby Tate

In Arabian mythology, they are called the “Jinn”—creatures who inhabit our world, yet live outside of our universe. But the superhuman assassin known as Cain is no myth—he is all too real, and all too deadly. CIA operative Gabrielle “Gabe” Lincoln has a very short time to learn the secret of Cain’s power, or she will soon witness the annihilation of Earth and everyone in it. ***** “The Cain Prophecy is a compelling blend of high-octane action and creepy thrills. Scary, dynamic and thoroughly entertaining!” ~Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Predator One and Patient Zero “Ancient legends merge with modern-day complications, creating tension and turmoil in this high-stakes, gritty, action thriller. Never a dull moment!” ~Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author more »

By November 1, 2015 Read More →

Contemporary Thrillers

The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl with Sebastian Stuart

The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl with Sebastian Stuart

By George Ebey Lis Wiehl is one of the nation’s most prominent trial lawyers and highly-regarded commentators. She’s also the author of numerous legal thrillers. Her latest work, THE NEWSMAKERS, is the first in an exciting new series set in the world of on-screen news broadcasting. In this first installment, TV reporter Erica Sparks has become a superstar overnight. On her first assignment, Erica inadvertently witnesses—and films—a horrific tragedy, scooping all of the other networks. Mere weeks later, another type of tragedy strikes— again, right in front of Erica and her cameras. Is it luck, or is Erica at the center of a spiraling conspiracy? She’ll stop at nothing to uncover the truth—even if it means once and for all dealing with her troubled past. more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Point of Control by L.J. Sellers

Point of Control by L.J. Sellers

By Heidi Ruby Miller L.J. Sellers may have had a rough and busy year in 2015, not the least of which included a broken leg, but she took time to chat with me about stand-up comedy, writing screenplays, and exploring the world of a sociopath in her new thriller POINT OF CONTROL. Known for her wildly popular Detective Jackson series and a spin-off series starring Agent Dallas, Sellers has also gained acclaim for her standalone novels like The Baby Thief. The standalones are her way to explore new characters, new settings, and new plots. “Police procedurals can be limiting,” she says, “because detectives have to follow an investigative structure. They also don’t allow me to write from the antagonist’s point of view—because the ‘who’ in more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Nemesis: Innocence Sold by Stefanie Ross

Nemesis: Innocence Sold by Stefanie Ross

By David Healey The first pages of NEMESIS: INNOCENCE SOLD by German author Stefanie Ross are filled with an extensive list of dramatis personae and it soon becomes clear why because there is so much going on in those opening chapters: drug raids, police department politics, an apparent abduction, and even the involvement of both German and American Special Forces. These seemingly disparate plots come together like a batch of holiday Glühwein made with warm red wine, spices, a little orange rind, and sugar. Take a sip—it’s a delicious winter cocktail, just as this is a delicious thriller. With this novel, the author is finally making her first appearance to American readers after several popular novels in her native Germany. In between visiting Germany’s famous more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn

No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn

By Anthony J. Tata Suzanne Redfearn is no ordinary author. She is an inventor, golfer, surfer, kick boxer, mom, wife, and self-proclaimed geek. She writes about everyday moms, dads, and children who are put in untenable situations where the conflict is tangible and the pacing moves at lightning speed. Not unlike the Wonder Laces she invented, her latest novel, NO ORDINARY LIFE (Grand Central, out this month) is taut and gripping. NO ORDINARY LIFE centers around a family led by a mother, Faye, who is estranged from her truck-driving husband, Sean. Hustling to make ends meet and protective of her family, Faye has to uproot her three children, Tom, Emily, and Molly, to live with her mother. During the transition, Faye is interviewing for jobs more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Terms of Use by Scott Allan Morrison

Terms of Use by Scott Allan Morrison

By Kieran Crowley Scott Allan Morrison spent nearly 20 years digging up stories for various news wires covering politics, business, and technology. From Silicon Valley, he reported on everything from the darkest days of the dot-com crash to the Web 2.0 boom and covered most of the world’s top tech companies. This experience prepared him well for writing the tech-savvy thriller, TERMS OF USE. Tell us about TERMS OF USE. TERMS OF USE is a thriller about the dark side of social media, where big Internet companies use your data to control your thoughts and actions. Some people call it a techno-thriller, but I think of TERMS OF USE as an unnerving commentary on the bargain our society has struck with the companies that give more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Todes Schuld by Laurie Stevens

Todes Schuld by Laurie Stevens

Laurence O’Bryan A series of murders rocks the Los Angeles area, and each victim’s body bears a note addressed to Detective Gabriel McRay. If McRay knows the killer, that knowledge is locked in the suppressed memory of a childhood trauma. Teamed with his forensic pathologist girlfriend and a psychiatrist, Gabriel runs two parallel investigations: a dark journey into the terrifying recollections of his past, and a hunt for a killer who knows more about Gabriel than he knows himself. What inspired you to create such a dark storyline, Laurie?  I’ve asked myself the same question, because I consider myself a positive person. Like many other people, I’m fascinated by the inner workings of the human mind, and how a catastrophic event can alter a person’s entire perspective more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →

The Best of the Rest

The February 2016 Edition of The Big Thrill is Here!

The February 2016 Edition of The Big Thrill is Here!

We could theme this issue The Bold Ones. For the February issue, we interviewed authors who are taking it to the next level with their work—and thanks to The Big Thrill, you find out how. Barry Eisler’s page-turner The God’s Eye View paints a picture of NSA spying that even Snowden couldn’t imagine. Marcus Sakey’s Written in Fire brings readers a White House in ruins. Barry Lancet’s Pacific Burn sets loose nightmarish dangers in Tokyo. Reed Farrel Coleman writes a story of a damaged ex-cop in a Long Island that’s definitely not the Hamptons. And Mark Alpert’s new thriller The Orion Plan creates an all-too-realistic scenario of aliens’ invading New York City. In “Turning Point,” Gregg Hurwitz tells why he turned from writing stand-alone novels more »

By February 1, 2016 Read More →
International Thrills: Claudia Piñiero, by Layton Green

International Thrills: Claudia Piñiero, by Layton Green

The Secret to Writing Psychological Thrillers By Layton Green This month I had the pleasure of interviewing one of South America’s bestselling crime novelists: Claudia Piñiero from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I spent some time living in Argentina, and was particularly keen to read Claudia’s work. Buenos Aires is a fascinating city, and one of the best parts about international crime fiction is reading how a particular locale is depicted through the eyes of a native. Especially a bestselling suspense author who delves deeply into the psyche of a city. For the interview, I focused on BETTY BOO, Claudia’s latest novel (the English translation comes out on February 9). It’s a fascinating book about a novelist who is contracted by a newspaper editor – who happens to more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Africa Scene: James Fouche

Africa Scene: James Fouche

By Michael Sears A Master of Flawed Characters Says “Life Is a Messy Playground” James Fouché lives in the beautiful Garden Route along the coast of the Western Cape Province of South Africa with his wife, daughter, and two Jack Russell terriers. He fills life with a vast number of hobbies and interests, from sailing to traveling to hiking, learning different languages, and trying his hand at musical instruments. On the side, he runs a delightful coffee house in Knysna and so, of course, has made a study of all aspects of coffee. When he’s not plotting his next crime novel, James writes about wine, food, and travel. Somehow amidst all that, he managed to write a critically acclaimed psychological thriller, Jack Hanger, and has more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

By Wendy Tyson COLD SHOT, the newest release from Dani Pettrey, is the first installment in Dani’s new romantic suspense series, Chesapeake Valor. In COLD SHOT readers meet Griffin McCray, park ranger and former S.W.A.T. sniper, as he joins forces with forensic anthropologist, Dr. Finley Scott, to investigate the death of a young social justice lawyer. Pettrey answered a few questions for The Big Thrill. Congratulations on COLD SHOT! Can you tell us a little more about Griffin McCray, the hero? What are some of the elements of his past that have made him the man he is today? In what ways is Griffin like you? Thank you so much! I’m very excited about this series and these characters. Griffin is a former Baltimore Police more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Known by Kendra Elliot

Known by Kendra Elliot

By Christine Ironstone The latest instalment in award-wining author Kendra Elliot’s The Bone Secrets series delivers the same level of romantic suspense readers have come to love. Here, she takes time out of her schedule to talk to The Big Thrill about the inspiration for FOUND, her writing process, and what fans can expect from her next. Tell me about your new book, KNOWN KNOWN is the fifth book in my Bone Secret series. Each book is a stand-alone novel with different primary characters that were secondary characters in previous books. KNOWN is a follow up to Buried, because fans begged me to give the main character’s tortured brother a happily-ever-after. My Bone Secrets books each center around different forensics specialists, and this one is more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
The Spirit of Grace by Terry Lynn Thomas

The Spirit of Grace by Terry Lynn Thomas

By Jessica Driscoll Sarah Bennett’s return to her father’s home mid-war is anything but a happy reunion. Having spent the last year in an asylum and under suspicion of killing her mother, Sarah’s release is marred by unanswered questions, distrust in her new stepmother, and paranoia about war spies. A second murder heightens everyone’s suspicions and the pressure mounts for Sarah to remember the fateful night of her mother’s murder in order to clear her name. Harkening back to popular gothic suspense novels, THE SPIRIT OF GRACE offers elements of the supernatural, a glimpse of old world San Francisco, and a hint of romance. Thomas’s debut, the first in the Sarah Bennett series, features a “feisty heroine who overcomes her inner struggles as she thwarts more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
The Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmon

The Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmon

By John Darrin I got stuck on this one, coming up with one reason after another to procrastinate. (Sorry, editors.) OK, the two days in the hospital were a valid excuse, but I was conscious the whole time and could theoretically have been writing. Anyway, I decided to try Matthew FitzSimmons’ writers’ block technique – lying on the floor on my back, staring at the ceiling. That ended up causing further delay when I had to go find my hammer, patching compound, and ladder to fix the nail pops I noticed while not overcoming the desire not to write. FitzSimmons is the author of THE SHORT DROP and the subject of this profile. The book has been exceedingly well-received, jumping to Number 1 on the more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
Gone Away by Elizabeth Noble

Gone Away by Elizabeth Noble

By Ian Walkley GONE AWAY is book four of romance author Elizabeth Noble’s gay romance/thriller Circles series. Book three of the series, Jewel Cave was runner up in the 2015 Rainbow Award for Gay Mystery/Thriller category. Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of stories involving both mystery and romance. In the wake of her latest book, she sat down with The Big Thrill and shared some of her thoughts. To start, can you give us some background your two series? Let me start by saying thank you for taking the time to interview me. Sentries was my first published series, and the final book is coming out in more »

By January 31, 2016 Read More →