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The November edition of the Big Thrill is here!

This month we go Between the Lines with #1 New York Times bestselling author, David Baldacci , who talks about his life, his career, and his highly anticipated thriller, THE ESCAPE. Baldacci also weighs in on the ongoing Amazon/Hachette dispute, talks about his work on ITW’s bestselling anthology, FaceOff, and reveals a hidden talent…

November also brings interviews from Robert Dugoni, on the heels of his #1 Amazon smash, MY SISTER’S GRAVE, as well as talks with bestsellers Lisa Scottoline, Hank Phillipi Ryan, F. Paul Wilson, about their latest releases. And let’s not forget the 35 new releases from more of the best thriller writers around.

Our Specials to The Big Thrill this month include firearms expert Chris Grall’s entertaining piece, TV Action Scenes: How Hollywood Gets it Wrong as well as The 1000 Thriller Giveaway: The Biggest & Best Book Contest Ever, ITW’s most ambitious contest yet—a year’s supply of free books to 20 lucky winners. Read about it here or just click here to enter to win.

Were that not enough, there’s an International Thrills interview with #1 bestselling UK thriller writer Simon Kernick , and interviews with no less than 8 debut authors.

CLICK HERE to read more!

Featured Articles

Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline

Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline

By Dawn Ius Of the many ingredients that go into writing a great thriller, there is one that New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline believes is the key to her success—keeping things fresh. Which might seem a tad ironic, since in her twenty-third novel, BETRAYED, Scottoline returns to the characters that first launched her career, the women of her popular Rosato & Associates series. “I’m thrilled to be writing about these characters again—they feel like old friends,” she says. “It’s great to examine the way their personalities change over time and the way their life events change them. I love to write books that mirror the life of everyday people, on many different levels.” Relating to readers is important to Scottoline, who makes herself more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
An Interview With Award-Winning Crime Writer Val McDermid

An Interview With Award-Winning Crime Writer Val McDermid

By J.F. Penn Val McDermid is one of the UK’s most well-known crime writers, a multi-award winning and many times bestselling author. Her Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series was turned into the TV series Wire in the Blood, and her thirty-three books span crime, literary fiction, and children’s books, as well as many short stories. Her latest book, THE SKELETON ROAD, opens with the discovery of a body on top of a disused building in Edinburgh. As cold case Detective Karen Pirie delves into the case, she follows a trail stretching from Oxford to war-torn Dubrovnik and uncovers a hidden past in a forgotten Balkan village. British thriller author J. F. Penn interviewed Val for THE BIG THRILL when the book was released in more »

By September 30, 2014 Read More →
Industry Spotlight:  Literary Agent Lisa Erbach Vance

Industry Spotlight: Literary Agent Lisa Erbach Vance

Turn to the Acknowledgement page of novels by some of the biggest thriller writers in the world and you’re bound to see a heartfelt thank you to Lisa Erbach Vance of the powerhouse Aaron Priest Literary Agency. Vance joined the agency more than twenty years ago, starting off as the founder’s assistant where, as she put it, she got the “best agenting education possible from Aaron Priest himself.” Today, she’s considered an elite “super agent” at the storied boutique firm where a small team of seven represent an extraordinary number of award-winning and bestselling authors. Vance is known not only for her business acumen and keen eye for talent, but also for the intense loyalty she inspires from her clients. Scan the back pages of more »

By September 30, 2014 Read More →
Special to The Big Thrill: Domestic Suspense

Special to The Big Thrill: Domestic Suspense

Spouses Andrew Grant and Tasha Alexandra’s Separate Roads to the Bestseller List By Dawn Ius One can only image the murder, betrayal, and intrigue that goes on in the home of Andrew Grant and his wife Tasha Alexander. Luckily, and to the delight of their legions of fans, all of it occurs on the page. Bestselling author Grant was a precocious six-year-old when he penned his first thriller—a riveting tale about giant tortoises escaping from the Dudley Zoo in what proved to be a vain attempt to rally the British people in ousting Queen Elizabeth II, and insisting on republic, rather than monarchy. Quite a complicated story for a first grader—and, completely untrue, a humorous anecdote made up by Grant’s wife of four years, New more »

By September 30, 2014 Read More →
A Between the Lines Interview with James Patterson

A Between the Lines Interview with James Patterson

By Anthony Franze James Patterson is a giant in the literary world. He holds a Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. One-in-seventeen fiction hardcovers sold in the U.S. are Patterson novels. And Forbes ranks him as the top earning author in the world. With all that, it might be easy to forget that Patterson was no overnight success. He paid his dues, and his rise was born of great storytelling, tenacity, and a willingness to buck convention. Patterson’s first novel was rejected by more than thirty publishers. When it was finally published in 1976, he won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, but Patterson was so insecure about his work that he thought they’d made a mistake. more »

By September 30, 2014 Read More →
The Africa Scene:  An Interview with Bestseller Joanne Macgregor

The Africa Scene: An Interview with Bestseller Joanne Macgregor

By Michael Sears Bonus ​GIVEAWAY: Scroll down and ask Joanne a question or post a comment for a chance to win a copy of DARK WHISPERS!  Comment within a week and you may be the winner chosen at random! Joanne Macgregor lives in Johannesburg and her background includes teaching English at high school, IT training, management consulting, and being a theater dogsbody. Perhaps the most intriguing job was being an in-store frozen vegetable demonstrator. Surprisingly, all this led to her current career as a counselling psychologist in private practice, dealing primarily with adult victims of crime and trauma, a very large change from frozen vegetables! She is a successful author of books for young adults, and I guess that provides some counterpoint to what she more »

By September 30, 2014 5 Comments Read More →

Between the Lines

A Between the Lines Interview with David Baldacci

A Between the Lines Interview with David Baldacci

By Julie Kramer David Baldacci is best known for his high-stakes political thrillers, but the #1 New York Times bestselling author has also had a busy year as the editor of this year’s acclaimed ITW anthology, FaceOff, and as one of the highest-profile writers caught in the Amazon/Hachette negotiating feud. So what does he do to relax? He sketches. We’ll show you samples of his art, hear his take on changes in the publishing world, and learn more about his upcoming release, THE ESCAPE, in which military investigator John Puller hunts for America’s most wanted criminal—his own brother—who has escaped from prison after being convicted of treason. How much of your success as an author do you think you owe to your Washington D.C. settings more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
A Between the Lines Interview with James Patterson

A Between the Lines Interview with James Patterson

By Anthony Franze James Patterson is a giant in the literary world. He holds a Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. One-in-seventeen fiction hardcovers sold in the U.S. are Patterson novels. And Forbes ranks him as the top earning author in the world. With all that, it might be easy to forget that Patterson was no overnight success. He paid his dues, and his rise was born of great storytelling, tenacity, and a willingness to buck convention. Patterson’s first novel was rejected by more than thirty publishers. When it was finally published in 1976, he won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, but Patterson was so insecure about his work that he thought they’d made a mistake. more »

By September 30, 2014 Read More →
A Between the Lines Interview with Kathy Reichs

A Between the Lines Interview with Kathy Reichs

By Dawn Ius Dr. Kathy Reichs is one of those rare people with the ability to do it all. Mother of highly successful children. World-renowned forensic anthropologist. Bestselling author of an adult and YA series. Producer, writer, and consultant for a hit television show. Yet, for someone so accomplished, Reichs seemed remarkably down-to-earth when we spoke recently about her life, her career, and her latest blockbuster in the Temperance Brennan series, BONES NEVER LIE. Reichs was in a somewhat reflective mood, perhaps in part because it was ten years ago when she sat at a table with a small group of writers tossing around the idea of starting a new organization specifically for the thriller genre. That organization, of course, was the International Thriller Writers. more »

By August 31, 2014 Read More →
Between the Lines with Linwood Barclay

Between the Lines with Linwood Barclay

By A.J. Colucci It’s Day Two of ThrillerFest and the Grand Hyatt in New York City is swarming with thriller fans, aspiring writers, and superstar authors. They’re scattered around the majestic lobby, which is buzzing with talk of the latest breakout novels. I’m sitting atop The Lounge Café with one of my favorite writers, Linwood Barclay, trying to sound casual as if I have lunch with famous authors every day. We both order a cup of chicken soup and half sandwich and I’m taken by his quiet, genial demeanor. Who would guess that behind those affable blue eyes lurks a mind capable of taking you into dark, deadly, believable situations that can turn your blood ice cold and strip your emotions raw? NO SAFE HOUSE more »

By July 31, 2014 Read More →
A Between the Lines Interview with Karin Slaughter by A.J. Colucci

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

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

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

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

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

By May 31, 2014 Read More →

Special to the Big Thrill

SPECIAL TO THE BIG THRILL: The 1000 Thriller Giveaway

SPECIAL TO THE BIG THRILL: The 1000 Thriller Giveaway

The Biggest & Best Book Contest Ever By Jenny Milchman It won’t come as a surprise to readers of THE BIG THRILL that the International Thriller Writers is about to sponsor a contest the likes of which nobody has ever seen before. After all, this is an organization known for innovation; for vastly expanding the thriller world and building a unique community of readers, writers, authors, and fans. But giving away a thousand books? That seems like a tall order—a tall stack, that is—even for a group as envelope-pushing as this one. Yet that is what’s about to happen. For the past six months, titles by ITW members have been sent to an office in California that must by now resemble Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory…with more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
SPECIAL TO THE BIG THRILL: Movie and T.V. Action Scenes

SPECIAL TO THE BIG THRILL: Movie and T.V. Action Scenes

How Hollywood Gets It Wrong By Chris Grall In Elizabethan times, an ordinance was passed preventing men from wearing swords to the theater. Apparently, in an age where dueling was commonplace, the crowd could become overly enthusiastic and join the cast on stage during a fight scene. Because much of the audience knew how to fight, choreography was vitally important to the success of the production. If the fight scene was not convincing, the actors could be mocked or booed off the stage. Today, action scenes are ubiquitous in movies and television, yet relatively few people are versed in violence and/or the operation of modern weapons. This allows directors and producers a lot of latitude when it comes to action scenes. Mistakes and errors are more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Special to The Big Thrill: Domestic Suspense

Special to The Big Thrill: Domestic Suspense

Spouses Andrew Grant and Tasha Alexandra’s Separate Roads to the Bestseller List By Dawn Ius One can only image the murder, betrayal, and intrigue that goes on in the home of Andrew Grant and his wife Tasha Alexander. Luckily, and to the delight of their legions of fans, all of it occurs on the page. Bestselling author Grant was a precocious six-year-old when he penned his first thriller—a riveting tale about giant tortoises escaping from the Dudley Zoo in what proved to be a vain attempt to rally the British people in ousting Queen Elizabeth II, and insisting on republic, rather than monarchy. Quite a complicated story for a first grader—and, completely untrue, a humorous anecdote made up by Grant’s wife of four years, New more »

By September 30, 2014 Read More →
SPECIAL TO THE BIG THRILL: ThrillerFest IX

SPECIAL TO THE BIG THRILL: ThrillerFest IX

Celebrating Ten Years of Innovation By Kimberley Howe and Anthony J. Franze It wouldn’t be summer in New York without hundreds of the country’s top thriller writers ascending on the Grand Hyatt for the International Thriller Writers’ annual conference, ThrillerFest. It’s a place where a new writer can get discovered, an old one can learn some new tricks, and fans can get up close and personal with legends in the genre. This year’s event, held from July 8-12, was arguably the best yet, given that it was also a celebration of an incredible milestone: ITW’s tenth anniversary. “What began a decade ago in a meeting of forty writers,” ITW co-presidents Lee Child and M. J. Rose told attendees, “has turned into an organization boasting over more »

By July 31, 2014 Read More →
Special to the Big Thrill: THE KILLING Novel: The Rewards and Challenges of Bringing Linden and Holder to the Page by Karen Dionne

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

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

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

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

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

By June 30, 2014 Read More →

Crime Fiction

The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping by Les Edgerton

The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping by Les Edgerton

By Don Helin Les Edgerton’s novel, THE GENUINE, IMITATION, PLASTIC KIDNAPPING, is a mix of Cajun gumbo, a couple tablespoons of kinky sex, and a dash of unusual New Orleans settings. The reader follows the comic mis-adventures of Pete Halliday, busted out of baseball for a small gambling problem, Tommy LeClerc, a Cajun with a tiny bit of Indian blood who considers himself a “red man,” and Cat Duplaisir, a part-time hooker and full-time waitress. With both the Italian and Cajun mobs after them, a chase through Jazz Fest, a Tourette’s outbreak in a black bar, and other zany adventures, all seems lost. Les Edgerton has an unconventional background in that he’s an ex-con, having spent a bit over two years in prison for burglary, more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Night of the Jaguar by Joe Gannon

Night of the Jaguar by Joe Gannon

By Austin Camacho It seems mystery is more mysterious and thrills more thrilling if set in a foreign place and time. Anyone who doesn’t believe that hasn’t read Joe Gannon’s impressive debut novel, NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR. The novel is set in Nicaragua in 1986, the mid-point for the Sandinista revolution. That volatile environment shaped Captain Ajax Montoya, homicide detective and classic man-without-a-country. Montoya, the novel’s investigator protagonist, was conceived in Nicaragua but born and raised in America. So even after fighting for years with the Sandinista revolutionaries he was still neither Nicaraguan nor American. Neither, yet both, and as Gannon explains, a classic noir hero. “Like all such detectives he has a flawless moral compass,” Gannon says. “It always points true north, but that more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Death Sentences by Michael Zimecki

Death Sentences by Michael Zimecki

By Ian Walkley DEATH SENTENCES (from Crime Wave Press) had me at page one, and not many other novels would I say that about. Michael Zimecki writes fiction, nonfiction and plays while continuing to work as an attorney. From inner-city Detroit, hehas been a steelworker, advertising copywriter, medical editor, and teacher before taking up law. He has written for Harper’s Magazine, The National Law Journal, College English, and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among other publications. A novella, The History of My Final Illness (Eclectica Magazine, Jan/Feb 2011), about the last five days in the life of Joseph Stalin, appeared in Eclectica Magazine. A play, Negative Velocity, about the father of the atom-bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, is a past winner of the New Playwright’s Contest of the more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Liebe – Sünde – Tod (Love – Sin – Death) by Monika Mansour

Liebe – Sünde – Tod (Love – Sin – Death) by Monika Mansour

By Kathrin Lange In a special international interview, German thriller writer Kathrin Lange recently sat down with Switzerland’s breakout crime writer Monika Mansour, to talk about Mansour’s debut release, Liebe – Sünde – Tod (Love – Sin – Death). Liebe – Sünde – Tod has two completely different settings. On the one side, the world of nightclubs and prostitution, on the other, the hard life of truckers. How did you decide on this contrast of settings? It was clear from the beginning that my police team is from Lucerne, a very safe place, but I wanted a murder in a red light district. And therefore Zurich’s Langstrasse was an ideal setting. I grew up just outside Zurich and live now in Lucerne. So those two more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Prodigious Savant by J.J. White

Prodigious Savant by J.J. White

By Dan Levy It was the late W.C. Fields who said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.” Fortunately, many writers never got that message and, as a result, wrote many great things after struggling to get published. J.J. White is among the authors who either didn’t get the message from, or just plain ignored, Mr. Fields. In fact, after seven fiction manuscripts and over 250 short stories, PRODIGIOUS SAVANT is White’s debut novel. “You have to be persistent in everything you do, no matter what age you are.” At 61, White would be the first to tell you that he’s not really wired toward the conventional. He still surfs in more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Turnaround / Shallow Secrets by Rick Ollerman

Turnaround / Shallow Secrets by Rick Ollerman

By Hank Schwaeble If there’s something readers love more than a fresh read in their favorite genre, it’s two fresh reads. Stark House Press has delivered just that for mystery fans with its double-shot combination now available by new author Rick Ollerman featuring a pair of crime novels, TURNABOUT and SHALLOW SECRETS. Recently, THE BIG THRILL caught up with Rick and asked him to share some of his thoughts about writing along with some tidbits about his two-for-one mystery debut. Congratulations on the publication of your two novels, TURNABOUT & SHALLOW SECRETS (published in one combined volume by Stark House Press). It’s impossible not to notice that both of these stories are set in Florida. How important is setting to your writing? I once read more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →

Adventure Thrillers

Ignota by Tom Calen

Ignota by Tom Calen

By Thomas Drago Cast against the background of a futuristic world order and a disintegrating Global Alliance, Tom Calen’s latest science fiction thriller The Ignota, which follows up Torranceas the second book in the enthralling Scars of Tomorrow series. The style and magnitude of the work capture a maturity rarely achieved by writers who cross genres. Tom’s brilliant, fast-paced narratives continue to blaze a path for those of us following in his footsteps. Recently, I had a chance to chat with Tom about his new novel, The Ignota,and learn more about past, current, and future projects. The more I think about The Ignota and the entire Scars of Tomorrow series, I can’t help but think about epic motion pictures. The Godfather and the warring Five Families. more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Godwin’s Law by Bernard Maestas

Godwin’s Law by Bernard Maestas

By Sidney Williams The Internet Tough Guys return for a second fast-paced, globe-hopping adventure in the new novel by Bernard Maestas, GODWIN’S LAW. With a tip of its hat to author Mike Godwin’s assertion that Internet debates will eventually result in comparisons to Nazis, the tale finds Alex Kirwan and Ted Reagan heading to Germany. There they must confront a cult that’s holding a young American woman, Gwen Kane. While she might seem like one more member, the cult leader throws all of his paramilitary resources to bringing Gwen back once they’ve swept her away. That makes for a challenging trip home. In fact, staying alive’s going to require all of the survival skills of ex-commando Alex plus Ted’s computer hacking skills. From Germany to more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Valhalla by Robert J. Mrazek

Valhalla by Robert J. Mrazek

By Jeremy Burns In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and discovered America—or did he? What if Vikings, led by the famous adventurer Leif Eriksson, were in fact the first Europeans to discover the New World five centuries before Columbus’s voyage? This is the question posed by award-winning author and former congressman Robert J. Mrazek in his new thriller, VALHALLA, a globe-spanning adventure steeped in history, legend, and myth. Mrazek sat down with THE BIG THRILL to talk about his fascinating new book, its creation, and some cool tidbits about himself. Tell us a little about yourself. I don’t know how many former members of congress ever decided to become working novelists. Looking back on my life, I believe I was a writer who became more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Strong Darkness by Jon Land

Strong Darkness by Jon Land

By Robert Rotstein Caitlin Strong, the protagonist of Jon Land’s compelling series, is a Texas Ranger, as were her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. In the words of real-life Ranger Rip Ford (and also the epigraph to the prologue), “They knew their duty and they did it.” The latest in the series, STRONG DARKNESS, opens in 1883 Texas, where Caitlin’s great-grandfather William Ray Strong is pursing the Old West’s first serial killer. Fast forward to the present, when a serial killer whose methods are eerily similar to the earlier one has surfaced. Caitlin learns that the killings are somehow connected with a powerful Chinese billionaire, Li Zhen, who intends to use his company’s cutting-edge 5G wireless network against America to avenge what he believes was an more »

By September 30, 2014 Read More →
The Valhalla Prophecy by Andy McDermott

The Valhalla Prophecy by Andy McDermott

By Jeremy Burns For his many readers, Andy McDermott’s name has become synonymous with adventure. From discovering Atlantis and the Garden of Eden to saving the world countless times, McDermott’s flagship characters Eddie Chase and Nina Wilde have explored dozens of fascinating locations across the globe, usually getting into high-octane shootouts and car chases in the process. For THE VALHALLA PROPHECY, the ninth entry in the series, McDermott tackles Norse mythology, Vikings, a Soviet Secret, and the end of the world in an adventure steeped in the author’s trademark blend of action, history, adventure, and legend. The author sat down with THE BIG THRILL to take readers behind the scenes with one of the most exciting and inventive thriller minds working today. Tell us a more »

By September 30, 2014 Read More →
A Between the Lines Interview with James Patterson

A Between the Lines Interview with James Patterson

By Anthony Franze James Patterson is a giant in the literary world. He holds a Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. One-in-seventeen fiction hardcovers sold in the U.S. are Patterson novels. And Forbes ranks him as the top earning author in the world. With all that, it might be easy to forget that Patterson was no overnight success. He paid his dues, and his rise was born of great storytelling, tenacity, and a willingness to buck convention. Patterson’s first novel was rejected by more than thirty publishers. When it was finally published in 1976, he won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, but Patterson was so insecure about his work that he thought they’d made a mistake. more »

By September 30, 2014 Read More →

Contemporary Thrillers

Fear City by F. Paul Wilson

Fear City by F. Paul Wilson

THE BIG THRILL recently sat down with acclaimed writer F. Paul Wilson to talk about his latest novel, FEAR CITY, and to ask whether this is really the end of the iconic Repairman Jack. Is FEAR CITY really the last Repairman Jack? After twenty-two novels and a short story collection about the guy, I think it’s time to give him a rest and move on.  But I don’t like to say “never.” If a good idea that’s right for Jack pops up, I’ll write that sucker, but the days of a new Repairman Jack novel every fall, year in and year out, are done. Why do you think Jack has been so popular? I can only go by what readers tell me. Males like his blue-collar nature: more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
For the Dead by Timothy Hallinan

For the Dead by Timothy Hallinan

By Kay Kendall Tim Hallinan is a writer’s writer. Search for him online and you will find platoons of famous authors who admire Hallinan’s work. During his stellar career, he has produced three series of thrillers with outstanding reviews. Surprisingly, his is not yet a household name, but that is about to change. As the year draws to a close, 2014 holds promise as Hallinan’s breakout year. For one, there’s the success of his Junior Bender series, starring an LA-based thief who moonlights as a private eye for other criminals. Book two in the series, LITTLE ELVISES, was nominated for the Silver Falchion (August 2014) and is also a current nominee for the Shamus, to be presented at Bouchercon 2014 in Long Beach, California. Book more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Death in Nostalgia City by Mark S. Bacon

Death in Nostalgia City by Mark S. Bacon

By Jeff Ayers “Stressed out” has been Lyle Deming’s default setting for years, but now the ex-cop is escaping the anxieties of police work by driving a cab in a new theme park. Nostalgia City is the ultimate retro resort, a meticulous re-creation of an entire small town from the early 1970s, complete with period cars, music, clothes, shops, restaurants, hotels—the works. But when rides are sabotaged and tourists killed, billionaire founder “Max” Maxwell drafts Lyle into investigating—unofficially. Soon he gets help from 6’2 ½ Kate Sorensen, the park’s PR director and former college basketball player. Together Lyle and Kate must unravel a story of corporate greed, conspiracy, and murder in Mark Bacon’s debut DEATH IN NOSTALGIA CITY. Mark Bacon chatted with The Big Thrill. more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
The Black Stilletto: Endings & Beginnings by Raymond Benson

The Black Stilletto: Endings & Beginnings by Raymond Benson

By George Ebey The Black Stiletto is back in the final novel of this stunning five-book saga. This time, everything will come to an end and all secrets will be revealed. It’s 1962. Judy Cooper’s former lover and her psychotic sister set out to ruin the very pregnant Stiletto, forcing her to flee to Texas for a showdown. In the present, the Alzheimer’s that afflicts elderly Judy is in its last stage, but her son and granddaughter continue to protect her from the assaults from her past. Mr. Benson recently checked in with THE BIG THRILL to provide some insight into the origins of the character and to explain what it was like to bring his long-running series to its exciting conclusion. Let’s talk about more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Color Blind by Colby Marshall

Color Blind by Colby Marshall

By Sandra Parshall Like her protagonist in the new thriller COLOR BLIND, author Colby Marshall has synesthesia, a neurological condition characterized by involuntary perceptions and associations—associating colors with emotions or individual people, for example. Although she had published two previous thrillers, The Trade and Chain of Command, Marshall hadn’t written about synesthesia until COLOR BLIND, the first in a new series about forensic psychiatrist and criminal profiler Dr. Jenna Ramey. Synesthesia can’t solve crimes, but it can guide Jenna in her dealings with suspects and witnesses who want to hide what they know. In COLOR BLIND, Jenna sets aside her private practice temporarily to assist her former employer, the FBI, in solving murders committed by a team dubbed the Gemini Killers. One of the killers, more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →
Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer

Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer

By Lynne Constantine What if you had to say goodbye to everyone you loved in just five short days? Debut author Julie Lawson Timmer’s riveting novel FIVE DAYS LEFT takes you on a heartbreaking journey alongside a woman who must do just that. Mara Nichols has everything—a wonderful marriage, successful career, and adoring daughter until a stunning diagnosis unravels her entire world. As she counts down her final days, she considers her dwindling choices and wrestles with the decision she knows in her heart is the right one. A parallel story intertwines with Mara’s. Scott, a virtual friend of Mara’s who lives across the country, prepares to say goodbye to the child he was only supposed to have for one year but that has become more »

By October 31, 2014 Read More →

The Best of the Rest

Deadly Ruse by E. Michael Helms

Deadly Ruse by E. Michael Helms

By Valerie Constantine Most writers excel at one genre, but E. Michael Helms has successfully tackled memoir, historical fiction, and mystery. He is not only versatile, but prolific as well, with four books published in the last two years. Helms is a former marine who served in Vietnam. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and was honorably discharged in 1969. His harrowing memoir of that war, The Proud Bastards, has been in print for over twenty years. THE BIG THRILL caught up with Helms and talked with him about the writing life and his newest novel, DEADLY RUSE, a riveting page-turner and the second in the Mac McClellan mystery series, more »

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Dead World Resurrection: The Complete Zombie Short Fiction of Joe McKinney by Joe McKinney

Dead World Resurrection: The Complete Zombie Short Fiction of Joe McKinney by Joe McKinney

By Donna Galanti A decade ago, if you’d walked into a bookstore looking for a zombie novel, you would have found only two: Brian Keene’s The Rising and Joe McKinney’s Dead City. Long recognized as one of the driving voices that launched the world’s fascination with the living dead, Joe McKinney’s Dead World novels have emerged as seminal works in the Horror genre. Now, collected for the first time in Dead World Resurrection, are all of Joe McKinney’s zombie short stories. The zombie has grown up since Joe McKinney first penned Dead City, yet he has continued to stand out among the throng of voices telling tales of the undead. Dead World Resurrection shows why. Brian Keene, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rising says more »

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Forbidden Ground by Karen Harper

Forbidden Ground by Karen Harper

New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper alternates between writing contemporary suspense and historical novels. But in FORBIDDEN GROUND, book #2 in her new contemporary trilogy, she has managed to combine her love of the intriguing past with fast-paced, modern-day action. THE BIG THRILL caught up with her between publicity gigs—a speech at the Ohio Librarians Conference and the annual Buckeye Book Fair. Can you tell us about your new book? FORBIDDEN GROUND is the middle novel in THE COLD CREEK TRILOGY, set on the edge of Appalachia. Three sisters left their small town for “bigger lives,” but are drawn back—and each faces danger and death—and finds a local man to love. In FORBIDDEN GROUND, Kate Lockwood thinks she’s only in town for her sister’s more »

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The Carnage Account by Ben Lieberman

The Carnage Account by Ben Lieberman

By Melinda Leigh While Ben Lieberman’s novels explore many different worlds, his twenty-plus years with some of the world’s top financial firms lend his books an undeniable authenticity. The trading floor provided a ruthless, competitive, and urgent environment that Lieberman was able to transfer into exciting, darkly humorous, and award-winning crime thrillers. As a former banker, I have to ask this right out of the gate. Was your novel influenced by a real Wall Street practice where traders are betting on people dying? Yup, this goes in the stranger-than-fiction bucket. There is actually a way on Wall Street to bet against how long a person lives and to profit by guessing correctly. This practice is legal and is going on as we speak. But The more »

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Black Karma: A White Ginger Novel by Thatcher Robinson

Black Karma: A White Ginger Novel by Thatcher Robinson

By Terry DiDomenico BLACK KARMA opens with a somewhat seedy police inspector asking for Bai Jiang’s assistance as a souxan (people finder) in tracking down Daniel Chen, a man they believe is behind a botched drug heist that resulted in the death of a police officer. Bai, who believes the police just want Chen dead, finds her investigation takes her into a world of international intelligence agencies and merchants of war that deal with death, drugs, and high-jacked information: A world where nothing is what it seems. Against this backdrop, Bai is juggling a somewhat complicated love life. There is her ex—the father of her child and a triad assassin, the rather brazen young man who finds her irresistible, and a suitor for an arranged more »

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My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

By A. J. Colucci New York Times-bestselling author Robert Dugoni writes legal thrillers with heart. “These aren’t what some might expect in a traditional thriller novel, all action and dialogue. I work hard to develop my characters. I try to write honest characters, people who have self-regard for their own well-being. If I can get my characters to care about themselves, readers will care also, and be more invested. Then I can put my characters in peril.” Dugoni practiced law for thirteen years in San Francisco before becoming a full-time writer. His novels in the critically-acclaimed David Sloane series are THE JURY MASTER, WRONGFUL DEATH, BODILY HARM, THE CONVICTION and MURDER ONE, which was a finalist for the Harper Lee Award for literary excellence. He more »

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Dangerous Deception by Peg Kehret

Dangerous Deception by Peg Kehret

By Brian Knight and Ellie Knight Emmy Rushford convinces her sixth-grade classmates to help her provide food for two hungry children. The project quickly turns perilous when the needy children, and their mother, vanish. As Emmy tries to find out what happened to them, she must deal with a car crash, a belligerent neighbor, a cat thrown into a Dumpster, and the necessity of keeping her actions secret from her parents in order to protect her mother’s job. Peg Kehret’s new novel, DANGEROUS DECEPTION, is now available from Dutton, and Peg was kind enough to let me and the best young reader I know—my sixteen year-old daughter, Ellie—talk to her about it. Hi Peg. Thanks for the opportunity to visit with you. Hi, Brian and more »

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Scandal in the Secret City by Diane Fanning

Scandal in the Secret City by Diane Fanning

Get Your Kicks with an Atomic Fix “I tried to concentrate on where I was going and the reason for the trip, but everything around me conspired to catapult me into the dramatic event that placed me on this particular train in this unique moment in time. The clack of the wheels, the hum of the rails, the ebb and flow of the sound of rushing air as the train passed trees, buildings and fields rang in my ears, growing louder and louder with every passing mile, until it transformed into the buzzing of planes, the roar of flames and the cacophony of exploding munitions. Breathing in the air, I inhaled the scent of worn leather upholstery, the musky odors of previous passengers, even a more »

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