Roxanne MacFarlane is the Extractor—a former CIA agent who specializes in rescuing people from dangerous situations. She lives on the edge and works outside the law, but desperate families know she’s the only operative who can bring their missing loved ones home. Driven by guilt over the loss of her sister to a polygamous cult, she will stop at nothing to save her clients.
When Dave and Jenny Carson ask her to find their daughter, Emma, and extract her from a charismatic cult leader who preys on young women with guilt issues, Rox is eager to help them. But the experimental treatment she just started in order to improve her atypical brain patterns forces her to face conflicting newfound emotions while working feverishly to find the secret compound and craft a strategy to get Emma out.
When the bodies of young women who match Emma’s description turn up, Rox must fast-forward her plans. But the situation is more complicated and dangerous than she realizes, and her own life is soon in jeopardy. Can Rox save Emma and bring down a ruthless predator before more young women fall victim?
The Big Thrill recently spent some time with prolific author L.J. Sellers discussing her latest thriller, GUILT GAME:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
This is the first book in an exciting new series with an original concept and a unique character. Readers will be exposed to up-close views of subversive situations they’ve never encountered before. They’ll also see the world through the eyes of someone with atypical neurologics, as well as experience the treatment she undergoes.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
The story and concept are unique: an ex-CIA agent who rescues people from repressive situations. The protagonist also uses a variety of strategies for her rescues and doesn’t rely totally on SWAT-type missions. So this story adds a new dimension to the thriller genre.
Was there anything new you discovered, or surprised you, as you wrote this book?
The character has atypical neurological responses (Autism Spectrum), yet is highly functional. The research was eye-opening. I also discovered that she needed a side-kick, and that he would be her stepfather, none of which was in my original synopsis. Also, her partner turned out to be funny sometimes, a new concept for my mystery/thrillers.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
I conceptualized this character and premise after attending a Sisters in Crime Hollywood conference and hearing a producer say she wanted someone to create and submit a TV series script along these lines—because no one had ever developed this concept.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
My three favorite authors are Lawrence Sanders, John Sandford, and Michael Connelly. They all write complex, compelling stories that made me want to write something similar.
L.J. Sellers writes the bestselling Detective Jackson mysteries—a four-time winner of the Readers Favorite Awards. She also pens the high-octane Agent Dallas series and provocative standalone thrillers. Her 21 novels have been highly praised by reviewers, and she’s one of the highest-rated crime fiction authors on Amazon.
L.J. resides in Eugene, Oregon where many of her novels are set, and she’s an award-winning journalist who earned the Grand Neal. When not plotting murders, she enjoys standup comedy, cycling, and zip-lining. She’s also been known to jump out of airplanes.
To learn more about L.J. please visit her website.
Interested in becoming a member of the International Thriller Writers? ITW offers Active and Associate memberships.