Latest Books

The Secret of Bramble Hill by Sue Owens Wright

By David Healey

The West Coast in the year 2017 may seem a long way from the English countryside of 1946, but in THE SECRET OF BRAMBLE HILL, California-based mystery author Sue Owens Wright has authored a classic English cozy right down to the tea, crumpets, and drafty manor house.

There are dark secrets best swept under his lordship’s rug, and perhaps a ghost lurking in the forgotten rooms of Bramble Hill.

There is also a dog, Gemma, who steals a scene or two. This makes sense, considering that Wright is best known for a slew (or is that a pack?) of mysteries featuring a basset hound.

Wright is a true dog lover and is active in pet welfare organizations in California. Her Beanie & Cruiser basset hound mysteries include Howling Bloody Murder, Sirius About Murder, Embarking On Murder and Braced For Murder. (The term “braced” has to do with a team of basset hounds working a trail together.) Her nonfiction books include several titles for dog owners (150 Activities for Bored Dogs) and she also writes for magazines for pet owners. She has been nominated 11 times for the Maxwell, awarded by the Dog Writers Association of America.
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Duplicity by Jane Haseldine

Crime reporter Julia Gooden covers the grittiest stories in Detroit while raising her two sons in the suburbs. But beneath her accomplished façade, she is still consumed by the tragedy of her brother’s abduction years earlier.

Julia’s marriage is also a balancing act, as she tries to rekindle her relationship with her husband, Assistant District Attorney David Tanner. David is about to bring Nick Rossi to trial for crimes that include drug trafficking and bribery, but the story becomes more urgent when a courthouse bomb claims the prosecution’s key witness and leaves David critically injured.

Julia is sure Rossi ordered the attack, but the case against him is collapsing. With the help of Detective Ray Navarro, she starts following a trail of blackmail, payback and political ambition, and as Julia digs deeper, innocent lives—including her children’s—hang in the balance, and justice may come too late to save what truly matters.

Author, Jane Haseldine, spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel, DUPLICITY:
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Bad Boy Boogie by Thomas Pluck

When Jay Desmarteaux steps out of from prison after serving 25 years for murdering a vicious school bully, he tries to follow his convict mentor’s advice: the best revenge is living well.

But questions gnaw at his gut: Where have his folks disappeared to? Why do old friends want him gone? And who wants him dead?

Teaming with his high school sweetheart turned legal Valkyrie, a hulking body shop bodybuilder, and a razor-wielding gentleman’s club house mother, Jay will unravel a tangle of deception all the way back to the bayous where he was born. With an iron-fisted police chief on his tail and a ruthless mob captain at his throat, he’ll need his wits, his fists, and his father’s trusty Vietnam war hatchet to hack his way through a toxic jungle of New Jersey corruption that makes the gator-filled swamps of home feel like the shallow end of the kiddie pool…

The Big Thrill had a chance to catch up with Thomas Pluck to discuss his latest novel, BAD BOY BOOGIE:
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Blind to Sin by Dave White

When Matt Herrick was 17, his father was arrested for robbery—a bank heist gone wrong. Herrick joined the Army and was sent off to Afghanistan—a trip that would change his life.

Jackson Donne has spent the last year in prison, where his mentor, Kenneth Herrick, has kept him safe. One night, Kenneth tells Donne a “friend” has bought them out of their sentence. Confused, Donne goes along. And finds himself in the clutches of a partner from Kenneth’s past.

Learning of the release, Matt Herrick decides to pursue his father. But when he finds that his terminally ill mother is now married to Kenneth’s old partner, Herrick turns his investigation into overdrive. And that could cost him everything.

Kenneth’s old partner gives him an ultimatum: steal millions of dollars from the Federal Reserve in New Jersey, or let the disease kill his ex-wife. Donne has no choice but to help his new mentor.

Now Matt Herrick is faced with a choice: Can he let his dad and Donne save his mother, while letting the heist go off without a hitch? Or can Matt Herrick save his mother, and stop the the heist before everyone ends up in prison—or worse—dead?

Award-winning author, Dave White, recently discussed his latest novel, BLIND TO SIN,  with The Big Thrill:
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Missouri Homegrown by Jesse James Kennedy

When the McCray’s, a family of backwoods Missouri marijuana farmers, signature strain begins to infringe on the St. Louis market, a Mexican Cartel that had recently taken over the city’s drug trade, sends a dozen Cartel soldiers to dispatch the small time growers. The McCray’s slaughter the hit squad and desecrate the bodies, kicking off a war between the two crime families. Unbeknownst to the McCray’s, one of the Cartel soldiers they killed was an undercover F.B.I. agent. Jill Murphy, a bi-racial F.B.I. agent, is chosen to lead a team to the McCray’s hometown to investigate them for the murder of the agent, Jill assumes the identity of a local girl who left town as a child by blackmailing the girl’s father to pass her off as his long lost daughter. With her cover established, she is accepted into the community and quickly establishes a surprisingly easy and comfortable bond with the McCray’s. Things come to a head on a steamy Missouri night when the McCray’s, the Cartel ,and the F.B.I. collide in an explosion of violence that will change all of their lives forever and end some altogether.

Author Jesse James Kennedy took some time out of his busy schedule to discuss MISSOURI HOMEGROWN with The Big Thrill:
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Shooting Creek and Other Stories by Scott Loring Sanders

Dark, gritty, disturbing. Those are the types of characters you’ll encounter in the award-winning stories within this collection. Tough people in a tough world. But also real people, struggling with difficult decisions when faced with unthinkable circumstances. What happens when you discover a dead body but can’t go to the police because of your own dark past? Or your father’s dark past? What might a woman resort to when her husband doesn’t hold up his end of a bargain? What frightening surprises lie buried beneath the beaches of North Carolina? Or in the desolate hills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains? Or in the swamps of the New Jersey Pine Barrens?

These are stories that are as dark, gritty, and disturbing as the characters who inhabit them, yet there is a pervasive humanness which forces us to empathize. That asks us to understand why people sometimes do what they do. Perhaps that’s the reason these stories have been chosen for the Best American Mystery series, honored by The Atlantic Monthly’s Student Writing Contest, not to mention various other awards and honors. Perhaps that’s why these stories will stick with you well after the reading has commenced. Always gnawing at you, unrelenting, asking, “What would you have done in that situation? Would you have behaved any differently?”

Scott Loring Sanders took some time to discuss his latest book, SHOOTING CREEK AND OTHER STORIES, with The Big Thrill:
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An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock by Terry Shames

When the Jarrett Creek Fire Department is called to douse a blaze on the outskirts of town, they discover a grisly scene: five black young people have been murdered. Newly elected Chief of Police Samuel Craddock, just back from a stint in the Air Force, finds himself an outsider in the investigation headed by the Texas Highway Patrol. He takes an immediate dislike to John Sutherland, a racist trooper.

Craddock’s fears are realized when Sutherland arrests Truly Bennett, a young black man whom Craddock knows and respects. Sutherland cites dubious evidence that points to Bennett, and Craddock uncovers facts leading in another direction. When Sutherland refuses to relent, Craddock is faced with a choice that will define him as a lawman—either let the highway patrol have its way, or take on a separate investigation himself.

Although his choice to investigate puts both Craddock and his family in danger, he perseveres. In the process, he learns something about himself and the limits of law enforcement in Jarrett Creek.
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Echoes of Terror by Maris Soule

Katherine Ward is assigned the case, never expecting it to parallel her own kidnapping experience seventeen years before. In Skagway, Alaska, the usual crimes faced by the police department’s small force are DUIs and missing bikes. With the chief in the hospital and one officer missing, they’re not prepared for the kidnapping of a billionaire’s daughter.

Misty Morgan thought running off with a college boy would get her father’s attention. Now she and another teenager are praying for their lives. Stuck in China, Misty’s father knew his daughter was up to something, so he asked his longtime friend Vince Nanini to fly to Alaska and stop Misty. Problem is, Vince arrives too late. The college boy is dead, Misty is missing, and the police aren’t eager to let him help.

When Katherine realizes the same man who kidnapped and raped her years ago is the one holding Misty and the other teenager, the terror of those months resurfaces. Vince finds her drunk and in tears, and he’s with her when she realizes the kidnapper has struck again. Together they must figure out where this man has taken three people, and they must find him fast.

Maris Soule spent time with The Big Thrill this month to discuss her novel, ECHOES OF TERROR:
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Moon Over Ruin by Lisa Von Biela

A tragic twist of fate takes away everything that really matters to Peter Watson. After such a profound loss, he can’t make sense of his life anymore. So he takes to the road—alone—to put some time and distance between himself and what happened. He hopes the solitude will help him find a reason to go on, a way to heal.

When he stops to check in at the remote Quarry Resort, he expects to wrestle with painful, intense memories. He does not expect to spend the night fighting for his life.

No matter how far you travel, the darkness inside will find you…

The Big Thrill recently had the opportunity to discuss MOON OVER RUIN with Lisa Von Biela:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

This book is a novella, so it’s a relatively short ride, but I hope my readers empathize with Peter Watson, his loss, and the way he tries to cope with it. Of course, he gets more than he bargained for, and that’s what makes this a thriller!
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Coney Island Avenue by J. L. Abramo

The dog days of August in Brooklyn and the detectives of the 61st Precinct are battling to keep all hell from breaking loose.

Innocents are being sacrificed in the name of greed, retribution, passion and the lust for power — and the only worthy opponent of this senseless evil is the uncompromising resolve to rise above it, rather than descend to its depths.

The heart pounding sequel to the acclaimed novel Gravesend— from Shamus Award-winning author J.L. Abramo—CONEY ISLAND AVENUE continues the dramatic account of the professional and personal struggles that constitute everyday life for the dedicated men and women of the Six-One—and of the saints and sinners who share their streets.

Award-winning author, J.L. Abramo, spent time discussing CONEY ISLAND AVENUE with The Big Thrill:
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The Killers Are Coming by Jack Bludis

A fledgling private detective tries to make ends meet when opportunity seems to present itself. Then he learns the scope of the case. That $250 seemed like such an easy payday …

Ken Sligo returns in THE KILLERS ARE COMING, a cat-and-mouse investigation across the backstages and back alleys of “The Block,” Baltimore’s red-light district. Forged by the criminals and police, to isolate criminal activity, it can’t contain the various mobsters and shake-down artists sticking their toes outside the perimeter.

The paint hasn’t dried on the door to Sligo’s detective agency, and he’s contemplating closing shop. When Rudy Cohan offers him a cash-filled envelope in Baltimore’s Penn Station, Sligo crosses his fingers and hopes for the best. Is Rainy Dawn cheating on her producer boyfriend? Where does she get her extra spending money? The answers don’t align with the questions, and Sligo realizes his client is holding out, but not before a mob hit points the finger right at him …

Prolific author, Jack Bludis, discussed his latest novel, THE KILLERS ARE COMING, with The Big Thrill:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

A sense of what it is like to be a fledgling Private Investigator.
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Bum Luck by Paul Levine

Second-string linebacker turned trial lawyer Jake Lassiter squares off against his toughest, most unpredictable adversary yet: himself.

The downward spiral begins when Jake’s client, Miami Dolphins’ running back Thunder Thurston, is cleared of murdering his wife. Jake didn’t expect to win, didn’t want to win, since he is sure his client is guilty. When Thurston walks free, Lassiter vows to seek his own kind of justice. Vigilante justice.

Law partners Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord can’t believe their friend has become so obsessed with killing Thurston. Convinced Jake’s unhinged behavior is due to concussions suffered during his pro football career, they beg him to seek treatment. But as Lassiter’s fixation on vengeance grows, Solomon and Lord wonder if they’re too late to help. Is it game over for Jake’s career…and his life?

Author Paul Levine recently spent time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel, BUM LUCK:
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Johnny Casino by Fred Zackel

JOHNNY CASINO is a love story and a thriller. It’s about Old Vegas and gangsters, toddlers and in-laws and terrorists, and the heartbreak and joys of falling in love, getting married, and starting a family. About impossible choices and incredibly dark secrets. About finding courage and thus Ffnding yourself. About saving your family and maybe saving even the world. Or at least Las Vegas.

Johnny Caine is just twenty-three and a sweetheart of a guy. Happily married, he is a wonderful dad. He thinks he has a future in the hotel-casino industry, even if it is Mob-owned. But the glitzy, glamorous world he lives in no longer a safe place to raise a family.

Johnny Caine thought the violent shooting deaths of his father and other bystanders was a casually cruel byproduct of some turf war among San Francisco’s gangs. The drive-by killers didn’t care who died amid the gunfire. But that night when Johnny is ducking bullets for a second time, he realizes he was the real target.

Johnny suffers from synesthesia. A rare neurological “gift” where his senses are all screwed up and his “conclusions” are all jumbled up. Johnny always knows where the cops are. All of them. How many cops there are and how fast they’re approaching. A useless “gift” to anybody but the Mob. To the Bovadiglia family of Las Vegas, Johnny Caine is their secret weapon keeping the cops and Feds at arm’s length. Johnny Caine has been on their leash for nine years; he is also their Top Secret. Even as they have started taking him for granted.

Back in Vegas Johnny discovers the killings are here, too. The Bovadiglia familia is being taken out one-by-one in the most unusual ways. The Mob thinks it’s a turf war, too, that these killings just go with the territory, and “for now we got time to retaliate.” But Johnny learns he can identify, even trail the killers by their particular auras. Like following a pretty girl who uses too much perfume. Or hating the cloud a cigarette smoker leaves behind in an elevator. He learns how these killings are part of a very personal vendetta, a most vicious political payback for the family’s role with the CIA in Latin America. And he is terrified when he finds out why the killers have spotlighted him as one of them.
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Stone Cold Bastards by Jake Bible

Only a rag-tag team of gargoyles stands between humanity and extinction.

Hell has released its ravening horde of demons, leaving most of humanity a puke-spewing, head-spinning mess of possession.

Humanity’s last hope? A team of misfit gargoyles—including a cigar chomping, hard-ass grotesque—come alive and ready for battle during the End of Days. They guard the last cathedral-turned-sanctuary atop a bald knoll in the North Carolina mountains.

Gargoyle protection grudgingly extends to any human who can make it inside the sanctuary, but the power of the stonecutter blood magic, which protects the sanctuary, may not be enough when a rogue grotesque and his badly-wounded ward arrive.

All the hounds of hell are on their heels. The last sanctuary is about to fall.

Author Jake Bible stopped by The Big Thrill to discuss his latest novel, STONE COLD BASTARDS:
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Betrayed by Karen E. Olson

Computer hacker Tina Adler discovers that her true enemy could be someone terrifyingly close to home in this cunningly plotted tale of identity and suspense.

Framed for ordering a hit on mobster Tony DeMarco, Tina Adler is forced to re-enter the shadowy world of computer hacking she thought she’d left behind. In order to clear her name, she reluctantly joins an FBI team led by her old flame, Zeke Chapman, tasked with scouring the deep web to unearth DeMarco’s darkest secrets.

The trail will lead Tina to the person who framed her—but it may also reveal other secrets that she would rather not know. DeMarco might be the least of Tina’s worries. Could her true enemy be someone much closer to home?

The Big Thrill interviewed author Karen E. Olson about her novel, BETRAYED:
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Origins by A.D. Starrling

The gifts bestowed by One not of this world, to the Man who had lived longer than most.

The Empire ruled by a King who would swallow the world in his madness.

The Warrior who chose to rise against her own kind in order to defeat him.

Discover the extraordinary beginnings of the Immortals and the unforgettable story of the Princess who would become a Legend.

Author A.D. Starrling recently answered some questions for the The Big Thrill about her novel, ORIGINS:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

A spellbinding story that combines history with adventure and fast-paced action. The genesis story of the supernatural action thriller series Seventeen.
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Overflow by L.J. Martin

Mike Reardon, the Repairman, hates to mess his own nest—to work anywhere near where he lives. If you can call a mini-storage and a camper living. But when terrorists bomb Vegas, and a casino owner’s granddaughter is killed…the money is too good and the prey is among his most hated. Then again, nothing is ever quite like it seems. Now all he has to do is stay alive—tough when friends become enemies and enemies far worse, and when you’re on top the FBI and LVPD’s list. Another kick-ass Repairman novel.

Author L.J. Martin recently answered some questions about his novel, OVERFLOW:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

A few laughs, a few chills, a sense of completion, redemption and satisfaction.
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The Place of Refuge by Albert Tucher

Detective Errol Coutinho of the Hawaii County Police has a serial killer of prostitutes to catch and a shortage of leads to pursue. Office Jessie Hokoana of the Honolulu P.D. has an undercover assignment that tests her loyalties and takes her to the brink of death.

When their cases collide in the rainforest of the Big Island, family ties turn deadly, and there may be no pu’uhonua—no place of refuge—for anyone.

The Big Thrill had the opportunity to interview author Albert Tucher about his latest novel, THE PLACE OF REFUGE:

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

The rainforest of the Big Island of Hawaii is a unique setting for dark crime fiction. Lightly policed, the region known as Puna is home to marijuana farmers, meth cookers, fugitives, survivalists, and 60s holdovers. While several local cases have attracted the attention of true crime writers, I know of no novelist who has used the setting.
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The Midnight Man by David Eric Tomlinson

Oklahoma, 1994. The Waco siege is over; the OJ trial isn’t.

Dean Goodnight, the first Choctaw Indian employed by the Oklahoma County public defender’s office, pulls a new case—the brutal murder of a once-promising basketball star. The only witness is Caleb, the five-year-old son of the prime suspect. Investigating the murder, Dean draws four strangers into his client’s orbit, each of whom becomes deeply involved in the case—and in Caleb’s fate.

There’s Aura Jefferson, the victim’s sister, a proud black nurse struggling with the death of her brother; Aura’s patient Cecil Porter, a bigoted paraplegic whose own dreams of playing professional basketball were shattered fifty years ago; Cecil’s shady brother, the entrepreneur and political manipulator “Big” Ben Porter; and Ben’s wife Becca, who uncovers a link between the young Caleb and her own traumatic past.

As the trial approaches, these five are forced to confront their deepest disappointments, hopes, and fears. And when tragedy strikes again, their lives are forever entwined.
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Stormfall by John Hegenberger

In October 1959, a young, hard-luck P.I. is lost in America, determined to untangle a series of grisly murders spreading like a disease from the set of The Alamo. Fighting for his life from a dry desert storm, to a mind-bending fog in San Francisco, and a snow-blinding mountain top outside Hollywood, Stan Wade gropes his way through drug-induced, false trails to outwit an aggressive, obsessive mass killer.

Author John Hegenberger took some time out of his busy schedule to discuss his latest novel, STORMFALL, with The Big Thrill:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book? 

Delight and joy from a wonderful journey from Texas to San Francisco to Los Angeles, all in late 1959.
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Elisha Mancer by E. C. Ambrose

Autumn, 1347. . .terror stalks Europe as necromancers conspire to topple kings, corrupt an empire, and undermine the Holy Church itself.

Armed with a healer’s skill and a witch’s art, Elisha hurries to warn the Holy Roman Emperor and discover how to stop the mancers’ plans. A one-eyed priest, a seductive traitor, a stern rabbi, a merchant of bones—how can he tell friend from foe when he no longer recognizes himself? Every blow Elisha strikes draws him toward the wrong side of the battle. When the enemy retaliates in blood, he fights to keep his humanity lest he be consumed by the spreading darkness and become. . .Elisha Mancer

The Big Thrill recently had the opportunity to discuss ELISHA MANCER with author E. C. Ambrose:

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

ELISHA MANCER combines historical research with a fast-paced thriller approach—and an approach to magic that exploits the beliefs and fears of the Middle Ages.
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Besieged by A. J. Tata

Tata’s latest Jake Mahegan novel, BESIEGED, tackles the rise of domestic terrorism in America—and puts his hero in the crackling center of a firestorm.

It starts with the unthinkable. A school under siege. A shooter in the classroom. A nightmare scenario that has become all too common in today’s United States. But this time, former Delta Captain Jake Mahegan is there when it happens, face to face with a merciless gunman rigged as a suicide bomber. Without warning, the school is attacked from the outside as well—and all hell breaks loose.

When the smoke clears, Mahegan is left with a long list of unanswered questions—and a deeply personal mission. Racing against the clock, his search will take him from the tech-fueled think-tanks of a North Carolina factory to the top-secret nerve centers of embedded Iranian agents. It’s all part of a bigger, darker conspiracy that’s taking domestic terrorism to a whole new level. And it’s up to Mahegan to stop what could be the most devastating attack in U.S. history.

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Facials Can Be Fatal by Nancy J. Cohen

By Dawn Ius

After taking his exams for the New Jersey Bar back in 1929, Harry I. Heller set off on a hitchhiking cross-country adventure, journaling his escapades in a notebook that was published posthumously a few years ago by his daughter, bestselling cozy mystery and romance author, Nancy J. Cohen.

Thumbs Up was not only a thoughtful way for Cohen to help her father’s publishing dream come true, but also a tribute to what she says is his excellent writing. Cohen honors her father again with excerpts from another of his travel stories, which are peppered throughout the thirteenth book in her Bad Hair Day mystery series, FACIALS CAN BE FATAL.

“I always try to look for a historical angle for each of the books because I think that adds a lot of depth,” she says. “In this case, the journal was real—I pulled bits from my father’s 1935 trip to Florida with friends.”

Of course, the book also includes all of Cohen’s usual suspects—salon owner and amateur sleuth Marla Vail, her police detective husband Dalton, a full cast of characters with murderous means and motive, and enough twists and turns to earn you a well-deserved spot at the spa. (Though, Cohen suggests avoiding “body treatments that have nothing to do with herbal scrubs and hot rock massages…”)
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Disciples of Death by Paul Howard

Sarah Appleton has been kidnapped from her university campus in Cambridge, England. When she escapes, killing her abductor, she sets in motion a chain of events that has repercussions all across the world. Sarah and her father, Martin Appleton, flee the Russian mafia, from whom Martin stole twenty million dollars in bearer bonds, leaving authorities to unravel the threat of a terrorist plot using biological weapons of mass destruction stolen from a Russian lab and sold to Middle Eastern extremists. As the authorities scramble to unravel the scant clues left by people who make few mistakes, terrorists gear up for an attack that will leave millions of innocent people dead and the governments of several Middle Eastern nations in chaos.

Paul Howard recently discussed his thriller, DISCIPLES OF DEATH, with The Big Thrill:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

I hope any reader ofDISCIPLES OF DEATH will finish it and conclude that it was a page-turning novel that was exciting and entertaining from the beginning to the end.
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Astoria Nights by Paul A. Barra

He can knock the fillings out of a man’s teeth with either hand, but he can’t prevent his girlfriend from being murdered…

Life is good for Catholic schoolteacher Terrence Muldoon. He owns his own house in Astoria, New York, and a one-year-old Volvo, both paid for. His only dependent is a rescued greyhound, and his avocation as a club fighter, under the ring name of Seamus Muldoon, provides all the excitement he needs.

Then all that changes when his jockey girlfriend is killed during a race at Belmont. Unable to save her, Terry is driven to find out who wanted her dead, and why. Or was she just collateral damage? He teams up with a NYPD detective friend in a quest for answers that takes him to Myrtle Beach, the rural environs of South Carolina, into the world of Queens gangsters, down to the Brooklyn waterfront, and out to Fire Island. As if his mission isn’t fraught with enough danger, he’s training all the while for a bout with a man being touted as the next Ali. ESPN gives Terry only a “puncher’s chance.” But even if Terry survives the match, the investigation is winding up for a knockout punch as well, with Terry facing the toughest fight of his life…

Author Paul A. Barra recently spent some time with the Big Thrill staff discussing his novel, ASTORIA NIGHTS:
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Tell Me No Lies by Lynn Chandler Willis

By Terry DiDomenico

A tried and true adage is to write what you know. The difficult part is taking what you know and making it interesting reading for an audience. This is well executed by Lynn Chandler Willis in her latest novel, TELL ME NO LIES, the debut Ava Logan Mystery.

The heroine of TELL ME NO LIES, Ava Logan, is the publisher of the newspaper for the small town of Jackson Creek, North Carolina set in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. Like her character, Willis has lived her entire life in North Carolina and owned a small-town weekly newspaper. Both Ava and Willis have two children, are single mothers, and have dogs named Finn.

TELL ME NO LIES finds Ava in the middle of covering the local election, just weeks before Election Day. Then the simple act of dropping off her friend’s toddler after a night of babysitting changes everything. Her friend is dead, and Ava wants to know why. Juggling her two teenage children, her friend’s orphaned toddler, and her own muddied past, Ava’s digging for the truth puts her and those she loves in danger. It is imperative the killer is found before either Ava or someone she loves ends up dead.

Ava Logan stands as her own person. She brings a backstory that is “tragically realistic” according to the author with “enough struggles to help shape her character without defining it.” Willis wanted to make sure that Ava was not “broken” and sees Ava as “that magical combination of strength and vulnerability. She’s not perfect. She’s many things, but she is not broken and she’ll be the first to tell you that!”
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The Art of Vanishing by Cynthia Kuhn

By George Ebey

Author Cynthia Kuhn’s latest book, THE ART OF VANISHING, brings us the next installment in her Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries series.

When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week. The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate the writer and set events back on track immediately. But someone appears to have a different plan: strange warnings are received, valuable items go missing, and a series of dangerous incidents threaten the lives of Stonedale’s guests. After her beloved mother, who happens to be Damon’s ex, rushes onto campus and into harm’s way, Lila has even more reason to bring the culprit to light before anything—or anyone—else vanishes.

The Big Thrill recently caught up with Kuhn to learn more about this thrilling new story.
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Seconds to Midnight by Philip Donlay

By Myles Knapp

They say “write what you know.”  Philip Donlay takes this a bit further.  “Write what you’re passionate about.”  He’s been flying since he was 16, jets since he turned 20. Google tells us that if he started today at the age of 20, he’d be one of the youngest jet pilots in the world. But he started years ago and spent the ensuing time piloting almost anything with a jet engine—big-to-small—around the world.

When Donlay writes about flying, be it a jet, fixed or rotary wing plane, he knows what he’s doing. And if he describes a place like the frozen Canadian lake near Manitoba—featured in SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT—which is less than five hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle, he has likely been there, smelled the air and caught fish in the lake.

Better still, Donlay has, as this reporter’s old boss used to say, “Gotta nose for da story.”

SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT could have been inspired by the headlines in January’s news. And that’s where our conversation started.

“Did you know that scientists who control the Doomsday Clock just moved the countdown to potential global catastrophe 30 seconds closer to midnight?” Donlay asked.
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The Tesla Objective by David Sakmyster

By Tom O’Brien

Caleb Crowe is back as a professor of archaeology with psychic abilities. A cross between Indiana Jones and the X-Files, THE TESLA OBJECTIVE pulls directly from actual secret government experiments and historical facts in a perfect blend of action and suspense.

With some conspiracy theories being more than just theory, David Sakmyster takes us on a wild ride. He explores some of the greatest mysteries in history. From cover-ups to secret societies, it becomes hard to tell which events are fiction and which seem too strange to be true.

The TESLA OBJECTIVE is the fourth book in the Morpheus Initiative Series. It revolves around psychic archaeologists, which I didn’t know could be a thing. Are they archaeologists who became psychic or is this a niche field?

Psychic archaeology is a real thing, although obviously very rare (and disputable, I’m sure), but back when I was researching the first book, The Pharos Objective, I came across the term in relation to work being done as part of a scientific team exploring various mysteries in Egypt. The key to that team was that they were using “remote viewers” with claimed psychic powers to visualize the precise location, for example, of Cleopatra’s sunken palace.
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Bloody Paradise by Jame DiBiasio

By Renee James

Jame DiBiasio is an American journalist and author who moved to Hong Kong twenty years ago and has remained in Asia ever since.

His second novel, BLOODY PARADISE, is set in Thailand’s island of Koh Samui, a vacation paradise. His first novel, Gaijin Cowgirl, was located in Japan, and his non-fiction book, The Story of Angkor, focused on the famous monuments and temples near Siem Reap, Cambodia.

We interviewed him by email from his home in Hong Kong in January.

Why this setting for BLOODY PARADISE?

Because Koh Samui is fantastic. It’s a beautiful island. Thai food is delicious. You can rent holiday homes cheaply. Thai culture is welcoming, but also different to what many foreigners are used to. Writers devote a lot of creative energy toward imagining their settings, so why not pick a setting I enjoy? That way it’ll be fun for readers who want to come with me.

I have never lived in Thailand, but visit it regularly.
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Invasion: Ice Hammer (Book 1) by Basil Sands

When an invasion splits Brad Stone’s family apart he finds himself fighting for his life as he searches for his family. His wife, Youngmi, is captured and exploited by Alaska’s new Communist warlord. His sons narrowly avoid massacre and retreat into the icy wilderness with a troop of Boy Scouts. Brad, a former Marine, finds himself thrust to the front as the warrior they call “Ice Hammer”, and thanks to a drone image of a vicious combat encounter, Brad finds himself listed as the most wanted man in Alaska.

Brad, Youngmi, and their sons Ben and Ian must find their way through the horrors of war. They may not live to see victory, but they will not live as slaves. They have already learned a brutal truth:

The age of peace has ended. The age of the Ice Hammer has begun.

Author Basil Sands spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel, ICE HAMMER: INVASION.
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Her True Match (X-OPS 6) by Paige Tyler

FORCED TOGETHER
When feline shifter Dreya Clark is escorted from police interrogation by two secret agents, she thinks she’s dodged a bullet. That sexy detective Braden Hayes caught her stealing red-handed. When she finds out what she has to do to stay out of jail, suddenly she’s missing the hot cop with the piercing gaze. She’s being recruited for her shifter abilities by the Department of Covert Operations.

WILL DANGER RIP THEM APART?
Braden has been chasing the smart-mouthed cat burglar for years. But when Dreya’s taken away, he knows their game of cat and mouse has turned deadly-serious. There’s no way he’ll let her go off alone. Fur flies and temperatures flare as Braden realizes Dreya is much more than she appears. Thrown together on a dangerous covert mission, this unlikely pair will have to rely on each other to make it out alive.

Paige Tyler sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest novel, HER TRUE MATCH:
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Korrosion by Peter Beck

A caramelized baker. A lonely old woman, beaten to death at Christmas finished off with a needle through the eye. The suspect, a Sudanese refugee, gone into hiding.

The dead widow not only leaves behind a million-dollar inheritance, but also a bitter accusation: From beyond the grave, she claims that one of her children killed her husband.

Tom Winter, the laconic head of security of her Swiss private bank, tracks down the children in the Azores, Manchester and Nuremberg, and finds himself entangled in a horrifying net of abuse, exploitation, and revenge.

Author Peter Beck discussed his latest novel, KORROSION, with The Big Thrill:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

A sleepless night, breathless hours of entertainment, an intercontinental flight gone by fast, being engrossed in the corrosive effects of abuse, exploitation and revenge, be it on the victims or on the witnesses.

A Nuba warrior is one of the key characters in KORROSION. He travels from his native village in Sudan to Europe, sacrificing a lot. Maybe the memory of Obado’s journey gives some insight into what’s going on with migration.
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Before Sunrise by Rick Mofina

In BEFORE SUNRISE, a short, dark novel, we meet Will Fortin of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, on patrol in southern Alberta. It’s a lonely region where the sky meets the land on even terms, where the landscape exaggerates or diminishes your place in the world. If you’re lucky, trouble would never find you there. If you weren’t, this was your battleground.

It is here where Fortin experiences the worst any cop can face, the taking of innocent lives when he accidentally shoots two children while responding to a call at a farm involving a gun. His life destroyed, his guilt unbearable, Fortin, a good man, struggles as a haunted soul, aching to redeem himself.

Years after the shooting, Fortin is assigned to escort a murderer to trial in Seattle, Washington. When their plane crashes in the unforgiving Rocky Mountains, Fortin is presented with his last chance at redemption.

Coming in at about the same length as The Old Man and the Sea, BEFORE SUNRISE, is a powerful, heart-wrenching story of love, heartbreak, courage and enduring human spirit.

Author Rick Mofina recently discussed his latest novel with The Big Thrill:
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The Mystery of the Curiosities by C. S. Poe

By L. E. Fitzpatrick

Sebastian Snow is the owner of Snow’s Antique Emporium. With an encyclopaedic knowledge of the 1800s, Sebastian and his Emporium seem to be a magnet for murderous mysteries. After The Mystery of Nevermore, Sebastian is now happily dating lead homicide detective, Calvin Winter, but when a brick is thrown through the Emporium window, Sebastian finds himself swept up in a series of grisly murders.

Author C. S. Poe tells me about her latest novel THE MYSTERY OF CURIOSITIES, the second instalment of the Snow and Winter series, as well as about her inspiration for the story and what drives her to write gay mysteries.

THE MYSTERY OF THE CURIOSITIES is Book 2 of the Snow & Winter series. Where is Sebastian Snow after the events of The Mystery of Nevermore?

Sebastian Snow is in a much healthier place after Nevermore—physically, mentally, and emotionally. He came out of an intense murder mystery relatively unscathed, and he and lead homicide detective, Calvin Winter, are happily dating. If it wasn’t for the fact that he’s become prone to trouble, Sebastian may have gotten through Valentine’s Day without having to put his sleuthing hat back on.
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Police at the Station & They Don’t Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty

Belfast 1988: A man is found dead, killed with a bolt from a crossbow in front of his house. This is no hunting accident. But uncovering who is responsible for the murder will take Detective Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on a high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave.

Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs, and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece.

Author Adrian McKinty recently took some time away from writing to discuss his latest thriller, POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON’T LOOK FRIENDLY with The Big Thrill:
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The Damselfly by S. J. I. Holliday

Katie Taylor is the perfect student. She’s bright and funny, she has a boyfriend who adores her and there are only a few months left of school before she can swap Banktoun for the bright lights of London. Life gets even better when she has an unexpected win on a scratch card. But then Katie’s luck runs out.

Her tragic death instead becomes the latest in a series of dark mysteries blighting the small town. The new school counsellor Polly McAllister, who has recently returned to Banktoun to make amends in her own personal life, is thrown in at the deep end as the pupils and staff come to terms with Katie’s death. And it’s not long before she uncovers a multitude of murky secrets. Did Katie have enemies? Is her boyfriend really so squeaky clean? And who is her brother’s mysterious friend?

With Banktoun’s insular community inflamed by gossip and a baying mob stirring itself into a frenzy on social media, DS Davie Gray and DC Louise Jennings must work out who really murdered Katie before someone takes matters into their own hands…

The Big Thrill recently discussed THE DAMSELFLY with author S. J. I. Holliday:
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Illicit Trade by Michael Niemann

Two poor Kenyan men visiting the U.S. are found dead, one in jail, one on the street. Both used forged UN documents to enter the country. Valentin Vermeulen’s superiors have no interest in the plight of undocumented immigrants, but they want him to stop the fraud. The clues take Vermeulen from New York City to Newark, where he riles a woman known as “The Broker,” then to Vienna.

Earle Jackson, a small-time hustler and the last person to speak with one of the dead Kenyans, has taken the man’s passport and money. He also finds a note listing an address in Newark, where his efforts to cash in on the situation go awry. Fleeing for his life, Jackson flies to Nairobi using the dead man’s passport.

Vermeulen and Jackson have chanced upon a criminal network more extensive and vicious than either could have imagined. To survive, Vermeulen must do more than sever a few links. He must find the mastermind at the top.

Author Michael Niemann recently discussed his latest thriller, ILLICIT TRADE, with The Big Thrill:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

First, I hope readers will enjoy the book. Fiction is all about entertainment. I hope I succeeded there. Second, readers will visit different parts of the world. Hopefully, they’ll learn something new about those places. Third, the nature of the crime is unfortunately very real. I hope that readers gain an awareness of these machinations world wide.
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Where the Lost Girls Go by R. J. Noonan

Rookie cop Laura Mori catches her first investigation when the fiery crash of a sports car lights up the night sky. The fire burns the body beyond recognition, but the police are able to identify the car as that of Kent Jameson, celebrity author and benefactor of Sunrise Lake. And Jameson fears that the unidentified body is his seventeen-year-old daughter Lucy, who stormed out of the house that night after an argument.

When lab reports reveal that the body was not Lucy, but a teen runaway named Kyra whose disappearance has been linked with other missing persons—more than half a dozen “lost girls” who disappeared while living on the streets of Portland—the investigation takes a drastic turn. How did Kyra come to land at the Jameson estate in rural Oregon, and what was she doing driving their car? And who cut the brake lines on the vehicle?

Just when Laura is making progress in the case, she comes across a suspicious lane in the forest that uncovers new evidence that will once again alter the course of the investigation and rock Sunrise Lake to its core. R. J. Noonan’s electrifying mystery will resonate with fans of Lisa Gardner and Lisa Jackson.

Author R. J. Noonan took some time to discuss her thriller, WHERE THE LOST GIRLS GO, with The Big Thrill:
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Dead in the Water by Annelise Ryan

Deputy coroner Mattie Winston is starting to feel like she’s in way over her head . . .

As the single mom of an energetic toddler and an investigator working for the medical examiner’s office in small-town Sorenson, Wisconsin, Mattie is used to her life being a juggling act. But now that she’s moved in with Detective Steve Hurley and his teenaged daughter Emily, and has started planning their wedding, her home life is looking more like a three-ring circus. And with her boss and friend, Izzy, suddenly having a health crisis, she could not be more grateful for the newest staff member in the ME’s office, Hal Dawson.

All too quickly her gratitude turns to shock when a floating body found trapped against a dam turns out to be Hal, but the cause of death isn’t drowning—his throat’s been slashed. Hal was supposed to be fishing on his day off with his girlfriend. And when their empty boat is found in a nearby lake, the whereabouts of the woman becomes an even more urgent question.

To find out what really happened to her coworker, Mattie may need to rock the boat. But a killer is just as determined to keep the truth from ever surfacing, even if that means making Mattie the next one to go under.

Annelise Ryan recently discussed her novel with The Big Thrill:
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