Between The Lines

Between the Lines: Megan Abbott

Between the Lines: Megan Abbott

Finding Darkness in Bright, Shiny Places   By Nancy Bilyeau A video went viral after the London Olympics, taken of the parents of American gymnast Aly Raisman as they watched her compete on the uneven bars. The couple flinched, drew together and leaned back as one, fixated on their daughter. Although sitting in the spectators’ area, the gymnast’s parents seemed to move as she moved, utterly unaware of how they might appear. Reaction to the video on the Internet was amused, scornful, and appalled. How could it be healthy for parents to be that identified with their daughter? Novelist Megan Abbott had an altogether different response. Could she explore the world of female competitive gymnastics—specifically, the family of the gymnast—in her next novel of suspense? more »

By July 31, 2016 Read More →
Between the Lines: Joseph Finder

Between the Lines: Joseph Finder

Building the Perfect Hero By James W. Ziskin Joseph Finder writes high-octane bestselling novels of suspense, conspiracy, and ruthless corporations. His books have garnered top industry awards including the ITW Award for Best Novel (Killer Instinct 2006), both the Barry and Gumshoe Awards for Best Thriller (Company Man 2005), and the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel (Buried Secrets 2011). Two of his standalone thrillers, High Crimes and Paranoia, have been made into major motion pictures. Following up on last year’s standalone New York Times bestseller, The Fixer, Finder is back this month with GUILTY MINDS. Featuring the bruising and brilliant “private spy” Nick Heller, GUILTY MINDS is the third novel in this popular series (after Vanished and Buried Secrets). This time, Heller is hired more »

By June 30, 2016 Read More →
Between the Lines with Daniel Palmer

Between the Lines with Daniel Palmer

Embracing the Legacy—and Setting a New Mark By Austin S. Camacho I’ve heard that varied experiences, an artistic temperament, or even genetics could predict writing talent. By any of those measures it’s no surprise that Daniel Palmer has turned out a steady flow of bestsellers. After earning his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer. He’s an accomplished blues harmonica player. And he’s the son of bestselling author Michael Palmer, whose legacy lives on because Daniel’s been asked to continue his father’s oeuvre. Which means now two of Daniel’s novels are being released at the same time. MERCY is the second Michael Palmer medical thriller Daniel’s written in the tradition of his late father. In it, Dr. Julie Devereux more »

By May 31, 2016 Read More →
Between the Lines with Charlaine Harris

Between the Lines with Charlaine Harris

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

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

Between the Lines: Interview with Lisa Scottoline

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

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

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

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

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

Between the Lines with Maverick Novelist Barry Eisler

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

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

Between the Lines with Ian Rankin

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

By December 31, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines Interview with New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds

Between the Lines Interview with New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds

By Anthony Franze She’s been called the “female Robert Ludlum” and the “Queen of Espionage.” She’s broken barriers for women in fiction, and co-founded one of the world’s leading organizations for writers. And, oh yeah, she writes kick-ass New York Times bestsellers. You guessed it, she’s Gayle Lynds, and this month, she’s back with a vengeance with THE ASSASSINS (St. Martin’s Press, June 30). On the heels of her smash hit The Book of Spies, this latest story is about what happens when two spooks get caught in the crossfire of a business dispute—one involving six of the world’s most deadly assassins. Part heist story, part espionage thriller—one hundred percent adrenaline—THE ASSASSINS should go down as Lynds’s best novel to date. And that’s saying something more »

By December 30, 2015 Read More →
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 →
Between the Lines with Robert Dugoni on ‘Her Final Breath’

Between the Lines with Robert Dugoni on ‘Her Final Breath’

Insights From the Master of Seattle Menace By Robert Rotstein An acclaimed author of legal thrillers with his David Sloane series, Robert Dugoni decided to undertake a new challenge: a thriller featuring a woman, Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite. The result proved the adage “Change is good.” My Sister’s Grave became a No. 1 Amazon and New York Times best seller. Tracy Crosswhite returns in Dugoni’s HER FINAL BREATH (Thomas & Mercer, September 15, 2015). Still scarred from the investigation into her sister’s 20-year-old murder, Crosswhite is drawn into an investigation of a string of homicides perpetrated by a serial killer known as The Cowboy. A stalker leaves a menacing message for Crosswhite, suggesting that the killer or a copycat could be targeting her personally. more »

By August 31, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines Interview with Linda Fairstein

Between the Lines Interview with Linda Fairstein

Why the Best-Selling Author Made a Point-of-View Switch By E. M. Powell It’s a brave author who does something radically different in a successful long-running series. But in DEVIL’S BRIDGE, the 17th outing for New York prosecutor Alex Cooper, Linda Fairstein does just that. In this terrific, suspenseful read, things are definitely not going well for Alex. An escaped convicted rapist is stalking her, a trial is going south, and a hacker has potentially accessed her most secure information. The book takes a dramatic—and unexpected—swerve when Alex is kidnapped and the search is on to find her. But we readers don’t know where she is, either. Instead, we must join Alex’s lover, Detective Mike Chapman, in his increasingly desperate search. This plot device brings the reader more »

By July 30, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines with New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer

Between the Lines with New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer

By Nancy Bilyeau In 1997, The Tenth Justice, the first novel Brad Meltzer published (and the second one he wrote) hit the bestseller list. Himself a recent grad of Columbia Law School, Meltzer wrote a book about a mistake made by a conscientious clerk for a Supreme Court Justice and the deepening crisis that unfolds from that mistake. This month, he publishes his tenth novel, THE PRESIDENT’S SHADOW. It is a fast-paced, high-stakes thriller that begins with the discovery of a severed arm in the Rose Garden of the White House. At the center of the story is a nerdy National Archivist who holds his own among characters trained in violence and steeped in betrayal. Meltzer’s stories are often about consequence and trust, with plot more »

By May 31, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author Jeffery Deaver

Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author Jeffery Deaver

Before Jeffery Deaver became one of the most successful writers in the country, he was a journalist, a lawyer—and even a folk singer. But from the time he was in grade school, he knew that he wanted to write fiction. And not just any fiction—commercial, popular fiction. Books that kept readers up all night. So, some thirty-five years ago, he decided it was time to give it a try. Deaver is the first to admit that his early novels didn’t sell as hoped. But he didn’t give up; he learned from his early work, honed his craft, and worked hard to become a master storyteller. In the mid-1990s, Deaver released The Bone Collector, which featured quadriplegic protagonist, Lincoln Rhyme. The book has been named one more »

By April 30, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author J. A. Jance by Dawn Ius

Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author J. A. Jance by Dawn Ius

The Art of Being True By Dawn Ius New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance can trace her love of literature all the way back to elementary school where she was introduced to the magical world of Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz series. She was, of course, fascinated by the stories, but even then, as an impressionable second-grade student in Mrs. Spangler’s class, Jance sensed “the author” behind the curtain and quickly realized that that is who she wanted to be—the person putting the words on the page. Since 1982, Jance has been doing just that, with her latest thriller COLD BETRAYAL marking her fiftieth novel. More than twenty million copies of her books are in print, and they have been translated into eighteen more »

By March 31, 2015 Read More →
Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author C. J. Box

Between the Lines with New York Times Bestselling Author C. J. Box

By Josie Brown C.J. Box’s novels have been lauded by readers and critics alike for their complex plots, true-to-life characters, and his stark lyrical depiction of the New West. His latest novel—ENDANGERED—is no exception. Box’s soft-spoken but hard-hitting protagonist, Joe Pickett, is back—and this time, it’s personal. When a young woman found beaten to near death turns out to be Joe’s stepdaughter, Joe’s gut tells him that the perpetrator isn’t the man in custody, but her boyfriend, rodeo champion Dallas Cates. Proving it means facing off with the whole Cates clan, who will do anything to protect Dallas. What does it take to write books that grab readers both by the hearts and throats? The Big Thrill recently interviewed Box to find out. Joe Pickett’s more »

By February 28, 2015 Read More →
A Between The Lines Interview With Lisa Gardner

A Between The Lines Interview With Lisa Gardner

By Dawn Ius Resting prominently on Lisa Gardner’s desk is her International Thriller Writers Award for best thriller, a ceramic giraffe, and an article about how to identify a psychopath. The ITW hardware represents the much-appreciated recognition from Gardner’s peers, while the giraffe is a gift from her daughter who understands her mother’s obsessions. As for the article on how to identify a psycho (spoiler alert: They’re everywhere), the piece is just one of the many resources this self-proclaimed research junkie will use to write such twisted psychological thrillers as her latest, CRASH & BURN. With more than twenty-two million copies of her bestselling novels sold worldwide, one might think this is starting to feel old hat for Gardner. But while she’ll concede there’s a more »

By January 31, 2015 Read More →
A Between the Lines Interview with Tami Hoag

A Between the Lines Interview with Tami Hoag

By Julie Kramer Even with fifteen consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers to her name, Tami Hoag still feels a tinge of panic trying to figure out the identity of the killers in her gritty psychological thrillers. This was especially true with COLD COLD HEART, in which her protagonist, Dana Nolan, moves from abduction victim in Hoag’s previous bestseller, The 9th Girl, to a brain-damaged heroine trying to solve a cold case. The ending shocks, to be sure, but for me the real surprise comes in Hoag’s Author’s Note in which she reveals a personal secret. In the back of COLD COLD HEART, you share details about the lasting effects of a traumatic brain injury you suffered as a child. What made you go public more »

By December 31, 2014 Read More →
A Between the Lines Interview with Phillip Margolin

A Between the Lines Interview with Phillip Margolin

By Anthony Franze Phillip Margolin had a storied career as a criminal defense lawyer—handling more than thirty murder cases and even arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court. Though he’d published two novels early in his legal career, he wasn’t looking to leave his exciting law practice. In the early1990s, however, he was at a dinner party when the conversation turned philosophical. One of the guests had a question for him: If Adolf Hitler came to you and needed a lawyer, would you represent him? “I hadn’t really given much thought to that kind of question,” Margolin said. “But I was a believer in the system, and always thought I’d defend anyone. But it got me thinking whether I would represent someone who was pure evil.” more »

By November 30, 2014 Read More →
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 →