Contemporary Thrillers

The Lonely Witness by William Boyle

By Dawn Ius

Authors draw inspiration for characters from a number of places—friends and family, a stranger they caught a glimpse of at the coffee shop, exes and crushes. William Boyle’s muse comes in the form of an actress.

Amy Falconetti—the haunting protagonist of his gritty new release THE LONELY WITNESS—is named after Renee Maria Falconettti from The Passion of Joan of Arc, one of Boyle’s all-time favorite films.

“I just kept thinking how cool it would be to have a character called Falconetti—it could have been the name of a ’70s TV detective,” he says. “So I started there.”

More accurately, though, Falconetti’s story began in Boyle’s debut, Gravesend, in which she is a minor character that never fully left the author’s head and heart. When THE LONELY WITNESS begins, almost seven years have passed since the action in that first book, and Boyle was anxious to get to know her better.

“I learned not to expect anything of her,” he says. “I learned that she was a million things, all at once, all of them valid. I learned that she’s haunted, that she’s searching for contentment she’ll likely never find. I learned that she’s impulsive, and I learned to value her unpredictability.”

The reader learns these things as well—especially about her impulsiveness. For reasons she can’t quite understand, Falconetti is captivated by a crime she witnesses, and the murderer himself. Rather than calling the police—as perhaps most in her situation might—Falconetti collects the murder weapon from the sidewalk and soon finds herself on a dangerous hunt for the killer.

Boyle took some time this month to give The Big Thrill readers a behind-the-scenes look at THE LONELY WITNESS.
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Eyes of Poseidon by Richard Wickliffe

Why would Zach Carson, a successful doctor, husband and father, leap from a cruise ship at 3:00 am?

His wife Katie, along with an FBI agent who works organized crime, unravel Zach’s fate as a struggling small-town doctor who’d been lured by a new organization in Miami promising wealth. Then came unfathomable success.

But after threats and extortion, Zach Carson knew there was no way out. His family would never be safe. What’s discovered next changes everything.

EYES OF POSEIDON author, Richard Wickliffe, spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller:
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The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon

On a typical late summer day, Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the call abruptly goes dead. Then the news rolls in: A bomb has gone off at Penn Station, where Michael was waiting for a train home. New York City is in a state of chaos.

A frantic Julia races to the city to look for Michael, her panic interwoven with memories of meeting and falling in love with the husband she’s now desperate to find. When someone finds a flier she’s posted and tells her they may have seen her husband, her dreams seem to be answered. Yet as she tries to find him, her calls go unanswered.

Weaving between the aftermath of the explosion and Julia’s memories of her life with Michael, new developments raise troubling questions. Did Michael survive the explosion? Why hasn’t he contacted her? What was he doing when their last call was cut off? Was he–or is he still–the man she fell in love with?

Part family drama, part tragic love story, and part disaster narrative that hits terrifyingly close to home, THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN is a deftly plotted suspense novel with an unflinching portrait of a marriage at its heart, challenging us to confront the unthinkable–both in our country and in our own homes.

The Big Thrill caught up with New York Times bestselling author Bryan Reardon to discuss his latest thriller, THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN:
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How Far She’s Come by Holly Brown

By E.M. Powell

In Holly Brown’s latest release, HOW FAR SHE’S COME, we have the story of 24-year-old Cheyenne Florian, who has just received the type of job offer that dreams are made of and then some. Plucked from relative obscurity as a vlogger, Cheyenne has been headhunted to be the new correspondent on the recently formed Independent News Network.

But that dream quickly turns sour when she realizes that age-old workplace dynamics are in play at the seemingly innovative network, and she’ll have to contend with seething resentments, jealousies, and sexual harassment. Things take an even more sinister turn when Cheyenne discovers a mysterious diary written by a female broadcaster in 1991 featuring startling—and frightening—parallels to her own life. It becomes clear that she’s a pawn in a very twisted game, and she’s going to have to win it for her own survival. It’s a fast-paced and intriguing read that keeps the reader turning the pages.

The book’s pace was partly driven by the real-life news events underpinning it. Brown says she tends to be inspired by contemporary events and phenomena and with this novel, it’s the #MeToo movement as well as recent political events. There were a couple of times when the sheer speed and volume of revelations made it difficult to keep a handle on what was coming to light.
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The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes

By Heidi Ruby Miller

It’s early morning and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Steena Holmes is at her kitchen table drinking coffee and talking about her latest novel THE FORGOTTEN ONES, the haunting story of Elle and what she is compelled to do when she receives a deathbed request from her grandfather, a man racked by grief, regrets, and a dark secret.

“I wish I could take you into my office,” Holmes says, “but it’s currently a cluttered disaster zone. I’m in the middle of preparing reader boxes that need to get mailed.” She elaborates on the reader boxes she’s assembling: “I’ve put together a few of my favorite things, like a special reading mug, chocolates, tote bag, etc., along with a signed copy of THE FORGOTTEN ONES, for those in my awesome reader group. Thanks to the crazy mess in my office I’ve been writing up in my bedroom.”

Holmes says her husband surprised her with a cozy lounger that she’s been writing in. “I’ve written my last two books up there. No, wait, I basically wrote THE FORGOTTEN ONES in my car during field hockey practices where my middle daughter plays goalie. Yes, I have three teenage daughters. Someone once told me life gets easier as the kids get older, but they lied!”
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A Blood Thing by James Hankins

By Dawn Ius

Politics has never been a theme in James Hankins’ books before—but it felt right for A BLOOD THING, a frightening new thriller that explores the lengths people will go to protect the ones they love.

“In my own lifetime, I don’t recall a time of greater political unrest,” Hankins says. “It pervades each of our daily lives, it seems, and writing a book with a political component no doubt made me even more acutely aware of it than I might otherwise have been.”

That didn’t stop the words from flowing, though.

A BLOOD THING is the story of a governor who is blackmailed into pardoning a prisoner in order to save his family. And while there are brief mentions now and then of the character’s political agenda—which touches on issues like gun control, racketeering laws, and drug policy—the conflicts don’t mirror what’s going on in today’s political climate, allowing Hankins to “stay in my writer’s bubble and write without feeling the need to reflect or comment on the political issues of the day.”

Hankins took some time away from his upcoming release day planning to answer some questions for The Big Thrill.
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Here and Gone by Ann Simas

Hannah Clarke, a wife and mom one day, is a widow without a child the next. She dwindles to a shell of her former self, grief-stricken and bereft by Jason and Jay’s deaths. Two years later, reclaiming her life and living as H.L. Mason in Fossil, Colorado, her safe new world explodes with a revelation so shocking and horrifying she can hardly grasp it. By chance, she meets Sheriff Noah Ward, and though she’s leery of cops after relentlessly being accused of killing her family, she needs help. Noah agrees, but when Hannah becomes a target, he realizes the case is far more insidious than parental abduction. How is he supposed to keep the woman he loves safe when the immoral trio determined to stop her applies the same solution to every problem—murder.

Prolific author Ann Simas was kind enough to discuss her latest thriller, HERE AND GONE, with The Big Thrill:
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There Once Was A Child by Debra Webb

A sexual predator recently released from prison is missing…there’s blood on the floor—but there are two blood types. Is he a victim of revenge or has another of Nashville’s children gone missing?

Joseph Fanning stole and abused seventeen children. Recently released after serving his time, now he’s gone missing. Detective Olivia Newhouse and her partner, Walt Duncan, have a duty to do all within their power to find him—just as they would for any other citizen. The first step is to make a list of possible suspects and the logical names to start with are Fanning’s victims. Those seventeen children are now adults and more than one would like to see Joseph Fanning dead.

As Olivia and Walt dig deeper into the case their own lives begin to unravel. The fragile threads of discovery start to twist and tangle until nothing is as it seems.

When the one victim who knows the whole truth is revealed, no one will be the same.

The Big Thrill caught up to USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb to discuss her latest thriller, THERE ONCE WAS A CHILD:
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Follow You Down by Michael Bradley

New York attorney Neil Brewster has everything he’s ever wanted: an expensive Manhattan apartment, a gorgeous fiancée, a forthcoming partnership in his law firm, and a reputation for winning even the most hopeless cases. His utter ruthlessness and bullying–both in and out of the courtroom–are legendary, and have been since his childhood.

With a new high profile court case looming, a camping reunion with his old high school cronies becomes just the distraction he needs, especially after he discovers a former lover is staying nearby.

But Neil’s weekend plunges into disarray when he’s confronted with the sins of his past. After learning about the suicide of the boy he bullied relentlessly as a teenager, Neil is tormented by ghostly voices and apparitions. Frantic, Neil descends into a frenzied search for answers, only to discover that things aren’t always what they seem.

Author Michael Bradley took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his latest thriller, FOLLOW YOU DOWN, with The Big Thrill:
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Gone Dark by Kirk Russell

America is under siege as Special Agent Paul Grale exposes a devastating act of domestic terrorism that becomes explosively personal.

When a series of coordinated blasts takes down several Los Angeles power stations, FBI bomb tech Paul Grale is tapped to investigate. That means leaving his vulnerable niece, Julia, behind in Las Vegas. The sole survivor of a homeland bombing that killed her parents, Julia’s still struggling through grief and trauma. An avowed pacifist, she’s being trolled as anti-American. And entangled in an affair with the wrong man, she’s facing the fallout from his crimes: stolen military-grade ammunition found in her car.

But Grale has no choice but to head to L.A. The sabotage is growing more sophisticated, and with assaults on the telecommunication grid itself, the potential for destruction has never been higher. Now, as rolling blackouts sweep across the West, Grale is following clues that point alarmingly close to home. Especially when Julia disappears.

If Grale can’t stop the attacks from escalating, the grid will go down for good, leaving everyone in the dark. But it’s Grale who could be facing the darkest reality of all…

Prolific author Kirk Russell spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, GONE DARK:
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Vanished by Karen E. Olson

By Terri Nolan

There is a bounty on Tina Alder’s head—and so, she hides within an ordinary life in a small town. She earns cash for watercolor paintings and has no internet footprint, no bank account, no phone, and no permanent address. She doesn’t use computers; not even the anonymous ones at the public library.

So when Tina, a former hacker, needs a fix, she enters the library to peruse books while casting hungry gazes at the bank of computer terminals. To go online would risk exposure and in today’s connected world, safety can’t be taken for granted—even if you live small. Tina’s go-bag is packed and ready.

But when Tina meets an older woman at an art show she is thrown off her game. The woman seems to know more about Tina than she should. The compulsion to know who this woman is leads Tina to a laptop. She knows better. Her safety depends on staying off the grid. But the compulsion is mighty, and Tina does the one thing she shouldn’t do. By the next day she is on the run.

Again.

VANISHED is Karen E. Olson’s fourth novel in the Black Hat series. It is extreme in pace with intense, non-stop action—and it may make one pause next time they log online or use an ATM.
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The Kill Wire by Nichole Christoff

Security specialist and PI Jamie Sinclair crosses interstate boundaries—and personal ones too—in this electrifying thriller from an award-winning author who “understands how to keep her readers riveted from beginning to end” (USA Today).

With a long list of high-profile, high-paying clients, Jamie Sinclair has her hands full—and that’s the way she likes it. Still reeling from the brutal investigation that drove a wedge between her and her boyfriend, military police officer Adam Barrett, Jamie is counting on hard work to help her forget her recent history—but then DEA agent Marc Sandoval barges back into her life. The last time they worked together, Jamie almost crossed all kinds of lines. Now Marc doesn’t just want Jamie, he needs her . . . because she’s the only one who can help him—and the little boy he never told her about.

Marc’s ex has vanished, leaving their six-year-old son in his care. Despite a troubled past, Elena never wavered in her duties as a parent, so something must be very wrong now. Teaming with Marc to track Elena through her home state of Colorado and beyond, Jamie finds herself on a cross-country search for the missing mother of Marc’s child, at a crossroads with Adam, and on a collision course with the killers who’ll stop at nothing to find Elena first.

Award-winning author Nichole Christoff sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss the latest installment of her Jamie Sinclair thrillers, THE KILL WIRE:
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Only the Rain by Randall Silvis

When family man and war veteran Russell loses his job as a quarry worker, his life suddenly seems more like a waking nightmare than a chance to finally live the American dream. Facing bills, a new baby, and a bone-dry bank account, he’s got nothing left to lose. Russell comes to the rescue of a naked stranger dancing in the rain, and what was supposed to be a straightforward good deed turns into a spiral of danger. When Russell finds an enticing stash of money in the woman’s house, he knows the cash could be his only hope. Taking just a handful will save his family’s future.

His “victimless crime” seems to be anything but risky—until the criminals he robbed come looking for their dirty money. Russell’s ready to surrender it, but then his daughter gets sick…and he must choose between saving her or giving the devils their due. Someone’s going to pay. The question is, how much?

The Big Thrill caught up with bestselling author Randall Silvis to discuss his latest thriller, ONLY THE RAIN:
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Saving Grace by Simon Wood

By Charles Salzberg

On May 3, 2007, three-year-old Madeleine McCann was on holiday in the Portuguese resort town of Praia da Luz with her parents, her two-year-old twin siblings, and a group of family friends and their children. That evening, the adults dined in a restaurant less than 200 feet away from the ground-floor apartment where Madeleine and the rest of the children slept. But when dinner ended around 10 p.m. and Madeleine’s parents arrived back at the apartment, they found that Madeleine was missing.

Thus began one of the most widely reported missing-child cases since the Lindbergh baby. Even now, almost 11 years later, no one knows what happened to Madeleine.

There was something about this case that caught the attention of novelist Simon Wood—but it wasn’t the unexplained disappearance. Instead, Wood was taken by something that happened to a member of the group of friends accompanying the McCanns.

“It was what we now call a ‘fake news’ story,” Wood says. “Published in Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper News of the World, the article named one of the members of the trip as being involved in the kidnapping. He was referred to as a predator, and when he returned to England the cloud of suspicion still hadn’t lifted and he got the shit kicked out of him. Eventually, the paper admitted they’d made a mistake and compensated him, but the result was that the paper made more than five times the amount of the payment in additional newspaper sales.”
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The Storm King by Brendan Duffy

The discovery of a body near his hometown of Greystone Lake draws Nate McHale home after a fourteen-year absence.

While navigating a tense landscape of secrets and suspicion, resentments and guilt, Nate reconnects with estranged friends and old enemies, and encounters strangers who seem to know impossible things about him. Haunting every moment is the Lake’s sinister history and the memory of wild, beautiful Lucy Bennett, with whom Nate is forever linked by shattering loss and youthful passion.

As a massive hurricane bears down on the Northeast, the air becomes electric, the clouds grow dark, and escalating acts of violence echo events from Nate’s own past. Without a doubt, a reckoning is coming—one that will lay bare the lies that lifelong friends have told themselves and unleash a vengeance that may consume them all.

Author Brendan Duffy spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel, THE STORM KING:
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To March Into Hell by Ron Parham

Hard-bitten, hard-drinking private investigator Jake Delgado is finally getting his life in order with his new partner, Amos Stillwater. He cuts down his drinking, contributes to the PI firm, and even falls for a local bartender in a sports bar in the Gas Lamp district of San Diego. But his comfortable life is about to be turned upside down when he receives news that his older brother, Freddie, has been found living in Tijuana and is in trouble. Jake is lured down to Tijuana to find his brother, not knowing that a hitman for the Tijuana drug cartel is waiting for him to avenge the death of his brother, whom Jake killed two years earlier. Jake is drawn into the underbelly of Tijuana and, along with his partner and a few friends, fights for his life against the cartel’s main hitman, Raza, who is known as El Matador (the killer). It takes every last ounce of Jake’s strength and courage to march into the hell of Baja California, knowing that he may never walk back out alive.

The Big Thrill caught up to author Ron Parham to discuss his latest thriller, TO MARCH INTO HELL:
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Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant

Years ago, in the town of Saxon Falls, young Kelsey Willard disappeared and was presumed dead. The tragedy left her family with a fractured life—a mother out to numb the pain, a father losing a battle with his own private demons, and a sister desperate for closure. But now another teenage girl has gone missing. It’s ripping open old wounds for the Willards, dragging them back into a painful past, and leaving them unprepared for where it will take them next.

Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Mark Foster has stumbled on uncanny parallels in the lives of the two missing girls that could unlock clues to a serial killer’s identity. That means breaking down the walls of the Willards’ long-guarded secrets and getting to a truth that is darker than he bargained for. Now, to rescue one missing girl, he must first solve the riddles that disappeared with another: Kelsey Willard herself. Dead or alive, she is his last hope.

Award-winning author Kylie Brant recently met with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest novel, PRETTY GIRLS DANCING:
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A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis

By A.J. Colucci

Karen Ellis is the new pseudonym for Katia Leif, the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of crime novels, including the acclaimed book series featuring former detective Karin Schaeffer. In her latest novel, A MAP OF THE DARK, Ellis introduces Elsa Myers, an FBI agent whose unit specializes in child abduction cases.

In A MAP OF THE DARK, Elsa is pulled in two directions. Her father is dying in the hospital, stirring up emotions and a dark secret from her past. At the same time, she lands the case of a missing teenager named Ruby. It becomes a race against time for Elsa and her partner Lex Cole—who sometimes butt heads with each other—in their search for a man who may have been killing for years. As the hunt for Ruby intensifies, Elsa’s world collapses around her. Everything she has buried, from her self-destructive past to her mother’s death, threatens to resurface with devastating consequences.

As Ellis began writing the novel, she realized that A MAP OF THE DARK had three distinct storylines that needed to resonate against each other: the plight of the missing teens, Elsa’s search for the girls with Lex, and Elsa’s personal story in which her father’s terminal illness triggers devastating childhood memories. “It was a tricky balancing act,” Ellis says. So she tried something new—writing each storyline individually and then weaving them together. “I’d never approached a novel that way before and wasn’t sure if it would work, but I found that it allowed me to fully inhabit each distinctive voice before moving on to the next one.”
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Killman Creek by Rachel Caine

Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…

You’re not safe anywhere now.

As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.

Bestselling author Rachel Caine took time out of her busy schedule to discuss her latest, KILLMAN CREEK, with The Big Thrill:
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Her Rocky Mountain Hero by Jennifer D. Bokal

When security expert Cody Samuels finds fugitive Viktoria Mateev in hiding, he can’t believe his luck. Turning her in will be the perfect revenge on the crime family who destroyed Cody’s DEA career. But to his surprise, Cody is just in time to rescue Viktoria from assassins. He soon finds himself tracking her son’s kidnappers.
To keep her son from ruthless in-laws, Viktoria went on the run. Now she’s teaming up with a man she can’t trust. Cody’s courage and bold gambits are a temptation Viktoria can’t resist– even as the risky sacrifice guarantees they might not survive to see another holiday.

Bestselling author Jennifer D. Bokal spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel, HER ROCKY MOUNTAIN HERO:
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Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib

A stolen piece of history, an abducted actress and international intrigue…

When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star Goldie St. Helen.

After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.
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Nobody Rides for Free by Neil S. Plakcy

By Terri Nolan

For his series featuring FBI Special Agent Angus Green, author Neil Plakcy participated in the FBI Citizens Academy. Talk about research. NOBODY RIDES FOR FREE is the second in the series. The novel opens with Angus recuperating from an on-duty injury and riding a desk but hungry to get back to investigations. He’s given the chance when a man overdoses on a dangerous street drug.

Angus discovers an email thread between the overdose patient and a fifteen-year-old boy who is being exploited in online pornography. Angus goes on a personal crusade to find the boy and any others like him. But he has to be careful. Saving lost boys is not the directive his boss gave him. He can’t mess up this opportunity to prove that he’s physically and mentally ready to resurrect his career, yet at the same time he is inexorably drawn toward rescuing the troubled youth.

How was the character of Angus born? 

Back in 2011, I published a M/M romance novel called Mi Amor, and one of the walk-on characters was a cute, young, red-headed FBI agent named Angus Green. Though he had only a minor role there, he hung around in the back of my mind.

When I began to think about an FBI book, I wanted a young agent as my protagonist, so that as he learned how to do his job, readers would learn along with him. And I knew that my own knowledge wasn’t encyclopedic enough to support a more experienced agent as protagonist. At the same time, I was seeing young people coming out earlier and earlier, without much of the angst and rejection that previous generations suffered. I wondered how a young agent on his first assignment would feel about being openly gay in a macho environment. Angus fit the bill, and so he got the book (and eventually the series) that he’d been wanting.
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Lethal Love by William Patrick Hackett

By G. Robert Frazier

A native of New York City, William Patrick Hackett took an unusual path to that of a novelist.

He attended St. Ann’s Academy high school before graduating from the City College of New York prior to a career in advertising as a copywriter, creative director, and CEO. Since then he’s published three books, The Satanic Gospel, A Dark Time, and his latest, LETHAL LOVE, a contemporary thriller from Solstice Publishing.

Certainly not the usual path most novelists take, but hey, if it works…

“I made the transition by working as a freelancer for income while I started writing novels and screenplays,” Hackett says. “I also became a cautious investor in equities.”

As for any formal training, he admits there really hasn’t been any.

“Initially, I did a lot of medical writing that gave me somewhat of a clinical style I’m still trying to shake loose. Other than being an English lit major at CCNY (City College of New York), I have just been involved in all kinds of communications—mostly non-literary,” he says.
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Follow the Dead by Lin Anderson

On holiday in the Scottish Highlands, forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod joins a mountain rescue team on Cairngorm summit, where a mysterious plane has crash-landed on the frozen Loch A’an. Added to that, a nearby climbing expedition has left three young people dead, with a fourth still missing.

Meanwhile, in Glasgow, DS McNab’s raid on the Delta Club produces far more than just a massive haul of cocaine. Questioning one of the underage girls found partying with the city’s elite reveals she was smuggled into Scotland via Norway, and it seems the crashed plane in the Cairngorms may be linked to the club. But before McNab can discover more, the girl is abducted.

Joined by Norwegian detective Alvis Olsen, who harbors disturbing theories about how the two cases are connected with his homeland, Rhona searches for the missing link. What she uncovers is a dark underworld populated by ruthless people willing to do anything to ensure the investigation dies in the frozen wasteland of the Cairngorms…

Author Lin Anderson spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel, FOLLOW THE DEAD:
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Trace Evidence by Diane Capri

By Renee James

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Diane Capri released TRACE EVIDENCE, the second book in her Heir Hunter series in August, even as the first title in the series, Blood Trails, was achieving finalist status in the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards.

TRACE EVIDENCE finds heir hunter Michael Flint, a man who combines expertise in genealogy and clandestine operations, on the trail of an heir who is also being pursued by two relentless killers. Along the way, he uncovers new clues to a different case, a cold case that has haunted him all his life.

Diane Capri is one of the thriller genre’s most prolific authors. Jack the Reaper, the next book in her wildly popular Hunt for Jack Reacher series, will be released September 26. In all, Diane has authored five thriller series since her debut in 2011.

TRACE EVIDENCE follows the exploits of Michael Flint, a man who specializes in finding heirs. Where did this idea come from, and what do you like about featuring an heir finder? 

Every story grows from backstory. What I love about the Heir Hunter concept is the ability to write stories set in the present with a simultaneously unfolding history. Michael Flint is the heir hunter of last resort. When he comes to the case, everyone else has already failed. But he’s new to the situation, while the other characters know the past. And so many people are interested in ancestry these days, I hope readers will find Flint’s job as fascinating as I do.
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The Embalmer by Vincent Zandri

“The Embalmer is dying to meet you…”

From New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Overall No. 1 Bestselling Thriller and Shamus Award winning author Vincent Zandri comes a brand new private detective series that combines wry humor with some serious hard-boiled action, adventure, and romance. For fans of Don Winslow, Charlie Huston, Vince Gilligan and cable TV series like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

You might think that a guy with the name of Steve Jobz would be one lucky man. That he’d be rich and have the world at his fingertips. But instead, Jobz is barely making ends meet at the New York State Department of Unemployment Insurance Fraud. A former cop who was forced to retire early after shooting a young man of color during a convenience store holdup, Jobz has since resigned himself to wasting away his days in a four-by-four cubicle inside an office space that’s more boring than watching the paint dry.

When his overbearing boss calls him in on a job that the Albany Police Department is heading up, Jobz has a chance to get out of the office for a while. But what he doesn’t realize is that he’s about to come face to face with a serial killer who embalms his victims alive. What he is also about to face down is his own worst nightmare come true when that serial killer turns out not to be a stranger.

Author Vincent Zandri took some time out of his busy writing schedule to discuss his latest release, THE EMBALMER, with The Big Thrill:
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Bad Apple by Barry W. Ozeroff

By Wendy Tyson

In his new release, BAD APPLE, author Barry Ozeroff skillfully combines action, suspense, and complex characters to create a tightly-written, fast-paced police thriller—with a thought-provoking twist. The talented author of four published novels, Ozeroff recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest release, his own exciting career in law enforcement, and his advice for aspiring crime authors.

Congratulations on the recent release of BAD APPLE. No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

There are really two stories being told in BAD APPLE: the current story of DJ Appleby’s fall from grace and flight from justice, and the heartbreaking backstory of his childhood, which explains exactly why he is the way he is. I intentionally blurred the lines between good guy and bad guy in order to create either a bad guy you hate to love, or a good guy you love to hate, depending on your point of view.
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Fatal Forgeries by Ritter Ames

By Myles Knapp

FATAL FORGERIES is the fourth installment in the Bodies of Art mystery series by USA Today bestselling author Ritter Ames.

In this new release, art recovery expert Laurel Beacham steals stolen art and returns it to the rightful owners—and Ames wastes no time getting into the ation. The first scene is an anxiety fueled mash-up complete with a sexy blonde (Laurel), Lycra cat suit, dimly lit quarter moon night, crossbow, five-hundred-year-old-golden-stone balustrade, night-vision goggles, rappelling, a single isolated gun shot, human security patrols, and dangerous security dogs.

FATAL FORGERIES is about art recovery—but it’s about much more than risking your life to return stolen property. It’s about the challenges and joys of being a team member. It’s also about the anxiety of being a team leader in a world where there is never enough accurate intel and where no good theft goes unpunished. The tension ratchets up when Laurel’s personal and professional worlds collide. Her overtaxed team is divided, but must set aside their differences and perform at peak capacity—or they could become the next fatalities.

Thanks to The Big Thrill, I had the opportunity to ask Ames questions I’m sure both writers and readers will find enlightening.
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The Art of Fear by Pamela Crane

By Cathy Perkins

Award-winning author, Pamela Crane, juggles four kids, a book-editing career, rescuing horses, and a writing addiction. With that chaotic combination, she lives and writes on the edge. Her latest novel, THE ART OF FEAR, has been termed, “An intricate literary thriller that will twist your brain and leave you breathless.”

Ari Wilburn’s life ended long ago—the day she let her little sister die in a tragic accident. Crippled with self-blame and resented by her parents, Ari stumbles through life…and into an unlikely clue that casts doubt on whether the death was accidental. A psychological wreck, Ari joins a suicide support group where she meets Tina, a woman who escaped from the sex-trade—and has her own inner demons. Suspecting foul play in her father’s death, Tina drags Ari into a dangerous game with the killer. Faced with a murderous wake-up call, and desperate to salve her conscience, Ari’s investigation fuels the killer’s desire to see her dead.

THE ART OF FEAR delves deeply into the psyche of the characters. I caught up with Ms. Crane and dug for the motivation behind her compulsion to dissect the characters and bring them—especially her villains—to life. “I grew up a wallflower,” Crane says. “A shy girl who spent more time people watching than talking.” In observing others, she became fascinated with what makes people choose certain behaviors. “What makes people from similar backgrounds grow up with such severe differences in how they think? A child predator, for example. While the rest of the world groans and grimaces at what he finds appealing, somewhere along the line his urges became ‘normal’ for him. It’s those types of psychological influences that intrigue me, because behind every villain is a human.”
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Unquiet Ghosts by Glenn Meade

Eight years ago, Kathy Kely’s husband and two children were killed in a plane crash. She has struggled to rebuild her life, but then wreckage of his plane is found in the wilderness of Great Smoky Mountain National Park—hundreds of miles from where it should have been. Evidence suggests that her family survived, but there is no sign of her husband, Jack or the children. Where have they been all this time? Why did they disappear?

As Kathy searches for any clue, the FBI investigation uncovers some unsettling evidence—and she soon learns that others have been looking for the wreckage and its occupants for a long time. Others who are determined to make sure she never finds her family and that they remain dead. Shadowy, powerful people who will kill for a secret her husband was the keeper of.

A secret so powerful it will open a Pandora’s box of bloody revenge—one that reaches back into the past and into the highest echelons of wealth and power, all the way to the White House.

The Big Thrill was lucky to catch author Glenn Meade this month, to discuss his latest thriller, UNQUIET GHOSTS:
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