Historical Thrillers

Louise’s War by Sarah R. Shaber

By Ethan Cross

Sarah Shaber is an award winning novelist described as having a “historian’s eye for the telling detail” and the ability to “capture the essence of Washington in 1942 with its paranoia, its secrecy, and its potential to let women reinvent themselves at a volatile time.”

In her new novel, Louise’s War, a young widow named Louise Pearlie has come to Washington DC to work for the legendary Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA. When she discovers a document concerning the husband of her college friend Rachel Bloch-a young French Jewish woman she is desperately worried about-Louise realizes she may be able to help Rachel escape from Vichy France. But then a colleague whose help Louise has enlisted is murdered, and she realizes she is on her own, unable to trust anyone.
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The Vault by Boyd Morrison

by George Ebey

Boyd Morrison’s previous book, The Ark, featured former army combat engineer, Tyler Locke, and his quest to unearth the mystery behind the legendary Noah’s Ark.  Now Boyd is back with his exciting new follow up, The Vault.

This time around, Tyler Locke’s routine commute on a Washington State ferry is interrupted by a chilling anonymous call claiming that his father has been kidnapped and that a truck bomb is set to detonate on board in twenty minutes. When Tyler reaches the bomb on the boat’s car deck, he is stunned to find classical languages expert, Stacy Benedict, waiting for him. She has received the same threat and her sister has also been taken. In order to disarm the bomb, they must work together to solve an engineering puzzle—a puzzle written in ancient Greek. Preventing the explosion is only the first step. They soon learn the entire setup is a test created by a ruthless criminal who forces them to go on a seemingly impossible mission: uncover the legendary lost riches of King Midas.
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A Game of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell

By Diane Holmes

Rebecca Cantrell is the kind of historical, thriller author you discover with a rush of admiration, awe, and a devilish delight.  You feel lucky, as you sneak away to read, because she writes the kind of atmospheric, original, unexpected tale that takes an expert hand, and boy, does she have it.

This juicy thriller is set in the world of 1936 Berlin Olympics, Nazis, and hidden propaganda.  Series character, Journalist and part-time British spy Hannah Vogel is back posing as travel reporter Adelheid Zinsli and lover of SS officer Lars Lang.  Hannah has been collecting Nazi secrets from Lang and smuggling them back to Switzerland. Wanted by the SS, her travel in and out of Germany has always been fraught with danger, but this trip is especially treacherous as she reports on the Olympic Games (in both her roles).

Hannah agrees to meet her mentor, Peter Weill, at the Stadium, but before he can reveal information that will expose the Nazis, he dies in front of her. She must discover who killed Weill and get his secret package out of the country before the Olympics end and the Nazis tighten their noose…and before her true identity is revealed. And her partner may be the very one about to expose her…
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The Traitor’s Emblem by Juan Gomez-Jurado

by Andrew Zack

In the publishing business, we often talk about the value of subsidiary rights when selling or acquiring rights to publish a book.  Yet many authors are relatively ignorant of what exactly subsidiary rights are.  In a nutshell, they are the right to publish the book in other countries, as well as in Audio, Large Print, Book-Club editions, etc.  As well as the big ones like film and television.  Of these rights, translation rights can be among the most valuable and publishers often negotiate hard to get those rights, especially if they think the book will “travel.”

Many thrillers written by American authors are deemed too “American” for the foreign markets.  Imagine a novel about a militia in Michigan, for example.  While it might be a great thriller, will it appeal in France, Germany, Italy, and the UK?  I think not.

Hence, the pool of “international” thriller writers is smaller than one might imagine, which makes the success of Spanish writer Juan Gómez-Jurado all that much more impressive.  Published in over forty countries, he is the author of three acclaimed novels, GOD’S SPY, THE MOSES EXPEDITION, and the forthcoming THE TRAITOR’S EMBLEM (Atria Books; $24.99; July 19, 2011).
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The Breath of God by Jeffrey Small

A murder at the Taj Mahal. A kidnapping in a sacred city. A desperate chase through a cliffside monastery. All in the pursuit of a legend that could link the world’s great religious faiths.
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The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry

by Sandra Parshall

Steve Berry became, in his own words, “an expert on rejection” during the years he spent learning his craft and trying to get published, but since the publication of his first thriller, The Amber Room, his career has never faltered. After three stand-alone thrillers that sold well, he introduced his series character, Cotton Malone, an antiquarian book dealer whose former life in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps and the Justice Department keeps drawing him back into dangerous investigations in exotic locales. The Jefferson Key brings Malone home to the U.S. to uncover a diabolical plot that has changed the course of history more than once.
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The Gallows Curse by Karen Maitland

by Tracy March

Karen Maitland’s latest medieval thriller, The Gallows Curse, highlights a perilous time of political and religious turmoil rife with mischief and murder. The U.K.’s Metro calls The Gallows Curse “a wildly atmospheric and wonderfully gruesome adventure.”

The year is 1210. A vengeful King John has seized control of the Church, leaving corpses unburied and the people terrified of dying in sin. In Gastmere, Norfolk, the death of the Lord of the Manor devastates the village when his loyal friend devises an unusual means of cleansing sin from the soul of his master. He uses a young servant girl who becomes the unknowing focus for decades of hatred. She makes a decision that puts her life in danger, and all the lives of those around her.
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The Curse-Maker by Kelli Stanley

By Jeff Ayers

Winner of the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award as best historical mystery of the year in 2008 for NOX DORMIENDA, Kelli Stanley has not slowed down or rested on her laurels.  She started a new series set in 1940’s San Francisco featuring PI Miranda Corbie, and now the follow up to NOX is out, titled THE CURSE MAKER.  She writes as if she has access to a time machine and her insight into history puts her near the top of the historical genre.
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The Irish Princess by Karen Harper

By Tracy March

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Harper’s latest historical thriller, The Irish Princess, twines an adventurous young woman’s quest for revenge with her longing for forbidden love. Publisher’s Weekly says, “Harper is in fine form, using strong-willed Irish noblewoman, Elizabeth (Gera) Fitzgerald, to explore the court of the aging Henry VIII and the brutal political struggles of the time.”

In The Irish Princess, Gera’s family, ‘the uncrowned kings of Ireland,’ are devastated by the orders of King Henry VIII—most imprisoned or executed. Vowing revenge, Gera works her way into the Tudor court and plans to kill the king, but she did not plan on falling in love with one of the king’s men, the Lord High Admiral of England. Nor did she expect to meet her match in the wily Princess Elizabeth Tudor of England.
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For A Roman’s Heart by Denise A. Agnew

Br Tracy March

Romantic Times Book Reviews calls Denise A. Agnew’s romantic suspense novels top-notch, and she has received their coveted Top Pick rating. Her latest historical thriller, For a Roman’s Heart, immerses readers in the turmoil of Britannia in 167AD—a brutal era where a woman uses her wits to survive, and a hardened Roman soldier finds his scarred soul vulnerable to a woman’s strength.
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The Emperor’s Tomb by Steve Berry

In The Emperor’s Tomb, New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry’s newest, the tomb of China’s First Emperor, guarded by an underground army of terra-cotta warriors, has remained sealed for more than 2,000 years. Though it’s regarded as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, the Chinese government won’t allow anyone to open it. Why?

That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone, whose life is shattered when he receives an anonymous note carrying an unfamiliar Web address. Logging on, he sees Cassiopeia Vitt, a woman who’s saved his life more than once, being tortured at the hands of a mysterious man who has a single demand: Bring me the artifact she’s asked you to keep safe. The only problem is, Malone doesn’t have a clue what the man is talking about, since Cassiopeia has left nothing with him. So begins Malone’s most harrowing adventure to date—one that offers up astounding historical revelations, pits him against a ruthless ancient brotherhood, and sends him from Denmark to Belgium to Vietnam then on to China, a vast and mysterious land where danger lurks at every turn.
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Narrows Gate by Jim Fusilli

By Aaron Brown

With his new novel, Narrows Gate, author Jim Fusilli has blazed a path that may open up a bold new outlet for writers to share their stories.  He’s done so by becoming the first writer to sell a book to Audible (a large audiobook publisher and distributor) without the book first appearing in print.  And it’s fitting that the book treading this new ground is one described as “outstanding in every way” and “a big, broad-shouldered novel, equal parts Ellroy, Puzo and Scorsese.”
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The Insane Train by Sheldon Russell

While researching headlines at the historical society, award-winning author Sheldon Russell discovered all the elements for a mystery. In the early 1900s, an Oklahoma mental institution burned to the ground, killing several patients. Having nowhere else to go, the survivors were moved by train to a former military post that had been given to the state. The Insane Train (St. Martin’s Minotaur), the second installment in the Hook Runyon mystery series, launches Nov. 9, 2010.
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Blood Prophecy by Stefan Petrucha

By L. Dean Murphy

In Blood Prophecy, by Stefan Petrucha, sixteenth Century Puritan farmer Jeremiah Fall is turned into a vampire-like creature when his father disturbs a burial mound. Fall wants to destroy himself, but his grandfather convinces him his mind can be his salvation. He endeavors to find a way to return to being human. Legend of a cure takes him to Napoleon-occupied Egypt. There he uncovers an ancient obsidian stone that could be a cure for himself—or final curse for mankind.
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Baker Street Irregular by Jon Lellenberg

By Michael Parker

I caught up with Jon Lellenberg one Sunday morning. He was about to enjoy an autumnal day in Chicago, while I was coming to the end of an autumnal day on the Mediterranean coast in Spain; thousands of miles apart, but sharing the same season. What we also shared was a discerning chat about Jon’s writing, his interests and just a tiny bit about his family. The reason I called Jon was to talk about his first thriller, BAKER STREET IRREGULAR.  
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The Templar Salvation by Raymond Khoury

the-templar-salvation.jpgBy Aaron Brown

The first pairing of FBI Agent Sean Reilly and archaeologist Tess Chaykin in Raymond Khoury’s The Last Templar spent 11 weeks on the hardcover New York Times Bestseller list and was a Number 1 bestseller overseas.  It has been translated into thirty-eight languages, published in over forty countries, and became the basis for a television mini-series.
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The Gentleman Poet by Kathryn Johnson

By Selena Robinsthe-gentleman-poet.JPG

The Gentleman Poet: A Novel of Love, Danger, and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” by multi-published author Kathryn Johnson has garnered rave reviews:

“The Gentleman Poet is the best kind of historical novel–well researched, beautifully written, and wildly entertaining.” Daniel Stashower, Author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl
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Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

fall-of-giants.JPGIn Thrillermaster Ken Follett’s highly anticipated new novel, Fall of Giants, thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man’s world in the Welsh mining pits…Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House…two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution…
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The De Valera Deception by Michael and Patrick McMenamin

By Keith Raffel

the-devalera-deception.jpgdebut-author.jpgRecently, I sat down with the father and son writing team of Michael and Patrick McMenamin to talk about their debut novel, The De Valera Deception.

How did you come up with the idea of The De Valera Deception?

MICHAEL: I’m a Winston Churchill biographer and scholar, and I’ve always had an interest in Irish history as well. Patrick is a Phi Beta Kappa history major who specialized in 19th and 20th century European history, so we both have an interest in the period where our thrillers occur.
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The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby

by Gary Corby

pericles-commission.jpgdebut-author.jpgBack in 461BC, in a city called Athens, the people decided that they could do a better job of running things than any group of privileged wealthy.  So they started a system where everyone got a vote.  It was the world’s first democracy, and at that moment, western civilization began.
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The Detroit Electric Scheme by D.E. Johnson

By Brett King

the-detroit-electric-scheme.JPGdebut-author.jpgCompelling from the beginning, D. E. Johnson opens his debut novel with the discovery of a grisly homicide.  Will Anderson, the protagonist of The Detroit Electric Scheme is a man haunted with a dark and vivid past who manages a department in his father’s electric car company.
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The Last Free Men by Jack Everett & David Coles

By Don Helinthe-last-free-men.JPG

Jack Everett and David Coles would like to dedicate their novel, The Last Free Men, to the last men who offered resistance to the might of Rome in ancient Scotland during the second century.  In their historical thriller, the hero is half-Roman, half-Briton, and used as a spy by the Romans.  He is wrongly accused of murder.  Escaping from a lead mine, he is aided by Druids to reach Scotland.  Here he plots to bring about the destruction of the Roman legions.
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The Scorpion’s Bite by Aileen G. Baron

the-scorpians-bite.jpgIn Aileen G. Baron’s The Scorpion’s Bite, it is 1943 and the world is at war. Archaeologist Lily Sampson has been sent to Trans-Jordan, to do an archaeological survey for the OSS, along with Gideon Weil, the famous director of the American School of Archeology in Jerusalem, in the beautiful, silent, Trans-Jordanian desert where the indelible presence of Lawrence of Arabia still lingers.
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The Moses Expedition by Juan Gómez-Jurado

the-moses-expedition.jpgBy J. H. Bográn

The Ten Commandments, even if not accepted as God’s word by some people, are still accepted as general guidelines for decent behavior in any society. Always one of the Sunday school favorites: Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with the Decalogue tablets, then destroying them upon finding the people of Israel worshipping a Golden Calf. The remains were gathered inside what is known as The Ark of the Covenant, since lost in the realms of History.
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People of the Longhouse by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear

people-of-the-longhouse.JPGby L. Dean Murphy

With their forty-eighth novel, titled People of the LonghouseKathleen and Michael Gear introduce the new “Iroquois series,” following New York Times bestselling People of the Thunder, of which Booklist said the “bestselling authors continue their superbly researched and rendered North America’s Forgotten Past series.” Morning River was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and the National Book Award. Michael and Kathleen are currently writing another prehistory novel set at Moundville, Alabama in the 1300s.
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The Pharos Objective by David Sakmyster

the-pharos-objective.jpgBy Aaron Brown

In 1979, a scientific study tested whether psychics could actually “remote-view” the location of Cleopatra’s lost palace.  Amazingly, they succeeded.

Inspired by this incredible true story, David Sakmyster created The Morpheus Initiative, an exciting new team of psychic archaeologists who seek out the world’s most enduring historical mysteries and mystical artifacts.  The first book in a new series, The Pharos Objective, has the team pursuing the fabled treasure of Alexander the Great beneath the ruins of the Pharos Lighthouse, while contending with diabolical traps and an ancient society called “The Keepers”.
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The Oath by Michael Jecks

the-oath.JPGIn Michael Jecks’s The Oath, it’s 1306, and King Edward II is forced to flee London when his own wife lands with an army to oust him. He must run to Wales to escape her clutches, but as he goes, his kingdom falls apart, riven by fear of civil war. And when a squire is found murdered, his shocking story gradually comes to light. It is a dangerous time for Sir Baldwin de Furnshill to try to seek the murderer, and he must tread a dangerous path between King and Queen to uncover the killer.
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