Blackchurch is not the sort of place where folks are inclined to be up in each other’s business, and strange house guests at a neighbor’s pad are not likely to be noticed, let alone remarked upon. So on a day in early October, when two beat-up-looking crackers, a pregnant teenage whore, and a small, androgynous Japanese woman in a large-brimmed sombrero, sunglasses, and wrapped in a patchwork down comforter came to call on D’antre Philips with heads full of prophetic visions and tales of the apocalypse already in progress, nary an eye was blinked. When the end times do come to Blackchurch, it’ll be a day like any other day. And the next day will be too.
BLACKCHURCH FURNACE is a scathing satire of faith, family, and all that we hold dear, where the only thing you can believe in are the voices in your own head…and they are every bit as crazy as you are.
The Big Thrill recently caught up with author Nathan Singer to discuss his latest novel, BLACKCHURCH FURNACE:
By E.M. Powell
Every good thriller needs an intriguing protagonist. So it is with Dominic, the titular hero of Mark Pryor’s latest release. Dominic is a prosecutor, a musician, and an Englishman living in Texas. But banish any thoughts of an upright crime fighter, for Dominic is also a psychopath—and one that got away with murder in his first outing in Hollow Man. In DOMINIC, a smart homicide detective starts digging up that past murder, leaving Dominic no option but to come up with a carefully-orchestrated plan that has deadly consequences.
The result is an intriguing psychological thriller, with many twists, turns, and blind alleys to keep the reader guessing right to the very end. And despite Dominic’s psychopathy, the reader ultimately roots for him and wants him to succeed.
Pryor admits that creating an anti-hero was quite a challenge, especially since he ensured that the protagonist of his mystery series, Hugo Marston, is very much in the likeable category. But Pryor also admits that writing Dominic was so much fun. “I could really drop the shackles, as it were,” he says. “I knew from the get-go that Dominic wasn’t going to be likeable, so I had to find other ways for the reader to stay engaged with him. My focus, then, was making him interesting. Making him relatable, too, so the reader has empathy for what he’s going through. I hope, too, that there’s a certain amount of admiration for him—not his moral compass, of course, but his sense of humor and his intelligence.”
A lot of research was needed to really get under the skin of a psychopath and to make Dominic’s behavior credible. Pryor found a wealth of fascinating written material and he spent time talking with a psychologist whose job is diagnosing psychopaths. He also consulted with a female author who has written a book about being a sociopath. “For the record,” he adds, “I’ve learned that there’s essentially no difference between the two.”
Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seems perfect.
Katie quickly gets to work in building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn’t remember writing it.
When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town’s history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it’s too late.
National bestselling author Dawn Eastman spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel, UNNATURAL CAUSES:
Jack Pellum has spent two years searching for the man who he believes murdered his wife — a man he last saw wearing a peacoat and a fedora. Then a local writer commits suicide, and he leaves a bewildering message that may be the first breadcrumb in a winding trail of unsolved murders: There’s a killer, and he wears a crooked hat.
Michael Underhill’s life is finally coming together. He has a sweet and beautiful girlfriend, and together they’re building their future home. The problem is, Underhill has a past that’s shrouded in darkness, and it’s coming back to haunt him.
These two men are inexorably drawn together in a mystery where nothing can be taken for granted. Filled with devious reversals and razor-sharp tension, THE MAN IN THE CROOKED HAT is a masterwork from “one of America’s best new crime writers” (Lansing State Journal).
The Big Thrill recently caught up with Harry Dolan to discuss his latest mystery, THE MAN IN THE CROOKED HAT:
Among the Irish Travellers living in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, no one forgets and no one forgives. And as former Marine MP Brynn Callahan finds out when she returns home, it’s hard to bury the past when bodies keep turning up . . .
After an IED explosion abruptly ends her tour of duty, Brynn arrives stateside with PTSD and her canine partner, Wilco—both of them bearing the scars of battle. With a mix of affection, curiosity, and misgivings, she goes back to Bone Gap, Tennessee, and the insular culture she’d hoped to escape by enlisting in the Marine Corps.
Marginalized and wary of outsiders, the Irish Travellers keep to themselves in a secluded mountain community, maintaining an uneasy coexistence with the “settled” townspeople of McCreary. When Wilco’s training as a cadaver dog leads Brynn to discover a body in the woods, the two worlds collide. Soon it’s clear that Brynn and Wilco are in danger—and they’re not the only ones.
After the police identify the dead woman, Brynn is shocked to learn she has a personal connection—and everything she’s been told about her past is called into question.
Forming a reluctant alliance with local sheriff Frank Pusser, Brynn must dig up secrets that not only will rattle her close-knit clan to its core, but may forever change her perception of who she is . . . and put her back in the line of fire.
Bestselling author Susan Furlong sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest novel, SPLINTERED SILENCE:
When Lewis Wilkins, a physician with a vacation home in Jarrett Creek, is attacked by vicious dogs, and several pet dogs in the area around Jarrett Creek disappear, Police Chief Samuel Craddock suspects that a dog fighting ring is operating in his territory. He has to tread carefully in his investigation, since lawmen who meddle in dog fighting put their lives at risk. The investigation is hampered because Wilkins is not a local.
Craddock’s focus on the investigation is thrown off by the appearance of a new woman in his life, as well as his accidental acquisition of a puppy.
Digging deeper, Craddock discovers that the public face Wilkins presented was at odds with his private actions. A terrible mistake led to his disgrace as a physician, and, far from being a stranger, he has ongoing acquaintances with a number of county residents who play fast and loose with the law.
The Big Thrill caught up to Terry Shames to discuss the latest installment in her Samuel Craddock mystery series, A RECKONING IN THE BACK COUNTRY:
Cait Pepper, owner of the Bening Estate vineyards, and navy SEAL Royal Tanner return to help friends who recently acquired a vineyard in Livermore, California. Sadie, an Amish girl, and her husband, Danny Lord, are excited about their new adventure of owning their own vineyard until agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency knock on their door. When Danny bought the property, he neglected to check the previous owners’ background and didn’t know about their drug connections. Desperate to save her friends from danger and embarrassment, Cait is torn between helping the Lords or the actors in her Shakespeare Festival. Will Cait’s cop skills be enough to save the Lords from the drug dealer—and the DEA—while avoiding another tragedy that could put her Shakespeare Festival in peril?
The Big Thrill caught up to author Carole Price to discuss her latest novel, VINEYARD PREY:
After proving his innocence as a murder suspect, taking down an assassin, and being an instrumental part in solving a high profile murder, Calvin Watters believes he can finally move on—until Ace Sanders’ prison escape catapults him into action.
Something has always bothered Detective Dale Dayton about the arrest of Ace Sanders. Call it police intuition, but his inner ‘cop alarm’ keeps twitching. When Dale reopens the case, he’s introduced to new evidence that leads him into a political nightmare.
While Calvin tracks Sanders across continents and into unknown, unfriendly surroundings, Dale remains in Vegas to uncover the truth behind police corruption, prison escapes, and hired assassins. But Calvin and Dale must be vigilant, because there’s a deadly new player in town.
International bestselling author Luke Murphy spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel, WILD CARD:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope that they are entertained, and satisfied that questions they still had from book one are revealed in WILD CARD.
A blond-haired, blue-eyed teenager from a prominent family vanishes after teaching English to a group of immigrants. Suspicion soon falls on the men she was tutoring, inflaming tensions in the close-knit, picturesque community of Lake Holly, NY. For Detective Jimmy Vega, more is at stake than just keeping the peace. His girlfriend, Adele, heads the community center where the girl was last seen.
When a risky surrender goes awry, Vega gets tossed into a grunt detail that hides a political minefield: a person who will stop at nothing to cleave the town in two. He can’t imagine a worse turn of events—until he uncovers even darker forces at play. And no matter which way he turns, every step could cost him his job, his town, his family—even his life.
Award-winning author Suzanne Chazin stopped by The Big Thrill to discuss her upcoming novel, A PLACE IN THE WIND:
When a long-hidden safe unlocks clues about why his father was kicked off the police force twenty-seven years ago and then spiraled into an early drunken death, Rick scratches to find the truth even if it proves the one thing he’s always feared.
But as he grapples with his father’s past, the woman he’ll always love begs him to find out if her husband is having an affair, or is involved in something much more sinister.
Rick may never discover either truth as killers who will do anything to protect their secrets lurk in the shadows.
Author Matt Coyle met with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest mystery, BLOOD TRUTH:
Bliss needs to rethink her “anything for a buck” approach to life. Lockport’s mayor from hell has her scouting the back roads on her motorcycle, searching for abandoned cemeteries. Her mission: locate, evaluate, and report. Easy money. First day out, she falls into a grave and lands on a pile of bones. Shock turns to outrage when she realizes the skull is missing.
She expects her boyfriend, Police Chief Neil Redfern, to throw everything he has at the crime, but Neil is in the middle of a serious investigation and can’t spare the resources. In his job, missing firearms trumps the desecration of a century-old burial. Bliss won’t accept this decision, and their relationship founders when she senses he’s also keeping personal secrets from her.
Despite Neil’s insistence she leave police work to him, Bliss continues her quest to find the graverobber. She discovers more headless skeletons in the far reaches of the township and stumbles across a dying man poisoned by Jimsonweed.
Not until she narrowly escapes death by the same toxin does Neil concede there may be a link between the gun thefts and the violated graves. On Midsummer’s Eve, Bliss faces their adversary alone. Will Neil find her in time? Or will she join the ranks of the long-dead she has so fiercely championed?
By Wendy Tyson
Mark Bacon’s second novel in his popular Nostalgia City mystery series, DESERT KILL SWITCH, takes readers back to the Arizona retro theme park, Nostalgia City—only this time former cop Lyle Deming is in a race to clear the name of his almost-girlfriend Kate Sorensen when she’s accused of murder.
Bacon recently took time out of his schedule to sit down with The Big Thrill and talk about the inspiration behind his new release.
Congratulations on the recent release of DESERT KILL SWITCH. The first book in the Nostalgia City mystery series, Death in Nostalgia City, introduced readers to ex-cop turned cab driver, Lyle Deming. What elements from Lyle’s past have made him the man he is today?
Lyle actually has a reasonably happy life, but one he can’t always fully enjoy due to his anxiety disorder. Hard to tell whether the anxiety was the cause or effect of things that befell him.
As a child, he was constantly in the shadow of his much older brother, and Lyle received the majority of the parental criticism his overbearing father dished out. As a young child, he soaked up much of his brother’s focus on rock ’n’ roll and hot cars, and thus his interests were different from other kids his age.
Los Angeles, 1908: In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles, police matron Anna Blanc and her former boyfriend, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover, who has fled. If news gets out that a white woman was murdered in Chinatown, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese, so Joe and Anna plan to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret. Meanwhile, the Hop Sing tong has kidnapped two slave girls from the Bing Kong tong, fueling existing tensions, threatening a bloody tong war that would put all Chinatown residents in danger. Joe orders Anna out of Chinatown to keep her safe, but to atone for her own family’s sins, Anna must stay to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes.
Author Jennifer Kincheloe spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK:
FBI Special Agent Drew Cady is reluctantly drawn into investigating the assassination of a sitting United States senator. Strangely, the senator’s death is linked to a murdered Baltimore junkie with an identical M.O. – a single stab wound to the heart and a typed eulogy left at the scene.
As Agent Cady deals with a professional hit man known only as the Canadian, a breakthrough Alzheimer’s drug, a misanthropic hacker, and a Mexican drug cartel, he peels back the layers of deceit and comes to realize that even the reddest of red herrings can bite. And unfortunately for all involved, the killings have just begun.
THE EULOGIST author, Jeffrey B. Burton, recently met with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest novel:
For PI Eddie Collins, the moment Carla Rizzoli sashays into his office casts him deliciously into a scene from a classic noir. Only this femme fatale is a sweet ghost from his past, a time when he made his living exclusively as an actor. Then she was a full-time actress too, and they’d dated briefly before an old flame came back into her life. Now she’s known as Velvet La Rose and making a steady living as an exotic dancer at the Feline Follies. She needs Eddie’s services to find her missing brother Frankie Rizzoli, who sent her a cryptic message warning her to watch her back.
Eddie falls hard for Carla, who hasn’t given up on acting. In fact, she’s about to start work on a B-movie, Festival of Death. Now motivated by more than a paycheck, Eddie searches for Frankie, last seen hiding out among the homeless. Frankie was once a member of the military police, and an old photo identifies an old army buddy, James Curran, who starts to cross paths with both Eddie and Carla with increasing frequency.
What is Frankie mixed up in and why doesn’t he want to be found? How does James Curran figure in? As Eddie questions the residents of Skid Row and works undercover as an extra in Festival of Death, he searches in vain for the links between Frankie and James and Carla. He needs answers soon, or Carla may slip through his fingers again, this time into oblivion.
The Big Thrill recently caught up with author Clive Rosengren to discuss the third installment of the Eddie Collins Mystery series, VELVET ON A TUESDAY AFTERNOON:
In DOWN TO NO GOOD, the sequel to Down Solo, PI Charlie Miner, freshly revived from his own murder, gets a call from Homicide Detective Dave Putnam. Self-styled “psychic to the stars” Tamara Gale has given crucial information about three murders, and the brass thinks it makes the Department look bad. Dave wants Charlie to help figure out the angle, since he has first-hand experience with the inexplicable. Trouble is, Charlie, just weeks after his full-death experience, once again has severe cognitive problems and may get them both killed.
DOWN TO NO GOOD author, Earl Javorsky, spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel:
Reeling from her recent divorce, Kate Fox has just been sworn in as Grand County, Nebraska Sheriff when tragedy strikes. A railroad accident has left engineer Chad Mills dead, his conductor Bobby Jenkins in shock. Kate soon realizes that the accident was likely murder.
Who would want to kill Chad Mills? Kate finds that he made a few enemies as president of the railroad workers union. Meanwhile his widow is behaving oddly. And why was his neighbor Josh Stevens at the Mills house on the night of the accident?
While her loud and meddling family conspires to help Kate past her divorce, State Patrol Officer Trey closes in on Josh Stevens as the suspect. Kate doesn’t believe it. She may not have the experience, but she’s lived in the Sandhills her whole life, and knows the land and the people. Something doesn’t add up—and Kate must find the real killer before he can strike again.
The Big Thrill caught up with Shannon Baker to discuss her latest novel, DARK SIGNAL:
Reeling from family betrayal and tragedy, Gabe McKenna charts a new course as historical consultant on a motion picture filming in New Mexico. Before you can say “Action!” he is entangled in a web of illusion and deceit, where death plays a starring role. With the help of The Onion, a private investigator and long-time friend from New York, Gabe peels away layer after layer of dishonesty, battles brutal drug cartels, is accused of murder, and must unmask a mysterious, seductive woman to reveal the truth in a world full of lies.
The Big Thrill caught up with author Robert D. Kidera to discuss his latest novel, CUT. PRINT. KILL.:
Down in Key West, Sherri Travis and her best friend Marley are looking for a little fun in the sun. Promising to be back for last call, Marley leaves the Rawhide Saloon with an Elvis impersonator. She doesn’t return. With Hurricane Alma turning toward Key West, and the police saying Marley must be missing for seventy-two hours before they start searching, Sherri and Lexi Divine, a six-foot tall drag queen, hunt for Marley amidst the chaos of the evacuation.
LAST CALL author Phyllis Smallman spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I want readers to understand how someone can drown in their own home. In LAST CALL I was writing my worst fears, which makes a great basis for a thriller. We owned a home on the west coast of Florida for two decades. When hurricane insurance became too expensive, we dropped the coverage. From May until November we worried.
A smartly dressed man has been found unconscious at the local racecourse and is rushed to the hospital, where he subsequently dies. But who is he? Where does he come from? He had no form of identification on him, and no one claims the body.
Doctor Chris Rankin, a specialist who treated the deceased–and who struggles with mental health issues–is intrigued by the nameless dead man, obsessed even, and starts asking questions. However, someone doesn’t want the questions answered and will go to any lengths to prevent it, including an attempted murder. But when no one will believe that someone tried to kill Chris, the doctor is left with no option but to discover who the nameless man was and why he died . . . preferably before following him into an early grave.
New York Times bestselling author Felix Francis spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel, PULSE:
In the midst of an internal investigation, the police department is thrown into chaos when Captain Frank Morelli is gunned down on his own front lawn. Detective Jane Harper suspects that someone is tying up loose ends—a conviction that only grows stronger when she witnesses the execution of another officer in broad daylight. With no one else to turn to, Jane seeks the help of psychic Ida Lane.
Ida thought she’d finally found peace after the death of the man who murdered her mother. But as the town emerges from the shadow cast by that serial killer, they discover that there is more than one monster hiding in the darkness. Desperate to lay her ghosts to rest, Ida puts her extraordinary skills to the test. Together, she and Jane must uncover the truth…or be permanently silenced like the rest.
The Big Thrill caught up with bestselling author Tony Healey to discuss his latest book, STORM’S EDGE:
By Don Helin
A fabled illusion performed by a stage magician who claims to possess real supernatural powers. A treasure from the colonial era in India when international supremacies vied for power. A phantom trading ship lost over 200 years ago. And a ninja whose murderous intentions in present-day Japan connect the deeds of a long-dead trader who was much more than he seemed…
When Jaya Jones travels from San Francisco to Japan with her stage magician best friend Sanjay—a.k.a. the Hindi Houdini—for his Japanese debut, she jumps at the chance to pursue a tantalizing centuries-old mystery, but when tricks escalate to murder, Jaya soon loses sight of what’s real and what’s a deception.
USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, the Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant and Lefty Awards, and been nominated for Macavity and Agatha Awards. Find her online at www.GigiPandian.com.
I had the chance to catch up with Gigi the other day and ask her a few questions.
Someone is filling the desert caves around Phoenix with bodies–a madman who, in a taunting ritual, is leaving behind a record of his crimes etched into the stone. With no leads and no suspects, Detective Alex Mills sees a case spinning out of control. City leaders want the case solved yesterday, and another detective wants to elbow Mills out of the way. As the body count rises, Mills turns to Gus Parker, an “intuitive medium” whose murky visions sometimes point to real clues. It’s an unorthodox approach, but Mills is desperate.
When Parker is brought to the crime scenes, he sees visions of a house on fire and a screaming child. But what does it mean? He struggles to interpret his psychic messages, knowing that the killer is one step ahead and that in this vast desert, the next murder could happen anywhere. Nor does it help that he’s always been unlucky in love and now finds himself the prey of a lovelorn stalker. She is throwing him off his game.
Someone will win this contest, and both Parker and Mills fear it will be the cunning, ruthless killer, who is able to use the trackless landscape as a cover for his brutal crimes.
DESERT REMAINS author Steven Cooper recently discussed his latest mystery with The Big Thrill:
In March 1977, ballistics link murders going back six months to the same Charter Arms Bulldog .44. A serial killer, Son of Sam, is on the loose. But Coleridge Taylor can’t compete with the armies of reporters fighting New York’s tabloid war—only rewrite what they get. Constantly on the lookout for victims who need their stories told, he uncovers other killings being ignored because of the media circus. He goes after one, the story of a young black woman gunned down in her apartment building the same night Son of Sam struck elsewhere in Queens.
Just as he’s closing in on the killer and his scoop, the July 13-14 blackout sends New York into a 24-hour orgy of looting and destruction. In the midst of the chaos, a suspect in Taylor’s story goes missing. Desperate, he races to a confrontation that will either break the story—or Taylor.
LIGHTS OUT SUMMER author, Rich Zahradnik, discussed his latest novel with The Big Thrill:
Andi Comstock isn’t the type of person to tell someone who’s been murdered to take a hike, especially if that someone is an unborn baby, so when angel-baby Lucy asks Andi to find the woman who killed her and her mother before the baby-snatcher strikes again, what’s Andi supposed to do? From past experience, Detective Jack Harmon knows his most valuable information will come via the spirits who talk to Andi after cremation, when they pass from this world to the next. Jack, who is also Andi’s boyfriend, can’t quite get his brain around the fact that Andi has been dubbed The Chosen One, leaving to devise a creative plan to find the baby stealer on her own. Her sleuthing cohort, Father Riley, who often compares her to St. Jeanne d’Arc, urges her to abandon the unorthodox scheme she comes up with, but Andi is set on doing it her way. After all, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
ANGEL BABIES author, Ann Simas, spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest mystery:
By Karen Harper
Robert E. Dunn, a native of the Missouri Ozarks, wrote his first book at age 11, turning a series of Jack Kirby comic books into a novel. Over many years in video and film production, he produced documentaries, training films, and travelogues. He turned to writing mystery, horror, and fantasy fiction and has published the horror novels, The Red Highway, Motorman, and The Harrowing, and now the Katrina Williams mystery/thriller series, which began with A Living Grave.
Please tell us what your book is about.
A PARTICULAR DARKNESS is book 2 in the Katrina (Hurricane) Williams series from Lyrical Underground. It follows the events of A Living Grave but the book can stand alone.
In the aftermath of tragic events and the loss of her new husband, Sheriff’s Detective Katrina (Hurricane) Williams is adrift, tethered only to her job. Work is enough for her until a body is pulled from the lake and onto a stinking heap of fish. What seems at first like a simple case of murder over the poaching of paddlefish for domestic caviar quickly forks in two directions.
One way leads under the tents of the Starry Night Traveling Salvation Show and into the presence of its charismatic leader, Roscoe Bolin. The other takes her into the teeth of a joint investigation conducted by the Army CID and FBI.
The two ends of the case tie together when a young man disappears from the evangelical show with a teenaged Peruvian refugee illegally smuggled into the country. The girl is found dead and the boy goes on the run. At every step, the antagonistic feds block Katrina’s efforts to dig into the preacher and the mysterious military men who surround the show. Following the trail of poached fish eggs leads her to a mysterious Russian with connections to both weapon and human trafficking.
When more refugees, all young girls, disappear, Katrina will stop at nothing to find the truth. The fight opens her to danger and opens her heart to the enigmatic Deputy Billy Blevins. Through the shifting shadows of night, murder, and terrible violence in the name of truth, Katrina discovers her own Particular Darkness.
As Sheriff Piper Blackwell rushes to a clandestine meeting with an aging, paranoid veteran who believes spies are trailing his every move, she is caught in a fierce thunderstorm. Pounding rain drums against the bluff, washing away the earth and revealing a grisly secret someone tried to bury a long time ago.
Putting a name to the skeleton on the bluff and searching for the thief who robbed the old veteran of his life’s earnings sends Piper delving into the sleepy towns that dot her rural county. Now she’s digging into pasts perhaps best left alone.
Accompanied by Chief Deputy Oren Rosenberg, Piper seeks to expose a truth someone wants to remain forever hidden. The investigation may have started with a thunderstorm, but Piper aims to finish it and find justice. Uncovering fragments of Spencer County’s history could prove more dangerous—and deadlier—than she ever expected.
Jean Rabe, author of THE DEAD OF NIGHT, recently took time out of her busy schedule to discuss her latest thriller with The Big Thrill:
It’s two weeks before Christmas 1997, and Police Chief Thomas Lynch faces a crisis when Cody Forrand, a six-year-old with a life-threatening medical condition, goes missing during a blizzard. Lynch’s suspicions about who abducted Cody are met with scorn by his detectives, some of whom can’t handle the fact that he’s gay. With half the station out sick with the flu, Lynch seeks outside help: it arrives in the shape of an FBI agent for whom Lynch feels an immediate attraction.
To complicate matters, local crime is on the rise and Lynch finds himself the target of prank calls and hate speech that he worries is the work of a colleague. Time is ticking away, Lynch is struggling to discover who is behind Idyll’s crime spree, and he’s beginning to doubt that Cody will ever be found…
Author Stephanie Gayle sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest novel, IDYLL FEARS:
Employed by Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford at their famous film studios, script girl Jessie Beckett has a reputation as a skilled amateur sleuth. So when a projectionist is shot dead at the movie theatre where he worked, his grieving widow asks Jessie if she can find out who killed him, and why. Who was the mysterious man in the red coat who fired three shots at Joe Petrovitch? And how could he vanish from the balcony with no trace?
To find the answers, Jessie must delve into the dead man’s history and uncover dark secrets from another continent and another era. As she is to discover, the past has a long reach …
The Big Thrill recently caught up to Mary Miley to discuss her latest mystery, MURDER IN DISGUISE:
Rachel Carver blames herself for the death of an innocent woman in her last case as a special agent for the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Unable to accept her superior’s attempts to cover up the incident, she turned in her badge. But when a former partner asks her to consult on a new murder case, she reluctantly agrees, traveling to a small mountain community, where she’s tasked with leading a group of detectives on a hunt for the killer. What seems to be the act of a loner proves to be much more as Rachel’s team comes under attack—and a detective is killed in the fallout. Rachel’s old employers at the SBI step in to take over the investigation, but Rachel, convinced they are on the wrong track, continues to work the case alone. As she delves into the town’s past, she discovers a secret history that connects the victims—one that makes her the target of a man who would kill to keep it a secret.
J. R. Backlund, author of AMONG THE DEAD, spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his debut novel: