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She left the NYPD in the firestorm of a high-profile case gone horribly wrong. Three years later, the ghosts of her past roar back to terrifying life.

When NYPD undercover cop Laney Bird’s cover is blown in a racketeering case against the Russian mob, she flees the city with her troubled son, Alfie. Now, three years later, she’s found the perfect haven in Sylvan, a charming town in upstate New York.

But then the unthinkable happens: her boy vanishes.

Emilya Naymark recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, HIDE IN PLACE:

Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?

The plot came first. It is every parent’s nightmare: a teenager who vanishes. Did he run away? Or did something more sinister occur, and is the parent to blame? Having said that, my characters drive the plot because everything that happens happens because of who they are.

Emilya Naymark

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

The biggest challenge was getting the police procedures right. I’m very fortunate to have a great source, and I made full use of the source’s willingness to describe everything from how to test street drugs to what exactly a racketeering case involves.

The opportunity was the same as the challenge. I got a chance to learn a lot while doing the research. But maybe even more than that, I was able to meet interesting people.

Without spoilers, are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?

I love crime fiction, and I equally love women’s fiction. HIDE IN PLACE is a bit of both in the sense that it is a woman’s very personal story, and she happens to be a cop, and there is a crime.

Is there a question that you feel is important to you or your novel? Write it in below, but be sure to answer it too!

The question that I hold very dear in crime and thriller fiction is “who is the real villain?” I believe the most interesting villainy, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. A criminal might be the person with the purest motives, while an upstanding citizen might be something completely different behind a closed door.


Emilya Naymark’s short stories appear in Secrets in the Water, After Midnight: Tales from the Graveyard Shift, River River Journal, Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017, 1+30: The Best of myStory, and in the upcoming HarperCollins anthology A Stranger Comes to Town.

She has a degree in fine art, and her artworks have been published in numerous magazines and books, earning her a reputation as a creator of dark, psychological pieces.

When not writing, Emilya works as a visual artist and reads massive quantities of thrillers and crime fiction. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit website.