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When the FBI can’t help free his son from kidnappers, an unassuming banker takes matters into his own hands.

He joins a bank owned by a drug cartel and negotiates.

Wade gets his son back.

But now he needs to save his family.

“Saving Myles is chilling, immersive, and utterly heartbreaking. This propulsive international thriller about sacrifice and family loyalty–with compelling characters forced to make impossible choices amid intense danger and breathtaking duress–will have you racing to the gaspworthy ending.” — Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today Bestselling Author

“From the opening of his tour-de-force thriller Saving Myles, Carl Vonderau had me hooked. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. But Saving Myles isn’t just a tightly woven and utterly compelling thriller. It’s also a profound exploration of the sacrifices we’re willing to make to protect the people we love. Vonderau is an author whose storytelling ability promises a great future. I, for one, look forward eagerly to whatever he’ll offer readers next.” — William Kent Krueger, New York Times best-selling author

“Carl Vonderau paints his world with words and SAVING MYLES is his masterpiece. Taut, gut-wrenching and heartfelt, SAVING MYLES grabs you in a velvet vise of eloquent prose, elegant descriptions and honest dialog and tells a twisty, expertly plotted, and character driven tale of kidnapping, cartels and family upheaval. If you haven’t heard of Carl Vonderau yet, you will after SAVING MYLES.” – Matt Coyle, author of the Shamus, Anthony and Lefty Award-winning Rick Cahill crime series

Carl Vonderau recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, SAVING MYLES.

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I thought of THE FIRM and wondered what it would be like if a bank was secretly owned by a drug cartel. I talked to some federal law enforcement people who said that Pablo Escobar at one point owned a Colombian bank.

Carl Vonderau

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
I thought I had a unique premise. But I also wanted to layer in a family in crisis. I had a difficult teenager and imbued the book with what that was like and how we as a family grew out of it. I wanted to layer those emotions into the thriller.

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
I listened to the opera, Peter Grimes, and it found its way into the story. I also used to play guitar and some of the songs and chords I loved appeared in the novel.

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
Not many books are written about banker heroes and money laundering. Especially a banker trying to assuage his guilt for being a bad father and trying to reconnect with his wife and son. Has anyone written a banker who also practices yoga?

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
A feeling for how a parent will do anything for their child, and how the child grows to have a grace the parent never predicted.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?
I’m working on a murder mystery within a bank branch.


Carl Vonderau is an award-winning author of crime fiction. As a child growing up in Cleveland, he loved to write. His ghost stories scared the bejesus out of other kids. But it took a long time to become a full-time author. He left Cleveland to study at Stanford, then spent many years as a banker in the U.S., Latin America, and North Africa. Those international settings were sources of inspiration for his books. His first novel, Murderabilia won a Left Coast Crime award for Best Debut, and a San Diego Book award for Best Mystery. His second novel, Saving Myles, will be published in August, 2023.

Working with nonprofits is also important to Carl. He is the president of Partners in Crime, the San Diego chapter of Sisters in Crime, an organization that supports authors and fans of crime writing. He also volunteers with San Diego Social Venture Partners to mentor other nonprofits.

Carl lives with his wife in San Diego. His two grown sons live close by and wonder how he knows so much about serial killers and banking crimes.

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