There’s a blood moon rising over the northern Maine town of Coyote Cove when Chief Maggie Riley comes across the body of a man, stabbed to death out on a remote logging road on the outskirts of town. A decorated former homicide detective, she’s more than over-qualified to run the tiny police department where she’s been hiding from her past, but with this murder, the life she left behind has found her. To uncover the truth, Maggie must use the skills, and contacts, of her former world, however painful that will be. The hunt is on for a killer so skilled, so twisted, no one knows how many bodies it will take before they’re found. In her new home, everyone has their secrets… but how many of them are deadly?
Shannon Hollinger recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE GIRL WHO LIED.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
The fictional town of Coyote Cove is based on the real-life town where my husband and I spent our honeymoon years ago. That’s right-I spent my honeymoon plotting a murder! (At least it wasn’t my husband’s.) Something about the peaceful, quiet, picturesque Maine town seemed sinister to me. It felt like the perfect place for crime.
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?
This book will always have a special place in my heart, especially since it was the easiest one I’ve ever written! The story just poured out of me, with the first draft taking only six weeks. And then there’s the dogs in the story, named after the best companions I’ve ever had. How could I not spend however long it took to immortalized them?
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?
For the main character in this series, I wanted a woman who is deeply damaged, yet still strong. A woman who isn’t fearless, isn’t charismatic, isn’t concerned what other people think of her, and who creates her own definition of right and wrong. Yet at the same time, she cares-quite often too much.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
As the next two installments of the series are already in my publisher’s hands, I’ll be starting the fourth book in the Chief Maggie Riley series soon, as well as my next psychological thriller, set in the steamy heat of the Florida Keys.
With degrees in Crime Scene Technology & Physical Anthropology, Florida author Shannon Hollinger hasn’t just seen the dark side of humanity – she’s been elbow deep inside of it!
She is the author of the psychological thrillers ‘Best Friends Forever’ and ‘The Slumber Party,’ and the Chief Maggie Riley series.
Her short fiction has appeared in Suspense Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and The Saturday Evening Post, among a number of other magazines and anthologies, and her story ‘Lady Killer’ was a finalist for the 2021 Al Blanchard Award sponsored by the New England Crime Bake.
To see where you can find more of her work, check out www.shannonhollinger.com.