THE MISSING WITNESS by Allison Brennan, FI
THE MISSING WITNESS by Allison Brennan, FI
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The Big Thrill Discusses THE MISSING WITNESS with Allison Brennan

Book Cover: THE MISSING WITNESSWhen a key witness goes missing, Quinn & Costa must find her before a killer silences her for good…

Detective Kara Quinn is back in Los Angeles to testify against a notorious human trafficker, finally moving past the case that upended her life. But when the accused is shot in broad daylight, the chaotic scene of the crime turns up few reliable bystanders. And one witness—a whistleblower who might be the key to everything—has disappeared.

After another person close to the case is killed, it’s clear that anyone who knows too much is in danger, and tracking down the witness becomes a matter of life-and-death. But as explosive secrets surface within the LAPD and FBI, Kara questions everything she thought she knew about the case, her colleagues and the life she left behind months ago.

Now with FBI special agent Matt Costa’s help, she must race to find the missing witness and get to the bottom of the avalanche of conspiracies that has rocked LA to its core…before it’s too late.

Author Photo: Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest crime fiction, THE MISSING WITNESS.

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?

LOL — a couple of years? I’ve published 46 books in 18 years and dozens of short stories. I don’t have the luxury of spending years writing a book. I write my first draft in 3-4 months, then edit it before I send to my editor. When I get notes back, it takes 2-4 weeks on revisions. I’m working on my next book while my editor is reading my last one. Writing is my true love … but it’s also a job and I treat it as such.

As far as THIS book, I love the characters who populate my Quinn & Costa series, so anytime I can revisit them I’m happy.

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?

I knew long ago that this book would take my series character LAPD Detective Kara Quinn back to LA after being on loan to the FBI so she could testify against a human trafficker she had arrested. But when the trafficker was shot on the way to the courthouse, I was stuck. Why? Who? What did he know? After a second murder, I realized I needed more research, and dug into my files of stories about real-life graft, corruption and fraud. When I pulled out articles about fraud and waste in funding homeless housing, I realized that was the backbone of the story.

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?

I launched the Quinn & Costa series in February of 2020 wanting a series that focused on an ensemble cast of characters and bridged the divide between federal and local law enforcement. So when LAPD Detective Kara Quinn had an opportunity to work with a special FBI unit (the Mobile Response Team) and focus on cases in rural and remote areas, I thought it would be a great way to tackle stories that don’t always get told when so much of crime fiction is focused in cities. The stories have taken place in Liberty Lake, Washington (outside of Spokane); Patagonia, Arizona (near the border); San Juan Island, Washington; and a fiction Bayou town in Louisiana. THE MISSING WITNESS is the only story that takes place in a large city (Los Angeles.) Book 6 goes back to small communities — a mountain town in Colorado.

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?


In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?

I don’t like to preach or infuse politics in my fiction. I write to entertain. But I hope that people will look at the homeless crisis in a different light considering that much of what I wrote is true regarding how programs are funded (or not) and the failures in the highest reaches of government. More money isn’t the answer: accountability and transparency is.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

I’ve already completed my next two novels — launching the Angelhart PI series with You’ll Never Find Me (June, 2024) and the 6th Quinn & Costa book (currently untitled, out January 2025). I’m writing my next stand alone that comes out in the summer of 2025!


Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 40 books and dozens of short stories. She is currently writing the Quinn & Costa FBI series and launching an all-new PI series this summer.

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



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