<i>The Equalizer</i>: New Audio Excerpt The Equalizer: New Audio Excerpt Michael Sloan Got a problem? Odds against you? <i>Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box: Exclusive Excerpt George Mann Amid WWI, Holmes is pulled from retirement... <i>Gun Metal Heart</i>: New Excerpt Gun Metal Heart: New Excerpt Dana Haynes A few injuries couldn't keep freelance operative Daria Gibron from taking this case... <i>Jungle Horses</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Jungle Horses: Exclusive Excerpt Scott Adlerberg After being bailed out of debt, a London man must venture to a remote island...
From The Blog
August 19, 2014
The Question You Never Knew You Needed Answered: What if Michael Bay Directed Up?
Crime HQ
August 15, 2014
Checking into The Knick 1.02: “Mr. Paris Shoes”
Joe Brosnan
August 15, 2014
Not Dead Yet: Melbourne Edition
Crime HQ
August 12, 2014
"We're Like Health Insurance": Teaser Trailer for Better Call Saul
Joe Brosnan
August 11, 2014
Almost 80 Years of Infamy: We Blame You, Oklahoma City!
Crime HQ
Aug 19 2014 12:30pm

Legends: Sean Bean Is Legendary But the Writing Isn’t (Yet)

The way Sean Bean’s craggy face commands the screen in the new television crime show, Legends, which premiered on TNT last week, is the show’s best asset.

But the writing needs to level up.

Legends has a ten-episode run on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on TNT. It stars Bean as Martin Odum, a “legendary” FBI undercover agent who creates legends, aka false identifies, and inhabits them with ease. This leads to personality confusion, as when Martin takes on a particularly unhinged legend as a right-wing extremist to infiltrate a group planning a bombing.

But the bombing is only the crime of the week. The pilot teases the real arc of the show: discovering the lost identity hiding under Martin Odum, who apparently is just one more legend. Martin receives several hints about who he really is from a man who is then murdered before he can reveal all, as happens frequently in spy shows.

Editor's Note: There are spoilers for the pilot.

[Uncover the rest...]

Aug 19 2014 11:45am

The Equalizer: New Audio Excerpt

Michael Sloan

The Equalizer by Michael Sloan is a thrilling reinvention of the TV series centered on former covert CIA officer Robert McCall (available August 19, 2014).

Michael Sloan, creator of the 1980s TV series, reinvents the story of the mysterious, former covert intelligence officer who helps desperate people who are in need of his unique and deadly skills.

Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.”

Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak.

In this novel, based on the 1980s television show, and timed to come out shortly before the feature film version starring Denzel Washington, McCall gets pulled into a battle against Russian drug lords and finds himself pitted against his most dangerous foe ever!

[Click here to listen to Chapter 1 of The Equalizer!]

Aug 19 2014 8:45am

The Question You Never Knew You Needed Answered: What if Michael Bay Directed Up?

In case Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles didn't satisfy your Michael Bay craving, we've got you covered in this YouTube video that asks a question you may never have thought of before but are now only realizing you need to know the answer: What if Michael Bay directed Up?

The video features some signature Bay moments, including explosions, Linkin Park music, and more explosions. Watch the trailer below!

Aug 18 2014 5:00pm

The Strain 1.06: “Occultation”

After five episodes of build-up, we’ve finally reached the “Occultation”: the day of the eclipse. And when you’ve got creatures of the night taking New York City by storm, you can bet your sweet bippy that craziness is gonna go down as soon as the moon slides into place…

But before we get to said madness, we first check in with Herr Eichhorst, who has momentarily foregone his human disguise while he nips into a sealed, padded room for an early morning snack. I honestly didn’t think Nazis could get any worse—but Eichhorst sure does delight in his monstrous nature. Sucks to be you, nameless dude chained to the wall.

As Eichhorst is chowing down, Kelly opens the door to find a pair of FBI agents on her porch looking for Eph. Boyfriend Matt has to butt in and snag a federal calling card, and of course he’s got an itchy dialing finger when Eph bursts in moments later, frantic and begging Kelly to get Zach out of the city. (Whatever happened to the whole, “Someday I’m sure we’ll be friends!” sentiment, Matt?)

[Darkness is upon us...]

Aug 17 2014 10:00pm

Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box: Exclusive Excerpt

George Mann

Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box by George MannEnjoy this exclusive excerpt from Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box by George Mann, a historical thriller featuring the Great Detective, teamed again with Dr. Watson, as his talents are summoned to England's defense amid the turmoil of World War I (available August 19, 2014).

Summer, 1915. As zeppelins rain death upon the rooftops of London, eminent members of society begin to behave erratically: a Member of Parliament throws himself naked into the Thames after giving a pro-German speech to the House; a senior military advisor suggests surrender before feeding himself to a tiger at London Zoo; a famed suffragette suddenly renounces the women's liberation movement and throws herself under a train.

In desperation, an aged Mycroft Holmes sends to Sussex for the help of his brother, Sherlock.



“So, are you going to tell me why you’re here?”

I was once again ensconced in the back of the automobile, bouncing along the King’s Road and feeling decidedly green around the gills. Beside me, Holmes appeared to be faring little better.

“I received a telephone call from my brother yesterday morning, just after breakfast,” he said, resting his head against the seat back and closing his eyes. I wondered if he were trying to imagine he were somewhere else, instead of flying along the road at an unconscionable speed inside a metal box. I certainly was. “He outlined for me his desperate concern regarding the situation in London, the effect the Kaiser’s bombing raids are having upon the morale of the people, even their support for the war.”

“Well, he’s not wrong,” said I. “I’ve felt it myself. The thought of Londoners dying in those dreadful blasts, the burr of the zeppelins drifting overhead – it sometimes feels as if the end times are upon us.”

“You always have had a penchant for melodrama, Watson,” said Holmes, with a chuckle.

“Melodrama!” I returned, with some consternation. “Holmes, the country’s at war! The enemy fly uncontested above the streets of the capital, dropping incendiary weapons upon the rooftops of our people. I hardly think it is melodrama of which I speak.”

[Continue reading Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box by George Mann]

Aug 16 2014 12:00pm

Gun Metal Heart: New Excerpt

Dana Haynes

Gun Metal Heart by Dana Haynes is an international thriller featuring the deadly freelance operative Daria Gibron (available August 19, 2014).

Daria Gibron, a freelance operative with a long and deadly history, has been slowly recovering from the injuries sustained from her last case. Hiding out in a town in rural Italy, she has been staying as far off the map as she can—until she’s tracked down by an old colleague. Diego had been a bodyguard in Florence, protecting an engineer and her invention, when they were attacked by a highly trained paramilitary group. Diego alone escaped and the White Scorpions, a Serbian mercenary group known for their indiscriminate violence, are now after him. Well, after him and Daria, now that he’s dragged her into the picture.

At the same time, a small group of disgraced CIA agents have been waiting for their chance to exact revenge on the person they blame for their discharge—Daria Gibron. When they learn she’s in contact with Diego, they get the okay from their former bosses to take her out. With several highly trained teams out to get her, a partner withholding critical information, and a missing invention around which everything turns, Daria is in the worst danger of her life. And she couldn’t be having more fun.


Caladri, the Coast of Italy

The quiet man stood in the entrance to the taverna. The regulars didn’t remember seeing him enter. They hadn’t noticed the flash of too harsh, too white sunlight when the door opened. They hadn’t smelled the tang of salt and seaweed invade the tobacco and hashish funk of the bar.

[Continue reading Gun Metal Heart by Dana Haynes...]

Aug 15 2014 11:00pm

Checking into The Knick 1.02: “Mr. Paris Shoes”

Last week, in The Knick’s premiere episode “Method and Madness”, resistance to change was the theme of the episode, and while none of the characters seemed ready to shift their beliefs in Episode 2, we did spend a lot of time learning about their secrets in “Mr. Paris Shoes”. Dr. John Thackery put it best:

There's a life we live within the walls of this hospital and one we live outside of it, and these two lives need not intersect.

I hate to break it to you, John, but I don't think your secrets are safe for long. Four characters had secrets come to light in this episode: Dr. John Thackery, Dr. Algernon Edwards, Herman Barrow, and Sister Harriet (played by Cara Seymour).

[Let's learn their dirty secrets...]

Aug 15 2014 2:00pm

The Movies of 1944: When Strangers Marry

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of film noir’s landmark year, we’re looking at the six key noirs of 1944: Double Indemnity, Laura, Murder My Sweet, Phantom Lady, The Woman In the Window, and When Strangers Marry. Earlier this week we looked at Fritz Lang’s The Woman In the Window. Today we look at William Castle’s When Strangers Marry.

While many scholars peg Double Indemnity as the first fully formed noir in terms of both style and theme, you can see the genre’s style and ethos taking shape in earlier films like Stranger On The Third Floor (1940), I Wake Up Screaming (1941) and Street Of Chance (1942). By 1944 you can see all of this coming together in the low-budget mystery-romance When Strangers Marry. The film is an interesting specimen of the emerging noir style, but it is of particular importance because it launched the criminal career of noir’s greatest leading man.

[Everyone has to start somewhere...]

Aug 15 2014 11:00am

Jungle Horses: Exclusive Excerpt

Scott Adlerberg

Jungle Horses by Scott Adlerberg focuses on a London man, who after falling into debt with the wrong people, is forced on a trip to a Caribbean island to study a mysterious breed of horses (available August 19, 2014).

Arthur lives a quiet life in London, wandering from the bar to the racetrack and back again. When his pension check dries up, Arthur decides to win it all back with one last big bet at the bookie. When that falls through, Arthur borrows money and repeats the process, until he's in too deep with a vicious gang of leg-breakers.
The plan to save his skin will take him far from his home, to a place where a very different breed of horse will change his life forever.


Chapter 1

The horses that Arthur saw in his dreams were always running through tropical terrain.  The land was green and the sky deep blue, but this was not the African farm where he'd once bred racing horses.  These were not those sleek thoroughbreds nor were they tame farm horses burdened by saddle, stirrup, and bit.  The horses ran through a lush place, and despite the denseness of the terrain they seemed to run with complete abandon, never stumbling as they tore through bush.  They were jungle horses, immense yet graceful, and somehow he knew as one knows in dreams that none of these majestic creatures had ever been mounted by a man.  How different they were from the horses he'd ridden in his life, and how different too from the London ponies he would bet day after day.  They were unique, he would think in his dreams, and the vision of their bright green jungle would fade, the beautiful horses would disappear, and he would awaken in the hard double bed with the grayness of the ceiling above him.

[Continue reading Jungle Horses by Scott Adlerberg...]

Aug 15 2014 9:00am

Not Dead Yet: Melbourne Edition

A Melbourne hospital recently mass-mailed 200 death certificates for live, recently discharged patients to their family doctors. According to the Times of India, it was an “inadvertent change to the templates the hospital sends to doctors once a patient has been discharged...” Yawn. Or, that could be a cover story for the fact that Melbourne's actually full of zombies, the walking dead, mwa ha ha! We know which scenario we prefer.

Aug 14 2014 1:00pm

First in Series: The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson is the first modern western in the Walt Longmire series about a Wyoming sheriff. Registered commenters below will be entered for a chance to win an advanced reader's copy of Craig Johnson's upcoming collection of Walt Longmire short stories, Wait for Signs!

The first novel in the enormously popular Longmire series, The Cold Dish (2004) by Craig Johnson, gave me the vibe that I’ve known the main characters all my reading life and I’m enjoying, say, the twenty-fifth installment in the series, not the debut. All superior mystery and crime series, or at least the ones I prefer, make you feel at home—immediately relaxed. Longmire #1 succeeds in this respect and still offers a fresh voice in a genre that has gotten drier and drier since Ross Macdonald went to the great fedora bar in the sky.

So what’s eating Sheriff Walt Longmire in book one? For starters, a lot. His wife Martha died a few years before, and he struggles daily with the loss. The open emotional wound is deep and he suspects there’s no closure to be found. Added to this heartbreak is the widening estrangement with his beloved grown daughter, Cady, as they each deal with their continuing grief.

[Don't forget to comment for a chance to win!]

Aug 14 2014 11:00am

Don’t Look Back: New Excerpt

Gregg Hurwitz

Don't Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz finds recently single Eve Hardaway adventuring through southern Mexico when she gets into some deadly trouble (available August 19, 2014)

Eve Hardaway, newly single mother of one, is on a trip she’s long dreamed of—a rafting and hiking tour through the jungles and mountains of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. Eve wanders off the trail, to a house in the distance with a menacing man in the yard beyond it, throwing machetes at a human-shaped target. Disturbed by the sight, Eve moves quickly and quietly back to her group, taking care to avoid being seen. As she creeps along, she finds a broken digital camera, marked with the name Teresa Hamilton. Later that night, in a rarely used tourist cabin, she finds a discarded prescription bottle—also with the name Teresa Hamilton. From the camera’s memory card, Eve discovers Teresa Hamilton took a photo of that same menacing looking man in the woods. Teresa Hamilton has since disappeared.

Now the man in the woods is after whoever was snooping around his house. With a violent past and deadly mission, he will do anything to avoid being discovered.  A major storm wipes out the roads and all communication with the outside world. Now the tour group is trapped in the jungle with a dangerous predator with a secret to protect. With her only resource her determination to live, Eve must fight a dangerous foe and survive against incredible odds—if she's to make it back home alive.

Chapter 1

“How many…?” Her mouth was dry. “How many times?”

[Continue reading Don't Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz...]

Aug 14 2014 8:45am

Frontrunners Emerge for True Detective Season 2

As soon as True Detective Season 1 ended, rumors have been flying about who would star in Season 2. With filming to begin in the near future, frontrunners have emerged in the race. Rather than feature two leads like last season, Season 2 is set to star four leads: three cops and one antagonist.

The three actors tied to the cop roles are Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), and Colin Farrell. And the actor in talks to play the antagonist is Vince Vaughn.

Season 2 will be set in California and is rumored to return in January 2015.

What do you think of these rumors? Can these actors match Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey?

Aug 13 2014 12:00pm

Payoff: New Excerpt

In Payoff, by Douglas Corleone, a movie mogul's teenage daughter is kidnapped, and U.S. Marhsal Simon Fisk is led on a trip from California to South America in an attempt to get her back (available August 19, 2014).

When movie studio mogul Edgar Trenton’s teenage daughter, Olivia, is kidnapped during a violent home invasion in Calabasas, California, former U.S. Marshal Simon Fisk is called upon to ensure a smooth ransom exchange. But once it becomes clear that the kidnappers never intended to return Olivia to her parents, Simon must follow a lethal trail that will lead him from the powdery white sand beaches of the Cayman Islands through the wild jungles of Costa Rica, and into some of the darkest and deadliest cities of South America.

Chapter 1

The nightmare opened with a sound she heard at least a dozen times a day. On the north side of the house, there was a door used by the servants. The door opened onto a vestibule that guests had to pass through to reach the staircase that led to the main floor of the house, one floor below her bedroom. The door had a distinctive squeal. She’d been meaning to ask Manny to oil the hinges for weeks. Now she was relieved that she had forgotten. That sound gave her time, maybe just enough time to get to Edgar’s handgun. Because she was suddenly certain that sound could mean only one thing—someone was inside the house.

[Continue reading Payoff by Douglas Corleone...]

Aug 13 2014 8:45am

Naked Leaf Blowing Man Arrested

Massachusetts police arrested a homeowner for “open and gross lewdness” after he was witnessed doing weekend yard work completely naked. Sounds painful for all involved, doesn't it?

69 year old Richard Capra of Shrewsbury was using his trusty leaf blower by the curb of his house when passing cars began slowing down to photograph the very strange sight. An officer responded to the many 911 calls that were pouring in, and saw Capra in his birthday suit, causally blowing off his driveway with a leaf blower without a care in the world.

In addition to his nude landscaping, Capra was also drunk and belligerent to police when they arrived at the scene. The suspect was given clothing before he was placed in a patrol car.

The man was arrested on a misdemeanor charge and was later released from police custody after posting $500 bail.

Capra is scheduled to appear in Westboro District Court on August 15.

Aug 12 2014 2:00pm

Now Win This!: Histories and Mysteries Sweepstakes

This sweepstakes features seven books with the perfect mix of history and mystery, so cozy on up and register to enter for a chance to win!

Click here to enter for a chance to win!

This is NOT a Comments Sweepstakes. You must click the link above to enter.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry. Promotion begins August 12, 2014, at 2:00 pm ET, and ends August 26, 2014, 1:59 pm ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[See what's in the bundle!]

Aug 12 2014 11:30am

A Distance to Death: New Excerpt

Holly Menino

A Distance to Death by Holly Menino is the second mystery in the Tink Elledge series about an elite equestrian turned sleuth (available August 12, 2014).

Tink Elledge is a woman who doesn’t take well to sitting still—not when it comes to husbands, not when it comes to looking after her stepson Stephen, and certainly not when it comes to horses.  So when she gets the chance to ride in a competition again—even on a trail as grueling as the steep twists and turns of the legendary Tevis endurance trail ride—she jumps at it.  In the Sierra mountain wilderness, she and her friend Isabel—an avid horsewoman and Darwin devotee—will race across one hundred miles of spectacular gorges and cross heart-stopping fords.

Meanwhile, Stephen and Tink’s husband, Charlie, are nearby working on a new partnership with the brilliant but secretive scientist James Grant-Worthington. When Grant-Worthington suddenly dies of not-so-natural causes, the entire deal is thrown into question. Eager to help, Tink begins searching for clues, starting with Josh Untemeyer, the PR manager for the institute Grant-Worthington founded to promote the theory of intelligent design, who has also been pursuing Isabel. As Tink and Isabel join the pack of elite riders and their horses scramble up the vertiginous, narrow trail, Josh goes missing. Tink must sort through the secrets and lies in a race against time to cross the finish line and save the two people she cares for most.

Chapter 1

Stories like this usually start out with a body, the form that holds the person in his or her last earthly state—God knows what comes after that, I don’t. I could show you this body, the arrangement of the head, neck, and the arms and legs, the location of the wounds or the lack of them and the details of blood and semen, the juices that keep our species viable. But if I started with the body, you would miss half the ride.

[Continue reading A Distance to Death by Holly Menino...]

Aug 12 2014 8:45am

“We’re Like Health Insurance”: Teaser Trailer for Better Call Saul

AMC released a quick, 9 second teaser trailer for it's upcoming Breaking Bad spin-off series Better Call Saul, featuring everyone's quick-talking, vanity plate-wielding, Cinnabon-owning lawyer. Bob Odenkirk will be reprising his role, but he won't be starting the series off with the duplicitously-crafted name we knew him as in Breaking Bad (For those who didn't pick up on it: Saul Goodman is a play on words designed to sound like It's All Good, Man.) Before becoming Saul, his name was James M. McGill, as seen in this promotional billboard spotted recently in Albuquerque:

Although Bryan Cranston recently ruled out appearing in the show, he is planning on directing an episode. And Aaron Paul has shown great interest in returning as Jesse Pinkman. You can watch the teaser trailer below:

Aug 11 2014 4:00pm

The Movies of 1944: The Woman in the Window

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of film noir’s landmark year, we’re looking at the six key noirs of 1944: Double Indemnity, Laura, Murder My Sweet, Phantom Lady, When Strangers Marry, and The Woman In the Window. Last week we looked at Robert Siodmak’s Phantom Lady. Today we look at Fritz Lang’s The Woman In The Window.

The Woman In The Window is the kind of film that comes right up to the edge of greatness and then swerves at the last moment. In a sense, that’s a shame, but look at it this way: most movies come nowhere near greatness.

The film stands at the crossroads in the career of star Edward G. Robinson. In the thirties, he had been one of the premier tommy gun-toting hoodlums at Warner Brothers, but in the forties, as the gangster picture gave way to the film noir, Robinson moved on to play a far different kind of character. In 1944, he made the pivotal Double Indemnity, playing the fast-talking insurance investigator. But that same year he made The Woman In The Window, the first of his middle-aged loser roles.

[It was a role he'd get used to playing...]

Aug 11 2014 1:00pm

The Strain 1.05: “Runaways”

This week’s episode, “The Runaways”, opens with a house call that doesn’t end well. A urologist arrives at Bolivar’s loft to tend to the rock star’s unusual “problem”. A problem that includes looking like death warmed over; pretty sure there are corpses in funeral homes that look better than Gabe. While manager Ruby is downstairs making her own beauty appointment, a crash and scream suggests that the examination isn’t going too well for the good Dr. Evanston.

And when Ruby rushes upstairs to find Bolivar feeding on the doctor with a definitely inhuman tentacle tongue, there doesn’t seem to be much more she can do but run—injuring her ankle in the process; this is exactly while ladies in survival scenarios need to be thinking about practical footwear—and call someone to come clean up the “mess”.

I know the rich and famous have enough money to get away with just about anything, but this is absolutely taking it to the limit.