<i>Midnight Crossing</i>: New Excerpt Midnight Crossing: New Excerpt Tricia Fields A tale about the tough people who choose to live at the edge of the country. Review: <i>All the Bridges Burning</i> by Neliza Drew Review: All the Bridges Burning by Neliza Drew Thomas Pluck Read Thomas Pluck's review! <i>A Killing in Amish Country</i>: New Excerpt A Killing in Amish Country: New Excerpt Rebecca Morris and Gregg Olsen Only the 3rd murder in hundreds of years of Amish life in America. Review: <i>The Janson Directive</i> by Robert Ludlum Review: The Janson Directive by Robert Ludlum Dirk Robertson Read Dirk Robertson's review of the 1st book in the Janson series.
From The Blog
June 30, 2016
What Winds Fan Black Sails, Disco Inferno?
Andrez Bergen
June 30, 2016
This Book Is Not About Vladimir Putin.
John Sweeney
June 29, 2016
Q&A with Rick Campbell, Author of Ice Station Nautilus
Crime HQ and Rick Campbell
June 29, 2016
Cover Reveal: Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith
Crime HQ
June 28, 2016
Serial Killer Calling Cards: Winners Revealed!
Crime HQ
Mon
Jun 27 2016 1:30pm

Game of Thrones 6.10: Season Finale “The Winds of Winter”

Game of Thrones

I don’t know if it’s possible to properly explain just how perfect and rewarding “The Winds of Winter” was. In today’s binge-able society, instant gratification is the new norm. We consume media like the Hound consumes chicken, and when we’re denied this right, we sincerely debate picking up an axe and bashing in some skulls. We are a world averse to cliffhangers, and even more so, we loathe being told to wait. All this is to say, that even with our current need for immediate fulfillment, George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series has thrived despite the fact that he writes slower than a Lancel Lannister crawl. It’s a testament to Martin’s brilliant storytelling that we still care so much, and he has set up this tale for a chaotic and exhilarating conclusion.  But until last night, that was all it was – a setup. A Dance of Dragons published in 2011, and A Feast for Crows in 2005. Those two books covered the same amount of time, essentially splitting the characters in half. So for many fans of the series, they’ve been waiting more than a decade to see what happens when you put Cersei in a corner. Even more so, A Game of Thrones hit shelves in 1996, meaning the most die-hard fans have waited for 20 years to find out what actually happened in the Tower of Joy.

Now I haven’t been a fan for 20 years – I discovered the show after Season 2 and read all of the books before Season 3 – but I am most definitely a new-age die-hard. I have spent hours upon hours reading, theorizing, and submerging myself in the wonderful world of Westeros (and hours upon hours complaining about the mundane world of Meereen). And while it’s been an absolute blast to try and predict the inner workings of Martin’s labyrinthine mind, it pales in comparison to the 69-minute-long adrenaline rush that was “The Winds of Winter.” From the haunting musical score that stippled the episode and the lingering despair left in the wake of Davos’s anguish, to the goosebump-inducing KING IN DA NORF and the jaw-dropping scope of Daenerys’s army, this episode was as undoubtedly perfect.

But there’s a catch. You may have heard that The Great War is still to come, and with the exception of Jon Snow and company, no one seems to either know or care. So I urge you to savor this moment right now, because winter has arrived, and it’s going to be brutal.

[How do you only choose one riser…]

Mon
Jun 27 2016 12:00pm

Review: Rancher’s Law by Dusty Richards

Rancher's Law by Dusty Richards is a classic Western that follows Luther Haskell, who must make his way through the good, the bad, and the damned in pursuit of a cold-blooded killer with a plan of his own (Available June 28, 2016).

For unethical ranchers like Matt McKean, the high prevalence of land and cattle disputes makes the Arizona Territory’s Christopher Basin ripe for the pickings; he’ll go beyond his power to take advantage of a situation that might bolster his own wealth. And, when the opportunity arises to accuse three men of cattle rustling on evidence that amounts to less than nothing, he whips other simple-minded ranchers into a fever and then stands in as judge and executioner at the hanging.

Matt moved back. Each rancher held a coiled lariat in his hand. At his nod, they busted the horses on their butts. The mounts charged away. The unmistakable snap of spines cracked like gun shots. Two of them. Burtle’s noose failed, and he danced in midair gurgling and strangling. The rustler fouled his pants and the stench filled the air.  

[Read David Cranmer's review of Rancher's Law...]

Mon
Jun 27 2016 11:00am

First Teaser Trailer for Cinemax’s Quarry

Cinemax is really amping up their original series lineup! Outcast has been everything it promised and more—seriously, I was hooked from the terrifying roach-and-finger dinner from the opening scene. If you haven't seen it yet, go watch Outcast and read Angie's great reviews!

Now, they've got a new series premiering September 9th, called Quarry—based on the Quarry series of novels by Max Allan Collins

[Watch the first teaser trailer below!]

Mon
Jun 27 2016 11:00am
Excerpt

Paraíso: New Excerpt

Gordon Chaplin

ParaísoParaíso is a genre-bending story about love, sibling relationships, and the dark side of paradise (Available July 5, 2016).

Peter and Wendy—their mother chose the names—felt as close as twins, despite their difference in age. As teens, they fled their wealthy Philadelphia home in the family station wagon and headed for Mexico, only to be discovered sleeping in the car on the banks of the Mississippi, in Huck Finn country. Now, many years later, estranged by an apparent betrayal as profound as their family's dysfunction, the two live separate lives, Peter as an editor in New York, Wendy as an edgy sports photographer with a taste for risk. With a new book out and an invitation to Los Cabos, she drives the Mercedes inherited from their father to Baja California, finally completing the trip begun twenty years earlier.

But when the engine fails near a small town named Paraíso—Paradise—she lingers, exploring its underside in an affair with a dangerous man and, all too suddenly, becoming witness to a vicious crime. Meanwhile, in New York, Peter can't help but think of Wendy. When, from his apartment in lower Manhattan, he watches the Twin Towers fall on a beautiful September day, he knows it's time to leave his comfortable life, go find Wendy, and make peace with his long-lost sister. A noirish tale reminiscent of David Lynch and the Coen brothers, Paraíso traces the journey from a mother's dark secret to a place where love, and even perfect love, is possible.

In the spring, Mark came home from the garage to find a Latino cop standing at the door of the La Jolla house. “Hi Mark,” the cop said in a casual tone. “I’m just a friend of the family. Frank’s the name.”

“Hi,” Mark said. “You’re Mexican, right?”

“US citizen,” the cop said. “Since five years old. Listen, your step-mom is a little worried about some things.”

“What things?” The cop’s badge read Gonzalez.

[Read the full excerpt from Paraíso...]

Sun
Jun 26 2016 12:00pm
Excerpt

The Yemen Contract: New Excerpt

Arthur Kerns

The Yemen Contract by Arthur Kerns is the 3rd book in the Hayden Stone Thriller series, where Stone finds himself in Yemen trying to save his kidnapped partner and foil a terrorist plan that only he can stop (Available June 28, 2016).

CIA operative Hayden Stone has his work cut out for him. Abdul Wahab seeks to make a power grab in the exotic land of Yemen and establish a terrorist base from which to launch an attack on Europe.

Wahab lures Stone to Yemen by kidnapping his partner CIA officer Sandra Harrington in Sicily. Stone comfortably operates in this world where tribal leaders vie for power with the central government, al Qaeda exerts its influence through murder and mayhem, and double-dealing among Bedouin and townspeople is a national pastime.

The cat and mouse game goes from the capital Sana’a, to the deserts in the far east of the country, and to the mountain villages in the north. Stone has a personal stake in this mission, but can never keep his eye off of the greater plot developing, the one that puts millions in peril, and that only he can stop.

[Read an excerpt of The Yemen Contract here...]

Sat
Jun 25 2016 11:00am
Original Story

Candy Store Heroin Operation, Beer Thieves, Drunk Lawnmower Driver, and more: The Bullet List

Teddy Pierson
Sat
Jun 25 2016 10:00am
Excerpt

Shooting the Sphinx: New Excerpt

Avram Noble Ludwig

Shooting the Sphinx by Avram Noble Ludwig is a unique political thriller about an American filmmaker who becomes involved in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 (Available June 28, 2016).

In Hollywood, Ari Basher is the stuff of legends, the man who always gets the impossible-to-film shots. In Cairo, however, he faces the most difficult and dangerous challenge of his career: he must photograph, from mere feet away, the face of the imperishable Sphinx. The film depends on it, but if Ari damages the ancient Sphinx, he could end up in an Egyptian prison for life or even dead.

Compounding his troubles, Ari has saved a dark-haired revolutionary named Farah from being raped by government thugs, and she has turned his life around. Now he is caught in a web of intrigue, torn between his need to work with the military dictatorship to get the shot and his desire for this passionate revolutionary. Losing her is not an option.

Will Ari join in the liberation of Egypt? Will he and Farah escape the country alive? Finally . . . will Ari get the shot?

Chapter 1

Ari Basher hopped out of a van into a blast of rotor wash at the Thirtieth Street Heliport. He hiked up his jeans and tried to keep the grin from devouring his face as he let himself into the gate through a tall chain-link fence. He loved to fly.

A sleek white corporate Sikorsky S-76 had just touched down, the rotors still spinning overhead. A bored CEO in a business suit stepped out of the aircraft. He cast a grim dry glance right through Ari, who politely held the gate open for him. Ari wanted to ask, “Dude, why so serious? You get to soar over all the bus riders on your daily commute.”

[Read the full excerpt from Shooting the Sphinx...]

Fri
Jun 24 2016 11:00pm

Outcast 1.04: “A Wrath Unseen” Episode Review

Boy, nothing says depressing quite like a funeral with only three attendants—and of those three, Kyle (Patrick Fugit), is the only one that doesn't have to be there. 

Poor neighbor Norville is being buried following his “suicide”—I put that in quotations because there's definitely something wiggy about it, a suspicion that's only reinforced when Evil Data (Brent Spiner, who finally introduces himself as “Sidney”) appears and claims to be one of Norville's old friends.

Uh huh. I buy that.

[Read Angie's review of Episode 1.04: “A Wrath Unseen”]

Fri
Jun 24 2016 4:30pm

“The Moon’s Shine” Cocktail

From the hills of the Appalachian region to the copper stills of those keeping the illegal, and sometimes dangerous, tradition alive, moonshine has been a big part of American drinking history. Known by many names—moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, Tennessee white whiskey—this potent alcohol is sure to make you see colors!

And, in Spencer Kope's Collecting the Dead, his character Magnus “Steps” Craig has synesthesia and sees unique colors left behind by everyone—something he calls “shine.”

So, for this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—we do our best to make YOU see colors with a strong “The Moon's Shine” cocktail, inspired by Spencer Kope's Collecting the Dead!

The colors, Duke—the colors!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Fri
Jun 24 2016 3:00pm

Page to Screen: Comics I’d Love to See on My TV—The Sandman

The Series: The Sandman by Neil Gaiman.
The Hero: Dream (also known as Morpheus, among other aliases) of the Endless.
The Ideal Format: A live action series with significant amounts of CGI and puppetry, à la Mirrormask and the Henson films of the 80's.

It's one of the most critically acclaimed comic series of all time, and one of the first graphic novels to ever make the New York Times Bestseller list.

It was one of only five graphic novels to be included in Entertainment Weekly's “100 best reads” (it came in at #46, in fact).

It's garnered more than 26 Eisner Awards, Bram Stoker Awards, a World Fantasy Award, and was nominated for a Hugo.

With all of that acclaim, and with its rather rabid fanbase, why hasn't The Sandman already been adapted for film or TV?

[Cause it's hard to watch TV when you're dreaming?]

Fri
Jun 24 2016 1:00pm

Dear Lisbeth Salander: I Want Revenge

This week's guest columnist is Lisbeth Salander, who's a hacker but not a hack, Wasp but not a WASP, and an all-around tough-as-nails badass.
 

Dear Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,

As I write this to you, I am contemplating ending it all. Okay, I’m drunk, but that’s how I feel. The man I was with for over two years dumped me for a blonde bimbo-type. He’s been buying her gifts and taking her on trips with the money from our joint savings account, all of which was put there by me. He has no job.  

I did everything for this guy: cooked his favorite dinners, paid all the bills, and bought him an expensive motorcycle. Despite all this, he treated me like crap. This bimbo does nothing for him and he treats her like a queen! I want to text him right now but, as I said, I am just a little fuzzy.

He told me when he left that he will come over in a couple of days to pick up his things and to get his share of the money left in our account. I feel that life isn’t worth living without him, but then, I also want revenge!

—Desperate Diana

[Read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's advice!]

Fri
Jun 24 2016 12:00pm
Excerpt

The Charmers: New Excerpt

Elizabeth Adler

The Charmers by Elizabeth AdlerThe Charmers by Elizabeth Adler is a page-turner of a novel that will keep you riveted up until the very last page (Available June 28, 2016).

When Mirabella Matthews’ Aunt Jolly dies unexpectedly and under mysterious circumstances Mirabella suddenly finds herself the new owner of a villa in the South of France. But with the inheritance come unexpected mysteries…and dangers.

On her way to the villa, Mirabella is run off the road by a motorcycle, and that’s only just the beginning. It turns out that Aunt Jolly had a past, and as the various men who were a part of it show up Mirabella must find out who can be trusted and who is using charm to mask the face of a murderer.

1

Antibes, South of France

The Boss, as he was called by everyone, even those that did not work for him and merely knew his reputation, strode purposefully past the seafront terrace bars until he came to the one he favored, where he pulled a chair from a table in the third row back, closest to the building. He always liked to face the street, the crowds, the other customers, keep his back against the wall, so to speak. Backs were vulnerable, his particularly so.

Despite the heat he was comfortable in white linen pants and a blue-and-white-print shirt, sleeves rolled up over his muscular forearms. His watch was neither gold nor flashy, though it was certainly expensive.

[Read the full excerpt from The Charmers...]

Fri
Jun 24 2016 11:30am

Van’s Pimp’d Out Stereo Gets Owner Arrested

Image courtesy of NYPD 110th Precinct

A man who really enjoys mobile audio was arrested for blasting music from his van that has an impressive 80-speaker setup outlining the interior. Damn!

According to the Gothamist, Nelson Hidalgo was arrested by New York Police during a Mets game when his army of speakers began charging out music so loud that the bullpen at Citi Field could hear it and were forced to call the cops with a noise complaint.

As you might have guessed, it did not take the police very long to find the disturbance. When police confronted Hidalgo, he was reportedly taking it very easy, with a beer in hand, while entertaining a small crowd who were gathered around his boombox van prior to his arrest.

Hidalgo then dropped some knowledge on the police officers at the scene by stating “I know it's illegal, but it's the weekend." Despite his logical (and righteous) excuse, Hidalgo was charged with second-degree criminal nuisance, general noise prohibition, disorderly conduct, and obstructing the driver's view.

Oh, in case you were wondering—the Mets lost the game.

Fri
Jun 24 2016 10:00am
Excerpt

The Big Sheep: New Excerpt

Robert Kroese

The Big Sheep by Robert KroeseThe Big Sheep by Robert Kroese is a balance of sci-fi, mystery, and humor (Available June 28, 2016).

Los Angeles of 2039 is a baffling and bifurcated place. After the Collapse of 2028, a vast section of LA, the Disincorporated Zone, was disowned by the civil authorities, and became essentially a third world country within the borders of the city. Navigating the boundaries between DZ and LA proper is a tricky task, and there's no one better suited than eccentric private investigator Erasmus Keane. When a valuable genetically altered sheep mysteriously goes missing from Esper Corporation's labs, Keane is the one they call.

But while the erratic Keane and his more grounded partner, Blake Fowler, are on the trail of the lost sheep, they land an even bigger case. Beautiful television star Priya Mistry suspects that someone is trying to kill her - and she wants Keane to find out who. When Priya vanishes and then reappears with no memory of having hired them, Keane and Fowler realize something very strange is going on. As they unravel the threads of the mystery, it soon becomes clear that the two cases are connected - and both point to a sinister conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the city. Saving Priya and the sheep will take all of Keane's wits and Fowler's skills, but in the end, they may discover that some secrets are better left hidden.

ONE

“That’s a really big sheep,” said Erasmus Keane, his observational powers functioning as flawlessly as ever.

The woman in the lab coat nodded curtly. “He’s a Lincoln Longwool,” she said. “Largest breed of sheep in the world.” She had introduced herself as Dr. Kelly Takemago, Director of Research for the Esper Corporation. We were standing in her lab, a vast white room filled with the low humming of vaguely terrifying machines that hung from the ceiling like colossal clockwork bats. Poised in the middle of the room was the sheep in question, which Keane and I were regarding with professional interest. The sheep, in turn, was regarding us. It didn’t appear impressed.

[Read the full excerpt from The Big Sheep...]

Thu
Jun 23 2016 4:00pm

Cooking the Books: The Diva Serves High Tea by Krista Davis

The 10th installment of the Domestic Diva mystery series finds our heroine, Sophie Winston, coming to the rescue of her frenemy, Natasha, when an intruder breaks into the home Natasha shares with her boyfriend, Mars (who also happens to be Sophie’s ex-husband). Someone is lurking in the shadows of Old Town Alexandria, and neither Sophie nor her friends feel safe as the culprit remains at large—particularly since no motive was apparent for the attack.

Fortunately, a diverting new restaurant has opened in the neighborhood—a lovely place specializing in tea and snacks, called The Parlour. Unfortunately, it’s closed down for investigation when new arrival to the neighborhood, handsome antiques dealer Robert Johnson, drops dead from botulism poisoning shortly after attending a literary fundraiser held there.

[Recipes and pictures below!]

Thu
Jun 23 2016 3:00pm

Q&A with Spencer Kope, Author of Collecting the Dead

Before writing crime novels, you solved crimes as a Crime Analyst with the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. Did you base any of your characters in Collecting the Dead on yourself?

I did, actually. In the story, Dexter Allen is the crime analyst at the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office and helps Steps identify a vehicle captured on surveillance video. Dexter, or Dex, is one of my nicknames at the Sheriff's Office (though my favorite is Jedi Master), and his office, as described, is my office down to every detail. Also, the process Dex uses to identify the vehicle, a process called Forensic Vehicle Analysis, is one I developed and use on a weekly basis to identify suspect vehicles. Dex will play a larger role in future books as the on-going hunt for the serial killer Leonardo continues.

[Read the full Q&A with Spencer Kope here...]

Thu
Jun 23 2016 1:00pm

Review: First Strike by Ben Coes

First Strike by Ben Coes is the 6th thriller featuring CIA operative Dewey Andreas (Available June 28, 2016).

Ben Coes’s First Strike—the 6th in his series featuring Dewey Andreas, a former member of U.S. Delta Force—is unrelentingly brutal in its portrayal of a struggle between a brilliant ISIS leader, Tristan Nazir, and Andreas and his colleagues.

Oxford educated Nazir is icily realistic in his aims—not for him noble clarion calls of creating a country ruled by Islam, rather:

“A noble idea to be sure, but what good is an idea if it is only that?” said Nazir. “Ruling is about power. It is about the acquisition of power, the maintenance of power, and the custody of power. It is about having the strength to demand that your own people sacrifice their lives in a larger struggle. It’s about the willingness to kill.”

[Read Janet Webb's review of First Strike...]

Thu
Jun 23 2016 12:00pm
Excerpt

Widowmaker: Audio Excerpt

Paul Doiron

Widowmaker by Paul Doiron is book #7 in the Mike Bowditch series (Available June 14, 2016).

When a mysterious woman in distress appears outside his home, Mike Bowditch has no clue she is about to blow his world apart. Amber Langstrom is beautiful, damaged, and hiding a secret with a link to his past.. She claims her son Adam is a wrongfully convicted sex offender who has vanished from a brutal work camp in the high timber around the Widowmaker Ski Resort. She also claims that Adam Langstrom is the illegitimate son of Jack Bowditch, Mike’s dead and diabolical father. He is the half-brother Mike never knew he had.

[Listen to an audio excerpt of Widowmaker here...]

Thu
Jun 23 2016 10:00am
Excerpt

Black Sails, Disco Inferno: New Excerpt

Andrez Bergen

Black Sails Disco Inferno by Andrez Bergen is the 70s noir-style retelling of the classic medieval romance of Tristan and Isolde (Available June 30, 2016).

An unnamed city, in which crime families flourish and the police pinch pennies from those with most power...Black Sails, Disco Inferno is a retelling of the classic medieval romance of Tristan and Isolde, turning things on their head by reversing the sex of the chief protagonists and placing them in a '70's pulp/noir world. Andrez Bergen's latest novel exposes layers of the bullet-riddled pulp/noir world of Trista and Issy amidst a sensual, disco-infused narrative overflowing with shady schemes, double dealings, cruel brutality and spellbinding mystery.

TRISTA

[CORNER OF STRENGLEIKAR & GERBERT]

Midnight.

The city feeling like a blast furnace, two blocks down from the Disco Inferno.

From this position on the sidewalk, outside a closed delicatessen called Sam’s, she could hear beatsfrom the club, an electronic-affected voice asking something about being taken to Funky Town.

[Read more from Black Sails, Disco Inferno here...]

Wed
Jun 22 2016 4:00pm

Writing Where Your Protagonist Is a Different Race or Culture

Read this exclusive guest post from John Keyse-Walker, author of Sun, Sand, Muder, about writing protagonists outside of your race and culture, and then, make sure you're signed in and comment for a chance to win a copy of the book!

Write what you know. Every writer has heard this bit of wisdom attributed to Mark Twain. We all try to do this, but nothing flies more in the face of this adage than writing from a perspective the writer cannot fully know—that of a different race or culture. A writer can visit a location, go for a ride-along with the cops, or learn pathology and forensics to lend authenticity and credibility to their principal character’s environment and methods, but they can never completely get inside that character’s skin if they're of a different race.

That irrefutable fact has not stopped a number of crime writers from making a creditable and convincing effort. Richard Price, in Clockers, gave a portrayal of a black, small-time dope dealer and his poor, drug-ravaged housing project sufficiently realistic to inspire the Spike Lee film of the same name. George Pelecanos has been uniformly praised for his portrayal of black protagonists Derek Strange and Marcus Clay, both paired with white partners in Pelecanos's native Washington, D.C.

[Should you write characters outside your race?]