<i>Blood of Tyrants</i>: New Excerpt Blood of Tyrants: New Excerpt Ken Shufeldt A thriller that explores the devastating effects of unlimited political funding. <i>Becoming Bonnie</i>: New Excerpt Becoming Bonnie: New Excerpt Jenni L. Walsh The untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the Bonnie & Clyde duo. Review: <i>Two Lost Boys</i> by L. F. Robertson Review: Two Lost Boys by L. F. Robertson Kristin Centorcelli Read Kristin Centorcelli's review! The Dark Tower: <i>Wolves of the Calla</i> Part VIII The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla Part VIII David Cranmer Join our discussion!
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May 18, 2017
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May 16, 2017
Q&A with Court Merrigan, Author of The Broken Country
David Cranmer and Court Merrigan
May 15, 2017
Adventures in Research, Part I: Time of Departure
Douglas Schofield
May 12, 2017
5 Reasons 50s-Era Cuba Is the Perfect Setting for a Thriller
Paul Vidich
May 4, 2017
2017 Derringer Award Winners
Crime HQ
Wed
May 24 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Blood of Tyrants: New Excerpt

Ken Shufeldt

Blood of Tyrants by Ken ShufeldtBlood of Tyrants by Ken Shufeldt is a gripping political thriller that explores the devastating effects that unlimited political funding, if permitted, could produce (available May 30, 2017).

Backed by a secretive Super PAC, Richard Wilkes, an old money Virginia businessman, upsets the incumbent to win the Presidency. His term begins smoothly enough—until ISIS launches horrific terrorist attacks on American soil.

In way over his head, the President refuses to take action, paving the way for the terrorists to use a stolen Pakistani nuke to incinerate almost a million Americans. Fed up with his incompetence, multi-billionaire Walter Jefferson leads several high ranking military leaders and a band of patriots in a bloody coup.

After eliminating President Wilkes and almost everyone on the Presidential succession list, Jefferson proclaims himself Chancellor and begins moving “undesirables” into internment camps. He then orders the military to invade Canada and Mexico in a desperate attempt to wipe out the ISIS contingents hiding there, and to build a buffer zone around the country. There are catastrophic losses on all sides. There’s only one hope for the United States now: the last survivor on the Presidential succession list, the Secretary of State.

[Read an excerpt from Blood of Tyrants...]

Tue
May 23 2017 4:30pm

Vote for Your Favorite Roger Moore James Bond Film

 

Tell us which film you chose and why in the comments below!

Tue
May 23 2017 3:00pm

We Can Be Heroes

Read author Rio Youers's exclusive guest post about the unlikely hero in all of us, and then make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of his upcoming supernatural thriller, The Forgotten Girl!

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that most of us didn’t disarm a nuclear weapon today. Likewise, we didn’t parachute out of a burning helicopter or get into a knife fight with an army of muscle-packed henchmen.

Or maybe—depending on the book we’re currently reading—we did.

In a recent interview, Lee Child said that there was an element of wish fulfillment involved in the creation of Jack Reacher—an empowering response to the vulnerabilities of everyday life: to see the world through the eyes of a character who could walk down any street, day or night, and not feel threatened. As a writer, I can see the appeal. We inhabit our characters. It’s as close to body-swapping as we’ll ever get. So why not swap with a total badass?

[Life swap!]

Tue
May 23 2017 2:00pm
Excerpt

Becoming Bonnie: New Excerpt

Jenni L. Walsh

Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh is a debut historical novel and the untold story of how the wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo!

Just in time for the anniversary of the deaths of Bonnie and Clyde on May 23, 1934, comes the debut historical novel Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh! Read an exciting excerpt below and make sure to sign in and comment at the bottom for a chance to win your very own copy!

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family's poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her, and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas's newest speakeasy, Doc's.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school, and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, he embraces it―perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling―she tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. But her life―like her country―is headed for a crash.

Bonnie Parker is about to meet Clyde Barrow.

[Read an excerpt from Becoming Bonnie...]

Tue
May 23 2017 1:00pm

Review: Two Lost Boys by L. F. Robertson

Two Lost Boys by L. F. Robertson is a debut novel and a legal thriller that deals with the controversial subject of the death penalty. 

Death row appeals attorney Janet Moodie has had her fill with the hopelessness that comes along with helping those on death row, grinding against the vast machine that makes up the American legal system. Janet reluctantly agrees to take on the appeal of Marion “Andy” Hardy, who, along with his younger brother Emory, was convicted of raping and murdering two prostitutes. The only difference is that while Emory got life in prison, Andy got death. Andy’s low IQ brings into question the appropriateness of the death penalty, but proving that Andy’s original lawyer didn’t do a thorough job is easier said than done.

We would have to turn the field again after nearly fifteen years, reading every piece of paper, looking for things not done, favorable evidence and witnesses that weren’t found or, if found, were ignored—anything that might help convince some judge that Andy deserved a new trial. We were starting at square one, with nothing obvious to look for—hell, we were behind square one, because Andy had had a trial and appeal. We’d have to convince a skeptical judge that enough evidence had been left out the first time, that Andy deserved a chance to be tried again.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review...]

Tue
May 23 2017 12:00pm

The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla Part VIII

Last week, Jake discovered Slightman the Elder's treasonous plan as the Calla geared up for the fight of their lives. This week, the battle against the Wolves commences as we close out Wolves of the Calla

Our previous read, The Wind Through The Keyhole, waylaid us in a town hall as a starkblast trapped our ka-tet with freezing conditions. Roland of Gilead spent the time palavering with Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy about long ago when him and fellow gunslinger Jamie tracked down and killed the shapeshifter Skin-Man. Intertwined in the narrative, we discover that Roland’s mother Gabrielle had learned from Randall Flagg that her son would murder her, and so in a letter she’d written in advance, she absolved Roland of the deed. After the icy weather passes, the ka-tet emerges and heads along the Path of the Beam toward Thunderclap.

*Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

We're back to wacky Stephen King chapters, so the plan is to read a section a week (about 100 pages) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, the battle with the Wolves commences as we close out Wolves of the Calla! Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part VIII of Wolves of the Calla: Part Three The Wolves, VII: “The Wolves” – Epilogue: “The Doorway Cave”!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[Leeeeeeeet's get ready to ruuuuummbllllle!]

Tue
May 23 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Come Sundown: New Excerpt

Nora Roberts

Come Sundown by New York Times-bestselling author Nora Roberts is a novel of suspense, family ties, and twisted passions (available May 30, 2017).

The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…

When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.

[Read an excerpt from Come Sundown...]

Mon
May 22 2017 5:00pm

Page to Screen: American Gods 1.04: “Git Gone” Review

Every episode of American Gods has ended with me longing for more. All the Coming to America vignettes have been pitch perfect and the acting top-notch across the board, but if I hadn't read the extraordinary Neil Gaiman novel, I don't believe I would care what comes next and—like my two viewing companions—would have bailed.

There's a real slow turning of the narrative page here (yet when slow is done right, it can be exciting, à la Twin Peaks) that wasn't clicking in the first three episodes, and the compartmentalization of the book that kept the reader enthralled just didn’t have the same effect in the show. For someone who likes it when filmmakers stay true to the book, I have to admit that I’m glad they expanded the Laura Moon character in “Git Gone.” It provides a much-needed backstory to her relationship with Shadow, and it made this episode the first exceptional one of the series.

[Read David Cranmer's review of “Git Gone”...]

Mon
May 22 2017 3:00pm

Twin Peaks: The Return Review: Parts 1 and 2

Ahead of David Lynch’s revival, I went back and binged on the original series, interested to know if it would still capture me like it did 27 years ago. I was only a few years older than the fictional 17-year-old Laura Palmer when I sat with my mom and best friend Erik each week, religiously invested in Special Agent Cooper probing Laura’s grisly death. My mother didn’t laugh at the dark humor that Erik and I enjoyed over the slain girl’s mom wailing long past when other directors would have yelled “cut!” We had grown up on Lynch’s Blue Velvet and were more than prepared for the dramatic swings—after all, Dennis Hopper snuffing up oxygen through a mask is practically normal. Still, both generations were glued-fast to the intrigue.

[Read David Cranmer's review of Twin Peaks: The Return, Parts 1 and 2!]

Mon
May 22 2017 1:00pm

Watch the First Redband Trailer for Atomic Blonde

Charlize Theron reprises her role as a British spy (Mr. F) in Atomic Blonde, a “breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.” As Agent Lorraine Broughton, Theron proves she can be badass while still looking good, and the first redband trailer shows her employing a full range of skills, both savage and sensual. 

Based on the graphic novel The Coldest City by Antony Johnston & Sam Hart, director David Leitch looks to bring some of the realistic fight scenes and gory gunplay he employed in John Wick. Premiering in theaters July 28th, Atomic Blonde also stars John Goodman, James McAvoy, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones. 

[Watch the redband trailer for Atomic Blonde below!]

Mon
May 22 2017 12:00pm

Review: Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie

Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie is the 6th and final installment in the Grantchester Mystery series (available May 23, 2017).

Part-time sleuth and full-time priest, Sidney Chambers, is enjoying a beautiful May in 1971. Unfortunately, a peaceful walk gathering flowers with his young daughter, Anna, is ruined when the family discovers a dead body.

Although it was possible the man had died from natural causes, and there was probably a good enough reason for the plants he had been gathering, Sidney could not help but brood on the nature of fate, the chance of discovery and the possible sequence of events that had led up to that moment. He went to his study where he began to pray, seeking some kind of guidance, the beginning of understanding. Was it a sin to be so suspicious so frequently, or was he using the natural intuition that God had given him? Was his role as an accidental detective making him less loving and less effective as a priest?

[Read Angie Barry's review of Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love...]

Mon
May 22 2017 10:09am
Excerpt

Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Dark Zone: New Excerpt

George Galdorisi and Jeff Rovin

Tom Clancy's Op-Center: Dark Zone by George Galdorisi, Jeff RovinIn Dark Zone, a race-to-the-finish thriller in the New York Times-bestselling Tom Clancy's Op-Center series, the brutal murder of an undercover agent reveals a plot to incite a full-fledged war between Russia and Ukraine (available May 30, 2017).

Former US Ambassador to the Ukraine Douglas Flannery meets with an old friend and former spy near New York’s South Street Seaport. She is seeking his help to thwart a Russian plan to overrun her native Ukraine, but those for whom she is working propose an infinitely more dangerous scheme, one that could draw in NATO forces and possibly ignite World War III. Moments later, as she jogs along the East River, her throat is slashed.

Within hours, Op-Center learns of the killing and alarm bells go off. Director Chase Williams and his team have been following events as Ukraine, her NATO allies, and Russia rapidly deploy forces in a dangerous game of brinksmanship. But the secret that Flannery has learned threatens to take the looming battle to a whole new and very lethal level. Using cutting edge techniques of cyber warfare and spycraft, Op-Center must respond to the rapidly unfolding crisis before the U.S. is forced to take sides in a conflict that could change history.

[Read an excerpt from Tom Clancy's Op-Center: Dark Zone...]

Fri
May 19 2017 4:30pm

“Only the Dead Drink Brooklyns” Cocktail

Vampires may need blood to survive, but what about when they vant to have a bit of fun?

They get down with a few of this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—the “Only the Dead Drink Brooklyns” cocktail, inspired by Chris Vola's horror thriller, Only the Dead Know Brooklyn!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Fri
May 19 2017 3:00pm

Dear Professor Moriarty: Petty Thief or Criminal Mastermind

This week's guest columnist is Professor Moriarty, who reports that he is, contrary to rumors, very much alive and quite busy planning for a major event that you will all witness soon. Very soon.

Dear Professor Moriarty,

Our 12-year-old daughter was just caught shoplifting from the drug store, and she seems more concerned about how she got caught—there's a camera she didn't spot—than the fact that she did something wrong.

We aren't rich, and things are pretty tight now that the mill closed, but we've always tried to give her what she needed. And she’s always been a good kid: straight A’s, consumes books from the library, and just got into our school’s gifted program. 

Why would she throw her future away by doing something so stupid? 

What's worse is this wasn't an impulsive crime. In her History notebook, I saw a sketch of the drugstore with the locations of five cameras, the expected angles of view for each, and blindspots in each aisle with a list of items, their retail price, and the names of other children. 

I think she was planning on selling what she stole to other kids. 

How can we make sure she understands where she went wrong and how this sort of criminal behavior can ruin her life? 

—Worried Single Dad in Delaware

[Read Professor Moriarty’s advice!]

Fri
May 19 2017 1:00pm

Review: Perish the Day by John Farrow

Perish the Day: A Storm Murders Mystery by John FarrowPerish the Day by John Farrow is the 3rd book in the Storm Murders Trilogy (available May 23, 2017).

In the third novel in John Farrow’s The Storm Murders Trilogy, retired Montreal detective Émile Cinq-Mars and his wife Sandra are in Vermont for their niece Caroline’s graduation ceremony at the Dowbiggin School of International Studies. There’s a big storm coming, but Caroline and her boisterous friends are excited about graduation and what lies beyond, and the excitement rubs off on Émile and Sandra. One of their gang, Addie, is missing, however, and when Caroline gets a text from Addie’s ex Vernon that a body has been found on campus, they’re terrified that it may be Addie. Émile is determined to infiltrate the scene:

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of Perish the Day...]

Fri
May 19 2017 11:03am

Shoplifter Falls Short After Robbery

Having a good getaway plan is one of the cornerstones of any good heist. Sadly, this week’s perp derp stumbled at this task in a spectacular fail.

According to NY Daily News, a woman who tried to flee from a Walmart in Canada with a shopping cart full of loot tripped herself up by face-planting into the pavement while being chased. After the fall, she quickly brushed herself off and hightailed it out of there ... without the goods or her dignity.

Police are now on the lookout for her, but they are confident they will catch the clumsy crook. The local police tweeted the fall with the hope that the someone can help track her down—and obviously for the laughs. Enjoy!

Fri
May 19 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

The Fact of a Body: Audio Excerpt

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich's The Fact of a Body audiobook is an intellectual and emotional thriller that offers listeners a different kind of murder mystery. Drawing on parallels between Marzano-Lesnevich's long-buried family secrets and the story of a man accused of murder, this author-narrated audiobook tackles questions about the nature of forgiveness and if a single narrative can ever really contain something as definitive as the truth.

Listen to an exclusive audio excerpt from Chapter 2 of The Fact of a Body, and then make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win an unabridged audiobook CD copy!

Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes—the moment she hears him speak of his crimes—she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar.

Crime, even the darkest and most unsayable acts, can happen to any one of us. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood. And by examining the details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors her view of Ricky's crime.

But another surprise awaits: She wasn’t the only one who saw her life in Ricky’s.

[Listen to an excerpt from The Fact of a Body...]

Thu
May 18 2017 4:30pm

Watch the First Official Trailer for Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

Continuing the true crime craze, NBC recently released a trailer for its upcoming docuseries, Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murder. Centered on the 1989 double murder of Jose and Mary “Kitty” Menendez as perpetrated by their two adult sons, Lyle and Erik Menendez, the Dick Wolf-produced anthology claims that “The true story will finally be told.” Starring Edie Falco (The Sopranos,Nurse Jackie) and airing Thursdays this fall, the 8-episode anthology will focus on the why of the crime more than the what, going in-depth with the players, the crime, and the media circus that created a national obsession.

[Watch the official first trailer below!]

Thu
May 18 2017 3:00pm

The QUILTBAG Detective: Queer Characters in Crime Fiction

Read Kristen Lepionka's quick-hits list of the top depictions of queer identities in crime fiction, and then make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of her upcoming debut novel, The Last Place You Look!

The Quiltbag Detective sounds like a great title for a cozy series, right? QUILTBAG is actually an acronym*—a catchy, inclusive one gaining popularity for the LGBTQ+ set. Crime fiction actually has a long history of homophobic language in its pages, but despite that—or maybe in spite of it—queer detective characters have been around for some time, able to navigate spaces that straight characters can’t and provide insights that straight characters don’t see. 

From the over-the-top camp of Lou Rand’s The Gay Detective (1961, also published as Rough Trade)—widely regarded as the first American gay detective character, whose sexual orientation is cloaked in not-so-subtle innuendo and sarcasm—to the 16 Lambda finalists for gay and lesbian mystery last year, there are plenty of writers with compelling depictions of queer identities in crime fiction. Here’s a brief primer on some of the high notes. (A number of these are out of print at the moment, so polish up your library card or your magnifying glass for a used bookstore treasure hunt.)

[See the full list below!]