Review: <i>The Lost Ones</i> by Sheena Kamal Review: The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal Dirk Robertson Read Dirk Robertson's review! <i>Gone Gull</i>: Excerpt Gone Gull: Excerpt Donna Andrews The 21st book in the Meg Langslow Mystery series. Review: <i>Deadfall</i> by Linda Fairstein Review: Deadfall by Linda Fairstein John Valeri Read John Valeri's review! Review: <i>LoveMurder</i> by Saul Black Review: LoveMurder by Saul Black Kristin Centorcelli Read Kristin Centorcelli's review!
From The Blog
July 24, 2017
Q&A with Richard Lange, Author of The Smack
Richard Lange and John Valeri
July 22, 2017
The Gothic Origins of the Contemporary Crime Thriller
Chuck Caruso
July 22, 2017
Ramming McDonald’s, Demanding Drugs, Wire Chewer, and More!
Crime HQ
July 21, 2017
Q&A with Kaye George
Kaye George and Katherine Tomlinson
July 21, 2017
Woman Gets DWI After Attempting to Bail Out Friend
Teddy Pierson
Mon
Jul 24 2017 4:30pm

Review: The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal

The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal is a dark, compulsively readable psychological suspense debut, the first in a new series featuring the brilliant, fearless, chaotic, and deeply flawed Nora Watts—a character as heartbreakingly troubled, emotionally complex, and irresistibly compelling as Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander and Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole.

When you are a receptionist and research assistant for a private investigator and his award-winning journalist partner, one could assume life would be straightforward and simple. But that’s not the case for Nora Watts, mostly because she is neither. She lives in the basement underneath her place of work, unknown to her employers. This means she has no rent to pay and, more importantly, no one can find her. She does the finding.

Her numerous skills, intuition, and contacts in various places means she is more than just an assistant or researcher. But Nora has a history that’s dark, toxic, and full of turmoil, which often leads her to find solace at the bottom of a bottle. Though she seeks out a support group and connects with a mentor, Nora’s only real companion is a dog named Whisper. Whisper shares Nora’s life, a life that gets more complicated and deadly by the page.

[Read Dirk Robertson's review of The Lost Ones...]

Mon
Jul 24 2017 3:00pm

Q&A with Richard Lange, Author of The Smack

Richard Lange is a novelist and short story writer. His full-length fiction credits include This Wicked World and Angel Baby; his story collections are titled Dead Boys and Sweet Nothing. Mr. Lange is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the International Association of Crime Writers' Hammett Prize, and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His newest, The Smack (available now), is published by Mulholland Books and has earned praise from both critics and contemporaries.

The Los Angeles-based author recently answered some questions about creative inspiration, unsympathetic characters, telling details, and boundary pushing, among other topics of discussion.

[Read the full Q&A below!]

Mon
Jul 24 2017 12:30pm

Game of Thrones 7.02: “Stormborn”

Stormborn” is as close as Game of Thrones will ever come to a full-on clip show. A clip show, for those who didn’t take Intro to Film, is an episode of a television series that consists primarily of flashbacks from previous episodes, and it’s a staple of most long-running sitcoms.

I bring all of this up because everywhere you looked, “Stormborn” reminded us of the past. There was the storm at Dragonstone that harkened back to the night Daenerys was born. We saw Jon Snow choke-slam Littlefinger in the exact same fashion as Ned did in Season 1. Arya, clearly feeling the reverberations of said choke-slam, was reminded of how Ned wore his hair and styled accordingly. Hot Pie returned. Nymeria returned. Randyl Tarly returned. Reek returned. And the Sand Snakes returned – cringy dialogue and all. There was talk of Robert Baratheon. Of Jeor Mormont. No one remembered Gendry. We dedicated a frustrating amount of time to a sex scene between a eunuch (insert Grey Worm can’t be the Riser of the Week joke here) and a girl who is eight years old in the books. Then, we ended all of this with an epic battle where the bad guy came out on top. Goddammit if it didn’t feel like home.

[The storm is coming…]

Mon
Jul 24 2017 1:00pm

San Diego Comic Con Trailer Round Up

San Diego Comic Con is one of the biggest events of the year, giving us some of the most highly anticipated trailers for all of the upcoming blockbuster hits and series. So this week, instead of highlighting one trailer, why not round up some of our favorites all in one post!

[See all the trailers below!]

Mon
Jul 24 2017 11:00am

Grantchester 3.05: Episode Review

Sidney’s in civvies. The hunky vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton) has gone AWOL from Grantchester and his duty to his parishioners, not to mention his budding love affair with Amanda (Morven Christie). He’s in the hinterlands, thumbing rides, heading north, bound for Lincolnshire but making a stop at someplace called Larkview Farm to see—of all people—the ne’er-do-well Ronnie Maguire (Charlie Higdon).

This leg of Sidney’s self-styled walkabout is a mission of mercy. 

As you’ll recall, Ronnie capped off his unexpected arrival in Grantchester by stealing Mrs. Maguire’s life savings and disappearing into the night. Sidney intends to recover what Ronnie stole. 

How does Sidney know where to find Ronnie? That’s unclear. (It’s rarely clear how or why Sidney knows what he knows.) Nevertheless, find Ronnie he does in a Romani community where Ronnie has been hiding out for a good ten years. 

Sidney arrives demanding money and expecting Ronnie to obey. Ronnie’s new friends and neighbors have other ideas.

[What doesn’t Sidney know?]

Mon
Jul 24 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Donna Andrews Excerpt: Gone Gull

Donna Andrews

Gone Gull by Donna Andrews is the 21st Meg Langslow Mystery, bringing readers yet another knee-slapping adventure filled with the New York Times bestselling author’s cast of wacky characters (available August 1, 2017).

Meg is spending the summer at the Biscuit Mountain Craft Center, helping her grandmother Cordelia run the studios. But someone is committing acts of vandalism, threatening to ruin the newly-opened center’s reputation. Is it the work of a rival center? Have the developers who want to build a resort atop Biscuit Mountain found a new tactic to pressure Cordelia into selling? Or is the real target Meg’s grandfather, who points out that any number of environmentally irresponsible people and organizations could have it in for him?

While Meg is trying to track down the vandal, her grandfather is more interested in locating a rare gull. Their missions collide when a body is found in one of the classrooms. Can Meg identify the vandal and the murderer in time to save the center’s name―while helping her grandfather track down and rescue his beloved gulls?

[Read an excerpt from Gone Gull...]

Sat
Jul 22 2017 12:00pm

The Gothic Origins of the Contemporary Crime Thriller

People have always loved reading about murder. Even back in the mid-18th century, the Newgate Calendar (also known as The Malefactors’ Bloody Register) titillated the public with gruesome accounts of true crimes. Ostensibly, this bulletin of executions at Newgate Prison published criminals’ confessions as a way to warn people about the mortal perils of their wanton ways, cautioning them against drinking, gambling, and prostitution. 

Interestingly, in the early days of the Enlightenment, these criminals were seen as examples of the fate that might befall any of us who strayed from God’s path, and their executions were typically accompanied by a sermon that embraced the lost soul back into the fold. Only later in the Enlightenment did we learn to psychologically distance ourselves from these murderers, kidnappers, and thieves in order to see them as somehow monstrously “other.” Karen Halttunen explores this brilliantly in her admirably accessible study Murder Most Foul from Harvard University Press (2000).

[Read more about the Gothic origins of Crime Fiction!]

Mon
Jul 24 2017 11:00am

Lisa Scottoline Summer Thrills and Kills Sweepstakes

The sunny season is just kicking into high gear, and quality reads are an essential part of your summer experience. What better companions for your next trip to the beach than the thrills, chills, and kills of Lisa Scottoline's books? Enter below for a chance to win autographed copies of 5 Lisa Scottoline books and inject your next summer outing with a heavy dose of sun, sand, and suspense.

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OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. OPEN ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES AND D.C. WHO ARE 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER AND OF THE LEGAL AGE OF MAJORITY THE TIME OF ENTRY. U.S. LAW GOVERNS THIS SWEEPSTAKES. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

  1. ELIGIBILITY: The Lisa Scottoline Summer Thrills and Kills Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) is open only to persons who as of the date of entry (and, if a winner, as of the date of prize fulfillment) are a legal resident of the 50 United States or District of Columbia and who are 18 years of age or older and of the legal age of majority in the jurisdiction in which he or she resides. We are sorry for the geographic restrictions, unfortunately it is required for various legal reasons. Persons who as of the date of entry (and, if a winner, as of the date of prize fulfillment) are an employee of Criminal Element, a division of Macmillan Publishers (“Sponsor”) or any of Sponsor's Affiliates (as defined in Section 5), and members of the immediate family or household (whether or not related) of any such employee, are not eligible. Eligibility determinations will be made by Sponsor in its discretion and will be final and binding. U.S. law governs this Sweepstakes. Void in Quebec and where prohibited by law.
     
  2. HOW TO ENTER: The entry period for the Sweepstakes begins at 12:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) on Monday, July 24, 2017 and continues through 11:59 PM Eastern Time (ET) on Monday, August 7, 2017 (the “Entry Period”). No purchase is necessary. Any entrant who is under 18 years of age or otherwise under the legal age of majority in the jurisdiction in which the entrant resides (a “Minor”) must obtain permission to enter from his or her parent or legal guardian, and the agreement of the parent or legal guardian to these Official Rules, prior to entry. To enter the Sweepstakes, during the Entry Period, entrants must access, complete and submit the Sweepstakes entry form (which will require entrant to submit his or her e-mail address and such other information as Sponsor may require), found in entrant's Facebook newsfeed or alternatively by visiting Sponsor's website located at https://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2017/07/lisa-scottoline-summer-thrills-and-kills-sweepstakes (the “Website”) and following the on screen entry instructions. The Facebook entry form may be pre-filled with information provided by the Facebook platform. There is a limit of one entry per person and per email address. All entries must be completed and received by Sponsor prior to the conclusion of the Entry Period. Entry times will be determined using Sponsor's computer, which will be the official clock for the Sweepstakes. Normal time rates, if any, charged by the entrant's Internet or mobile service provider will apply. All entries are subject to verification at any time. Proof of submission does not constitute proof of entry. Sponsor will have the right, in its discretion, to require proof of identity and/or eligibility in a form acceptable to Sponsor (including, without limitation, government-issued photo identification). Failure to provide such proof to the satisfaction of Sponsor in a timely manner may result in disqualification.
     
  3. WINNER SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION: Following the conclusion of the Entry Period,

Three (3) potential Grand Prize winner(s) will be selected in a random drawing conducted by Sponsor or its agent from among all eligible entries received during the Entry Period. The odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received. The potential winner will be notified by e-mail (sent to the e-mail address provided by the entrant when entering), or using other contact information provided by the potential winner, in Sponsor's discretion. If the initial notification requires a response, the potential winner must respond to Sponsor's initial notification attempt within 72 hours. The potential winner is subject to verification of eligibility and may, in Sponsor's discretion, be required to complete, sign and return to Sponsor an Affidavit of Eligibility/Release of Liability or an Affirmation of Eligibility/Release of Liability, as determined by Sponsor, and, if legally permissible, a Publicity Release, collectively, a “Declaration and Release” for residents of Canada) and any other documentation provided by Sponsor in connection with verification of the potential winner's eligibility and confirmation of the releases and grant of rights set forth herein (as applicable, “Winner Verification Documents”), within seven days of attempted delivery of same. The potential winner if a U.S. resident may also in Sponsor's discretion be required to complete and return to Sponsor an IRS Form W-9 within seven days of attempted delivery of same. If the potential winner is a Minor, Sponsor will have the right to request that the potential winner's parent or legal guardian sign the Winner Verification Documents on behalf of the winner, or to award the prize directly in the name of the winner's parent or legal guardian, who in such event will be required to sign the Winner Verification Documents and/or, if a U.S. resident, an IRS Form W-9. If the potential winner is a Canadian resident, he or she will be required to correctly answer a mathematical skill testing question without mechanical or other aid to be administered via telephone, email or another manner determined by Sponsor in its discretion at a pre-arranged mutually convenient time. If the potential winner cannot be reached or does not respond within 72 hours of the initial notification attempt or fails to complete, sign, and return any required Winner Verification Documents or, if a U.S. resident, IRS Form W-9 within seven days of attempted delivery of same, or in the case of a Canadian selected entrant, fails to correctly answer the mathematical skill testing question without mechanical or other aid, or if the potential winner does not otherwise comply with these Official Rules and/or cannot accept the prize as awarded for any reason, then the potential winner may be disqualified and an alternate winner may, at Sponsor's discretion, be selected from among the remaining eligible entries as specified in these Official Rules (in which case the foregoing provisions will apply to such newly-selected entrant).

  1. PRIZE:

Three (3) Grand Prize(s) will be offered. The Grand Prize consists of one (1) signed hardcover copy of Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline (ARV: $32.99), one (1) signed hardcover copy of Corrupted by Lisa Scottoline (ARV: $32.99), one (1) signed hardcover copy of Damaged by Lisa Scottoline (ARV: $32.99), one (1) signed hardcover copy of Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline (ARV: $32.99), and one (1) signed hardcover copy of Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline (ARV: $32.99). Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of the Prize: $164.95. The approximate retail value (“ARV”) of the Grand Prize is $494.85 USD.
The exact value will depend on where the winner resides and market conditions at the time of prize fulfillment.
All prize details that are not expressly specified in these Official Rules will be determined by Sponsor in its discretion. The prize will be awarded if properly claimed. No substitution, cash redemption or transfer of the right to receive the prize is permitted, except in the discretion of Sponsor, which has the right to substitute the prize or any component of the prize with a prize or prize component of equal or greater value selected by Sponsor in its discretion. The prize consists only of the item(s) expressly specified in these Official Rules. All expenses or costs associated with the acceptance or use of the prize or any component of the prize are the responsibility of the winner. The prize is awarded “as is” and without any warranty, except as required by law. In no event will more than the number of prizes stated in these Official Rules be awarded. All federal, state and local taxes on the value of the prize are the responsibility of the winner. For U.S. residents, an IRS form 1099 will be issued if required by law.

  1. RELEASE AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: By entering the Sweepstakes, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and anyone who succeeds to entrant's rights and responsibilities including without limitation entrant's heirs, executors, administrators, personal representatives, successors, assigns, agents, and attorneys, and with respect to minors entrant's parents and legal guardians (collectively the “Entrant Parties”) releases Sponsor, each of Sponsor's Affiliates, the licensees and licensors other than Entrant Parties including authors of each of the foregoing, all other companies involved in the development or operation of the Sweepstakes, Facebook, the successors and assigns of each of the foregoing and the directors, officers, employees and agents of each of the foregoing (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims and causes of action of any kind that the Entrant Parties ever had, now has or might in the future have arising out of or relating to the Sweepstakes, participation in the Sweepstakes, the use of the Website, the provision, acceptance or use of any prize or any component thereof or any use of the entrant's name as permitted pursuant to these Official Rules, including without limitation any and all claims and causes of action: (a) relating to any personal injury, death or property damage or loss sustained by any entrant or any other person, (b) based upon any allegation of violation of the right of privacy or publicity, misappropriation, defamation, or violation of any other personal or proprietary right, (c) based upon any allegation of infringement of copyright, trademark, trade dress, patent, trade secrets, moral rights or any intellectual property right, or (d) or based upon any allegation of a violation of the laws, rules or regulations relating to personal information and data security. Each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and the Entrant Parties agrees not to assert any such claim or cause of action against any of the Released Parties. Each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and the Entrant Parties assumes the risk of, and all liability for, any injury, loss or damage caused, or claimed to be caused, by participation in this Sweepstakes, the use of the Website, or the provision, acceptance or use of any prize or any component of any prize. The Released Parties are not responsible for, and will not have any liability in connection with, any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the Sweepstakes or in the announcement of the prize. The Released Parties are not responsible for, and will not have any liability in connection with, late, lost, delayed, illegible, damaged, corrupted or incomplete entries, incorrect or inaccurate capture of, damage to, or loss of entries or entry information, or any other human, mechanical or technical error of any kind relating to the operation of the Website, communications or attempted communications with any entrant or Entrant Parties, the submission, collection, storage and/or processing of entries or the administration of the Sweepstakes. The term “Affiliate of Sponsor means any entity that directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with Sponsor. The term “control” means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of management and policies of an entity, or the ownership, directly or indirectly, of more than fifty percent (50%) of the equity interests of the entity.
     
  2. GENERAL RULES: Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to modify these Official Rules (including without limitation by adjusting any of the dates and/or timeframes stipulated in these Official Rules) and to cancel, modify or suspend this Sweepstakes at any time in its discretion, including without limitation if a virus, bug, technical problem, entrant fraud or misconduct, or other cause beyond the control of the Sponsor corrupts the administration, integrity, security or proper operation of the Sweepstakes or if for any other reason Sponsor is not able to conduct the Sweepstakes as planned (including without limitation in the event the Sweepstakes is interfered with by any fire, flood, epidemic, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or of public enemy, communications failure, riot or civil disturbance, war (declared or undeclared), terrorist threat or activity, federal, state, provincial, territorial or local law, order or regulation or court order) or in the event of any change to the terms governing the use of Facebook or the application or interpretation of such terms. In the event of termination of the Sweepstakes, a notice will be posted on the Website or Sponsor's Facebook page and a random drawing will be conducted to award the prize from among all eligible entries received prior to the time of termination. Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify or prohibit from participating in the Sweepstakes any individual who, in Sponsor's discretion, Sponsor determines or believes (i) has tampered with the entry process or has undermined the legitimate operation of the Website or the Sweepstakes by cheating, hacking, deception or other unfair practices, (ii) has engaged in conduct that annoys, abuses, threatens or harasses any other entrant or any representative of Sponsor or (iii) has attempted or intends to attempt any of the foregoing. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SWEEPSTAKES OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR HAS THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS' FEES) FROM ANY PERSON INVOLVED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. The use of agents or automated devices, programs or methods to submit entries is prohibited and Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entry that it believes may have been submitted using such an agent or automated device, program or method. In the event of a dispute regarding who submitted an entry, the entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” means the person who is assigned an email address by an internet provider, online service provider or other organization (e.g., business, educational institute, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. An entrant may be required to provide proof (in a form acceptable to Sponsor, including, without limitation, government-issued photo identification) that he or she is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the entry in question. All federal, state, provincial, territorial and local laws and regulations apply. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be verified or returned. By participating in this Sweepstakes, entrants on behalf of themselves, and to the extent permitted by law on behalf of the Entrant Parties agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding in all respects. These Official Rules may not be reprinted or republished in any way without the prior written consent of Sponsor.
     
  3. DISPUTES: By entering the Sweepstakes, each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and the Entrant Parties agrees that, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, (a) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with the Sweepstakes, or the provision, acceptance and/or use of any prize or prize component, will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action (Note: Some jurisdictions do not allow restricting access to class actions. This provision will not apply to you if you live in such a jurisdiction); (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys' fees; and (c) under no circumstances will any entrant or Entrant Party be permitted to obtain any award for, and each entrant and Entrant Party hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, special, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules or the rights and obligations of the entrants, Entrant Parties and Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York in the United States of America without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York. Any legal proceedings arising out of this Sweepstakes or relating to these Official Rules shall be instituted only in the federal or state courts located in New York County in the State of New York, waiving any right to trial by jury, and each entrant and Entrant Party consents to jurisdiction therein with respect to any legal proceedings or disputes of whatever nature arising under or relating to these rules or the Sweepstakes. In the event of any conflict between these Official Rules and any Sweepstakes information provided elsewhere (including but not limited in advertising or marketing materials), these Official Rules shall prevail.
     
  4. USE OF INFORMATION: Please review the Sponsor's Privacy Notice at http://us.macmillan.com. By entering the sweepstakes, entrant hereby agrees to Sponsor's collection and use of their personal information in accordance with such Notice, including the use of entrant's personal information to send email updates about Criminal Element, Lisa Scottoline and other information from Sponsor and its related companies.
     
  5. WINNER NAME AND RULES REQUESTS: For the name(s) of the winner(s), which will be available two weeks after the conclusion of the Entry Period, or a copy of these Official Rules, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Lisa Scottoline Summer Thrills and Kills Sweepstakes, Criminal Element, a division of Macmillan Publishers, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010. Winner name requests must be received by Sponsor within six months after the conclusion of the Entry Period.
     
  6. SPONSOR: Criminal Element, a division of Macmillan Publishers, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010. The Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.




 

 
Fri
Jul 21 2017 4:30pm

Book-Inspired Cocktails: “Forget Me Not”

What do you do when it feels like you're losing your mind? 

Drink yourself back to sanity with this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—the “Forget Me Not” cocktail, inspired by B. A. Paris's latest propulsive psychological thriller, The Breakdown!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Fri
Jul 21 2017 3:00pm

Q&A with Kaye George, Editor of the Anthology Day of the Dark

Nationally bestselling and award winning author Kaye George (who also writes as Janet Cantrell) is the editor of Day of the Dark, a new collection of short crime-themed stories inspired by the total eclipse that will occur on August 21st. Published by Wildside Press, the book is available in digital and print forms on all platforms. 

[Read the full Q&A below!]

Fri
Jul 21 2017 2:00pm

Review: Deadfall by Linda Fairstein

Hunting a killer within New York’s urban jungle becomes the biggest case of Alexandra Cooper’s career in New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein’s latest riveting thriller, Deadfall.

Perennial bestseller Linda Fairstein returns with Deadfall—the 19th book to feature series protagonist Alexandra “Alex” Cooper. Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney’s office in Manhattan for more than two decades before stepping away to write crime fiction full-time, Fairstein is considered the nation’s foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her books are grounded in an authenticity of time and place that is nearly unrivaled among contemporaries.

Deadfall opens in the immediate aftermath of a shocking crime: a drive-by shooting outside New York City’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art that leaves District Attorney Paul Battaglia dead in Alex Cooper’s arms. Despite her intimate familiarity with violence—including having prosecuted the most heinous of cases and surviving a recent kidnapping that left her traumatized (2015’s Devil’s Bridge)—Alex can barely fathom the reality of what she’s witnessed:

[Read John Valeri's review of Deadfall...]

Fri
Jul 21 2017 1:00pm

Review: LoveMurder by Saul Black

LoveMurder by Saul Black is the second book in the Valerie Hart series, where the San Diego homicide detective must enlist the help of the very serial killer she helped put away (available July 25, 2017). 

Katherine Glass is one of the evilest, most diabolical serial killers that San Diego Homicide Detective Valerie Hart has ever put behind bars—but she didn’t work alone. She had a lover who they called the Man in the Mask (he always wore a mask and never revealed his face). Together with Katherine, the two tortured, raped, and murdered at least six women, maybe more. Although Katherine Glass has been in jail for 6 years, her partner has remained free. And as far as law enforcement knows, he’s been quiet … until now. When the violated body of Elizabeth Lambert is found, a note is found with her, and it’s addressed directly to Valerie:

Dear Valerie,

Katherine Glass stays in prison, more people die. You know who I am, but I’ve left you Danielle’s ring by way of substantiation. They’ll get fair warning, as Elizabeth did. (Look carefully, please.) No videos yet, but there will be. This one is just to open the channel. You’ve been waiting for this. More to follow.

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of LoveMurder...]

Fri
Jul 21 2017 12:00pm

Woman Gets DWI After Attempting to Bail Out Friend

You know that old saying, “Friends don't let friends drive drunk”? It seems someone forgot to mention that to a bunch of Louisiana residents.

According to the NY Post, police pulled over what they described as “a car full of drunk people,” and the driver was arrested for DWI. After the driver was taken into custody, the other passengers—who were also drunk—were sent on their merry way in a cab. The police officers figured that was the end of the story. Nope.

About one hour later, one of the drunk passengers returned to pick up the impounded vehicle and post bail for their friend. The police officer remembered her and placed her under arrest for driving while intoxicated.

Police offered their Saturday morning cartoon PSA, saying “Lesson of the day ... don't drive drunk to a police station in order to bail out your drunk friend!”

Fri
Jul 21 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Peter Tremayne Excerpt: Penance of the Damned

Peter Tremayne

Penance of the Damned by Peter TremaynePenance of the Damned by Peter Tremayne is the 27th book in the Sister Fidelma series (available July 25, 2017).

Ireland, AD 671. King Colgú of Cashel is shocked to learn that his loyal Chief Bishop and advisor has been murdered in the old enemy fortress of the Uí Fidgente. When word reaches Cashel that the culprit will be executed under new law, a larger conflict looms.

Dispatched to investigate, Fidelma and her companion Eadulf discover that the man facing punishment is Gormán—commander of the King’s bodyguard. But Fidelma cannot believe Gormán would carry out such an act—and yet he was found locked in a chamber with the body, weapon in hand. The evidence is stacked against him.

If they are to exonerate Gormán and keep the peace between the kingdoms, Fidelma and Eadulf must find the true culprit. As the threat of war looms, the date of execution drawers ever closer...

[Read an excerpt from Penance of the Damned...]

Thu
Jul 20 2017 4:00pm

Latest Unidentified Victim of John Wayne Gacy Identified

When asked who the top 5 most infamous and prolific serial killers in American history are, John Wayne Gacy likely appears on every list. Known as the “Killer Clown” due to his work as a children’s performer, Mr. Gacy claimed 33 victims at his Norwood Park ranch house in Cook County, Illinois (a part of metropolitan Chicago). From 1972 to 1978, Gacy would lure teenage boys and young men to his home where he would torture, sexually assault, and murder them, burying 26 of his victims in the crawl space beneath his house. Gacy was convicted of 33 murders in 1980 and sentenced to death, executed by lethal injection in 1994.

Recently, a team of investigators was able to use DNA evidence to identify the remains of one the seven unknown victims: 16-year-old James Byron Haakenson, a runaway from St. Paul, Minnesota, who had been missing since 1976. Using DNA from two of Haakenson’s siblings, combined with the original missing persons reports, the investigators were able to confirm the remains belonged to the missing Haakenson.

After reopening the investigation in 2011, the Cook County Sheriff's Office has been able to identify two of the eight originally unknown victims. With six still unidentified, the case remains open.

Thu
Jul 20 2017 3:00pm

Buddy Cops with an Undead Twist

Among police and detective stories, we've come to expect certain tropes: the Amateur Detective, the Genius Detective, the Good Cop Who Breaks All the Rules, The Supernatural Cop, and dare I say, the Vampire Detective. While Graveyard Shift's characters share many traits with the last, the one that stands out for me is the Buddy Cop trope.

Growing up, I loved Buddy Cop films (I still do): CHiPS, Starsky and Hutch, Alien Nation, Cagney and Lacey, Lethal Weapon, Miami Vice, and a dozen others. The trope works best when the partners are at odds with one another. We get many pairings of the neat guy and the slob (even better when the slob is a dog) or the streetwise cop used to working alone and undercover paired with the straight-laced, by-the-book cop. The examples can go on and on. Eventually, the partners’ traits rub off on one another and, though they may have started off disliking one another, they become fast friends—sometimes even more.

[Learn about Michael Haspil's unlikely and undead Buddy Cop team...]

Thu
Jul 20 2017 1:00pm

Review: Incarnate by Josh Stolberg

In Incarnate by Josh Stolberg, an ambitious and sharp-witted clinical psychiatrist turns detective when one of her patients comes under investigation for a series of brutal murders—is she a psychopath or a victim herself? (Available July 25, 2017.)

Psychiatric resident Kim Patterson is really good at what she does, but that didn’t keep her from getting fired from her job in San Diego. Thankfully, she was given a second chance at Jarvis Regional Hospital in the tiny town of Jarvis, Alaska. She’s chafing under the scrutiny of her supervisors—one of which, Dr. Kyle Berman, she’s having an affair with—and things don’t get any easier when 19-year-old Scarlett Hascall comes in with her boss from the fast food place she works at. She supposedly flung a fryer at his face but has no memory of actually doing the deed. When Kim starts asking questions, Scarlett acts strangely, setting off alarms for Kim.

“Something I’m a little confused about,” Kim said cautiously, scooting her own chair close so that she was knee to knee with Scarlett. “You don’t seem too surprised by Darren’s accusations. Most people, they get accused of something like that, they’re likely to fly off the handle. Or at least make it clear that they weren’t involved.”

[Read Kristin Centorcelli's review of Incarnate...]

Thu
Jul 20 2017 12:00pm

Prime Suspect: Tennison Deserves Prequel Time

It’s been years since we last saw Superintendent Jane Tennison with all her ugly, angry demons on display in Prime Suspect. Helen Mirren left us with an indelible impression of the character created by author Lynda LaPlante—one that can’t truly be replicated. (Sorry Maria Bello, but the American version of Prime Suspect was never going to be a winner.)

Then, along came Endeavour to show us you can go home again, provided you arrive earlier than when you left. Take that favorite character and make him or her simpler, more innocent, more open, less encumbered. Fill in the flesh on the bones of the character’s past. That way there’s less pressure to replicate success and more opportunity to evolve. 

Of course, it helps if you show respect for the original, because you know the audience does. It also helps if you have a great story to tell and a fine cast to tell it. Prime Suspect: Tennison (aka Prime Suspect 1973) delivers on all fronts. 

[Please ma’am, may we have another?]

Thu
Jul 20 2017 10:00am
Excerpt

Adam Christopher Excerpt: Killing Is My Business

Adam Christopher

Killing Is My Business by Adam ChristopherKilling Is My Business by Adam Christopher is the second book in the Ray Electromatic Mysteries series (available July 25, 2017).

Another golden morning in a seedy town, and a new memory tape and assignment for intrepid PI-turned-hitman—and last robot left in working order—Raymond Electromatic. But his skills may be rustier than he remembered in Killing Is My Business, the latest in Christopher's robot noir oeuvre, hot on the heels of the acclaimed Made to Kill.

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Listen to this:

Vaughan Delaney was a planner for the city of Los Angeles. He occupied a position high enough up the ladder that entitled him to an office at an equally high altitude in a tall building downtown that was home to a number of other local government desks. The office came with a salary that was high for a city employee but nothing to write a favorite uncle about, and a view that was simply to die for.

[Read an excerpt from Killing Is My Business...]