Crime Fiction

Down to No Good by Earl Javorsky

By Sidney Williams

Earl Javorsky’s protagonist died in his first adventure, so of course he’s back in a new book, DOWN TO NO GOOD.

Charlie Miner, who kept shuffling on this mortal coil in Down Solo despite his condition, continues his post-life career when he’s called on by cop pal Dave Putnam to help the L.A.P.D.

A psychic-to-the stars has provided information about three murders, and it’s info that makes the police department look bad. Who better to look into a psychic than a detective who’s deceased but somewhat inexplicably ambulatory?

Charlie sets out to do his best, though he’s still struggling with what he calls Swiss cheese brain and coming to terms with his situation.

Shifting from Charlie’s first-person-point of view to third-person with Dave, Javorsky leads readers on a page-turning journey that continues the explorations of a hero who was troubled even in life, and who continues to struggle with addiction and related family issues.

It’s an interesting and rousing take on crime novel territory that’s won Javorsky a lot of praise from authors such as T. Jefferson Parker, who said of the first book in the series: “Earl Javorsky’s bold and unusual Down Solo blends the mysterious and the supernatural boldly and successfully. The novel is strong and haunting, a wonderful debut.”

The Big Thrill recently posed a few questions to Javorsky about his Charlie Miner universe.
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Bury The Past by James L’Etoile

Sacramento Police detectives John Penley and Paula Newberry investigate a case from Paula’s past. The prime suspect in the murder of a former cop is a man already serving time in prison. He has the ultimate alibi and orchestrates a plan to overturn his conviction and lays the blame on detective Newberry as bodies continue to pile up. Someone has to pay for the crimes, and as political pressure mounts, John Penley and Paula Newberry risk it all to keep the right man in prison and keep Paula out.

BURY THE PAST author James L’Etoile discussed his latest novel with The Big Thrill:
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Heaven’s Crooked Finger by Hank Early

Eerie, intense, and masterfully-crafted, Hank Early’s gripping series debut HEAVEN’S CROOKED FINGER transports readers to a secretive community in the Georgia mountains.

Earl Marcus thought he had left the mountains of Georgia behind forever, and with them, the painful memories of a childhood spent under the fundamentalist rule of his father RJ’s church–a church built on fear, penance, and the twisting, writhing mass of snakes. But then an ominous photo of RJ is delivered to Earl’s home. The photograph is dated long after his father’s burial, and there’s no doubt that the man in the picture is very much alive.

HEAVEN’S CROOKED FINGER author, Hank Early, spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel:
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Outside the Wire by Patricia Smiley

LAPD Homicide detective Davie Richards is called to an airport parking garage to investigate the shooting of a retired U.S. Army Ranger and Vietnam War veteran. As Davie unravels baffling clues, one murder becomes two and a pattern begins to emerge. Racing to save the killer’s next victim challenges Davie’s physical and emotional endurance and tests the bonds of brotherhood and friendship.

OUTSIDE THE WIRE author Patricia Smiley spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel:
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Meat City on Fire by Angel Luis Colón

Angel Luis Colón invites you on a short tour of the world as a literary mix tape to that strange Goth girl with the lazy eye who still wants nothing to do with you–no matter how good that fedora looks on your head.

So what’s in store for your brain?

Follow three major moments in the life of gambling addict and mafia muscle Sean Clarke as he goes from soft-hearted kid to full-blown bastard to broken old man.

Thrill at the short-lived and incredibly violent courtship, marriage, and honeymoon of Hank and Annie.

The set of the country’s most popular trash TV talk show is appropriately trashier than what makes the air.

Beards make absolutely terrible trophies.

Sometimes you’ll crawl through the fire and smoke for a chance at a semi-decent score and a way out of working in a place called “Meat City.”

All that along with even more violence, revenge, Lee Van Cleef, light sex crimes, and cannibals than you can shake a stick at!

The Big Thrill caught up with Angel Luis Colón to discuss his latest novel, MEAT CITY ON FIRE:
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Metabyte by Cat Connor

Her niece is abducted and her in-laws disappear. Long-deceased agents turn up in garages across the city – dead again. No wonder SSA Ellie Iverson’s internal alert goes off the scale.

Enigmatic clues and codes from a missing colleague and brother-in-law about the seepage of sensitive FBI data lead to the sudden death of a team member and leave Delta A spinning. Two new agents, with special talents akin to Ellie’s, join the team and ramp her alarm sensors even higher. Her niece’s social media life offers clues to a horrifying network and its activities.

Working under a directive from the Director of the FBI and with the Wayward Son Protocol, Ellie and Delta A work to disentangle leads from the darknet, stem the flow of death, and bring her family home.

METABYTE author Cat Conner spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing the ninth installment of The Byte series:
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Hell to Pay by Rachel Amphlett

When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night exposes a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.

Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?

Bestselling author Rachel Amphlett spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing the latest novel in her Detective Kay Hunter series, HELL TO PAY:
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Beacon Hill by Colin Campbell

Former British cop Jim Grant is back in Boston, now a fully-fledged member of the Boston PD based at Jamaica Plain.

Working the nightshift for fellow detective Sam Kincaid should have been an easy job, but after saving a kidnapped child from a blazing house and attending a drive-by shooting in Beacon Hill, it proves to be anything but. The trouble is the wealthy target, Daniel Hunt, doesn’t want to complain and Grant’s bosses try and shut him down.

Grant isn’t one for shutting down and it doesn’t take him long to discover that Hunt wasn’t the intended target. After a foiled robbery and a squashed dog, the case turns personal, then the stakes really go through the roof.

BEACON HILL author Colin Campbell stopped by The Big Thrill to discuss his latest thriller:
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Accidental Outlaws by Matt Phillips

Three linked crime novellas that follow working class antiheroes as they indulge in theft, murder, and lawless shenanigans. Ain’t no cops running things out this way.

In “Mesa Boys,” Ronnie plots a haphazard heist with a twisted con man. In “The Feud,” tough-as-nails Rex lets his resentment for a local pot dealer cloud his judgement. And in “Bar Burning,” a mysterious drifter goes toe-to-toe with his new lady’s psychotic ex-husband.

ACCIDENTAL OUTLAWS is a hellfire ride through working class America’s angsty underbelly.

Author Matt Phillips spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel, ACCIDENTAL OUTLAWS:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

My hope is that readers hop in, latch their seat belts, and enjoy the ride. These stories are a wild journey down a long desert highway––pure speed, fun, and danger.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

This book draws a direct line to the rural noir thrillers of Jim Thompson, Daniel Woodrell, Harry Crews, Flannery O’Connor, and others. If noir is to be rural, I believe it must be honest in its depictions of the rural mindset and tendency to dabble in the outlaw side of life (whether that’s right or wrong). I hope the book is a contemporary take on the outlaw mindset from my own experience and perspective.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

I was surprised at my own understanding and continued realization of the rural-urban dichotomy. This is a growing rift in American society, and I was interested in exploring this dynamic as a person who, now, lives in a major American city. I used to live in a rural area and it made a huge impact on me (both for good and ill).

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

This book, in so many ways, is a subtle exploration of personal ties––you’ll find sons abandoned by fathers, a drifter intent on severing all earthly ties, and often futile attempts at salvaging love and joy.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Harry Crews wrote the most unique stories––I appreciate his constant willingness to experiment and let his characters lead him to surprise. Thomas McGuane, I think, taught me how to write about family in a compelling way. Ben Whitmer and Joe Lansdale are two writers I’m returning to again and again… Jim Thompson’s Savage Night. Dorothy B. Hughes with The Expendable Man and In a Lonely Place. I’ll stop there because I can go on and on and on…

*****

Matt Phillips lives in San Diego. His books include Accidental Outlaws, Three Kinds of Fool, Redbone, and Bad Luck City. He has published crime stories across the web at Shotgun Honey, Near to the Knuckle, Out of the Gutter’s Flash Fiction Offensive, Pulp Metal Magazine, Fried Chicken and Coffee, Manslaughter Review, and elsewhere.

To learn more about Matt, please visit his website.

 

 
 

Next of Kin by James Tucker

By George Ebey

Author James Tucker brings us a new kind of detective in his debut novel, NEXT OF KIN.

A New Year’s Eve celebration begins with the pop of a champagne cork–and ends with the bone-chilling screams of a killer’s victims. Ten-year-old Ben Brook is the lone survivor of the brutal murder of his wealthy family at their upstate New York compound. But from the moment he evades death, Ben’s life is in constant danger. Can NYPD detective Buddy Lock keep the boy safe from a killer intent on wiping out the entire Brook clan?

The Big Thrill recently checked in with Tucker to learn more about his exciting new tale of suspense.

Tell us a little about your main character, Buddy Lock. What has his journey been like up until now?

Too many fictional detectives are superheroes who know everything. I wanted my detective, Buddy Lock, to be smart, but I wanted readers to learn things along with him. He makes mistakes, and his flaws make him more engaging. Yet Buddy is a different kind of detective. He’s a former prodigy at the piano. As a boy and young man, he performed all over the world. But he gave up that life to join the NYPD. He’s relentless about his job and about seeking justice. His musical background and training help him to see detail and patterns that others can’t see, and make him one of New York City’s best detectives.
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Headhunter by Michael Slade

By Dawn Ius

Few authors revisit their debut after it’s published—at least not beyond typical nostalgia for it being the first. But Michael Slade has not only cracked the spine on his first thriller, he’s completely gutted and re-imagined it, giving it new life not only on the bookshelf as a limited hardcover, but also coming to the small screen in 2018 as an eight-part TV mini-series.

HEADHUNTER, first published in the 1980s, is a horrific tale that grew out of his pioneer ancestors’ frontier history with the Wild West Mounties, his mom’s 1944 adventures in “the Land of the Headhunters,” the death of Slade’s dad when Slade was nine and the crisis that produced, along with ten years of practicing criminal law with modern-day Mounties in a hundred murder cases—many involving insanity.

“When e-books came along, the paper edition was scanned into a Word file. That gave me the opportunity to re-imagine the story the way it would have been written back then had I known what I know now,” Slade says.

“My pre-law studies were in modern history. It takes thirty years, a professor said, to objectively understand current events. Because HEADHUNTER captures my real-life homicide experiences in the sexual underground of Vancouver during the Sexual Revolution, and thirty years have passed since its original publication, there was more to write in the horrific plot of my most personal novel.”

No way could Slade leave the book in a form that, in his opinion, wasn’t his best. So he dropped every other project—including the fifteenth novel in his Special X series—and carved out two years to completely re-conceive his first “Mountie noir” thriller. This month, a legion of fans is frothing at the mouth to get their hands on an updated novel that—even back then—was both terrifying and disturbing.

Slade took some time to talk to The Big Thrill about the story that ignited his writing career and first brought him to the attention of horror fans.
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Dead Stop by Barbara Nickless

It’s been five months since Special Agent Sydney Parnell survived a violent confrontation with a gang of brutal thugs, an encounter that left her physically and emotionally scarred. Deep down, Sydney fears she isn’t ready for another investigation. But when a woman is murdered on the train tracks and a child goes missing, she knows she’s the only one who can lead the hunt for the killer. While Denver police and the FBI chase down blind alleys, Sydney focuses on a single cryptic clue left behind at the crime scene—one that will send her down a path of greed, violence, and long-ago love.

With Denver beset by a series of monsoonlike thunderstorms that threaten to flood the city, Sydney and her K9 partner, Clyde, must wade through a murky trail of murder that stretches back thirty years—all to rescue a child…and catch a killer with a long memory and an insatiable appetite for destruction.

Award-winning author Barbara Nickless was kind enough to discuss her latest novel, DEAD STOP, with The Big Thrill:
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Death’s Silent Judgement by Anne Coates

DEATH’S SILENT JUDGEMENT is the thrilling sequel to Dancers in the Wind, and continues the gripping series starring London-based investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge. Following the deadly events of Dancers in the Wind, freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is thrown into the heart of a horrific murder investigation when a friend, Liz Rayman, is found with her throat slashed at her dental practice. With few clues to the apparently motiveless crime, Hannah throws herself into discovering the reason for her friend’s brutal murder, and is determined to unmask the killer. But before long Hannah’s investigations place her in mortal danger, her hunt for the truth placing her in the path of a remorseless killer…

Anne Coates, the author of DEATH’S SILENT JUDGEMENT, recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Apart from enjoying an exciting page-turner, readers will see that many of today’s problems were already evident in the early 90s: trafficking girls as sex slaves, transgender issues, homelessness…

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Hunger Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

Special Agent Matthew Roarke has abandoned his rogue search for serial killer Cara Lindstrom. He’s returned to the FBI to head a task force with one mission: to rid society of its worst predators. But as the skeletal symbols of Santa Muerte, “Lady Death,” mysteriously appear at universities nationwide, threatening death to rapists, Roarke’s team is pressured to investigate. When a frat boy goes missing in Santa Barbara, Roarke realizes a bloodbath is coming—desperate teenagers are about to mete out personal, cold-blooded justice.

Hiding from the law, avenging angel Cara Lindstrom is on her own ruthless quest. She plans to stay as far away from Roarke as possible—until an old enemy comes after both her and the FBI, forcing her back into Roarke’s orbit. This time, the huntress has become the hunted…

The Big Thrill recently spoke with award-winning author Alexandra Sokoloff about her latest novel, HUNGER MOON:
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JackHammer by Paul Dale Anderson

Andy Sinnott and Connie Kelly face off with a professional assassin in this taut psychological thriller. Burke—hired by the mob to eliminate Lester Cartwright, Tom Wesley, David Mullins, and a sequestered federal witness—is a brutal killer who uses a jackhammer on his victims. Burke sends Andy to the hospital, captures Connie, and cuts off two of her toes. Helpless and at the mercy of a sadistic serial killer, Connie must think out of the box if she hopes to survive. Fast-paced and riveting, this tale brings together characters from previous books. Who will survive and who won’t?

Author Paul Dale Anderson spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel, JACKHAMMER:
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Dark Traces by Martin Steyn

What is really worse? Being the one who dies? Or the one who keeps on living?

Warrant Officer Jan Magson, of the South African Police Service, looks down at the decomposing body of a teenage girl. She was tortured and hanged, and she wasn’t the first. Trapped in a dark place following his wife’s death after a battle with cancer, the pursuit of a serial killer who will not stop threatens to suffocate Magson. While the killer fantasizes about his next victim, Magson nurtures his own dark fantasies, his service pistol in his hand.

Author Martin Steyn recently discussed his latest novel, DARK TRACES, with The Big Thrill:
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The Secrets on Chicory Lane by Raymond Benson

Sixty-one-year-old Shelby Truman, a bestselling romance novelist, receives a request to visit her childhood friend, Eddie, who is on death row. Though mentally ill, Eddie is scheduled to be executed for murder. As Shelby travels home to Texas for the unnerving reunion, she recalls her stormy five-decade-long relationship with Eddie in order to understand what led the beautiful and talented, but troubled, boy who lived across the street to become a killer. Her flashbacks, whether they occurred in the nearby public park or Eddie’s bomb shelter–their “secret hiding place” where they could escape Eddie’s abusive father–begin to reveal shocking truths. Most significant is the tragedy one summer, which set in motion a lifelong struggle against an Evil, with a capital “E,” that corrupted their all-American neighborhood.

The Big Thrill caught up with award-winning novelist Raymond Benson to discuss his latest novel, THE SECRETS ON CHICORY LANE:
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Bolt Action Remedy by J. J. Hensley

Former Pittsburgh narcotics detective Trevor Galloway has been hired to look into the year-old homicide of a prominent businessman who was gunned down on his estate in Central Pennsylvania. When Galloway arrives, he determines the murder could have only been committed by someone extremely skilled in two areas: skiing and shooting. He believes the assailant should not be too difficult to identify, given the great amount of skill and athleticism needed to pull off the attack. When he discovers the victim’s property is next door to a biathlon training camp, the situation becomes significantly more complicated.

Galloway makes plenty of enemies as he sifts through stories about lucrative land deals, possible drug connections, and uncovers evidence suggesting the homicide may have been an elaborate suicide. As he attempts to navigate through an unfamiliar rural landscape, he does his best not to succumb to an old drug addiction, or become confused by one of his occasional hallucinations. Oh, and a Pittsburgh drug gang enforcer known as The Lithuanian—if he’s even real—is tracking Galloway and wants to take his eyes. Galloway would rather keep those.

In BOLT ACTION REMEDY, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies.

BOLT ACTION REMEDY author, J. J. Hensley, took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his latest book with The Big Thrill:
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Hau Tree Green by Bob Bickford

Sometimes secrets are too big to live with. Sometimes dying is a relief.

Beatrice Stone came to the West Coast young and delectable, with high hopes and big plans for a long career on the silver screen. It hasn’t worked out. She has a secret… She loves someone she isn’t allowed to. It’s a love that’s forbidden, and it ruins her. Pretty dreams don’t always come true, and she descends into the streets, living for the next bottle of gin. A prostitute and a thief, she gets by any way she can. She steals something without knowing how valuable it is, and the people she stole it from want it back badly enough to kill her.

The last man Beatrice Stone ever propositions is private eye Nate Crowe. He turns her down, but something about her touches him. He gives her five bucks and watches her walk away, not knowing that she’s going to haunt him, or that he’s going to haunt her murderers.

Author Bob Bickford spent some time discussing his novel, HAU TREE GREEN, with The Big Thrill:
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Falling Too by Gordon Brown

In the early hours of a Thursday morning in August 1963, one of the UK’s most famous crimes was committed when a Royal Mail train, heading from London to Glasgow, was robbed of £2.6 million. Over five decades later, the real mastermind behind the robbery, a man who got no credit, but who wants it, is determined to top the original robbery by stealing the entire wealth of a fleeing Glasgow crime lord from a train—in exactly the same spot that the original crime took place.

Meanwhile, Charlie Wiggs, a small-time unassuming accountant, discovers that his friend, Tina, has stolen a drawing worth £400,000 in a bid to get out from under crushing debt—and it’s now in that same Glasgow crime lord’s collection, on that very train.

If Tina can’t get the drawing back she’ll go to jail—or worse. Desperate, she asks Charlie to help.

Charlie has only one solution: team up with the violent, bitter mastermind and steal the drawing back—and in the process, become one of the most notorious train robbers in British history.

The Big Thrill caught up with author Gordon Brown to discuss his latest novel, FALLING TOO:
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Crazed by Jacob Stone

By George Ebey

CRAZED is the second installment in Jacob Stone’s new thriller series featuring former LAPD detective turned consultant, Morris Brick. Brick has come face to face with the grisly handiwork of a deranged sadist known as SCK—the Skull Cracker Killer. But he isn’t the only one with a keen interest in SCK’s activities. A crazed lunatic has become obsessed with following the killer and vows to outdo him. The mounting body count has Brick on edge, and even as he lays his trap, he has no idea of the new horrors he is about to face.

The Big Thrill recently caught up with the author to learn more about his latest book.

How has Morris Brick evolved since the last time we saw him?

At the beginning of the first book, Deranged, Morris is a retired LAPD homicide detective who has started his own investigation firm Morris Brick Investigations (MBI) with several other former LAPD detectives. He’s happily married to Natalie, has a daughter Rachel who is in law school, and a bull terrier Parker. So in many ways, Morris comes into the series fully baked. Not a lot has changed with CRAZED other than that Morris has formed a closer friendship with the actor Philip Stonehedge, who had forced his way onto the serial killer hunt in the first book, and that the killer in CRAZED has made things far more personal by targeting Morris’s clients.
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Three Hours Past Midnight by Tony Knighton

His last job a disaster, a professional thief teams with an old partner eager for one last score—a safe in the home of a wealthy Philadelphia politician. But they are not the only ones set on the cash. His partner dead and the goods missing, he hunts for his money and the killer to find out that this may have been a job best left undone.

To learn more about THREE HOURS PAST MIDNIGHT, The Big Thrill met with author Tony Knighton:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

That a protagonist in a crime novel needn’t be Superman. There are far too many crime fiction “heroes” who know everything and are the baddest men alive. Or, they have a best friend who is the baddest man alive, whose only purpose is to save the hero. Yawn.
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The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards

It was the happiest day of her life. Little did she know it was also the last.

When a woman’s body is found in the grounds of a ruined priory, Detective Imogen Evans realises she is dealing with a serial killer—a killer whose victims appear to die in a state of bliss, eyes open, smiles forever frozen on their faces.

A few miles away, single dad Ben Hofland believes his fortunes are changing at last. Forced to move back to the sleepy village where he grew up following the breakdown of his marriage, Ben finally finds work. What’s more, the bullies who have been terrorising his son, Ollie, disappear. For the first time in months, Ben feels lucky.

But he is unaware that someone is watching him and Ollie. Someone who wants nothing but happiness for Ben.

Happiness…and death.

THE LUCKY ONES author, Mark Edwards, spent some time discussing his latest thriller with The Big Thrill:
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The Black Kachina by Jack Getze

When a top-secret weapon goes missing on Colonel Maggie Black’s watch, her honor and her career are on the line. There were airmen who said the Air Force’s best female combat pilot would never be the same after losing her arm in Iraq, but state-of-the-art prosthetics have made Maggie better than new, and she’s not about to lose what she battled so hard to regain.

But finding her experimental missile won’t be easy—thanks to the revenge-fueled ambitions of Asdrubal Torres, whose hallucinatory encounter with the Great Spirit challenges him to refill Lake Cahuilla, the ancient inland sea that once covered much of southern California. To fulfill his blessed mission, Torres needs wizardry and weaponry, and the Great Spirit provides both: Magic, in the form of a celebrated shaman’s basket returned to the tribal museum by San Diego reporter Jordan Scott; Might, in the form of Maggie Black’s top-secret weapon that falls from the sky.

From that moment, it’s a race against time for Maggie and Jordan, who together must stop Torres from destroying Hoover Dam—and turning the Colorado River into a tsunami that would kill hundreds of thousands and wipe out the Southwest’s water supply. In the final showdown, it’s Maggie who must disarm the stolen missile’s trigger—one-handed or not—and save the day.

Author by Jack Getze took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his latest release, THE BLACK KACHINA, with The Big Thrill:
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Every Day Above Ground by Glen Erik Hamilton

When an old acquaintance of Van Shaw’s late grandfather—a terminally ill ex-con—shows up in Seattle, he offers the broke veteran a money-making opportunity that sounds like a thief’s dream: an easy fortune in gold, abandoned and nearly forgotten after its original owner died. The grandson of a career thief who taught him all the tricks of his trade, Van knows that nothing is ever quite as easy as it seems. The safe holding the fortune turns out to be a trap—deadly bait set by a malevolent player armed with tremendous resources, an army of hunters, and a lifetime of hatred. For Van, every day above ground is a good day, and all the better if he can stay on the right side of the law, even though crime is his gift . . . and in his blood.

Glen Erik Hamilton discussed his latest thriller, EVERY DAY ABOVE GROUND, with The Big Thrill:
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Polo’s Long Shot by Jerry Kennealy

By G. Robert Frazier

After 11 novels featuring private eye Nick Polo—the latest being POLO’S LONGSHOT—and 22 books overall, you might think Jerry Kennealy has this author thing licked. He’d be the first to tell you otherwise.

“I’ll never get it licked, but this was a fun book to write: expensive wine, glider crashes, and interesting characters,” Kennealy said. “And, as in all of my books, it never would have been written without the help of my Shirley, my beautiful wife and in-house editor. She’s a very detail-minded person. I’m not.  So, I ramble along and she will come up with some interesting findings, like, ‘Jer. The character Polo is talking to on page 223, died on page 110.’ Oops.”

This time around, Polo is enlisted by billionaire Paul Bernier to find a kukri, a priceless golden jewel-encrusted 14th century dagger, designed by the Emperor of India. The dagger has a long, bloody history, passing between warlords throughout the ages, including Saddam Hussain. The search has Polo bumping heads with Bernier’s vindictive stepdaughter, his eccentric household staff, a Miami con man, a crooked private investigator, a drug dealing nightclub owner, a New York Mafia Don, and two vicious murderers.

What is it about Nick that keeps drawing you back to him?

I like the character.  Polo is tough and savvy, but he’s also compassionate, and has a bit of a laidback, live-and-let-live attitude, something that I find is all too rare today.
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South of Cincinnati by Jonathan Ashley

Jon Catlett and Paul Frank have turned their once-failing used bookstore into one of the most thriving businesses in the Highlands. But they paid in blood for their success, for Second Story Books is not just another dusty thrift shop, but a front for the largest heroin distribution network ever based in Louisville.

The two eccentric intellectuals-turned-gun thugs enlist the help of an unscrupulous narcotics cop nicknamed Mad Dog, and a former marine importing dope through Fort Knox from Afghanistan that is purer than anything the city has ever seen. Inbetween trading muzzle flashes with a corrupt and psychotic DEA agent and thwarting two crusading homicide detectives, Catlett and Frank plan to corner the market…or at least everything South of Cincinnati.

The Big Thrill recently caught up with Jonathan Ashley to discuss his latest thriller, SOUTH OF CINCINNATI:
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The Driver by Hart Hanson

Michael Skellig is a limo driver waiting for his client in the alley behind an upscale hotel. He’s spent the past twenty-eight hours ferrying around Bismarck Avila, a celebrity skateboard mogul who isn’t going home any time soon. Suddenly the wind begins to speak to Skellig in the guttural accent of the Chechen torturer he shot through the eye in Yemen a decade ago: Troubletroubletrouble. Skellig has heard these warnings before—he’s an Army Special Forces sergeant whose limo company is staffed by a ragtag band of wounded veterans, including his Afghan interpreter—and he knows to listen carefully.

Skellig runs inside just in time to save Avila from two gunmen but too late for one of Avila’s bodyguards—and wakes up hours later in the hospital, the only person of interest in custody for the murder. As for Avila? He’s willing to help clear Skellig’s name under one peculiar condition: that Skellig become Avila’s personal chauffeur. A cushy gig for any driver, except for the fact that someone is clearly trying to kill Avila, and Skellig is literally the only person sitting between Avila and a bullet to the head.

The Big Thrill recently caught up with Hart Hanson to discuss his new release, THE DRIVER:
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What The Dead Leave Behind by David Housewright

Once a police detective in St. Paul, Minnesota, Rushmore McKenzie has become not only an unlikely millionaire, but an occasional unlicensed private investigator, doing favors for friends and people in need. When his stepdaughter Erica asks him for just such a favor, McKenzie doesn’t have it in him to refuse. Even though it sounds like a very bad idea right from the start.

The father of Malcolm Harris, a college friend of Erica’s, was found murdered a year ago in a park in New Brighton, a town just outside the Twin Cities. With no real clues and all the obvious suspects with concrete alibis, the case has long since gone cold. As McKenzie begins poking around, he soon discovers another unsolved murder that’s tangentially related to this one. And all connections seem to lead back to a group of friends the victim was close with. But all McKenzie has is a series of odd, even suspicious, coincidences, until someone decides to make it all that more serious and personal.

Author David Housewright was kind enough to discuss his latest thriller, WHAT THE DEAD LEAVE BEHIND, with The Big Thrill:
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American Static by Tom Pitts

By George Ebey

Fast-paced thrills await in author Tom Pitts’s latest novel, AMERICAN STATIC.

After being beaten and left for dead, Steven finds himself stranded alongside the 101 freeway in a small Northern California town. When a mysterious stranger named Quinn offers a hand in exchange for help reuniting with his daughter in San Francisco, Steven gets in the car and begins a journey from which there is no return. Quinn has an agenda all his own and he’s unleashing vengeance at each stop along his path. With a coked-up sadist ex-cop chasing Quinn, and two mismatched small town cops chasing the ex-cop, Steven is unaware of the violent tempest brewing.

The Big Thrill recently caught up with Pitts to learn more about this supercharged new tale of crime and suspense.

Tell us a little about your main character, Steven. What’s his journey been like up until now?

In many ways, Steven is like all of us were at his age. He’s naive, but he thinks he knows everything about anything. He grew up in a hip but sheltered household, raised by hippies in the deep woods of Northern California—the kind of parents who thought they were doing their boy a favor by keeping him from the world’s evils.
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