Q&A with C.J. Box for PARADISE VALLEY

Michael Barson: While this is only the second novel to feature your serial killer the Lizard King as the lead villain, it also features characters who appeared in the two previous Cassie Newell thrillers. Did you conceive of this work as a trilogy from the beginning? CJ Box: Not really. I don’t work that far ahead. When the Lizard King and Cassie Dewell were introduced in THE HIGHWAY (and appeared again in BADLANDS) I wasn’t planning an epic concluding novel. Both of those books (as well as BACK OF BEYOND, the first of what has become known as “The Highway Quartet”) stands alone. I don’t think of the four books as a series as much as four...

Interview with Karin Slaughter

THE GOOD DAUGHTER by Karin Slaughter bares no bones. This emotional crime mystery delves into family, grief, regret, and guilt. Known for not sugar coating the violence, Slaughter writes a dark and graphic story, but this only adds to the intensity. Twenty-eight years ago two sisters, Charlie and Sam, were at home with their mother, Gamma when two masked men entered the house. They shot Gamma dead, pushed out Sam’s eyelids, shot her in the head, and buried her alive, while Charlie ran for her life and endured her own horrific attack. Fast forward to today where Charlie runs towards the violence and becomes a witness of a school shooting....

Q&A with Ace Atkins

Michael Barson: Ten years ago you were carving out your career with a series of historical crime novels that revisited iconic events and characters from the past, beginning with WHITE SHADOW in 2006. Those were very good books, but each one was a battle for attention and sales. Now here you are a decade later with not one but two successful series, the award-nominated Sheriff Quinn Colson, and Robert B. Parker’s Spenser. Did you ever see this coming? Ace Atkins: At that time, I actually vowed to never write a series ever again. I was pretty happy working on my true crime novels and saw that being my career path for a long while. But...

David James Keaton Interview

Ever since seeing the 90’s Nic Cage/Sean Connery action flick, any time Alcatraz is mentioned, somewhere in my head a thick peaty growl welcomes me to “The Rock”. Other than unleashing a Pavlovian earworm, that movie fueled an unquenched interest in Alcatraz, which collided with the unfortunate reality that, for a prison as mythic as Alcatraz, there are a scant few satisfying narratives involving it. Imagine my enthusiasm building after I heard David James Keaton’s idea for an anthology that would use Alcatraz not as a simple set piece, but as the jumping off point to answer a series of far-fetched what-ifs. Having been a fan of Keaton’s...

Philip Kerr Interview

Crime writing is predicated upon Something Happening. Theft, murder- acts that violate our mutually agreed upon social contract. Philosophically, the definition of ‘crime’ is fluid. My learned friend at the Pritzker Museum and Library of Military History, Martin Billheimer, astutely wrote that “What we call crime is the right of power to private means.” When presented with the question, is this crime?’ The next questions must be: On whose authority? Who decides how and when to enforce laws? And then, what if, the lawmakers are also the law-breakers? When it comes to writing about the crimes of bonafide war criminals,...