Join mystery and thriller authors Lisa Gardner, Julia Heaberlin, Joe Ide, and John McMahon along with Back Room host Karen Dionne for an evening of great conversation!
Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has transformed her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries. She’s also had four books become TV movies (At the Midnight Hour; The Perfect Husband; The Survivors Club; Hide) and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN. Her newest novel, Before She Disappeared, is Lisa’s first standalone in more than 20 years.
Lisa’s books have received awards from across the globe. Her novel, The Neighbor, won Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers, while also receiving the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne du Maurier Award in 2000 for The Other Daughter. Finally, Lisa received the Silver Bullet Award from the International Thriller Writers in 2017 for her work on behalf of at-risk children and the Humane Society.
Lisa lives in New Hampshire where she spends her time with an assortment of canine companions. When not writing, she loves to hike, garden, snowshoe and play cribbage. Visit her website at www.lisagardner.com.
Julia Heaberlin is the internationally bestselling writer of Black-Eyed Susans and Paper Ghosts, a finalist for Best Hardcover Novel by the International Thriller Writers Awards. Her latest psychological thriller, We Are All the Same in the Dark, has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which described her work as “exceptional.” All of her books, including Playing Dead and Lie Still, are set in the moody, diverse landscape of Texas and together they have been published in more than twenty countries.
Before writing novels, Heaberlin was an award-winning editor at newspapers that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Detroit News and The Dallas Morning News. We Are All the Same in the Dark has been optioned for television by Sister Pictures (Chernobyl, Broadchurch); Black-Eyed Susans and Paper Ghosts have been picked up by Sony Pictures. Currently at work on her sixth thriller, Heaberlin lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Visit her website at juliaheaberlin.com.
Joe Ide is of Japanese American descent. He grew up in South Central Los Angeles. His favorite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. That a person could make his way in the world and vanquish his enemies with just his intelligence fascinated him.
Eventually, he went on to university and received a graduate degree in education. He worked as a school teacher, a college lecturer, a corporate middle manager and director of an NGO that offered paralegal services and emergency shelter to indigent women. He went on to write screenplays for a number of major studios but none of the projects came to fruition. It was then he decided to write his debut novel, IQ, about an unlicensed, underground detective; a character inspired by his early experiences and love of Sherlock Holmes.
Joe lives in Santa Monica, California. Visit his website at www.joeide.com.
The New York Times Book Review called McMahon “one of those rare writers who seems to have sprung out of nowhere” and whose debut novel is “pretty much perfect.”
In his role as an ad agency creative director, he has won a Gold Clio for his work on Fiat, and he’s written a Super Bowl spot for Alfa Romeo.
He currently lives in Southern California with his family and two rescue animals. Learn more at www.johnmcmahonbooks.com.
Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 25 other countries and The Wicked Sister (August 2020), also from G.P. Putnam’s Sons. The Marsh King’s Daughter was named a 2018 Michigan Notable Book, took home the Barry and the Crimson Scribe Awards for Best Novel, and was chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by iBooks, Hudson Booksellers, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Irish Independent, The Florida Sun-Sentinel, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness and many other booksellers and reviewers and is in development as a major motion picture.
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls The Wicked Sister “A devastating, magic realism–dusted psychological thriller . . . Dionne paints a haunting portrait of a family hurtling toward the tragic destiny they can foresee but are powerless to stop.” Visit Karen at www.karen-dionne.com
Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will–searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.
A new case brings her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family tells Frankie she’s on her own–and she soon learns she’s asking questions someone doesn’t want answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing could be her.
Purchase Before She Disappeared at an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase Before She Disappeared online at www.bookshop.org.
It’s been a decade since Trumanell Branson disappeared, leaving only a bloody handprint behind. Her pretty face still hangs like a watchful queen on the posters on the walls of the town’s Baptist church, the police station, and in the high school. They all promise the same thing: We will find you. Meanwhile, her brother, Wyatt, lives as a pariah in the desolation of the old family house, cleared of wrongdoing by the police but tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion and in a new documentary about the crime.
When Wyatt finds a lost girl dumped in a field of dandelions, making silent wishes, he believes she is a sign. The town’s youngest cop, Odette Tucker, believes she is a catalyst that will ignite a seething town still waiting for its own missing girl to come home. But Odette can’t look away. She shares a wound that won’t close with the mute, one-eyed mystery girl. And she is haunted by her own history with the missing Tru.
Desperate to solve both cases, Odette fights to save the lost girl in the present and to dig up the shocking truth about a fateful night in the past—the night her friend disappeared, the night that inspired her to become a cop, the night that wrote them all a role in the town’s dark, violent mythology.
Purchase We Are All the Same in the Dark at an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase We Are All the Same in the Dark online at www.bookshop.org.
In this fifth installment of the IQ series, both Isaiah Quintabe – an unlicensed detective for all seasons – and his best friend and masterful sidekick, Juanell Dodson, are at a crossroads. This time, their lives may never be the same.
Isaiah is no longer IQ, the genius of East Long Beach; instead he’s a man on the road and on the run, hiding in a small Northern California town when his room is broken into by a desperate young man on the trail of the state’s most prolific serial killer.
Dodson must go straight or lose his wife and child. His devil’s bargain is an internship at an LA advertising agency, where it turns out the rules of the street have simply been dressed in business casual, but where the aging company’s fortunes may well rest on their ability to attract a younger demographic. Dodson – “the hustler’s hustler” – just may be the right man for the job.
Purchase Smoke at an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase Smoke online at www.bookshop.org.
What if the one good thing you did in your life doomed you to die?
A hard-nosed real estate baron is dead, and detectives P.T. Marsh and Remy Morgan learn there’s a long list of suspects. Mason Falls, Georgia, may be a small town, but Ennis Fultz had filled it with professional rivals, angry neighbors, and a wronged ex-wife. And when Marsh realizes that this potential murder might be the least of his troubles, he begins to see what happens when ordinary people become capable of evil.
As Marsh and Morgan dig into the case, it becomes clear that Fultz’s death was not an isolated case of revenge. It may be part of a dark web of crimes connected to an accident that up-ended Marsh’s life a couple years earlier–and that now threatens the life of a young child. Marsh veers dangerously off track as his search for clues becomes personal..and brings him to a place where a man’s good deeds turn out to be more dangerous than his worst crimes.
Purchase The Evil Men Do at an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase The Evil Men Do online at www.bookshop.org.
The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne
From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Marsh King’s Daughter comes a startling novel of psychological suspense as two generations of sisters try to unravel their tangled relationships between nature and nurture, guilt and betrayal, love and evil.
You have been cut off from society for fifteen years, shut away in a mental hospital in self-imposed exile as punishment for the terrible thing you did when you were a child. But what if nothing about your past is as it seems? And if you didn’t accidentally shoot and kill your mother, then whoever did is still out there. Waiting for you.
Purchase The Wicked Sister at an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase The Wicked Sister online at www.bookshop.org.