FIRST TIME THRILLS!
PUBLISHER’S WEEKY HAS A GREAT ARTICLE ON EIGHT UPCOMING DEBUT MYSTERY THRILLERS:
by Bryan Gruley(Touchstone, Mar.)
First printing: 75,000
Plot: The young hockey goalie who lost his lower Michigan town its one chance for the state championship returns decades later to seek redemption as editor of the weekly newspaper. But he's soon embroiled in a murder case when his long-dead former coach's snowmobile turns up without a body and on the wrong lake.
Author's inspiration: “Knowing I play hockey, my agent said, 'Why don't you write about those middle-aged guys who play hockey in the middle of the night?' I immediately had an idea and decided to set it in a place I loved and knew well, northern Michigan. The rest flowed from those two things.”
Clues to success: Senior editor Trish Lande Grader says, “The manuscript was an immediate in-house favorite, with reps recommending it to their colleagues and saying the comparison to Lehane was completely warranted. We've got quotes from Coben, Connelly and Pelecanos, among others, and Bryan's passion and commitment are unstoppable and contagious.”
Body count: 2
Hollywood pitch: Mystic River meets Slap Shot in Fargo.
Dead Men's Dust
by Matt Hilton(Morrow, Apr.)
First printing: 30,000
Plot: Joe Hunter is an ex-military officer and, in his own words, “the weapon sent in when the planning is done and all that's left is the ass kicking.” In this first of a series, Hunter sets out across Southern California after his wayward brother, who has become entangled in a cat-and-mouse game with a serial killer.
Author's inspiration: “I think of Joe Hunter as a guy with a strong moral code and the necessary skills to help people in difficult situations. I've given him a specific set of skills, but want him to be different from other heroes—a kind of vigilante rather than a PI or a detective. Then I put him in a lean, mean cinematic thriller because I just love them.”
Clues to success: Executive editor David Highfill says, “Everyone loves a charismatic hero in an action thriller (think Lee Child's Jack Reacher), and we have an excellent new guy on the block in Joe Hunter. But then Matt adds fuel to the fire with one of the smartest, most sarcastic and frightening bad guys I've read in ages. Their confrontation is memorable—and downright irresistible.”
Body count: 14
Hollywood pitch: Jack Reacher meets Thomas Harris.
A Tight Lie
by Don Dahler(St. Martin's Minotaur, Mar.)
First printing: 25,000
Plot: Huck Doyle, a professional golfer, dreads the possibility of having to return to his law career. Then he gets a phone call from a friend who claims he's being framed for murder. In accepting his pal's request to look into things, Huck doesn't anticipate taking a deep dive into the murky world of the sex industry and killers for hire, where nothing is what it seems.
Author's inspiration: “I knew if I could weave the things I appreciate most—mystery, beautiful women, fast cars, tough men and golf—into a compelling, believable, fast-paced narrative with a knockout resolution, it would be a book I'd enjoy as much as those I've read by favorites like Nelson DeMille, Patricia Cornwell, Gregory McDonald and Dick Francis.”
Clues to success: According to executive editor Pete Wolverton, “There are two factors that are generating in-house buzz for Don's debut. First off, this is not just another golf mystery; Don has woven a thread of golf into a vicious crime thriller. Secondly, he's an award-winning TV journalist—currently a news anchor for WCBS-TV—and his industry connections will give us a fantastic platform for getting media coverage.”
Body count: 5
Hollywood pitch: Chinatown meets The Tin Cup.
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