HEAT 2 — my next novel, written with Michael Mann

I’ve been sworn to secrecy, but can finally reveal what I’ve been working on since 2020: HEAT 2. I have written the novel with legendary director Michael Mann. It’s a prequel/sequel to his epic film, which starred Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, and Val Kilmer.

This has been an incredible book to write. Working with Michael Mann has been an honor and a high point in my career. I’m beyond excited for you to read the novel.

Here’s the description:

Michael Mann, four-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker and writer-director of HeatCollateralThiefManhunter, and Miami Vice, teams up with Edgar Award-winning author Meg Gardiner to deliver Mann’s first crime novel — an explosive return to the world and characters of his classic film Heat — an all-new story that illuminates what happened before and after the iconic film. 

Described by Michael Mann as both a prequel and sequel to the renowned, critically acclaimed film of the same name, HEAT 2 covers the formative years of homicide detective Vincent Hanna (Oscar winner Al Pacino) and elite criminals Neil McCauley (Oscar winner Robert De Niro), Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), and Nate (Oscar winner Jon Voight), and features the same extraordinary ambition, scope, rich characterizations, and attention to detail as the epic film.

This new story leads up to the events of the film and then moves beyond it, featuring new characters on both sides of the law, new high-line heists, and breathtakingly cinematic action sequences. Ranging from the streets of L.A. to the inner sancta of rival Taiwanese crime syndicates in Paraguay to a massive drug cartel money-laundering operation just over the border in Mexico, HEAT 2 illuminates the dangerous workings of international crime organizations and the agents who pursue them as it provides a full-blooded portrait of the men and women who inhabit both worlds. Operatic in scope, HEAT 2 is engrossing, moving, and tragic — a masterpiece of crime fiction from one of the most innovative and influential filmmakers in American cinema.

More from Deadline Hollywood: ‘Heat’ Fans Rejoice: Michael Mann & Meg Gardiner Novel ‘Heat 2’ Has August 9 Pub Date And Will Detail Lives Of Characters Before & After 1995 Crime Classic






New short story in The Strand Magazine

Who likes short fiction?

That’s a rhetorical question. I know you all like short fiction. Because you like fiction.

And I’m delighted to have a new short story published in the 2021 holiday issue of The Strand Magazine.

“Meg Gardiner, of Evan Delaney fame, serves up a heaping helping of small-town rivalries, murder, and mayhem when a cop returns to her roots in ‘Sweet Deal.'”

Check it out!

Blast from the past: Happy Christmas

I recently heard someone grousing about their preference for “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays.” Here’s my story about being scolded for saying Merry Christmas… in church. On Christmas morn!

Folks: We can use all the seasonal cheer possible. Spread it. Accept it!

Happy Christmas

Season’s Greetings! A Blessed Advent! Hot Diggity December! Belated Happy Chanukah! Stupendous Solstice! (Summer or Winter, depending on your hemisphere!) Glorious Christmas! Cheerful Kwanzaa! A Super-Duper New Year!

It’s the holiday season in much of the world, and I want to wish everybody a heaping helping of festive cheer. However you celebrate, whatever you celebrate — enjoy!

My family celebrates Christmas, and I am delighted when anybody wishes me joy and good tidings. In other words: I have no patience for the faux outrage that’s ginned up in the US around this time of year over the so-called “War on Christmas.” There ain’t no such thing. Moreover, trying to get people angry because someone wishes them Happy Holidays is simply against the spirit of the season.

And, if this story checks out, it led to an un-Christian act: Salvation Army bell ringer says ‘Happy Holidays’ led to assault.

Kristina Vindiola said she was ringing a bell outside the Walmart to raise money for the charity when a woman took exception to her saying “Happy Holidays,” KNXV-TV, Phoenix, reported Tuesday.

“The lady looked at me,” said Vindiola. “I thought she was going to put money in the kettle. She came up to me and said, ‘Do you believe in God?’ And she says, ‘You’re supposed to say Merry Christmas,’ and that’s when she hit me.”

The woman who threw the punch is a lump of coal in human form. She has been encouraged to scowl and rage and hold grudges in her heart, to seek offense where none is intended, to take umbrage at being offered good wishes by a woman collecting for charity at Christmas. She has been prodded and poked and goaded to believe that Christmastime is about tribal anger, so that the response to being wished Happy Holidays isn’t “Peace on Earth” but a punch.


And if anybody out there thinks it’s a good idea to browbeat people and insist that “Merry Christmas” is the sole acceptable December greeting, let me tell you a story. I once greeted a woman with exactly those words, and was resentfully scolded about them. In church. On Christmas morning. In front of my children.

The year my family moved to England, the Husband joined the music group at the local Catholic church. We took the kids to mass on Christmas morning and enjoyed a carol-filled celebration. Afterwards, I wished everybody I saw a very Merry Christmas. I was nearly out the door when one woman I’d greeted marched up and stopped me. She had dropped into a black mood.

“Do you know what ‘merry’ means?” she said.

“Excuse me?” I said.

“It means drunk.”

“I beg your pardon?”

She was fuming. “I’ve heard you wishing everybody ‘Merry Christmas’ all morning. You’re telling people to get drunk.”

“That’s not…”

“Of course you don’t know what it means. The only people who say ‘Merry Christmas’ are the Irish, and Americans, who are ignorant of the word.” She was rigid. “It’s completely inappropriate.”

I think I just gaped at her, and maybe said, “Oh.” Not just because she wanted me to crumble with shame, or because she wanted my kids to believe that I was unforgivably ignorant, but because drinking on Christmas is a fine old English tradition.

I later asked British friends if I had committed a horrid faux pas. They looked perplexed. They insisted that I had done nothing wrong. Plenty of Brits say Merry Christmas. But Happy Christmas is equally popular. Happy Holidays is fine, too.

Everybody: if someone offers good cheer, accept it gratefully.

Ho ho ho!

Happy Halloween, readers

I just received a perfect Halloween surprise from a little friend: spooky bookmarks.

Happy Halloween, all. I hope you have plenty of thrilling, chilling books to read.

Virtual event: San Diego Writers Festival conversation with Laurie R. King

This Saturday, October 16, I’ll be in conversation with the wonderful Laurie R. King as part of the San Diego Writers Festival. The event is virtual. Registration is free.

We’ll be talking about how to write a thriller.

Join us!

Writing the Thriller
October 16
10 AM — 11:15 AM Pacific / 1 PM — 2:15 PM Eastern


First off: Paul and I are okay. But we’ve had a major house fire. Thanks to superb firefighters, our place is still standing. Thanks to amazing neighbors, Paul was able to save irreplaceable photos and musical instruments. I was out of town and believe me, when the phone rang the last thing I wanted to hear was sirens. But Paul is safe, and we’ll rebuild.

Some of you have already offered to help. Thank you all for the kind words and offers of assistance. I wish I had time to thank you individually. Right now Paul and I are absolutely buried in fire and recovery details. It will be a while before we can reconnect with you. But big love and gratitude to everyone.

Upcoming virtual events: Murder by the Book and Tattered Cover

One thing the last year has given us is an expanded opportunity to talk about new books online, and to attend, via video, events that otherwise we couldn’t get to. This month, that means I get to be in conversation with several stellar authors from around the country, and you can join us.

This Wednesday, July, 7th, I’ll be talking to Jeff Abbott and Hilary Davidson about their new thrillers:

Jeff Abbott and Hilary Davidson in conversation with Meg Gardiner – Virtual Event
Wednesday, July 7th — 7PM Central
Murder by the Book, Houston

And Wednesday July 14th, I’ll be discussing debut author T.J. Newman’s new thriller Falling, hosted by Denver’s Tattered Cover bookstore.

Live Stream with T.J.Newman in Conversation with Meg Gardiner
Wednesday, July 14th — 5PM Mountain
Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver

I’d love for you to join us!

How to Write a Mystery

Need a Father’s Day gift? Want to up your crime/mystery/thriller-writing game? How to Write a Mystery, the new collection of essays from Mystery Writers of America, is now out. It includes my piece on thriller writing, and you don’t have to listen to me telling you this is a great book. The Washington Post says, “Is Dad always grumbling about how he could write a mystery novel? This collection of essays by the best crime masters will get him off the couch and into the library with the candlestick.

Available now!


Barnes & Noble




Grab it!

April 15: In conversation with Jeff VanderMeer

This Thursday, April 15, I’ll be in conversation with the fabulous Jeff VanderMeer about his new thriller, Hummingbird Salamander. Join us via Zoom. Register at BookPeople.com.

Book People presents a virtual event with Jeff VanderMeer
Discussing Hummingbird Salamander
In conversation with Meg Gardiner
April 15

Hope you’ll join us!

The Dark Corners of the Night: Out Today in Paperback!

The Dark Corners of the Night, Book 3 in the UNSUB series, is published today in paperback. If you haven’t read it yet — or if you have and want to read it again with this cool new cover, or want to give copies (yes, copies, multiple, of course) to friends — here’s a reminder about what people have said about the novel.

“Don’t miss it. This is a great one!” — Stephen King

“Kickass.” — Los Angeles Times

“Brilliantly written. An unforgettable story. Stunning.” — Don Winslow

“Gardiner’s writing is lyrical and cinematic, and the final result is her best novel to date.” — Associated Press

Go for it, y’all!

Buy The Dark Corners of the Night

Feb. 18: In Conversation with Amy Gentry

Thursday, February 18, I’ll be in conversation with Amy Gentry about her fabulous new thriller Bad Habits. It’s a virtual author Q&A, hosted by A Mighty Blaze. It will be available on Facebook Live and YouTube. Join us!

Authors in Conversation
Amy Gentry + Meg Gardiner
Thursday, Feb. 18, 4PM EST

Hope you’ll check it out!

The Strand Magazine names The Dark Corners of the Night to its Top 12 Mysteries of 2020

I’m absolutely thrilled — and honored — that The Strand Magazine has named The Dark Corners of the Night one of its Top Twelve Mystery Novels of 2020.

Meg Gardiner has the power to craft haunting novels that’ll stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. And The Dark Corners of the Night is just that novel, atmospheric, chilling, and a sojourn into the mind of deranged killer, while striking a deft balance with a realistic and endearing protagonist in FBI behavioral analyst Caitlin Hendrix who is destined for the big screen.

If you haven’t read the other novels on the list, jump right on that.

The Dark Corners of the Night paperback coming February 23

Here’s a bit of news, and a cover reveal. The paperback edition of The Dark Corners of the Night will be published February 23rd.

As a quick reminder: This is book 3 in the UNSUB series, and is in development as a television show from Amazon Studios. The synopsis:

I am the legion of the night …

He appears in the darkness like a ghost, made of shadows and fear—the Midnight Man. He comes for the parents but leaves the children alive, tiny witnesses to unspeakable horror. The bedroom communities of Los Angeles are gripped with dread, and the attacks are escalating.

Still reeling from her best friend’s close call in a bombing six months ago, FBI behavioral analyst Caitlin Hendrix has come to Los Angeles to assist in the Midnight Man investigation and do what she does best—hunt a serial killer. Her work is what keeps her going, but something about this UNSUB—unknown subject—doesn’t sit right. She soon realizes that this case will test not only her skills but also her dedication, for within the heart of a killer lives a secret that mirrors Caitlin’s own past. Hesitancy is not an option, but will she be able to do what must be done if the time comes?

Tense and impactful, Edgar Award winner Meg Gardiner’s latest UNSUB thriller will leave you on the edge of your seat until its riveting conclusion.

More news to come as the publication date approaches!

Writing Rocks — Now and Forever

To say 2020 has not gone as expected… yeah, no kidding. I hope you’re all holding up. We’re going to get through this, and light is actually showing at the end of the tunnel.

Amid all the uncertainty and difficulty and overwhelming disruption that this year has poured over us, I was reminded that some things are always true. And I was reminded in the best way, by a gift from my littlest fan, who made me this bracelet.

Writing rocks. Always has. Always will.

And I’m beyond lucky that I get to express my creativity through writing.

Here’s to 2021.