Category Archives: Ransom River

Get signed, personalized books for the 2017 holidays

1121 UNSUB
phantom_instinct  Shadow    

The holidays are coming up, and of course you’re contemplating giving books as gifts to everyone you know and love. Right?

If you’d like to get copies of my novels, you can now arrange for me to scribble in them, no matter how far away you live or whether you catch me in person when I have a pen in my hand. Thanks to my fantastic local bookstore, Book People in Austin, you can order signed, personalized copies of my novels. The store ships across the USA and internationally.

Book People doesn’t have a hard deadline for holiday shipping, but the sooner you order, the better.

UPDATE! Book People says:

To ensure orders make it somewhere in time for Christmas, we ask that they be placed before (not on) December 19th at the absolute latest. Making an order that late would require UPS shipping, our more expensive option, so customers looking to ship through USPS should place orders before the 12th to be sure they make it on time. UPS shipping typically takes 3 to 5 business days and USPS typically takes 5 to 10 business days.

If you’d like to order copies of my books and have me sign them, call (512) 472-5050 or CLICK HERE.

And once you order my books, you can keep on going and order books by other authors as well. Book People has a whole store full of them. What are you waiting for?

Die Zeugin: Ransom River German edition

Die Zeugin

The German edition of Ransom River has just been published. Die Zeugin translates as “The Witness.”

Like all of Heyne’s covers, this one is moody and evocative. Vielen dank!

Ransom River: now out in paperback

Ransom River

I’ve been so crazy flying back and forth between Austin and London and preparing for the publication of The Shadow Tracer and writing another new novel that I managed to slide straight past another bit of news: Ransom River has just been published in paperback in the USA.

Quick recap, in case you haven’t been obsessively focused on the plots of my novels over the past year (I know it’s hard to believe, but a few people aren’t): Rory Mackenzie is a juror on a high-profile murder case in her hometown of Ransom River, California. The town is a place she vowed never to visit again, and her return dredges up troubling memories from the childhood she spent as an outsider. But in the wake of a desperate attack on the courthouse, Rory realizes that exposing these dark skeletons has connected her to an old case that was never solved, and bringing the truth to light just might destroy her.

C’mon, you know you want to. The book has kicks. Good guys. Bad guys. A pretty blue cover. The Associated Press says it has “everything you want in a blockbuster thriller: multiple plot twists, thoroughly creepy psychotic villains, danger at every turn.”

It’s available from, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Powell’s Books, and your local independent bookstore.

Mistakes people make about my book titles

Let me clear a few things up.

1. China Lake is not a travel book.

2. The German edition of The Dirty Secrets Club is Die Beichte — “The Confession.” It’s pronounced “Dee Bye-shtuh.” Not Die Bitch.

3. My current novel is not titled Rancid River. To the person shocked I would call my novel something so ridiculous: I didn’t.

California Dreamin’ — Songs my characters love

All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray… okay, all the leaves are scarlet and it’s a vivid autumn day. The point is, songs. And not just songs I love, like “California Dreamin’,” but songs my characters love. I want to reassure everybody that my characters do have loves and hatreds. Because in a recent post — What do writers owe readers? — some commenters expressed surprise that the characters in my books are fictional. Please don’t panic. They’re as real to me as they are to you, and to prove it, here are their favorite, and least favorite, songs.


Evan Delaney — Patsy Cline, “Crazy.” Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Jubilee.”

Jesse Blackburn — Jimi Hendrix, “All Along the Watchtower.” Foo Fighters, “Times Like These.”

Jax Rivera — Ray Charles, “Georgia on My Mind.”

Jo Beckett — Elvis Costello, “Complicated Shadows.”

Gabe Quintana — Stephen Sondheim, “Johanna.” No, only kidding. Los Lobos, “Will the Wolf Survive?”

Lt. Amy Tang — Beyoncé/Jay-Z, “Crazy in Love.”

Rory Mackenzie — Radical Face, “Welcome Home.”

Riss Mackenzie — Amy Winehouse, “Some Unholy War.”


Jesse — “Memory,” played on a Hammond organ at the Holiday Inn in Goleta, California.

Evan — Donny and Marie.

Rory — anything that Riss has played within her hearing.

BookPage puts Ransom River on its 2012 must-read list

What a way to make my week. BookPage:

“Though 2012 isn’t over yet, we want to tell you about 10 must-read thrillers you won’t want to miss. These thrillers stand alone; best of all, they are unpredictable and superbly written.”

I’m delighted that Ransom River is on the list, along with books by terrific writers like Attica Locke, Tom Piccirilli, and Michael Koryta.

Time out for my happy dance.

10 must-read thrillers.

Hands up: Who reads the ending first?

Yesterday a reader wrote to me that she’d just finished Ransom River. It’s always great to hear that people enjoy my books. But I had to laugh at this reader’s message: “Great ending. I wish I didn’t read it right after I read chapter 1.”

Generally I can’t stand spoilers. I don’t want to know how a story ends until I get there. My family, on the whole, can’t stand them either. At our house, we used to have a Giving-Away-the-Ending Jar. (It was next to the Stale Joke Jar, which the kids made for their parents.) But I know a number of people who deliberately read the last page of a book before reading the rest. And some recent psychological research suggests that in general, spoilers don’t spoil the enjoyment of a story.

So tell me: Do you read the ending before the rest of a book? Do you want to know how a movie ends before you sit down to watch it?