Where should I hang this?! A plaque commemorating HEAT 2 debuting at #1 on the New York Times best seller list — such a cool memento! My thanks for this lovely surprise go to William Morrow Books, HarperCollins, and everyone who made this possible for Michael Mann, me, and HEAT 2: Shane Salerno, The Story Factory, and above all, READERS!
I am stunned and thrilled beyond belief to say that Heat 2 has debuted at #1 on the New York Times best seller list.
I’m incredibly proud of this novel, and happy that the intense and amazing work that went into it is being rewarded. It was an honor and a privilege to write this book with Michael Mann. I’m delighted that his commitment, passion, vision, and brilliance have been put on the page with this story, and that I get to be part of it.
I am grateful to HarperCollins, William Morrow Books, and Michael Mann Books, for publishing this novel so beautifully.
I’m especially thankful to my agent, Shane Salerno, for every effort he has expended over many years to help nurture and shepherd this novel to publication.
There are no words adequate to thank my husband, Paul Shreve, for his support of my writing. Especially after our house fire, when we had to start rebuilding our home even as the book deadline loomed. Without Paul’s willingness to shoulder a huge portion of the load, I wouldn’t have been able to write. I love you!
And thanks, readers!!! You’re the ones who have truly made this moment happen. I’m gratified that Heat 2 has connected so strongly with so many of you. Happy reading!
Yes, I’m blogging more this week than I have in a long time, and yes, that’s because I want to shout out every bit of news about Heat 2. Yes, I’m wildly happy to see the novel received so well. And yes, I’m thrilled I can use the word rave to describe this review in GQ.
“[Heat 2] gave me a better understanding into how the creator of Heat saw an even bigger world, but also made me appreciate a guy whose work I’ve literally grown up on. That sort of thing doesn’t happen very often.
“There are plenty of other directors who have great vision, who understand the style of a moment and how a certain song can truly capture the mood. But Mann’s whole thing is a trust in his own vision and an absolute belief that little details are a must. The guy seems to operate on a creative level not dissimilar from the one inhabited by some of the great fashion designers, who know that new seasons require new trends, but that good taste is timeless. Being able to turn that into a great story, whether Heat on the big screen or Heat 2 in a book, is a trick few besides Mann can pull off. There’s sex, violence, cool cars, bright lights, and a whole lot of grit. It all works together. When a character is at the Beverly Hilton—where “everything gleams,” including the “Lamborghini and the Bugatti parked outside the entrance, placed like ornaments,”—I kept thinking, Man, I can see that…in a Michael Mann movie. I want to see that in a Michael Mann movie. And if that doesn’t happen, then I’m happy I read it in a Michael Mann novel.”
When a novel is published, I suspect that a lot of people imagine the author kicking back on a chaise longue with caviar and a glass of champagne, relaxing because all the work is done. Maybe wearing fluffy slippers. In reality, while publication day is wonderful — a realization of years of hard work — it means the author actually rolls up their sleeves and gets to work in a new way. Publication means it’s time to really get the word out, and hoist the novel into the public eye, and snag people’s attention. Readers’ attention. And to hope that they’ll skip off to the bookstore or library to grab a copy.
With the publication yesterday of Heat 2, that meant I did podcasts, signed copies at my local independent bookstore, and spent hours on social media urging everyone to pick up the book.
I got some good reactions. Here are a few. I’m incredibly thrilled and grateful to have heard from Stephen King, Danny Trejo, and David Duchovny. And of course I love the vivid, kinetic tweet from my co-author, the inimitable Michael Mann.
I’m thrilled that Heat 2, the novel I co-wrote with Michael Mann, is published today. The book, a standalone thriller, is both prequel and sequel to Mann’s 1995 film Heat. This has been a challenging, ambitious, exhilarating project, and I’m incredibly proud of this novel.
The Associated Press says: “Hollywood screenwriter and director Michael Mann and veteran thriller writer Meg Gardiner have achieved a rarity with their novel ‘Heat 2’: a screen-to-page sequel that stands tall on its own. . . . Slick as a Neil McCauley heist and as intense as a Vincent Hanna chase, ‘Heat 2’ is just dynamite.”
Rolling Stone calls it “a genuinely exhilarating expansion of the movie’s world, complete with. . . some truly jaw-dropping, bullet-filled set pieces.”
The Film Stage says: “Stunning. . . . an intoxicatingly relentless gem. . . . a novel to be devoured more than once.”
Entertainment Weekly calls it a “propulsive universe-expansion. . . . reading this novel, and its cliffhanger ending, definitely leaves you wanting another book set in the same world.”
CrimeReads dedicates itself to the thoughtful discussion crime novels, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and more. So I’m especially grateful that it has named Heat 2 one the best books of August.
“Heat 2, which combines the feeling of both prologue and coda to the iconic Michael Mann 1995 film, deepens our understanding of the original world and simultaneously upends it with new wrinkles of mania and humanity. It’s a novel about the growing complications of global crime and about individuals pushing deep into that moral abyss. Mann’s brooding moments of sublime isolation are there in abundance, combined with Gardiner’s deft touch for modern thrillers. The result is an intensely satisfying crime story. –Dwyer Murphy, CrimeReads editor-in-chief“
That’ll make my day.
And, if you want to dig into the story behind the story, here are a few recent pieces:
The first review of Heat 2 is here, and I’m wildly happy that it’s a *starred* review from Booklist.
“As in The Godfather, Part Two, Mann and Gardiner’s riveting thriller functions as both a prequel and a sequel. . . . The best thing about this innovative tale is the way the fully fleshed human stories support and even transcend the often-breathtaking action.”
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 Heat, Collateral, Thief, Manhunter, 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.