Monthly Archives: September 2012


Congrats to thriller writer Meg Gardiner for RANSOM RIVER, a brisk, creepy and terrific mystery that taps into that prototypically American genre, the small-town noir (think BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK).

Meg introduces a great new protagonist, outside of her two series starring Evan Delaney and Jo Beckett. I don’t know if she intends the new heroine, Rory MacKenzie, to be a stand-alone or a series character, but she sets up the latter possibility nicely.


RANSOM RIVER is a nifty thriller. One of the best I’ve read this year.


A Dozen Years After the War

Reading Richard Holbrooke’s account of the negotiations to bring peace to the former Yugoslavia (“To End A War,” Random House, 1998), I was struck by his description of the Bosnian town of Mostar.

In 1995, it was a scene of great strife between the Bosnians and the Croats; two sides both embattled against the Serbs. Holbrooke describes the famous bridge at Mostar destroyed, with guards glaring at each other from the Muslim and Croat sides of the river. He described a city of “rubble and tension.”

I was there last week. Only a dozen years have passed, but the tension is gone. The ancient bridge has been reconstructed.

Still, walls are riddled with bullet holes while others show the scars of rocket-propelled grenades.

I loved Mostar. Reading of its recent sectarian violence is painful. But I’m thankful that those days are behind the city and its multi-ethnic population.


Conventional Wisdom

Folks! Oh, this is gonna be a good one!
Bouchercon 2012, the World Mystery Convention, is Oct. 4 to 6 in Cleveland, Ohio. You gotta come out and see this gig!
Who are the big draws? you ask. How ’bout Elizabeth George? How ’bout Robin Cook? Did I mention Mary Higgins Clark? Does the name John Connolly ring a bell there?
I’m telling you. Do not miss B’con 2011.
See you in Cleveland.

Congratulations, It’s a Book


Now, this is exciting! This is the advanced reader copy of my new novel, which is used for those authors who have agreed to read the uncorrected proof, and to offer cover blurbs.

Up until this moment, the story was always just that: a story. It was my scratchings on a memo pad, or a Word document, or a pile of printer sheets bound with rubber bands. The first time you get the bound galley is the first time your story morphs into a book.

It’s suddenly that much closer to being real. To being out there, on shelves. In stores.

This is a big day.


I am back! Standing at the window counter at Public Domain with my coffee and my laptop.

Nothing reminds you of how much you love Portland as much as being away for a while.

The research trip I just took included driving around Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. I gathered a ton of great information and “atmosphere.” Now I can’t wait to assimilate it and to get writing!

But first: It is damn good to be home!


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