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Time to Sign!

Signing and shipping some product at the Hachette Book Group distribution center, in Lebanon, Indiana. (Noted: that’s a great-looking cover.) Always nice to see the real-world side of the book business, and for a former newspaper press room geek, watching books fly around on conveyors is very satisfying.

Thanks to the great team at HBG for all their hard work, and especially to Bob Babbin, director of operations and distribution, who will be retiring next month after 45 years with the company. Go play some golf, sir. You’ve earned it!

 

Another Starred Review!

Another starred review for HOW IT HAPPENED — this time from Library Journal 

In Koryta’s new thriller, FBI agent Rob Barrett must solve a double murder in Port Hope, Maine. The story begins with local troublemaker Kimmy Crepeaux telling Barrett, an interrogation specialist, what happened, how a hit-and-run turned into a murder. Kimmy gives precise details about the event from start to finish, including where the bodies of local girl Jackie Pelletier and boyfriend Ian Kelly were dumped in a local pond. The only problem is that nothing Kimmy has said is backed by evidence. Especially because the main culprit she names is local caretaker and beloved resident Mathias Burke. As the only person who believes Kimmy’s confession, Barrett begins to make enemies among the local residents and law enforcement. Fans of Koryta’s previous works, readers who enjoy rogue investigators as protagonists, and devotees of murder mysteries will enjoy this enthralling tale.

 

Available in stores May 15, and for pre-order now:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2sTQzd7

New Markus Novak Novella Available

The Mysterious Bookshop in New York is the oldest mystery bookstore in the country, and a favorite destination for readers and writers alike. They also do some wonderful publishing projects, and I was honored to have a chance to participate in the latest, writing an original novella featuring Markus Novak for their bibliomystery series, which has included wonderful stories by some of my favorite writers —Laura Lippman, Nelson DeMille, Joyce Carol Oates, and Elizabeth George, among others.

 

The novella, The Last Honest Horse Thief, is available only from the bookstore for the first few months of publication, as either a beautiful, limited edition signed hardcover for collectors, or a paperback. An ebook edition will be available by the summer.

 

For me, this was a great chance to write about Markus and his family and to return to the Montana terrain that I love so much. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Here’s a description of the story, and a link for purchase. Check out their full list — it’s an incredible lineup, and the limited editions are beautiful books.

 

Markus Novak has never known the feeling of home. The child of a family of outlaws, he moves through the West town by town with his mother and two uncles, staying in a place just long enough to run a short con and move along. After one such job goes south and his mom gets locked up, Markus finds himself living in the foster care of a rancher and his wife—strangely comfortable, yet torn by loyalty to the family he’s lost. To distract himself, he spends his days working the farm and his nights restoring a rusty old 1950s Chevrolet. Then he discovers a note left by his uncles in a book at a local pawn shop, and Markus learns that the men are hiding out in a mountain town outside Yellowstone. Restoring the car soon becomes his only hope of reaching them, and a dusty old manual his only hope of making it run once again.

Coming in 2018…

“And that is how it happened. Can we stop now?”
Kimberly Crepeaux is a notorious jailhouse snitch, teen mother, and heroin addict whose petty crimes are well-known to her rural Maine community. So when she confesses to her role in the brutal murders of Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly, the daughter of a well-known local family and her sweetheart, the locals have little reason to believe her story — particularly when she implicates Mathias Burke, a man of impeccable reputation, with no history of crime, drugs, or violence.
But Rob Barrett, the FBI interrogator who specializes in discerning a true confession from a lie, is convinced that she’s telling the truth. He knows, as strongly as he’s known anything, that Kimberly’s story — a grisly, harrowing tale of a hit and run fueled by dope and cheap beer that becomes a brutal stabbing in cold blood — is how it happened. But one thing remains elusive: where are Jackie and Ian’s bodies?
After Barrett stakes his reputation on the truth of Kimberly’s confession, only to have the bodies turn up 200 miles from where she said they’d be, shot in the back and covered in a different suspect’s DNA, the case is quickly closed and Barrett forcibly reassigned. But for Howard Pelletier, the tragedy of his daughter’s murder cannot be so tidily swept away. And for Barrett, whose career may already be over, the chance to help a grieving father may be the only one he has left.

The Magic of Great Music

I write to music, and sometimes certain songs take on the feel of a soundtrack to me, adding layers to the characters and story. That’s never been more true than with The Prophet, when the music of Matthew Ryan and Brian Fallon, in particular, drove that book along. I got to know Matthew when he graciously agreed to let me use a quote from his haunting song “Return To Me” as The Prophet’s epigram, and since then I’ve taken a lot of inspiration not just from his music, but from his approach to his craft. (Read Michael’s 2012 interview with Matthew Ryan)

 

I don’t really have words to describe what it meant to have the chance to offer an intro in the liner notes of his new album, Hustle Up Starlings, which releases this week — and which happens to have been produced by Brian Fallon, who also plays lead guitar on every song. It was a rare, humbling, and special opportunity. I urge you to check out his work. I’ve never met a more dedicated writer…and then this poor guy has to put the words to music, too! I’m eternally grateful that he does, and in awe of his talent and his work ethic.

Best of 2016 Lists

What a year 2016 has been for Rise the Dark! Here are a few of the “best of” lists that feature this electrifying read:

The New York Times

In Koryta’s latest nightmare, a self-anointed messiah capable of calling up a homegrown army of “more than 200 heavily armed and deeply paranoid white men” is preparing to shut down the electrical grid supplying energy to half the country. (“Good night, Seattle. Good night, Portland.”) To motivate the only lineman with the nerve and technical skills to pull off the job, the crazies are holding his wife hostage.

Kirkus

“Again proving himself one of today’s top thriller writers, Koryta creates edgy suspense not with trickery but with characters who test the limits of their courage.”

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

It’s been said many times that there are only about five different plots, and they all revolve around power, greed, revenge, sex and love. But it is what the authors do with those plots and the characters that makes the difference. A plot — no matter how involving — will not work if the characters are not believable.