Chad Dundas' Hot Title of the Week

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Chad Dundas appears at The Poisoned Pen on Thursday, January 23 at 7 PM. He’ll sign and discuss his Hot Book of the Week, The Blaze. You can order a signed copy of it through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2v9WGf2

Here’s the summary of The Blaze.

“In Dundas’ assured hands, one man’s search for answers makes for a lyrical, riveting meditation on memory.”–EW

One man knows the connection between two extraordinary acts of arson, fifteen years apart, in his Montana hometown–if only he could remember it.

Having lost much of his memory from a traumatic brain injury sustained in Iraq, army veteran Matthew Rose is called back to Montana after his father’s death to settle his affairs, and hopefully to settle the past as well. It’s not only a blank to him, but a mystery. Why as a teen did he suddenly become sullen and vacant, abandoning the activities and people that had meant most to him? How did he, the son of hippy activists, wind up enlisting in the first place?

Then on his first night back, Matthew sees a house go up in flames, and it turns out a local college student has died inside. And this event sparks a memory of a different fire, an unsolved crime from long ago, a part of Matthew’s past that might lead to all the answers he’s been searching for. What he finds will connect the old fire and the new, a series of long-unsolved mysteries, and a ruthless act of murder.

Hot Book of the Week – A Debut

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Chris Hauty’s debut thriller, Deep State, is the current Hot Book of the Week at The Poisoned Pen. Hauty appears at the bookstore on Thursday, January 16 at 7 PM. You can reserve a signed copy through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2QndU0H

You might be interested in the interview with Hauty that appeared in The Big Thrill. I linked to it for a previous post, but here’s the article again. http://www.thebigthrill.org/2019/12/on-the-cover-chris-hauty/

Here’s the summary of Deep State.

Deep State is a propulsive, page-turning, compelling, fragmentation grenade of a debut thriller.” —C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wolf Pack and The Bitterroots

“The plotrings eerily true…will keep you turning the pages well into the night.” —Jack Carr, former Navy SEAL and acclaimed author of The Terminal List and True Believer

In this white-knuckled, timely, and whip-smart debut thriller, a deadly plot against the president’s life emerges from the shadows of the Deep State.

Recently elected President Richard Monroe—populist, controversial, and divisive—is at the center of an increasingly polarized Washington, DC. Never has the partisan drama been so tense or the paranoia so rampant. In the midst of contentious political turf wars, the White House chief of staff is found dead in his house. A tenacious intern discovers a single, ominous clue that suggests he died from something other than natural causes, and that a wide-ranging conspiracy is running beneath the surface of everyday events: powerful government figures are scheming to undermine the rule of law—and democracy itself. Allies are exposed as enemies, once-dependable authorities fall under suspicion, and no one seems to be who they say they are. The unthinkable is happening. The Deep State is real. Who will die to keep its secrets and who will kill to uncover the truth?

"Unspeakable Things"

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While Unspeakable Things is the name of Jess Lourey’s latest crime novel, it’s also the topic of a recent article she wrote for CriminalElement, “Four Authors Who Blurred the True Crime Line”. She quotes Dorothy Allison’s memoir, “I know the use of fiction in a world of hard truth, the way fiction can be a harder piece of truth.” Then, she discusses four novels that blur that line. Check the Web Store for those novels. Don’t forget to look for Lourey’s Unspeakable Things as well. https://store.poisonedpen.com

Lourey’s own novel actually fits her article as well. Unspeakable Things is based on true events in her own hometown. Check the description.

Inspired by a terrifying true story from the author’s hometown, a heart-pounding novel of suspense about a small Minnesota community where nothing is as quiet—or as safe—as it seems.

Cassie McDowell’s life in 1980s Minnesota seems perfectly wholesome. She lives on a farm, loves school, and has a crush on the nicest boy in class. Yes, there are her parents’ strange parties and their parade of deviant guests, but she’s grown accustomed to them.

All that changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale.

One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed—violent, moody, and withdrawn. What happened to them becomes the stuff of shocking rumors. The accusations of who’s responsible grow just as wild, and dangerous town secrets start to surface. Then Cassie’s own sister undergoes the dark change. If she is to survive, Cassie must find her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable.

First in a New Horror Series

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If you enjoy the classic horror style seen in The Haunting of Hill House and the creepy chills seen in Japanese horror films, then Voices in the Snow (on-sale 1/7/20) by USA Today bestselling author Darcy Coates should be next on your TBR list.

Poisoned Pen Press is excited to be publishing the debut in the new Black Winter series from the author of more than a dozen horror and suspense titles.

Discover Darcy Coates and dive into a story that will keep you awake and looking over your shoulder for days. Coates’ books, including Voices in the Snow, can be ordered through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2QIYyST

Here’s the description of Voices in the Snow (Sourcebooks/Poisoned Pen Press).

No One Escapes the Stillness

Clare remembers the cold. She remembers abandoned cars and children’s toys littered across the road. She remembers dark shapes in the snow and a terror she can’t explain. And then…nothing. When she wakes, aching and afraid in a stranger’s gothic home, he tells her she was in an accident. He claims he saved her. Clare wants to leave, but a vicious snowstorm has blanketed the world in white, trapping them together, and there’s nothing she can do but wait.

At least the stranger seems kind…but Clare doesn’t know if she can trust him. He promised they were alone here, but she sees and hears things that convince her something else is creeping about the surrounding woods, watching. Waiting. Between the claustrophobic storm and the inescapable sense of being hunted, Clare is on edge…and increasingly certain of one thing:

Her car crash wasn’t an accident. Something is waiting for her to step outside the fragile safety of the house… something monstrous, something unfeeling.

Something desperately hungry.

Also By Darcy Coates:
The Haunting of Ashburn House
The Haunting of Blackwood House
Craven Manor
The House Next Door


DARCY COATES is the USA Today bestselling author of HuntedThe Haunting of Ashburn HouseCraven Manor, and more than a dozen horror and suspense titles. She lives on the Central Coast of Australia with her family, cats, and a garden full of herbs and vegetables. Darcy loves forests, especially old-growth forests where the trees dwarf anyone who steps between them. Wherever she lives, she tries to have a mountain range close by.

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! The Poisoned Pen is closed today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on your new year resolutions, if your resolution involves books. If you want to discover new authors, or specialize in a genre or sub-genre, check out The Poisoned Pen’s book clubs. Or, if you’d like to send books to someone you love, sign them up to receive books. Take a look at the book clubs today. Contact the Poisoned Pen on Thursday, and you might be on the way to an exciting 2020. https://poisonedpen.com/book-clubs/

Happy New Year!

Paige Shelton, on Alaska

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Author Paige Shelton may now live in Arizona, but her book, Thin Ice, is set in Alaska. Shelton did a piece about gift books for the blog before Christmas. She also wrote a piece for Criminal Element called, “No Trace: The Alaska Triangle.” You can find it here. https://www.criminalelement.com/no-trace-the-alaskan-triangle/

Shelton will be at The Poisoned Pen on Saturday, February 8 to discuss and sign Thin Ice. You can order a signed copy through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2DiEf8P

Here’s the summary of Thin Ice.

First in a new series set in Alaska from beloved author Paige Shelton, Thin Ice will chill your bones.

Beth Rivers is on the run – she’s doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic’s obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she’s got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout.

Beth’s new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she’s felt since Levi took her. That is, until she’s told about a local death that’s a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?

As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear—and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn’t have to think about her own?

The Real Book Spy's Favorites

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Everyone seems to have a list of best books or favorite books of the year. But, The Real Book Spy’s list of Best Thrillers of 2019 includes so many authors who have been at The Poisoned Pen this year that it’s a list worth sharing. Check it out here. http://bit.ly/35XqybV

Then, check the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com

If you’re lucky, there may be signed copies still available, including a signed copy of The Real Book Spy’s Best Book of 2019, Brad Thor’s Backlash. Check for your favorite thriller author.