Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

James Patterson’s BookShots

Monday, June 6th, 2016

9780316317146_ddc89Arriving tomorrow is the first in James Patterson’s new original trade paperback series, titled BookShots. The first in the series features his most popular character, Cross Kill: An Alex Cross Story (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), it is just 144 pages long. [UPDATE: a second BookShot will also be released tomorrow, Zoo 2 : A Zoo Story, James Patterson, Max DiLallo. The series will release 2 to 4 titles the first week of each month, see list below].

CBS Sunday Morning featured an interview with Patterson yesterday [Note: the video of the interview is no longer available]. He explains the idea behind BookShots,

“This is a little bit of a revolution … unfortunately for a lot of people …books [have become] just too long for them to deal with … [BookShots] are very, very fast-paced. They’re like reading a movie.”

CBS correspondent Anthony Mason is surprised to learn that Patterson writes books in longhand, rather than using a computer, to which the author replies “Yeah, well, thank God I don’t work on a computer because then I’d be really prolific!”

Twenty-three BoosShots will be released in 2016. Mason says that Patterson, who is famous for using co-authors, is “involved in every single one of them” and Patterson adds for “80% of ’em I did the outline.”

Included are titles that appear distinctly non-Pattersonesque, listed as “James Patterson’s BookShots Flames.”

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Below are the titles scheduled through the end of the year.

The Trial: A BookShot : A Women’s Murder Club Story, James Patterson, Maxine Paetro, July 5

Little Black Dress, James Patterson, Emily Raymond, July 5

Learning to Ride , Erin Knightley, James Patterson (Foreword by), July 5

The McCullagh Inn in Maine , Jen McLaughlin, James Patterson (Foreword by), July 5

Chase: A BookShot : A Michael Bennett Story, James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge, Aug. 2

Let’s Play Make-Believe, James Patterson, James O. Born, Aug 2

113 Minutes : A Story in Real Time, James Patterson, Max DiLallo, Sept. 6

Hunted, James Patterson, Andrew Holmes, Sept. 6

Sacking the Quarterback, Samantha Towle, James Patterson (Foreword by), Sept. 6

The Mating Season, Laurie Horowitz, James Patterson (Foreword by) Sept. 6

$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal, James Patterson, Hilary Liftin,  Oct. 4

French Kiss : A Detective Luc Moncrief Story, James Patterson, Richard DiLallo, Oct. 4

Killer Chef, James Patterson, Jeffrey J. Keyes, Nov. 1

Dazzling: The Diamond Trilogy, Part I, Elizabeth Hayley, James Patterson (Foreword by), Nov. 1

Bodyguard, Jessica Linden, James Patterson (Foreword by), Nov. 1

The Christmas Mystery : A Detective Luc Moncrief Story, James Patterson, Richard DiLallo, Dec. 6

Black & Blue, James Patterson, Candice Fox (With), Dec. 6

Radiant: The Diamond Trilogy, Part II, Elizabeth Hayley, James Patterson (Foreword by)


Friday, June 3rd, 2016

9781455561780_68236On the strength of what amounts to a full court press of coverage and to-die-for buzz, Before the Fall, Noah Hawley (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample) is racking up impressive hold figures at many libraries we checked, soaring as high as a 23:1 ratio.

One reason for the long queues, libraries bought low even in the face of starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly and even though Hawley is well-known as the force behind the popular FX adaptation of Fargo.

Glowing consumer reviews came out on the eve of publication or the day of, also suggesting the media was expecting a hit. In a NYT‘s Sunday Book Review (posted on May 30, in print on June 5), author Kristin Hannah says:

“Noah Hawley really knows how to keep a reader turning the pages, but there’s more to the novel than suspense. On one hand, Before the Fall is a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel. On the other, it is an exploration of the human condition, a meditation on the vagaries of human nature, the dark side of celebrity, the nature of art, the power of hope and the danger of an unchecked media. The combination is a potent, gritty thriller that exposes the high cost of news as entertainment and the randomness of fate.”

In their review published the day the novel hit shelves, The Washington Post says it is “superb and cleverly constructed” and “should become one of the summer’s hottest sellers.”

The day of publication, USA Today wrote: “Noah Hawley has a hit show as the award-winning creator of FX’s quirky crime drama Fargo. Now he’s eyeing the best-seller lists: Before the Fall … is poised for takeoff.”

Rounding out the praise, it is an Amazon Editors Pick as a Best of the Month, an Indie Next pick, and it made the widely-syndicated St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s summer reading list.

So why the low order numbers at libraries? As The Wall Street Journal notes the author may be suffering from the track record of his previous titles. WSJ says: “Between 1998 and 2012, Mr. Hawley published four novels, none of which could be called a hit. At a low point, in 2008, there was The Punch, a family story that sold a mere 281 print copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen BookScan.”

But Hawley is a hot property now, following his Emmy-winning work on Fargo (he also worked on Bones).

Before The Fall sold to Sony before it was published, and Deadline Hollywood reports that Hawley “will produce the feature with John Cameron.” Publisher Grand Central, reports WSJ, “ordered an initial print run of 88,000 copies and has since reprinted an additional 16,000 copies. Foreign rights have been sold in 24 territories and counting.”

The attention continues. NPR’s Morning Edition got in on the buzz yesterday, interviewing the author.

Jack Ryan Wins The Name Game

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

9780425269367Speculation is swirling over who will be the next 007, but we now know who will run the spy game on this side of the Atlantic.

John Krasinski is the next Jack Ryan.

The Office favorite will star as the famous fictional CIA agent, following in the footsteps of the film stars Chris Pine, Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and Alec Baldwin.

This time, however, Ryan is not headed to the big screen, but to an Amazon TV series.

While details are sketchy and no air date is known, Deadline Hollywood is reporting that “expectations are for the show to go straight-to-series” (translated: bypassing Amazon’s “try it out” pilot stage). It will not be a direct adaptation but “a new contemporary take on the character in his prime as a CIA analyst/operative using the novels as source material.”

9780425197400Jack Ryan first appeared in 1984 in The Hunt for Red October (PRH/Berkley, 2013 is the most recent edition), which was also the first film adaptation (starring Baldwin).

Clancy went on to write a series of novels focused on Ryan’s rise from agent to the President of the United States before beginning a new series featuring his son, starting with The Teeth of the Tiger (PRH/Berkley, 2004).

Stephen King’s IT To Begin Filming (Again)

Monday, April 25th, 2016

9781501142970_c0849Fans may take with a grain of salt the newly announced release date of Sept 8, 2017 for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel It (cover, at left, from the S&S/Scribner trade paperback, released in January). The project has been on the burner since 2012. Back in December of 2014, it was confidently announced that it was set to begin filming the following summer, with True Detective‘s Cary Fukunaga directing.

Fukunaga left the project last May and has since been replaced by Andy Muschietti. Entertainment Weekly reports that “Fans of King’s novel should be pleased with the current take on the script” quoting the producer saying it will be in two parts, one “from the point of view of the kids, and then making another movie from the point of view of the adults, that could potentially then be cut together like the novel. But it’s gonna be a really fun way of making this movie.”

Currently filming, also after many delays, is the movie adaptation of King’s The Dark Tower, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. It is set for release Feb. 17, 2017, so two long-awaited King adaptations may arrive next year.


Monday, April 4th, 2016

Sharp ObjectsHBO has bought the rights to the TV adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects (PRH/ Shaye Areheart, 2006), starring Amy Adams. Deadline characterizes the deal as part of a “very competitive situation” (i.e., many others were bidding on it, indicating it’s a hot property).

The show runner is Marti Noxon (Girlfriends’ Guide To DivorceBuffy the Vampire Slayer) with Flynn writing many of the episodes. Jean-Marc Vallée will direct all the episodes. He has experience adapting books in this genre. He also directs HBO’s Big Little Lies, based on the book by Liane Moriarty, set to debut some time next year starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern.

This is the third of the Flynn’s novels to be adapted, following Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris and Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron. Earlier this year, it was announced that Flynn’s short story, “The Grownup,” was sold to Universal. Originally published as “What Do You Do?” in Rogues, an anthology edited by George R. R. Martin, it was subsequently released in hardcover as The Grownup (PRH/Crown. Nov. 2015).


Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

9781476789644_f5ddfJessica Knoll’s 2015 debut thriller, Luckiest Girl Alive, is soaring up the Amazon charts once again due to a raw, confessional essay the author wrote for Lenny, a newsletter and website founded by Lena Dunham along with Jenni Konner, the showrunner for Girls.

Knoll discloses in the essay that the horrific rape segments of her novel are based on her own life story, events she first said were entirely fictional.

“The first person to tell me I was gang-raped was a therapist, seven years after the fact. The second was my literary agent, five years later, only she wasn’t talking about me. She was talking about Ani, the protagonist of my novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, which is a work of fiction. What I’ve kept to myself, up until today, is that its inspiration is not.”

The New York Times also reports the story, extending on the essay with an interview with Knoll who told the paper of the aftermath of the rape:

“No one was treating me like a victim; they were treating me like I was a perpetrator, like I was getting what I deserved … The message I internalized was that nothing bad happened; you did something wrong.”

Luckiest Girl Alive remains in high demand in every library we checked with holds queues still present at many. Reese Witherspoon optioned the film rights, and Knoll is hitting the road for a book tour to support the paperback edition of her novel (S&S, April 5).

FOOL ME ONCE, Julia Roberts to Star and Produce

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

9780525955092_9a9ceJust one week after it was published, Harlan Coben’s novel, Fool Me Once, Harlan Coben (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) is on the way to the big screen with Julia Roberts set to produce, according to Deadline,  and star as a former Army helicopter pilot who discovers something unsettling on her two-year old daughter’s nanny cam, images of her recently mudered husband.

Despite their cinematic qualities, only one of Coben’s novels has been adapted, the 2006 French film, Ne le dis à person (Tell No One). The rights to several others have been acquired, but are still listed as in development.



Monday, March 21st, 2016

The Kind Worth KillingAmong the many books cited as a worthy successor to Gone Girl, including The Girl on the Train, was a title that considered as better than either by several librarians on  GalleyChat, The Kind Worth Killing, by Peter Swanson (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Sample).

It did not quite become a household name, but the rights were picked up for a film, which now has a director, Agnieszka Holland, according to Deadline.

Of the book, Holland says she was,

 “ … really intrigued by this story. It’s full of paradoxes and I love paradoxes. The main heroine is tough as steel, but also as fragile as glass. Is she a victim? A psychopath? An avenger? What a great role for a talented actress! The story line is unpredictable, the genre feels fresh. A psychological thriller, which sometimes veers off towards black comedy, mixing humor with gore, genuine emotions with a detective mystery. The Kind Worth Killing will be fun to shoot, but even more fun to watch!”

Holds Alert: THE WIDOW

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

9781101990261_aa3b7Holds are growing in libraries on Fiona Barton’s The Widow (PRH/NAL; BOT; OverDrive Sample), which the A.V. Club headlines as “a delightfully trashy thriller.” A debut, orders are light, so requests are outpacing copies.

Little wonder. It is a book much in the news. Currently rising on Amazon’s sales rankings, it is the verge of breaking on to best seller lists.

As we reported, it is a March Indie Next pick, a People pick, and listed in the WSJ  as a potential big thriller of the year.

In the Washington Post, Lisa Scottoline notes, “Barton is a veteran British journalist who has reported for the Daily Mail and other publications, so it comes as no surprise that her prose is deft and her story well told. What does come as a surprise is that her novel is also richly character-driven in a way that is both satisfying and engrossing.”

Barton talks about her background as a reporter, the basis for her character, in an interview in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune. She is at work on a second novel that will also feature Kate Waters, the reporter in The Widow.

New Girls in Town

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Riffing on the success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train, The Wall Street Journal picks five candidates to become the “world’s biggest thriller of 2016.” [link may require subscription]

The list should please Penguin Random House as all five titles are published through their imprints. Pleasing librarians who want to second-guess the WSJ, all five are available to request in e-galley.

First up is 9781101990261_aa3b7The Widow, Fiona Barton (PRH/NAL; BOT; OverDrive Sample; pubbed today)

As we reported earlier, it is a People and an Indie Next pick and that Entertainment Weekly thinks it “might have more of a right to the [Girl] comparison than most.” The Wall Street Journal also notes film have been sold to Playground Entertainment, one of the production companies behind the adaptation of Wolf Hall.

9780399184260_5f8e2Maestra, L.S. Hilton (PRH/Putnam; BOT; April 19). WSJ reports the “steamy femme fatale story,” expected to be the first in a trilogy, sold in a seven-figure deal. Film rights were optioned by TriStar Pictures, with a screenplay in development by the writer behind The Girl on the Train film.

9781101987490_cd0eeI Let You Go, Clare Mackintosh (PRH/Berkley; BOT; May 3) makes the WSJ list due to its “twisty” nature and its reception in the UK, where it ended 2015 as “the seventh best-selling product—not just book—on last year (with Adele’s 25 coming fourth and The Girl on the Train claiming first).” [NOTE: you can chat with author Clare Mackintosh, as part of the EarlyWord/Penguin First Flights program on April 20th)

9780385349871_858daThe Crow Girl, Erik Axl Sund (PRH/Knopf; BOT; June 14). WSJ writes that this book about a serial killer of children in Stockholm leads to “something even bigger and more sinister. “An international best seller, it’s the first in a trilogy that has already been published in 38 countries. At 758-pages, the WSJ calls it a “doorstopper.” Knopf, of course, has had success with other Scandinavian doorstoppers that feature “Girl” in the title.

9781101904220_ee938Dark Matter, Blake Crouch (PRH/Crown; BOT; Aug. 2). Rounding out the list, is a novel by the author of the Wayward Pines trilogy. adapted by Fox TV. Based on just a particle manuscript, the author scored $1 million dea. Film rights sold soon after. The WSJ says the novel “has drawn comparisons to [the movie] Inception, is slated to be published in 20 territories.”

Better Than the Book?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

The Girl on the TrainFor those who enjoy the skewering of accepted wisdom, like “the book is always better than the movie,” read this:

The Girl on the Train Movie Will Surpass the Mediocre Book

The movie debuts Oct. 16, 2016, so we have a year before we find out if this prediction os accurate.

Gillian Flynn Feels the Pressure

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

9780804188975_7bc6dGillian Flynn’s “new book” The Grownup (PRH/Crown; BOT; OverDrive Sample), released this week, is actually a short story that appeared in an earlier anthology. And, as a ghost story, it’s in a different genre from her domestic thriller Gone Girl. Fans, of course, are pressuring for a new full-length novel.

She gave those fans some hope during an interview with Salon, stating “I’m starting it right now. I’m a slow writer. I kind of overwrite and then whittle it down from there. I’m hoping to be done by end of next year. My guess is a 2017 publication.”

She is also suffering the anxiety of trying to live up to expectations after a runaway bestseller,

“I so wish I had one I was working on when Gone Girl came out. It’s a little intimidating to think about sending another thing out there. You’re never, ever going to repeat that thing – it was its own weird lightning in a bottle kind of thing … I think my main battle with the next one is to just do what has served me well so far, which is just write the kind of book I would read personally.”

Whatever the book is about, it will not revisit Amy and Nick. She says, “When people ask if I’m going to do a sequel, I always say ‘never say never.’ But it definitely won’t be the next one up. I feel like I need a break from their voices in my head.”

Flynn has a few other projects in the works that might get in her way. She is working with 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen on a heist thriller and is set to produce the TV series based on her novel Sharp Objects.

Domestic Thrillers Closer to Screen

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Silent WifeJust after the announcement that the film adaptation of The Girl on the Train is set for release a year from now, comes news about two other titles in the genre are taking major steps closer to screens.

Director Adrian Lyne has been selected to head up the film version of The Silent Wife, (Penguin, 2013) with Nicole Kidman starring. Lyne has had experience with stories about relationships gone spectacularly wrong, having directed both Unfaithful and Fatal Attraction.

The debut novel by A.S.A. Harrison, published as an original trade paperback, was a surprise best seller in 2013.

big little liesAnother domestic thriller, also starring Kidman, this time along with Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies (PRH/Putnam, 2013) is in the works as an HBO limited series. It was just announced that Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) is in talks to make his TV directorial debut adapting the novel by Liane MoriartyDeadline calls this “the highest-profile limited series packages to come together for HBO since True Detective.”

Kidman and Witherspoon will produce the series. The pair clearly love the domestic thriller genre. This is the second title by Morality they have acquired, having optioned the rights last year to The Husband’s Secret  (Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn, 2013). In May, they optioned S.J. Watson’s Second Life (Harper, June 2015). Earlier, Kidman starred in the film version of Watson’s debut, Before I Go to Sleep (Harper, 2011).  Witherspoon was a producer for the movie Gone Girl.

Amazingly, neither of them have anything to do with The Girl on the Train.

GOTT, The Movie,
Just One Year Away

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

The Girl on the TrainA release date of Oct. 7, 2016 has been set for the movie adaptation of the runaway best seller, The Girl on the Train, starring Emily Blunt. Also recently announced, Justin Theroux is in talks to play the lead character’s ex-husband after Chris Evans dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

The movie will be shot in New York, but Emily Blunt will not adopt an American accent for the role. She told the BBC last month that she and director Tate Taylor have decided that she will play the main character the way she was written, as a British woman.

More GIRL On The Way

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Screen-Shot-2015-08-24-at-10.24.18-AMAfter the success of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, David Lagercrantz is on tap to write two more titles for the Millennium series.

Entertainment Weekly reports that his Swedish publisher has to release a fifth in 2017, followed by a sixth in 2019. Following the precedent of the previous, we can expect those books to be released simultaneously in the U.S.

According to a publisher statement, Lagercrantz found The Girl in the Spider’s Web “so much fun to write and such a breathtaking adventure” that he “just can’t resist” writing more.

In an earlier interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lagercrantz said he found plenty of subject material for the series, sharing that he kept notes while reading the first three books by Stieg Larsson and found “lots of threads that I’m sure he would have developed.”

After hitting the NYT Best Seller list at #1 on Sept. 20, The Girl in the Spider’s Web has remained in the top three, moving back to #2 this week.