Ten Ways to Die in Turn-of-the-Last-Century New York

Ten Ways to Die in Turn-of-the-Last-Century New York

Ten Ways to Die in Turn-of-the-Last-Century New York The first decade of the twentieth century in New York City was a time of crowded tenements and splendid mansions, of extraordinary inventions and ubiquitous fraud, of widespread corruption and reformist zeal. It was, in short, a time of contrast and conflict on a grand scale—making it […]

The Secret Life of Undercover Agents

The Secret Life of Undercover Agents

  The Secret Life of Undercover Agents You might read about them in the newspapers, probably because they get caught. You might read their autobiographies, probably because they are unhappily retired. But you don’t read about them when they perform their duties for years in enemy territories, serving undercover in the most perilous situations. They […]

Ten of the Best Fictional Crime Novels Inspired by News Stories

Ten of the Best Fictional Crime Novels Inspired by News Stories

Ten of the Best Fictional Crime Novels Inspired by News Stories Megan Abbott, The Fever (2015) The inspiration for Abbott’s The Fever was a 2011 mass-hysteria case in LeRoy, New York, when Tourette-like symptoms afflicted a dozen high school girls. Abbott’s novel explores both communal hysteria and the fevered delusions of adolescence, which magnify everything […]

The Mystery Murder Case of the Century

The Mystery Murder Case of the Century

The Mystery Murder Case of the Century If I were asked to select one case in the history of our justice system that epitomized the essentials and professionalism of a ministry of justice in terms of tempestuous drama, personal anguish, garish confrontation, and, yes, divine intervention, unhesitatingly, I would answer: the Wylie-Hoffert rape murders. Here’s […]

An Interview with a Killer

An Interview with a Killer

From outside its main gates, the jail looked like an abandoned car-repair shop. It had razor wire on the perimeter walls but, then again, just about every wall in the city of David, Panama, is topped by rings of razor wire. There was a line of visiting women, a few of them holding parasols. I saw a […]

Ten True Crime Political Thrillers

Ten Books Books That Will Explain Current Strife in the World

Ten Books Books That Will Explain Current Strife in the World I write military counter-terrorism thrillers, which, by design, have to parse the world into neat shades of black and white, with perhaps a touch of gray thrown in. My protagonist, Pike Logan, has to have a clear antagonist and must solve the problem all […]

Missing: Ten of the Most Notorious Kidnappings

Ten of the Most Notorious Kidnappings FRANK SINATRA JR. This sensational kidnapping had all the hallmarks of a classic noir thriller: the only son of a Hollywood star snatched at gunpoint from a nightclub dressing room. To arrange his son’s quarter-million-dollar ransom, the kidnappers forced Sinatra Sr. to race around Los Angeles calling from pay […]

Ten Ways to Break the Law in 16th Century Spain

Ten Ways to Break the Law in 16th Century Spain

Ten Ways to Break the Law in 16th Century Spain From the perspective of a twenty-first-century secular democracy that upholds religious pluralism, gender equality, and LBGT rights, sixteenth-century Spain was a harsh and unforgiving place. Though some crimes, such as murder and robbery, were crimes just as they are today, others were specific to a […]

Why are readers fascinated with Secret Societies

Why are readers fascinated with Secret Societies?

Thrillers and secret societies seem to be a perpetual trend. What lies behind this fascination? The first thing I’d like to say is that while I am a terrific fan of a good secret-society thriller, Dominus is a story that I wrote, in part, to challenge some of the assumptions of that genre. It’s not […]

Invvestigating Police Misconduct in the NYPD

Investigating Police Misconduct in the NYPD

The paramedic couldn’t remember what had happened. That’s what she said, anyway. I was asking her to describe the position of a handcuffed man she had been called to treat over a year before. I had worked like hell to prepare for this moment. If she gave me one answer, there was a decent chance […]