Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Superlative End to a Superlative Year

Every book, I challenge myself to attempt something way outside my comfort zone. In THE KILLING KIND, it was a massive action set piece at a casino told from multiple points of view, so I'm damn pleased to report that Raging Biblioholism declared it their Best Fight Scene of 2015!

Many thanks to Drew of Raging Biblioholism, and to everyone who's taken the time to read, review, and/or spread the word about THE KILLING KIND. I'm not big on nostalgia, or attaching too much import to a changing of the calendar—but this year my writing life has been amazing, and I'm grateful to those of you who helped make it so. Happy New Year, all, and may 2016 be kind to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

More Kind Words

Bryon Quertermous—author of MURDER BOY and former editor of Demolition Magazine, which published my Spinetingler Award winning story "Seven Days of Rain"—listed THE KILLING KIND among his favorite reads of 2015! (If you know Bryon, then you know he didn't do so just to be nice.) It's a terrific list top to bottom, featuring books from Lou Berney, Michael Koryta, Laura Lippman, Lisa Lutz, and more. I'm honored to be in such talented company.

And Greg Herren—whom I met at Bouchercon because Katrina moderated one of his panels—took a chance on THE KILLING KIND despite his aversion to hitman novels, and wrote about it here. Greg's a fine writer and a great guy, so I'm grateful he enjoyed it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Word Nerds Top Ten

I'm happy to report that THE KILLING KIND made Bethany Warner's Top Ten of 2015 list at The Word Nerds, alongside books by Robert Galbraith, Sean Chercover, Lyndsay Faye, and more! Thanks, Bethany!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Bookmas

Surfacing briefly from a tangle of gift wrap, tissue paper, and Scotch tape to point you toward this lovely "Merry Bookmas" best-of list courtesy of Shotgun Honey's Ron Earl Phillips. I'm delighted to share list space alongside Joe Clifford, Chris Irvin, Brian Panowich, Rob Hart, and more!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Well, it's been a heck of a year. I'm extremely grateful to everyone who's contributed to THE KILLING KIND's success—and if you're reading this, you're likely one of them, so thank you. Whatever you celebrate this holiday season, I hope it's full of friends, fun, and cheer.

Oh, and for all you last-minute shoppers, Jon Jordan of Crimespree Magazine included THE KILLING KIND on Crimespree's 2015 Christmas Gift Guide!

See you in 2016!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A Sarah Weinman Fave

A decade ago, when I made my first tentative inroads into the online crime fiction community, I read Sarah Weinman's blog daily. She was, and is, a tastemaker, better read than any ten other people in the genre.

Sarah's since moved on to bigger and better things (the collection she edited for the Library of America, WOMEN CRIME WRITERS, has rightly gotten loads of acclaim this year), and I'm fortunate enough to now count her as a friend, but I still look forward to her newsletter every week. Which is to say, it's a thrill to see THE KILLING KIND among her favorite crime fiction of 2015.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Festival of Links

The Passionate Foodie, Richard Auffrey, paired his Favorite Fiction of 2015 with drink selections. I'm pleased to report THE KILLING KIND made his list, and (while Hendricks is more of a beer guy) I couldn't be happier with the drink he chose: a 15-year-old Laphroaig.

You may recall that earlier this year I chatted with Steven Nester for PRX's Poets of the Tabloid Murder. Well, Steven stopped by The Rap Sheet yesterday to talk about his Favorite Crime Fiction of 2015, and listed THE KILLING KIND among it!

And finally, I'm at Maine Crime Writers today, where I shared my elf-noir sequel to the Rankin/Bass production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, "The Final Bough."

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Friday, December 04, 2015

Boston Globe Best Of

Wow. Two terrific lists in one day. The Boston Globe just posted their Best Books of 2015 list, and THE KILLING KIND is on it alongside books by such terrific authors as Steph Cha, Sue Grafton, Laura Lippman, Val McDermid, Stuart Neville, and Duane Swierczynski. That, my friends, is heady company to keep. Thanks to Daneet Steffens for including me!

BOLO Best Of

Thanks to Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books for naming THE KILLING KIND one of his Top Reads of 2015! I'm delighted to be included in so fine a list.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

A Review and Two Best Ofs

I confess, after the events of the past twenty-four hours, I've little energy for self-promotion. That said, some folks have said nice things about THE KILLING KIND recently, and I'm grateful.

Bill Bushnell of the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel reviewed THE KILLING KIND today, and declared it "...a fast-paced thriller with high-octane action, gripping suspense, [and] clever plot twists..."

Rob Hart, Class Director at LitReactor and author of NEW YORKED, included THE KILLING KIND on LitReactor's Best Books of 2015 list.

Alex Segura, author of SILENT CITY and editor of Dark Circle Comics, counted THE KILLING KIND among his favorite reads of 2015.

Many thanks to Bill, Rob, and Alex!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

It's Up To Us

Last Friday, a deranged lunatic with a history of violence toward women shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. As I write this, another mass shooting is unfolding in San Bernardino, this one targeting a facility dedicated to serving people with developmental disabilities. In between, according to the Washington Post, there were two other mass shootings I hadn't even heard about, which brings the total so far this year to 355.

355. That's more than one a day. And that's just mass shootings. When you factor in shootings that affect fewer than four people, accidental shootings, and suicides, the death toll is staggering. In fact, gun deaths are poised to surpass automobile deaths this year, at approximately 33,000.

We—individually and as a society—have a moral obligation to do something. The NRA would have you believe that any attempts to restrict gun sales would violate our Second Amendment rights—a specious claim they must believe, because why else would they spent good money killing bills that would have prevented people on the FBI's terrorist watchlist from legally purchasing firearms?


I don't pretend to have all the answers. Anyone who does is selling snake-oil. And no one law is going to end gun violence in America. But the fact is, it's possible—easy, even—to take decisive action without running afoul of the Second Amendment. All we need to do is close the so-called private sale loophole by implementing universal background checks. Mountains of data indicate that doing so would dramatically reduce gun deaths, and it wouldn't infringe on the constitutional rights of a single law-abiding American.

See, in most states, so-called private sales don't require background checks—or even basic record-keeping. (I say "so-called" because many professional dealers conduct private sales on the side at gun shows.) This creates an enormous gray market for firearms. The overwhelming majority (approximately 96%) of repeat gun offenders obtain the weapons they use in the commission of crimes via private sales. If they'd been subjected to a background check, they never would've gotten their hands on those guns. (Since 1994, over 2,000,000 people have been denied firearms thanks to background checks—117,000 in 2010 alone.)

Currently, only eight states require universal background checks. (The term "universal background check" may sound Big Brother-y, but all it means is a background check is required for any gun sale, professional or private.) According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, "states with universal background check laws experience 48 percent less gun trafficking, 38 percent fewer deaths of women shot by intimate partners, and 17 percent fewer firearms involved in aggravated assaults. States with universal background check requirements also have a 53 percent lower gun suicide rate, and 31 percent fewer suicides." And if universal background checks were implemented nationwide, those numbers would likely improve, because criminals couldn't simply drive to neighboring states to purchase firearms.

Seems sensible, right? That must be why it's so damn popular. Plenty of folks on social media like to rail about how gun owners care more about their firearms than public safety, but the fact is, the vast majority of them support universal background checks. Hell, 74% of NRA members do.

So, in the face of a rogue gun lobby that arms terrorists and ignores the wishes of its own constituency, what can you or I do? Well, for starters, we can tell our legislators that if they don't take action, they won't be our legislators anymore. Sure, many of them are swimming in the NRA's blood money, but it won't do them any good if we refuse to re-elect them.

Don't know how to contact your representatives? People Magazine's got you covered; they recently published the contact information for all 535 members of Congress and urged their readers to contact them demanding stricter gun laws.

Not sure what to say? Feel free to crib heavily from this post, or the letter I wrote to my representatives four months and nearly 150 mass shootings ago. But by god, do something. Write. Call. March on Washington, if that's what it takes. We're only helpless if we allow ourselves to be. Our elected officials have made it clear they aren't interested in fixing this, so it's up to us.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Event: Thursday, 12/3 at the New England Mobile Book Fair

Are you shopping for any bookworms this holiday season? Do you live in the greater Boston area? Then you're in luck! The New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton Highlands is hosting their 4th Annual Gala Mystery Night this Thursday, 12/3, from 6PM to 9PM! More than fifty authors will be signing books, including Hank Phillippi Ryan, Joe Finder, and yours truly.

My signing's scheduled from 7PM to 8PM. The event is free and open to the public. For details and directions, click here.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Top Book of 2015!

Strand Magazine's list of Top Books of 2015 just hit Facebook and Twitter, and I'm delighted to report THE KILLING KIND clocks in at #1! I'm honored to share list space with the likes of Jeffrey Deaver, Joseph Finder, Linwood Barclay, and Paula Hawkins, to name but a few... even if I'm somewhat surprised by my position on said list.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday, November 05, 2015

New In Books Interview

Two posts in one day? Madness! But when it rains, it pours. Here's an interview I did with New In Books, in which I talk Twin Peaks, tattoos, and musical theater.

Favorite Offbeat Hitmen

Today, I'm at Strand Magazine's blog, talking about my favorite (fictional) offbeat hitmen. Make with the clicking to give my list a gander.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Getting Baked

This week marks my first trip to New England Crime Bake, and I couldn't be happier; I've heard nothing but terrific things about this conference for years. If you're also attending, here's where you can find me:

w/David Handler, Chris Knopf, Gayle Lynds, and Ang Pompano (m)
Saturday, November 7
10:10 to 11:00 AM
Ballroom

(Requires advance registration; click through for details)
Saturday, November 7
1:45 to 3:00 PM
Ballroom

w/Joe Gannon, James Hankins, Shannon Kirk, and Hank Phillippi Ryan
Saturday, November 7
3:10 to 4:00 PM
New England Room

In addition, if you see me in the hotel lobby/hallways/bar/pretty much anywhere that's not the restroom and would like to say hello or have me sign a book (ideally, one of my own), please feel free.

Friday, October 23, 2015

THE KILLING KIND a New York Times Editors' Choice

I'm elated, stunned, and not just a little confused to report that THE KILLING KIND is an Editors' Choice in this week's New York Times Book Review. As some of you know, this book nearly failed to see the light of day, so I'm incredibly grateful for all the support it's received, and all the help it's gotten along the way.

THE KILLING KIND in Mystery Scene

The current issue of Mystery Scene Magazine features a terrific review of THE KILLING KIND, courtesy of Jordan Foster. It's print-only, but here's a taste:
"Chris Holm's whip-smart tale of a different kind of professional killer moves as fast as the bullets fired by his hero, Special Forces vet Michael Hendricks, and with wit as dry as the Afghani desert where Hendricks allegedly died."
Many thanks to Jordan and Mystery Scene both!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

THE KILLING KIND in The New York Times Book Review

There are moments in my writing career I'll carry with me forever. This review is destined to be one of them. Here's a taste (click through to read the rest):
"Chris Holm's THE KILLING KIND is my favorite thriller of the fall lineup. Here's a solid gold premise: an assassin who only kills other assassins... The cat-and-mouse game that follows is pure joy...This novel is so fast-moving, so expertly arranged, every piece fitting together with a well-oiled snap, that it feels weaponized. Read it. Or else."
The review is scheduled to appear in this Sunday's print edition of The New York Times Book Review. And I'm told THE KILLING KIND will also be an Editors' Choice in the October 25th edition!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How It Happened

Today, I'm at the International Thriller Writers' The Thrill Begins talking about THE KILLING KIND's path to publication. (SPOILER: it was rockier than you might imagine.)

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Michael Hendricks Interview

Recently, I attempted to interview the protagonist of THE KILLING KIND, Michael Hendricks, for Crimespree Magazine. It... didn't go well. But you don't have to take my word for it; click through and see for yourself.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Stalker's Guide to Finding Chris at Bouchercon 2015

It's hard to believe, but Bouchercon 2015 is nearly upon us. If you're Raleigh-bound, as I am, here's where to find me:

Signing
Friday, October 9
10:45 to 11:15 AM
Mystery Mike's Table, Book Room

Panel: Where Crime and Mystery Meets Horror and the Weird
w/Reece Hirsch, David Morrell, Tim Weaver, and Nanci Kalanta (m)
Saturday, October 10
8:30 to 9:20 AM
Marriott, State AB

In addition, my lovely and talented wife is moderating the following panel, so you'll find me front and center:

Panel: Danger and Death in Suburbia
Lou Berney, Greg Herren, Lori Roy, Mary Sutton, and Katrina Niidas Holm (m)
Saturday, October 10
2:30 to 3:20 PM
Marriott, State AB

And lastly, while I'll be landing too late Thursday to catch it, I'd highly recommend you check out this panel, too:

Changing Face of Publishing for Writers and Readers
Jim Azevedo, Juliet Grames, Bob Gussin, Joshua Kendall and Andrew Gulli (m)
Thursday, October 8
11:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Marriott, University AB

Josh is the Editorial Director of Mulholland Books, and one of the smartest, savviest people I've ever encountered in this business (which is saying something). His guidance was instrumental in shaping THE KILLING KIND. It bums me out I'm missing this one.

That's it for my formal schedule, but I'm always* happy to chat with fellow book-folk, so if you see me and you'd like to say hello and/or get a book signed, please feel free. See you in Raleigh!

*Restrooms, as ever, are excluded from this offer—and lurking in my hotel room is strongly discouraged**
**Unless you bring pie***
***That was a joke; please don't actually stalk me

Monday, September 28, 2015

My Four Minutes and Forty Seconds of Fame

Last week, I sat down with Caroline Cornish to talk about THE KILLING KIND. The interview aired during Friday's episode of 207. If you'd like to check it out, it's up in its entirety here. By my count, I only have eleven minutes and twenty seconds of fame left; I'd better use them wisely.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Breakfast Links

Another morning, another quick link update.

THE KILLING KIND got a nice mention in the Toronto Star alongside the latest from Lee Child, Hakan Ostlundh, and my pal John McFetridge. They called the book "freewheeling" and "inventive and specific in its ferocity." I'll take it.

The UK crime-fic site Crime Review took a peek at THE KILLING KIND, too, declaring it "a fast, hard-edged thriller that doesn’t pull its punches."

And finally, I took part in the #30Authors blog event this year, in which thirty authors each write a guest-post on a book blog recommending a novel. I chose Stuart Neville's excellent THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND. Today, at Fourth Street Review, that post went live. Many thanks, Rory, for lending me the blog space!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

An Interview (and My Upcoming TV Debut)

Today, Steve Weddle was kind enough to have me by Do Some Damage to answer some questions about THE KILLING KIND. You can read our conversation here. Steve, as some of you may know, was instrumental in the genesis of THE KILLING KIND. Who knows if it would've been written without his prodding?

Also, if you're a Mainer and you're reading this, be sure to tune in to 207 this Friday (September 25) at 7PM for my chat with Caroline Cornish! This interview marks my TV debut, unless you count that time somebody from the local news stuck a mic in my face when I was little and asked me what I liked about playing youth hockey. (Note: I haven't run that hazy memory past my parents, so there's a chance I'm making it up.)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Reading and Writing

Just a couple quick items today, and then it's back to the writing mines.

Item the First: I subject THE KILLING KIND to the Page 69 Test. Don't know what that is? Here's a handy explanation.

Item the Second: At Writers Read, I talk about three books I've enjoyed recently. Julia Spencer-Fleming, Michael Koryta, and Don Winslow make appearances. If you're looking for a great read, you'd do well to check 'em out.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A MysteryPeople Double-Feature

Scott Montgomery of Austin's BookPeople is an old friend, and—at his bookstore-within-a-bookstore, MysteryPeople—one of the first booksellers to ever champion my work. We recently had a little chat about all things THE KILLING KIND, which went live on the MysteryPeople site today. And, as an added bonus, I just found out THE KILLING KIND is one of MysteryPeople's Three Picks for September! Not only that, but their write-up is a doozy:
"The action makes you feel like you are in the middle of a John Woo film and the characters bring more surprises and emotion to the table than you may be prepared for."
As always, Scott, thanks!

NPR Reviews THE KILLING KIND

There are often moments in my writing career that make me shake my head with disbelief and smile. Getting a rave review from NPR is one such moment. And to make that moment even sweeter, said review comes courtesy of Jason Heller. I've been a fan of Jason's writing since the early days of the AV Club, and I've bought loads of books and music on the strength of his reviews. Here's a taste of what he had to say about THE KILLING KIND:

"What makes the book sing is not some shotgun marriage of genres—this is a thriller, plain and simple—but its lean action, breakneck execution, and a nervy concept that's almost too perfect: Protagonist Michael Hendricks is a hit man who only hits other hit men... THE KILLING KIND is a brutal book about brutal people in a brutal world... For all its violence and darkness, though, the book has plenty of sly humor, sharp dialogue, and even the occasional yanked heartstring... relentless and breathtaking."

And as an added bonus, Jason snuck in some praise for my Collector trilogy, calling it "...a grim, imaginative take on the detective yarn." Not too shabby, that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

THE KILLING KIND is Now Available!

As of today, THE KILLING KIND is officially out in the US, wherever books are sold. I've waited a long time to type those words. Now that the day is finally here, I couldn't be happier.

It's only mid-morning as of this writing, but my release day's already been pretty nuts. THE KILLING KIND was, briefly, a trending topic on Twitter. Reviews, interviews, and well-wishes are coming fast and furious. I'm sure I'll fail to thank someone along the way, but not for lack of trying.

Here's a (doubtless partial) roundup of release-day coverage:

Dan Malmon wrote a fantastic review for Crimespree Magazine, in which he said:
"Whether it’s cringing at the depths of Engelmann’s depravity, or picking up the most subtle of character beats of the vast supporting cast that make up THE KILLING KIND, the reader can’t help but be fully invested in what befalls the players in this thriller. Holm has put fully formed people on the page… and then proceeds to do horrible things to them. Because that is what exceptional authors do."
The Life Sentence is chock full of content related to THE KILLING KIND, including an interview (with my lovely and talented wife, who also happens to be an editor for the site WAIT IS THAT WHY THEY'RE BEING SO NICE TO ME?!), a review, and an amazing Tumblr post.

But wait! There's more! Elizabeth A. White had this to say about THE KILLING KIND:
"Previously known to readers for his outstanding, intricately plotted and laced with dark humor urban fantasy meets noir Collector trilogy, Holm has both shifted gears somewhat and at the same time upped his game with THE KILLING KIND. While the Collector books were universally praised, appearing on scores of 'Best of the Year' lists, THE KILLING KIND’s more mainstream thriller setup has the potential to open new doors for Holm and expand his reader base exponentially. And this would be a good thing for everyone, because if there’s one thing readers could use more of, it’s Chris Holm penned stories."
Many thanks to Dan and the whole Crimespree crew; Katrina, Jordan, Lisa, and Adam at The Life Sentence; Elizabeth; and everyone who's blogged, shared, reviewed, retweeted, or bought the book. And extra-special thanks to these fine folks, without whom I wouldn't be where I am today.

Monday, September 14, 2015

More KIND Reviews

The official release date of THE KILLING KIND is just hours away, and I'm happy to bring news of two new reviews!

John Valeri of the Hartford Books Examiner took a peek at THE KILLING KIND—as well as Michael Koryta's LAST WORDS (which, I can attest, is a spectacular read) and James Patterson's 14TH DEADLY SIN—and declared it "an intelligent and droll shot of adrenaline that aims high and more than makes the mark."

Rob Taub at Huffington Post gave THE KILLING KIND a gander, too, and had this to say: "Holm takes a one note premise and pulls the reader in with beautiful narrative and excellent pacing... If a movie deal hasn't been made, I'm sure there's one in the works."

Many thanks to John and Rob. And Rob, from your lips to Hollywood's ears...

Sunday, September 13, 2015

THE KILLING KIND in the Maine Sunday Telegram

Today, I woke up to a text from my mother that read, "Put a Sunday paper on your front stoop." I was pretty sure it was a declaration, not an instruction, so I looked outside... and found out that not only did THE KILLING KIND get a rave in today's Maine Sunday Telegram, said rave took up three-quarters of their Books page!
Here's a link to the digital version, so you don't ruin your eyeballs trying to read that photo. Many thanks to Mike Berry, who wrote the review, and my mom, who enthusiastically delivered it by dark of night.

Friday, September 11, 2015

THE KILLING KIND a Strand September Read

Two posts in one day? Insanity! But news is coming fast and furious now that release day's nearly upon us. Here's the latest: The Strand Magazine included THE KILLING KIND in its roundup of September Reads. So what'd they think?
"An adrenaline-packed read from start to finish, this first installment in what we hope is a new series is a must for thriller fans."
I'm elated that they enjoyed it—and honored to be featured alongside the likes of Catriona McPherson, Stuart Neville, Karin Slaughter, and Sarah Weinman.

Clue(do), Papa, and The Humpty Dance

My Nefarious Internet Promotion Machine (TM) is kicking into high gear as THE KILLING KIND's release nears, so prepare to see a whole lot more of yours truly in your feed for the next few weeks.

Today, I'm at Crime Files, talking Clue, The Humpty Dance, and presumably also about my new book a little bit. A heads-up for my American readers: Crime Files is a UK site, and those wily imperialists insisted upon colonizing my words with superfluous U's. Also, they spell "Clue" wrong. YES, I KNOW THE LANGUAGE IS NAMED AFTER THEM.

You'll also find me at the lovely and talented Elizabeth A. White's blog, talking about my grandfather, who instilled in me my love of crime fiction. Elizabeth, as near as I can tell, has quite sensible views on the usage and placement of U's.

Friday, September 04, 2015

THE KILLING KIND's Acknowledgments

Yesterday, I received a copy of the final US version of THE KILLING KIND. It's my first hardcover release, and it's as gorgeous as I've come to expect from Mulholland Books—sleek, modern, and eye-catching.

There is, however, something missing. Namely, my acknowledgments.

These things happen. Putting together a book is a complex process. Now and again, something's bound to fall through the cracks. And I'm assured my acknowledgments will appear in later editions. But in the meantime, I thought I'd share them here. THE KILLING KIND traveled a long and winding road to publication, and many have helped it on its way. It'd be a shame if their efforts were to go unrecognized. So, without further ado...

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

A few years ago, Steve Weddle, editor of Needle: A Magazine of Noir, asked if I’d be interested in contributing a short story. I pitched him a couple ideas, and he pushed me to write the more ambitious of the two. The resulting story, “The Hitter,” was nominated for an Anthony Award, appeared in THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2011, and served as the basis for THE KILLING KIND. I think that means I owe Steve a drink.

Otto Penzler and Harlan Coben, editors of THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2011, deserve my thanks, too. Their faith in “The Hitter” played no small part in my decision to write THE KILLING KIND.

Shepherding Hendricks from short story to novel wasn’t easy—that guy’s not one for taking orders—but thankfully, I had some help along the way. THE KILLING KIND would be a pale shadow of itself without the guidance and wisdom of my agent, David Gernert, and my editor, Josh Kendall. Their fingerprints are all over its strongest moments, and I’m a better writer for knowing them.

David’s team at The Gernert Company has been a dream to work with—Ellen Goodson and Anna Worrall in particular. The same goes for the fine folks at Mulholland/Little, Brown—most notably Pamela Brown and Sabrina Callahan. And Ruth Tross of Mulholland UK has proven a delight as well.

I’m extremely grateful to Megan Abbott, David Baldacci, Chelsea Cain, Hilary Davidson, Joseph Finder, Simon Kernick, Owen Laukkanen, Stuart Neville, and Marcus Sakey for their early support of this novel—and to the crime fiction community at large for embracing me as their own and championing my work for years. It’s a hell of a thing to realize you’ve found your tribe.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank my family—Burns, Holm, and Niidas—for their unflagging support; rarely has a loved one’s life of crime been so readily embraced.

And finally, my deepest gratitude to my wife, Katrina, who helped set me on my true path and continues to light the way. Humbling though it is for this writer to admit, words fail to express how much that means to me.

BOLO Books on THE KILLING KIND

This morning, I woke to a wonderful review of THE KILLING KIND, courtesy of BOLO Books. Here's a peek (click through to read the rest):
"THE KILLING KIND is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled novel marking a turning point in the career of Chris Holm. Where he was once a cult author with a loyal fan base, this new novel will no doubt make him a recognizable and leading name in the thriller genre moving forward."
Many thanks, Kristopher! So glad you enjoyed it.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Maine Crime Writers: Judge Dread

Yesterday, THE KILLING KIND came out in the UK. (It'll come out in the US on 9/15.) Today, I'm at Maine Crime Writers, talking release-day yips. Click through to give it a read!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UK Release Day and BN Accolades

Now available from Mulholland UK
First off, I'm delighted to report that THE KILLING KIND is now available in the UK! Pick it up in gorgeous hardcover, or download the ebook today.

Additionally, I just discovered that Barnes and Noble has named THE KILLING KIND one of their top thrillers for September! I can't tell you what a kick it is to see Michael Hendricks listed alongside the likes of Jack Reacher, James Bond, and Lisbeth Salander.

Monday, August 24, 2015

My Top Five Antiheroes

Today, in honor of THE KILLING KIND's impending release (8/27 in the UK, 9/15 in the US), I'm at Crime Files talking about my favorite antiheroes. Click through to see if yours made the list!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

KILLING Down Under

I learned two things today. Thing the First is that Australia celebrates Father's Day in September (9/6 this year, to be exact). Thing the Second is that the Sydney Morning Herald thinks Aussies should buy their dads THE KILLING KIND. Also recommended are Brian Panowich, Lee Child, and many more. I'm honored to be included on such a fantastic list.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Portrait of the Artist as a Gun Nut

"Do you love guns? (I don't, but apparently Chris Holm does.) You'll meet all kinds of guns here and find out all sorts of things about them."
That quote came from an Amazon Vine review for my upcoming novel, THE KILLING KIND. It was a lovely review—five-star, in fact—and its author included it as part of a list she was inspired to write about the Top Ten Things That Are Great About THE KILLING KIND.

My intention in this post isn't to criticize the author of that review. I'm delighted that she enjoyed THE KILLING KIND, and doubly delighted she found my firearm details convincing and educational, because I worked hard to get them right. But the fact is, I don't love guns, and given the staggering numbers of gun deaths in America every year, I wonder why so many do.

It's not that I don't understand their appeal. My father and his family are hunters. My mother's family, cops. I was raised to respect firearms, and I've shot my share of them. I don't just believe responsible gun ownership is possible, I've seen it. And yet. And yet.

I write violent stories about violent people doing violent things, and for that I don't apologize. The world is a scary place, and my fiction reflects that. And while I hope that, first and foremost, my books are entertaining, I'd like to think they also handle violence thoughtfully, and with due heft. I'm not writing this post due to some crisis of conscience. I don't believe crime fiction leads to increased crime any more than I believe heavy metal leads to Satanism—and even if I'm wrong, I'm not widely enough read to move the needle.

But personally, I'm saddened that we're greeted almost daily with story after story of mass shootings, yet we—I—do nothing. So today, I wrote my senators and congresswoman an email, which you can read below:
To Senator Collins, Senator King, and Representative Pingree: 
I am writing to express, in the strongest possible terms, my desire for meaningful gun control legislation at the federal level. 
I'm not sure why I'm moved to write you today, as opposed to last week, last month, or last year. There is nothing special or significant about the most recent mass shooting (in Louisiana as of this writing; I mention that because by the time you read this, there will likely have been another). But perhaps that's exactly what prompted me to write. There's nothing special or significant about the most recent mass shooting. They've become commonplace. So commonplace, in fact, we've become inured to them. Apathetic. We're so certain our representatives will fail to act that we say nothing, do nothing, and by our inaction, become complicit in these endless cycles of gun violence. 
Every shooting, the conversation is the same. We need better mental health care in this country. We need to stamp out extremism in all its forms. We need better communication between state and local law enforcement so that people who aren't supposed to obtain weapons truly cannot. We rally to take down racist symbols, we fortify our schools, we preach vigilance, pray for victims, parse motives, make celebrities of murderers. 
But we do nothing about the glut of guns that allow these acts to be perpetrated in the first place. 
I am well aware of our Second Amendment rights. I'm from a hunting family. A law-enforcement family. I was raised around firearms. But you know as well as I there are steps that could be taken that would not significantly impact law-abiding gun owners, while curbing sales to the violent and disturbed. There are steps that can be taken to prevent firearms from easily entering the gray and black markets. There are steps that can be taken, but no one takes them. No one dares. 
I'm asking you to dare. 
Dare to stand up to a gun lobby that increasingly sounds like a lunatic fringe, and does a disservice to law-abiding gun owners. Dare to stand up for the estimated 33,000 people who will die as a result of gun violence in the US this year (source: Bloomberg). Do something. Do anything. Because if you don't—if you allow this to continue unabated—you are culpable, as are we all. 
Regards,
Chris Holm
If you'd like to do the same, this website makes it easy; just type in your zip code to get your representatives' contact information. If not, that's fine, too. There's no saying you have to agree with me politically to like my books. Heck, the woman who wrote that Top Ten list was pretty sure our views on guns were miles apart, and she liked my book just fine.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Booklist and Publishers Weekly on THE KILLING KIND

I'm delighted to report this latest batch of reviews (and BONUS Literary Agent Mention!) for THE KILLING KIND.

First, there's this review from Publishers Weekly, which declares THE KILLING KIND "a diverting, action-packed story interspersed with excellent character vignettes." (They also say "Holm carries off a preposterous plot with brazen aplomb," which I am choosing to take as a compliment.)

Booklist recently reviewed THE KILLING KIND as well. Their site, alas, is paywalled, but here's a pull-quote I've selected for you COMPLETELY AT RANDOM AND NOT AT ALL BECAUSE IT MAKES ME SOUND AWESOME: "Holm’s action scenes are breathtaking whirlwinds, and even when readers know what’s next, he builds an improbable level of suspense."

In other news, if I ever write a memoir, I think I'll title it BREATHTAKING WHIRLWINDS OF BRAZEN APLOMB.

Oh! Right! I almost forgot the BONUS Literary Agent Mention, courtesy of Jessica Faust of Bookends Literary Agency. Here's what she had to say:
At #BEA I picked up THE KILLING KIND by Chris Holm. I devoured this book. This is exactly the kind of book I love and would love to see. How can you go wrong with a hit man who targets hit men? The way the story plays out is really the true magic though, the twists are perfect and the end leaves you satisfied, but still desperate for the next in the series, which is really disappointing since this book doesn't even officially publish until September. Put it on your pre-order list.
Jessica's kind words are gratifying because the Bookends blog was essential reading for me when I began approaching agents years ago. (In fact, an email search indicates Jessica was among my first agent queries, way back in '07—for a book that, quite rightly, never saw the light of day. She requested a partial, but ultimately—and graciously—passed.) If you're a writer who's getting to the point where you're considering querying agents, I'd highly recommend giving their blog a read.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Raging Biblioholism Reviews THE KILLING KIND

Launching a new series is a nerve-wracking affair—doubly so when you're also hopping genres. I'd like to think Sam Thornton and Michael Hendricks are kindred spirits, but the question remains: will fans of my Collector books follow me from the fantastical into a life of crime?

I'm happy to say that—for Drew of Raging Biblioholism, at least—the answer appears to be yes. Drew's been a supporter of my books from the get-go, so I'm delighted THE KILLING KIND lived up to his expectations. Here's a taste of what he had to say (click through to read the full review):
"Each domino falls exactly when it’s supposed to and the thrill of the book is watching one topple onto the next... this Holm guy has something special."
Many thanks, Drew! And fear not: while Hendricks's story will remain solidly in the material realm, I'm not turning my back on my weird-fic roots. I suspect you'll see more otherworldly tales out of me before too long.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Maine Crime Writers: The Horse Latitudes

Today at Maine Crime Writers, I'm talking about the brutal slog that is any work-in-progress's middle third, and my sometimes unsuccessful attempts to avoid social media. Also The Birdcage, Death Cab For Cutie, and pantslessness for some reason. Click through to give it a read!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Between the Covers Reviews the Collector Series

On June 24, Heather of Between the Covers picked up DEAD HARVEST. Today, she posted her review... of the entire Collector trilogy.

That's right. I've been binge-read. And by review's end, she says she sees a reread in her future, which is as fine a compliment as anyone can pay a writer.

Heather's overview of the series is both thoughtful and spoiler-light, so if you're new to my work and wondering if my Collector books would be your cup of tea, click through to find out!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Read "One Man's Muse" For Free!

"One Man's Muse," my short-story ode to all things Stephen King, is up today at the River Heights Book Review for your reading pleasure. It's a creepy little tale that answers the question, "What happened to the modest double-wide in Hermon, Maine where Stephen King lived when he wrote CARRIE and 'SALEM'S LOT?"

Click through to give it a read, and see if you can spot all the King-related easter eggs peppered throughout!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Every Read Thing on THE KILLING KIND

Today, Brandon at Every Read Thing took an early look at THE KILLING KIND and had this to say (click through to read the full review):
"THE KILLING KIND moves like a tank with a Ferrari engine; absolutely brutal and destructive scenes infused with action that flows effortlessly... THE KILLING KIND had been one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 and I’m happy to say that my expectations were met, and then some."
Many thanks, Brandon! So glad you enjoyed it. In other news, I need to figure out how to work a tank with a Ferrari engine into my next book...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Kirkus gives THE KILLING KIND a starred review!

Writing careers are full of firsts. Moments you'll carry in your mind forever. Your first rejection (in my case, it was from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine). Your first acceptance (also from Ellery Queen; I'm nothing if not stubborn). Your first book deal. The first time you hold a finished copy of your novel in your hands.

Today, for me, is another such milestone. Because today, thanks to Kirkus, I've gotten my first starred review. I'm honored, and incredibly grateful that they've chosen to highlight THE KILLING KIND as a book worth seeking out. Here's a taste of what they had to say:
"Who will best whom is by no means obvious in this fast-moving, witty tale of good guy versus bad guy versus worse guy."
Click through if you'd like to read the rest of the review, or if you'd like to stare at the star beside the title awhile. Or am I the only one doing that?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Simon Kernick on THE KILLING KIND

I just received word from my UK editor, Ruth Tross, that bestselling author Simon Kernick had this to say about THE KILLING KIND:
"Chris Holm's a thriller writer to look out for and THE KILLING KIND is a ripping, twisting yarn you can read in one sitting."
Thanks, Simon! So glad you enjoyed it.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Maine Crime Writers: The Tao of Networking

Today I'm over at Maine Crime Writers, talking networking, teacup pigs, and how not being on KikSnap is affecting your writing career. Click through to give it a read!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Marcus Sakey on THE KILLING KIND

Marcus Sakey is one of my favorite writers on the planet. The first two books in his Brilliance Saga, BRILLIANCE and A BETTER WORLD, are as close to perfect as thrillers get, and I can't wait to read the forthcoming third installment. So imagine my delight when he had this to say about THE KILLING KIND:
"THE KILLING KIND is mercilessly tense, wonderfully evocative, and so cinematic it should come with popcorn.  Chris Holm writes with swagger and wit and crackling intensity—I love his stuff."
Many thanks, Marcus. Now go finish book three of the Brilliance Saga; I'm jonesing here.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Post-BEA Rundown

As I write this, it's a rainy Sunday in southern Maine, which is proving the perfect antidote to the utter insanity of my first Book Expo America.

Don't get me wrong; I had a blast. I got to hang out with the fine folks of The Gernert Company and Little, Brown/Mulholland Books—who are, if possible, even more brilliant and charming in person than they are by phone and email. I met loads of booksellers, librarians, bloggers, writers, and reviewers, some of whom have supported my books from the very beginning. I signed tons of books (my publisher brought more than 500 advance copies, and we gave away every damn one of 'em) and got great feedback from friends and fans both old and new. (Thanks to everyone who waited in line, and apologies for those who left bookless because we ran out!) And I managed to get through my panel without geeking out too hard on any of my fellow panelists—no minor feat when you're chatting with the likes of Jeff Abbott, Michael Koryta, Brad Meltzer, Douglas Preston, and Lincoln Child. (Okay, maybe I geeked out on them a little backstage beforehand.)

I tossed back beers at the bar in the Village where Dylan Thomas drank himself to death, wine on a rooftop deck overlooking Midtown Manhattan, and pisco sours at a Peruvian joint with old friends. And, uh, yet more beers at The Pony Bar in Hell's Kitchen, including a delicious DIPA called Superfuckingyawn that was anything but. (What? The men and women of the writing world are a drinky lot. Just ask Dylan Thomas.)

Since words can hardly do justice to the bizarre whirlwind of the past few days (which, for the record, began on the flight to New York, which my wife Katrina and I inexplicably shared with our congresswoman and one of our senators, both of whom proved lovely company), here are some pictures that'll give you an idea of what it was like. I never manage to snap any pics myself, so some of these are shamelessly (and, quite possibly, illegally) stolen from friends on social media. (Credits in the captions.)
Brad Meltzer's billboard outside the Javits beckons the bookish. (Photo: Katrina Niidas Holm)
Lee Child lords above the crowd, daring them to make him... what? (Photo: Katrina Niidas Holm)
My cover graces the lightbox at the Hachette booth. (Photo: Mulholland Books)
A pyramid of THE KILLING KIND, ripe for giving away. (Photo: Mulholland Books)
A glimpse of the line at my first signing of the day, the fantastic Sabrina Callahan beside me. (Photo: Katrina Niidas Holm)
Signing books and hanging with Editorial Director of Mulholland Books, Josh Kendall. (Photo: Katrina Niidas Holm)
L-R: Jeff Abbott, Brad Meltzer, yours truly, Michael Koryta, Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child. (Photo: Katrina Niidas Holm)
Me, Andrew Gross, and Hank Phillippi Ryan signing at the MWA table. (Photo: Hank Phillippi Ryan)
Signing a book for Tracey Maknis of The Qwillery. (Photo: Tracey Maknis)
Dave White and I receiving the famed Alex Segura point. (Photo: Alex Segura)
Katrina and I, a couple pisco sours in with Hilary Davidson and her husband Dan. (Photo: Hilary Davidson, by way of one very chatty waiter)
The view of Midtown Manhattan from our hotel's rooftop deck. (Photo: Katrina Niidas Holm)

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Stalker's Guide to Finding Chris at BEA

Book Expo America is soon upon us! I'm psyched, because this year will be my first, and what a first it's shaping up to be. THE KILLING KIND was named a 2015 Buzz Book by Publishers Marketplace, and the fine folks at Mulholland Books will be giving away 500 advance copies (!) for attendees' reading pleasure.

Want one? Your best bet is Mulholland's Booth Takeover, which is going down Thursday, May 28 from 1:00 to 3:30 at booths 2918 and 2919. I'll be touching down in New York around the time it kicks off, but I'll do my best to catch the end of it, at least.


Your next shot to grab one will be at my signing Friday, May 29 from 10:00 to 11:00. I'll be at Table 5 in the Autographing Area. And, of course, if you already snagged one, I'm happy to sign that, too.

I'm delighted to report that, immediately after my signing, I'll be participating in the Inside the Mystery Writers Studio panel alongside some of the finest thriller writers on the planet. You can catch us at the Downtown Stage from 11:00 to 11:45 Friday. Here's the program description:
Get a glimpse inside the creative processes of bestselling mystery/thriller writers Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, Brad Meltzer, Chris Holm and Michael Koryta. Jeff Abbott, New York Times Best Selling author of 2013’s DOWNFALL and the forthcoming THE FIRST ORDER will lead an engaging discussion about what drives—and challenges—some of today’s top-selling and most beloved mystery novelists. Who are their favorite writers? What are they reading now? How do they combat writer’s block? How do they feel about publishing in an increasingly digital age and marketplace? Also, find out little known truths about the people behind their blockbuster bestsellers with an open discussion about inspiration, what, if not writers, they might like to be, and much more.
And lastly (but certainly not, um, leastly), I'll be signing at the MWA Booth (2657) on Friday from 1:45 to 2:15, alongside Andrew Gross and Hank Phillippi Ryan.

That's it for my official schedule, but if you see me wandering the expo and would like to say hello and/or have me sign your book, please feel free*.

*Restrooms excluded, because c'mon, that's just weird.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Get a Sneak Peek of THE KILLING KIND!

I'm delighted to report that THE KILLING KIND has been selected for inclusion in Publishers Marketplace's Buzz Books 2015 sampler! If you're interested in getting a sneak peek of THE KILLING KIND and 32 other big upcoming releases, then click through and download your free copy today!

If you're stuck at work and just can't wait to get home to check out the first chapter of THE KILLING KIND, I've got you covered; Publishers Marketplace has posted it online as well. Click through to give it a read!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fire (and Brimstone) Sale!

I just got word from Angry Robot that the ebook version of the first novel in my Collector trilogy, DEAD HARVEST, will be on sale for just $1.99 from 4/15 to 4/21! So what're you waiting for? Click here for the Kindle version, and here for the Nook version.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

THE KILLING KIND UK/Australia/New Zealand Cover Reveal!

Oh, internet, you sneaky little gossip. You just love blurting out people's secrets, don't you?

In this case, though, said secret is pretty cool. See, I've been sitting on the gorgeous UK/Australia/New Zealand cover for THE KILLING KIND for weeks, biding my time until I got the go-ahead to show it off... only to discover it snuck onto my publisher's website while my editor and I weren't looking.

Last night, I got the thumbs-up to share it here. BEHOLD!


One pretty cover is almost too much to hope for. But two? Yea verily do the publishing gods smile upon me. Nice to know I haven't been sacrificing all those brindled calves beneath the pale moonlight for nothing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

THE KILLING KIND a Library Journal Prepub Pick!

Two posts in one day? Madness, I say! But this Library Journal piece naming THE KILLING KIND a Prepub Pick for September is too cool not to share, not least because it'll probably be the only time I'm mentioned in the same breath as Salman Rushdie and J.M. Coetzee.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog silence...

David Baldacci on THE KILLING KIND

I confess, when I saw this blurb in my inbox yesterday, I was floored:
"With THE KILLING KIND, Chris Holm has created a story of rare, compelling brilliance with a concept so high you'll need oxygen to finish it. Hitman against hitman, one pure silk and evil, the other not exactly good, but we root for him anyway as the classic antihero. This is a one-sitting extravagant, mind-blowing reading pleasure with a stable of characters who come across as all flesh, bone and folly. You will never look at men hired to kill other humans the same way. You won't merely read this book, you will inhale it."
-David Baldacci, New York Times bestselling author of ABSOLUTE POWER and MEMORY MAN
I've been a fan of Baldacci's since I read his debut, ABSOLUTE POWER, way back in '96. To know that he enjoyed THE KILLING KIND is quite a thrill. Many thanks, David, for your kindness and generosity.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Left Coast Crime Update


Left Coast Crime is days away, and there've been some last-minute updates to my schedule. Remember when I said I'd be front-and-center for Katrina Niidas Holm's panel? Turns out I was off by a few feet, because I'll actually be on Katrina's panel. See, Bill Loehfelm couldn't make it to Left Coast Crime, so the organizers tapped Lou Berney for the panel. Unfortunately, Lou just had to cancel, too, so now Katrina's stuck with me—and I'm stuck feeling like I just signed on to play drums for Spinal Tap.

In addition, I'll be co-hosting a table at the banquet with the insanely talented Hilary Davidson. If you'd like to break bread with us—and maybe take home some fun freebies—don't forget to sign up when you register!

So, barring disaster, here's where you'll find me:

Make Up Your Mind: Writing in More Than One Genre
Friday, 3/13 at 10:15AM in the Holladay Room
Chris Holm (Moderator)
D.J. Adamson
Heather Ames
S.G. Redling
Sheila Simonson

Pants on Fire: A Liars Panel
Saturday, 3/14 at 10:15AM in the Multnomah Room
Simon Wood (Moderator)
Chris Holm
Jess Lourey
Catriona McPherson
Johnny Shaw

Sweet & Lowdown: A Cozy/Noir Summit
Saturday, 3/14 at 11:30AM in the Oregon Room
Katrina Niidas Holm (Moderator)
Hannah Dennison
Chris Holm
Josh Stallings
Marty Wingate

Awards Banquet Table
Saturday, 3/14 at 7:00PM
Co-hosting with Hilary Davidson

Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 02, 2015

THE KILLING KIND Cover Reveal!

I've had a charmed run when it comes to covers. The distressed, Penguin-inspired covers for the Collector trilogy beautifully evoke the dime store paperbacks that inspired the series, and garnered no shortage of praise. So the cover for THE KILLING KIND had a lot to live up to.

Lucky for me, Mulholland is no slouch in the design department. Duane Swierczynski's CANARY practically screams to be picked up. The cover for Lauren Beukes' BROKEN MONSTERS is as eerie and unsettling as the novel itself. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention J.J. Abrams' and Doug Dorst's S., which may well be the prettiest book I've ever seen.

But in covers, as in life, there are no guarantees. So how's THE KILLING KIND stack up?


As far as I'm concerned, they nailed it. This cover positions Michael Hendricks as an iconic action hero in the vein of Bourne and Bond. It's bold and graphic, and promises no shortage of mayhem within. And it'll look mighty pretty in thumbnail or on a shelf.

Like it? Love it? Wanna have its cover-babies? Feel free to pop over to my author page on Facebook and say so. Not your cup of tea? Well, then, it's quiet time for you. Oh, and stay tuned: I've got an amazing UK/Australia/New Zealand cover yet to reveal...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Maine Crime Wave 2015

Last year's inaugural Maine Crime Wave proved a huge success. I'm happy to report that it's back for a second year, and this year's program is even more ambitious than last!

The festivities kick off on Friday, April 10 at the Portland Public Library with Two Minutes in the Slammer. Attendees are invited to read a short passage of their own work (!), and the best readings will earn an award from the crack team of judges. (This is a truly one-of-a-kind event, and I would have killed to participate when I was starting out.) Then, anyone who wants can grab dinner/drinks out with one of Maine Crime Wave's featured writers (including yours truly.) Anyone who'd like to participate in the reading or one of the dinners can RSVP here.

Then, on Saturday, April 11, join me, Kate Flora, Paul Doiron, Gerry Boyle, Barbara Ross, and many more at the University of Southern Maine's Glickman Library in Portland for a day of panels, workshops, and critiques. I'll be participating in a panel on the business of writing, as well as leading one of the four hourlong workshops. The workshops are included in the registration fee, and the schedule is set up such that every registrant will have the opportunity to attend two of them. I went to Julia Spencer-Fleming's last year, and it was terrific. Here's the details for mine:
PLANTING EVIDENCE AND TURNING UP THE HEAT
How to Play Fair with Your Mystery and Still Ratchet Up the Suspense 
Thomas Hood once said, “The easiest reading is damned hard writing,” and never is that truer than in crime fiction. Whether you’re penning a cozy mystery or a race-against-time thriller, it’s your job to dole out clues, stage reveals, and manage the pace such that an audience steeped in the genre’s conventions is kept guessing—and frantically turning pages—right up until the very end. This workshop aims to stock your toolbox with tips, tricks, and techniques to craft an exciting, unpredictable tale that hangs together well and keeps even the savviest crime fic fan reading into the wee hours.
If you're interested in attending, click through for details and registration information. And if you're on the fence, perhaps you'll be swayed by Portland's unparalleled food scene, our wealth of tasty beer, or the offerings of our stellar craft distillers. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More KIND Words!

Hot on the heels of last week's post, today brings more early word on THE KILLING KIND:
"I love Chris Holm. He can evoke a landslide of character in a single detail. THE KILLING KIND crackles with muscle and moxie and wit. I will read it again and again."
-Chelsea Cain, New York Times bestselling author of ONE KICK
"Chris Holm’s latest is exceptional in every way, with breakneck pacing, sensational storytelling, and razor-sharp prose. At its hardboiled core is an unforgettable antihero who inhabits a violent purgatory of his own making, but discovers there’s a piece of his soul he hasn’t lost yet. Dark, riveting, and instantly addictive, THE KILLING KIND is this year’s must-read thriller."
-Hilary Davidson, Anthony Award winning author of BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS
"With a great writer, a great premise, and a great protagonist, how can you lose? With his unique take on the hitman thriller, Chris Holm claims his place amongst the best suspense novelists working today. It takes real talent to make a hero of a cold-blooded killer, and Chris Holm pulls it off with style."
-Stuart Neville, Los Angeles Times Book Prize winning author of THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND
I can't tell you how psyched I am that Stuart, Hilary, and Chelsea enjoyed it. They're three of the finest thriller writers on the planet. Many, many thanks to each of them.

In other news, I got a glimpse of my UK cover this morning, and it's darn slick. I've been sitting on the US cover awhile now, which has been tough 'cause it's fantastic. Maybe someday soon I'll get to share them...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First word on THE KILLING KIND is in!

One of the most exciting and nerve-wracking stages in launching any book is seeking out blurbs. For me, this has never been more true than for THE KILLING KIND. I took a big swing when I wrote this book — aiming to make it the sort of smart, propulsive thriller I love to read — and I hoped like hell it'd connect.

We're still a ways from its September release date (heck, we don't even have proper ARCs yet), but my editor was kind enough to make a small batch of bound manuscripts to send out. All I had to do was reach out to some of my literary heroes — luminaries of the modern thriller all — and ask them if they'd be willing to take a peek.

To my great delight, most said yes. And this weekend, the first few blurbs came in. So what's the verdict?
"Lean, brutal and riveting, Chris Holm’s THE KILLING KIND is the kind of novel you can’t put down but also want to savor. With sharply etched characters, knifelike twists and hardboiled energy to burn, it’s an utter winner, beginning to end."
-Megan Abbott, Edgar Award winning author of THE FEVER 
"Chris Holm loads an ingenious premise — an assassin who kills only other assassins — into a high-powered story that goes off like a rocket. His protagonist, Mike Hendricks, is an all-American anti-hero with his own code of justice, living on stolen time. THE KILLING KIND is sleek and smart, and will stay with you long after you've finished reading."
-Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of THE FIXER 
"A high-octane, cat-and-mouse thrill ride, written with style and a flair for the spectacular. Chris Holm is a master storyteller, and THE KILLING KIND is his best work to date. Don’t miss it."
-Owen Laukkanen, Anthony, Barry, and Thriller Award nominated author of THE STOLEN ONES
To say I'm honored would be an understatement. Many thanks to Megan, Joe, and Owen for their kindness and generosity. The fact that I'm a huge fan of theirs makes these blurbs all the sweeter. And stay tuned... fingers crossed this is only the beginning.