Showing posts from 2015

Boston Globe Best Of

Wow. 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!

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 el

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.

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!

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!

The Boston Globe Reviews THE KILLING KIND

I'm not gonna lie to you: as a New Englander, just getting to type that post title gave me a charge. So imagine how thrilled I am that the review is an unqualified rave! Here's a glimpse: " ultra-strategic cat-and-mouse game of mind-blowing proportions... Holm, an award-winning short-story writer and author of the fantasy-pulp fiction trilogy 'The Collector,' is terrific at rendering characters with empathy and humor... As the second half careers along with roller coaster speed and twists, meting out some seriously emotionally wrenching moments and showing that Hendricks is more than a match for MacGyver, you’ll want to go along for the ride—but keep that seat belt fastened." Many thanks to Daneet Steffens for the lovely review.

Shelf Awareness on THE KILLING KIND

Many thanks to Elyse Dinh-McCrillis (aka Pop Culture Nerd ) for her lovely review of THE KILLING KIND in today's Shelf Awareness . Here's a taste (as ever, click through to read the rest): "Hendricks is very good at his job... Holm (The Collector Trilogy) is good at his job, too. His prose is lean, his pacing brisk, the suspense high and his plot unpredictable... There's plenty of violence and dark humor, but heart as well, with Hendricks holding a candle for a love he can't forget. He's not just the killing kind; he's also the romantic kind."

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 on their website. By my count, I only have eleven minutes and twenty seconds of fame left; I'd better use them wisely.


I'm absolutely floored to discover The Associated Press just reviewed THE KILLING KIND . Here's a taste: "The violence in THE KILLING KIND is visceral, the writing is tight and tense, and the characterizations are more in-depth than usual for this genre. This is a fun spin on crime fiction by having a hero who may also be the villain. The unpredictability of the story will also have readers wondering what's going to happen next, if this is indeed the first in a series."


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 bo

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 horrib

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.

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

UK Release Day and BN Accolades

THE KILLING KIND is now available in the UK! Pick it up in gorgeous hardcover, or download the ebook today. Also, 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.

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.

Library Journal on THE KILLING KIND

I'm pleased to report that Library Journal has weighed in on THE KILLING KIND , and they seemed to really dig it! Here's a taste of what they had to say: " unusual but likable antihero... the wild and furious action, the unusual plot featuring assassin versus assassin, and the memorable characters all keep the reader racing through this skillfully told tale of vengeance."

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

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 Bookend

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?

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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 kind words!


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

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


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 w