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!


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...


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.


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.