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Continue Reading Triple Crossing by Sebastian Rotella

On August 10th, we’ll be publishing TRIPLE CROSSING by celebrated journalist and investigative reporter Sebastian Rotella. Continue reading the novel Michael Connelly calls “one of the most accomplished first novels I have ever read,” and which Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, called “unflinching and provocative … a superb debut.”

Missed the first except? Read it here.

“Come on over here. I wanna show you something.”

Pescatore pulled up alongside two Wranglers sitting side by side on the north riverbank. He got out to talk to Garrison and an agent named Dillard, a boyish and reedy cowpoke who was telling the supervisor: “Them old boys wouldn’t pull over, so I cut on my lights and sy-reen.”

And they all rag on me, Pescatore groused to himself, because supposedly I’m the one who talks funny. He caught a glimpse of his reflection in the window of a vehicle: Pescatore was twenty-five, bantam, built low to the ground with sturdy corded arms and legs, thick black curls. He had big wary eyes and flared nostrils. He liked to play with his appearance as if he were on undercover assignments. He cultivated mustaches that made him look like a Turk, a Hells Angel, a bandit. Back in Chicago before he joined The Patrol, he had on occasion grown out his hair like the Mexican soccer players in the parks near Taylor Street. But now he was close-cropped and clean-shaven. Trying to tone it down, play the role and, as Garrison would say, get with the program.

“There’s my buddy,” Garrison said. He engaged Pescatore in a palm-smacking, knuckle-crushing handshake and let it linger with Pescatore off-balance, as if he were going to yank him forward and shove him down the concrete embankment. “You need anything, Valentine? Coffee? Water? Oxygen? We wanna keep you awake. Don’t want you running that government vehicle into a tree.”

Pescatore rescued his hand from Garrison’s, which was encased in a black glove, and affected a sheepish look. “Oh man, you know I’m king of the road anytime. I haven’t been sleeping so good, that’s all.” Continue reading “Continue Reading Triple Crossing by Sebastian Rotella”

Swier Words: A Conversation with Duane Swierczynski, Part II

Mulholland Books is pleased to present a conversation between David J. Schow, author of Gun Work, Internecine, Bullets of Rain, and screenwriter of The Crow, and our very own Duane Swierczynski.

Missed Part I? Read it here.

DJS: How about some insight into your working method?  For example, how long do your novels generally take, from start to finish?

DS: Every book is different, but the process is close to pregnancy — I brood for a bunch of months, and then it’s usually three months of labor pains (the actual writing). Sometimes I’m brain-pregnant for years; Expiration Date, published last year, was something I’ve been kicking around for at least a decade before I wrote the first word. Sometimes, I’m knocked up quick and the next thing I know somebody’s handing me a cigar—which was the case with Hell and Gone (the sequel to Fun and Games). The Wheelman was written between semesters of teaching college journalism 101, and just for fun, not to sell — I wrote it to convince myself that I could write a “straight” crime novel in the vein of Richard Stark and Dan J. Marlowe.

Fun and Games was a fairly easy birth: I was playing around with the idea for about six months before Mulholland bought it on a partial manuscript (50 pages), and then I spent a few months simultaneously writing and researching. (This was last summer, when you gave me that amazing tour of the Hills and — what else? — Bronson Cavern.) I knew where the story was headed, but I mostly winged it. As I drove back across the country that August, Fun and Games started to just gush out of me and delivered by mid-September.

What about you? Do you have a “typical” process, or does each book demand its own? Continue reading “Swier Words: A Conversation with Duane Swierczynski, Part II”

Exploring Boston Area Hiking Trails with Jacqueline Tourville

1. What trails do you recommend for beginners?

To start getting a feel for the up and down challenge of mountain hiking, some gentle hills close to Boston, including Moose Hill in Sharon, MA (part of the Moose Hill Audubon Center) and Noanet Peak, part of Noanet Woodlands in Dover, MA, make for good practice. For a flatter, but still challenging hike, try Blueberry Hill and the Discover Hamilton Trail, both in Bradley Palmer State Park. An extra perk for novice hikers in New England: almost all of Cape Cod and Rhode Island, with their relatively flat terrain, are perfect for beginners.

2. Is Walden Pond worth a visit for literature enthusiasts?

For literature enthusiasts, yes. Fans of Walden can see a replica of Thoreau’s original cabin (located near the state park’s parking area) and then, while out on the hike, visit the actual site, marked by a sign and a giant pile of rocks. It can be a thrill to hear the same types of birdcall, smell the same scent of pine, and see the same shimmering water Thoreau did almost two centuries ago. Because the place is often packed on summer weekends (thanks to the eternal draw of Thoreau and the fact that there is a very nice swimming beach at Walden Pond), try visiting early in the morning in order to avoid the crowds.

3. Where can hikers find the most striking view?

For breathtaking views back towards Boston, nothing beats the Blue Hills Reservation’s Skyline Trail in Milton. For stunning water views, try Great Island Trail and Province Lands Trail on Cape Cod. For both water and city, take the ferry out to the Boston Harbor Islands, home to some unusual hiking opportunities and uniquely stunning vistas. For that traditional mountaintop view of rolling countryside, visit Bauneg Beg Mountain and Mount Agamenticus, both in southern Maine. From these two hills, views stretch all the way to Mount Washington!

4. What hikes do you recommend with historical significance?

Boston is known for its history and hikes that take you to significant places from the past are in no short supply. One of the highlights is Battle Road in Concord and Lexington, a gravel path that winds along the original route the Minutemen and Redcoats took during the opening battle of the American Revolution in April 1775. You can even visit the spot where Paul Revere was captured during his famous midnight ride.

5. What trail do you consider a best-kept secret?

Again and again, I’m drawn to Dogtown Woods in Gloucester, Mass. It’s a rambling woods walk that takes you past the remains of an old Colonial settlement that was abruptly abandoned in the 1700s. The people left in such a rush, so the legend goes, that they left their dogs behind, giving the place its moniker. The other curiosity of Dogtown is the Babson Boulders, a series of massive glacial erratics that an eccentric millionaire carved inspirational sayings into during the Great Depression. Short spur trails lead you to read such phrases as, “Get a Job” and “Never Try, Never Win”. Some say Dogtown is haunted. I’ve never seen any ghosts there (or many people, for that matter), but agree that the woods possess a very spooky, haunted feel.

6. Name two trails that are good for hiking with kids.

I have two kids and on most weekends you can find us out on the trail, exploring interesting terrain in places like the critter-filled woods of Beaver Brook Reservation in Hollis, NH and seaside Odiorne Point in Rye, NH. Kids will keep hiking when they know the pay-off is experiencing something unique and exciting. For my kids, these two places fit the bill—over and over and over again.

7. What kind of wildlife might hikers encounter?

Moose and bear call the woods of northern New England home, meaning that for “big animal” sighting, try forest hikes in New Hampshire and Maine. Throughout all of New England, you might come in contact with any one of a number of critters, including opossum, woodchuck, chipmunk, fisher cat, beaver, muskrat, bobcat, red fox, and white-tailed deer. Closer to the coast, look for harbor seals (especially off the coast of Maine). Notable bird species in the region include great blue heron, wild turkey, red tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, bald eagle, screech owl, barn owl, Baltimore oriole, grackle, black-capped chickadee, and northern cardinal.

8. Is it easy for city-dwelling Bostonians to escape the urban landscape and find a hiking spot close to home?

Absolutely! When I first moved to Boston, I didn’t own a car, but still managed to get out on the trail most weekends. If you’re savvy with MBTA and Commuter Rail scheduling, you can get yourself to World’s End in Hingham, Walden Woods in Concord, Battle Road in Concord and Lexington, Eastern Prom in Portland, ME, points on Cape Cod and Block Island and Newport in Rhode Island.

9. What hike do you consider the most challenging?

The trip up 5260-ft. Mount Lafayette, part of the Franconia Ridge in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is pure, rugged mountain adventure. Climbing into a true alpine zone, the views down into Franconia Notch and beyond and unforgettable. If you’re in good shape, go for it! Truly hardy souls can combine Mount Lafayette with a visit to neighboring Mount Lincoln (another 5,000-footer) for a truly advanced loop hike.

10. What’s the best time to plan an extended hiking trip in the Boston area?

The end of June is just about perfect in New England. The days are pleasant, the mud season has dried up, and the mosquito population has yet to peak (though black flies can be heavy in June). For those combining camping and hiking, June is also perfect for having your pick of campgrounds that are booked solid in July and August. If you’re coming to New England for the fall color, try the weekend BEFORE Columbus Day for the same brilliant hues, without the crowds.

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Black Lens: Part XXVII

Story by Ken Bruen and Russell Ackerman

Ken Bruen is one of the most celebrated crime novelists of our time.

Black Lens is his most secret project.

Read on as the unveiling continues.

Every Wednesday on Mulholland Books.

With art by Jonathan Santlofer.

Fade in…

Read Part 1, Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11,Part 12, Part 13Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19 Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, and Part 26.





How the Wolf knew Jimmy Page is worthy of a whole serendipitous tome. The infamous Led Zep manager, would –be thug-bruiser-coke –walking blitzkrieg, was related to one of the Wolf’s wives.

Page was still part time living in The great Beast’s lair, Aleaister Crowley’s rapidly crumbling home.

The Wolf, adrenalized on the coming Ransom gig, literally turned up on Jimmy’s doorstep. The Zep front man was still in thrall to all kinds of alchemy and the Wolf had brought along a new kid on the block, no less a 1st edition of



Rob. Beausoleil.

A surfer dude out of Oakland, claiming to be the Ransom insider’s son. Continue reading “Black Lens: Part XXVII”

Best Ways to Beat the Heat in Charlotte

Speed Park patrons float along in inner-tube style bumper boats.
Beat the heat with bumper boats at the NASCAR Speed Park.
Photo courtesy of NASCAR Speed Park.

It’s no secret that temperatures can rise to sizzling in the South. Need proof? The current heat wave has temps topping 100 degrees in Charlotte! However, there’s no need to sit in front of a fan until fall. Here are a few creative ways to beat the heat:

Race down the waterslides or challenge the kids to a soaker gun shootout at Ray’s Splash Planet where there is no shortage of H2O to keep things cool. Operated by the parks and recreation department, Ray’s Splash Planet was the first indoor waterpark in the state. The massive indoor complex boasts a three-story waterslide, lazy river and a quick current pool called The Vortex as well as lap lanes for swimming and water basketball and volleyball.

For a faster paced adventure, the U.S. National Whitewater Center is the place to be. Strap on a lifejacket and race down the rapids in the manmade river or rent a kayak or and glide across the Catawba River (abandoning ship for a swim is highly recommended)! This summer, the Whitewater Center started renting standup paddleboards for more wet and wild fun. After you’re sufficiently waterlogged, grab with a cold one at the River’s Edge Bar and Grill.

See how much of a splash you can create on the bumper boats at NASCAR SpeedPark. If you’re still sweating after bumping tubes, head into the air conditioned laser tag arena.

When the mercury rises, the most popular spot in Charlotte is Boomerang Bay, the 20-acre waterpark at Carowinds. Slather on some sunscreen and spend the day playing in the Australian-themed waterpark. Take a dip in Bondi Beach, a 600,000-gallon wave pool, float along Crocodile Run, the lazy river, or speeding down one of four waterslides in the park, including Platypus Plunge and Sydney Sidewinder.

Just because it’s 100 degrees outside doesn’t mean you can’t go ice skating. Extreme Ice Center has two rinks for hours of public skating fun. Carolina Broomball and The Charlotte Centre Curling Club also call the rink home; call ahead to see if there is a pickup game going on and try your hand at a cool new sport.

If it’s truly too hot to be moving around, grab a box of popcorn and spend the afternoon watching the latest Hollywood blockbusters at the EpiCentre Theaters where the only thing colder than the draft beer served in the concession stand, is the a/c.

Photo courtesy of NASCAR SpeedPark.

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Swier Words: A conversation with Duane Swierczynski, Part I

Can’t get enough FUN AND GAMES? You’re in luck–Mulholland Books is pleased to present a conversation between David Schow, author of Gun Work, Internecine, Bullets of Rain, and screenwriter of The Crow, and our very own Duane Swierczynski. It begins…

DJS: Fun and Games.  One of my favorite Outer Limits episode titles, by the way.  But it begs the question:  How are you with titles?  Are they an afterthought, a nuisance, or essential?  Do you nail them before or after the process of writing a book?

DS: I obsess over titles long before an editor (or even my agent) see anything.  I pretty much have to have the right title on a novel before it’ll flow; I’ve never started one with TK Title at the top.

DJS: Have you abandoned working titles, or had titles changed on you? Continue reading “Swier Words: A conversation with Duane Swierczynski, Part I”

Megan Abbott Interviewed by Sara Gran

Megan Abbott’s much-praised novel THE END OF EVERYTHING (Reagan Arthur Books) which Gillian Flynn calls “a freight train of a mystery…bold, unnerving, poignant, and full of yearning” is in bookstores now. Here, we present an interview between Sara Gran, author of Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, Dope and Come Closer, and Megan, “one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation” (Laura Lippman). 

(Read this post on the Reagan Arthur Books blog here.)

Sara: The End of Everything shares common themes with your previous four novels, yet stands out as a departure—it takes place in the 1980s (your other novels took place before you were born), the narrator is 13 years old (your previous narrators were adult women), and it takes place in the suburbs (as opposed to the urban settings of your other books). How is The End of Everything the same? How is it different?

Megan: I wanted to try something new, to shake things up for myself. To move out of the world of nightclubs, racetracks, movie studios and, most of all, to move out of the past, worlds I never knew. When I first started writing, though, everything felt foreign, puzzling. I didn’t know if I could adapt my style to this new setting and time period. My past books were so influenced by Golden Age Hollywood movies and that heightened style. And I’d done this foolish thing, giving myself a 13-year-old girl as my narrator. But as I wrote, I just had this revelation that, for most 13-year-old girls, life is dramatic and the stakes feel dramatically high. It’s all desire and fear and longing and disillusion. Everything feels big and terrifying and thrilling. And my past books, I see now, are so much about women feeling trapped and seeking a way out, at any cost. And feeling trapped, and wanting out, is very much the state of being 13. Continue reading “Megan Abbott Interviewed by Sara Gran”

Start Reading Triple Crossing by Sebastian Rotella

On August 10th, we’ll be publishing TRIPLE CROSSING by celebrated journalist and investigative reporter Sebastian Rotella. Start reading the novel Michael Connelly calls “one of the most accomplished first novels I have ever read,” and which Booklist called “a strongly choreographed, authentically detailed, and sharply funny tale of cultural complexity and raging global criminality.”

Fog at the border.

Border Patrol Agent Valentine Pescatore urged the green Jeep Wrangler through the shroud of mist on the southbound road. Hungover and sleepy, he slurped on a mug of convenience-store Coke. Carbonation burned behind his eyes. He braked into a curve, trailing a comet of dust.  Jackrabbits scattered in his headlights.

Braking sent a twinge of pain through his ankle. He had blown up the ankle months earlier while chasing a hightop-wearing Tijuana speedster through a canyon. He had intended to snare the hood of the punk’s sweatshirt and jerk him to a neck-wrenching stop, confirming his status as the fastest trainee in his unit.

But instead Pescatore went down, sprawling pathetically, clutching the ankle with both hands.

Border Patrol agents gathered around him in the darkness. Tejano accents twanged. Cigarettes flared. A cowboy-hatted silhouette squatted as if contemplating a prisoner or a corpse.

Hell, muchacho, time to nominate you for a Einstein award.

Was that a female tonk you were chasing, Valentine? Playing hard to get, eh?

Hey, you’re not gonna catch them all. Slow down. Foot speed don’t impress us


The voices in his memory gave way to the dispatcher’s voice on the radio, asking his position. Pescatore increased speed, rolling through the blackness of a field toward the foothills of the Tijuana River Valley. With a guilty grimace, he pushed a CD into the dashboard player. Bass and cymbals blared: the song was a rap version of “Low Rider.”

Another night on the boulevard

Cruisin’ hard

And everybody’s low-ridin’

Continue reading “Start Reading Triple Crossing by Sebastian Rotella”

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