Monday, January 4, 2010

The Holidays and Books To Come

Quite a few readers have written to ask Thriller Guy to expand on the teaser in the last entry about the glittering holiday parties in the hallowed halls of publishing. TG would love to, but no can do. Here's why. TG exists in a peculiar and precarious position. He must remain anonymous in his reviews; this is paramount. Otherwise, all manner of enticements would crop up in his email box, to say nothing of late-night knocks at his hotel door. Eager publishers, agents and even authors themselves are sometimes willing to go to inappropriate lengths to secure a career changing review from TG. Because of his strict impartiality and professional ethics, TG must remain strong, his reputation unblemished. If the holiday parties were described in any detail, connections would be made and TG's mask of anonymity would be ripped away, his true identity revealed. No, TG learned his lessons years ago in the mountains of Afghanistan: blend in, become just one more member of the crowd, a threat to none, just an ordinary man doing his job, whether that job is blowing up Russian tanks or reviewing tomorrow's best sellers. Sorry. And thanks to those of you who sent gifts, they have been returned via regular mail. The cash was a nice gesture, but, really, TG cannot except anything for the reasons explained above.

Other blog readers have asked for a few tips on special books coming up soon in the new year. TG is happy to oblige these requests. Here are just a few to look forward to.

In January look for Daniel Suarez's Freedom, the excellent sequel to his debut cyber-novel Daemon, which came out last year. Daemon was one of those magical internet stories you read about: he sent the book to agents who all rejected it, so he self published it and set up a web site. Slate wrote an article about the book and Stewart Brand of Whole Earth Catalogue fame read it and recommended the book to friends The next thing you know, Suarez has a much-deserved two book contract. The novels concern a cyber scientist who, from the grave, wages war on those elements of society he deplores, with fascinating results. Readers are advised to hunt up a copy of Daemon and then pick up Freedom at the bookstore. Interestingly, Suarez originally published the book under the name Leinad Zeraus, which is his name spelled backwards, because, in his words, “That was the pen name I used for the self-published edition, chosen primarily for its Google search potential. There are hundreds of Daniel Suarez’s on the Web, but by reversing the letters I was able to own the first ten pages of my novel’s Google search results. It made a big difference.” So take note, all you self publishers out there.

In March, William Peter Blatty has Dimiter, a really nicely written non-horror tale that's a complicated thriller and at the same time, a love story. Blatty has turned out a lot of good books over the years, all of them, unfortunately, have been overshadowed by the immense success of his 1971 megahit, The Exorcist. Dimiter is very hard to characterize in a short, or even long, space, so TG is just going to say it an unusual book and worth a read. Several of Blatty's earlier books are also being reissued in new editions.

So, 2010 is already looking quite promising for thriller readers. Stay tuned for a review of Randy Wayne White's terrific new Doc Ford novel, Deep Shadow. TG had a long conversation with Randy about this book and writing in general. He'll blog on the book and the conversation when the publication date arives.

As always, thanks to all the commenters. Keep 'em coming.


  1. Happy New Year TG! Thanks for the heads up on some new books for 2010. I know many believe that the "best of the year" concept is a bit overworked, but is there any chance you would let us know some of your favorites from 2009 in case we missed them? And btw, why is there a stranger's name in front of the comment button below TG's blogs?

  2. Oh, yeah, that guy. Well, don't spread this around, but that's TG's Secret Identity. Mum's the word.