Sunday, February 8 is the official publication date for my new thriller Empty Rooms. I've been trying to keep everybody posted on all the activity surrounding the release, but in case this is your first visit to the blog, here are the details.
Jeffrey J. Mariotte
A Krebbs and Robey Casefiles Novel
Richie Krebbs is an ex-cop, a walking encyclopedia of crime and criminals who chafes at bureaucracy. Frank Robey quit the FBI and joined the Detroit PD, obsessed with the case of a missing child and unwilling to leave the city before she was found. When Richie unearths a possible clue in one of Detroit's many abandoned homes, it puts him on a collision course with Frank — and with depths of depravity that neither man could have imagined.
How do people who dwell in the darkest places — by profession or predilection — maintain their connection to the world of light and humanity? Richie and Frank will need every coping mechanism at their disposal to survive their descent into darkness and emerge unbroken on the other side.
Praise from masters of the thriller genre:
Empty Rooms is a searing, no-holds barred journey into darkness. Jeffrey J. Mariotte knows the key is character, character, character and has delivered a story about men who relentlessly work the case at the same time the case works them. I was pulled in from the start on this one and it never let up. I highly recommend it.
--Michael Connelly, author of The Black Box and The Gods of Guilt
Empty Rooms is as good and moving as a thriller can be. Keenly observed and deftly written, it’s something you’ll want on your shelf as long as you have one. Mariotte’s characters come off the page at you, and through them, the author spins a tale truly of our time. I couldn’t put this one down.
--T. Jefferson Parker, author of The Jaguar and The Border Lords
Online reviews include one at The Arched Doorway (just excerpts here--click through to read the whole thing):
"So, what made me devour the book? It has all the elements of a thriller that I love–suspense, elements that come together in ways that you don’t expect, characters with issues themselves and how they work through them. It’s an intense novel, tautly written. Bad things happen, but there’s always a thread of redemption woven through."
And Cat After Dark:
"Excellent writing, great secondary themes and a great finish make this a must read for dark fiction fans."
Reader reviews on Amazon (nothing but 5-star reviews) (again, just a few excerpts):
"Crime fiction can be a tricky genre to stand out in. A clever writer can come up with a great puzzle and send his or her readers scurrying through the pages looking to solve it before the last page is turned. A solid writer can turn in a great work of character that gives us multi-dimensional characters in an intriguing and well-defined setting but often spends so much time building said characters and scenery that the mystery at the core of the story is routine and even predictable. It is the masters - Connelly, Crais, Burke, Chandler, and others - who give us both. In Empty Rooms Mariotte gives us both - two complex, often surprising men descending into hell to catch a dangerous and sick predator. He brings alive his settings - Detroit rises from the pages in all its filth and tragedy, and the other places the detectives travel to in their search come alive as well. Even the predator is drawn in precise brushstrokes - his motives and plan are not a revelation per se, but scenes from his perspective do not suffer from "twirling mustache syndrome" and really do bring understanding of how this pedophile's mind works. Mariotte wastes no words or time - everything in the book is important and never bores."
"If you are looking for a criminal chase thriller you will really enjoy this book. If you also happen to like philosophical flavor and undercurrent to the main story, you will love this book. I hope we get more novels in this series. As I finished the last page, I wanted more. For me there is no greater praise for a book than that."
"Mariotte delves into some of the darkest corners of human behavior, and does so with a depth and reality that is truly chilling. But through it all, he gives us two heroes to hold on to, lean on, hide behind, and tremble with, and by the end, you'll be ready for another ride, and if we're lucky, one will come soon!"
"Dark and gritty, realistic and at times a bit disturbing, it weaves a story of the darker side of human nature but also reveals the hope that we all have for things to be better. I could not recommend this book higher. It kept me on the edge of my seat while I wondered if the main characters would achieve their goal. And I wasn't left wanting. It was a very satisfying story and anybody looking for a dark, realistic mystery thriller should pick it up."
Booklist, a magazine for professional Librarians, gave the book a rave review:
Mariotte, Jeffrey J. (Author)
Feb 2015. 372 p. WordFire, paperback, $16.99. (9781614752349). WordFire, e-book, (9781614752356).
Delightful is surely not an apt word to describe a novel telling of murder and child kidnapping. But remember those Holmes stories where the relationship between the detective and Watson trumps whatever grisly business they’re tracking. So it is here. Mariotte has created a team so smart and witty that the villain doesn’t have a chance. Richie Krebbs is a sacked Detroit cop reading everything he can about criminal profiling. Curiosity leads him inside an abandoned house where the missing child lived. He’s nearly arrested by Detective Frank Robey, a gruff cop who failed to solve the case and is still haunted by it. The amateur spots something the pro missed, and they’re off. It’s egghead versus street smart, and Krebbs is right just often enough to win Robey’s respect. Together they do the hard stuff: paging through old phone books, cranking microfilm machines, keeping each another on point with savvy banter. The shoot-out at the end is a distraction from what we came for and what recommends the novel: the classy repartee of the leads.
An extensive interview with me in the Detroit Legal News.
Guest blog appearances, including TracyReaderDad, OmniMystery News, and five days of posts at Julie's Book Review, including an excerpt, an interview with character Frank Robey, a post about writing, an interview, and a compilation of reviews and quotes. Much more to come.
A set of 30 photographs I took while doing research in Detroit.
The first six chapters are posted exclusively on my Facebook author page.
Sunday from noon-2 PM (MST) I'll be doing a Reddit AMA, here: https://www.reddit.com/r/books/
And in paperback:
Please buy it, read it, review it, tell a friend. I can't guarantee that doing so will make you rich and popular--but I can't swear that it won't. Why take a chance?
(Updated to add Sunday blog appearances and the Booklist review.)