Friday, November 30, 2018

#GIVEAWAY Showcase Bleak Harbor by Bryan Gruley

Bestselling author Bryan Gruley has captivated thrill seekers for years with his highly successful Starvation Lake trilogy. Now, he is taking readers to another small Michigan town in his new novel, BLEAK HARBOR (Thomas & Mercer; on sale December 1st, 2018), whose twists and turns will keep you guessing until the very last page.Bryan's publicist Little Bird Publicity is sponsoring a Giveaway, details below.

ISBN-13: 978-1503904682
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: 12-1- 2018
Length: 378pp
Buy It: Amazon/ B&N/ IndieBound/ Audible



Their son is gone. Deep down, they think they’re to blame.
Summertime in Bleak Harbor means tourists, overpriced restaurants, and the Dragonfly Festival. One day before the much-awaited and equally chaotic celebration, Danny Peters, the youngest member of the family that founded the town five generations ago, disappears.

When Danny’s mother, Carey, and stepfather, Pete, receive a photo of their brilliant, autistic, and socially withdrawn son tied to a chair, they fear the worst. But there’s also more to the story. Someone is sending them ominous texts and emails filled with information no one else should have. Could the secrets they’ve kept hidden—even from one another—have led to Danny’s abduction?

As pressure from the kidnapper mounts, Carey and Pete must face their own ugly mistakes to find their son before he’s taken from them forever.

Giveaway is one print copy
of Bleak Harbor US ONLY
Please Use Rafflecopter form to enter
Good Luck!

A Conversation with Author Bryan Gruley
Provided by Little Bird Publicity

Q: Bleak Harbor is your fourth novel, and the first that sits outside of your Starvation Lake series. Though the books share some obvious similarities—thrillers set in your home state of Michigan—how did it feel returning to a “new” novel as opposed to writing for a series? How have you changed your approach to writing since first working on Starvation Lake?

A: It took a while to get comfortable in the town of Bleak Harbor. Although similar to Starvation Lake insofar as it’s small, I wanted Bleak Harbor to look and, especially, feel different. Whereas Starvation Lake is a town down on its luck and hoping for better, Bleak Harbor enjoys the benefit of real money from the rich Chicago and Detroit transients who summer there. And it’s presided over by a wealthy and powerful family. The story focuses on an estranged descendant of that family, Carey Bleak Peters, while stitching the family’s past into the fabric of the present narrative.

Q: The chapters in Bleak Harbor are full of contrast. Each is told from the point of view of a different character, sometimes showing different perspectives on the same events. They are also told in different tenses, present for the immediate events of the story and past to give the history of each character. Why did you choose to write the novel with this kind of variety?

A: Before I had even conceived of Bleak Harbor, an editor encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone. One way I did that was to write in the present tense instead of past. I actually wrote maybe a hundred pages of Bleak Harbor in the past tense before deciding to try the present because it felt more appropriate to the speedier pace I was seeking. Multiple points-of-view felt especially tricky; it was something I’d never tried before, so I may have been overly cautious at first. I recall asking my author pal Marcus Sakey whether I could go beyond two or three characters’ points of view, and he said, sure, so long as you don’t let the secondary ones get more airtime than the primaries. I went home and wrote the scene of Michele Higgins spying on Danny from across the bay. A book that started from the perspectives of three characters—Carey, Pete, and Danny—wound up being told through the eyes of eight (including Michele, Malone, Bledsoe, Quartz, and Boz).

Q: Autistic individuals are often known to have particular fixations or obsessions. In the novel, you gave Danny Peters, who is autistic, a couple of interesting ones: dragonflies and Wallace Stevens. Where did those ideas come from, and how do you think they speak to Danny’s character?

A: Like a lot of my ideas, they were random. Dragonflies have always given me the creeps, even though I’ve always known that they’re harmless. A year or so before I started Bleak Harbor, I read a New York Times story about how dragonflies are among the most efficient killers in the animal kingdom. That fascinated me, and I decided, what the hell, let’s have Danny be fascinated, too. Turns out the dragonfly’s two-sided persona mirrored Danny himself. I don’t specifically remember how Wallace Stevens got in there, but I will confess that I myself had the misconception Carey has about the palm in his poem, “Of Mere Being.” I studied the poem, taped a printout of it to my laptop, read various interpretations of it, and then grafted it onto Danny as if it was his own creation as much as Stevens’s. Stevens scholars will probably be horrified.

Q: Carey Peters is constantly concerned with being a good mother and is still bitter about what she sees as poor parenting from Serenity Bleak. Pete loves Danny like his own son and wants to be a good provider, and Malone is consumed with guilt after the death of her daughter. How did your role as a father of three children play into writing these characters’ emotions about parenthood?

A: I assume that my fathering influenced my shaping of these characters, but I can’t say that I was conscious of it as I wrote. When I was first writing Carey, she was a good deal harsher and less likable than she wound up being; I rewrote her again and again (but I don’t think she ended up being all that cuddly anyway). Katya Malone was originally just a name I liked that popped into my head. I thought she’d play a small but significant role in the story. On the page, she made me curious about what drove her and what might make her sympathetic of Carey. Louisa’s death provided a useful and, to me at least, compelling emotional bridge between Malone and Carey.

Q: One interesting Bleak Harbor resident is Michele Higgins, the journalist who goes from being a bystander to getting directly involved in the action. How do you, as a journalist, see the role of journalism as going beyond mere reporting, especially in the age of instant information sharing?

A: Careful readers of the Starvation Lake trilogy might recognize Michele, who played a minor role as Gus Carpenter’s tempestuous ex-flame in The Hanging Tree. I love Michele. She’s an amalgam of many journalists I know, female and male. She is an exemplary reporter who has made many a personal sacrifice for her craft—maybe too many. Whether she should have helped the police in their search for Danny is fodder for one of those cud-chewing panel discussions journalists love to have at conferences. I thought her decision at once humanized and liberated her.

Q: Without giving too much away, the novel concludes by simultaneously tying up loose ends while still leaving some details up in the air. Is this the last readers will see of Bleak Harbor?

A: No way. The town will be the scene of my next novel, though the characters will largely be new. Katya Malone may return, and of course there will be references to the founding family.

Q: Do you see any unifying theme running through your Starvation Lake and Bleak Harbor tales?

A: In retrospect, yes. It wasn’t intentional, at least not from the start, but the Starvation Lake trilogy winds up being about Gus Carpenter’s relationship with his frustratingly unforthcoming mother, Bea. Bleak Harbor is, at its core, about the fraught relationship between Carey and Danny. Without getting too terribly psychoanalytic, maybe I need to think a little harder about my somewhat complicated relationship with my late mother. I will say that she was the first person who encouraged me to write.

Early Praise for Bleak Harbor and for Bryan Gruley:

“Bryan Gruley’s Bleak Harbor is an electric bolt of suspense, packed with twists and surprises. Gruley’s plot races along, powered by characters—big and small—who truly crackle. A masterful follow-up to his Starvation Lake trilogy.”
—Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

“Vivid, spellbinding, and laced with tension, Bleak Harbor’s labyrinthine mystery is packed with characters so real you want to buy them a beer—or hide under your bed to pray they don’t come for you. If you’re not reading Bryan Gruley, you’re missing out.”
—Marcus Sakey, bestselling author of Afterlife and the Brilliance trilogy

“The best book Gruley has ever written and unlike any other crime book I’ve ever read.”
—Steve Hamilton, two-time Edgar Award–winning author of Exit Strategy

“Bryan Gruley creates a fascinating calamity of flawed characters, each hiding secrets in the haunting town of Bleak Harbor. His portrayal of an autistic boy’s kidnapping, and the subsequent efforts to find and rescue him, gradually and brilliantly exposes the decidedly dark underbelly of both the town and all those living in it. I dare you to put the book down. I couldn’t.”
—Robert Dugoni, #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author

“The myth of the happy family! Bryan Gruley dives deep into twisted psyches, well-hidden secrets, and dark, explosive desires. Welcome to Bleak Harbor. Be afraid.”
New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen


Starvation Lake

“A terrific first novel…this is not to be missed. Highly recommended for all collections.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“Many good crime novels appear every month, but few have the depth and poignancy of Starvation Lake, which deserves comparison with Dennis Lehane's Mystic River.”          —Booklist (starred review)

“[A] smashing debut thriller…a story so gripping that you’ll probably devour it in one gulp.”
—Chicago Tribune

"An engrossing picture of small-town America and the passions that simmer beneath its complacent surface. Bryan Gruley: Remember the name. You should be hearing it often in the future."
—The San Diego Union Tribune
Starvation Lake is a wonderful surprise! It is one of those books that won't shake its grip. Bryan Gruley is off to a phenomenal start!”                                                                                      —Michael Connelly

The Hanging Tree
“Gruley’s absorbing follow-up to Starvation Lake…vividly evokes the frigid Michigan winters and the even chillier atmosphere of an insular community determined to keep its secrets.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Gruley captures the hardscrabble life of a recession-rocked small town and the deep interrelationships of the inhabitants while delivering complex, intriguing characters caught up in trouble. His take on contemporary journalism is Evelyn Waugh–worthy. Another winner.”

“[The Hanging Tree] has it all—suspense, mystery, romance, detection, clear-eyed hometown nostalgia, professional dangers along with the other kind.”                                                              Kirkus Reviews

The Hanging Tree is an engrossing, sure-footed mystery that manages to be both suspenseful and deeply touching.”                                              —Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

“Haunting, observant, and filled with complex characters that will remind you just how much you don't trust your neighbors. The Hanging Tree will pry its way into your imagination. And it won't leave.”
—Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author

The Skeleton Box

“Gruley's best to date...emotionally wrenching and filled with more twists and turns than the little town's winding, often snow-choked roads…The writing is tighter and more vivid than ever. The characters are so real you could almost reach out and shake their hands.”                                                —Associated Press

“Bracing...complex...There's no mistaking Gruley's fierce love for his frigid hamlet.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“Better late than never if you haven't started reading or recommending Gruley's outstanding trilogy… His characters successfully convey the realities of today's troubled economy and remind us that old secrets can be even more painful when discovered later.”                                               —Library Journal

“Bryan Gruley has a way of working magic into a small town mystery and The Skeleton Box is further proof. Gruley is a rising star of the genre.”                                                           —Crimespree Magazine

About the author:
Bryan Gruley is the critically acclaimed author of Starvation Lake: A Mystery and its sequels, The Hanging Tree and The Skeleton Box. Starvation Lake was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America and won the Anthony, Barry, and Strand awards. The Hanging Tree was a #1 Indie Next pick and was named a Michigan Notable Book for 2011 and a Kirkus Reviews Best Mystery of 2010. It was also nominated for Barry and Anthony awards. Bryan is a staff reporter for Bloomberg News, writing long-form features for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. He previously spent nearly sixteen years with The Wall Street Journal, where he shared in the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Ooo I actually have this one to try! I'm excited to see how it is.

    1. Oh wow good to know Kindlemom. Can't wait to see what you think!

  2. Bleak harbor sounds intriguing and enthralling. The characters, story and setting all are wonderful. Thanks.

  3. I do like that was this theme thing even though he did not mean to

    1. its funny how that kind of thing happens Blodeuedd

  4. This is a new author/series for me.

  5. Sounds like a really good one! Hugs...RO

  6. This sounds like the kind of suspense thrillers I devour. Thanks Debbie!