Thursday, July 10, 2008

First Novel Bestsellers

In the last dozen years there have been 5 first time authors with bestsellers, so you can see it’s a rare occurrence in the publishing world. And, as with most bestsellers, the five books are thrillers.

Last Templar (2006) by Raymond Khoury - battle over a lost relic

Rule of Four (2004) by Ian Caldwell - students solve an ancient mystery

Numbered Account (1998) by Christopher Reich - swiss bank account and terrorist

The Tenth Justice (1997) by Brad Meltzer - legal thriller set in Washington

Absolute Power (1996) by David Baldacci - president is an evil villain

The most recent debut novel that became a bestseller is this year’s
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. Below is the review for Child 44 from from Publisher’s Weekly:

"Set in the Soviet Union in 1953, this stellar debut from British author Smith offers appealing characters, a strong plot and authentic period detail. When war hero Leo Stepanovich Demidov, a rising star in the MGB, the State Security force, is assigned to look into the death of a child, Leo is annoyed, first because this takes him away from a more important case, but, more importantly, because the parents insist the child was murdered. In Stalinist Russia, there's no such thing as murder; the only criminals are those who are enemies of the state. The evocation of the deadly cloud-cuckoo-land of Russia during Stalin's final days will remind many of Gorky Park and Darkness at Noon, but the novel remains Smith's alone, completely original and absolutely satisfying."

Other success stories that were not overnight are described by well-known mystery writers on the
Crime Fiction blog. The local author, Rick Riodan, writes about his "overnight" success on his blog.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to write an overnight bestseller, these new 2008 books might help you with that dream.

The Power of the Dark Side: Creating Great Villains, Dangerous Situations, & Dramatic Conflict

How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries: the Art & Adventure of Sleuthing Through the Past

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