Upcoming Interviews on BookBanter

Here’s a listing of upcoming interviews on BookBanter for the next couple of months leading up to December.

[Updated 09/28: I realized there was a noticeable lacking of female authors being interviewed, and since I had one more spot open for the year, I set-up an interview with Juliet Eilperin, who wrote Demon Fish, which is schedule to go up November 1st]


Coming October 1st

Alan Jacobson

Alan Jacobson

Inmate 1577

Author of Inmate 1577


Coming October 15th

Rober Charles Wilson

Robert Charles Wilson


Author of Spin and Axis


Coming November 1st

John Barnes

Elizabeth Eileperin

Demon Fish

Author of Demon Fish


Coming November 1st

John Barnes

John Barnes

Directive 51

Author of Directive 51 and Daybreak Zero


Coming November 15th

Ben Loory

Ben Loory

Stories for Nighttime

Author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day


Coming December 1st

Ernest Cline

Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

Author of Ready Player One

“Inmate 1577” by Alan Jacobson (Norwood Press, 2011)

Inmate 1577

When it seemed like the great thrillers involving the ace FBI Profiler, Karen Vail, couldn’t get any better after the bestselling Crush, Alan Jacobson brings Vail back to Northern California, this time in sunny and chilly and foggy San Francisco, with a new serial killer on the loose, and the growing and undeniable ties to one prison located on a certain island out in the bay.

Jacobson tells two stories here, jumping back and forth in time and from place to place.  First there is the story of Karen Vail, the FBI’s best profiler, who has been called back to California, to San Francisco to investigate a growing series of horrible killings, specifically elderly women who have been raped and brutally murdered, and their husbands, killed and left dangling and hanging from San Francisco landmarks.  SFPD Inspector Lance Burden is working with Vail, along with former colleague, Detective Roxxann Dixon; and with a crack team, the clues lead them throughout the beautiful city, as they investigate the bodies and put the pieces together.

Then there is the story of Walton MacNally, back in 1955, who has a series of really unfortunate events that lead him to start stealing and breaking the law, all to help and support his son.  But then he gets caught and spends his time in Leavenworth Penitentiary, and after a failed jailbreak, ends up on the rock of Alcatraz, where his life continues as a prisoner of one of the most infamous prisons in history.

The reader knows these stories are somehow linked, but Jacobson does a fantastic job of maintaining the suspense for literally hundreds of pages, and Inmate 1577 is a great 500-pager.  The author makes working a serial killer case more real than ever, as the agents involved continue to be stumped at finding the killer, and feeling simply lost, until they get another clue they must chase down.  While Jacobson does take a little while to actually get to Alcatraz in the book, as well as being a little too liberal with the acronyms, these are but minor distractions in this great example of the page-turning thriller.  Jacobson even spent some time on Alcatraz writing the book, as well as many days and interviews researching the book.

Inmate 1577 is simply a great book that any mystery fan will gobble up like their favorite dish.  Whether this is your first Karen Vail novel or you’ve been working your way through them; you will not be disappointed with this lengthy book that will keep you reading and both wanting to reach the end and at the same time not be done with the book.

To purchase a copy of Inmate 1577, go to the Norwood Press site.

Originally written on August 31, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

You might also like . . .

Velocity  Crush  7th Victim

Coming Soon to a BookBanter Near You . . .

First off, let’s get the tough news out the way: Borders Roseville #130 is no more.  We closed the doors yesterday for the last time and I am no longer an employee for this company that’s only going to be around for another couple of weeks.  You can read all about my thoughts (as well as various author’s) in my most recent BookBanter Column, “Thank You Borders.”

And that’s that, until I find a new job, I have lots of time on my hands, which means lots of reading and writing, and book reviewing, and more interviews and updates on BookBanter.

Tomorrow I’ll be putting up the next interview, with Cameron Stracher, author of the young adult dystopian novel, The Water Wars.  And in the pipeline are interviews with Alan Jacobson, author of Inmate 1577; John Barnes, author of Directive 51; Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day; and Robert Charles Wilson, author of Vortex.  And that will all be coming up over the next couple of months.

In the meantime, the latest BookBanter Boon giveaway ends tonight at 11:59PM PST, so if you’re interested in entering to win a couple of free books, be sure to leave a comment on that post linked above.

06/19 On the Bookshelf . . . “The Book Without Words” & “The Poisoner’s Handbook” & “Inmate 1577”

Book Without Words    Poisoner's Handbook    Inmate 1577

Picked the first two on sale.  Can’t go wrong with Avi and I’ve been looking to get a hold of a copy of The Poisoner’s Handbook since it came out a year or two ago.  And finally there’s the next Karen Vail thriller from Alan Jacobson, involving Alcatraz in some way; what’s not to like?

“Velocity” by Alan Jacobson (Vanguard Press, 2010)


After the cliffhanger of Crush, Karen Vail is right back in the thick of it.  The key to these books is the realism Alan Jacobson puts into his characters and his story, keeping the reader hooked until the end, as they simply have no idea what is going to happen next and who will survive.

We last left FBI profiler Karen Vail with the Crush killer caught, and the serial killings in the beautiful wine county of Napa Valley finally at an end; but the nightmare is still continuing for Vail, as her boyfriend and love of her life, Detective Robby Hernandez, is missing, and she doesn’t have a clue where he could be.  Vail doesn’t take a break, keeping the team together to track down and find Hernandez.  Then she gets the call she doesn’t want from her boss, ASAC Thomas Gifford: she is to come back to Washington DC right away, as her talent and skills are needed on a high profile case.  Vail tries everything she can to stay on the Hernandez case, but Gifford won’t hear of it and soon she’s back in DC working on the new case, trying to keep focused.  Vail meets up with Hector DeSantos, a government operative who knows people in high places.  Eventually everything comes down to a big confrontation, as Vail wants back on the Hernandez case, and finally learns the truth about Robby.

Hernandez was working undercover on a DEA operation, investigating the drug cartel, and a notorious kingpin Carlos Cortez.  Vail soon realizes her efforts to find Hernandez may have jeopardized his cover, after showing a photo of Vail and Hernandez with Quantico in the background.  Once Vail finds out about Gifford’s involvement with Hernandez, she’s back on the case and working with DeSantos; she will stop at nothing to get him back alive.  After her son, he’s the most important person in her life.

Alan Jacobson goes deep into the world of the drug cartels and illegal drug trafficking across the border.  Readers learn astounding details on various ways drugs are smuggled through hollow corks and on the backs of wine labels.  Velocity has both a compelling action story – equal to Crush – but also a fascinating look into a world that many people know exists, but know very little about.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and help support BookBanter.

Originally written on November 16, 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

06/25 on the Bookshelf . . . “Velocity” & “Ancestor”


After enjoying The 7th Victim and really enjoying Crush, the first of the Karen Vail novels by Alan Jacobson, I look forward to the third installment in Velocity, due out in October.  And for those wanting to check out BookBanter’s interview with Alan Jacobson, click here.


I’ve read two of Scott Sigler’s previous books, Infected and Contagious, and am interested in seeing what he does with Ancestor.

“Crush” by Alan Jacobson (Vanguard Press, 2009)


After the runaway success of Jacobson’s first Karen Vail novel, The 7th Victim, our impressive FBI profiler is back in the fantastic follow-up, Crush.  While the pressure may be on Jacobson to make his second Karen Vail Mystery be just as good as his first, in my opinion, Crush is better.  Jacobson is now comfortable in writing Vail and lets her explore her boundaries and limits, coupled with having the agent be in a foreign place.

At the start of the book, Vail is on vacation in the beautiful wine country of Napa and Sonoma counties.  After the stress, pressure, and near-death experiences of The 7th Victim, Vail can certainly use the break, and has been so ordered by her ASAC.  But as Vail and her boyfriend, Detective Robby Hernandez, are about to enjoy a very expensive wine tour, they are told it’s been canceled and they’ll receive full refunds.  Vail’s curiosity gets the better of her and she soon finds that a dead body is the culprit.  Her profiling skills automatically kick into gear as she strategically maneuvers herself onto the task force, leaving Hernandez by the wayside.  But this is who she is.

Now on the Napa County Major Crimes Task Force, Vail teams up with Investigator Roxxann Dixon, as soon more bodies are discovered each with telltale signs of the “Crush Killer.”  Then the killer begins contacting Vail, threatening not just her life but that of her son if she doesn’t do exactly what he says.  But the wine industry is an important part of the nation’s economy, and the political issue of whether to release the details to the press creates more enemies for Vail.  Ultimately it will be up to her to manage and keep the task force together, and catch this Crush Killer before he gets to anyone else.

Jacobson has not only written a full-throttle thriller that will keep readers hooked to the very end, but also educates them in the niceties of wine tasting and drinking, as well as some of the different kinds of wines offered by our wine country; not to mention the number of real locations used in the book.  Crush is a story that will have you entranced, causing your mouth to dry up in a craving for that tasty red liquid; and after finishing the book you’ll feel the urge to check out Napa and Sonoma counties to see if they really are as beautiful as Crush depicts them.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and help support BookBanter.

Originally written on September 29th, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.

For an interview with Alan Jacobson check out BookBanter Episode 19.