Winner of the 2009 IMBA Dilys Award
Winner of the 2009 Crimespree Award

"Thrilling." - Connecticut Post
"It's good to find a serious political message embedded in such stylish prose."
- Washington Post
"Chercover nails it."
- Time Out Chicago
- Sara Paretsky
"Listen to me. Read this book."
- Robert Crais


The job is a loser, but maybe Ray Dudgeon can bring some peace to a grieving father who yearns to learn the truth about the daughter he never really knew.

A routine investigation. An open-and-shut case. Closure.

But what begins as routine soon spirals out of control. The victim was not simply a quiet, shy, unassuming single woman whose luck ran out. She lived a double life, working in the shadowy realm of covert intelligence. In a world of lies, she fought for truth—and gave her life in the fight.

Ray knows too much, and he must discover who's really pulling the strings, before he becomes collateral damage in America's war on terror.

Trigger City Reviews >   

Winner, Best Novel:
- Dilys Award

- Crimespree Award

Shortlisted for:
- Anthony Award
- Barry Award
- Macavity Award

Order from:
Barnes & (audio-book)

Read the first 50 pages:


"Terrific." - Chicago Tribune
"A multilayered tapestry. Chicago comes alive in this book."
- Chicago Sun Times
- Globe & Mail
"A gritty, wickedly entertaining crime story."
- Newcity Chicago
"Chercover can really write."
- Associated Press

Big City Bad Blood

Disillusioned newspaper reporter-turned-private detective Ray Dudgeon doesn't want to save the world; he just wants to do and honest job well. But when doing an honest job threatens society's most powerful and corrupt, Ray's odds of survival make for a sucker's bet.

A simple bodyguard job for a Hollywood locations manager uncovers a rats' nest of sexual blackmail, murder, and high-level political corruption . . . and Ray Dudgeon is caught in a war between the FBI, the Chicago police, and the mob.

With the line between good and bad blurring, Ray doesn't know who he can trust . . . or if he can even trust himself.

Big City Bad Blood Reviews >   

Winner, Best First Novel:
- Shamus Award

- Gumshoe Award
- Crimespree Award
- Lovey Award
Shortlisted for:
- ITW Thriller Award
- Anthony Award
- Arthur Ellis Award
- Barry Award

Order from:
Barnes & Noble (audio-book)

Read the first 50 pages:

Short Stories



In which you'll find a story entitled, "A Calculated Risk," featuring a new character - Tom Bailey - an expat American working as a people-smuggler in the Bahamas.

Edited by Clive Cussler, Thriller 2 includes new stories from members of the International Thriller Writers Association. I'm thrilled they included me.

"A Calculated Risk" has been shortlisted for the 2010 CWA Dagger Award in the UK.

Learn more >

book cover - Hardcore Hardboiled


In which you'll find a Gravedigger Peace story entitled, "A Sleep Not Unlike Death."

Edited by Todd Robinson, Hardcore Hardboiled includes new stories from the pages of the excellent online magazine Thuglit.

"A Sleep Not Unlike Death" won the 2009 Anthony Award for Best Short Story, and was shortlisted for both the Edgar and the Macavity.

Learn more >

Killer Year: Stories To Die For


In which you'll find a Ray Dudgeon story entitled, "One Serving of Bad Luck."

Edited by Lee Child, KILLER YEAR features new stories by Brett Battles, Allison Brennan, Robert Gregory Browne, Ken Bruen, Bill Cameron, Toni McGee Causey, J.T. Ellison, Patry Francis, Marc Lecard, Derek Nikitas, Gregg Olsen, Jason Pinter, Marcus Sakey, Duane Swierczynski and Dave White. With an afterword by Laura Lippman.

"One Serving of Bad Luck" won the 2009 CWA Dagger Award in the UK.

Learn More >

Chicago Blues


In which you'll find a Ray Dudgeon story entitled, "The Non Compos Mentis Blues."

Edited by Libby Fischer Hellman, Chicago Blues features stories by such luminaries as Sara Paretsky, Stuart Kaminsky, Barbara D’Amato, Max Allan Collins, Sam Reaves, Kevin Guilfoile, Michael Black, J.A. Konrath, Michael Dymmoch, Marcus Sakey, Kris Nelscott. With an introduction by Chicago newspaperman Rick Kogan.

Publishers Weekly says, "This impressive anthology has soul, grit, and plenty of high notes."

Learn More >






Okay, this is pretty awesome...

An iMix featuring music from TRIGGER CITY. Check out the track list and click to hear samples through iTunes. If you like what you hear, you can download the soundtrack (I make no money from this; I'm just doing it to share the love).

I think this is a cool way to get deeper into the book and Ray's world. I hope you dig it too...

Another iMix, this time featuring music from BIG CITY BAD BLOOD...

So, you dig the funky music? Then subscribe to my occasional newsletter:

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