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WORD: Rising crime novelist Shane Gericke readies 3rd novel ‘Torn Apart’

Now that WORDNBASS.com has turned five years old, it's time to kick off the 'Where are they now?' series in which we discuss literary and musical talent we discovered in our first year. Let's start off with Shane Gericke, a former business news editor whose knack for prose drove him to drop out of the news business back in 2005, the same year this website launched.

That’s when his literary agent Bill Contardi inked a deal with Kengsington Publishing imprint Pinnacle Fiction for Gericke’s debut novel "Blown Away," a story about detective Emily Thompson pursuing a serial killer in the Chicagoland area -- where Gericke still lives after a long career at the Chicago Sun-Times.

I first got in touch with Gericke and Contardi because and I’m always interested in debut authors and the novel sounded juicy. Sure enough, delving into the mind of a killer led him to pen disturbingly graphic scenes like a barber getting his throat slit with his own razor -- after shaving said killer.

His gritty descriptions, crisp prose and use of a female lead appealed to a wide audience of thriller and crime fiction aficionados, and before you could cry "Murder!" Gericke became a best seller when it launched in 2006. He followed with a second crime novel "Cut to the Bone," another commercial and critical success.

Over the past five years Gericke, fully absorbed in his new career as a crime author, has made bookstore, media, and conference appearances across the USA in support of his novels. He is also the current chairman of the Thrillerfest literary conference in New York City, and is a founding member of International Thriller Writers.

What’s next? Gericke’s preparing the July 6, 2010 launch of his third novel "Torn Apart," (Pinnacle Fiction) which hits bookstores the same week as this year’s Thrillerfest conference.

Torn Apart is about a serial killer nicknamed "Hacksaw" who sends Emily gift packages of human body parts while a dragnet tightens around drug traffickers, child kidnappers and spree killers in Illinois and Wisconsin.

"Looks like it will be their big thriller for the summer, which pleases me (to) no end," Gericke told WORDNBAS.com of Pinnacle’s summer launch. "Book comes out during Thrillerfest week. Wonderful, but it’s going to be exhausting doing both simultaneously. But hey, sleep is overrated"

To find out more about Shane Gericke and his novels check out his website. Click here to read an excerpt from Torn Apart.


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