Four Caleb and Linda Pirtle regulars make the semifinals for best Indie Mystery/Thriller of 2013


Last year the Kindle Book Review (“KBR”) premiered its best Indie books of the year award.  On July 1, 2013, KBR announced the semifinalists in this year’s contest.  Click here to see the complete list of semifinalists in all genres.

At Caleb and Linda Pirtle we are proud to announce that four authors who appear regularly on these pages have made the semifinals in the highly competitive Mystery/Thriller genre.

KBR provided a synopsis of how it made the decision for the first cut;

How’d they make it?
The following semifinalists received 2 out of 3 “Yes” votes from our 3 screeners. All submissions were judged on the first several pages of the book. The most important elements at this stage were: Did the book grab our attention right away,  quality of writing, and formatting.

Now What?
…We will announce the Top-5 Category Finalists on Sept. 1st, and the Category Winners on Oct.1st…  Our judges will rate the semifinalists in 10 categories: Formatting, Sample, Plot, Style, Editing, Character development, Themes, Story, Ending, and in the case of a tie, we will judge the books by their cover. If you are a semifinalist, there is nothing to do but wait. Our judges have a lot of reading ahead of them!

So, here are the four semifinalist books from authors familiar to VG readers and the product descriptions of each book from the Kindle store..

Divine Fury cover

“San Francisco Reporter Enzo Lee is cajoled into leaving his comfortable niche covering fluffy features for the San Francisco News to cover an historic governor’s campaign.  Soon he find himself embroiled in political sabotage and high-tech computer spying that turns lethal.  And a troubled war veteran armed with guns and explosives begins a violent journey from small-town Montana to the City by the Bay.

“When Lee becomes a target himself he must dodge attempts on his own life while trying to expose the conspiracy and help keep the candidate alive.

“Divine Fury is the newly released second book in the Enzo Lee series from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert B. Lowe.  The series was kicked off by the best-selling Project Moses, the bioterroism thriller that made the Amazon Top 20 Mysteries list and was a finalist in the Best Indie Books of 2012 competition.”

Secrets of the Dead cover

“Ambrose Lincoln is one of the government’s prized operatives, a trained assassin, a man whose past is continually erased by mind control tactic and shock treatments.

His days have no meaning. He no longer fears death. As far as he is concerned, a man without a memory is a man who’s already dead.

“From Germany come rumors of a mad man threatening to rule Europe and maybe the world. On the Night of Broken Glass, his browns shirts and storm troopers move into Baden-Baden and begin their methodical termination of the Jews.

“In America, so far away, the violence is nothing more than a protest over a Jewish boy who murdered a German diplomat because the Third Reich had removed and maybe killed his family. It was simply a case of vandalism that got out of hand. No one is concerned, and the American government wants to keep it that way. No one in Washington wants to go to war with Hitler, and President Roosevelt continues to preach neutrality.

“But word is leaked that one Jewish photographer took pictures of the rampage of brutality and murder that night. He was killed, but his daughter is in hiding with the film. Ambrose Lincoln is dispatched to Baden-Baden with one charge. Find the film and bring it back. It will tell the truth. It will uncover the lies. The photographs will reveal to the world the sadistic threat that exists for everyone if Hitler’s mad march isn’t stopped. His mission is to uncover the deadly secrets that his own government doesn’t want him to find, secrets that can change history.”

Blood Land cover

“Crime’s an ugly constant in the big city. L.A. Chicago. New York. But when a savage murder brutalizes a small town and neighbor turns on neighbor, a tough-as-nails cop is essential to restoring order. Blood Land is a gritty, emotional saga set in the Wyoming badlands with both greed and vengeance at its core.

“When billions of dollars in natural gas rights hang in the balance and the town’s top law officer’s wife is slain by her own blood, a reluctant hero is forced to battle his own demons and ultimately choose between justice, revenge, and duty.

“In the tradition of Dennis LehaneTony Hillerman and James Lee Burke, Guthrie’s sparse, haunting storytelling compliments his talent for creating richly-drawn, unflinching law officers with human frailties and a sense of justice.”

The Alzheimer's Conspiracy cover


“In this crackling thriller, the CIA, in partnership with a major drug company, develops a drug to induce Alzheimer’s disease and uses it to neutralize enemies of the CIA.
When an agent threatens to blow the whistle on the project, he falls prey to the disease, but not before he provides proof of the scheme to his son, who takes up the battle for him. The son enlists the aid of a country lawyer, a former Texas Ranger and a beautiful medical researcher as he fights for his life against powerful forces that will resort to any means to keep secret the Alzheimer’s conspiracy.”

KBR will announce the top five finalists in each genre on September 1, 2013.  Stay tuned. When the finalists are announced in all genres we hope to feature many of the authors on VG, just as we did last year.

Congratulations to all the semifinalists and good luck come Sept. 1.


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