Jason Pinter does a little bit of everything. A well-known and respected writer, Pinter also founded Polis Books, an independent press which launched in 2013. His most recent novel, The Castle, came out last summer and was a hit with readers and critics alike. The great Ian Rankin called it “Gripping, wholly credible, and frankly terrifying.”
Now, Pinter–the PW Star Watch honoree, and Thriller, Barry, Shamus, and Strand Critics Award nominee–is gearing up to launch an all-new series, which is set to kick off in 2020 with The Broken Woman, the first book to be released as part of his new two-book deal with the Amazon publishing imprint Thomas & Mercer.
According to the press release, Jason Pinter’s The Broken Woman will be the “first in a new series featuring a young single mother named Rachel Marin who has an ordinary façade but brilliant criminalist mind, and is swept up in a murder investigation that threatens to expose the shocking truth about a past she has tried desperately to conceal.” The book was acquired in a two-book deal for World Rights by Jessica Tribble at Thomas & Mercer. Pinter is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency.
I recently reached out to Pinter, who told me, “The Broken Woman came about from several questions I couldn’t get out of my head: What if Sherlock Holmes was a single mother? What if someone had a brilliant criminalist mind, had the skillset not just to defend herself but to defend others, yet with the vulnerability of having young children who depended on her? Then, how did the Sarah Connor from the first Terminator film become the Sarah Connor from the second film? How does a waitress become a warrior?
“The answer to these questions, I believe,” continued Pinter, “is my new protagonist, Rachel Marin.”
As for what readers can expect and how his latest novel will stack up against his past works, Pinter was adamant that he’s never penned a story quite like this before.
“The Broken Woman is easily the twistiest book I’ve ever written, both in terms of the story itself and the characters,” explained Pinter. “Rachel Marin continually surprised me with her strength, resourcefulness, and vulnerability. She and her children have endured something unfathomable, something that changed them in ways you or I could never imagine.”
When pressed for more details about the plot, the author-turned-publisher told me that he set the story in a fictional town in Illinois. “This is far different from anything I’ve ever written, an attempt to merge domestic and psychological suspense with a page-turning mystery. I created the city of Ashby, Illinois from scratch—literally. I actually hand-drew a map of the city myself to correctly place all the geography—which, if you’ve seen my handwriting, you’ll know a hand-drawn map is a scary prospect,” joked Pinter, before adding that it was “freeing to create a wholly new landscape after inhabiting the very real worlds of New York City in my Henry Parker series and the corridors of D.C. power in The Castle.”
“Ashby is a small, sleepy town—one character refers to it as “bootleg Chicago”— but it’s a city where a very ominous undercurrent flows. Some very bad things happened before Rachel ever got to Ashby, and she finds herself entangled in the fruit those evils wrought. It was so much fun creating Ashby and populating it with Rachel, APD Detectives John Serrano and Leslie Tally, and Rachel’s children, all of whom are some of the best characters I’ve ever written.
“There are several mysteries in this book, and they all intertwine and snake back on each other. I think readers will be riveted by the story, but my hope is that they’ll develop a real emotional attachment to Rachel and the people who inhabit her world. And it was a pleasure to slowly peel back the layers for each one. If I could surprise myself while writing it, I think readers will have a blast experiencing The Broken Woman as it unfolds.
“I can’t wait for readers to meet Rachel Marin. She has an incredible story to tell.”
The Broken Woman is not yet available for pre-order, but we’ll be sure to update this site just as soon as it is. In the meantime, make sure you’re following Jason Pinter on Twitter and Facebook for more details.
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.