Owen Laukkanen’s Second Neah Bay Thriller Announced

Following his well-received 2019 thriller Deception Cove, author Owen Laukkanen is bringing back Jess Winslow for another adventure in Lone Jack Trail, available in bookstores on May 26, 2020. 

“I’m really excited to bring readers back to Deception Cove for another adventure with Jess, Mason and, obviously, Lucy,” said Laukkanen exclusively to The Real Book Spy.

“My goal with the second book was to build on the world and the story from the first book in a way that felt organic and natural and that also maintained some of the tension between Jess and Mason, who even though they’ve fallen for each other and have decided to give romance a try are still learning just who they are, together and separately.”

“So when a disgraced former athlete-turned-convicted dogfighter washes up dead, and all of the evidence points to Mason Burke, Jess is left wondering just how much of Burke’s violent past he’s left behind, and whether he’s not quite as changed as he claims to be.”

“And as a newly-minted sheriff’s deputy, she’s forced to grapple with the fact that even if she might even sympathize with what Mason’s alleged to have done, she’s still the law in Makah County now, and it behooves her to bring Mason in.

“So readers are in for a test of Jess’s loyalty as Mason races to clear his name—if, that is, he’s even actually innocent—and, of course, they can count on Lucy the rescue dog playing a major role, both in dragging Jess and Mason into trouble, and leading them out of it.”

Laukkanen, who did a beautiful job building the visually stunning universe that Jess Winslow operates in, writes with a smooth prose and is known for his plotting—a skill that served him well while penning his popular Stevens and Windermere series. The sixth book in that franchise, The Forgotten Girls, came out back in 2017. Next year will make the first time he releases a follow-up to one his books since then (he published a standalone novel, Gale Force, in 2018), and readers don’t need to worry about the second one getting away from what made the first Winslow thriller so good. 

I’m always wary of sequels that stray too far from the magic that enthralled readers in the first place,” said Laukkanen, “and I think Lone Jack Trail brings more of that Jess/Mason/Lucy magic, and then some. I think readers are in for a treat, and I can’t wait to hear what they think.”

Check out the official plot details and cover art below. 

Lone Jack TrailFor fans of CJ Box and Michael Koryta, Owen Laukkanen’s thrilling Neah Bay series continues with a new adventure for the tough ex-Marine, the sensitive ex-convict, and the rescue dog who changed both their lives.

A body washes up on the shore near Deception Cove. It belongs to “Bad” Brock Boyd, a disgraced former professional athlete from Makah County who recently finished a prison sentence for dogfighting.

Marine veteran Jess Winslow, now a trainee deputy in Deception Cove, is assigned to help investigate the suspicious death. But when it comes out that her friend, ex-convict Mason Burke, had a run-in with the victim on the day of his death, she’s forced to question whether everything she thinks she knows about Burke is wrong.

As the prime suspect in the case, Burke is forced to go on the run. Jess is torn between the man she could love and the facts of the case, which seem to point squarely at him.



Owen Laukkanen’s Stevens and Windermere novels have been nominated for the Anthony, Barry, Edgar, and Thriller Awards. A graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing program, Laukkanen spent three years in the world of professional poker reporting before turning to fiction. He currently lives in Vancouver with his dog, Lucy.

Readers excited to get their hands on Laukkanen’s next thriller can, and should, pre-order Lone Jack Trail here or anywhere else books are sold. 



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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