And so we come to the most recent Jonathan Stride novel, ALTER EGO…at least until September 22, when the new Stride book FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND is finally released.

I’ll tell you a secret. I originally envisioned ALTER EGO as a Cab Bolton novel. Given Cab’s Hollywood mother, it made sense to have him as the hero in a book that focused on the sleazy secrets of a famous actor. However, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of giving this plot to Stride…so that Stride could deal with an “alter ego” who is filming a movie in Duluth based on one of his cases.

But I couldn’t give up Cab entirely, could I? So ALTER EGO became my first cross-over novel, where Stride and Cab BOTH appear as main characters.

People have asked me whether ALTER EGO was inspired by the exposure of Harvey Weinstein and the eruption of #metoo protests in Hollywood. Actually, I turned in the novel a couple of weeks BEFORE the Weinstein scandal broke in the press. That prompted my editor to ask, “Hey, did you know something??”

So be sure to catch up on all of the Stride books…from IMMORAL through ALTER EGO…because you’ll want to be ready for Stride’s big return in September.

Click to find ALTER EGO at Amazon.

For Your Book Club

One of the most tragic elements of the bombing at the Boston Marathon was the way it violated an event that was so much a part of the heart of the city of Boston. In many ways, Duluth has a similar relationship with its own annual marathon. So when the tragedy happened, I knew that, one way or another, something like this would have to become a part of Stride’s world.

However, I don’t write straight terrorism or political thrillers. My books are more psychological, more rooted in intimate family drama. So I needed to find a way to write about a marathon tragedy — but do it in a way that was true to my storytelling.

MARATHON was the result. It’s rooted in a similar violent act (although I made sure that what happens deliberately occurs offstage). My focus in the book is less on the terrorism itself and more on the aftermath — particularly how suspicion and rumor in the age of social media can tear apart the lives of innocent people. Duluth in MARATHON is at a breaking point (does that sound familiar?), and the novel rips at many of the most difficult social threads before finding ways to bring people together.

This was a tough, emotional book to write. I think it’s that true for readers, too. I had readers who felt overwhelmed and wrote to me unsure of whether they could go on — but once they did, I think they felt a great sense of catharsis at the end of the book. So I hope you take the journey on this one — and that you share it with your friends and book clubs. I believe this is a book worth talking about.

Click here to find it on Amazon.

Meet Kori

From Marcia at

Like so many of you…Brian and I have been spending most of our days at home. (Of course, that’s a good thing—because it means that Brian’s had plenty of time to write…!) And also like so many of you, this means that instead of traveling–we’ve been reminiscing about some of the fun vacations we’ve taken in the past.

Last year, right about this time, we were in Vancouver, BC…a city that we love to visit. On one of our days, it was raining, so we decided to spend a leisurely afternoon—just hanging out in and around our hotel…overlooking the Vancouver harbor, watching cruise ships come and go, while enjoying a bottle of wine…and listening to some of our favorite new age music by a wonderfully talented musician named Kori Linae Carothers. While we were listening, Brian just happened to check social media…at a time when Kori had just asked “so, what is everyone listening to today?” Of course, Brian jumped right in to say that we were listening…to her album entitled TRILLIUM…! They exchanged multiple messages…and that was the beginning of a fun friendship…!

Fast forward to earlier this past spring…when the pandemic hit the United States. All of our scheduled, in-person visits had to be cancelled and “virtual events” became the new norm. One of the best parts about virtual events is that attendance is no longer limited by geography. People around the country (and even around the world) can join in…all from the comfort of their own homes. And such was the case for a virtual “happy hour” that we were did—where people from all over tuned in on a Friday evening to hang out with us and chat.

As we looked over the list of the folks as they joined in…we saw that Kori was joining us…! Imagine how thrilled we were to see her…and even more thrilled to hear that she had read several of Brian’s books…and that she was now one of HIS fans…! We’re so honored to be able to count her among our friends…and fans.

Just last week, Kori received her copy of Brian’s newest book, THE BOURNE EVOLUTION, and she quickly wrote to tell us that she couldn’t wait to dive in…! Kori, we hope you enjoy it…!

If you haven’t picked up your own copy, it’s readily available now from local bookseller or online…! You don’t have to have read any of the previous Robert Ludlum books, nor seen any of the Matt Damon movies to enjoy this one…this is a totally new Jason Bourne..!

And if you enjoy beautiful new age music, check out Kori Linae Carothers via your favorite music streaming service…she’s terrific…!

Past and Present

Readers “met” Stride’s late wife, Cindy, in my fourth novel IN THE DARK — but that was through the unreliable eyes of my book-within-a-book narrator, Tish Verdure. So I wanted to write a book in which I would actually take readers back to Stride’s past, where Cindy is alive…so they can see what their relationship was really like.

After THE COLD NOWHERE, this was the perfect time to write GOODBYE TO THE DEAD, because Stride’s relationship with Serena was at a crossroads. In order to really move ahead, he needed to come to terms with the loss of Cindy — in essence, to say goodbye to the dead. Serena also had to have her own reckoning with Cindy, to realize that the rosy glow of Stride’s memory didn’t necessarily reflect the complexities of his marriage.

So GOODBYE TO THE DEAD has a unique structure among the Stride novels. The first half is set in the past, when Cindy is alive, and the second half is set in the present — and the mystery ripples through the years in between.

This book features the first trial sequence in one of my novels since my very first book, IMMORAL. One of Minnesota’s county attorneys was very gracious in sharing trial transcripts and reading my initial drafts to make sure the legal side of the book felt authentic. The more books I write, the more I find readers with special expertise who are very helpful when I do research.

GOODBYE TO THE DEAD also includes one of the more shocking scenes I’ve written…a violent, emotional shooting inside Duluth’s shopping mall. One of the details I included was abandoned cell phones beginning to ring on the floor of the mall — and it was very poignant to read not long after of that same thing happening in the wake of a real mass shooting.

Click to find the book on Amazon.