The Throwaway Girls of Olympia by Ian Totten

The Throwaway Girls of Olympia, Ian Totten, 2020

My favorite quote: “In the last month, two young women, both brunettes, have been tossed to the side of the road in Olympia, both dead from apparent strangulation.”

Notable characters: Alan O’Tool, the haunted small-town sheriff; Darcy, his not-very-likable ex-wife; James, his son; Amy, his deceased daughter

Most memorable scene: The big reveal. Which I won’t reveal. Because that would a total dick move

Greatest strengths: There’s a lot to admire here, but one of my favorite things is the setting. Under Totten’s deft hand, the little farming town of Olympia, Iowa, really comes to life

Standout achievements: The whodunit. Holy sh*t. Nicely done, sir

Fun Facts: This book reads like a true crime case — in the best possible way — and as it turns out, there’s a reason for that. Mr. Totten is quite prolific on the subject of serial killers and crime, and even has a popular podcast that explores various (and often lesser-known) murder cases. It’s called the Deathcast and I highly recommend it. Also, Mr. Totten’s new novel, Maggie, comes out November 30th — and I’m so stoked I could piddle on the rug. Twice

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: This book gave great insights into the inner-workings of (and the relationship between) small town law enforcement and U.S. Federal agents

How it inspired me: There’s something I’ve always loved about small-town murder (in fiction, of course) and The Throaway Girls of Olympia does it right. So right it makes me want to try my hand a full-force crime thriller of my own

Additional thoughts: I don’t believe in telling writers what to write (it’s rude — go write your own book if you’re so sure what needs to be done, you smarmy little a-hole), but when I started reading The Throwaway Girls of Olympia, all I could think was: ‘OMG! This guy could totally be a noir writer!’ I love noir, so this is a major compliment. Anyway, as it turned out, I didn’t need to write to him demanding that he write noir because as I kept reading, I realized that, in essence, he already had. This book has everything I love about that genre — but with more sex and violence. A winning combination

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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