A KILLING ON THE HILL: Robert Dugoni Dishes On His New Thriller That Comes Out In April


On April 9, 2024, A Killing on the Hill, an all-new novel from New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni, is set to be released, and trust me, this is one Book Spy Readers should jump on the second it’s available.

Dugoni, who is perhaps best known for his Tracy Crosswhite series—which kicked off in 2014 with My Sister’s Grave, and is currently at ten books (including One Last Kill, 2023) and going strong, is one of the most versatile writers in the game today. While the Crosswhite series straddles the line between mystery and thriller, Dugoni has written a bit of everything over the course of his career, which kicked off in 2006 when he published The Jury Master, a legal thriller set around a San Francisco-based lawyer named David Sloane who inadvertently winds up in the middle of a major government conspiracy. Before that, Dugoni, an Attorney by trade, actually co-authored a nonfiction book. On the fiction side, which is where he’s made a name for himself, the David Sloane series ran for five books, with the last one coming out in 2012. Since then, Dugoni has proven himself a prolific writer who can churn out multiple hits a year, all the while juggling multiple series and standalones.

One of his most acclaimed books, The Extraordinary Life of Same Hell, came out in 2018. That one tells the story of Sam Hill, who was born with red pupils and called a “devil boy” or “Sam Hell” as a child by his classmates. The coming-of-age story earned massive praise from Booklist, who said, “If it doesn’t cross entirely over into John Irving territory, certainly nestles in close to the border,” not to mention readers. Currently, at the time of writing this article, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell holds a 4.6/5-star rating on Amazon with more than 78,000 reviews. That, quite frankly, is unprecedented. Incredibly, Dugoni even narrated his novel, and his performance won him an AudioFile Earphones Award that same year.

The bottom line is that there’s not much Robert Dugoni can’t do. He can write anything. Which is why his latest book, on the heels of his already impressive backlist, is so intriguing.

Set in 1933 during the Great Depression, Dugoni’s latest novel follows Seattle’s hottest mystery. To call it “gripping” doesn’t begin to do it justice. The fact is, it’s special and unlike anything else hitting bookstores right now.

“I’m really excited about this book,” Dugoni told The Real Book Spy in an exclusive statement. “I stumbled upon my wife’s grandfather’s scrapbooks in the attic. He was a prominent attorney. And in those books were dozens of articles on what was called ‘The Trial of the Century’ in Seattle in 1933. The Great Depression, bootlegging, Illegal gambling in night clubs and speakeasies run by gangsters. Seattle was truly the Wild West, and this book captures that period in all its glory and depravity. I think it is some of my best work.”

Indeed, this is some of Dugoni’s best work, which is really quite incredible when you consider his stunning body of work.

Check out the official plot details and cover art below.


A gripping new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni.

The Great Depression. High-level corruption. And a murder that’s about to become Seattle’s hottest mystery. It’s the kind of story that can make a reporter’s career. If he lives to write about it.

Seattle, 1933. The city is in the grips of the Great Depression, Prohibition, and vice. Cutting his teeth on a small-time beat, hungry and ambitious young reporter William “Shoe” Shumacher gets a tip that could change his career. There’s been a murder at a social club on Profanity Hill―an underworld magnet for vice crimes only a privileged few can afford. The story is going to be front-page news, and Shoe is the first reporter on the scene.

The victim, Frankie Ray, is a former prizefighter. His accused killer? Club owner and mobster George Miller, who claims he pulled the trigger in self-defense. Soon the whole town’s talking, and Shoe’s first homicide is fast becoming the Trial of the Century. The more Shoe digs, the more he’s convinced nothing is as it seems. Not with a tangle of conflicting stories, an unlikely motive, and witnesses like Ray’s girlfriend, a glamour girl whose pretty lips are sealed. For now.

In a city steeped in Old West debauchery, Shoe’s following every lead to a very dangerous place―one that could bring him glory and fame or end his life.



obert Dugoni is a critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Amazon Charts bestselling author, reaching over ten million readers worldwide. He is best known for the Tracy Crosswhite police procedural series. He is also the author of the Charles Jenkins espionage series, the David Sloane legal thriller series, and several stand-alone novels, including Her Deadly Game, The 7th Canon, Damage Control, and The World Played Chess. His novel The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell was named Suspense Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year, and Dugoni’s narration won an AudioFile Earphones Award. The Washington Post named his nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary a Best Book of the Year. Several of his novels have been optioned for movies and television series. Dugoni is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Book Award for fiction and a three-time winner of the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel set in the Pacific Northwest. He has been a finalist for many other awards. Dugoni’s books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in Seattle. Visit his website at http://www.robertdugonibooks.com.

Readers can (and should) pre-order Dugoni’s latest novel here, available from Thomas & Mercer on April 9th, 2024.



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by 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 is building a growing community on Twitch. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr says “will leave you speechless and begging for more,” is now available. His second novel, LETHAL RANGE, is also in bookstores, and his third book, OUT FOR BLOOD, comes out on June 4th. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. To interact with other readers and talk about your favorite books and authors, join The Real Book Spy’s Discord server.


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