Book #3 - Book Description for A Piece of You:
Homicide Detective Sami Rizzo is at it again! She never dreamed “America’s Finest City,” would be tormented by yet another serial killer, but for the third time in the last five years a depraved maniac is stalking the streets of San Diego. Based on her qualifications and prior successes dealing with multiple murders, who else would Captain Davison assign to head the investigation?
Different from Sami’s past experiences, this fanatic is like no other. His methods of killing defy everything profilers think they know about serial killers. As an intense investigation begins and bits and pieces of evidence emerge, no one can understand his motivation. He’s merciful, yet brutal. And just to make things even more confusing, all of his victims are blood-related. Is he settling a vendetta? Did he randomly pick a name out of the phone book and begin a rampage? Or is there a deeper story?
Based on very little evidence and a lot of gut instincts, Detective Rizzo pieces together a complex puzzle and narrows the field of possible suspects. She learns that the killings may connect in some way to powerful people within the judicial system and doesn’t know who to trust. Ultimately, she comes face to face with the killer for a battle of brain and brawn. Can she outwit the shrewd killer, or will she be his next victim?
Book # 2 - Book description for Resuscitation:
Two years ago, Detective Sami Rizzo narrowly escaped a brush with death at the hands of a serial killer. After apprehending the killer and bringing him to justice, this life-changing event compels her to resign from the police force. In her heart of hearts, however, she struggles with the decision. But a second serial killer—a well- respected doctor gone astray—uses his charm to seduce his victims and then performs horrific surgical experiments on them. In a final act of depravity, he scatters their mutilated bodies throughout San Diego County. Feeling a sense of duty and obligation, Sami Rizzo appeals to the police chief and mayor, and they reinstate her as a homicide investigator. As the body count grows and the killer’s experiments become more and more brutal, Sami follows one dead-end lead after another, while trying to deal with a sickly mother and a turbulent relationship with her lover. But then the killer makes a crucial mistake: one of his victims survives. Sami does everything to protect the barely alive victim, but the killer has a different plan.
Book # 1 - Book Description for They Never Die Quietly:
They Never Die Quietly tells the story of homicide Detective Sami Rizzo, who is assigned to head a task force investigating serial killings in San Diego. Simon, the highly intelligent, cunning, and deceptively charming villain, redefines the depths of human evil. He believes God has given him absolute authority to purify his unholy victims through a ritual that ends in a grisly crucifixion. Driven by warped religious beliefs and guided by his dead mother, very much alive in his subconscious, Simon abducts “chosen ones” and holds them captive in a Room of Redemption. There, the victims helplessly await their crucifixion. Detective Rizzo urgently yearns to solve the case and gain the respect of her male colleagues, but her obsession to apprehend the killer on her own clouds her thinking. When Simon outsmarts Rizzo and captures her, determined to make her his next victim, she must employ all her resources—both physical and intellectual—to outwit the villain at his own game.
Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor specializing in full-length fiction, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, in 1992 while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly.
His second book, Resuscitation (Thomas & Mercer 2011), a follow-up to his first novel, hit #1 in Kindle sales in the UK and reached #26 in the USA. He is also the author of I Do Solemnly Swear (Thomas & Mercer 2012) and Hypocrisy. A Piece of You is his fifth novel, the third in the Detective Sami Rizzo series. A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
It may sound strange, but I never had the desire nor realized I had the ability to write something other than a one-page editorial until I was over forty years old. I was a general manager in the car business at the time and for no particular reason I decided to write a book focused on the intelligent way to buy a car. Several months later I found an agent, she made a publishing deal for me within a week and it sold 22,000 copies. “Wow,” I said, “that was easy.” So, feeling prepared to be the next Stephen King, I released my repressed desire to one day write the great American novel and I wrote my first novel in 1993. Couldn’t sell it anywhere. Somewhat discouraged, I wrote a second novel. I couldn’t sell that one either. I gave it one more shot and wrote #3. Guess what? It still sits on a shelf collecting dust with the first two. I gave up writing and pretty much forgot about it. But I got the bug again in 2008 and wrote They Never Die Quietly, novel #4. That’s correct. I took about a 13 year hiatus. Novel #4 made it through the maze and Thomas & Mercer published it in 2010. To date I have published 5 novels.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
That’s a complicated question because as Sol Stein, world renowned book editor and novelist once said, “There is no such thing as good writing; only good rewriting.” This is an important lesson that all serious writers need to embrace. Once the first draft is completed, that’s when the real work begins. I generally can write a first draft in about 8 or 9 months. But before I can deliver a nearly-flawless manuscript to an editor, the editorial process takes another 3 or 4 months. And even at that, a book is never truly finished. On any given day I can pick up one of my books, turn to a random page, and see something I wish I had written differently. You have to know when it’s time to edit and when it’s time to write, “The End,” and walk away.
3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
When I start a book I literally vanish from the face of the earth and live in another dimension with my characters. If you don’t believe me, ask my wife. She feels like a widow every time I write a book. My mind is writing, editing, pruning, fleshing out, and developing characters every conscious minute of my life. I’m not implying that every writer gets sucked into their books. I’m just saying that once I get on that merry-go-round I can’t get off until the book is finished.
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not so sure this is “interesting” but I sometimes tend to give my villain more depth than my protagonist. Don’t get me wrong. It’s very important to create a three dimensional villain. I just have to be careful that my protagonists don’t lurk in the shadows of my villains.
5. How do books get published?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you take self-publication out of the equation, only about 5% of all books submitted to publishers ever make it to brick and mortar bookstores, Amazon.com, and other online and retail outlets. Writing books, particularly novels, is a ferociously competitive business and the market is overcrowded. It’s very hard for a yet undiscovered writer to get noticed. It’s the old catch 22. You need a track record to get published but how do you establish a track record if no one will publish your work? You have the best shot of getting published by writing a compelling story, finding an agent, and letting them deal directly with acquisition editors. If an agent takes you on as a client, they see potential in your work. If you try to go directly to a publisher, in my humble opinion, it’s a dead-end street.
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Unlike the “typical” writer (if there is such a thing), I hate outlining a book before I start writing. My creative juices begin flowing once I start a book with a very basic premise. For example, I wrote They Never Die Quietly with a simple idea: I wanted to create a misguided religious fanatic who believed that God chose him to “purify” the world. 78,000 words later, I wrote, “The End”. When I begin a book I just start writing and one plot twist fosters another, one character grows into 10 characters, and the main plot spawns several sub-plots. I’ve tried to outline a book before beginning to write and the results were disastrous.
7. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read whenever I can but find that my attention span isn’t as focused as it should be. Since I began writing I can no longer read a book as a casual reader. I find myself editing every line and that really distracts me and takes me out of the story. Aside from that, I like movies, good wine, when I have time I like to cook, I love the San Diego Zoo, I’m a big Padres and Charger fan, and of course, I love to travel. Last, I hate to admit it, but I could easily waste away in front of the TV for hours. We now have so many choices that it’s easy to get seduced by the “Boob Tube”.
8. What does your family think of your writing?
Most can’t believe that I have 5 novels and one nonfiction book published. Whether or not they like my writing is another story altogether. Most of my books are hard-boiled thrillers, so a few of my squeamish family members can’t get past the first chapter. But for the most part everyone in my family offers encouraging words.
9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That being a writer is so much more than just writing. In this day and age any writer who has dreams of success must also be involved in marketing, promotion, manage a web site and blog, and have a presence on social media. Any writer who thinks that writers only write is in for a big surprise.
10. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Above all, write every day even if it’s only a paragraph or two. But don’t force the creative process. If it isn’t working, walk away. Most important, never forget that rejection is a prerequisite for success. Few, if any writers make it right out of the gate. My folder of rejection letters from agents and editors is two inches thick. If you love to write, don’t write for fame and fortune; write because it’s your passion.
11. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Most of my readers who contact me are kind and complimentary. But every so often I get called out on the carpet for something. And on a few occasions, I’ve been bludgeoned by a reader. When you’re out there for everyone to see, your Achilles heel is exposed to the world.
12. What do you think makes a good story?
Simply put, strong, engaging and unique characters. Plots are a dime a dozen but truly original characters are few and far between.
13. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I haven’t yet grown up. Ask me in a few years.
14. What would you like my readers to know?
I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but writing is not as glamorous as it might seem. Few writers reach a level where they make tons of money and get invited as guests on talk shows. It’s a demanding, difficult career choice and it requires tremendous tenacity and discipline. It isn’t a job for the faint of heart. But I can tell you this: if crafting a story with vivid characters and page-turning suspense is your passion, then there are few jobs that offer more satisfaction.
Homicide Detective Sami Rizzo has dealt with serial killers before. This time she has been asked to deal with someone who is a totally different kind of killer. Why is someone killing people that are all members of the same family? What could the people in this family have done to make someone hate all of them? No one even Sami can figure out what this is all leading up to. This is going to be a a really hard mystery crime to solve. What does this case have to do with others that are very well connected and who have a lot of friends in high places? Is this a set up for something else a lot bigger? I give this book a 5/5. I was given this book for as review and these are all my own opinions.
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