Rick Mofina is a former newspaper crime reporter and author of several acclaimed thrillers. He grew up in Ontario, Canada, and began writing in school, selling his first short story at 15 years of age. In those days, he was influenced by Ernest Hemingway, later it was Dostevsky, Faulkner, Chekov, Conrad, James M. Cain, Stephen King, Thomas Harris and James Ellroy, among others. He attended Carleton University in Ottawa, studying Journalism, English Literature, and American Detective Fiction.
After graduation, Rick earned his living working the newspaper police beat. “It put me face-to-face with the best and worst of the human condition,” he told me yesterday. “I was expected to write about it, to derive some sense out of these horrible incidents that made no sense at all, then present it to readers on deadline.”

His newspaper career spanned three decades as he covered murderers on death row in Montana and Texas, a horrific serial killing case in California, an armored car heist in Las Vegas, and the murders of police officers in Alberta. He has flown over Los Angeles with the LAPD, gone on patrol with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police near the Arctic, and has reported from the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

Rick learned early on that the tragic events occurring daily on our streets seldom end well, if at all — and he bears this in mind while writing his novels. “I try to apply the fundamental code of most crime fiction, which is the restoration of order to chaos. And I try to start with a ‘grain of truth,’ to build on a solid foundation for compelling story filled with tension.”

Journalism is an elemental tool. It allows the writer to convey a universe of events despite impossible deadlines. But novels, with time suspended, allow you to drill deeper. For example, a well-written news story might powerfully convey the aftermath of a child murder — how it sickened the homicide detective. “An accomplished novelist can take you into the detective’s heart, make you feel what he or she feels witnessing an autopsy, or informing an inconsolable parent, or questioning a lying suspect, or grappling with their own anguish at night when their head touches the pillow and sleep is a fugitive,” Rick said.

Today’s Buffet is led by Rick’s first published crime novel, If Angels Fall. The opening scene shows a toddler abducted from his inattentive father while they are riding San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit System, known as BART. Readers tell Rick that the scene is so convincing, it must have been adapted from a real case he reported in San Francisco. It wasn’t; the scene is entirely fictional. But the seed for that moment of tension arose from a real moment of truth Rick experienced years earlier while working as a cub reporter at the Toronto Star. That summer, tragedy hit the city when a child who vanished under chilling circumstances was later found murdered. Fear gripped the entire metro area for weeks as the story was splashed on the front page of every paper in town.

“In that climate, I was riding Toronto’s subway when I saw a father and his toddler,” Rick recalled. “Dad was hidden behind the newspaper he was reading, one that happened to be blaring the latest news on the tragedy. His little boy was toddling up and down the full length of the subway car aisle, and the father was oblivious. The train would stop. Doors would open. Waves of commuters would rush in and out, even bumping the toddler. Doors would close. The train rumbled to the next station. I became a little angry at the father for not watching his kid. Then I grew a little fearful as my imagination went into overdrive. If I were a crazy person, I could easily abduct that boy without his father noticing until it was too late. ”

That moment haunted Rick for years, until he fashioned it into the opening of If Angels Fall. The book introduced Rick’s first series characters, San Francisco reporter Tom Reed and SFPD Homicide Inspector Walt Sydowski.

Rick is currently based in Ottawa, where he lives with his wife and their two children. He’s a familiar panelist at mystery-writing conferences all over North America. His most recent book, They Disappeared, hit the Kindle in October.

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If Angels Fall

Mysteries & Thrillers
Author: Rick Mofina
If Angels Fall

There are some horrors a man can never forget. Sounds so chilling that they can never be silenced. The frantic screams of drowning children. The anguished sobs of the father who couldn’t save them.

How long before those echos give way to whispers only he can hear? To voices that promise redemption — from his private hell…

Tom Reed is a crime reporter with The San Francisco Star whose superb journalistic skills earned him a Pulitzer nomination. But years later, Reed’s life is coming apart. His editor wants him fired. His wife has left him to wrestle with his demons. Alone, Reed is tormented by the fear he may have caused the suicide of an innocent man suspected of murdering a two-year-old girl.

Reed’s friend on the case is legendary San Francisco Homicide Inspector, Walt Sydowski, who has one of California’s highest clearance rates. He is also a lonely widower haunted by the fact he cannot solve the girl’s heartbreaking death.

Both men grapple with the past while they race the clock to learn the truth behind a several new abductions that have anguished the Bay Area.

Weighted (The Neumarian Chronicles)

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Author: Ciara Knight

Weighted (The Neumarian Chronicles)

The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.

Shadow of Stone (The Pendragon Chronicles)

Science Fiction & Fantasy
Author: Ruth Nestvold
Shadow of Stone (The Pendragon Chronicles)

For over ten years, there has been peace in Britain after Arthur and his warriors soundly defeated the Saxons at the battle of Caer Baddon. But sometimes peace is deceptive …

After a series of hard winters and famine, an alliance of dissatisfied northern kings attack the rich cities of Southern Britain. But in the years of peace, Arthur’s army has grown soft; jealousies and trivialities rip once strong alliances apart. Cador, who is mockingly referred to as “farmer king,” must go to war again. The threat to their way of life throws him together with Yseult, the woman he has secretly loved since he was a youth.

But can their politically expedient marriage help bring peace to Britain again? Or will it only lead to further conflict?