Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shaken / J.A. Konrath

Genre: Thriller/Police Procedural

Approximate net words:

55-60,000 words for (Original Version)

55-60,000 words for (Linear Version – available only with bonus eBook)

Availability Kindle: YES Nook: NO  DTB: YES (To be released on 2/22/2011)


Joe Konrath writing as both J.A. Konrath (generally thrillers, primarily the Jack Daniels series) and Joe Kilborn (horror) is one of the success stories among Kindle authors. Those who are interested in the publishing world and how it is changing would be remiss if they didn’t follow Konrath’s blog, A Newbies Guide to Publishing.  Konrath is both a standard bearer for the new guard and a bit of a whipping horse for the traditional publishing establishment. Reading the comments to his blog entries are a great way to gain an understanding of both perspectives.  For more see Konrath's website.


The eighth novel in Konrath’s Jack Daniels series pits Chicago police detective Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels against “Mr. K,” a serial killer who has haunted Jack over her entire twenty plus year career. Shaken combines three different encounters with Mr. K, jumping back and forth between the three. In the present Jack has been kidnapped and is being held by Mr. K. Based on the experience of his other victims torture and death are likely to follow. The past encounters include Jack’s first time tangling with Mr. K while still only a rookie and a recent encounter where he was almost caught.

The bonus content eBook edition contains an alternative version where the events are arranged chronologically rather than the three story lines being Shaken together.


Konrath has a style all his own, mixing humor with horror and all the elements of a good suspense or thriller novel into a police procedural. The horror (just as with his Joe Kilborn pen name) isn’t in-your-face. It’s subtle, often implied leaving a lot to your imagination, yet no less horrific. If you’ve read and liked any of the previous books in the Jack Daniels series you’ll like Shaken.

One of the things I especially liked was seeing Jack, Herb (her current partner) and Harry (her first partner) change over time. Much of the earliest story line gives a glimpse into the how and why for many of the qualities the characters had for the majority of the series.


A Konrath newcomer could read Shaken and be thoroughly entertained. However some of the humor might sneak past those not familiar with the recurring characters and their history.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant typos, editing, or formatting issues.

Ranking: ***** 5 Stars

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