Lola on Fire, the February novel from William Morrow by Rio Youers' (co-writer of IDW's Sleeping Beauties), is one of those books that is so instantly recognizable as cinematic that everyone who reads it makes video comparisons. The New York Times compared it to John Wick, author Joe Hill compared it to Killing Eve, and Publisher's Weekly said, "fans of full-throttled cinematic action-fests of the Long Kiss Goodnight variety are in for a treat." And all of that's true– the book zips along with a muscular verve that feels ready for the screen. Book fans, though, will recognize Youers as in league with thriller authors like Lee Child, whose Jack Reacher is the kind of one-man-army that Lola on Fire brings us in the form of Youer's new hero assassin Lola Bear.
Say the publishers:
Brody Ellis is short on luck and even shorter on cash to buy the medication his sister Molly needs.
Desperate, he robs a convenience store, but on the way out, he bumps into a young woman and loses his wallet. Just when he expects the cops to arrive, the phone rings. It's Blair Mayo—the woman he bumped into—and she's got the missing billfold.
Brody will get it back, but only if he does her a favor: steal her late mother's diamonds from her wicked stepmom. But when he gets to the house, he finds a gruesome crime scene—and a security camera. Brody knows he's been framed.
Back home, the terrified young man gets another call. The police won't get the incriminating video footage, Blair says. Instead, her daddy, the notorious mobster Jimmy Latzo, will exact his own kind of revenge.
Brody and Molly realize that they've become pawns in a mysterious game—one that involves a notorious enforcer named Lola Bear who brutally crossed paths with Jimmy Latzo twenty-six years before. . . a ghost from the past who is intimately connected to their lives.
Youers chatted with Jason about the creation of Lola on Fire, discussing what it takes to create a convincing thriller, how much planning Youers feels you really don't need, and the importance of writing at the right time for you.
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Jason Henderson is the host of the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the editor of the "Castle of Horror Anthology" series. He is the author of The Serpent's Nest: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books. His new horror series "Surf Mystic," under the pseudonym Peyton Douglas, debuted with the novel Night of the Book Man in 2020.