Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Theresa Schwegel  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1975 in Chicago

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Illinois Connection

Schwegel was born and raised in Chicago. She received a Bachelors in Communication from Loyola University and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Biographical and Professional Information

Theresa Schwegel has worked as a personal trainer, a director’s assistant, a freelance writer and a bartender. Today she writes full time. She is the author of four crime novels set in and around the Chicago area.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Officer Down
ISBN: 1847240224

Quercus Publishing Plc. 2007

The Chicago Police Department says Samantha Mack shot her partner, Fred, during the confusion of a bungled pursuit. Mack says it was their quarry, a violent pedophile named Marco Trovic, who fired the deadly round in that darkened room. But Mack was knocked out and can't really say what happened. Another cop is held suspect....

When no evidence of Trovic is found on the scene and the bullet is shown to have come from Mack's own gun, the Department labels Fred's death as a case of friendly fire. Back at the station, it seems no one believes Mack's account. Not Internal Affairs investigator Alex O'Conner, and not even Mack's lover, whose best attempts at support leave her as cold as the wind whipping across Lake Michigan. Somehow, justice will be served.

With the Department looking to quiet the bad press, Mack can't count on anyone to help her track down Trovic. Even if she can somehow find him in the dark recesses of Chicago's underworld, can she prove that Trovic was the shooter? With her back to the wall and her career at stake, now it's time for Mack to take matters into her own hands to clear her name - and avenge her partner's death.

Probable Cause
ISBN: 1847242995


Officer Ray Weiss is a cop's son, a cop's grandson. All he's ever wanted is to follow in their footsteps. But when he finds out what the senior officers in Chicago's District 20 have in store for him and the other rookies as "initiation" into their brotherhood, he has to make a choice.

Ray's senior partner, Jack Fiore, asks him to break into a jewelry store and steal a few pieces. It's just a little fun - especially because they're set up to be the first cops on-scene to "discover" the crime. No one gets hurt, and everybody's happy: Fiore gets the jewelry, Ray gets to be one of the boys, and the store owner gets his insurance money. Ray doesn't want to do it, but Fiore leaves him no alternative....

It all goes wrong when Ray breaks into the store and finds a corpse instead of his promised reward. Coincidence, or was that part of the setup, payback for being a reluctant rookie? And it doesn't end there, because Detective Sloane Pearson is on the case, and if Ray doesn't help her look for the killer, she might discover him.

Probable Cause is another gripping read from Theresa Schwegel, the Edgar Award-winning author of Officer Down, whose portrayal of cop culture is as authentic as it comes.

Person of Interest
ISBN: 0312945337

Minotaur Books. 2008

Leslie McHugh is married to an undercover cop. She thinks she knows what it’s like to share her life with a man who spends his days living a lie, who keeps secrets for a living, who trusts no one—not even her.

But what does she really know about her husband Craig? He lives a second life she knows almost nothing about. And when a thousand dollars disappears from their bank account, Leslie wants answers... Before she can even ask questions, though, Ivy—their seventeen-year-old daughter who’s already on a collision course with trouble—turns

up at the center of Craig’s

investigation into a snitch’s violent death. Leslie’s had enough

she’s determined to get to the truth and protect her family. But at what cost?

Last Known Address
ISBN: 031236427X

Minotaur Books. 2009

Detective Sloane Pearson is new to the Sex Crimes Division but no stranger to being treated like an incompetent blonde by her hardened male co-workers. She’s also no stranger to hard-to-crack cases, and her latest is as tough as they come: A rapist is on the prowl, dragging women to deserted building sites or vacant apartment buildings peppered all over downtown Chicago, and forcing them to fight---knowing, of course, that he’ll win.

When a real estate agent Sloane knows is attacked by the violent predator, Sloane finds herself taking a case that threatens her secret plans to leave her long-time lover. Her personal bond with the victim and a would-be relationship with a man she interviews along the way lead Sloane down a dangerous path---one that poisons the investigation as well as her personal life.

Sloane’s balancing act topples when her father falls ill. Between coping with his weak heart and following the few weak leads she has, her case begins to go the way that many rape cases go: The victims fall away, one by one, suddenly unsure of what they saw or unwilling to relive the horrifying moments again and again.

When Sloane helps a hungry young Sun-Times reporter declare the case serial, she loses support: Her bosses demand she get a suspect or move on. Sloane stays on the case, though---no matter how much it strains her personal relationships. Even her partner claims she’s in too deep: He doesn’t believe there’s an arrest on the planet worth a cop’s life. Sloane disagrees: Someone’s got to take up the fight.

From the worst slums of Chicago’s west side to the glittering Loop skyscrapers, Sloane finds no shortage of suspects. As she loses everything she’d called home, she can only hope to find the rapist before she also becomes a victim.

The Good Boy: A Novel
ISBN: 1250054311

Minotaur Books. 2014

For Officer Pete Murphy, K9 duty is as much a punishment as a promotion. When a shaky arrest reignites a recent scandal and triggers a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, all eyes are on Pete as the department braces for another media firestorm.

Meanwhile, Pete's eleven-year-old son Joel feels invisible. His parents hardly notice him―unless they're arguing about his "behavioral problems"―and his older sister, McKenna, has lately disappeared into the strange and frightening world of teenagerdom. About the only friend Joel has left is Butchie, his father's furry "partner."

When Joel and Butchie follow McKenna to a neighborhood bully's party, illegal activity kicks the dog's police training into overdrive, and soon the duo are on the run, navigating the streets of Chicago as they try to stay one step ahead of the bad guys―bad guys who may have a very personal interest in getting some payback on Officer Pete Murphy.

Pete doesn't know why his boys have gone missing, but when he sets out on his own under-the-radar search and discovers some familiar faces, the investigation throws him into a tailspin.

Edgar Award winner Theresa Schwegel returns with her most dramatic and emotional novel to date, a family epic that combines the hard-boiled grit of her acclaimed police thrillers with an intimate portrait of a young boy trying to follow his heart in an often heartless city.


21st Century Award for an emerging artist with ties to Chicago, Chicago Public Library Foundation, 2008'''''Officer Down'''''

Edgar Award for Best First Novel, 2005

Shortlisted for the Anthony Award '''''Probable Cause'''''

Editor’s Choice, New York Times, January 2007 ''Person of Interest''

Publisher's Weekly Top 10 mystery of 2007

Availability for Public Speaking

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

Agent: David Hale Smith

InkWell Management

521 Fifth Avenue, 26th Floor

New York, NY 10175