Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Charlie Donlea  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Mystery Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born:


-- Website -- http://charliedonlea.com
-- Charlie Donlea on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=charlie++donlea


Illinois Connection

Donlea was born and raised in Chicago. He now lives in the suburbs.

Biographical and Professional Information

Charlie Donlea spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where the roads end and lakes are accessible only by floatplane. These majestic trips to “God’s Country” inspired the setting for his first novel, Summit Lake.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Summit Lake
ISBN: 1496700988

Kensington. 2016

“A gem of a mystery, fast-paced and suspenseful.”--Catherine Coulter, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

Set in a small, picturesque North Carolina town, Charlie Donlea’s suspenseful debut novel tells the haunting story of a murdered law school student, the reporter assigned to her story—and the intimate connection that comes when the living walk in the footsteps of the dead.

“No suspects.

No persons of interest.

Just a girl who was alive one day and dead the next.”

Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is that kind of place, with charming stilt houses dotted along the pristine water. But two weeks ago, Becca Eckersley, a first-year law student, was brutally murdered in one of those houses. The daughter of a powerful attorney, Becca was hard-working, accomplished, and ambitious. Now, while the town reels with grief and shocked residents gather to share their theories, the police are baffled.

At first, investigative reporter Kelsey Castle thinks of the assignment as a fluff piece. But the savagery of the crime, and the determined efforts to keep the case quiet, all hint at something far more than a random attack by a stranger. As Kelsey digs deeper, pushing on despite danger and warnings, she feels a growing connection to the dead girl. And the more she learns about Becca’s friendships, her love life—and the secrets she was keeping—the more convinced she becomes that learning the truth about Becca could be the key to overcoming her own dark past…

Advance Praise for Summit Lake

“An exciting debut, with all the right touches, captivating from the first page to the last.

There’s a bright future ahead for this newcomer to the thriller genre — definitely a talent to watch.”--Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author

“Gripping!

This one kept me up late into the night.”--Nancy Bush, New York Times bestselling author

“A swift, outstanding debut. Summit Lake engrossed me then knocked me cold. Charlie Donlea is a superb storyteller sure to damage the best seller lists.”--Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author

Summit Lake makes a small town come alive through the lens of madness, misunderstandings, betrayal, and a pile of the kind of secrets that makes a mystery of a life so hard to untangle from its death. The pages fly by, zinging through the twists and revelations, all the way to the shattering conclusion.”--Jamie Mason

“A brilliant, haunting thriller in which The Lovely Bones meets The Silence of the Lambs—with a bit of Twin Peaks thrown in for good measure!

Charlie Donlea weaves a unique, spellbinding tale about a bond between two fascinating women—one living, one dead.

Full of unexpected twists and turns, Summit Lake is an irresistible page-turner.”--Kevin O’Brien, New York Times bestselling author

“Grabs you from the very start and doesn’t let go! This gripping thriller keeps you at the edge of your seat and gasping in all the right places. Donlea spins a perfectly crafted story of two women, both victims of violent crime, searching for justice, redemption and ultimately—peace. You won’t be able to put this book down until you’ve uncovered all the secrets hidden inside the picturesque town of Summit Lake.”--Emily Bleeker

The Girl Who Was Taken
ISBN: 1496701003

Kensington. 2017

Charlie Donlea, one of the most original new voices in suspense, returns with a haunting novel, laden with twists and high tension, about two abducted girls—one who returns, one who doesn’t—and the forensics expert searching for answers.

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods.

A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity. It’s a triumphant, inspiring story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found, and it will be up to someone like Livia to analyze the evidence and finally determine her sister’s fate. Instead, the first clue to Nicole’s disappearance comes from another body that shows up in Livia’s morgue—that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan for help, hoping to learn more about the night the two were taken. Other girls have gone missing too, and Livia is increasingly certain the cases are connected.

But Megan knows more than she revealed in her blockbuster book. Flashes of memory are coming together, pointing to something darker and more monstrous than her chilling memoir describes. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for.

PRAISE FOR CHARLIE DONLEA AND SUMMIT LAKE

“A gem of a mystery, fast‑paced and suspenseful.” —Catherine Coulter, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Fans of contemporary suspense will enjoy this brisk read.” —Booklist

“An exciting debut, with all the right touches, captivating from the first page to the last. There’s a bright future ahead for this newcomer to the thriller genre—definitely a talent to watch.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author

“Donlea keeps readers guessing throughout. The whodunit plot is clever and compelling . . . for fans of nonstop mysteries with a twist.” —Library Journal

“A swift, outstanding debut. Summit Lake engrossed me then knocked me cold. Charlie Donlea is a superb storyteller sure to damage the bestseller lists.” —Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author

“With a soaring pace and teasing plot twists, Charlie Donlea’s debut mystery is like a cool drink of water with a twist of lemon. It’s refreshing to find a book that has such a well-developed plot and excellent writing to back it up.” —BookPage


Availability for Public Speaking

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)


For press and publicity, contact:


Morgan Elwell at Kensington Publishing Corp.

119 West 40th St

New York, NY 10018

[mailto:MElwell@Kensingtonbooks.com MElwell@Kensingtonbooks.com]


For other inquiries, including film and television, contact:


Marlene Stringer at [stringerlit@comcast.net The Stringer Literary Agency]