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Christopher Bollen Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Lightning People (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Orient (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Destroyers (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Christopher Bollen is an American author from Cincinnati, Ohio currently living in New York, who loves to write contemporary suspense thrillers. Bollen went to a Catholic high school before proceeding to New York, where he went to Columbia University. After finishing his college studies, he got a job with some lesser-known magazines including Interview, a magazine at which he remains a freelance editor. His work with magazines gave him much insight into literature, fashion, and art that would later come in handy in providing practical training in both his fiction and non-fiction career. Having never gotten his MFA, the job that he held with Interview served as his substitute for graduate school. From his work with the magazine, he got to speak with the greats in the magazine worlds such as Toni Morrison and Normal Mailer that made him a better writer. Moreover, he asserts that editing dialogue made him better at writing dialogue, which was reflected in his fiction writing. His work in “The Destroyers: shows his incredible skill with dialogue as the characters communicate in highly realistic passages that instead of having the expository quality often seen in the genre adopt a more ruminative feel. He writes of interesting people – people that instead of being entertained are entertaining, people that are more like destinations.

Christopher Bollen’s novels are psychologically probing and expansive novels written in the manner of Franzen, Eugenides, and Updike. He first fell in love with the murder mystery while he was in the sixth grade. Bollen was obsessed with Agatha Christie and her novel “Ten Little Indians” is a great influence on him. In his mind, the murder mystery was always the superior type of writing for its structure, and he always believed that he would one day get to write one. Nonetheless, he never thought he would write his first mystery so young and it was quite a pleasant surprise when he published his first novel “Orient” in 2015, which went on to become an overnight bestseller. His novels are the archetypal horror stories where people are mysteriously dropping dead in secluded locations and environments. Even as the descriptions of the life of the elite in society are so vivid and spot on, Bollen likes to describe himself as a writer from a middle class background. However, the notion of children that remain children forever to enjoy their parents’ money is a notion that he is much interested in. However, given his middle class upbringing he has asserted that not having the money can be an advantage to a writer. In fact, he has asserted that writing even for a professional writer like him is never fun. It is the lack of money and the struggle to make it as a writer that drives him.

Christopher Bollen’s novel “Orient” is a murder mystery set in a rural community, a village named Orient on Long Island. It is the familiar trope of fashionable outsiders with their money and obnoxious habits rolling into the neighborhood of the plain speaking common folk, which inevitably leads to conflict. The local residents’ pitchforks soon come out as they believe that if they do not do anything, it is only a matter of time before they lose their family values, tradition, and birthright to the haughty rich. Similar to Daisy’s East Egg or Gatsby’s West Egg, the story is the real life invasion of Orient Point town on Long Island. Orient Point is being transformed from its old ways to make way for the cavalier artists that are buying the expensive shoreline properties and transforming the town into their own image. Even as the newcomers for the most part believe they are a force for good, it is soon clear that they are paving a road to hell. “The Destroyers”, one of Bollen’s most popular titles is a masterful and slow burning thriller with crepuscular characters. With its metallic tasting blood, vodka, waxed wooden decks, and gleaming seas provides a delicious tension that almost resembles the sexual in its luxuriousness. Similar to his first novel, “The Destroyers” is set in an idyllic location, which suddenly becomes embroiled in crisis. Set on a Mediterranean island, the quaint settings are disrupted by the Mediterranean refugee crisis and the Greek economic crash. Bollen writes a narrative with marvelous turns of phrase with each mysterious moment sexy and painful, yet at the same time alluringly repulsive.

“Orient” is a gripping novel of murder and culture clash in a small Long Island town that suddenly finds itself confronting a series of mysterious murders. Located on the northeast tip of Long Island, Orient is one of the eastern board’s and New York’s oldest towns now under threat from the influx of wealthy artists from Manhattan. It is an idyllic place to live until the body of a local man is found floating in the bay on the day a body of an animal presumed to come from a nearby research laboratory is also found on the beach. With rumors and speculation all over town, Mills Chevern a tumbleweed orphan and a loner who is the town’s newest arrival becomes the chief suspect. With the fear and tension in town rising to a crescendo, Mills gets a break when Beth a native of Orient hires him to assist in trying to unravel the murder mystery. But with the clock ticking, time is running out for Beth and Mills to track down and find answers to mysterious murder. Rich with incident and character, Orient is a highly enthralling novel that would make a good afternoon read.

“Lightning People”, Christopher Bollen’s debut novel is a story of the anxiety and loss of Joseph Guiteau an actor who moved to the city to get away from a tragic family history. Trying to make sense of his personal history and that of world events, he attends the meetings of conspiracy groups as he wander through a New York transformed by the terrorist attacks of September 11. His marriage, which is one of the things holding him together, is under threat from a dark secret that could separate him from Del his wife forever. Josephs marriage influences the lives of many people around him including a young entrepreneur Madi who faces up to the morality of running an international business; William a troubled and dark actor whose career and sanity is on a downward spiral; and Raja a promising photographer that also happens to be Del’s former lover. “Lightning People” is a story of New York City and the interconnected lives of the people trying to navigate their own mortality and the borough of Manhattan.

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