Press for Black Swan Rising

San Diego, Calif., newswoman Casey Cheng, the heroine of this riveting thriller from Brackmann (Go-Between), researches an article exploring the effects of a mass shooting, perpetrated by Alan Chastain, on his victims. She was one of them, shot in the back. Once she recovers from her wounds, Casey interviews Alan’s mother, who allows her to inspect Alan’s bedroom. She finds a graphic novel there that leads her to Lucas Derry, who later attempts to assassinate Matt Cason, a local Congressman up for reelection. When a photo taken at the scene of the shooting showing Matt’s campaign worker Sarah Price attempting to save a collateral victim later goes viral, Sarah is devastated, afraid her secret past will be revealed. That outcome threatens to disrupt the life and career she has created, and possibly to derail Matt’s campaign. A vicious series of posts on social media, spurred by online provocateurs of violence named the True Men Movement, call for the disruption of the upcoming national elections. Despite threats to their safety, Sarah and Casey carry on. Readers will furiously turn the pages to see how it all ends. — PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

“Brackmann has worked as a presidential-campaign researcher, which enriches this thriller about two young women caught up in what becomes a dangerous congressional election. Sarah Price has a secret past that has resulted in hateful cyberstalking. She has moved to San Diego, changed her identity, and now works for a local political candidate. Casey Cheng is struggling to get her career as a television reporter back on track after being seriously injured in a mass shooting. In a bold move, she begins an on-air investigation into the man who nearly killed her. She finds that he had a connection to #TrueMen, a network of racist, misogynistic online Twitter trolls that may have plans to disrupt the political campaign, When Sarah’s past is outed, she and Casey start working together to uncover and expose the hate group. The violence against the two women, as well as against the campaign workers and even the candidates themselves, escalates as #TrueMen turns its threats into action. An absorbing and apocalyptic vision of American politics that leaves the reader hoping it will never come to this. — Jane Murphy–BOOKLIST

Brackmann’s novel isn’t only dark and foreboding, it’s also human and humane. The characters take us along this difficult journey through their compelling personal engagement with what’s going on. And the action of the novel doesn’t indulge in the cliches of the genre: The twists and turns of the plot are uniquely Brackmann’s.

Brackmann’s previous two series, one set in the gaming and art worlds of China, the other a more straightforward pair of noir novels set in the drug trade of Mexico, the southern and western U.S., establish the writer’s conversational narrative voice, which continues in Black Swan, but the new novel has more urgency and more contemporary impact, as if this is a novel that Brackmann had to write. I don’t know of any other book that captures the actual social and cyber threats to democracy in the U.S. so effectively. We can hope for more, whether a sequel or a new angle on our times in future books. — Glenn Harper, INTERNATIONAL NOIR FICTION

…although Brackmann has whipped out a stinging political thriller with a striking female angle, she’s also done something much more. The power of this crime novel resonates like a Margaret Atwood speculation on threat of our future — pulled much closer. Like, to next month. — Beth Kanell, Kingdom Books

…Stunning…[Brackmann’s] use of tweets and viral video accounts make Black Swan Rising read like a particularly dark chapter of a perilous future.–Jim Ruland, San Diego CityBeat

…let’s say, hypothetically, that we want to live in a world where men don’t mow down dozens of strangers with assault rifles or feel entitled to women’s bodies. How do we have a real conversation about change? This is the challenge that Lisa Brackmann embraces in her latest thriller, Black Swan Rising…Brackmann sets up a difficult tightrope to walk. Sarah and Casey could easily become mouthpieces for the author; the book could easily become preachy and dull. It could feel like one more voice shouting at us from an entrenched position. Brackmann—the author of the New York Times bestseller Rock, Paper, Tiger—is too skilled for that…Through it all, the plot moves like a roller coaster. You get pinned to your seat and flung at increasing speed down a track that feels like it could throw you at any second. It’s exciting. You find yourself at the end way too quickly…The ending itself is a surprise and a risk, but, for me, totally satisfying. Sean Carswell, Arizona Daily Sun

…Black Swan Rising is a suspense novel steeped in the fierce anxieties and terrible realities of contemporary life. Author Lisa Brackmann writes a tremendous book, expertly leading the reader through one terribly plausible event after another, weaving a familiar present. After we have turned the last page and closed the book, we wonder, sadly, if in this work of fiction she is documenting the inevitable…
…Engrossing and provocative, the novel truly lives up to its title. Black Swan Rising is a contemporary thriller with an apposite title: we don’t see it coming, we don’t see it coming, until we close the book and wonder, why hasn’t this already happened?” Désirée Zamorano, Los Angeles Review of Books

Lisa Brackmann writes with passion, guts, and heart. BLACK SWAN RISING is more than just a thrilling read—it’s also an unflinching examination of the corrosive effects of racism and misogyny on American culture. I’d call it timely if it weren’t so evergreen. — Chris Holm, Anthony Award winning author of THE KILLING KIND”

BLACK SWAN RISING is a terrifying novel that focuses on a political campaign plagued by gun violence and misogyny. It cuts deep in a way that is all too distressingly believable, but Brackman’s smart prose and winning female protagonists go a long way towards fighting the darkness. — Steph Cha, author of Dead Soon Enough

Fierce, fearsome, and distressingly relevant, with three compelling female leads and a storyline straight out of your very worst Twitter mentions, Black Swan Rising is a showcase for Brackmann’s sharp prose and dry, trademark wit. — Elizabeth Little, Los Angeles Times–bestselling author of Dear Daughter

If you want to learn about the inner workings of a political campaign, local TV news, and social media, all wrapped up in a riveting thriller that’s impossible to put down, you will love Black Swan Rising. I did. But this novel is more than just a great story. With her smooth, unflinching prose and three-dimensional characters who are as flawed as they are noble, Lisa Brackmann deftly juggles idealism, rage, despair, and cynicism as they hurtle forward and ultimately converge. Simply put, Black Swan Rising is a must-read for everyone who cares about what’s happening in our country. — Libby Fischer Hellmann, Author of Set The Night on Fire

Lisa Brackmann pulls no punches. Black Swan Rising is full throttle from the very first sentence. A mass-shooting, cyber-stalking, racism, misogyny, and political deceit: It all comes together in an urgent story that vibrates with suspense. Pulse-pounding and thought-provoking, Black Swan Rising is a smart thriller that captures the heat of our country’s moral and civic battles. — Kim Fay, author of The Map of Lost Memories, an Edgar Award Finalist for Best First Novel

In BLACK SWAN RISING Lisa Brackmann has written an important book that looks at where our currently divided political climate could take us, and where it already has. When young campaign staffer Sarah Price joins Matt Carson’s re-election campaign, she hopes to do some good. But after a shooting that appears to target the congressman thrusts Sarah into the limelight, her past may rear up to harm her and the campaign. Add in a new “revolution” among disaffected white men, and you’ve got all the elements of a ripping thriller. A must read. — Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Fractured and The Good Liar

“BLACK SWAN is as devious as it is elegant. A raw and masterful mystery thriller that explores the real darkness of the human soul. Brava!” — Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of V-WARS and GLIMPSE

“Lisa Brackmann’s BLACK SWAN RISING is a savvy, riveting thriller that’s also deeply human, with characters who are as authentic as they are compelling.” — Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone

Reading BLACK SWAN RISING is like peering into a dark mirror that perfectly captures the societal turmoil and fractures of our time. Thrilling and provocative, this is Lisa Brackmann is at the top of her game. — Hilary Davidson, Anthony Award–winning author of One Small Sacrifice

Black Swan Rising is more than the sum of its parts. More than political drama, personal struggle, or the looming menace of gun violence. In this gripping novel, Lisa Brackmann tells not just the harrowing story of two women impacted by a mass shooting but the story of America’s deadly love affair with guns. — Bryn Greenwood, New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

At the intersection of current issues and events, BLACK SWAN RISING is a gripping story that rockets forward with action and suspense, but leaves a wake of things to think about. Lisa Brackmann makes us care in fiction in such a riveting way that it spurs us to also care right out here in the open in our daily lives. This is the sort of rare convergence that makes for a big hit. — Jamie Mason, author of Three Graves Full, Monday’s Lie