Born in Lynn, MA; married; children: a daughter. Education: Attended University of New Hampshire and Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
Home—Boston, MA. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer. Taught creative writing class at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination, Mystery Writers of America, 2005, for Remembering Sarah.
Deviant Ways, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2000.
World without End, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Remembering Sarah, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2004.
The Missing: A Thriller, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2007.
The Secret Friend, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Writer Chris Mooney has penned several novels in the suspense-thriller genre. Influenced and inspired in his writing by Stephen King, Thomas Harris, and James Lee Burke, Mooney published his first novel, Deviant Ways, in 2000. Sybil Steinberg, reviewing this novel in Publishers Weekly, commented that "the familiar device of revenge killing is given horrific new twists in this gripping debut." Investigating a series of killings in which all evidence is destroyed by the crime scenes being bombed, Jack Casey of the Marblehead, Massachusetts, police battles Sandman, the serial killer responsible. Yet Casey, a former FBI profiler, has his own demons to lay to rest; he watched helplessly six years earlier as his pregnant wife was killed. Now, working with unorthodox profiler Malcolm Fletcher, Casey closes in on Sandman in this "rousing read," as Steinberg dubbed the book. For Booklist's Gary Niebuhr, Mooney's tale "rises above many run-of-the-mill serial-killer thrillers."
For his second novel, World without End, Mooney turned to the spy or techno-thriller format in a book "that rings alarmingly true," according to Booklist's Connie Fletcher. Dealing with the machinations of a fictional CIA office that deals with technology proliferation, the novel employs hardened operative Steve Conway in a hunt for a terrorist trying to steal cutting-edge optical camouflage technology that makes a person invisible. Fletcher further found Mooney's novel "timely and thought-provoking." Similarly, Jeff Zaleski, writing in Publishers Weekly, called this second outing a "nonstop action thriller." While Zaleski felt that some of Mooney's writing is "clumpy," the critic concluded that the author's "imagination leaves nothing to be desired." Likewise, Chuck Leddy, reviewing the title for Bookreporter.com, wrote that the novel is "filled with surprising twists and breathtaking turns" and that it is a "fast-paced and satisfying exploration of trust." Leddy further praised Mooney's plot, which he termed "both labyrinthine and taut." Writing for AllReaders.com, Harriet Klausner noted that Mooney's story "keeps the reader fully indulged wanting to know what next."
Mooney's third novel, Remembering Sarah, takes a new turn for the author as it features less violence and more psychological suspense. Mike Sullivan takes his daughter Sarah out sledding despite the objections of his wife, Jess. When the child goes missing, Sullivan spends the next five years searching for her, convinced that she was abducted by a defrocked priest. His marriage fails over the tragedy, and he ends up in jail for beating the ex-priest. Zaleski, writing in Publishers Weekly, commented that while the "built-in tension of the basic missing child plot is enough to carry most readers through" the book, Mooney serves up a "rather pallid solution." Similarly, Joe Hartlaub, writing for Bookreporter.com, felt that Mooney "dropped the ball with an ending that didn't quite add up." Until the final fifty pages Hartlaub found the book "riveting, enthralling, [and] scary," as well as "impossible to put down." Less conditional praise came from Ali Karim, writing for Shotsmag Online. For Karim, Remembering Sarah is a "deeply moving narrative" as well as a "harrowing tale with a real emotional punch."
Mooney's next book, The Missing: A Thriller, was called a "taut, briskly paced and thoroughly engaging page-turner" by BookLoons contributor Martina Bexte. The story revolves around the disappearance of a young girl named Carol Cranmore. Her vanishing seems to match similar disappearances of other young girls by someone that federal investigators have named "the Traveler." Boston criminal psychologist Darby McCormick finds herself on the case, which brings up demons from her own past. When she was in high school, Darby and two friends witnessed the beating and torture of a woman. When the girls go to the police, one of them ends up missing and the other is murdered right in front of Darby, who has lived the rest of her life with survivor's guilt and the fear that the perpetrator will return one day for her. Soon, Darby realizes that the Traveler may be the same murderer from her youthful experience. She has a break in the case when one of his victims escapes. Writing for Mostly Fiction, Chuck Barksdale called The Missing "a fast paced and terrific book that just can't be put down." Sarah Weinman, in a review posted on Sarahweinman.com, referred to the novel as an "excellent and scary thriller."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2000, Gary Niebuhr, review of Deviant Ways, p. 70; November 1, 2001, Connie Fletcher, review of World without End, pp. 461-462.
Publishers Weekly, September 11, 2000, Sybil Steinberg, review of Deviant Ways, p. 69; October 15, 2001, Jeff Zaleski, review of World without End, p. 45; February 9, 2004, Jeff Zaleski, review of Remembering Sarah, pp. 54-55.
AllReaders.com,http://www.allreaders.com/ (July 6, 2004), Harriet Klausner, review of World without End.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (February 11, 2008), Martina Bexte, review of The Missing: A Thriller.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (January 11, 2002), "Author Profile: Chris Mooney"; (July 6, 2004) Chuck Leddy, review of World without End, and Joe Hartlaub, review of Remembering Sarah.
Chris Mooney Home Page,http://www.chrismooneybooks.com (February 11, 2008).
Missing Web site,http://www.themissingbook.co.uk/ (February 11, 2008).
Mostly Fiction,http://www.mostlyfiction.com/ (July 1, 2007), Chuck Barksdale, review of The Missing.
Sarahweinman.com,http://www.sarahweinman.com/ (January 27, 2007), Sarah Weinman, review of The Missing.
Shotsmag Online,http://www.shotsmag.co.uk/ (April, 2004), Ali Karim, review of Remembering Sarah; (July 6, 2004) Ali Karim, interview with Mooney.