Born in Algonquin, IL. Education: Attended Purdue University and Chapman University Film School; Loyola University, graduated.
Agent—David Hale Smith, DHS Literary, Inc., 10711 Preston Rd., Ste. 100, Dallas, TX 75230. E-mail—[email protected]
Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime.
Edgar Award for best first novel by an American author, Mystery Writers of America, 2006, for Officer Down.
Officer Down (crime novel), St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2005.
Probable Cause (crime novel), St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2007.
Theresa Schwegel garnered an Edgar Award for her debut novel, Officer Down. The work centers on Samantha "Smack" Mack, a hard-drinking Chicago police officer who finds herself embroiled in controversy after a shoot-out goes horribly wrong. Patrolling the city's north side, Mack and her partner, Fred, enter a dark apartment to arrest a child molester. Shots are fired, and Mack later awakens in the hospital to learn that her partner has been killed with a bullet from Mack's own gun. Though the department decrees that Fred's death is due to "friendly fire," Mack refuses to accept the verdict and sets out to find the real killer. "Smack's voice is rough and real," noted a contributor to Publishers Weekly, "conveying both her tough cookie persona and the authentic emotions behind her street face." According to Booklist reviewer Connie Fletcher, "Credible cop background and evocative Chicago scenes add to the pleasures of this memorable first novel."
In Probable Cause, Chicago patrolman Ray Weiss reluctantly agrees to rob a jewelry store as part of his rookie initiation rite. When Weiss finds that the shop owner has been murdered, he is pressured by his fellow officers into making a false arrest. "Schwegel has no trouble winning sympathy for Ray," remarked New York Times Book Review critic Marilyn Stasio, "whose awed love for his emotionally distant father and idealistic faith in the honor of his job make him sweet as well as vulnerable." A Kirkus Reviews critic described Probable Cause as a "solidly written coming-of-age tale with an endearing and believable hero."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August 1, 2005, Connie Fletcher, review of Officer Down, p. 2003.
Books, January 14, 2007, Dick Adler, review of Probable Cause, p. 8.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006, review of Probable Cause, p. 872.
Library Journal, November 15, 2006, Ann Forister, review of Probable Cause, p. 60.
New York Times Book Review, January 14, 2007, Marilyn Stasio, "Rookie Blues," review of Probable Cause.
Publishers Weekly, July 18, 2005, review of Officer Down, p. 181; October 9, 2006, review of Probable Cause, p. 38.
Mystery Ink Online,http://www.mysteryinkonline.com/ (June 20, 2007), David J. Montgomery, review of Officer Down.
Theresa Schwegel Home Page,http://www.theresaschwegel.com (June 20, 2007).