BOOKS:

Stand-Alone Thrillers:

[cover image]Other Eyes
Published by Tor/Forge
January 2011
Armed with evidence from ancient peoples, Blue Eriksen, a famous forensic archaeologist based at Northwestern University, has become convinced that psilocybin—a hallucinogen derived from mushrooms—can prevent or cure drug addiction. She hopes to develop testing and treatment centers. Leeuwarden Ltd., the cover name for a deeply secret international organization that facilitates the production, delivery and sale of illegal drugs worldwide, considers Blue a long-term threat and sends one of their enforcers to kill her. Blue has no idea she's being stalked and prepares for a dig high in the Peruvian mountains...
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[cover image]Foolproof
By Barbara D'Amato, Jeanne M. Dams and Mark Richard Zubro
Published by Tor/Forge
December 2009
The Constitution guarantees our right to elect our leaders. But what happens when one supremely evil man decides to steal that right? In a search involving Washington D.C., Egypt, Italy, and Turkey, Brenda Grant and Daniel Henderson uncover a plot to steal the Presidential election using cutting-edge balloting software—a plot that involves the highest strata of U.S. and threatens democracy worldwide.

[cover image]Death of a Thousand Cuts
Published by Forge
June 2004
The Hawthorne House School for the Treatment of Autistic Children was once known for its pioneering approach and remarkable success rate. Now, fifteen years after the school closed its door for the last time, the staff and former residents have returned to celebrate its first-ever reunion. But the gala event turns into a bloody nightmare when the House's revered founder, Dr. Jay Schermerhorn, is found tortured to death in the basement. Teacher, healer, and bestselling author, Schermerhorn enjoyed a worldwide reputation for his innovative methods and compassionate treatment of autistic children. So who hated him enough to kill him—and why?
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[cover image]White Male Infant
Published by Forge
June 2002
Surgical pathologist Dooley McSweeny and his wife dearly love the son they adopted from Russia four years ago. But when medical tests indicate that their little boy could not possibly have come from Russia, the couple is plunged into the dark, complex, and emotionally fraught world of international adoption. Who is their son? Where did he come from? How did he come to them? The answers to these questions threaten to destroy their marriage, their happiness—and their lives... "This versatile author has always had the ability to raise goose bumps, but in this stand-alone thriller she makes our spines absolutely tingle." (Publishers Weekly)
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Chicago Police Series:

[cover image]Authorized Personnel Only
Published by Forge
December 2000
For Chicago cop Suze Figueroa, home is a sanctuary, a quiet refuge from the crime, corruption, and tragedy she encounters every day on the job. The truth is far more terrifying, for unknown to Suze, a stranger has moved into the house: an intruder who waits in the attic by day and prowls her home at night, spying on both the unsuspecting adults and the defenseless children. While Suze spends her workday tracking down an elusive serial killer, she has no idea that a much more personal threat lives under her own roof...
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[cover image]Help Me Please
Published by Forge
September 1999
An hour and a half after three-year-old Danielle Gaston is kidnapped, a new site pops up on the World Wide Web—featuring Danielle Gaston. She's isolated in a room with no food and only water to drink. This live-action Web page is available to all net users around the world and is soon rebroadcast on CNN and other television networks. Since Danielle is the only child of a popular country and western singer and a senator, her case is a high profile one—and likely to end in heartbreak. Unless Deputy Chief of Detectives Polly Kelly can crack the case before the child is harmed.
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[cover image]Good Cop, Bad Cop
Published by Forge
March 1998
Chicago Police Superintendent Nick Bertolucci is a tough top cop. But he has a dangerous enemy on the force: his brother Aldo. Aldo is a beat copy who is eaten up by jealousy and resentment of Nick's success. He gets his chance to sabotage his brother's career when records turn up concerning an illegal raid on a Black Panther household back in 1969. When Aldo tries to connect Nick to the scandal, his scheme threatens to collapse the Chicago Police Department, and his own family, from the inside out.
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[cover image]Killer.app
Published by Forge
March 1996
To Chicago cop Suze Figueroa, cyberspy is not in her job description—until a mysterious accident sends her computer engineer sister into a coma. Targeted by a network of online henchmen and ruthless flesh-and-blood assassins, Suze uncovers a plan far more sophisticated and insidious than she could have imagined, and finds herself in a race to stop a computer genius from taking control of the information age...
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Cat Marsala Series:

coverHard Road
Published by Scribner
August 2001
The story begins at a big centennial Oz festival in Chicago's Grant Park. Investigative reporter Cat Marsala rediscovers the wonderful world of Oz when she takes her six-year-old nephew Jeremy to meet Dorothy and the Tin Man and to explore the Yellow Brick Road and the Emerald City. Meanwhile, Cat's brother Barry, a professional events organizer, confers with dignitaries. But suddenly a day of pure delight turns into a scene of horror. Cat and Jeremy witness a murder, and the chief suspect is a man they both love—Barry. He can't be the killer, but Cat also can't deny what she saw with her own eyes... "Delightful... Follow the yellow brick road to your favorite bookseller for this one." (Publishers Weekly)
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coverHard Evidence
Published by Scribner
May 1999
It starts with a soup bone. Chicago freelance journalist Cat Marsala, relaxing at home after a long week's work reporting on the city's best restaurants, looks forward to a quiet evening with her semi-significant other, Dr. Sam Davidian, and her temporary houseguest, a Dalmatian named Dapper. As a special treat, Cat buys Dapper his very own soup bone at Chicago's most elegant and exotic food emporium, Spenser and Angelotti. The Dalmatian is delighted with his bone, but his euphoria is short-lived when Sam, a trauma surgeon, snatches the bone away. One close look tells Sam that he and Cat will not enjoy the romantic evening they'd planned—the bone is human... "The driest and wittiest food mystery of the season." (Kirkus Reviews)
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coverHard Bargain
Published by Scribner
September 1997
When a Chicago policewoman catches a fellow officer in the act of attacking his wife and shoots him, Chicago investigative reporter Cat Marsala tries to piece together the truth behind the event, which ignites a media frenzy. "Barbara D'Amato's books about Chicago's own Cat Marsala are full of all sorts of pleasures: strong, plausible plots with action scenes that grow naturally from the storyline and don't seem pasted on to add drama; a dead-on feel for the highs, lows, and everyday mediums of life in the city; an awareness that hot-button issues need real people to make them interesting." (Chicago Tribune)

coverHard Christmas
Published by Scribner
October 1995
When journalist-turned-sleuth Cat Marsala finds shady dealings on the DeGraaf Christmas tree farm and a fresh corpse turns up, she is sure that the family closet is full of other skeletons and becomes determined to get to the bottom of it all. "D'Amato's fine writing, clever plot twists, and quick wit, her nicely understated but telling comments on the vagaries of human nature, and most of all, her appealing heroine make this book a perfect holiday read." (Booklist)

coverHard Case
Published by Scribner
September 1994
Chicago freelance journalist Cat Marsala is back, this time investigating the life-and-death drama of a big city trauma center. Dr. Hannah Grant, director of the center, had graciously welcomed Cat, so it's a particular shock when Dr. Grant is found murdered in the staff lounge, a gauze pad stuffed down her throat. Because the unit is isolated from the rest of the hospital complex, Cat knows one of the staff must be the killer. When Cat finally discovers the trauma center's darkest secret, she must fight for her own life, stalked through the hospital kitchens by a desperate killer. "A riveting read that will please current Cat lovers and attract new fans for this entertaining series." (Booklist)

coverHard Women
Published by Scribner
April 1993
Nobody cares much about a dead hooker... nobody but Chicago journalist Cat Marsala, who had befriended Sandra Love, the frail young woman who now lies dead in a gutter near Cat's apartment. Sandra's murder sends Cat on the quest for a killer and for a deeper understanding of the netherworld of Chicago prostitution. "A sense of characters and places mirroring reality so well that a reader is not conscious of the storytelling structure a craftsman must impose on events. D'Amato retains her touch for red herrings in a tantalizing puzzle. I have seldom been so certain who would be revealed as the killer, and I have seldom been so wrong." (Chicago Sun-Times)

coverHard Luck
Published by Scribner
May 1992
Cat Marsala investigates the mysterious suicide of a state lottery official—and becomes a target of an odds-obsessed killer. "In the fast and furious final action, the small but feisty Marsala is on her own in eluding and then capturing a ruthless killer. D'Amato's descriptions of state lottery problems and procedures are factual and fascinating, and her characters—both series regulars and lottery folk—are lively and believable. Odds are most readers will enjoy Hard Luck; it's definitely a winning number." (Booklist)

coverHard Tack
Published by Scribner
June 1991
Cat Marsala hates boats and water—but she will go almost anywhere for a good story. When millionaire furniture manufacturer Will Honeywell and his sleekly attractive wife, Belinda, invite Cat aboard their luxury yacht, she reluctantly obliges. But Cat is soon searching for a killer when one of the Honeywells' high-profile guests is found murdered. "Cat Marsala, who scored well on her first time around, proves her mettle on her second appearance... Cat needs shrewdness and courage to solve the crime, and she has these in good measure. But her sense of humor and naturalness are what will win readers' hearts." (Publishers Weekly)

coverHardball
Published by Scribner
June 1990
As head of Common Sense, an organization to repeal Illinois' drug laws, Louise Sugarman had earned the wrath of the PTA, police and church groups all over Chicago. Cat Marsala smelled a great interview—but then a bomb killed Louise and almost killed Cat... in a room filled with Sugarman's bitterest opposition, including Cat's Uncle Ben, head of Parents Against Substance Abuse. Now Cat is hungry for more than a story... she wants to nail a killer. "Every facet of Hardball is a stunning success... The mystery and its solution are faultless. Top notch!" (The Drood Review of Mystery)

 

coverShort Story Collection:

Of Course You Know That Chocolate Is a Vegetable and Other Stories
Published by Five Star
June 2000
A collection of 12 short stories, including the prize-winning title story, two Cat Marsala tales ("See No Evil" and "Freedom of the Press"), six Suze Figueroa stories ("Hard Feelings," "The Lower Wacker Hilton," "Shelved," "Soon to Be a Minor Motion Picture," "If You've Got the Money, Honey, I've Got the Crime" and "Stop, Thief!"), and more.

 

Gerritt DeGraaf Series:

coverThe Eyes on Utopia Murders
Published by Ace
December 1981
Murder in a beautiful soutrthwest retirement community. With forensic pathologist Gerritt DeGraaf. "The Most Peaceful Town in the World," boasts the sign leading to the quiet adult community of Young Lake. And it was, until they started shooting across the generation gap.

The Hands of Healing Murder
Published by Charter
June 1980
A locked room murder introducing forensic pathologist Gerritt DeGraaf. No one came into the room, no one left the card game, but Dr. Adam Cotton was killed.

 

Other Books:

coverOn My Honor
Published by Five Star
March 2004
Originally published in 1989 by Pinnacle under the pen name Malacai Black
Samantha Lawton, recently separated, is raising two sons by herself. Fortunately, they're in Boy Scouts, and, with no father in the house, she is glad they have positive male role models. After a series of fatal accidents, however, she starts having second thoughts—and these second thoughts grow stronger after a Scout is seen in the area of another "accident." Determined to protect her children by getting to the bottom of things, Samantha soon finds herself in trouble, and has to learn who is doing this before her own sons end up as suspects—or, worse, before they end up victims themselves.

coverThe Doctor, the Murder, the Mystery: The True Story of the Dr. John Branion Murder Case
Published by Noble Press
1992; reprinted in 2000
In 1968, Dr. John Branion was found guilty of murdering his wife in their posh Chicago home. After exhausting his appeals, he evaded authorites by fleeing to Africa. He was finally captured in 1983—but his case was far from over. It would take another seven years for Dr. Branion to prove that he was innocent—and that those who prosecuted him had known it all along. Winner of the 1992 Anthony Award for Best True Crime Book.

 

© Barbara D'Amato. Photo of Barb by David Lasker.