Another October, another release date. Since BAD MOON is my second book, you would think I’d be used to it. But nope, I’m not. BAD MOON’s publication date feels as surreal as DEATH NOTICE’s did last year.

For readers, the release date is a chance for them to rush to their local stores (or, let’s face it, pick up their e-readers) and buy the latest from one of their favorite authors.

For authors, the pub date marks the end of a long, long road that probably began years earlier. I started preliminary research work on BAD MOON in May 2009. I wrote the bulk of it between March and August 2010. I took it to bed with me, writing late into the night. I took it on vacation with me, typing away on my laptop in a hotel in Walt Disney World. I took it to work, editing and revising the manuscript while my boss wasn’t looking. I loved it, hated it, loved it again, stopped caring because I just wanted to get it finished, then fell in love with it all over again.

Now it’s done. And available all over the country. And readers can get it in their hands, devour it and tell me what they think. Some critics already have, and I’m (no pun intended) over the moon about their reviews.

Here’s a sampling:

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Finally, it’s open season on a serial killer who’s gone undetected for years.

Perry Hollow, Pa., Police Chief Kat Campbell pitches in to help former state police officer Nick Donnelly solve a cold case. Years ago, when Kat’s father was chief, young Charlie Olmstead went missing. After his bike was found at the bottom of a waterfall, he was presumed drowned even though no body was ever found. Now his younger brother, famous author Eric Olmstead, is back in town to bury his mother. Her dying wish was for him to find Charlie, whom she always believed was still alive. Nick, injured and tossed out of the state police, now runs an agency specializing in cold cases. He is hired by Eric, whose high-school romance with Kat came to an abrupt end when he skipped town after graduation. Now the three team up to reopen the investigation of Charlie’s disappearance. A map and news clippings discovered in Eric’s house make the trio suspect that Charlie was just one of a series of vanished young boys. Now that the hard questions are being asked, a great deal of information missed in the original investigations, all thought to be accidents, is turning up—clues that may provide closure for grieving relatives.

Kat and Nick’s second (Death Notice, 2010) draws you in irresistibly and doesn’t spit you out till the very end, your head spinning with surprising revelations.”

Library Journal (starred review)

“July 20, 1969, was the day Neil Armstrong  walked on the moon, but it’s also the night that ten-year-old Charlie Olmstead, a boy entranced with all things NASA-related, disappeared. It looked like a case of drowning when his bicycle was found abandoned by a local waterfall that night: case closed. Turns out, however, his grieving mother never thought he drowned. After her death some 40 years later, Eric, the surviving son, discovers her copious research that indicates other young boys’ disappearances were tied to subsequent Apollo moon landings. Fully focused now, Eric, along with local police chief Kat Campbell and independent investigator Nick Donnelly, finds himself pursuing connections across rural Pennsylvania. What’s hardest to figure out is who had that much motivation and anger. VERDICT: Ritter’s second outing (after Death Notice) will captivate readers with a tone reminiscent of John Hart (Down River) and Chelsea Cain (The Night Season). Ritter was on ThrillerFest’s Debut Authors Class of 2010/11 panel. Catch him now!”

Publishers Weekly

“In Ritter’s compelling second mystery featuring Perry Hollow, Pa., police chief Kat Campbell (after 2010’s Death Notice), Eric Olmstead, a successful author and Kat’s former high school flame who’s recently returned to the area, asks Kat to look into the disappearance of his brother, Charlie, who went missing at age nine 40 years earlier, during the first moon landing. Kat uncovers not just one missing boy but several, all of whom disappeared during moon landings. As the evidence mounts, Kat must balance her duties as top cop and single parent to James, her fifth grader, who doesn’t appreciate her all-consuming passion for her work. Ritter does a fine job evoking the dreams, mores, and political upheavals of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, along with the evolution of the U.S. space program and its deceleration in the 2010s. Readers will find themselves ensnared by this unusual tale of love, loss, enduring pain, and betrayal.”

Now it’s your turn, readers. If you plan on reading BAD MOON — and I sincerely hope you do — be sure to tell me about it when you’re done. My e-mail address is I hope to see note from a whole bunch of you.

Until then, I sincerely hope you enjoy BAD MOON. I worked hard on it and I incredibly proud of the end result. Happy reading!

Posted on by Todd Posted in Featured, News

Comments are closed.