Thursday, May 23, 2013

Daniel Palmer

Today's guest post is by Kim Hammond. 

To look at him you might think he's in the music industry. Trademark black outfit, messy hair from his habit of running his hand through it, and more than a 5 o'clock shadow. To listen to him you might think he's a talk show host or newscaster. Good looks, confident smile and full of funny stories.

But Daniel Palmer is none of these. Okay, he sings and plays guitar. But right now his resume would proudly say thriller writer. His website bio sums it up pretty well at

 I'm an author (thrillers), musician (songs and such), father of two (boy and girl), husband of one, baseball fan (Red Sox), pro football fan (NE Patriots), and aspiring pet owner.

Daniel can walk into a room and capture the audience’s attention with his New England accent and disarming grin. His self-deprecating stories have you laughing along with him. Then you hear the plots of his thrillers that involve depraved human beings doing terrible acts and you may wonder how this nice boy can write such demented prose.

He came to Cleveland on May 7th, a week after his new book Stolen was released on April 30th. This evening was the last day of a short, but whirlwind promotional tour. One might think he'd just phone it in, tired and missing his family. But Palmer didn't disappoint. He spoke for almost an hour, telling the audience about his background and answering many questions.  He even shared a secret about being an aspiring pet owner.

He mentions that his first foray into writing was a romance from the guy's point of view and how no one cared about that. Then he wrote Delirious, his first stand alone thriller, and this garnered him a three book contract. 

Delirious is about a brilliant man who is going mad while people around him die. He wonders if he's the murderer. 

Next was Helpless, a book that tackles the concept of sexting and the irreparable choices a teenager can make.

Stolen is by far his best book yet. The gripping line at the opening of the first chapter gave me goose bumps.

Let me tell you how it feels to learn that your wife is going to die.

John Bodine and wife Ruby are madly in love and struggling to make ends meet. Ruby is a student at an acupuncture and herbal medicine school that teaches the healing arts. John is a video game designer who is trying to launch an online game and make it big in the world. One night, while giving Ruby a foot rub, he notices an odd patch of skin and things go downhill from there. Cancer. The good news, there's a treatment and their insurance will cover the generic drug Ruby needs to stay alive. The bad news, the generic isn't available and the insurance company won't pay for the other medicine, basically signing a death warrant for Ruby.

What John does next is against everything he believes (and everything Ruby believes in) but he has to save his wife. John steals the identity of a couple whose insurance will cover the treatment and shortly thereafter John and Ruby become Elliot and Tanya Uretsky.

Everything is going as smoothly as can be expected, until one day the phone rings and the man on the other end says he's Elliot Uretsky. The real Elliot wants them to play a game he calls Criminal and in return he won't report them to the police, and more importantly, to the insurance company now paying for Ruby's drugs.

The real Elliot plays games with them and wants to see how far he can push them into a life of crime. Everything comes with consequences, especially failing his games. If they go to the police, or anyone else for help, someone close to them will die. They're no longer worried about the insurance company discovering their deception, they're just trying to stay alive and prevent deaths.

Daniel didn’t always envision himself a writer like medical thriller author dad, Dr. Michael Palmer. But after the dot-com era, he found himself looking for a new career.  As a fan, I’m certainly glad he chose writing. All of Daniel’s books are stand alone thrillers so you don’t need to read them in a particular order. The one sad thing about reading a book you really enjoy is having to wait for the next one to come out. Right now Daniel is putting out one book a year so we’ll have to wait until 2014 to see what he has in store for us next.


  1. I love his books and wish he'd come out to Colorado for a signing!

  2. @kerryhammond - It's hard for authors to get to every part of the country for every book isn't it. I miss the old days of more book store visits.

  3. We were very lucky to get him in Cleveland. I think he'll also be at Bouchercon 2013 in Albany this Fall.