April Smith, author of the Ana Grey Mystery Series and other books.

April Smith Home Sweet Home

“April Smith’s terrific new novel opens with a brutal 1985 attack on a family in a small South Dakota town, then flashes back to 1950 when the husband (a WWII pilot) and his wife first left new York City with their two small children for a new life in Rapid City, SD.

Cal and Betsy Kusek, invited west by a fellow veteran and sponsored by his parents, appreciate the hospitality, but the virulent fear of communism — just being a Democrat raises suspicion — among the locals shocks them. Although he’s an attorney, Cal builds a ranch while Betsy helps the local doctor as a visiting nurse. She worries, though, that her flirtation with the Communist Party will hinder Cal’s burgeoning political career. Smith illuminates the force of McCarthyism-generated fear in the Midwest and effectively personalizes it through the persecution the Kusak family endures for their liberal beliefs. The author also skillfully ties together the two time periods, avoiding melodrama.”

–Publishers Weekly


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The FBI Special Agent Ana Grey Mystery Thrillers

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"Smith has produced a genuinely scarifying thriller
with a consistently vertiginous, through the looking glass mood.
Every character is a hologram of sorts and every episode
has the momentum of a theme-park ride. One of Smith’s
cleverest tricks here is her unsettling depiction
of unlikely alliances: Ana turns out to have more in
common with the villain than she might ever have imagined."

Los Angeles Times

"April Smith provides all the elements of a great mystery:
pointed dialogue, vivid characters and a rocket-propelled
narrative. Ana Grey is so real it feels as though you are
sitting next to her in her muscle car. You won't be able
to stop rooting for her -- or stop reading."

People Magazine

"Four critically acclaimed novels, published by Knopf,
edited by the famed Sonny Mehta, and a deal to adapt
one of her own novels for television could make
Smith the perfect protagonist of her own thriller.
Of course, having many friends in the FBI and having
participated in training scenarios at the FBI Academy
in Quantico, Virginia, could make her a bit of a hard target."

The Big Thrill

“In a stunningly assured debut, Smith has produced
a crime thriller distinguished by an unflagging pace,
authoritative use of detail and an appealing heroine.
In vigorous, literate prose, Smith delivers characters
of depth dimension who inhabit the wildly diverse
worlds of Southern California, each rendered
with a cinematic eye.”

Publisher's Weekly

“White Shotgun is a novel about redemption and growth,
and the healing power of love and acceptance.
This is April Smith’s talent and skill at work
creating not only a balls-to-the-wall crime thriller,
but a full-blown novel of depth and richness.
This is Smith, the writer, showing us how it’s done.”

Robert Crais

“Although Ana is not your conventional heroine, with her unbridled
passions and addiction to ''the pure oxygen of risk, of going
over the edge," it's hard to peel your eyes from her --
especially when she persists in pursuing Juliana's attacker
while standing trial for attempted murder. A risk taker herself,
Smith writes in the forceful style of a true literary maverick,
someone who has earned the right to break a few rules.”

The New York Times