Oak Park readers have spent the last week posting Facebook pictures of themselves grabbing copies of the new mystery, Broken Grace, at The Book Table, days before the book’s official launch, encouraging and reminding friends and neighbors to do the same. This is just the kind of wild local enthusiasm that blows the Oak Park author, E.C. Diskin, away. And of course she hopes that the book delivers just as her debut did.

When Diskin published her legal thriller, The Green Line, in the spring of 2013 under her own imprint, Wells Street Press, the goal of reaching a thousand readers felt lofty. But after a year and a half with an agent who couldn’t find a deal with one of the big publishers, it was time to take matters into her own hands. And with the help and excitement of enthusiastic readers who used social media to tweet, post, recommend, and review, sales took off and Thomas & Mercer, Amazon’s mystery and thriller imprint, came calling. After re-launching with T & M, the book went global, even making some Amazon bestseller lists in Germany, the U.K., and Australia.

Now, two years later, she brings us another fast-paced, terrifying tale. Though this time, it’s not a legal thriller, but a more classic mystery. And just as The Green Line’s Chicago setting was particularly fun for her local readers, Broken Grace is set in southwest Michigan, where so many Chicagoans enjoy vacations and second homes.

Advance reviews have been glowing. Windy City Reviews wrote: “The tension never relents in this five-star page turner, masterfully crafted in the best traditions of classical murder mysteries.” Fellow Chicago author, Peter Ferry, offered this glowing recommendation: “Diskin is the best and brightest new mystery writer to come along in a long time.” And one New Yorker book blogger recently tweeted a glowing review of Broken Grace, writing “Diskin may do for the Lower Peninsula of Michigan what Daniel Woodrell did for the Missouri Ozarks.” The blogger went so far as to call the book a cross between Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone and Vince Gilligan’s “Breaking Bad.” And then Diskin’s usually quiet Twitter account began blowing up with activity. The review was retweeted again, and again, and again…and again. It went on for hours, then days. This universe of artists, bloggers, readers, writers, all strangers, all with thousands of followers, shared that glowing review. “It was a strange and fascinating phenomenon to watch,” Diskin says, “because I really barely understand how to use Twitter!” She hopes that all those retweets might actually lead to sales, but of course the book only officially launched on August 25, so it’s just too soon to tell. But what all of this has proved to her is that in today’s world, power and influence is not limited to a few editors or critics of “the establishment.” Everyone has a voice and, thanks to the Internet, it can be incredibly loud.

Signed copies are available at The Book Table.

Paperback: $15.95; e-book ($4.99) and audiobook ($10.00) via Amazon.com and all major retailers.

For more information, please visit: www.ecdiskin.com.

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