STEVENSVILLE — It takes Robert Bidinotto a long time to write each of his suspense novels. But his slow, careful labors have paid off big.
After more than three years of work, the Grasonville author has published “Winner Takes All,” the third installment of his bestselling “Dylan Hunt” thriller series.
The novel continues the adventure of a mysterious Washington, D.C.-based reporter who lives under an alias and secretly becomes a vigilante hero. The tale also complicates his tumultuous relationships with his girlfriend, CIA officer Annie Woods, and with a pursuing homicide detective, Sgt. Ed Cronin.
Bidinotto will appear at Rams Head Shore House, 800 Main St., Stevensville, from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, to sign copies of “Winner Takes All” and his previous two novels.
“Winner Takes All” picks up the saga that Bidinotto began in his 2011 bestseller, “Hunter.” That debut title became a Wall Street Journal “Top 10 Fiction Ebook” and a No. 1 Kindle bestseller among all “Mysteries and Thrillers.” The 2014 sequel, “Bad Deeds,” was named “CLFA Book of the Year.”
All three thrillers — which contain spy, crime, mystery and romance elements — are set in and around Washington, D.C., and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
“This new novel is even bigger and more devious than either of the earlier two books,” the Grasonville author said. “And the story couldn’t be more timely. It’s about a Russian conspiracy to hijack an American presidential election.”
Bidinotto said he drew elements of the tale from the news headlines of recent years.
“The crazy presidential election of 2016, and the possibility of Russian meddling. The ongoing threat of terrorism. Controversies over ‘fake news,’ sex scandals, government harassment of private citizens, border security, leaks of classified material. It’s all here, in this novel.”
Adding to the writing challenge, Bidinotto said, was his need to develop the ongoing series characters, weaving their personal conflicts and relationships into the main plot.
“This was the hardest, most complicated writing project I’ve ever undertaken — by far,” said Bidinotto, a former award-winning journalist and magazine editor.
Like the previous books, “Winner Takes All” is garnering high ratings and praise from Amazon customers. Many say it is the best in the series.
“Bidinotto has outdone himself,” said novelist Randy C. Finch.
“Great writing and an exciting read. Highly recommended,” said Cecil County thriller author Stephen England.
International Thriller Writers — the major organization for suspense authors — will feature an interview with Bidinotto about his new novel in the March issue of its online magazine, “The Big Thrill.”
A member of the Eastern Shore Writers Association, Bidinotto is a regular speaker at its annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference at Chesapeake College. On March 10, he will give two workshops at the 2018 conference — one on suspense writing, the other on book marketing.
In addition to his Feb. 20 appearance at Rams Head Shore House, the author will speak about writing at the Kent Island branch of the Queen Anne’s County Library, 200 Library Circle, Stevensville, at 6:30 p.m. April 12.
Audiobook editions of the first two titles also can be obtained from Amazon, Audible.com and iTunes. Audible will release the audiobook edition of “Winner Takes All” in coming weeks.