John Searles is an award-winning author of four thrillers. His second, Strange But True, was adapted into a feature film in 2019, starring Nick Robinson, Amy Ryan, and Brian Cox. His third, Help for the Haunted, won the American Library Association’s Alex Award and was named a best crime novel of the year by the Boston Globe. Searles’s latest, Her Last Affair (Custom House, March 22), capitalizes on its spooky abandoned drive-in theater setting as it follows three seemingly unrelated characters through a series of twisted, unexpected events.

From the Kirkus review of Her Last Affair: “The three points of view are initially quite disconnected, and it can be difficult to keep track of the disparate stories at first. But when they finally do converge, the result is satisfying, with a twist that’s hard to see coming. Searles creates convincingly desperate, isolated people who would do anything to feel loved.”

In this video interview, conducted over Zoom, Searles discusses his love of intense and complicated characters; talks about the secrets of his writing routine (“early mornings, legal pads, bathtubs, airplanes”); and gives readers a hint of what they can look forward to in his next thriller.