REVIEWS & PRAISE
FOR THE DEPTHS:
"The Depths is a wonderful novel: lyrical, yet still relentless and utterly engrossing. Few writers have explored the ragged fault line where western sensibilities struggle with the enigmas of Asia, and absolutely no one has done it better than this."
– Jake Needham, author of the Jack Shepherd and Inspector Samuel Tay novels
"Kjeldsen's short novel moves at a blistering pace, putting Marah through one ordeal after another... This tense, haunting tale gives readers front-row seats to the protagonist's torment."
– Kirkus Reviews
"A sensational book – an absolute fever blister of a thriller that manages also to be a fine, nearly heartbreaking character study. I'll be recommending it all year."
– Timothy Hallinan, author of the Poke Rafferty and Junior Bender novels
"The Depths is everything you look for in a literary thriller: transporting, suspenseful, beautifully-written, and above all soaked in every type and shade of dread you can possibly imagine."
– Estep Nagy, author of We Shall Not All Sleep
"A gut-punch of a thriller, wickedly paced and beautifully rendered."
– Peter Swanson, author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing
"Note to literary thriller fans: If you haven't discovered Kirk Kjeldsen, it's time. Unlike some overwritten, hyped-up, device-laden novels in the genre, Kjeldsen's novels are thoughtfully plotted, spare in the telling and beautifully written. The Depths is not merely a compelling thriller with unexpected turns, but a study of a psychologically tormented woman who must plumb her own depths to save herself and her husband... His meticulous attention to language makes for a story that is as pictorial as it is riveting."
– New Jersey Star-Ledger
"A holiday gone wrong, and every traveler's worst nightmare when a couple is kidnapped while on vacation in Malaysia. Kirk Kjeldsen delivers in The Depths – a tense and action-packed story that seems built for the big screen. Breathless suspense!"
– Kimberly Belle, author of The Marriage Lie and Three Days Missing
"Kjeldsen drops us into the darkest abyss – that expanding chasm between an estranged husband and wife, powerless to protect one another, or connect, in the most excruciating of circumstances. Unflinching and raw in its prose, The Depths takes 'til death do us part to its most terrifying fathomage... and never resurfaces."
– Clay McLeod Chapman, author of Miss Corpus and Rest Area
"With strong prose and stunning imagery, The Depths takes the thriller genre to the next level... a pleasurable read, immensely satisfying in its suspense."
"Kirk Kjeldsen's latest is a totally engrossing kidnapping story that careens through the wilds of Malaysia to a violent, twisty, satisfying conclusion. Genuinely horrifying, yet a fun read."
– Alan Hruska, author of Pardon the Ravens, Wrong Man Running, and It Happened at Two in the Morning
"A dark, engaging, and contemplative thriller."
– Foreword Reviews
“The Depths is a tightly-wound, propulsive, cinematic book about a Western couple who travel far, far away, searching for an escape from their grief and the emptiness between them. What they find is not a tourist’s paradise, but the real and harrowing world—encounters that push them deeper into the terrifying darkness that exists between them. Kjeldsen is an expert creator of suspense and unflinching terror.”
– Casey Walker, author of Last Days in Shanghai
"The Depths is a deftly crafted thriller by an author with a genuine flair for originality and impressively skilled narrative-driven storytelling that engages the reader's total attention from beginning to end... very highly recommended."
– Midwest Book Review
"Kirk Kjeldsen's latest is a tight, spare tale of a romantic getaway gone horribly wrong. As the punishing snare of the jungle tightens around husband and wife, Marah and Eden will learn that the worst dangers arise from inside – as does the only real means to survive."
– Jenny Milchman, author of Cover of Snow and Wicked River
FOR LAND OF HIDDEN FIRES:
"Kjeldsen tells a small-scale tale about Norwegian resistance to the Nazis in this work that should appeal to historical thriller fans... His descriptive prose does a fine job of conveying the breathtaking scenery of the wintry Norwegian mountains."
– Publishers Weekly
"Land of Hidden Fires is a compelling testament to the dangers, and necessity, of resistance. Kjeldsen writes about the quiet horrors of life in wartime with clear-eyed humanity and grace."
– Colin Winnette, author of Haints Stay
"Creating tension is just one of Kjeldsen's talents. Another is utterly capturing the mindset of a sheltered teenage girl who is falling in love with her rescued (and indifferent) pilot, imagining herself going to America with him. And third, but far from last, is Kjeldsen's writing. He has masterfully set a story, fraught throughout with danger, against an icy, white, virtually silent tableau - a story that will stay with you long after you've finished it."
– New Jersey Star-Ledger
"A fine wartime tale of survival and resistance, told with clean,compelling prose. The tough and resourceful Kari will linger in your memory, and the evocative setting will leave you shivering beneath the sheets."
– Dan Fesperman, author of The Letter Writer
"Despite the high drama and action-driven hunt, the story remains at its core a quiet one, focused on the well-developed, internal struggles of the characters and with the careful, evocative use of language... Kjeldsen's writing benefits from a deep underlying knowledge, not only of World War II ranks and weaponry - though history buffs should appreciate the details - but also of farming techniques, the hazards of a winter trek through Scandinavian woods, and animal behavior... A quiet and introspective novel of wartime adventure."
– Kirkus Reviews
"As much a love letter to his family's homeland as it is a thrilling adventure of World War II, Kirk Kjeldsen's Land of Hidden Fires shows that underneath Norway's snow and ice lies a burning heart."
– Alan Gratz, author of Prisoner B-3087 and Projekt 1065
"Kirk Kjeldsen’s non-fiction turned novel is a fitting memorial to heroes whose lights shine in dark times... The novel is full of suspense and drama, and the author succeeds in casting light on a very dark period of Norway’s history."
– The Norwegian American
FOR TOMORROW CITY:
"Kjeldsen creates drama and danger with ease, and the events that follow are riveting. This is a literary thriller in the best sense of the term… His smart, penetrating story is not to be missed."
– New Jersey Star-Ledger
"Tomorrow City is darn near a perfect book—fierce, intelligent, gritty and absolutely convincing. You can certainly count me as a fan of Kirk Kjeldsen."
– Martin Clark, author of The Jezebel Remedy, The Legal Limit, and The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living
"Tomorrow City unfolds with grace and power, building to a cinematic climax that reverberates long after you’ve finished reading. This is thriller writing at its finest. Kjeldsen is one to watch."
– Carlo Bernard, writer of The Great Raid, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and executive producer and writer of Narcos
"A tight, tense crime novel about a stranger in a strange land trying to outrun the ghosts of his past. Kirk Kjeldsen’s Shanghai is a terrifically fresh and evocative setting, and the action jumps off the page."
– Lou Berney, author of Whiplash River, Gutshot Straight, and The Long and Faraway Gone
"With spare but riveting prose — and the rare ability to elicit the reader’s sympathy for a criminal — Kjeldsen has produced a thriller with plenty of the requisite shocks, a fully drawn protagonist, and a serious look at issues of justice and morality."
– Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Tomorrow City is a vicious little tale of men and violence and the sucking black hole of the past. A coiled and sleek throwback noir, best read in one shot. More please."
– Elwood Reid, author of If I Don’t Six, Midnight Sun, and D.B.
"I had a twofold pleasure in reading Kjeldsen’s debut. As a writer, I admired his skill at evoking sense-of-place and his uncommon ability to evoke sympathy for a criminal. But the real payoff came as a reader: Tomorrow City is such a cracking good story."
– Leighton Gage, author of Perfect Hatred, Blood of the Wicked, and Every Bitter Thing
"In Tomorrow City, the dark past of a former American criminal catches up with him in the chaotic streets of Shanghai. Exciting action in an exotic setting. Read. You’ll enjoy."
– Tom Epperson, author of The Kind One and Sailor and co-writer of One False Move, A Family Thing, and The Gift
"Kjeldsen’s prose is direct and to-the-point, yet wonderfully evocative when describing the various sights and conflicting characteristics of modern-day Shanghai… Perhaps the best news is that Tomorrow City maintains its suspense from beginning to end, and thus, keeps us curious about Lavin’s actions and eventual fate. You can’t ask much more than that from any crime novel."
"Kirk Kjeldsen has written a one-sitting novel with an ex-con protagonist you’ll eagerly follow across the globe as he tries to shake his past. Tomorrow City is as exciting as it is smart as it is heartbreaking."
– Michael Kardos, author of The Three Day Affair and Before He Finds Her
"A brooding tail of escapism and consequence… Kirk Kjeldsen paints a vivid picture of the city with an attention to detail that will delight anyone who has spent time here. It’s a rare talent for someone to be able to create such a sense of place."
"Kirk Kjeldsen jabs a needle into the soft spot where nightmares intersect with real life and injects a steady dose of speed. Tomorrow City is a relentless, surprising and harrowing tour of the fascinating underside of Shanghai."
– David Rich, author of Caravan of Thieves and Middle Man