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Danielle Girard books in order

Danielle Girard is an American USA Today and Amazon #1 bestselling and award-winning author of mystery and thriller books.

She is best known for books such as Cold Silence (2002), which won the 2003 Barry Award, and Chasing Darkness (2002), which clinched the RT Reviewers' Choice Award.

She holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University, and an MFA from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Danielle, who is also the host of Killer Women Podcast where she engages women who write today's darkest fiction, currently divides her time between San Francisco and the northern Rockies.

She lives with her beloved husband and their two beautiful children.

More about Danielle Girard

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1970

United States


Non Series

  • Savage Art (2000)
  • Ruthless Game (2001)
  • Chasing Darkness (2002)
  • Cold Silence (2002)


  1. White Out (2020)
  2. Far Gone (2021)

Dr. Schwartzman

  1. The Ex: A Prequel (2022)
  2. Exhume (2016)
  3. Excise (2017)
  4. Expose (2018)
  5. Expire (2019)

Rookie Club

  1. Dead Center (2006)
  2. One Clean Shot (2012)
  3. Dark Passage (2013)
  4. Grave Danger (2014)
  5. Everything To Lose (2014)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Savage Art

Death was his art. She would be his masterpiece.

They called him Leonardo—a master skilled in the art of murder. One year ago, Cincinnati was his canvas. A scalpel was his tool. And women were his works-in-progress. FBI profiler Casey McKinley was one of them, a victim of Leonardo's twisted genius. She has the scars—and the nightmares—to prove it.

For Casey, a new city means a life far from the one she left behind in Cincinnati. In San Francisco she finally feels safe. Until a series of eerily familiar slayings plunges her back into Leonardo's game.

Now she must catch this clever killer before he can unveil his ultimate masterpiece. Only this time she'll play by a different set of rules—hers.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2000
ISBN: 978-0996308922
Publisher: Saddle Peak Entertainment
Ruthless Game

Rookie cop Alex Kincaid wakes up in a nightmare.

The wet sheet slipped slowly from her face and she began to count. There were eleven, in all. She was last in line, but he was getting closer. He’d be to her soon.

She wakes, parked on an unfamiliar street, outside an unfamiliar home with no recollection of how she got memory of the night before.

Then her nightmare becomes reality. Alex's first call of the day takes her to the same street, to the same house, where a man has been brutally killed. Alex thinks the man is a perfect stranger--until she finds herself the main suspect in his murder.

And now, as she races to clear her name, she’s haunted by memories of a horrific thirty-year-old crime--a crime that links her to the dead man...and marks her as the killer’s next target.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2001
ISBN: 978-0996308915
Publisher: Saddle Peak Entertainment
Chasing Darkness

The most dangerous place to hide is in the dark.

A tough special-agent with the Department of Justice, and a dedicated single mother to her orphaned nephews, Samantha Chase is unbreakable. Until two women, both from the shadows of Sam’s past, are discovered strangled.

For Sam, the most unnerving detail is the eucalyptus branch tucked behind the victims’ ears—the signature of a notorious serial murderer already convicted and executed for his crimes.

A copycat killer on the loose, and Sam is the only link.

To detective Nick Thomas, the only link to the copycat killings is Sam herself. And when she becomes the target of threats—each one more menacing than the last—his feelings for her just might jeopardize the case.

But to understand the killer’s twisted motive is to explore Sam’s past—and a crime she’s spent a lifetime trying to bury.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-0996308908
Publisher: Saddle Peak Entertainment
Cold Silence

A widow and ex-FBI agent of hard-earned courage, Cody O'Brien is finally enjoying the quiet life, providing a good home for herself and her eight-year-old son, Ryan.

Then Ryan is kidnapped in broad daylight.

And Cody knows why. Her life is a dangerous lie, easily exposed by the killers responsible for her husband's murder.

Failed by the Witness Protection Program, she's on the run again, trusting only herself to save her son while heading blindly toward a past that wants only one thing from her: cold-blooded revenge.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-0996308939
Publisher: Saddle Peak Entertainment


White Out

After surviving a car accident on an icy road in Hagen, North Dakota, Lily Baker regains consciousness with no idea where or who she is. Scattered Bible verses and the image of a man lying in a pool of blood haunt her memory.

The same night of the accident, a young woman is murdered and tossed in a dumpster. Kylie Milliard, Hagen’s only detective, doesn’t immediately recognize the victim, but Kylie soon discovers that Lily and the dead woman share a dark past…if only Lily could remember what it was.

Lily and Kylie both want answers. But Kylie has to play by the book. Lily has to play it safe. And the more Lily learns about her identity, the more she fears the truth.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1542000109
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Far Gone

When a North Dakota couple is shot down in their home in cold blood, the sleepy town of Hagen wakes with a jolt. After all, it’s usually such a peaceful place. But Detective Kylie Milliard knows better.

Despite not handling a homicide investigation in years, Kylie is on the case. A drop of blood found at the scene at first blush promises to be her best evidence. But it ultimately only proves that someone else witnessed the murder―and the results are shocking: the DNA reveals a familial match to a crime involving local nurse Lily Baker from over a decade ago. This unveiling stirs new nightmares for Lily as she’s forced to reckon with the most traumatic time in her life.

Haunted by their pasts and hunting the killer, Kylie and Lily uncover hellish secrets and impossible truths, finding answers that put both their lives in jeopardy.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1542018258
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Dr. Schwartzman

The Ex: A Prequel

Seven years after making her escape from an abusive marriage, Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman is settling into her position as medical examiner in the city of San Francisco. Doing what she loves, she can almost put the trauma of her past behind her. Until she confronts the case of a young woman, sixteen weeks pregnant.

Everything about the case says the woman took her own life. As hard as Schwartzman tries to make peace with the evidence in her head, something about the case won’t leave her alone. She’s all too aware of how similar the circumstances are to her own past. After all, she, too, was once sixteen weeks pregnant…

Going beyond her role in the morgue, Schwartzman digs into the boyfriend’s past, determined to find the truth behind the woman’s death, a fate she knows could easily have been her own.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2022
Ebook: B09Z7N89Q8
Publisher: Saddle Peak Entertainment

Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman has finally found a place to belong. As the medical examiner for the San Francisco Police Department, working alongside homicide detective Hal Harris, she uncovers the tales the dead can’t tell about their final moments. It is a job that gives her purpose―and a safe haven from her former life at the hands of an abusive husband. Although it’s been seven years since she escaped that ordeal, she still checks over her shoulder to make sure no one is behind her.

Schwartzman’s latest case is deeply troubling: the victim bears an eerie resemblance to herself. What’s more, a shocking piece of evidence suggests that the killer’s business is far from over―and that Schwartzman may be in danger. In this pulse-pounding thriller from award-winning writer Danielle Girard, a woman must face her worst nightmare to catch a killer.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1503939301
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Medical examiner Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman was not meant to be idle, which is why she’s back at a murder scene even while reeling from recent chemotherapy treatments. Having undergone a double mastectomy, all she wants to do is dive back into her medical examiner job. It’s a gruesome world, yet Schwartzman takes comfort in its science and precision.

But the crime she’s dealing with brings her right back to the cancer ward: the victim is her own oncologist, dead from ingesting the very chemical used to fight her disease. Now, Schwartzman and homicide inspector Hal Harris must figure out why and stop the culprit before he can act again.

For Schwartzman, the case becomes even more personal. Her abusive ex, Spencer, who’s in prison and seemingly out of the picture, is never far from Annabelle’s mind. But to solve the mystery behind the death of the doctor who saved her life, she’s got to put aside everything else.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1503943216
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

With her vindictive ex-husband out of prison, San Francisco medical examiner Annabelle Schwartzman is trying harder than ever to move on with her life―by focusing on her job to speak for the victims who can’t. Summoned to a homicide in Golden Gate Park, she realizes that she’d seen the victim just hours before, alive and well in a parked Jeep with a small boy. Now, the woman has been stabbed to death and stripped of her burka, and the child is nowhere to be found.

When an African American student is found dead, bearing knife wounds identical to those of the woman in the park, the press jumps on them as hate crimes. If only they were so easy to explain. There is a connection―but Schwartzman believes it’s something even worse. Her fears are confirmed with the discovery of the next victim.

Now, to stop a vicious killer whose work has only just begun, Schwartzman and Detective Hal Harris must untangle the twisted thread that links it all to the missing boy and a crime buried in the past.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1503901667
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

San Francisco medical examiner Annabelle Schwartzman has spent eight years looking over her shoulder. Stalked by her vengeful ex-husband, Spencer, she’s always known they’d meet again. Has her nightmare come true? Abducted, blindfolded, yoked, and tethered, she’s being held prisoner in an isolated cabin in Idaho. But it’s the unknown that terrifies Annabelle now. Because the man’s voice in the dark, though eerily familiar, is not Spencer’s.

Annabelle’s partner and lover, Inspector Hal Harris, knows in his gut that Annabelle’s disappearance is tied to the past. Except Spencer is fifteen hundred miles away. To save Annabelle, Hal is tracking every move Spencer makes. But is it drawing him closer to finding Annabelle? Or is it luring him farther from her desperate cries for help?

As a cruel game of retribution begins, Annabelle must rely on her wits, her will to survive, and a plan of escape. But time is running out. And her captor’s three chilling words make her fear that the worst is yet to come: sweet dreams, Bella.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1542040259
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Rookie Club

Dead Center

For San Francisco Sex Crimes Inspector Jamie Vail, no case has ever hit closer to home.

The brutalized women are her colleagues. Her friends. Her job is everything. Divorced and alone, Jamie vows to end the violence and capture this deranged criminal. Nothing else matters.

Within days of the latest attack, a female police officer is murdered and Jamie’s ex-husband is the primary suspect.

She shouldn’t care. She tells herself she doesn’t... until she learns that the details of the murder are eerily similar to the case she is working.

Jamie realizes the killer and her predator may be one and the same.

Now, Jamie must confront her past and solve the murder of her ex-husband's lover to stop a serial rapist. But he has Jamie in his sights and time is running out before she becomes the killer's ultimate prize.

NB: Previously published as The Rookie Club.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0996308946
Publisher: Saddle Peak Entertainment
One Clean Shot

Two of San Francisco’s most powerful residents are murdered. Is their killer making a political statement? Or is the message more personal?

Homicide Inspector Hailey Wyatt is only just pulling her life back together after being recently widowed, when the case falls in her lap. The case has the media in a frenzy and the brass in a panic. The entire city is on high alert.

The evidence makes it impossible to deny that Hailey’s family is at the center of the case.

Rumors in the department are that the assignment has nothing to do with her investigative ability and everything to do with her senator father-in-law.

The police chief’s message is clear. Solve the case. Quickly. Or else.

The deeper they dig, the more questions arise, and the more troubling the case becomes. As the evidence points closer to home, Hailey's partner questions her dedication to the pursuit of justice.

Because Hailey has secrets of her own. Secrets she’s vowed to protect. Secrets she’s willing to die for.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0996308953
Publisher: Saddle Peak Entertainment
Dark Passage

Special Ops Agent Cameron Cruz is joining her team to shut down a massive human trafficking operation, working out of San Francisco Bay.

Coming back to work after the birth of her son, she is ready. She is strong.

Until she witnesses a colleague shot and killed before her eyes. The death is shocking, but the reality is much, much worse.

The shooter is someone she trusted. Someone she loved. Someone she thought was killed during an undercover assignment—her son’s father, Diego.

Despite what she's seen, Cameron's love for Diego is as alive as he is. But someone is working hard to frame him. Before she will accept his innocence, she has to help him prove it.

Even as she works to clear his name, the evidence against Diego mounts—evidence that he’s guilty of kidnapping and imprisoning the very people he’s sworn to protect and serve, that he’s guilty of betraying their teammates, and the entire police department. Guilty of betraying her.

At the same time, Cameron is fighting to break a sex trafficking ring in her own city. The closer she comes to identifying the traffickers, the closer her investigation brings her to the police department’s front door.

Suddenly, she must question who she can trust.

And who is willing to risk it all to send her—and the truth—to the grave.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0996308960
Publisher: Saddle Peak Entertainment
Grave Danger

When a San Francisco Police Department storage site is robbed, seventy-two guns go missing, setting off a wave of gun-related deaths in the city.

Brought in to head up SFPD’s Computer Forensics Team, Mei Ling discovers something at the scene that doesn’t make sense—a hacking device.

The police have no leads and no one can find the connection between the shooters.

Convinced the device could be the key to the case, Mei begins to suspect that the burglary was only a distraction for the real motive.

When the bullets start flying through the window of her own home, Mei knows she’s on to something. Now it’s a race against time to identify the hacker.

Before she becomes the next victim sent to the grave.

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0996308977
Publisher: Saddle Peak Entertainment
Everything To Lose

Sex Crimes Inspector Jamie Vail is back.

When the daughter of San Francisco socialites is brutally assaulted, Jamie Vail makes it her mission to find the attacker. A seasoned inspector with the SFPD, work is what Jamie does best. She isn’t distracted by the fact that her adopted son and the victim go to the same school.

Jamie can almost set aside the fact that the man caught on tape with the victim is someone she’s been wary of for years—her son’s biological father.

At home, her son is performing poorly in school, becoming more reclusive, and nothing she does can draw him out.

More frightening is the fact that every piece of evidence brings her closer to home...

As her case escalates into a homicide investigation, Jamie teams up with old allies and Rookie Club members from across the department. Loyalties are tested and the stakes rise as the case becomes front-page news and the spotlight lands on her and her son, who have everything to lose.

With his future on the line, Jamie must find Charlotte’s attacker to prove her son’s innocence before he lands behind bars, or worse…

Author: Danielle Girard
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0996308984
Publisher: Saddle Peak Entertainment