Tom Lowe books in order
Tom Lowe is an American award-winning documentary writer, director and author of mystery and thriller novels.
He is best known for writing series such as Sean O'Brien, Elizabeth Monroe and the Paul Marcus Trilogy.
Prior to becoming a novelist, Lowe worked as a journalist for a number of years, where he covered stories from all over the globe.
During that time, he reported and wrote for newspapers as well as TV news.
Lowe also worked as a PBS documentary producer and director.
Other than writing, Lowe is also a sailor and enjoys scuba diving.
He is married and currently divides his time between Florida and California.
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
- The Painter (2020)
- Midnight's Whisperer (2020)
- Wrath (2017)
- The Confession (2019)
- Altered State (2021)
Paul Marcus Trilogy
- Destiny (2015)
- The Jefferson Prophecy (2018)
- The Poppy Score (2022)
- A False Dawn (2009)
- The 24th Letter (2010)
- The Butterfly Forest (2011)
- The Black Bullet (2012)
- Blood of Cain (2013)
- Black River (2014)
- Cemetery Road (2015)
- A Murder of Crows (2016)
- Dragonfly (2019)
- The Orchid Keeper (2019)
- Mermaid (2020)
- Flash of Gold (2021)
- Invisible (2021)
- The White Dragon (2022)
Detailed book overview
Michael Vargas is living the life of a celebrity architect when his world collapses. He walks away from the glamorous career of the star architect and begins a quest that will take him twenty-three years back in time. The challenge his mentor presented at the time is beckoning Michael back to the South—his home, a place he loved and hated.
The road back is a road forward, filled with trials and pain, but the journey eventually leads to an artistic epiphany that Michael discovers in the people and places of the Deep South. And he finds inspiration from a woman who allows him to paint her if he agrees to one mysterious condition. Michael learns that some subjects are worth painting while others are worth pursuing even up against the greatest personal odds of success.
Before he died, Ty McGill’s grandfather left him with a skill few people have, an uncanny ability to calm and train problem horses. But after three tours of duty in the Middle East, Ty returns home to West Texas with his own deep problems. He’s faced with challenges that start with his former fiancée and continue through a futile job search that leads him to Midnight, a horse with the reputation as a man killer. No one can break the fierce black stallion.
Ty, like his grandfather, doesn't break horses. He can look a horse in the eye and see things most people never see. In the eyes of Midnight, he sees people problems—troubles that begin with Midnight’s owner, the man who married his ex-fiancée. And now Ty must learn that to go home again is to understand that nothing will ever be the same. But to find real love, you often have to go back to the place where it was lost. For Ty, he learns that some things should be left alone while others are worth fighting for. The challenge is knowing the difference.
The first time evil walked across the old bridge in Mississippi was 1918. When forensic psychologist Elizabeth Monroe crosses the midpoint on the bridge in search of her daughter’s killer, there is no turning back. Elizabeth makes the connection between a heinous crime that happened in 1918 and the recent death of a college student. Old families. Old money. A new vendetta. And the only one who's standing in the way is Elizabeth Monroe.
When Father Henry McGrath hears a confession that sends a cold chill throughout his body, he’s unsure what to do. To divulge the private confession would violate holy canon law.
When he refuses to go to the police, people begin to die, and the priest becomes the prime suspect. Elizabeth Monroe, a college professor who teaches forensic psychology, doesn’t believe the elder priest fits the killer’s profile. Elizabeth discovers a frightening thread woven within each killing—a thread that began thirty years ago.
To stop the murders, she has to find where the seed of evil was first planted. Because the roots are penetrating deep within a small Mississippi town and they’re spreading dangerously close to Elizabeth.
We have been led to believe that the most private and secure possession we own is our thoughts. What if that isn't true?
When police call in forensic psychology professor Elizabeth Monroe to consult in a series of strange murders, for the first time in her stellar career, she’s not sure where to begin. Elizabeth sifts through clues that will lead to a psychological profile of the killer.
But when the murders are being committed by average people with no criminal history, she must investigate a place where evidence hides. The subconscious mind. Elizabeth discovers a path that will lead to a diabolical scheme bringing her face-to-face with the most calculating criminal mind she has ever encountered.
Paul Marcus Trilogy
When former CIA code-breaker, Paul Marcus, receives the call he thinks it's a hoax. He's asked to analyze a cache of papers found locked in an old trunk. They were the last manuscripts written by Isaac Newton.
Using Newton's math and notes, Marcus begins to see a pattern leading to a prophecy so frightening that to reveal it will change world events. At the time of his death. Newton was searching for ancient biblical codes that may open a locked window into future events. Newton helped explain gravity --- but could he do the same for human destiny?
When an encrypted letter written by Thomas Jefferson is found hidden in the attic of an old farmhouse in Virginia, the information could offer a clue as to who killed a U.S. Special Forces soldier 220 years after the letter was written. Paul Marcus, who five years earlier, broke an coded paper written by Isaac Newton, is asked to see of he can unlock the secret Jefferson had originally meant for one person in 1804.
More the two centuries later, the great, great grandson of the first man to declare war on America, vows to fill a family vendetta and again declare a holy war on the United States. The encrypted letter Jefferson wrote, hidden for two centuries, could offer a key to a new murder that threatens to tip the dominos and start a war. All Paul Marcus has to do is find a way to decode the letter, and he has very little time to do it.
Former CIA cryptographer Paul Marcus and his family are living quietly in a secluded section of Montana when an unscheduled visit brings a frightening dilemma to their home. Paul is asked to decrypt seven mysterious pages first written 2500 years ago in China. The author was Sun Tzu who wrote The Art of War.
Tzu’s encrypted pages, though, were never meant for Western eyes. It’s believed the pages could be the lost fourteenth chapter from The Art of War. The code was finally broken in China three years ago and kept secret. If Paul cannot crack the code before an ominous timetable runs out, America will face the deadliest global threat in history.
After thirteen years as a homicide detective, his wife dead, and his best friend shot in a robbery, Sean O'Brien feels like he's been through a war. He leaves the streets of Miami for a simpler life on the banks of the St. Johns River near the Ocala National Forest. What he discovers there, however, opens a dark door to something more frightening than anything he ever investigated in Miami.
O'Brien has bought an old, rundown home and begun repairs when he sees a man walking chest-deep in the nearby alligator-infested river. The man is holding a pole, searching for something. Soon afterward, O'Brien finds a young woman hidden near the river, and she's clinging to life. She whispers something cryptic in his ear.
O'Brien made a promise to his dead wife, Sherri, that he was through with crime investigation. It was a promise he meant to keep. When he makes a second promise to the brutally beaten girl, it's one he believes the local authorities will keep. Since the victim is a 'nobody,' he finds he can't count on them to pursue justice.
Torn between his two promises, O'Brien is irrevocably plunged into the cold, lethal world of human trafficking and sexual slavery, where a brilliant killer believes he is working for the greater good, and will alter his evil plan to include O'Brien.
A priest hears the confession of a frightened prison inmate, and he learns that a man facing lethal injection in 84 hours is innocent. The lead investigator on the high-profile case was his old friend Sean O’Brien. And now O'Brien has a chance to right a horrible wrong. But he has less than 84 hours to uncover clues to a crime that sent an innocent man to death row.
Appeals have expired and the man will be executed in unless O’Brien can find evidence that points to the real killer. The 24th letter in the Greek alphabet—Omega—may provide the key to uncovering the killer’s identity.
Evidence may not lie, but evil does, and when the original killer comes out of his lair, O'Brien is in a race to save two lives - the man on death row and his own.
He hid the old pencil-drawn map for 40 years. The guards never found it.
After 40 years in San Quentin, Luke Palmer leaves with a state-issued suit, $100 dollars to buy a bus ticket, and a map that will lead to a promise and into the heart of a dark forest.
College graduate student Molly Monroe is about to release rare butterflies not far from where the FBI used 4,000 bullets in a shootout to kill Ma Barker and one of her gangster sons in 1935. Molly snaps a picture that will frame something she never sees coming.
Sean O'Brien does see something -- a predator. Between the sea of cars in a Walmart parking lot. Walking quickly. Stalking two women.
As O’Brien tries to prevent the abduction, he opens the door to a new relationship. And he opens a dark door to a horror that is secluded within the forest. He follows veiled tracks that lead him farther into the woods where an evil from the past intersects with a frightening presence to form a volatile trap with only one way out.
Glenda Lawson believes her husband was the only U.S. serviceman shot and killed on American soil during World War II. But in 1945, investigators ruled that Billy Lawson died in a “mugging turned ugly.”
Sean O’Brien is learning the ropes of commercial fishing when he gets his anchor caught on something underwater. He discovers a German U-boat partially buried in sand, and inside is a frightening cargo. The media pick up the story, and a 35-year-old woman who has a haunting tale, visits O’Brien. Her grandfather, Billy Lawson, was fishing one night on a Florida beach when he saw something very disturbing.
The last thing Sean O’Brien wants is to investigate a sixty-seven-year-old murder. But Billy Lawson’s granddaughter and his cancer-stricken widow are desperate for closure. For O’Brien to bring it to them he has to pry the lid off a secret buried with the Manhattan Project. It’s information that got Billy Lawson killed, and O’Brien soon learns the old murder and his new discovery at the bottom of the sea are inextricably knotted.
O’Brien is thrust into a world where nothing is as it appears, and everything is riding on a secret Billy Lawson took to his grave.
When Courtney Burke appears at Ponce Marina on a humid summer morning, she leaves Sean O’Brien with a haunting tale. Her story could lead O’Brien down a path that began with a brutal crime forty years earlier and hidden family secrets spawned from the desecration of the innocent. O’Brien learns that Courtney is linked to a series of carnival murders.
Police are convinced she’s a serial killer, and all of her victims are men. But like the illusions found in the carnival’s House of Mirrors, nothing is as it appears. Just beyond the looking glass is where evil watches from a one-way mirror.
When Courtney faces a conviction for murder, O’Brien remembers something she told him, something so strange he’d originally dismissed it. To alter the future, to save Courtney’s life, O’Brien must penetrate dark deeds that began in a church forty years earlier.
When an old man sees an unidentified Civil War photograph of a woman in the newspaper, he begins a desperate search for a 160-year-old painting that he believes will match the image of the enigmatic woman in the photograph, and if it does, it will prove that his great, great grandfather did not run from battle.
After the old man hires Sean O’Brien to find the mysterious painting, O’Brien discovers it’s linked to a secret letter and map that will lead to a trapdoor where a hidden key to the most horrific war on U.S. soil lies buried in mud at the bottom of a river. It's also linked to a new murder, and there are those who will stop at nothing to keep the information hidden because to bring it to the surface will re-write American history.
Caroline Harper still thinks of him every day. For more than fifty years, not a day goes by when Caroline doesn’t think of her brother Andy. The last time she saw Andy was when he left home to spend thirty days at Florida’s largest reform school. Caroline’s family was told that Andy ran away in the middle of the night. Fifty years later, Sean O’Brien receives a letter from a dead man. A year earlier the man had hired Sean O’Brien and chartered his boat for a fishing trip.
Now the man is reaching from the grave to hire him again. But this time it’s to find a killer. Jackson County—the location of the old reform school, still carries smoldering baggage from the Civil War, and after a half-century, there are those who don’t want a forensics investigation on the property, because to do so will reveal one of the nation’s darkest secrets.
Five years ago, Sean O’Brien’s close friend, Joe Billie, stopped a grave robber from unearthing a Seminole Indian burial site.
When the same man is recently found dead in the remote swamps of Florida, Billie becomes the prime suspect. To complicate matters more, Billie refuses to tell investigators why he believes he is being set up to take a lethal fall.
As the media frenzy in the case builds, the state places Joe Billie on trial for murder. Sean O’Brien thinks he knows why Billie is silent, but proving it will send him deep into Seminole history to uncover a greedy killer hell-bent on creating a modern day Trail of Tears.
Sean O’Brien knows that his close friend, Dave Collins, isn’t a man who asks for favors. After three decades as a CIA officer, Collins learned self-reliance from the best school in the world — the streets. However, after five years out of the agency, he stops looking over his shoulder. And then the assassinations begin. One by one. Five of the CIA’s best former officers. Dave Collins’ old colleagues.
Local police can’t protect retired CIA officers from ghosts of their past. Dave’s life is on the line, and they are coming for him. Ghosts don’t leave tracks. They leave bodies. But to get close enough to kill Collins, they’ll have to get through one man who also learned survival from the streets and combat — Sean O’Brien. Dave Collins has been there for O’Brien. And now it’s time to return the favor.
When Sean O’Brien stops near the Florida Everglades to buy flowers for a woman, he doesn’t know that the purchase will lead to a trail of deceit, greed and murder. Chester Miller’s life goal is to restore rare ghost orchids in the Everglades.
Entering the glades, he sees something that is very much out of place. The elder botanist becomes a target. O’Brien, in a race with the clock, follows a near invisible path that takes him across Florida in a web of dark political corruption. The tables quickly change, and O’Brien becomes the hunted in a fight for his life and the soul of Florida’s environment.
The line between make-believe, animation, and murder evaporates when the body of a young woman in a mermaid tail washes ashore on a Florida beach. Police think her death is an accident, maybe connected to a big budget movie filming in the area.
After another girl, this one working as a mermaid at a theme park, drowns – Sean O’Brien becomes involved because the daughter of his close friend may be the next victim, and O’Brien knows there are no coincidences or illusions when it comes to murder.
In the world of maritime treasure hunting, former college professor Walt Baker is about to hit the lottery.
More than 300 years ago, legendary Spanish galleon, Santa Ramona, sank in a hurricane somewhere off the coast of Florida. The ship was carrying gold, silver, jewels, and artifacts worth an estimated 10 billion in today’s dollars. With ten billion at stake, the best criminal minds will scheme to take what’s not theirs.
When they try to frame Sean O’Brien’s friend, Nick Cronus, for the murder of one of Walt Baker’s divers, O’Brien begins to put the puzzle pieces together and sees a frightening picture…not only for Nick but also for Walt, his daughter, and every member of the salvage crew.
When one of the richest treasures in nautical history is found on the ocean floor, the sharks start to circle. And as they come closer, they begin enclosing around one man, because the only thing standing in their way to recover billions is Sean O’Brien.
When Sean O’Brien watches a girl darting through traffic to pick up money she dropped, he stops to help. The next time he sees her face it’s during a TV newscast. She’s vanished. As the case grows cold, Sean can’t forget the touching story she shared with him. To find her, he must enter the dark web, infiltrate a global criminal ring, outwit one of the sharpest and most inhuman minds he’s ever faced in a battle where the girl’s life is reduced to a matter of days.
As Sean O’Brien and his fiancée are planning their wedding day, someone from Sean’s past appears, and plans change. The visitor is an old friend, and he comes with bad news. His only son mysteriously died. Sean’s friend is desperate for help. Why would a healthy college student die? And who is responsible?
Following a trail is not easy, but as Sean looks closely, he sees a pattern that leads to more deaths. To solve the murders, Sean must travel into the darkest parts of an underworld that few people will ever know.
Getting in is one thing.
Getting out alive is something else.