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Kirk Russell books in order

Kirk Russell is an American bestselling author of mystery, thriller and crime fiction novels.

He has so far written three crime series, namely: John Marquez, Ben Raveneau, and Paul Grale series.

Upon graduating from college in 1978, Kirk harbored ambitions of becoming a fiction writer.

Although life diverted his plans, as he found himself in the working world for decades, Kirk still returned to his first love: fiction writing.

Along the way, he helped raise two lovely daughters, and learned a lot about life than he could ever have imagined.

Kirk, who lives in the Bay Area with his wife, continues to write crime fiction due to the creative liberty that comes with the genre.

More about Kirk Russell

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1954

United States


Ben Raveneau

  1. A Killing in China Basin (2011)
  2. Counterfeit Road (2012)
  3. One Through the Heart (2012)

John Marquez

  1. Shell Games (2003)
  2. Night Game (2004)
  3. Deadgame (2005)
  4. Redback (2010)
  5. Die-Off (2013)

Paul Grale

  1. Signature Wounds (2017)
  2. Gone Dark (2018)
  3. No Hesitation (2020)

Detailed book overview

Ben Raveneau

A Killing in China Basin

The body of a young woman lies in a trash-strewn room of a derelict building in China Basin.

With that, veteran San Francisco homicide inspector, Ben Raveneau, and his hard-charging new partner, Elizabeth la Rosa, catch their first case together. But they can’t identify the victim and they don’t know why she was there. A false confession misleads and the apparent suicide but possible murder of an SF homicide inspector on medical leave may tie in. 

When Raveneau and la Rosa finally catch a break they are led into the past and a long ago case. A woman famous for her charitable works moves into focus and the inspectors adjust yet again. Now they’re close but are racing against someone intent on stopping them.

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-1847513588
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Counterfeit Road

Twenty-two years to the day, a videotape of an unsolved 1989 murder arrives at the San Francisco Homicide Detail. So starts Counterfeit Road, second of the series and San Francisco homicide inspector Ben Raveneau’s toughest cold case. The victim, Alan Krueger, a former Secret Service agent, carried in his coat sixty-one hundred dollar bills.

In 1989 the Secret Service inspected the bills and called them legitimate. They take another look now and say, counterfeit. But there's more. There's a link to the present the don't want to talk much about. Raveneau studies the videotape. He pores over the old case files. He hunts for the couple who reported Krueger's body and enlists the help of a retired homicide inspector. 

When a young man steps forward with yellowed photos the investigation moves to Hawaii. What made little sense, makes more as Raveneau turns misaligned pieces and realizes something darker is rapidly evolving. But who can he convince? If no one listens, can he, his partner, and one FBI agent stop the attack from happening?

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B008L1FUN2
Publisher: Severn House Digital
One Through the Heart

Bones in a backyard bomb shelter reactivate a San Francisco cold case and a painful connection for Raveneau after missing Ann Coryell’s desperate call for help a decade ago. But he sees something much darker in threats made by online followers of historian Coryell’s writings on genocide.

Nothing pieces together, but all the pieces fit...Raveneau edges closer to a core group who are certain the time for retribution is now, but will he be able to stop them in time?

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B00C4VXZQO
Publisher: Severn House Digital

John Marquez

Shell Games

The discovery of thousands of empty abalone shells and two murdered divers sends Lieutenant John Marquez's poaching investigation in a new—and very risky—direction. Former DEA agent and now head of a special operations unit of the California Department of Fish and Game, Marquez learns he himself has been targeted as the next victim. Stalking him is Kline, a vicious drug smuggler turned abalone smuggler who has a vendetta against Marquez.

John Marquez is supposed to protect wildlife, not solve murders, but the only way he can break the multi-million-dollar abalone-smuggling ring, as well as save his own life, is to find and stop Kline.

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-0811841115
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Night Game

Former DEA agent John Marquez brings gritty investigative techniques and a clouded past to his role as head of a special operations unit of the California Department of Fish and Game.

In the second thrilling case of this masterful series, Marquez and his team's cover is blown, leaving him caught between a ruthless band of bear poachers, a corrupt local game warden, and a county detective obsessed with a murderer-at-large.

Meanwhile, Marquez's own fragile family is left wide open to mortal danger. Night Game hits hard and moves fast toward a finish that ricochets through wilderness, backwoods towns, and the darker recesses of greed.

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0811850445
Publisher: Chronicle Books

There's only one reason for the illegal killing of so many sturgeon—caviar. And behind the highly profitable trade in caviar is the Russian mafia, dealing in things much more dangerous than fish eggs.

John Marquez is closing in on the sturgeon poachers when his key confidential informant disappears. Marquez and his understaffed team—which is slated for shutdown by top brass—search frantically for the informant in their remaining weeks, while also pursuing the poachers and tangling with the Russian mob and the FBI.

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0811859356
Publisher: Chronicle Books

Eighteen years ago, Special Agent John Marquez was forced to watch as his informant, Billy Takado, was gunned down, the victim of a set-up by criminal mastermind Emrahain Stoval. In the fallout from the affair, Marquez lost his job.

Now, working for California’s Department of Fish and Games, John is contacted by a former colleague. Ted Desault is determined to take Stoval down, but to do that, he needs Marquez’s help…

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-1847512949
Publisher: Severn House Publishers

John Marquez is back - but his mission is the same: shut down animal traffickers. Still attached to the California Fish & Game's Special Operations Unit, it's the open, unsolved investigations that now land on his desk.

Then a tip call comes which reveals the location of a gun used to kill two young women camping along the Klamath River two years ago. At the same time, Marquez is on the hunt for a notorious animal trafficker known as Rider, who’s rumored to have a hideout in mountainous northern California. The subsequent discovery of thousands of invasive northern pike triggers a cascade of clues and questions that draws Marquez away from his pursuit of Rider. Or do they? Is there a connection?

When a Siskiyou County investigator and an ambitious sheriff question Marquez’s interest in the murders of the two women and his relentless presence in the remote northern county, the stakes rise ever higher – and the way forward is fraught with risk.

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0727882837
Publisher: Severn House Publishers

Paul Grale

Signature Wounds

While in Las Vegas on his way to a family Fourth of July celebration, FBI bomb expert Paul Grale hears a deep blast and sees the smoke rising.

In an unfolding nightmare, Grale discovers his sister, brother-in-law, and many friends were caught up in the explosion. Grief stricken, he is pulled from the main bomb investigation to sift orphan leads. Quietly he begins a relentless search for the bomb maker.

When the FBI suspects his friend and disgruntled former drone pilot for the blast, Grale thinks they’re getting it all wrong. Propelled by deep personal loss and an intense need to do the right thing, he picks his way through the smallest of leads and into a maze of twists, turns, and sudden dead ends.

When he uncovers another threat, time is already quickly running out. With the lives of so many at stake, Grale won’t let himself fail―and he won’t rest until there’s justice for his family.

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1503942714
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Gone Dark

When a series of coordinated blasts takes down several Los Angeles power stations, FBI bomb tech Paul Grale is tapped to investigate. That means leaving his vulnerable niece, Julia, behind in Las Vegas. The sole survivor of a homeland bombing that killed her parents, Julia’s still struggling through grief and trauma. An avowed pacifist, she’s being trolled as anti-American. And entangled in an affair with the wrong man, she’s facing the fallout from his crimes: stolen military-grade ammunition found in her car.

But Grale has no choice but to head to LA. The sabotage is growing more sophisticated, and with assaults on the telecommunication grid itself, the potential for destruction has never been higher. Now, as rolling blackouts sweep across the West, Grale is following clues that point alarmingly close to home. Especially when Julia disappears.

If Grale can’t stop the attacks from escalating, the grid will go down for good, leaving everyone in the dark. But it’s Grale who could be facing the darkest reality of all…

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1503952218
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
No Hesitation

FBI bomb tech Paul Grale isn’t a computer expert, but he knows trouble when he sees it. Independence Base, a new top-secret military facility north of Las Vegas, houses a breakthrough artificial intelligence that has US enemies worried and on the move.

Threat chatter is already way up when a known terrorist bomber—and Grale’s archnemesis—slips past border security. Then two of Independence Base’s star computer coders go missing. Were they kidnapped as part of a terror plot? Or did they quit in protest, taking their vast knowledge of the potentially dangerous AI code with them?

Special Agent Grale still grapples with the injuries sustained clearing IEDs in Iraq years ago. He’s managed the pain with exercise and over-the-counter drugs for years, but it’s getting worse. People at the office are beginning to talk.

When he’s accused by a crooked pharmacist of illicit use of painkillers, he finds himself isolated and facing an uncertain future. Possibly, the end of his career. But first, Grale must push through the pain long enough to thwart an a terror team waits for the right moment to strike.

Author: Kirk Russell
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1734314601
Publisher: Strawberry Creek