"Once in a blue moon, a new writer speaks up in a voice that gets your attention like a rifle shot. Jenny Siler had that kind of voice...clean, direct and a little intensely vivid piece of writing...." - The New York Times Book Review

"Jenny Siler's Easy Money is not just a fine first novel. It's a fine novel--funny, smart, hard-boiled, tough minded and full of wonderful writing...the real deal, the beginning of a great career." James Crumley

"A seriously fast and scary ride... you'll end up checking your reading chair for a seatbelt!" - Ian Rankin


The idea for this novel began to take shape after I read a newspaper article about the death of the former CIA chief, William Colby. Colby, who had been the CIA chief in Vietnam during the war, and had overseen the Phoenix Program, a controversial operation which allegedly targeted and assassinated Vietnamese communists during the war, died when his rowboat capsized near his home outside of Washington D.C..

The article itself was just a short piece in the Seattle Times, but it sparked my imagination. It seemed like the perfect set-up for a thriller: old spook dies under mysterious circumstances. Colby's wife was even quoted as saying that it seemed odd, that her husband had always been comfortable on the water, and that it was out of habit for him to have gone out in the evening.

As I began to research Colby's life and the Phoenix Program, I knew that I had more than enough material for a novel. In fact, there was so much material, so much that had been written about the Vietnam War, that I was hesitant to take on such a large and complex topic. The more I found out about the war and the people who had fought in it, the more I wanted to portray it and its effects accurately. At the same time, I was becoming acutely aware of the fact that I would never be able to understand the full breadth of the war, or do it justice in my writing.

The idea for Allie Kerry, Easy Money's main character, came out of this dilemma. Writing in Allie's voice gave me the chance to explore Vietnam and its effects from the point of view of someone my age. In my own family, there are people who served in Vietnam, and people who fought against the war, all of whom I respect equally, and in writing Easy Money I wanted to make some attempt at understanding each of them as separate human beings.

The writing of this novel proved to be an amazing process for me. Born in 1971, I had no real memory of the war years. Just as Allie's character evolved over the course of the novel, my understanding of the war and my parents' involvement in it evolved as well. Whether we know it or not, Vietnam still looms large in the psyche of this country, and though I would never be able to understand the full scope of the war, I did come, through the writing of this book, to understand much of what makes it such a powerful force, even today.

For additional reviews and the author's thoughts on her work, click on the titles below.

FLASHBACK Henry Holt & Co. (US), Orion Books (UK), 2004
"Intense, inventive and impressive, Flashback sees Jenny Siler go from strength to strength." - Val McDermid
SHOT Henry Holt & Co.(US), Orion Books (UK), 2002
"Shot is everything a thriller should be..." - Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, Entertainment Weekly
ICED Henry Holt & Co. (US), Orion Books (UK), 2000
"This is poetry with attitude." - Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
EASY MONEY Henry Holt & Co. (US), Orion Books (UK), 1998
"In her first novel, 27-year-old author Jenny Siler has shown tough-guy thriller writers how a woman does it. And she packs some punch...a terrific thriller." - The Wall Street Journal