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Matt Richtel

Dead on Arrival
Tuesday, August 22nd at 7:00pm

Hey West Portal,

It is true: Sometimes I make jokes about Matt Richtel. But I'd never do that if he wasn’t a good friend, if he didn’t have an incomparable professional resume, and if he didn’t write books entitled Runaway Booger.

So, let me tell you about Matt. I first learned of him when his debut novel, Hooked, received a huge honor in the publishing world It was named a BookExpo America Buzz title. I brought a galley of the novel back to San Francisco and loved it! Loved it enough to show up at one of his local speaking events, and that was it. We’ve been friends ever since. And I’ve been a fan ever since.

In the years that followed:

  • Matt won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism for his day job writing for The New York Times.
  • Matt has published five well-received thrillers.
  • Matt published his first non-fiction book, A Deadly Wandering—now in its 12th printing!
  • And, yes, published his debut picture book, Runaway Booger. It’s goofier than average.
So, I think you’ll agree, with this list of accomplishments, it’s up to his old friends to keep him humble.

Dead on Arrival Matt is joining us this Tuesday, August 22nd at 7:00pm to talk about his latest thriller, Dead on Arrival. By now, you’ve probably realized that I’ll read anything with Matt’s name on the cover. But in this case, it was a starred review in Publishers Weekly that got me:

Richtel (The Doomsday Equation) grabs his audience by the throat from the start of this intelligent nail-biter, which riffs on the story line of The Langoliers, a Stephen King novella. Despite the absence of any ground communications, Eleanor Hall, a Delta Air Lines captain, safely lands her aircraft in Steamboat Springs, Colo., only to find that everyone outside the plane is dead. Desperate to understand what's going on, she recruits the help of a passenger, doctor Lyle Martin, an expert on infectious diseases, whose career is on the decline. As Eleanor, Lyle, and her first officer, Jerry Weathers, try to determine how best to keep things calm in the plane's cabin, they are further rattled when they discover that almost all the passengers have also suddenly died from no apparent cause. The narrative flashes back three years to an encounter Lyle had with Jackie Badger, whose life he once saved and whose gift at seeing hidden patterns has made her a valued asset for her employer, Google. Back in the present, Eleanor and company must battle a lethal virus that threatens all of humanity. Compelling characters that readers will become emotionally invested in complement the clever plotting.

I picked it up, then and there, and didn’t move until I had turned the final page! Matt Richtel is a really terrific person, and he knows how to write one hell of a page-turner. If that weren’t enough, he’s a pretty darn amusing speaker. I hope that you can join me and many friends and neighbors tomorrow night in welcoming back Matt Richtel.

Very best,


Bookshop West Portal
Susan Tunis
Event Coordinator
Bookshop West Portal
80 West Portal Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94127

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