California Bear

A Novel

Coming Soon


By Duane Swierczynski

Formats and Prices



  1. Audiobook Download (Unabridged)
  2. ebook $14.99 $19.99 CAD
  3. Hardcover $29.00 $38.00 CAD

A witty new thriller from a "great storyteller" (Michael Connelly), California Bear follows four unlikely vigilantes whose decision to take justice into their own hands pits them against the villain behind California’s coldest case.

"Fresh, exciting, and brilliantly unpredictable."
 —James Patterson
“KILLER”: Jack Queen has been exonerated and freed from prison thanks to retired LAPD officer Cato Hightower. But when guilt gnaws at Jack, he admits: “I actually did it.” To which Hightower responds: “Yeah, no kidding.” You see, the ex-cop has a special job in mind for the ex-con…
THE GIRL DETECTIVE: Fifteen-year-old Matilda Finnerty has been handed a potential death sentence in the form of a leukemia diagnosis. But that’s not going to stop her from tackling the most important mystery of her life: Is her father guilty of murder?
GENE JEANIE: Jeanie Hightower mends family trees for a living, but the genealogist is unable to repair her own marriage. And her soon-to-be ex may have entangled her in a scheme that has drawn the bloody wrath of…
THE BEAR: A prolific serial killer who disappeared forty years ago, who is only now emerging from hibernation when the conditions are just right. And this time, the California Bear is not content to hunt in the shadows…
From two-time Edgar nominee Duane Swierczynski, California Bear is clever, moving, and surprising as it takes aim at the true crime industry, Hollywood, justice, and the killers inside us all.


  • “Duane Swierczynski has written his best novel, and that’s saying something. From the tragi-comic opening sentence to the heartrending final paragraph, California Bear is fresh, exciting, and brilliantly unpredictable. The Girl Detective will live in my heart forever.” 
     —James Patterson, New York Times bestselling author
  • "There's real truth at the core of California Bear, Duane Swierczynski's latest novel. And no, it's not some ripped-from-the-headlines true crime element. It's not even the crafty writing or the dead-on dialogue. It's heart. Plain and simple. This book was written straight from the heart, and I won't ever forget it."—Eli Cranor, author of Don't Know Tough and Ozark Dogs
  • “With all the wit and style of Elmore Leonard, but way more heart, California Bear is a can't-put-it-down caper, an incisive look at the dark side of true crime 'entertainment,' and a beautifully moving story of a family in crisis learning exactly how far they'll go for each other, all in one. I can't wait to see more of Jack and especially Matilda, who is the kickass twenty-first century successor to Philip Marlowe Los Angeles crime fiction needs. I loved this book!”—Halley Sutton, bestselling author of The Hurricane Blonde
  • “Duane Swierczynski pulls off a miracle of a crime book that is both terrifyingly thrilling and deeply heartfelt—all while being darkly funny in a Elmore Leonard kind of way. From Matilda, the hospitalized wanna-be detective teen, to the coming out of retirement serial killer at the heart of this novel, the California Bear—I could not put this book down.”—Scott Reynolds, screenwriter of Jessica Jones and Dexter
  • Praise for Duane Swierczynski and his novels--
  • "Breathless action. So much fun to read-on the couch or on the run."—The New York Times Book Review
  • "Riveting . . . Memorable characters, suspense, a native's portrait of a fascinating city, eruptions of spectacular violence--fans will love this one."—Booklist (starred review)
  • "Swierczynski keeps the action pulsating along [with] an array of compelling characters, crisp dialogue, and pop culture references."—Boston Globe

On Sale
Jan 9, 2024
Hachette Audio

Duane Swierczynski

About the Author

Duane Swierczynski is the Edgar-nominated author of nine novels including Revolver, Canary, Severance Package, and the Shamus Award-winning Charlie Hardie series (Fun and GamesHell and GonePoint and Shoot). He's written over 250 comics for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Valiant and IDW, including The Black Hood, the first comic for Archie's Dark Circle imprint. Swierczynski has also collaborated with CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker on the bestselling Level 26 series. He lives in Burbank with his wife and children.

Learn more about this author