Published by Black Rose Writing

Furious: Sailing into Terror

Psychological Thriller

Trapped on a storm-damaged yacht, a grieving woman must conquer her worst fears and fight for her life, in a story described as The Shining on a yacht. Dr. Dagny Steele is on the verge of fulfilling her lifelong calling to become a pediatric surgeon when the sudden death of her daughter sends her into a crushing depression. Grief stricken and desperate to heal, she takes a leave of absence and sails across the Indian Ocean with her husband. Dagny begins to recover from her tragic loss when her voyage turns into a nightmare. Isolated and hunted at sea, can she survive a deadly crucible?

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2022 Emerging Writers Suspense Screenplay Competition Quarter-Finalist (Furious script)
2022 Imadjinn Award for Best Thriller Novel Winner 
2022 Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards Quarter-Finalist (Furious script)
2022 Virtual Pitchfest Hotlist Second Place (Furious script)
2022 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Best Suspense Finalist 
2022 Killer Nashville Sliver Falchion Award Best Thriller Finalist 
2022 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Readers’ Choice Finalist
2022 Filmmatic Awards Semi-Finalist: Drama Screenplay Award (Furious script)
2022 Imadjinn Awards Winner: Best Thriller Novel
2021 PenCraft Book Awards Best Fiction Book of the Year
2021 American Book Fest Best Thriller/Adventure Book Award Winner
2021 Best Thriller Book Awards Finalist
2021 Readers’ Favorite Award Contest Gold Medal (Fiction-Thriller-Medical)
2019 Most Cinematic Book Competition Quarterfinalist

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“A taut and suspenseful tale on the ocean.”
Kirkus Reviews
(read full review)

“An expertly paced psychological thriller on the high seas.”
—Best Thrillers Review
(read full review)

“Definitely not for the faint of heart.”
—Steve Berry, NYT and #1 internationally bestselling author


I wanted to die.

I leaned into the crib and brushed my fingers over Emma’s teddy bear, a stuffed animal larger than she had ever been. The velour fabric felt cool and still—the opposite of Emma during her short life—her three-month, impossibly brief existence. She had come and gone so quickly; it was almost possible to imagine she had never lived at all. Almost. Some mornings, I awakened and experienced a few seconds of peace, before remembering what had happened, then reality would rush into me like a cold wind.

My baby girl is dead.

The teddy bear’s stitched eyes stared back at me. I had been so careful buying non-toxic bath toys and dolls free of choking hazards. Every object in the room was childproof, from the one-inch gaps between crib slats to the electrical outlet covers. I had given it all so much thought.

A tear wet my cheek, smearing my mascara, and I hugged the teddy bear against my chest. I could still smell the sweet, floral scent of baby powder, and I pictured the first time Emma smiled at me—her cheeks fat and rosy.

My eyes burned, and the crib blurred in my vision. The floor shifted under me, as if the carpet had transformed into desert sand, and the world rushed past me, moving on without me, jostling me like a leaf blowing down the side of the road, without direction, without hope.

More Praise

“An extraordinary achievement by a writer destined for greatness.”
—Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author

“Jeffrey James Higgins has crafted a terrifying thriller that’ll give readers another reason to steer well clear of tropical cruises.”
—Mark Alpert, international bestselling author

Batten down the hatches; Higgins’s electrifying debut is a page-turning thrill ride!
—Alan Orloff, award-winning author

“Higgins’ lean, tight prose and compelling authenticity will keep you
turning pages well into the night. Propulsive.”
—K.J. Howe, international bestselling author 

Furious will keep you glued to the edge of your helm seat.”
—Rick Pullen, bestselling thriller author 

“ . . . Higgins delights with this edge-of-your-seat debut novel.”
—Gordon MacKinney, award-winning author

“This is an outstanding debut, and I can’t wait to see what Jeffrey James Higgins does next.”
—Author Adam Meyer

“Higgins makes us feel like we are right there—trapped and fighting for our lives.”
—Author Steve Cone

“This timeless yet timely tale is crafted masterfully. It pulled me in
immediately. I swear I did not put the book down until I finished it.”
—Author John Hunt, MD

“Higgins delivers the most terror on the high seas in decades.”
—Author Timothy Gene Sojka

“. . . a take-no prisoners thriller . . .”
—Author Katherine Nichols

“A chilling and nail-biting experience from beginning to end . . . I
couldn’t put it down.”
—Author Dan McDowell

“. . . a terrifying maritime mashup of The Shining-Meets-Moby Dick . . . Furious is a page-turning pleasure.”
—Author Gojan Nikolich

“. . . an unthinkable terror on the high seas . . . Compelling from start to finish.”
—Author Michael Hopkins

“ What a brilliant debut . . . This page-turner is a must-read for thriller fans, and I’m looking forward to the author’s next release!”
—Author Anna Mocikat

“. . . a heart-thumping, nail-biting, keeping-me-awake-at-night story.”
—Author A.J. McCarthy

“A page-turner that will have your heart racing until the very end, [Furious] will have you checking the waters around you.”
—Sarah Burr, NetGalley Reviewer

“The pace is especially amazing, and I would recommend this book to anyone!”
—Lexi Denee, NetGalley Reviewer

“ . . the book is impossible to put down.”
The Harvard Press

“It’s utter intensity reminds me of Victor Hugo’s Toilers of the Sea.”
—The Savvy Street Review

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