Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  David Ellis  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Born: 1967 in Downers Grove, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Ellis was born in Downers Grove and graduated from University of Illinois and Northwestern University Law School. He currently resides outside Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

David Ellis is a lawyer and award-winning author of over a dozen novels. As a lawyer, Dave prosecuted and convicted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in the Impeachment trial before the Illinois Senate. He has served as Special Counsel to the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and argued dozens of cases at the trial and appellate levels, specializing in constitutional law. In December, 2014, Ellis was sworn in as the youngest-serving Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The Hidden Man (Jason Kolarich)
ISBN: 0425237419

G.P. Putnam's Sons. 2011

Jason Kolarich is a Chicago attorney with a lineman's build, a razor- sharp intellect-and the grief of a tragic personal loss. When an estranged childhood friend is charged with murder, Kolarich must create a solid defense-even while doubting his client's innocence. But it soon becomes clear that Kolarich will have to uncover long-forgotten events from their shared childhoods to save his friend-and bring a relentless killer to justice before he strikes again.

Breach of Trust (A Jason Kolarich Novel)
ISBN: 0425245861

G.P. Putnam's Sons. 2012

On the night his wife and infant daughter died, attorney Jason Kolarich was awaiting a call from an informant. He blames himself not only for the deaths of his family, but for the informant's murder as well. Kolarich can't bring back his family, but he can find the person who killed the informant. And he discovers that his informant's murder was only the tip of the iceberg-and that exposing the truth will drag him into the fight of his life.

The Wrong Man (A Jason Kolarich Novel)
ISBN: 0425251942

G.P. Putnam's Sons. 2012

When a homeless Iraq War veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder is arrested for murder, Jason Kolarich agrees to take the case and discovers that the victim had stumbled on a terrorist conspiracy with ties to corporate America.

The Last Alibi (A Jason Kolarich Novel)
ISBN: 0425267741

G.P. Putnam's Sons. 2014

The Last Alibi (A Jason Kolarich Novel) by Ellis, David

Line of Vision
ISBN: 0425183769

G.P. Putnam's Sons. 2002

David Ellis’ Line of Vision has won the 2002 Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author!

Marty Kalish has been accused of murdering his lover's husband. He had a motive. He was at the scene of the crime. He manipulated evidence to hide his guilt. He even confessed. But that's not the end of the story. That's only the beginning.

Life Sentence
ISBN: 0399149791

Putnam. 2003

Line of Vision, David Ellis's debut, garnered resounding praise. "Expertly written [and] intricately plotted," hailed the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "A surprisingly fresh take on the legal thriller" (San Francisco Chronicle), it inspired words like "seductive" (BookPage), "spellbinding" (Publishers Weekly), and "stylish" (Kirkus Reviews).

In Life Sentence, Ellis brings us a second legal thriller, again evocatively set in an unnamed Chicago, in a Byzantine world of big-city politics full of payback and promise, ambition and disgrace. Jon Soliday is legal counsel to a powerful politician-also his childhood best friend-who is running for governor. The two have shared political success and undying loyalty. They also share a dark secret from the summer of 1979: a party that resulted in the death of a teenage girl. Soliday was implicated but, through his friend's political connections, escaped legal trouble.

Soliday remembers little from that night, but carries an uncertain guilt he can't shake. Now, as the players from 1979 fall prey to an unknown killer, Soliday is himself accused of murder. And as the puzzle unfolds, the people he most suspects are those he has entrusted with his defense-his ambitious defense attorney and his oldest friend.

A man's past, both what he remembers and what he fears, has never felt so crushing-and may well leave him without a future.

Jury of One (Ellis, David)
ISBN: 0399151494

Putnam Adult. 2004

An edge-of-the-seat legal thriller about a woman who learns the boy she's defending for murder may be the child she gave up for adoption years earlier-from an Edgar Award winner who belongs "in the ring with Scott Turow" (Kirkus Reviews).

Life Sentence, David Ellis's follow-up to his Edgar-winning debut, Line of Vision, inspired great admiration from lovers of courtroom suspense. "Ellis balances plot, setting, pacing, characterization, and surprises in just the right measure to create a compelling high-stakes drama," said The Washington Post Book World.

In Jury of One, Shelly Trotter, the daughter of the state's governor and a children's-rights advocate, is thrust into a world in which she's completely unschooled-the criminal court. The defendant is a seventeen-year-old former client who is accused of killing a cop. Shelly soon learns that this boy was caught in the middle of an undercover operation to trap corrupt officers. But what was his role in the sting? The target or the bait? And what does the prosecution really have against him?

Then comes the shocker: The kid says he is the son she gave up in a private adoption kept hush-hush by her father, who had political ambitions beyond their small town. As the evidence mounts, Shelly finds that nothing-not legal ethics, not her father's reelection campaign-will stop her from keeping her son off death row-for with this client, she is truly a jury of one.

In the Company of Liars
ISBN: 0399152474

Putnam Adult. 2005

In the Company of Liars is a truly original thriller, strikingly fresh and unpredictable. Told in chronological reverse, from its enigmatic end to its brilliant beginning, the novel is centered on a woman who is on trial for murder-Allison Pagone, a mother caught between competing forces, each represented by someone who may not care if the pressure kills her in the end. A prosecutor wants Allison convicted and put on death row. An FBI agent believes she can squeeze her into ratting on her family. A daughter and an ex-husband need to save their own skins. And circling them all: a group who would prefer to eliminate her quietly and anonymously, but who also are not what they seem.

Our first picture of Allison is in the moments following her death. The story then moves backward in time like the cult film Memento: an hour earlier, then the day before, back and back to the beginning, until we can see what's really happened-and, most shocking, what hasn't. At every turn, Allison Pagone knows that what she sees may not be what's real. The only sure thing is her place in a vortex of half-truths, threats, and suspicion. When her nightmare is over, will she awake in the company of friends -or in the company of liars?

Eye of the Beholder
ISBN: 0399154337

Putnam Adult. 2007

Edgar Award-winner David Ellis shifts gears to deliver a stunning new thriller where every character has a secret-and every secret has a price.

David Ellis's In the Company of Liars is an audaciously inventive thriller. In a David Ellis novel, nothing is ever what it seems, and so it is with Eye of the Beholder, a heart-pounding novel filled with dark secrets and the horrific lengths that desperate people will go to keep them.

Renowned attorney Paul Riley has built a lucrative career based on his famous prosecution of Terry Burgos, a serial killer who followed the lyrics of a violent song to gruesomely murder six girls. Now, fifteen years later, the police are confronted with a new series of murders and mutilations. Riley is the first to realize that the two cases are connected-and that the killer seems to be willing to do anything to keep him involved. As the murderer's list of victims becomes less random and more personal, Riley finds himself at the center of a police task force assigned to catch the murderer-as both an investigator and a suspect.

Driven by his own fear that he may have overlooked something crucial during the investigation years ago, Riley must sift through fifteen years of lies in order to uncover the truth-but the killer isn't the only one who wants to keep the past buried. . . .

Guilty Wives
ISBN: 0446571881

Vision. 2013

No husbands allowed

Only minutes after Abbie Elliot and her three best friends step off of a private helicopter, they enter the most luxurious, sumptuous, sensually pampering hotel they have ever been to. Their lavish presidential suite overlooks Monte Carlo, and they surrender: to the sun and pool, to the sashimi and sake, to the Bruno Paillard champagne. For four days they're free to live someone else's life. As the weekend moves into pulsating discos, high-stakes casinos, and beyond, Abbie is transported to the greatest pleasure and release she has ever known.

What happened last night?

In the morning's harsh light, Abbie awakens on a yacht, surrounded by police. Something awful has happened--something impossible, unthinkable. Abbie, Winnie, Serena, and Bryah are arrested and accused of the foulest crime imaginable. And now the vacation of a lifetime becomes the fight of a lifetime--for survival. GUILTY WIVES is the ultimate indulgence, the kind of nonstop joy-ride of excess, friendship, betrayal, and danger that only James Patterson can create.

Mistress
ISBN: 1455515892

Grand Central Publishing. 2014

After the beautiful Diana Hotchkiss is found murdered outside her apartment, an obsessive man, Ben, discovers she was leading an illicit double life.

Invisible
ISBN: 1455585033

Grand Central Publishing. 2015

[ Invisible BY Patterson, James ( Author ) ] { Paperback } 2015

The Murder House
ISBN: 0316410985

Little, Brown and Company. 2015

It has an ocean-front view, a private beach--and a deadly secret that won't stay buried.

No. 7 Ocean Drive is a gorgeous, multi-million-dollar beachfront estate in the Hamptons, where money and privilege know no bounds. But its beautiful gothic exterior hides a horrific past: it was the scene of a series of depraved killings that have never been solved. Neglected, empty, and rumored to be cursed, it's known as the Murder House, and locals keep their distance.

Detective Jenna Murphy used to consider herself a local, but she hasn't been back since she was a girl. Trying to escape her troubled past and rehabilitate a career on the rocks, the former New York City cop hardly expects her lush and wealthy surroundings to be a hotbed of grisly depravity. But when a Hollywood power broker and his mistress are found dead in the abandoned Murder House, the gruesome crime scene rivals anything Jenna experienced in Manhattan. And what at first seems like an open and shut case turns out to have as many shocking secrets as the Murder House itself, as Jenna quickly realizes that the mansion's history is much darker than even the town's most salacious gossips could have imagined. As more bodies surface, and the secret that Jenna has tried desperately to escape closes in on her, she must risk her own life to expose the truth--before the Murder House claims another victim.

Full of the twists and turns that have made James Patterson the world's #1 bestselling writer, THE MURDER HOUSE is a chilling, page-turning story of murder, money, and revenge.


Awards

-- Line of Vision

Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author, 2002The Hidden Man

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

2016 ILLINOIS READS Book