Headed for Trouble - By Suzanne Brockmann


I started writing my sixteen-book Troubleshooters series in 1999. I’ve covered a lot of ground in the years since then, creating a large stable of characters—some of whom have insisted on being recurring, showing up in book after book, and some of whom who have faded gracefully into the background as new characters were introduced and took center stage.

One thing is for certain: Regardless of how popular a character was, there was no way to include every single member of SEAL Team Sixteen in each and every one of the books. And even if beloved characters did appear, the situation wasn’t always the right opportunity to get readers caught up on what was going on in their lives.

Picture a scenario where a SEAL team fast-ropes in to rescue characters who are being held hostage. The SEAL in command does not say, “Hi, my name is Lieutenant Mike Muldoon, and by the way, my wife, Joan, and I just had a baby boy, and even though we’re not getting much sleep, we’re both deliriously happy.”

I mean, that’s just not gonna happen, right?

And some characters were so … strong, shall we say, that it was hard to bring them into a book for a walk-on or extra role—they would tend to take over the scene and then the entire book if I didn’t remain vigilant. (I’m talking about you, Sam Starrett!) So I often found myself sending them out of town on some important mission or op just to clear the stage for the newer characters.

Long story short, some years back, I started writing short stories to keep readers up to date as to what was happening in these characters’ busy and eventful lives.

But I knew right from the start that I wanted these short stories to have substance. I knew that I didn’t want to write “Sam and Alyssa Get a Puppy.” Instead, the first short that I wrote was a story in which Sam and Alyssa, newly married, are out on a missing persons case, working together for Troubleshooters Incorporated, when they bump into the victim of a notorious serial killer called “the Dentist.”

I called it “When Alyssa and Sam Met the Dentist,” and it was more of a day-in-the-life character study of how previously cynical Alyssa is subtly being changed by her recent marriage to optimistic Sam.

This short first appeared in the back of Flashpoint, and interestingly, many readers didn’t recognize that it was just that—a short story. I got email after email, asking me when the rest of that book about that serial killer was going to come out. (Oops.)

At the same time, I knew that finding evidence of that killer’s handiwork was gnawing at Alyssa, so I wasn’t surprised when the Dentist came up again, in later Sam and Alyssa short stories (included in this collection, too). And for those readers who are thinking, The Dentist sounds familiar …, I finally allowed the deadly killer to go head-to-head with Alyssa (and Sam, naturally) in the full-length Troubleshooters novel Hot Pursuit.

For those of you who like to know exactly how it all fits together, I’ve included a timeline that allows you to see where each of the stories in this collection falls within the framework of the sixteen published Troubleshooters books, and the two e-published Troubleshooters short stories.

There’s also a glossary of terms, FYI, at the back of the book, as well as a special bonus short story called “Shane’s Last Stand,” which features the Navy SEAL hero of my futuristic paranormal book Born to Darkness. (Even in the future, SEALs are still SEALs, and the only easy day was yesterday.)

As always, with all the books that I write, any mistakes made or liberties taken are completely my own.

Suzanne Brockmann

May 12, 2012



When Frank Met Rosie

Timeframe: Thanksgiving Day

Hero: Navy SEAL Chief Frank O’Leary

Heroine: Rosie Marchado


1. The Unsung Hero

Timeframe: August

First Published: June 2000

Hero: Navy SEAL Lt. Tom Paoletti

Heroine: Dr. Kelly Ashton

Storyline: A SEAL recovering from a head injury spots a believed-to-be-dead terrorist in a quiet little New England town.

Secondary Romance: Tom’s niece Mallory Paoletti and comic book artist David Sullivan

World War II Subplot: Resistance in Nazi-occupied France, a love triangle between Charles, Joe, and Cybele.


2. The Defiant Hero

Timeframe: Spring

Note: Flashbacks to 1997, with young SEALs Nils, Sam, and WildCard

First Published: March 2001

Hero: Navy SEAL Lt. (jg) John “Nils” Nilsson

Heroine: Meg Moore

Storyline: The rescue of Meg’s kidnapped grandmother and daughter.

Secondary Romance: Navy SEAL Sam Starrett and FBI Agent Alyssa Locke

World War II Subplot: The evacuation of Dunkirk (Eve and Ralph).