Ryan David Jahn grew up in Arizona, California, and Texas. He finished school at sixteen, worked several odd jobs, from record store clerk to janitor, and spent time in the army before moving to Los Angeles, where he muddled about in television and film for several years.
He writes what he simply calls crime fiction because each story revolves around some type of crime or another. Some people have described some of the books as overly graphically violent but they are certainly dark and riveting.
He now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife Jessica and two daughters, Francine and Matilda.
The majority of Jahn’s books are stand-alone thrillers that reach into the darkened recesses of people’s lives. There is plenty of violence that some people may find difficult to stomach. He has also written a book featuring private investigator Damien Lamb which appears to be the first of a series.
His first novel, Acts of Violence (2009), takes place over a period of two hours and revolves around the murder of Katrina Marino, a bar manager stabbed in the courtyard outside her apartment block. Her murder is witnessed by several people, none of whom call the police or try to help, as each denies responsibility.
The book won the 2010 CWA John Creasey Dagger for Best First Novel. It was also published under the title Good Neighbors.
The second novel is Low Life (2010) and it is about a man, a lonely accountant, who is attacked while asleep in his bed by an intruder. In the ensuing fight he kills his assailant but rather than calling the police he places the body in his bathtub under ice as he conducts his own investigation about why the man tried to kill him.
What he finds during his investigation is a series of events that took place over the previous year that brought their lives together. This is a gritty noir drama that is both disturbing and difficult to put down.
The third book is titled The Dispatcher (2011) and features a police dispatcher named Ian Hunt. He lives a quiet life in a small town and is still mourning his daughter who went missing years ago.
One night he receives a phone call and it’s from his missing daughter who has escaped from her abductor and screams for her father to come and save her. It is the beginning of a desperate and extremely violent hunt.
This book was a finalist for the 2012 CWA Steel Dagger Award.
The Last Tomorrow (2012) takes place in Los Angeles in 1952 and it starts with a boy murdering his stepfather with the added twist that he carves a symbol in the corpse’s forehead. It links a certain comic publication and when the investigation is opened by a grand jury it opens up a broad cast of implicated characters.
This is another story that moves quickly, involves a varied and quirky cast of characters and is complex in the sub-plots that are drawn together. It is also dark and brutal, like so many other of his books.
The Gentle Assassin (2015) is about a man who has seen his mother killed in front of him. It happened 26 years ago and he is harbouring dark thoughts of revenge. He thinks he knows who killed her, he believes it was his father who disappeared soon after the death.
Tracking down the man starts to unearth a growing number of secrets, some of them dangerous and quite possibly lethal. This becomes a far more dark and sinister story than a simple tale of a man who wants to kill his father.
The Breakout (2017) is another high-octane thriller. This time it features a Marine Corps sniper named James Murphy who has done a couple of tours of Afghanistan. He is out for revenge for the murder of his sister by a Mexican drug king-pin. His plan is to travel to Mexico and carry out his revenge.
He is stopped and caught by Mexican police and thrown in prison where it seems as though he is destined to die. But his marine corps brothers have learned of his fate and have decided to carry out a daring mission to get him out. And that’s when the real violence and mayhem starts.
The Damien Lamb Series
Dark Hours (2015) appears to be the first in a series of books and it features a private investigator named Damien Lamb. The story synopsis explains that he is a man hardened by life and seeking justice against those who have wronged society. When the vulnerable Abigail walks into his office asking Lamb to retrieve her daughter from the confines of infamous cult the Children of God, Lamb can't help but fall for her story.
And so begins a breath-taking and dangerous journey as Lamb attempts to rescue Abigail's daughter, Lily, and bring down the charming yet heinous leader of the cult, Rhett Mosley. But Abigail's motivations might not be as clear as they first seem and Lamb finds himself in more danger than he could ever have imagined.