Sean Doolittle

Sean Doolittle Novels

Author website

Sean Doolittle is originally from southeastern Nebraska and is currently based in Omaha, Nebraska. His stand-alone novels are good examples of the hardboiled genre.

​Before the publication of his first novel, Dirt, in 2001 he published a number of short stories with a good proportion of them in the horror genre.

​Sean Doolittle’s Books

Dirt was the first book published by Doolittle and quickly earned critical acclaim when it was named as one of the 100 Best Books of 2001 by the editors at

​The story centers around Quince Bishop who finds himself in a fistfight with environmentalists at a friend’s funeral. Now, up until that point Quince was a layabout who tended to do nothing but this incident throws him into a scheme where the unscrupulous are attempting to take advantage of the lucrative death industry.

The 2nd novel, Burn (2003) was a Gold Medal winner in the ForeWord Magazine 2003 Book of the Year Award in the mystery category. It is a hardboiled crime novel that focuses on the crime of arson and zings along at breakneck pace. Many people have compared to the style to that of Elmore Leonard with the same types quirky characters and offbeat humor. I tend to agree.

His 4th book was The Cleanup (2006) and this won the 2007 Barry Award for best Paperback. It was also nominated for an Anthony Award that year, also in the category of Best Paperback.​

On the front cover is the tagline “No one gets away clean” and that pretty much sums up how ugly things get here. The story is about Matthew Worth who has screwed up his career as a cop, along with his marriage. He is consigned to work night-patrol at an Omaha supermarket when he is approached by the shy checkout girl he might be falling for. She is scared and desperate and needs his help. The result: he’s driving a stolen car with a corpse in the trunk and a pistol in the glove box.​

Safer (2009) has been optioned to be made into a movie with the working title of Beg the Devil. It is a story about a young couple, Paul and Sara Callaway, who move into a house that appears to be in a perfect cul-de-sac location.

Their lives are plunged into turmoil when an intruder enters their home one night. The troubles escalate when Paul is accused of being involved in child pornography. The accusation comes after he discovers a few secrets about one of his neighbors.

Lake Country (2012) is the 6th novel and won the 2013 ITW Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original.

This is a story about a man who falls asleep at the wheel and kills a young woman. He is jailed but the sentence is not tough enough for one man who comes up with a harsher punishment. The hunt is then on in earnest with one man intent on handing out his own justice and another on his trail trying to stop him before he goes too far.