Photo: Hazel Dixon

Photo: Hazel Dixon

A roller-coaster ride of suspense
— Library Journal
Realistic characters and a fast-paced plot
— Publishers Weekly
...suspenseful... thought-provoking...
— Booklist



What do you say when your best friend begins forgetting? What do you do when she begins seeing a woman who isn’t there?

Claire and Tessa are best friends, and both work for the San Joaquin River conservancy group, Claire as an environmental scientist, and Tessa as director of education. Tessa’s husband Eric is preoccupied with the biggest case of his career, defending a woman accused of murdering her husband, so Claire has nowhere to turn when Tessa begins to lose her memory. Soon Tessa reveals to Claire that she sees a girl on the river—and when a car containing bloodstains and a German Luger is pulled from the water—Claire knows she has to figure out what’s going on. Set in “the forgotten California,” the towns of the San Joaquin Valley, THE RIVER BELOW is a story of suppressed secrets, fractured families, friendship, and murder.


Publishers Weekly says "Set in Central California, this poignant standalone from Hill is as much a story about friendship and loss as it is a mystery. Claire Barrett, an environmental scientist working on a San Joaquin restoration project, is shaken when an antique pistol is found in the mangled wreckage of a car pulled from the river..."



A few recent accolades:

First Place Winner, 2019, genre short story

Writer's Digest magazine

Read "Feliz Navidead," Bonnie's winning short story in the holiday issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, available November 2019.

First Place Winner, 2019 essay

The Writer magazine

Read "What I Wish I'd Known," Bonnie's winning essay on writing was published in the August 2019 issue of The Writer. Read it here.


Harlequin Creator Fund Feel Good Project (one of four recipients)

For a novel-in-progress about three women making it together in the Southern California rock radio world of the late 1960s and early 1970s.


Kit Doyle


Sacramento crime writer Kit Doyle appears in these suspense novels.



Kit’s best friend, Farley, is missing. Kit and Virgie, the formerly homeless break-in expert, travel to Northern California, where they discover an off-the-grid community—and a killer.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo





Kit tries to trace two runaways who leave the same note: “Goodbye forever.” Her search leads her to a group of young people who met at a camp for disturbed children and are now ready to carry out their plot for revenge.

Amazon | Barnes & NobleIndieBound | Kobo



Kit Doyle’s mother tells her she has left a secret letter for Kit if “anything should happen.” Not long after, she is dead. Upon reading the letter, Kit embarks upon a dangerous search for the truth.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo


“I love writing, even when I hate it.”

There are no plot problems —only character problems.
— Bonnie
With Kim Stephens on KMPH Channel 26 Great Day Book Club

With Kim Stephens on KMPH Channel 26 Great Day Book Club

You can fix anything but a blank page.
— Bonnie

Bonnie Hearn Hill is the author of sixteen suspense novels (MIRA, Perseus, and Severn House), most recently the Kit Doyle crime-blogger series. A national contest judge, conference presenter, and mentor to numerous writers, she has co-hosted a Central California television news network’s book segment since 2002. Huelga, a film set during the Delano Grape Strike of 1965 and based on one of her books, is currently in pre-production. She lives in Fresno, California, near the San Joaquin river bluffs, where her next novel is set.

A strong support group, even one close writer friend, makes you feel less alone.
— Bonnie
With Dolores Huerta (Photo: Hazel Dixon)

With Dolores Huerta (Photo: Hazel Dixon)

You get only four exclamation marks in your life, so choose carefully.
— Bonnie