Psychological thriller, R.K. Jackson, Random House, Alibi, suspense, Southern Gothic.

R.K. Jackson

thriller author



“Somehow, Randal has captured the sense of beauty and danger one always feels in coastal Georgia.”

- Playwright Barbara Lebow, author of A Shayna Maidel



The Girl in the Maze  is an exciting debut novel. I have been privileged to work with the author on honing this work, and I think the result is stunning.”

- Marcia Meier, former director of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference


“This scared the hell out of me.”

– Laura Otis
MacArthur Genius Fellow and author of Mueller’s Lab


Nannygoat beach

Pristine and unspoiled, Nannygoat Beach is a feature of Georgia’s Sapelo Island, a place reachable only by boat.

Sapelo Island, Georgia, a tangle of salt marsh and sand that you can get to only by boat, is a model for the novel’s fictional Shell Heap Island. Sapelo holds the largest community of people who identify themselves as saltwater Geechees. Sometimes called Gullah people, they have inhabited the nation’s southeast coast for more than two centuries and have long held their land as a touchstone, fighting the kind of development that turned neighboring islands into vacation destinations.

More about the Geechees >

The author was also inspired by his personal interactions with individuals who suffer from schizophrenia, an illness that affects about one in 100 people but rarely leads to violent behavior. Like the protagonist of “The Girl in the Maze,” many people diagnosed with schizophrenia are high-functioning and able to lead normal lives.

More about schizophrenia >


R. K. Jackson is a former CNN journalist who now works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He lives with his family in the Los Padres National Forest and is at work on a second Martha Covington thriller, The Kiss of the Sun.

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