David Putnam


Retired cop, bestselling author

During his career in law enforcement, bestselling author David Putnam has done it all: worked in narcotics, violent crimes, criminal intelligence, hostage rescue, SWAT, and internal affairs, to name just a few. He is the recipient of many awards and commendations for heroism. The Heartless is the seventh novel and the third in the “young Bruno” prequels for the acclaimed and bestselling Bruno Johnson crime series, following The Disposables, The Replacements, The Squandered, The Vanquished, The Innocents and The Reckless. Putnam lives in southern California with his wife, Mary.

For more on David, please visit his website. Read our review of his latest book, The Heartlesshere and our in-depth Author Spotlight interview with him here.

Your biggest literary influences:

John D. MacDonald, Raymond Chandler, John Sanford, Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy

Last book read:

Cowboy and The Cossack by Clair Huffaker

The book that changed your life:

Tough question. I started reading at a young age and never stopped. I was working surveillance of a meth lab out in the middle of the desert. I kept novels in the backseat of the undercover car and read them during downtime. I was down to my last novel — a second from the other where the first one was a national bestseller. I started reading it and found it to be a real dog, but I was stuck, a captive audience. I read the entire book. When I finished reading it, I had an epiphany and thought I could do better. I wrote the first four novels on the front seat of my undercover car. I did not get published until I was writing my 38th manuscript. I sold the 34th, The Disposables.

Your favorite literary character:

Several: Travis McGee, Lucas Davenport, Augustus “Gus” McCrae, Woodrow F. Call, Harry Bosch, and of course, Phillip Marlowe. I like heroes who champion the underdog.

Currently working on:

Book ten in the Bruno Johnson series, working title: The Scorned.

Words to live by:

Never stop reading and write every day.

Advice for aspiring authors:

Voice is the “everything” in writing — once you have voice everything else will fall into place.

Articles and Reviews:

David Putnam (The Replacements)

BookTrib (The Heartless)

Kirkus (The Innocents)

Publishers Weekly


“I really loved The Disposables. It’s raw, powerful and eloquent. It’s a gritty street poem recited by a voice unalterably committed to redemption and doing the right thing in a wrong world. I’ll be first in line for the next one from David Putnam.”
— Michael Connelly

” … a dark and disturbing insider’s novel that may not make you feel safer on the mean streets of L.A. Dark, disturbing and all too believable, this is the tale of one man’s quest for atonement in a world where innocence is a liability.”
— T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of The Famous & the Dead

“This novel gives off heat … [with] unique and startling plot twists. But what really recommends the book is the high octane presentation … [and] the sense of urgency and authenticity, the feeling that this is the real deal, set down by somebody who was there and still hasn’t gotten over it. The SWAT-like assault on the crime house is an impressive set piece.”
— Booklist