A Novel

Thomas Dunne Books

A riveting Hitchcockian thriller from the screenwriter of THE CROW.

Elias McCabe is having one hell of a night:  He gets kidnapped at gunpoint by a professional hit man and is forced to shoot blackmail photos of a prominent politician.  Things go wrong with the shoot… very wrong.  When the night is over, Elias is scared to death … and ten thousand dollars richer.

If he keeps his mouth shut.

But he doesn’t — and now the hit man has targeted him for payback.

As a desperate amateur in the games of death, Elias is up against a seasoned pro.  As his entire life slides into the abyss, he has to stay alive by inventing new ways, moment-by-moment, to avoid, misdirect, and finally confront his ever-more-determined murderer as corpses and collateral damage stack up coast-to-coast in their wake.


Read an Excerpt



I had just wrapped up having sex with my best friend’s ex-wife, after shooting naked pictures of her, when I heard a slight entry noise from the elevator end of the loft, and looked up into the face of a man holding a gun.
“Hi, Elias,” said the man, whom I had never met.
The gun was formidable. I didn’t know from guns. For me, shooting meant taking a photograph, and none of my other definitions had anything to do with firearms. I only knew that this pistol had a bore so big it looked as though I could stick my index finger in


Praise for Upgunned

"David J. Schow is one of the most interesting writers of his generation." —Peter Straub, award winning horror author of A Dark Matter

"Internecine cycles like an MP5 on full auto. Cynical and ironic, it's David J. Schow at the top of his or anyone's game, breaking rules left and right in this combustible cocktail of bloodshed, betrayal, and guns, guns, guns." —F. Paul Wilson, award winning science fiction author of the internationally best-selling The Keep

is a balls-out, bone-snapping, mind-melting thriller the best I've read all year." —Duane Swierczynski, crime author of Fun & Games

In the Press

UPGUNNED by David J. Schow | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of UPGUNNED . Forced at gunpoint to take blackmail shots of high-ranking L.A. cop Dominic Sharps and a prostitute <em>in flagrante delicto<em>--a shoot that requires some improvising since Sharps had a fatal heart attack on the way to the studio--postmodern-chic photographer Elias McCabe runs for his life. Good idea since everyone he knows, including the most beautiful girls, is being indifferently slit, stabbed and shot to death by his pursuers.
- Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • DAVID J. SCHOW writes novels and award-winning short stories, movies (such as The Crow) and TV (such as Masters of Horror), fiction and non, and lives in Los Angeles.



Available Formats and Book Details


A Novel



Thomas Dunne Books