The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and                  clamoring to become visible

Vladimir Nabokov


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Once you eliminate the             impossible, whatever remains, no matter                     how improbable,       must be the truth. 

Arthur Conan Doyle

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The Unseen

Forthcoming by 9mm Press | Released June, 2019 | Kindle, Ebook, Trade Paperback

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A fragment from an ancient scroll…

Boston Herald Investigative Journalist, Alex Careski, has been hiding from the truth about his dead father for eight years. And today, his fortieth birthday, is his day of reckoning.

A man inexplicably shoots at Alex from the parking garage, in search of an emailed image of an ancient manuscript page from the Hexapla, a highly controversial 1st century text comparing different versions of the Christian Bible. The page was emailed from Soren Careski – Alex’s dead father. How could this be? The shooter follows Alex home, shoots through his living room window, searches his home for the missing manuscript and, not finding it, kidnaps Alex’s wife Simone. The shooter leaves a single card on Alex’s table with the letter “I” written in calligraphy, and on the back the phrase, “am the Inquisition”. Beside it is another card with the notation “Rome”. Italy?

In London, The British Museum’s Director of Antiquities Lily Frasier is being interrogated by the police over the unthinkable theft of two volumes in the Castleman Library. In the midst of the interrogation, Lily gets a call from her sister Mona about a strange emailed image of a single manuscript page. Coincidence? Lily instructs Mona to fly to Rome immediately and meet her there, and not to tell anyone about the text.

After no cooperation from the Boston Police Department, Alex Careski flies to Rome to follow clues left by the shooter, desperate to find his beloved wife and answers to his mounting list of questions. Outside the airport, Alex is cornered, shoved into a car and taken to a cell, where he finds another victim, a young woman, Mona. She too was emailed the same ancient manuscript page. Together Alex and Mona try to escape from their holding cell to find the missing manuscript page, but ultimately for Mona to find her sister Lily, and Alex to find Simone.

Their quest takes Alex and Mona to the Angelica Library in Rome, and eventually to Dublin, where they meet someone who connects the tangled branches of Alex’s family tree and leads him to the real truth about his dead father and the secret he died to protect.

Advanced Praise for “The Unseen”

As good as Dan Brown’s best and filled with gripping, clever twists, Lisa Towles’ latest tale propels you through a deadly mystery delving into ancient texts—and it will keep you up all night. Definitely an intelligent page-turner.”

- A.C. Frieden, author of the Jonathan Brooks spy thriller series

Lisa Towles weaves an exquisite tale of deception, ancient scrolls, and kidnapping that spans continents and lifetimes. Beautifully rendered, The Unseen is a must-read for thriller lovers!"

- Cat Connor, Author of The Byte Series

2017 release:

CHOKE, a Thriller

releaseD june, 2017 by Rebel ePublishers

A Medical Mystery/Thriller

Selected as a Distinguished Favorite in the category of Thriller by the 2018 Independent Press (IPPY) Awards, and also won a NYC Big Book Award in the category of Thriller in Fall, 2018.


Kerry Stine heads to her job at San Francisco General Hospital to discover a patient has gone missing on her watch from ICU. She’s blamed for the disappearance, immediately suspended, and soon there’s a warrant for her arrest. Meanwhile, a stranger shows up at her apartment with his own key...while she’s home. For Kerry, tracking the missing ICU patient sets in motion a chain reaction of random events and strange coincidences that all circle back to a past that can’t possibly be hers. Can it?

Three thousand miles away, scientist Adrian Calhoun has developed a cigarette that cures lung cancer. But will he get the opportunity to publicize his creation before Big Pharma gets to him first? 

Watch the 1:38 Book Trailer on YouTube 

Forthcoming in June, 2017 by Rebel ePublishers in Kindle, Trade Paperback, and other digital formats. Keep updated on this release on my Facebook author page

Read the Testimonials:

"...grabbed me by the throat...a must-read" - Judith Schiess Avila, NYT Best-Selling author of Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by one of the Origial Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

" fine Hitchcock style, circumstances drag an innocent person into the thrill ride of a lifetime" - Simon Wood, USA Today Best-selling author of The One That Got Away and other books

"...twisty and riveting ride to the very end" - Cat Connor, author of The Byte Series

"...masterful use of dialog pulls the reader relentlessly through a complex, well-crafted plot" - Loretta Hall, author of eight non-fiction books

"...a smart, well-written thriller that will deliver on the big screen someday as well as it does on the page" - Leo Bottary, author of The Power of Peers

"...magnificent story...a smokin' good read!" - Les Edgerton, Award-winning author of The Death of Tarpons, The Rapist, The Bitch, The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping and others

"...a cleverly-conceived, fast-paced thriller that will keep you guessing right up to the last chapter" - Ian Barker, author of One Hot Summer

"...a fine cast of both good and bad guys, snappy dialogue, and great writing" - Christine Husom, author of the Winnebago County Mysteries and Snow Globe Shop Mysteries

"To categorize this book as a mystery is like calling The Grapes of Wrath a travelogue...."

— Slim Randles

"Lisa Polisar's moving story and elegant prose bring vitality and wonder to an age-old theme, turning The Ghost of Mary Prairie into a contemporary masterpiece."

— Pari Noskin Taichert, two-time Agatha Award finalist


From the Prologue

In 1961, southern Oklahoma was a landscape of hard traditions and miles of empty space. Recycled stories and wide prairies were the sustenance from which everyone drew strength and stability. Families lived in the same houses, on the same ranches and farms and on the same streets as their ancestors before them, and no whim of Darwinian evolution was going to break that chain. And woven into the very strands of this social tapestry was a culture of silence and a graveyard folklore that followed every day and every event like a grim, relentless shadow.


From Chapter One

I heard her for the first time on the fourth of July. Hottest damn day of the summer, the weathervane read ninety-eight degrees at ten in the morning. By noon the grass was too hot to walk on in bare feet. The air inside the house felt thick and heavy, and laden down with a strange silence.

No one answered my knock on the bedroom door.

Mama's pie was still baking in the oven but her round, aproned figure wasn't in front of the stove. The house was deserted. It was a Saturday afternoon and by far the scariest day of my life. Little did I know what was coming.

Literary Suspense
Trade Paperback $18.95
ISBN: 978-0-8263-4209-6
University of New Mexico Press

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Photo by Karen Harrison/iStock / Getty Images
"Lisa Polisar's BLACKWATER TANGO is a chilling and suspenseful novel about the hunt for a brilliant yet twisted psychologist turned serial killer. Horrific and frightening in its portrayal of cruelty and the erosion of sanity, it's a riveting read of one woman's determination to find her personal nemesis and nightmare before it claims her life as its next victim." Midwest Book Review

From the Prologue

He had six of them once. Now there were four.

This displeased him.

As a collector of fine things, there was a commonly accepted amount of subject matter required to be considered a "collection," though these terms involved semantics, which the man cared nothing about. He was more stimulated, or to be perfectly accurate, tantalized, by motivations. The kind of involuntary, primal urges that typically drove ninety percent of human behavior. Of primary interest to him was the process the mind went through when the walls closed in, when there was no longer enough breathing room or visual space to feel like a free person with free will and freedom of choice.

In particular, incarceration.


From Chapter One

Holding onto the edge of the hull with one hand, he carefully turned his body to the right, which let him brace against the hull for traction. Now with just a half turn left, Floyd pushed one last time on the handle and pulled the pots above the water's surface to swing them near the deck. Before allowing his gaze to rest on the last pot, he accounted for all of them first. All the smaller ones contained no bait and about four lobsters each. In heavy boots, Floyd stepped over the braided cables and sunk to his knees. He felt the freezing water seep through the fabric of his canvas pants to his skin as he kneeled down and craned his neck to see the contents of what lie before him. Like his eyes had betrayed earlier and like his body had tried to warn him, a form, folded and bluish-gray in color, lay crumpled like an old tarp within the tight confines of the 23,000 cubic inch wooden lobster trap.

Except that this tarp had a face.


Hardcover ISBN: 1-591330-13-0 $27.95
Trade Paperback ISBN: 1-591330-14-9 $16.95
Published by Hilliard and Harris, 2002

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Back Cover Text


The New Mexico desert promises two immutable truths:

No secrets stays buried forever, and no one disappears without a trace. 

Tamara Kindrel vanishes after her final visit to the Hagen Mineral Mine. Later, her car turns up in Denver with traces of her blood on the front seat. In the same mine two years later, a mineralogist falls down a shaft and accidentally lands in a cave containing bones, artifacts and… a human skeleton.

Without waiting for the coroner to confirm his suspicions, Sheriff Judd Eakins has his own ideas about the identity of the remains. First on his agenda is to call Leo Drucker, Law Enforcement Ranger with the Bureau of Land Managament. He's a friend, fishing buddy, and one of the keenest investigators Judd's ever known.

What begins as an exploratory meandering quickly turns to obsession, as they try to track down a killer with a two-year head start. Their research into the case history proves the impossible — a handful of people had the opportunity to kill Tamara, but no one had a plausible motive. Skirting the narrow sliver between legal and illegal and barely surviving a precarious game of chase, Leo and Judd discover that the evidence is right in front of them. Fast thinking earns them two steps toward finding Tamara's killer — until he kills again.

From the author of the eerie psychological thriller, BLACKWATER TANGO, comes Lisa Polisar's second novel — a sure fit for mystery lovers and those enchanted with the haunting allure of the American Southwest.

Trade Paperback ISBN 1594660077

Port Town Publishers

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From the quiet English countryside to the gritty streets of Boston's Chinatown, we both see and sense a silent commonality among these eerie tales — Polisar's fascination with the darkness of the human psyche. Murder in a mental institution, a jazz club, deadly assassins, Lisa Polisar's intricate storytelling and startling characters will take you on an unforgettable ride through fear, terror, and deliverance.

From the moors of Devon to Boston, 'Frisco and the Midwest, Polisar's finely drawn characters possess a dogged determination to escape various fates besetting them. Will they?

— Albert Noyer, author of the Getorius and Arcadia Mystery Series

Escape is the perfect collection of short stories for the reader who loves variety in their mysteries. You'll find everything from the scariest classic suspense, the modern police procedural, the English cozy, traditional whodunit, to futuristic crimes, perfect to keep your mystery muse wonderfully entertained.

— Marilyn Meredith, The Invisible Path, latest in the Deputy Crabtree Mystery Series

From the English countryside to the plains of Oklahoma, from a Chinatown shoeshine shop to a San Francisco jazz joint, cops and robbers pair up with murderous musicians, lonely lovers, and deadly daughters in a collection of cleverly plotted crime stories by multi-published author Lisa Polisar. For fans of mystery and mayhem, short fiction doesn't get much better than this.

— Mary Welk, author of the "Rhodes to Murder" Series


Collection of Mystery Short Fiction
Trade Paperback, $6.95
ISBN: 9780982529461
NukeWorks Publishing (Dec, 2010)

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