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Robert Dugoni's Biography

Member Info

Jan 2012

Robert Dugoni was born in Pocatello, Idaho and raised in Burlingame, California. Growing up the middle child in a family of ten siblings, Dugoni jokes that he didn't get much of a chance to talk, so he wrote. By the seventh grade he wanted to be a writer.

Dugoni wrote his way to Stanford University where he majored in communications/journalism and creative writing as well as working as a reporter for the Stanford Daily. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and worked briefly as a reporter in the Metro and San Gabriel Valley Offices of the Los Angeles Times before deciding to attend the UCLA School of Law. Dugoni practiced law full-time in San Francisco as a partner at the law firm, Gordon and Rees, and is currently of counsel for a law firm in Seattle.

While practicing law Dugoni satisfied his artistic thirst studying acting at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and appearing in equity and non-equity shows throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His longing to return to writing never wavered, however, and in 1999 he made the decision to quit the full-time practice of law to write novels. On his wedding anniversary he drove a u-haul trailer across the Oregon-Washington border and settled in Seattle to pursue his dream.

For the next three years, Dugoni worked in an 8 x 8 foot windowless office in Seattle s Pioneer Square. He completed three novels, two of which won the 1999 and 2000 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contests. However it was Dugoni's non-fiction expose, The Cyanide Canary, that gave him his start in the business. Published in 2004 by Simon and Schuster, the critically acclaimed true story chronicled the investigation, prosecution, and aftermath surrounding an environmental crime in Soda Springs, Idaho. It became a Washington Post Best Book of the year, and the Idaho Book of the Year.

Dugoni's debut novel, The Jury Master followed the next year and became a New York Times bestseller. Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine chose it as one of three "Best of the Best" debut novels of 2006. The Seattle Times and Library Journal likened Dugoni to a young John Grisham, calling The Jury Master, "A riveting tale of murder, skullduggery and treachery at the highest level."

Dugoni's second novel, Damage Control, reached number 8 on several national independent bookseller's lists with Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal branding it "a page turner" with "a fast moving plot and a few twists that will surprise even seasoned thriller readers."

Wrongful Death, the 2009 sequel to The Jury Master also received critical acclaim. Mysterious Reviews touted the novel as "among the best books to be published this year." Kirkus called it, "An entertaining thriller about a hotshot lawyer with good guys to like, villains to hiss, and windmills to attack." And Booklist wrote, "Mixing the suspense of a Grisham legal thriller with the political angle of a Baldacci. Dugoni is knocking on the A-list thriller door."

Dugoni's third novel in the David Sloane series, Bodily Harm was selected one of the top five thrillers of 2010 by Library Journal, and the Providence, Rhode Island Journal wrote, "Bodily Harm most resembles Word of Honor, still Nelson DeMille's masterwork. No Turow or Grisham tale ever had this kind of depth, color and breathless plotting, and the result brands Dugoni as the undisputed king of the legal thriller."

With Murder One, however, Dugoni cemented himself and the David Sloane series among the genre's best. Publisher's Weekly called Murder One "The best yet in the series" and Library Journal picked it again as one of the top five thrillers of the year, calling the novel a cross between the blockbuster motion picture Basic Instinct and the Turow's masterpiece, Presumed Innocent.

Dugoni's 2012 novel, The Conviction, the fifth in the David Sloane series, will be released June 12, 2012.

Dugoni's books have been published in 18 foreign countries. In addition to writing novels he teaches the craft of writing and writing novels throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. 

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