Andrew Klavan

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Andrew Klavan
Born 1954
New York City
Pen name Keith Peterson
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Education BA Business
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Genre Mystery
Spouse Ellen Flanagan (1980-present; 2 children)[1]

Andrew Klavan, (born 1954), also known by his pen name Keith Peterson, is an American writer of mystery novels, psychological thrillers, and screenplays for "tough-guy" mystery films. Two of Klavan's books have been adapted into motion pictures: True Crime (1999) and Don't Say a Word (2001). He has been nominated for the Edgar Award four times and has won twice.[2] Playwright and novelist Laurence Klavan is his brother.[3]

Klavan also has written columns and appeared as a political commentator for a variety of conservative publications such as the news-magazine City Journal and PJ Media.

Personal life

Klavan was born in New York City. His parents were Phyllis and Gene Klavan, the latter a New York City disc jockey and one-half of the radio show "Klavan and Finch".[4] He grew up on Long Island with his three brothers.[3] He studied Business at the University of California, Berkeley.[3][5] At this time, he self-identified as a political liberal while opposing some liberal policies, such as affirmative action.[6]

Klavan has two children with his wife, Ellen (Flanagan).[7] Klavan was raised Jewish, but became an agnostic after his Bar mitzvah.[6] He later converted to Christianity.[6]


Klavan dropped out of school temporarily to work in local radio news and wrote his first novel, Face of the Earth, in 1977. He then moved to Putnam County, New York, where he worked as a reporter for a local newspaper. His experience covering local crime later formed the basis for his novel Corruption.

Klavan later worked as a script reader for Columbia Pictures and a news writer for WOR Radio and the ABC Radio Network while writing mysteries and freelance book reviews.[3] During this time he adopted the pseudonym "Keith Peterson", which appeared on The Trapdoor (1988), The Rain (1988), There Fell a Shadow (1988), Rough Justice (1989), and The Scarred Man (1992).The Rain won the 1990 Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback. Klavan has also written thrillers such as Don't Say a Word (1991) — which was also nominated for an Edgar — The Animal Hour (1992), and Corruption (1993), and wrote the screenplay for the film version of Simon Brett's novel A Shock to the System.

Klavan and his family then moved to London, England, where he wrote True Crime and two other novels. After seven years, he moved back to the United States, settling in Santa Barbara, California, where he completed the novel Man and Wife (currently in motion picture development)[3] and wrote his Weiss/Bishop trilogy: Dynamite Road, Shotgun Alley, and Damnation Street.

In 2008, he released a terrorism-themed political novel, Empire of Lies. In 2009, he published The Last Thing I Remember, a thriller aimed at young adults.

Klavan has been a regular contributor of short video commentaries under the general title "Klavan on the Culture", posted at He also became a contributor to the center-right social networking service and blogging Web site on May 17, 2010.[8]

In 2011, Klavan began appearing on Glenn Beck's network GBTV as host of the "Very Serious Commentary" segment.

In September 2014, Klavan was hired by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer to be the screenwriter for their new movie about Kermit Gosnell, a convicted murderer and abortion doctor.[9]


Klavan has received a number of award wins and nomination in the various mystery-genre awards ceremonies. Mrs. White, which he wrote under the pen-name Margaret Tracy, won the 1984 Edgar Award for "Best Paperback Original".[10] Klavans next win came in 1989, with his novel Trapdoor (this time as Keith Peterson) picking up a nomination again in the "Best Paperback Original" category.[10] The following year he won the Edgar Award in this same category for The Rain, as well as a nomination at the 1990 Anthony Awards for Rough Justice again in the paperback running.[10][11] Klavan was nominated under his own name for the first time in 1992 for his novel Don't Say a Word, which was nominated for the "Best Novel" Edgar Award.[12] He received another Anthony Awards nomination at the 1996 ceremony for his novel, True Crime, again for "Best Novel".[11]

Political philosophy

Identifying himself as a conservative, Klavan has expressed the view that "rightists" are the victims of discrimination in Hollywood.[13] In his view, people in the American arts are not fulfilling their inherent role of "speaking truth to power", since they are not willing to criticize those of the Left in power.[6] In July 2008, he likened criticism of George W. Bush to the vilification of Batman in The Dark Knight.[14]

Klavan said:

Every single one of our soldiers signed up or re-signed up after 9/11. The term, the longest one was six years, so every single one signed up after 9/11, every single one knew where he was going, what was going to happen to him, and has an idea of why it's the right thing to do. Those guys cannot appear in the movies. And you know, it wouldn't bother me so much, the movies that Hollywood makes never bother me so much as the movies they don't make. If there were eight films attacking our troops, I would still despise them for making them during war time. But if there were eight films supporting our troops, I know that those films would win out with the audience and I know their arguments would be better and I know the depiction of life would be more realistic.[6]

In a December 2011 article, Klavan referred to himself as a "libertarian".[15] In an August 2012 article, he stated that he has heterodox opinions on several issues, particularly his support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.[16] He endorsed Mitt Romney for president in 2012.[17]


  • Face of the Earth (1977)
  • Agnes Mallory (1985)
  • Mrs. White (1987) (as Margaret Tracy, with Laurence Klavan)
  • There Fell A Shadow (1988) (as Keith Peterson)
  • The Rain (1988) (as Keith Peterson)
  • Darling Clementine (1988)
  • The Trap Door (1988) (as Keith Peterson)
  • Son of Man (1988)
  • The Scarred Man (1989) (as Keith Peterson)
  • Rough Justice (1989) (as Keith Peterson)
  • Don't Say a Word (1991)
  • The Animal Hour (1992)
  • Corruption (1993)
  • True Crime (1995)
  • Suicide (1995)
  • The Uncanny (1998)
  • Hunting Down Amanda (1999)
  • Man and Wife (2001)
  • Dynamite Road (2003)
  • Shotgun Alley (2004)
  • Damnation Street (2006)
  • Empire of Lies (2008)
  • The Homelanders: The Last Thing I Remember (2009)
  • The Homelanders: The Long Way Home (2010)
  • The Homelanders: The Truth of the Matter (2010)
  • The Identity Man (2010)
  • The Homelanders: The Final Hour (2011)
  • Crazy Dangerous (2012) ISBN 9781595547934
  • If We Survive (2012)
  • Nightmare City (2013)
  • Mindwar (2014)
  • Hostage Run (2015)

See also



  2. "". Retrieved 2012-02-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Biography. By M. Wallace. Internet Movie Database Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  4. Gene Klavan, Radio Show Host, Dies at 79. By Douglas Martin. The New York Times. Published April 9, 2004.
  5. Ellroy, James; Penzler, Otto, eds. (2010). The Best American Noir of the Century. Random House. ISBN 978-0547330778. Retrieved 2012-03-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The World According to Andrew Klavan. Uncommon Knowledge. Filmed on August 28, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  7. About Andrew Klavan | Biography.
  8.[dead link]
  9. Bond, Paul (September 2, 2014). "Writer Hired for Project About Convicted Abortion Doctor Kermit Gosnell". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved September 30, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Best Paperback Original Mystery Novel Edgar Award Winners and Nominees - Complete Lists". Retrieved 2012-03-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". 2003-10-02. Retrieved 2012-03-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Best Mystery Novel Edgar Award Winners and Nominees - Complete Lists". Retrieved 2012-03-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Why Are We Whispering?" The Washington Post. Published August 8, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  14. "What Bush And Batman Have In Common". The Wall Street Journal. Published July 25, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  15. Klavan, Andrew (2011-12-05). "Klavan On The Culture » O'Sullivan's Law at the Movies: J. Edgar and Cultural Decay". Retrieved 2012-02-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Celebrity Endorsements: A Fantasy Election, an Imaginary Man". Retrieved October 5, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links