JOEL BURCAT

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Joel Burcat writes environmental thrillers that are both electrifying and accurate. John Lescroart (author of The 13th Juror) has said about Strange Fire that it “is complex and intelligent, deftly plotted and character rich.” William Landay (author of Defending Jacob) has said, “Burcat writes with an insider’s edge…A treat for thriller fans.”

His published shorter works range from thrillers about “the best beer I’ve ever had” to a middle-aged lawyer running off to Italy, jeopardizing the lives and careers of his young associates.

 Burcat’s writings explore many facets of life, although he has a true fascination with unexpected twists. His characters’ reasons for doing things are as important as their actions. From the person lying in bed next to you to psychopathic strip mine operators, each has an underlying motive to be explored and revealed.

 Three of Burcat’s novels have been published. DRINK TO EVERY BEAST, AMID RAGE, and STRANGE FIRE (published by Headline Books). They are available at bookstores, Amazon, Barnes & Noble in paperback and electronic formats. REAP THE WIND (published by Sunbury Books, Inc.) is coming out on February 6th, 2024.

In addition to his fiction, Joel has co-edited the two pre-eminent books on environmental and oil and gas law in Pennsylvania. He co-edited  seven editions of PENNSYLVANIA ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & PRACTICE (Pa. Bar Institute Press). In 1999, the second edition won the Outstanding Achievement Award in the Best Publication Category in the annual contest sponsored by the International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLE).

He also co-edited the first two editions of THE LAW OF OIL AND GAS IN PENNSYLVANIA (Pa. Bar Institute Press). In 2015, the first edition won the Award of Outstanding Achievement in Publications in the annual contest sponsored by the ACLE.

 Burcat grew up in Philadelphia. He lives with his wife in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the place that provides the setting for many of his stories.

Awards and Recognition

Strange Fire

  • GOLD MEDAL WINNER, Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards for Environmental Fiction (2022)
  • Second Place, PennWriters, Novel Beginnings Competition (2020)
  • Kirkus Reviews Critic’s Pick Best Book of the Week (Feb. 15, 2022).
  • Honorable Mention, Los Angeles Book Festival (2022)
  • Honorable Mention, San Francisco Book Festival (2022)

Amid Rage

  • Finalist, Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Thriller) (2021)
  • Runner Up, Los Angeles Book Festival (Best Genre Fiction) (2021)
  • Honorable Mention, San Francisco Book Festival (Best Fiction) (2021)

Drink to Every Beast

  • Honorable Mention, Readers’ Favorite (for Fiction-Legal Thriller) (2019)
  • Honorable Mention, N.Y. Book Festival (for Best General Fiction) (2019)
  • Quarter-Finalist, ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition (2019)