"This novel is so good" - PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

"One of the smartest thrillers in recent memory" - DALLAS MORNING NEWS


Peter Rena is a Washington “fixer" who earns his living making the problems of the powerful disappear. He and his partner Randi Brooks get their biggest job to date when the White House hires them to vet the next nominee for the Supreme Court.

Federal appeals Court Judge and former Stanford Law dean Roland Madison is a legal giant but also a political iconoclast and neither party is happy. As the competing factions of Washington mobilize, Rena, Brooks and their team uncover a secret in the judge’s past. And as they try to contend with it, another crisis emerges from a case the judge once presided over.   

Shining City is a heart-pounding thriller and a novel of Washington intrigue, full of insight about the capital and the forces that make the political process dysfunctional. Michael Connelly has called it "a debut that will be remembered for years."


Shining City is an amazing novel full of insider knowledge and insights that could have only come from a writer who has been there. I don’t mean just inside the Beltway; I mean inside the places of power and justice. Combine that with a plot that pulses with the momentum of an edge-of-your-seat thriller, and Tom Rosenstiel delivers a debut that will be remembered for years.”

— MICHAEL CONNELLY, author of The Wrong Side of Goodbye


 “Shining City is a smart, timely thriller that sends chills up your spine while capturing the verisimilitude of a ripped-from-the-headlines Supreme Court nomination process. Tom Rosenstiel is a writer to watch.”

— ALAFAIR BURKE, author of The Ex


“At once gripping, cerebral, and eerily prescient, Shining City illuminates the darkest recesses of D.C.’s corridors of power. Tom Rosenstiel’s political machinations ring so true, you’ll wonder if he has the White House wired for sound.”

— CHRIS HOLM, author of The Killing Kind



 “If they’d asked John Grisham to pen a season of House of Cards (not a bad idea, by the way), it would play like Shining City. Tough, smart, nuanced, and with a hammer pace....Pick up this book. Read it. You’ll love it.”

— MICHAEL HARVEY, author of Brighton


 “Shining City couldn’t possibly be any timelier. Rosenstiel takes us behind the headlines as only an insider can with this first-rate tale of political intrigue and maneuvering. It’s so packed with authentic Washington detail, you can almost feel the humidity.”

— MATTHEW QUIRK, author of The 500 and Cold Barrel Zero


 “Tom Rosenstiel takes readers behind the clichés and curtains of Washington power politics with the fresh and intriguing Peter Rena, a human face behind the sound bites and headlines that dominate our official politics. This is a fascinating novel about how justice is shaped in the United States.”

— JAMES GRADY, author of Six Days of the Condor and Last Days of the Condor



"Everything you hope for when you open a novel... The lurid underbelly of Washington's political process is detailed in exquisite and startling accuracy... The writing is fast paced and exciting."

— NICOLLE WALLACE, former White House communications director and author of Madam President 


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  Follow Tom on twitter @TomRosenstiel

Follow Tom on twitter @TomRosenstiel

About the author

Tom Rosenstiel has been a keen observer of the inner workings of Washington, D.C. for three decades and is one of most recognized thinkers in America on journalism and the intersection of media and politics.

SHINING CITY, published in February 2017 by Ecco Press of Harper Collins, is Rosenstiel's first novel. His second, THE GOOD LIE, will be released in February 2019.

The author of seven books of non-fiction, he has written about politics, campaigns, Congress, culture, technology, journalism, media and ethics, and he has lectured and consulted on journalism extensively in the United States and overseas. 

His book THE ELEMENTS OF JOURNALISM, written with former New York Times bureau chief Bill Kovach, has been translated into 25 languages worldwide and has been hailed as “the most important book on the relationship of journalism and democracy published in the last fifty years” (Poynter), and one of the five "essential books" on journalism (Wall Street Journal).

Rosenstiel is currently the executive director of the American Press Institute and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Previously, Rosenstiel founded and for 16 years directed the Project for Excellence in Journalism and co-founder of the Pew Research Center.

He was press critic at the Los Angeles Times for a decade, a Washington correspondent for The Times, a commentator on media for MSNBC, and chief congressional correspondent for Newsweek. He was also a reporter for Jack Anderson's Washington Merry Go Round, at the Peninsula Times Tribune in Palo Alto and at the Country Almanac in his hometown in Woodside, California.