The Big Apple once again becomes the backdrop for the thrills, chills, murder and mayhem. The International Thriller Writers’ (ITW) ThrillerFest, the biggest event of the year for fiction’s most popular genre, returns July 11-14, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. This year’s ThrillerMaster is Jack Higgins and special guests include Lee Child, Catherine Coulter, and John Sandford. Returning this year is the dynamic duo of CraftFest and AgentFest. Under the guidance of some of the most acclaimed thriller writers, such as Steve Berry, and Grant Blackwood, Allison Brennan, Heather Graham, Melodie Johnson Howe, Kathleen Antrim, Jon Land, Lisa Gardner, Michael Palmer, Peter James, Donald Maass and more, authors will sharpen their skills for AgentFest the next day. To cap off an adrenaline-filled week, ThrillerFest culminates with the 2012 ITW Thriller Awards Banquet, during which Richard North Patterson will be awarded the acclaimed Silver Bullet Award. Legendary Ann Rule, author of the definitive true-crime account The Stranger Beside Me, is this year’s beneficiary of The True Thrill Award. R.L. Stine, the 2011 ThrillerMaster recipient and creator of Goosebumps, and Karin Slaughter, international bestseller and winner of the Silver Bullet, will also return for the 2012 festivities.