An “Unseen” Enemy
Posted by Literary Titan
Unseen: Evil Lurks Among Us follows a rookie homicide detective as he investigates a string of murders in Washington, DC and uncovers a vigilante killer and a terrorist conspiracy. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I spent most of my career as a special agent hunting terrorists around the world. I wanted to create a thriller that dealt with real threats, so I wrote about infiltration and subversion by radical Islamists. The plot of Unseen is fictional, but the tactics terrorists employed in my novel are actually happening in the United States today. They truly are an “unseen” enemy fighting what they call Civilization Jihad.
My wife, Cynthia Farahat, is one of the world’s leading experts on radical Islam. She has a nonfiction book coming out about the Muslim Brotherhood, and it will create a huge stir. I relied heavily on her scholarship when I wrote Unseen. In my novel, I discuss the Muslim Brotherhood’s role as the wellspring of modern Islamic terrorism. Most people don’t know that organization is behind almost every Islamic terror group from al-Qaeda to Hamas. I highly recommend people order Cynthia’s brilliant book, The Secret Apparatus, which will launch in March 2022.
Malachi Wolf is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Thank you for that compliment. I try to make my characters complex, because people are complicated, and two-dimensional fictional characters don’t hold my attention as a reader or as a writer.
Malachi was earning his doctorate in economics when terrorists killed his father in the Boston Marathon bombing, and that changed the trajectory of Malachi’s life. He joined the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, in an attempt to stop evil from ruining other people’s lives. He’s brilliant, and he uses tools from behavioral economics to help him solve crimes, but he is riddled with self-doubt. Does he have what it takes to be a homicide detective or is he just an academic playing cop?
Malachi’s wife left him when he became a police officer, and he deals with missing his children and a severe health issue that limits the time he can be a cop—a ticking clock on his career. He catches his first homicide, and one death turns into a string of murders. Malachi races to stop a killer and expose a terrorist conspiracy before time runs out.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Unseen explores two major themes. The first them is radical Islamic infiltration of the media, academia, entertainment industry, and government. This has been happening for decades in the West, and members of terrorist groups have lobbied congress and advised presidents. It’s a very real threat. The second theme is vigilantism. Is it ever justified? What if the rule of law no longer exists? If infiltration undermines the criminal justice system, can extralegal means be used to fight evil? It’s a fascinating moral and ethical question.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My agent has submitted two books to publishers. The first, Blood and Powder, is a nonfiction account of my journey from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 to fighting terrorism around the world. Battling bureaucrats and terrorists, a special agent pushes DEA into war and makes the first narco-terrorism arrest—forever changing how terrorists are prosecuted. It’s Blackhawk Down meets The Good Soldiers.
The second book out on submission is Shaking, a small-town murder mystery. Struggling with bipolar disorder, Emily Miller lands her dream job as a reporter and returns to her New England hometown, but when her brother becomes a suspect in a gruesome murder, she must identify the killer to save her family, her job, and her life. It’s Sharp Objects meets The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.
I’m currently editing The Forever Game, a techno-thriller that deals with murder, conspiracy, and life-extending technology. I hope to have it finished in a few months. Thanks for your interest in my writing.
About Literary TitanThe Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
Posted on September 28, 2021, in Interviews and tagged author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, crime fiction, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, Jeffrey James Higgins, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, political thriller, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, thriller, Unseen: Evil Lurks Among Us, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.