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It’s Prime For A Serial Killer

BJ Taylor Author Interview

Requiem follows a unique team from the U.S. Marshal department as they hunt a serial killer using some unconventional methods. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

First, the setting is urban, maquiladora, twin manufacturing plants or twin fruit/vegetable plants. I know this area of Reynosa and McAllen, TX very well. I built three industrial plants in three years with twin plants in Reynosa and in Hidalgo County, across the River. I know the worker schedules and hardships. There are multinational plant managers in Reynosa which often do not take into consideration local worker culture. At the same time, the manufacturing plants for automotive parts and scientific instruments must maintain international quality control procedures. It’s prime for a serial killer.

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters personalities grow organically as you were writing?

The story flows organically from the land of the border and the characters that live there. Most of the inhabitants of the RGV (Rio Grande Valley) and their families have lived there long before Americans invaded this area a little over a hundred years ago. For a better understanding of the borders, recall the hyper-aggressive American forces that took this area by force without reparations. It’s helpful in understanding the real problem with immigration. Within the last fifty years, recall the United States manipulation of the governments of all of Central America and Mexico, and the internal chaos that ensued. These tactics caused social and political unrest, in Central America and Haiti especially, pushing those citizens to flee. Because of our manipulative foreign policies, we need to better understand the sea of humanity surging to the border and understand that, as Americans, we are morally obligated to help the immigrants who have suffered due to our foreign policies.

Did you do a lot of research to maintain the accuracy of the Native American shaman practices?

No, I know a number of Native Americans.

What can you tell readers about book three in the series and when will it be available?

Hallelujah is available now on Amazon. Requiem will release June 21 and Reservoir will follow on July 26. All can be found on Amazon.com.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

The souls of the dead cry out for help in “Requiem”…
U.S. Federal Marshal Gabriella Zamora, and her team, brought shocking revelations to the surface when they solved the case of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent murdered on a remote highway in Texas. Coming face-to-face with those who wished to destroy them should have earned Gabe and her special ops team a brief rest. Instead, within hours of their success, an even more terrifying challenge is assigned…a mission to stop a serial killer whose brutal attacks on women working in Mexico warehouses are escalating with each new victim.
Gabe, along with Marshal Alex Ranslow—a Native American shaman who ‘sees’ things others cannot; Sam DeSilva—the team’s IT genius; and Cyn Beauvoir—a woman with the power to take down an entire gang, race to the Rio Grande Valley where their hunt begins.
The team soon finds themselves thrust into a war involving drug kingpins, political enemies, and a psychotic mind. Not only will this Borderland Mystery test the strength, wit, and courage of the marshals, it will also be the catalyst that forces Gabe to deal with past relationships that were, most likely, better off left for dead.

The Demon Mark

Inspector Macleod isn’t one to shy away from unpleasantness or death. He has seen more than his fair share of both. But when a young man is murdered in the small village he’s recently settled into, Macleod is unprepared for the amount of religious fervor and superstition that swirls around the case, watching as the villagers drive themselves to the brink of a disastrous panic in the search for answers. Realizing that time is a factor, and that cooperation from the local police is not likely, Macleod has to connect the current events with a nearly decade old disappearance, and finds himself unearthing long buried town secrets along the way. 

The Demon Mark by Saul Falconer is an intricately layered murder mystery centered by the deeply complex figure that is Cormag Macleod. Macleod is presented as a competent and imposing inspector, obviously flawed, but passionate about his work. As the book trudges on, small bits and pieces of his past are revealed, lending more depth and understanding to his mindset as the mystery builds around him. Despite the array of aspects that come together during throughout the story, nothing is ever convoluted; owing to skilled writing. Falconer finds a modest balance between intrigue and complexity and rarely failing to keep up the pace while weaving between them.

The beginning of the book provides the reader will all the past details of the village they would need to know, integral to the plot or not, this creates a well defined backdrop to the story. Once past that, the story moves at an incredible pace, twisting and turning to an explosive ending.

Falconer infuses a huge amount of history into this book as well, recreating the town of Dungog in detail and using historical figures of the time as supporting characters. Author’s notes further the historical accuracy of the setting and helps to make the area come to life as an integral part of the action. 

Among all the mystery and secrets, the book explores the idea of doing the right thing the wrong way. When the big twist is eventually revealed, it is almost easy to sympathize with the antagonist, as solving this crime leads to the resolution of another. Moral and religious beliefs lay the foundation for nearly everything Macleod discovers. 

I enjoyed The Demon Mark very much, especially once the action really began about halfway through. I thought I had figured out what the twist would be and was pleasantly surprised when the actual answer was drastically different. This is a riveting crime thriller that fans of noir and history will certainly appreciate.

Pages: 277 | ASIN: B09R47Z9MX

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Restitution

Sean Coleman is back in action in this fifth installment of the series, Restitution. The story opens up with a young boy exploring his local Mexico streets in 1972 until he sees a man walk up to his family’s apartment building and gunfire ensues. That leads readers to the future – as we fast forward to the early 2000’s, we catch back up with Sean Coleman. He is gearing up for his next big adventure. Are you wondering how these stories intertwine? You’ll have to read Restitution by renowned author John A. Daly to find out!

Daly’s great attention to detail sets this book apart from any other thriller on the market. We see this from page one of the story as the author tells us everything we need to know to set the scene. He talks about the mariachi music playing from an upper apartment window as the character plays with a deflated basketball. We feel a sense of mundanity but with the slightest hint of suspense. You instantly know that you are in the slums of 70’s Mexico. You know that something big is about to happen, but you’re just not sure what. I also enjoyed how the story goes into detail about what each character has on and their mannerisms. The mom’s lacey white lingerie, the cop’s cowboy boots, and toothpick are what stick out the most.

If I could use one word to explain Daly’s writing style, it would be gritty. He had me on the edge of my seat throughout the book wondering what happens next. But there were times I had to look away because it was as if I was watching Scarface for the first time. Some may argue that it could be too much at certain points. It simply depends on your tastes, and for me, I enjoyed every word.

The story is raw and dirty, with well-fitting rough edges that place readers in a well-worn world that is deeply compelling.

Restitution by John A. Daly is a must-read for any thriller lover out there. Despite its hefty page length readers will fly through it in no time. This book makes for the perfect summer beach read because of how it grips you from the start. Better yet, read it on your way to Vegas, it will cast the desert in a different color.

Pages: 389 | ASIN: B0981JGZ95

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All in the Family

All in the Family is the second book in a series about the Field’s family by André Gress. Having read the first book and being left with a lot of untied ends and questions about the plot and characters, I was rather eager to get into the second book to get some answers.

The plot of this book is a lot more action packed than the first one: it follows the Field’s family, a family of prolific art thieves, who are being hunted by their arch nemesis Gavriil. Like Gress’ first book, I enjoyed this book mainly for the description of the plots. What was also interesting in this book was the dynamics built between the Field’s family characters- their interactions were riveting and offered a unique layer to the story.

Throughout the novel the author includes the narrative voice of another character, a raven who tells the story of what happened. Having an external character retell narratives was a powerful plot device. Since the raven didn’t seem to have any relation or connection to the story the reader is able to get an unbiased perspective.

Many themes in the book were dark and tense and I wanted to know more. As I mentioned before, the book is incredibly detailed so there are a lot of interesting choices when it comes to how things are described. There is a lot of really grotesque descriptions, especially regarding injuries or the appearance of the villain and sometimes I had to stop reading and then pick up where I left off. The grotesque language is used effectively, so if you’re a read who enjoys darkly creative scenes then you’ll find plenty to enjoy here. While I enjoyed the book overall, I felt that there was one particular part of the book that alluded heavily to sexual assault and I felt it was unnecessary. Otherwise, I enjoyed this book for the same reasons I enjoyed book one, for the themes and narrative choice in this book. A lot of the literary choices made by the author were well thought out and played an integral part in the plot.

All in the Family is a creative and dark thriller with an inventive plot that will keep you entertained with its meticulously developed world.

Pages: 281 | ASIN: B07F2TPWFD

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Human Collateral

When a young woman goes missing it’s up to two lifelong friends, Miles Darien and Ryan Duffy, to get to the bottom of things. When Miles starts his PI service in Lakeville, he didn’t anticipate a desperate mother to come knocking at his door. Cora Sims asks Miles to find her missing daughter, Olivia, after she up and leaves one day to start a new life in the big city of Chicago. With the help of his best friend, Ryan, Miles tracks down Olivia and undercovers a loan-shark organization that asks for organs as collateral. A penniless Olivia doesn’t realize how dangerous her situation is until it’s too late. In Harry Pinkus’ thriller novel: Human Collateral characters dodge bullets left and right, but will everyone make it out alive?

Author Harry Pinkus has written a riveting crime fiction story that is clear, concise and to the point. There is not a single plot structure or character that doesn’t fit in the story. The book is realistic when it comes to the political chain of command and police procedures. Even though Miles notes how the FBI blocks him from their investigation, he’s not trying to step on anyone’s toes or override police procedures to get the information he’s looking for. Generally, in murder mysteries, you have the noisy detective who jumps through loopholes to get to the bottom of things, not caring who they have to step over to find their killer. Not Miles though, he respects the police force and doesn’t push the investigation. Even though, as a reader, I wanted more information to help find the killer, I respect Miles for not bulldozing through the chain of command and letting the FBI do what they do best.

This is a realistic police procedural that puts the facts over the need for thrills. We follow the investigation with few surprises due to the methodical method with which everything is provided. Miles and Ryan’s day-to-day life is one that readers can understand, if not relate to, because of how grounded they are. Every character in this story has a very polite air about them. Their conversations reflect this and everyone has the same cordial sensibility.

Human Collateral is a compelling mystery novel that takes readers into the trenches of the private investigator world and tells a crime fiction story that feels realistic while still being interesting. If you are a reader looking for a meticulous who-dun-it that takes a pragmatic approach to solving a heinous crime, then this will certainly entertain you.

Pages: 289 | ASIN: B09JHV754X

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The Feathered Nest 

Alexandra Thornton goes on an expedition with her family to Norfolk Island to research the island’s birds with a particular focus on the green parrot. Little does she know what she has walked into, a web of a puzzling mystery that has to be unraveled before it threatens her.

The Feathered Nest by Ellen Read gives readers a captivating look into the mystery of Norfolk Island and its inhabitants. The story gains momentum as an intriguing chain of events unfold which endangers members of the expedition. As the story progresses readers get to unveil the motive behind the multitudes of murders.

Ellen Read is the quintessential historical mystery romance author who effortlessly blends elements of novelistic fiction with curious bits of history. The author creates characters with surprising depth and realistic emotions, which reminds me of how Agatha Christie creates her characters. Moreover, Ellen has strategically placed humor, wit, and alluring intimacy to mitigate the simmering tension of the reader. Readers will find themselves yearning to turn the page to decipher the fate of the characters. By the end of the novel, all the dilemmas that pique the reader are seamlessly resolved.

The Feathered Nest by Ellen Read is a cozy mystery novel that has a similar atmosphere as one of a period drama. With its descriptive prose, it delivers outstanding soulfulness with unmatched intricacy. Holistically, this mystery thriller prescribes hints throughout but is better comprehended as all the elements gradually fit into place. Overall, this book would appeal to readers that seek a compelling mystery with a touch of tender romance.

Pages: 374 | ASIN: B09T3T1CJQ

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Valley Fliers

Valley Fliers brings readers into Jay Smalley’s high-flying world. He is a teenager who is determined to get into a prominent aeronautics university and has a passionate hobby flying model airplanes. It may have initially started as a hobby, but Jay is dead set on making it a career and claims that this is his best chance to fly the real thing. As good as he was at his craft, Jay’s mother always cautioned him, and rightly so. Jay is certain that his plan is fool-proof and has already made up his mind. Jay had a good thing going but his flow got disrupted by the arrival of Oren, a mysterious new face in their community of fliers. Is Oren more than he seems? Jay must find out, before someone gets hurt.

If you’re a fan of coming-of-age novels with well-crafted plots, then the Valley Fliers by David Boito is right up your alley. The author brilliantly puts us in the point of view of a strong-willed teen named Jay. Boito succinctly conveys the essential features of the protagonist’s mindset, which helps readers understand him if not relate to him, and his reactions to events always felt authentic.

The author’s knowledge of model airplane navigation is impressive and is used throughout the book to ensure readers are fully immersed in the model airplane world. The lingo is used throughout the book but is never overwhelming, and even if you don’t know the first thing about flying model airplanes you’ll still be able to understand the story.

The plot continually thickens as the protagonist, along with his friends, notice odd things about Oren. The most obvious one being that Oren’s little aircraft has the same build and model to a drone involved in an alleged assassination and terrorist attack. But it couldn’t possibly be Oren, right? This mystery sends Jay and his friends, and readers, spiraling into a rabbit hole of conspiracy and investigations that could potentially put all of them, and their loved ones, in grave danger.

Valley Fliers uses a unique setup to tell a compelling crime fiction story that explores themes of loyalty with charming characters and a budding teen romance to spice things up. This is an entertaining story for anyone looking for a lite crime drama.

Pages: 240 | ASIN: B09J1LP1CT

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I Love the Element of Surprise

R. J. Corgan Author Interview

Mammoth Drop follows a scientist to the Black Hills where she finds herself knee-deep in mammoth bones and a murder mystery. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The Black Hills, and South Dakota in general, is heaven for geologists. In fact, most geologists have to do a field season out West as part of our degrees. I studied in South Dakota and Wyoming in the early 90’s and was blown away by the beauty of the landscape. I’ve also worked with paleontologists who have spent their lives studying mammoths and they’re just as marvelous as the animals they study. I wrote Mammoth Drop to celebrate both their legacy and to share the breathtaking scenery of the region with readers.

Kea Wright is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Kea is smart, kind, and terrible with people. Like many scientists that work in the field for months at a time, Kea suffers from broken relationships, a low self esteem, and bouts of depression. I wanted to create a heroine where those attributes, both good and bad, are superpowers: they’re external to the group, often forced to think differently, and wind up in places they shouldn’t be. While a reluctant heroine, I love Kea and I hope that readers will as well.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book (and what can readers expect in Book 4)?

Each book in the Kea Wright series has a unique theme. Cold Flood examines how being put under intense pressure can and release something inside ourselves that we never knew existed. The Meerkat Murders examines the concept of altruism, Mammoth Drop explores extinction, while Murder on Masaya examines sacrifice. Each book also has a different tone. Mammoth Drop is absolutely a camp romp full of drinking and dancing to celebrate a scientist and his life’s work. In contrast, the final story, Murder on Masaya,(released in 2021) is a much darker story about the hazards that scientists undertake to gather data and the sacrifices people make for their family. These changes in tone are deliberate because, growing up, my favorite television show was Doctor Who – you never knew where the next story would take you, it could be the distant past or the far future, or be a comedy or a tragedy. I loved that element of surprise. These books are very much in the same vein and I hope readers enjoy the variety.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

During Kea’s visit to the Black Hills, one of the scientists in Mammoth Drop Caverns is brutally murdered. Determined to unmask the killer, Kea takes up residence in nearby Woolly Hole, a gay campground filled with boozing drag queens and bottomless mimosas. Knee-deep in mammoth bones and potential suspects, Kea soon finds herself in the killer’s sights . . .
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