The Three Lives of Richie O’Malley follows a mob hitman who must come to terms with the death of his friend, a government investigation, and betrayal. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I knew a guy who was a CIA spook in the 60s and 70s. He introduced me to the world of American involvement in the cocaine trade in Central and South America during that time. It was not hard work to write a story following the money from this time and place to present day government entanglement at the highest levels. In many ways, sadly, this part of the story almost wrote itself.
Richie is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
As a young man, my best friend was this guy Hector Luis, a Puerto Rican Kid from the Bronx, NY. Luis was the model for Juan Carlos. I truly loved this guy as my brother. Luis came from a very bad environment and did some bad things, but he had a good soul. Many, most, didn’t see that. I was as bad a kid as Luis any day of the week, but as the clean-cut white guy, I got away with a lot more than Luis. I always thought that was unfair.
Under the hood I think we are all capable of good and evil, regardless of the label we are given. Richie, like Juan (Luis) were good guys who were swept into ruined lives by circumstance and bad choices. I guess my ideal, in this case, is to try to always not see people at face value. There is more to them than we can ever truly know or understand. There are few truly bad people, and we should not look too hard at others without first examining and knowing ourselves.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Friendship and loyalty were very important themes in this book and in my life. These and the old cliché don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The title is The Berry Pickers. There is an area a few miles north of me where in the 1920s to the 1950s people lived and subsisted picking and selling wild blueberries. A fascinating collection of personalities. I read a book on these people once and it was dry as toast. I’ve long been saddened that in the hands of someone like Steinbeck what a great story this could be, in line with the Grapes of Wrath. Sadly, Mr. Steinbeck never wrote this story, and while I don’t think myself worthy to sharpen his pencils, I thought I’d give it a go.
I am hoping to have the editing and writing process completed by mid-summer. I’d like to publish in the fall. I’ve still not decided if I’ll query agents or not. I had two agents very interested in Richie, but they said they couldn’t find a market for it. I know my stuff isn’t mainstream, no bare-chested vampires with wings, but that aint my jam. I just write what I think needs to be written and hope someone reads it.
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Life should not be this difficult for Richie–or should it? Maybe he deserves to look over his shoulder at every turn. Wherever he goes, he is reminded of his past. Each face he sees brings to mind the things of which is guilty and the close calls that have given Richie the life he is now able to live. When all he wants is to quietly fade into the background, he soon realizes that what he wants and what he will be handed are two entirely different things. Richie is a part of so many people’s stories, and it is time to put a face to the name they have all heard for so long. But is Richie ready to face the music?
The Three Lives of Richie O’Malley, by William Lobb, is the incredible thriller centered around mob hit man, Richie. Richie’s life has been nothing short of horrific, and the events that shaped him began at a very early age. The abuse he and the rest of his family sustained at the hands of his father set the tone for the rest of his life. Richie’s fate was sealed after the tragic events that took place in the backyard of his childhood home.
Every character featured in William Lobb’s crime thriller is meticulously sketched and comes to life on the page. Readers will come face-to-face with some of the most vivid and simultaneously terrifying characters in any fiction tale. Lobb is a master of character development and manages quite well to unsettle readers with mere descriptions and simple phrases. Richie is quite terrifying in his own right, but he pales in comparison to the men with whom he associates.
I am in love with the way in which Lobb has chosen to present Richie’s story. It is much more than a story within a story–the manner in which he has his character reminisce is so well thought out and flows naturally from beginning to end. It’s a truly seamless telling of Richie’s story and happens as organically on the pages as if he were sitting beside the reader with his legs propped on the coffee table chatting aimlessly on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
William Lobb has done what no author before him could do–he has made me love a mobster. For a man capable of such horror and heartbreak, Richie is honest and endearing in his retrospection. The Three Lives of Richie O’Malley is a riveting crime novel that I highly recommend.
Pages: 286 | ASIN: B087SRJP38
R.J Eastwood’s Midnight Black is a gripping portrayal of the dilemma facing one William Evan Russell (Billy). Billy’s life is a paradox. Having worked initially as a Drug Enforcement Agency agent, he finds himself serving time in a prison located literally out of this world. Without explanation he is released on parole five years early but has to work for the DEA once more, only this time, with different rules of the game.
Eastwood takes readers through an imaginative yet vivid journey from beneath one of Jupiter’s moons and back to a strange world. The protagonist’s hope of returning to earth after 17 long years mining on Europa is smashed upon return to a world unlike the one he remembered. In a twisted turn of events, what had caused his conviction 17 years ago – instant justice served – is what causes him to be released early. But will he be able to measure up to what is expected of him?
Eastwood’s writing style is rich in character development. Through vivid description, I was able to form clear images of the characters and connect with them on a deep, albeit imaginative, level. For instance, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Billy while hate Chernov. The gripping dialogue Eastwood uses throughout the book not only got me moving through the pages swiftly, oblivious of time passage, but eager to find out what transpires next. As icing on the cake, I found some of these conversations humorous mainly through the author’s expert use of satire. I enjoyed how the author narrates current occurrences while lending the reader a unique perspective. Many current pressing issues, such as the COVID pandemic, are highlighted within the book. The author seamlessly switches from one scene to the next. Each chapter is short but engaging. This is where the genius of Eastwood is clearly visible.
In a way, the book comes as a warning to how the world may end up if we maintain the status quo. Eastwood expertly links current events – spoken as though occurring in some distant past – and links this to what it portends in the present – an imaginative future.
Imagine James Patterson’s Alex Cross but with a science fiction twist. Midnight Black is a character driven thriller that has something to say and knows how to tell a suspenseful story.
Pages: 258 | ISBN: 0578433036
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Drowning My Suspicions follows two friends who investigate the death of their friend and find that it might not have been an accident and the killer may be lurking. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I am an avid watcher of detective and investigative stories. I have always wondered how criminals think and how they act when greed and power take over in a person’s mind and nothing will stand in their way. I try to look at the motivation that drives them and incorporate that into the story.
The characters in your story are interesting and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
The characters in the book are developed behind the ideals of wanting to find justice, character flaws that they try to correct, and from background, whether it be home life or friend’s influences. I think it is important to see each character from the events in their lives that shaped them and formed them. I also shoot for a blend of what I know about real people and what I would like my readers to see in these characters. The blend of those two things are important when I am bringing those characters to life.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Some themes that were important were justice, the frailty of the human mind, relationships and the outcomes when they turn bad. People can become very selfish and cold hearted. When opportunity becomes a series of sordid events to make that opportunity a reality for a person, their mind is clouded and judgment is affected. They get trapped and instead of doing the right thing, they are caught up into making one mistake after another until the climax builds a situation that becomes desperate. People are affected psychologically by the things that happen in their life, both the good and the bad. I want my readers to seriously consider that in their own lives when it comes to understanding others.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The next book will be the fourth in the Mike Parsons series, “Mirror Image”. I have three previous books in this series that you can find here at the following link: The Mike Parsons Trilogy (3 book series) Kindle Edition (amazon.com). The book will be available sometime in the late fall of 2021.
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Nicole Jones has her work cut out for her. Her life hasn’t been easy, but she has managed to achieve great things and has done so despite the tragedies that haunt her. When she loses her husband, the secrets they have been hiding for years begin to rise to the surface and threaten Nicole’s very future. A murderer has made an appearance and seems hell bent on ruining the lives of everyone associated with a case from the past. Nicole, lonely and confused but determined, makes it her mission to find out who is behind these copycat killings and who stole her husband from her.
James Smith’s 1989: What Happens When a Killer Returns for Revenge, takes readers on a thrill ride that unfolds over decades and through the lives of everyone involved with the Penny Murders. The trail of despair left by these murders has inched its way into the lives of Nicole, her husband Marcus and everyone around them.
Right out of the gate, Smith hits the mark with this fantastic thriller. I enjoy a mystery with as little fluff as possible, and Smith delivers that and much more. This dark and engaging thrill ride draws readers into the lives of Nicole and Detective Howard. The steps the two take to find out who is responsible for killing Nicole’s husband are extensive and keep readers on their toes. When I can predict the killer in the first half of a book, I am disappointed to say the least. Smith, however, has managed to keep me guessing to the very last page–definitely a page-turner.
Smith’s characters are written with an intensity that keeps readers invested in every move they make, and he balances their appearances well throughout the plot. I appreciated the glimpses into the past, and the character development moves along at a nice clip. Readers will become attached to Nicole and her plight from the first chapter of Smith’s work.
James Smith’s 1989: What Happens When a Killer Returns for Revenge is a haunting crime thriller that will appeal to murder mystery fans. While it stands as a fairly long novel at just shy of 400 pages, Smith’s writing is a quick read. Readers will find themselves devouring the mystery surrounding this new onslaught of murders. The ending of Smith’s work will leave readers guessing and, as I have become fully invested in the characters, I am hoping to see more from Smith in this series.
Pages: 392 | ASIN: B08R6G856J
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Flash Point in the Texas Panhandle
In the 5th and final book of the Donnie Ray Cuinn series, Donnie finds himself embroiled in a foreign plot against the President of the United States and uncovers a terrorist plan to steal a powerful secret from a nearby nuclear weapons plant. For reasons unknown to Donnie, the terrorists will deal only with him, so he is brought in to work alongside the FBI, Secret Service, and Vice President in an attempt to thwart the intricate scheme. Already at a breaking point in his life, Donnie must do what he can to negotiate the safety of the President, save the communities within range of the nuclear facility, and rescue all those he cares about.
As the crisis unfolds and Donnie struggles to understand why a terrorist leader claims to know him, he finds his relationships in imminent danger. He has to figure out how to move on from the guilt and demons of his past or risk losing his wife, his friends, and himself.
In this action thriller, Boyd Taylor delivers a gripping story filled with political discord and ambition, suspense, and unexpected twists. The Pronghorn Conspiracy is Donnie Ray Cuinn’s last chance to right the wrongs before him and see if he can make it back from the point of no return.
THE PRONGHORN CONSPIRACY
Book Five of the Donnie Ray Cuinn Series
by Boyd Taylor
Coming January 12, 2021
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Subterfuge finds Maggie and her team hunting a Russian crime boss who took a contract out on her two years ago. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
Maggie is given the unique opportunity to assassinate the very person who ordered her death two years ago. Valdev Belevich, the Russian crime boss, has never seen Maggie, which gives her an advantage. Still, because of the nature of casinos, the criminal element they attract, and facial recognition software, she must change her physical appearance as much as possible. The team is acutely aware the longer this mission takes, the longer Maggie is in danger of being recognized. Shep’s government contact told him the mission is not an option, it is a demand and they don’t want to know details. For Maggie, this is a personal job. Not only was she Belevich’s target two years ago, a hit he believes was successful, but he is the last link to the murder of a loved one. She is seeking revenge. It isn’t long upon the team’s arrival that Maggie finds the mission is more intricate than originally thought. It turns into a life changing event for her and Shep.
Maggie continues to be an intriguing character. What were some new angles you wanted to explore about her character in this book?
At 26, Maggie is now an adult and the mother of two children. Prior to this mission, she had re-enrolled at a university to finish her music degree. Her life is going in a positive direction until the assassination orders come down from Shep’s government contact and she must rejoin the team to go undercover. I wanted readers to see more of Maggie’s fragile side in this book. She has been through tremendous trauma in the previous books which were never fully resolved. As a black ops assassin, Maggie could always get through a mission with emotions in check. Because of the personal nature of this assignment and her driving need for revenge, it takes a toll on her emotionally. I wanted readers to see what happens when Maggie’s two worlds collide and how she copes with it.
The team go undercover at a casino resort in Northern Spain. Why did you choose this location for your novel?
By locating the casino near Oviedo, in Northern Spain, it adds an extra level of stress and melancholy for Maggie. Her mother’s birthplace, Malaga, in Southern Spain, is where Maggie found her extended family and where she lived for over a year and a half. Because she and her team brought down the Brotherhood, she had to cut all contact with her mother’s family. It also creates another level of danger for her being back in Spain, a country that is no longer welcoming to her. From a logistic standpoint, it made sense geographically for Belevich’s drug route to pass through the Oviedo area on its way to the Bay of Biscay. This ties him to the largest criminal family in Spain, the head of which resides in Oviedo.
What can readers expect in book five in the Magdalena series?
Without giving away the ending to Subterfuge, Maggie encounters a man more evil and more dangerous than any previous foe. He is relentless and it will not be easy for her or Shep to escape him. Book five will find Maggie pitted against him. What he wants from her and what she discovers will be at the center of the plot.
When there’s murder, there’s mystery. When there’s secrets, there’s truth. What’s in the dark will always come to light. No matter how hard you try to suppress it justice will rise.
In The House of Night, by Donald Levin the reader is immersed into the gruesome murder of Charlie Bright, who was a history professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. PI Martin Preuss is hired by Bright’s friends to find out who killed him. Preuss is taken on a wild chase throughout the metropolitan Detroit region. Intelligent, observant and tenacious, will Preuss have what it takes to find the killer?
Levin has done an impeccable job building the suspense in this book. Making the reader feel as if they’re the protagonist in the book trying to solve a gruesome murder. The secrets that were revealed shocked me and made me want to continue reading on. Be prepared to be taken on a wild first hand chase into the depths of the investigation. The tone of this book can be really dark and heavy.
The author’s writing is concise and methodical. I was able to feel the tension and anger between characters. Each character has a distinct personality and you start to connect with some and dislike others. I was anxious to find out who was Charlie Bright’s killer.
Fans of mystery and suspense will not be disappointed because this book covers it all. The plot of In The House of Night is engaging and the author has done a fantastic job building each character. This is a thrilling crime novel with twists and turns that will keep you enthralled.
Pages: 336 | ASIN: B08JRN7HVL
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