Blog Archives

Polish Dragon P. I.

Steve Zimcosky Author Interview
Steve Zimcosky Author Interview

How did the idea for Death of a Bully start and change as you wrote?

It started from my previous book the “Disappearance of Marty McRory” which introduces the Polish Dragon P. I. into the story. I thought how it would be a great idea to perhaps do a series with a private investigator and to create different story lines. As I was coming up with the idea I thought how it might feel to investigate the death of an old schoolmate. Especially one who had issues in his younger years and was able to turn his life around. I had to do some research as to how private investigators work so I could make the story as believable as possible. The story line changed at the last minute when I thought how families have a hard time dealing with a member who has dementia.

What was the most interesting scene for you to write in the short story?

For me the most interesting thing was writing about the bullying that went on in the elementary school years of the characters. That I wrote from experience as I remember being bullied somewhat as a child. I could introduce martial arts training as a way to combat bullying and there are many martial arts schools that have such programs, like the Karate Institute of Cleveland. My martial arts training was later in life and I thought how that would have helped me in my younger days to defend myself.

Why did you go with the short story format instead of fleshing this out into a full novel?

It wasn’t intentional to do a short story but as I was writing it seemed like it all went together rather quickly and I enjoyed the way it turned out. There was plenty of information to keep the readers guessing and twist and turns to throw them off. My hope is that as I continue to write the stories get longer. They always seem to be shorter on Kindle then they do in a paperback version and I’m not sure why that is. But there have been some great novellas in the past such as: The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, The Man Who Would be King by Rudyard Kipling, and The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells. I hope that my readers enjoy the stories and I can continue to write for them and myself.

Do you plan to write more stories about the Polish Dragon P. I.?

Absolutely. I want to make it into a series if I can. I have already started a new story with the Polish Dragon investigating a case of certain women who have disappeared. A lot of my stories take place in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio and this one will not be any different. I’m hoping to have it done in time for the holidays.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

A well-established attorney and philanthropist is found murdered in his bedroom without any clues. The ensuing investigation reveals a dark side to his past and perhaps the reason for his demise. His wife hires his old friend, a private investigator, to help solve the crime. The suspects rise and fall until the true killer is revealed.

The Cowboy

Don’t judge a book by its cover–or its title either. ‘The Cowboy’ immediately makes me think of a Western, but it is most definitely not. Manuel A. Melendez weaves a frightening tale. He brings to life a shadowy character known as The Cowboy who is killing nurses and doctors. Detectives Jon Delgado and Bill Crocitto realize there is a link between the victims. They must solve the case and get The Cowboy off the streets. Initially they only have the word of a drunk who says he knows who The Cowboy is. More clues start to lead to the Cowboy, that’s when things start getting really interesting.

This story is set in New York, I felt like I didn’t get a proper sense of the setting itself, but that didn’t detract from the book because this was all about the characters for me. The Cowboy is a frightening character, a true bogeyman. Initially, when we read a little about his background and how he was breathed into life, I had some sympathy for him, for everything he had to go through. As we learn more about his upbringing, the reasons he kills doctors and nurses, I gave some thought to the nature/nurture theme. I know which side of the fence I fall on with that debate, but the author did a superb job of making me think.

The two detectives were, in some ways, portrayed as a comedy duo, but they had a serious side. I loved the relationship they had with each other, seeing how they balanced each other out. Sometimes I felt the outcome of their arguments with their superior was a little contrived but overall it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book.

The last character was Rebecca. Her description and how she deals with The Cowboy made me think of the phrase ‘though she be but little she is fierce’. That I think is an appropriate description of Rebecca. She was my favorite character, perhaps because I’d like to think I’d behave as she does in the face of fear.

The Cowboy is riveting hard-boiled mystery with a haunting antagonist. If you’re looking for a Western, this isn’t the book for you. If you want something gritty, with a blood-curdling crime, then don’t wait. Pick this up today.

Pages: 393 | ASIN: B084QLMVPB

Buy Now From B&N.com

A Rose From The Executioner – Trailer

Detective Philip Dorian of the 16th Chicago Precinct is called to investigate the serial killing and mutilation of retired, former pedophile priests in the Chicagoland area. It becomes later discovered that Monsignor Joseph Kilbane, chief of staff to the Cardinal, had previously approached his childhood friend, Anthony ‘Little Tony’ DiMatteo to lend him a “hit man’ to commit the murders of these pedophile ex-priests for their insurance money. Although the plot sounds interesting, Little Tony isn’t interested, and the Monsignor abandons the idea. During the reigns of prior Chicago bishops and cardinals over the last fifty years, many of these former pedophile priests were allegedly, forced to resign and sheltered away from criminal prosecution, with the caveat that they allow the Archdiocese of Chicago to be the beneficiary of their large life insurances policies. These policies were taken out on these former priests ‘as a form of penance for their lives of being sexual predators’. With the innumerate sexual child abuse lawsuits that have been currently filed and settled by the Archdiocese, they are now on the brink of bankruptcy. A serial killer is now out there, and Monsignor Kilbane has no idea who is perpetrating these gruesome homicides, essentially framing him and the Archdiocese for these “Pedophile Priest Murders”.

Buy Now From B&N.com

Crimson Dreams

Rose has not lived the easiest of lives and doesn’t exactly have too many people who will miss her when she’s gone. When she is presented with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to England to restore a Victorian era home, she doesn’t immediately jump at the chance due to her own plethora of misgivings and fears. Vaughn, the homeowner, is a convincing individual, indeed, and coerces Rose into making the trip. His motives, however, aren’t what Rose assumes, though his intentions may just have a far-reaching impact on Rose’s life. Once the two reach Vaughn’s home, Rose’s life is no longer her own, and the world as she thought she knew it is forever changed.

Crimson Dreams, by Georgiana Fields, is the story of one woman’s introduction to the world of the Dhampir. The time-traveling Vaughn plays an important role in Rose’s transformation from unsuspecting designer to Dhampir sidekick and part-time detective. The two make a perfect team, and the sexual tension between them is both palpable and handled tastefully by the author.

Vampire stories are among my favorites, and I am always more than critical of details and plot holes. Fields, however, is one author to be commended and followed closely. She has set up quite the scenario with Rose’s leap from modern day to the year 1900. The inclusion of Jack the Ripper and the current onslaught of killings in modern day Atlanta is timely and keeps the two dimensions flawlessly linked. Rose makes the ideal partner for Vaughn as he goes about assisting Scotland Yard in finding the killer.

Fields writes some of the most memorable and relatable secondary characters. It is easy for such characters to get lost in a plot so involved, but she has managed to involve Sara and Aileen in parallel plots that both hold readers’ interest and keep them invested in their stories. Good writers know how to do this; excellent writers actually get it done. Fields has mastered it.

One element that always seems to lack in many vampire stories is that of emotion. Fields’s book, however, is brimming with second-guessing, empathetic moments, and remorse and regret. Vaughn is unlike any other character in this genre. He is somehow more human in his emotions than most I know. Fields has blended a vast array of powerful emotions into a fictional character and succeeded in creating a story for the ages.

It is not often that I want to immediately reread a book, but Fields has grabbed my attention, focused it with laser-like accuracy on her characters, and hypnotized me with her unique and engaging plot. An absolute must-read for anyone who even thinks they enjoy a good vampire story.

Pages: 452 | ASIN: B07GQBW359

Buy Now From B&N.com

Death of a Bully (Polish Dragon P. I.)

Death of a Bully (Polish Dragon P. I.) by [Steve Zimcosky]

A reunion is supposed to be fun, right? A lovely time to speak with friends you haven’t seen in far too long. Not this time. In Death Of A Bully, a reunion turns deadly, and everyone is wondering who did it. John is a well-respected attorney and philanthropist who gets murdered. An investigation starts and the search for the killer is on. While trying to locate the real killer, we learn that John was the high school bully. Everyone has a motive so the reader is left wondering who, out of all the possible suspects, could it have been!

Steve Zimcosky has written a page-turner with an unexpected twist that I was not prepared for. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I was wrong. I felt sorry for certain characters, particularly Mark and Tom. I felt sorry for Mark because he was wrongly accused of something he didn’t do. I felt sorry for Tom because I liked his character and I empathized with him in certain parts of the book. I was a little surprised that Jack forgave his mother as quickly as he did. It was still an interesting twist added to the story, and I couldn’t put the book down because I was eager to see what would happen next. In the end, I didn’t agree with the reasoning that Emily had, but I know that everyone has their own way that they feel about things, and it didn’t stop me from finishing the book.

Death of a Bully is a short, but thrilling read. The writing style is engaging and the book is easy to follow and alluring. This is more of a suspenseful whodunit novella, Steve Zimcosky is able to deliver a riveting tale in under 100 pages. If you are new to Steve Zimcosky’s work than this is a good starter book for you that will introduce you to his literary style.

Pages: 87 | ASIN: B08DSL6GK8

Buy Now From B&N.com

 

El Camino Drive

John Valentino isn’t going anywhere fast. The middle aged, Detroit-based Detective has just been suspended from work after beating a colleague to a pulp, his marriage has fallen to pieces, and his drinking has spiraled out of control. Haunted by the events surrounding his father’s murder almost forty years before, John is self-destructive, bubbling over with rage and guilt, making him the prime suspect when his father’s killers start turning up dead. But is John really capable of putting an end to his family’s decades old vendetta, or is there someone else moving through the city undetected, enacting their long-awaited revenge?

The gripping new novel by renowned crime author, Edward Izzi, El Camino Drive, is an easily-accessible thriller, which delivers its readers jolt after jolt. Cleverly constructed twists and turns will keep most crime fiction fans guessing until the very end, with a range of secondary characters weaving in and out of different decades and narratives. John’s troubled present is interwoven with his father’s own checkered history, and Izzi is more than capable of handling the slips in time to probe family ties, trauma, addiction, justice, and redemption. 

You can’t help but like the book’s flawed protagonist, with his blatant disregard for authority and often misplaced good intentions, however little time is spent with female characters, who are all too often rated on their physical appearance and little else. 

Police procedurals play a relatively minor role in El Camino Drive, which is carried along more by the strong dialogue than by the usual detective work you would expect of a whodunit. Due to his suspension from the force, John is instead left to negotiate a minefield of long-standing vendettas, long-lost familial connections, as well as the contemporary dating scene. The premise is unique enough to engross most thriller, mystery, and crime fiction readers, however tweaks to the prose in order to create a more vivid, atmospheric read, would help attract a wider audience.

El Camino Drive is an immersive and enjoyable follow-up to Izzi’s earlier work. A modern take on American pulp fiction, El Camino Drive can alternate between fast, furious, and sleazy, almost like a video game plot turned novel.

Pages: 463 | ASIN: B08F4DPNMN

Buy Now From B&N.com

Pompeii: the Peacock Murders

Pompeii: The Peacock Murders’, written by Lorraine Blundell, is set in the interesting and famous city, Pompeii, as young women start disappearing and a series of unique and recognisable murders are occurring throughout the city. It follows characters Cletus Asper, an undercover investigator, and his assistant Felix as they attempt to solve these bizarre murders and delve into the horrors of the past. All the while, the active volcano Vesuvius erupts.

This is a historical mystery thriller set in Pompeii and filled to the brim with interesting and engaging characters. To start off with the best aspect of the novel is the setting, Pompeii.

Lorraine Blundell went through great lengths to accurately portray this renown city and it is evident in all aspects of the story. From the ‘simple tunics’ to the ‘silk-made stolas’, from the ‘volcanic lava paved stones’ to the ‘coloured frescoes of peacocks and theatre masks’, it’s obvious that the setting is packed with historical accuracy. Not only this, but it is consistently told in engaging ways, not once did I find myself skimming any of these parts.

An abundance of characters appear throughout this novel, which can be troublesome, as sometimes a reader does not get the chance to understand, relate, or even like the characters of a novel if there are so many of them. Pompeii: The Peacock Murders evades this well in some areas and not so well in others. A few times, I found myself interested in a character only for them to never appear outside of that page. That being said, those that were explored were done well and Blundell did a good job in showcasing motivation and interests.

Other than the setting, one of the biggest aspects of this novel is the mystery. When this was first introduced, it was very intriguing and a bit heart-breaking. And while it continued to be so, eventually Pompeii: The Peacock Murders turned more to the motivations of characters, which is not harmful. In fact, it’s the opposite because doing so expanded our knowledge and judgement of certain characters. The reveal was satisfying, some readers will definitely guess who the culprit is but even though my prediction was right, it was still satisfying. And that, in my opinion, is the sign of a great mystery.

Ultimately, this is a fantastic historical fiction novel that was an enjoyable read and those who love this genre will have much to dive into.

Pages: 288 | ASIN: B08G4JX8ML

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Last Judgement

Brian O'Hare
Brian O’Hare Author Interview

The Doom Murders follows Inspector Sheehan as he pieces together clues from a string of murders connected to the church. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

I was reading a book about mediaeval art and came across a fifteenth century painting of The Last Judgement by Rogier van der Weyden. One segment of the painting showed the lost souls being tossed into the pit, their bodies twisted into grotesque shapes as they were falling. I suddenly visualised a situation in which a detective comes across a series of killings where each dead body is twisted into one of these shapes. What would have caused the killer to do that? This thought led to the writing of The Doom Murders.

Sheehan is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

Many years ago, before I moved into management myself, I used to lecture on Organisation Theory and The Psychology of Management. I was particularly convinced that the best manager, one who could motivate staff, was one who operated from a human-relations approach. He would have no ego. He would be concerned for his workers’ feelings, and would respect them enough to consult with them about how the organisation should be run. Sheehan’s character came out of this kind of thinking. He can be still grumpy and there is no doubt that he is the boss, but he never acts in a way that would create animosity or cause bad feelings.

I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Did you plan the mystery before writing or did it develop organically while writing?

The motive behind the killings, and the killer, were apparent to me from the beginning. The ‘fundamentalist’ element stemmed from experiences I have had with people of extreme religious conviction who constantly criticize other people’s ways of life without ever considering their own darkness. What did emerge organically were the biblical clues that were found at each crime scene. Actually, they were not there in the early draft. I had to go back and write those extra clues in, because I felt that the story didn’t have enough of the bizarre to go along with the underpinning concept of The Last Judgement and the psychotic nature of the killings. Similarly with the victims. … I had no idea who would be murdered next. Each victim was created only as I needed another high-profile representative of some significant stratum of society that my killer could set his sights on.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The Doom Murders is the first volume of an award-winning series called The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries. There are four other volumes, three of them already published. The last one is currently going through the editing process with my publisher. This latest book is called The Trafficking Murders and it should be published in the late Autumn of 2020. Details of the other volumes, The 11.05 Murders, The Coven Murders, and The Dark Web Murders, can be found on my Amazon Author Page [link below]. And maybe I should mention that The Dark Web Murders, [which, like each of the other volumes, has won The New Apple Literary Award for excellence] has almost 500 ratings on Goodreads (average 4.5 stars.)

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Facebook | Website | Twitter

Prominent figures in Belfast are being murdered. The bodies are left naked and posed in grotesquely distorted shapes. No clues are left at the forensically immaculate crime scenes except odd theatrical props and some random numbers and letters concealed at each scene by the killer. How are the victims linked? What is the connection between these killings, the bible, and a famous mediaeval painting of The Last Judgement?
%d bloggers like this: