Madeline Clark’s life seems like the life of a dozen different individuals. From the beginning of her troubled life, she is met head-on with one horrific circumstance after another at the hands of people she hopes and prays will be her saving graces. After finding her way out of South Africa, Maddie finds fleeting hope with David Blakely, a man she has no choice but to trust to pull her from poverty and imminent death, but cannot possibly know that his attention will be the beginning of her end and the catalyst for a lifetime of heartache and repeated loss and grief.
Maddie’s life, laid out for readers by Lucia Mann in her book, Addicted to Hate, is one of the most tragic about which I have ever read. It’s difficult to know where to begin explaining the layers Mann has revealed with her vivid and gripping descriptions of Maddie’s harrowing childhood, her abusive marriage to a vile man, and the horrific road she travels as a mother to three girls who could not care less if she lived or died. It is almost beyond comprehensible that Maddie could survive the mental and physical challenges with which she is faced from the beginning to the bitter end of her amazing and tortured life.
Mann has taken this story, based on actual events, and set Maddie forth as an unlikely heroine who overcomes insurmountable odds as she talks herself through each of her hardships including three pregnancies that, by all accounts, were miracles and curses at the same time. Maddie is the poster child of life testing us. She seems to have received each and every trial imaginable, the most tragic of which is the complete abhorrence her daughters have for her. I found myself rooting, paragraph by paragraph, for a turn of events for Maddie. I felt a visceral reaction with each mention of her daughter Mara’s blatant and evil brutalization of her mother. I wanted desperately for Maddie to see the light and make a break from her toxic children, but Maddie is better than most; she may be better than all of us.
Maddie’s intellect is her own saving grace. Her abilities are put to use in the most fascinating ways, and even that amazing opportunity cannot completely pull her from her spiral. Mann is a master at having her readers draw hopeful conclusions before letting them down abruptly.
The overall subject matter of Mann’s work is enhanced by the tone in which she writes. While maintaining a third person point of view, she manages nicely to incorporate a hint of second person questioning while drawing the reader further into Maddie’s overpowering drama.
Mann has given audience to an amazing tale of endurance and determination. In addition to the heartbreaking events of Maddie’s life, Mann shows readers the embodiment of true and unwavering unconditional love. Nowhere else can readers find a more poignant tale of loss, betrayal, and incredible triumph.
Pages: 254 | ASIN: B07K4TXQC7
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The Zimbabwean War of Independence is a vivid account of the country’s struggle for independence told through your personal experiences. Why was this an important book for you to write?
It, like most, if not all war situations has a lifelong impact on those affected and mine was an experience which I felt had to be told.
You used many of your own experiences when writing this book, but did you undertake any research to ensure you had a holistic view of events?
This book causes one to reflect on their own life journey. What do you hope readers take away from this book?
The main aim is for the reader to try and understand what it was like for the people affected. Just as I have read numerous accounts of the first and second world wars, I wanted the reader to be able to feel the trauma of a war situation which should be avoided by all and any means, where possible.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?
It is on political events, power struggles, and corruption on the newly independent countries of Zimbabwe and South Africa – the contrast and similarities.
A personal experience of the Zimbabwean war of independence as it happened and culminated in the country’s independence in 1980. The account is of events that took place almost four decades ago but the memory is still so vivid in my mind as if they had just occurred. I believe this is the case with any profound experiences that one goes through in one’s life’s journey.
I had always felt I had to tell the story some day especially soon after our abduction from school, but have only managed now to sit down and give the compelling story of the war as it was fought and escalated.
Posted in Interviews
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The Genocide Gene is the third book in the thrilling Onryo Saga and continues the adventures of the teenage superheroes in their fight to save humanity. I felt this story was very well written. What is your experience as a writer?
In addition to term papers in grad school, I wrote fanfiction about my favorite shows growing up. It was great practice to hone my craft and experiment with my original concepts. As fun as that was, nothing beats creating original characters and guiding them on a hero’s journey.
One thing that stands out to me in The Genocide Gene is the creativity embedded in this world. What was your inspiration for creating such and imaginative world?
As I was researching Africa, I had to come up with ways to integrate what I had learned into a creative storyline. I read about the business of portable gas stoves, so I had a battle in a factory. I read about the African boda-boda drivers, so I envisioned a chase scene on their mopeds. Every time I read something interesting, I wondered how I can utilize it in an exciting way.
I also created my own African country so that I could integrate the culture, history and issues of other countries into it, such as civil wars and age-old divisions brought about by European colonization. That way, I could write about the political problems of places such as Uganda, the Congo, South Africa and others all at once.
The Genocide Gene has an intriguing setup to a novel that is high in social commentary. What was your moral goal when writing this novel and do you feel you’ve achieved it?
Bringing people together in harmony has always been my main goal, whether it be American liberals and conservatives or feuding African tribes. I wanted to present a war-torn nation keep impoverished and dysfunctional due to prejudice and hatred, but it was important to show people of other backgrounds getting along in spite of what their groups teach them. While the political extremists seek to tear their nation apart through fear, those who serve the cause of unity and understanding are the only ones who can bring peace to their people. While my conclusion can’t happen in real life, I can only keep the faith that the people of these lands find ways to bring about prosperity.
When will the fourth book in the Onryo saga be available and where will it take readers?
The Tree of Zaqqum will take readers to Israel/Palestine, and others Middle Eastern locations too. My heroes will have to stop a mysterious mastermind and his followers from destroying cities with stolen WMDs and quantum technology. Their friendship is further tested as Chikara gains a new ally that may become something more.
I’m still in the research phase at that moment, but the story is coming together piece by piece. I’m guess it may take two years to complete.
“It has been only a few months since Chikara Kaminari was given strange powers and a mission from her precognitive mother. Joined by her friends Renka and Gen, she traveled the world and stopped a band of super-powered extremists from imposing their will upon humanity. Now, a new menace has surfaced to threaten the lives of millions.
In the segregated African nation of Ghadhia, two fanatical brothers are scheming to ignite a new civil war and commit genocide against the tribes they have been raised to hate. The heroic trio must unite with new friends and old enemies to stop them, facing African terrorists, Afrikaner supremacists and enraged mobs along the way. But as Chikara and her friends journey further into the heart of darkness, their deepest fears and hidden feelings threaten to tear their friendship apart.”
Posted in Interviews
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The Ryder Quartet is a collection of four crime thriller novels featuring detective Jeremy Ryder. When creating Jeremy Ryder did you have a plan for his development and character traits or did he grow organically as you were writing the story?
Definitely organically rather than pre-determined, for me. There are, of course, authors who prefer to map out a novel before embarking on the task of writing. Some might prefer to write detailed and very specific profiles for each of their main characters. Others might prefer to work out in advance every major plot development. This is an entirely acceptable method, but it is one to which I don’t subscribe. My own preference is to discover more and more about my characters in the act of writing, as they grow together and fertilise one another and tempt me to take them down paths I had not intended. Who am I to decide, before the act of writing, the intricacies of these complex people and the nuances of their being? How can I presume to know them merely by mapping them in broad outline before I commence my intimate journey with them? I feel far more comfortable getting to know them as we proceed together through the complexities of their lives and their actions. Like the actor resistant to creativity-sapping ‘line-readings’ provided by some directors I like to think that through exploring rather than pre-determining I can create a narrative that is more organically in harmony with the personalities of the full cast of characters. Of course, this then means re-writing and adjusting and reversing and re-drafting. But for me that is the great joy of writing. It is the journey, not the destination that absorbs me.
I know that you have undertaken thorough research for these novels, visiting crime scenes, and interviewing detectives and victims. Is there anything that you saw or heard, and wanted to put in your novels, but couldn’t?
Yes. For example, I interviewed one victim of crime who described to me details that were so horrific that I could never have exposed them in print. I try to create scenes and events that are analogous, or homologous, to those from the real world, and then to develop fictional counterparts for those experiences. In that way I hope to keep my fiction rooted in – I hesitate to use the word ‘authenticity’ – a world of plausibility.
In each of the four books there are different sets of villains. Which was your favorite to write for?
I got to the point where I was living and breathing the character of Thabethe. In the middle of the night he was in my thoughts. When walking dogs, when eating meals, when watching a movie, I couldn’t get rid of this man. My wife enjoyed watching me, she says: she could see how immensely satisfied I was in this world of creative imagination. It probably also kept me out of her hair. Anyway, I wondered what made him tick, and I wondered how I could ensure that I remained honest and truthful to the character. I judged him, of course, as we always judge each other. But I didn’t want to simply invent him as a bad guy and leave him to his own devices. I needed to understand him to the best of my ability. So I never stopped exploring him. It’s an amazing process, creating fiction. I love it.
Where do you see Jeremy Ryder, let’s say, a year after the series ends?
I will definitely travel further with Ryder. I’m just completing my next book, and the focus in this one is not Ryder but another character that emerged in one of the quartet volumes. Because my focus is on the real world of policing and crime in and around Durban, Ryder will definitely be back. There are significant things happening there as I write this: things that impact upon crime, politics, morality, and many other issues in which I am interested.
The Ryder Quartet comprises four crime thrillers. Each of them is also separately available as an independent book. In this collection they form an overall cohesive narrative. Detective Jeremy Ryder and his colleagues pursue heinous criminals into the depths of the criminal underworld. The action takes place in Durban, South Africa, but the confrontation between the forces of law and justice on the one hand and criminal machinations on the other make these four stories relevant to any major city in the world. The author’s field work involved detective-guided tours through forensic analysis, to the front line of drug dealing, and into the private pain of victims of crime. Readers of the individual volumes have hailed the work as action-packed thrillers steeped in authenticity and plausibility, reflecting the real world of police encounters with the dark world of crime.
Posted in Interviews
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The Ryder Quartet is a crime/mystery series written by Ian Patrick, and consists of Devil Dealing, Gun Dealing, Plain Dealing, and Death Dealing. Devil Dealing is about a police investigation of an illegal gambling unit, where one of the department’s own is behind the operation and finds himself face to face with the consequences of his misdeeds. Gun Dealing is the story of an intense search for the gangster Thabethe which tests the ethical and moral judgment of the detectives involved. Plain Dealing focuses on cops who kill four thugs in an execution style shooting and try to cover it up, and Thabethe makes an appearance again as the eye witness to the shooting and tries to include Jeremy Ryder in with the corrupted cops out of spite. Finally, Death Dealing, tells the tale of the criminal’s determination to take down Jeremy Ryder for good. Their prime target has become his family.
Each of the books in the series build upon each other. Elements from previous novels carry over into the next one, building the tension and suspense of the series. Patrick takes a close and harsh look at the corruption within the police force in these novels, and focuses on the Durban, South Africa area as his setting. Often readers don’t think much about the settings in the books they read, but Patrick makes an effort to make the setting stand out, which makes you want to learn more about the area. It takes a strong author to make readers interested in the real life setting of a book, and Ian Patrick is such an author.
I enjoyed the book, but there were rare moments where I was grudgingly reading through paragraphs of unnecessary detail and commentary and I wanted to get back to what I enjoyed most about the novel, which was the characters and the core plot. Ian Patrick takes readers on a roller coaster ride through South Africa. The series is full of twists and turns that will leave the reader almost breathless. It’s nearly impossible to guess what will happen next. It is evident that Ian Patrick does his research for each of these novels. He writes with an air of authority and knowledge on the subject. Readers get an in depth look into what drives someone to committing evil acts and thoughts. This series is as much a look into the human psyche as it is a look into moral and ethical corruption. In most novels the villain becomes a sort of secondary character, but in the Ryder Quartet they become the main characters.
The Ryder series as whole is one that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys mysteries, crime thrillers, and even those who enjoy a good psychological novel. Each book left me asking, ‘what will happen next?’ And sure enough, I didn’t see the twist coming.
Pages: 826 | ISBN: 1519539622
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Author Interview with Ian Patrick
Plain Dealing is a suspense novel about a group of cops in South Africa that are caught executing criminals and then must try to cover it up. This is the third book in the The Ryder Quartet series. What is the central theme that you have tried to carry through all four books?
The central theme I have pursued through the four books is about crime, justice and morality: at what point do the police (and many readers) eschew morality for the sake of retribution? What is the tipping point for officers of the law when the institutions of law and justice are unable to contain heinous crime?
The story takes place in South Africa. I enjoyed the detail of that backdrop, it seemed more exotic than most urban cities. What was the decision for that setting?
The decision for the setting of the four books in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, is that many people consider this area to be the crime capital of the world (with the dubious distinction, in recent years, of having the highest murder rate for a country not at war).
Plain Dealing addresses the emotional and ethical choices that law enforcement officials handle on a daily basis. Were there any elements in the story that you pulled from real life, or was it all just fiction?
Although the books are fiction, almost every single crime depicted in the books has its counterpart in real life. Thorough research was undertaken, including tours to the front line of crime and discussions with forensics experts, detectives, and victims of crime. Almost every crime scene was personally visited by me in order to check on the veracity of the physical descriptions.
In the story, six cops execute some criminals and Detective Jeremy Ryder must try to stop them. What was your inspiration for Jeremy Ryders character and his approach to solving crimes?
My inspiration for the character of Jeremy Ryder was multifaceted. My father was a police detective. I have interviewed many detectives. And I have been influenced over many years by characters that I have enjoyed in literature. There is in Jeremy Ryder a little of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character, a little of my father, a little of my wife, a little – I suppose – of myself. But he is in essence entirely a character of fiction. I took great care to ensure that he is not guilty of typical macho or even misogynist behavior. One way I have tried to do this is to depict his wife and other women in the stories as strong, perceptive, and original thinkers and women of action.
The Ryder Quartet is a collection of 4 books. Death Dealing being the last one out. Do you see a chance to continue the story in a different storyline or are you working on a completely new novel?
I am currently working on a fifth novel that is set in the same location. This one is based around one of the characters that we meet in the quartet, but it will not involve Ryder and his companions. I will, though, return to Ryder and his colleagues in a future work. He is now under my skin and I think of him daily.
After midnight on a moonlit beach six policemen led by a top detective execute four criminals who have perpetrated the most heinous rape, mutilation and murder of a young woman. The police are unaware that there is a witness to the executions. The action that follows is set against dubious tactical, ethical and sometimes criminal choices faced by the central characters. The reader is left with a stark image of moral ambiguity as the police struggle to maintain courageous and precarious control of the crime that engulfs them, and the work of ‘plain dealing’ cops comes under scrutiny.
Posted in Interviews
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Plain Dealing (the Ryder Quartet Book 3) by Ian Patrick is a mystery, thriller and suspense novel. It’s the third book in the series and follows the activities of six cops after they execute four criminals for committing a crime. What they didn’t know was that there was someone watching them as they executed the thugs. The witness, Thabethe, decides to go the media with what he saw and thought he would include Detective Jeremy Ryder in with the group, as a sort of payback for Ryder coming down on him. Now the cops who committed the execution style murder are out to shut Thabethe up while Ryder tries to piece together the puzzle.
Plain Dealing is a novel that addresses the emotional, ethical and even criminal choices that law enforcement officials handle on a daily basis. It plays on the moral struggles officers go through to maintain their control over crime. Ian Patrick creates a thrilling tale filled with action, suspense and drama. He brings his story to life through minor details such as Sugar-Bear growling at a shady journalist and well developed dialogue. He builds up the suspense and draws out the reader’s anticipation for what will happen next. Details are so rich that readers can see the story unfold as if they’re watching a movie or seeing it firsthand. Patrick’s words are vivid and realistic. They bring out the reality of the tough choices police officers need to make as they confront brutal and heinous crimes.
It’s evident that Patrick did extensive research before writing Plain Dealing. I got the feeling that the descriptions and character actions were accurate. The setting of Durban, South Africa is an interesting one as most books of this kind take place in urban cities. It is refreshing to see the fictional war on crime taking place in a unique and almost exotic setting. It brings to light the reality of crimes in other places, not just in the United State, something we tend to forget or try not to think about. There were moments that seemed dull and stifled, but those are few and far between. Once readers read this book, the will want to read the other books within the series. This novel truly is a page turner; one that will burn itself into the reader’s memory and stay there for a long time. Readers will read this within a day as they will not want to put it down for one second.
Plain Dealing is a riveting tale that keeps the readers guessing only to be surprised at the next turn. This is the perfect addition to the library of any mystery, thriller, and suspense fan. There are elements of this novel that puts it into the caliber of best sellers like James Patterson and John Grisham, they should watch out for Ian Patrick as he is a compelling contender in the mystery genre.
Pages: 271 | ASIN: B01263D7VC
Posted in Four Stars
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