Ethan Jones Books

10 Questions with Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

Critical ConditionMy guest today is Richard L. Mabry, MD, author of the excellent thriller CRITICAL CONDITION, which came out today. Please scroll down to enjoy his interview.

1. Dr. Mabry, thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed for my blog. Your new thriller, CRITICAL CONDITION, comes out on April 15. Tell us a bit more about this book.

I appreciate the chance to visit with you. Here’s the set-up for my next novel of medical suspense, CRITICAL CONDITION:

A celebratory dinner party becomes a nightmare for Dr. Shannon Frasier when a man is shot dead on her lawn, reviving emotions from a similar incident a decade ago.

Shannon struggles with fears that her sister may be back on drugs, is frustrated by her continuing inability to commit to her “almost-fiancé,” and feels her world crumble when her father reveals he is fighting cancer.

Could it get any worse? Then the first late-night phone call came. “What did he say before he died?”

2. Where did the inspiration for this story come from, and who is Dr. Frasier?

Unlike all my other novels of medical suspense, there was no one incident that made me think, “I should write about that.” Instead, I drew on situations I’d experienced or observed: a family member fighting prescription drug addiction, a surgeon crippled by the past, and worry over a loved one with a potentially fatal disease. I mixed all these with some totally fabricated tense situations to make CRITICAL CONDITION.

As for Dr. Shannon Frasier, there was no specific inspiration for her character. Over my three and a half decades of medical practice, I was privileged to know and work with numerous female physicians. I suppose I simply took characteristics from several of them to create Shannon.

3. You write Christian fiction. What is the role of God and religion in your works?

There are all different types of “Christian fiction,” but the unifying trait, so far as I’m concerned, is that the stories are written from a Christian worldview. My books don’t feature altar calls and exhortations to turn from sin, but rather deal with characters that are, like you and me, imperfect people in an imperfect world. Bad things happen to each of us, no matter what our relationship with God. The difference is seen in how we handle those. That’s what I try to portray in my novels.

4. Why do you write? Why Christian fiction?

During my 36 years in medicine, I wrote or edited eight medical textbooks and over one hundred published papers for medical journals, but never considered any other type of writing until my wife of forty years died suddenly. I used the journaling from that episode as the basis for a non-fiction book, THE TENDER SCAR: LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF A SPOUSE. During the process of learning how to craft that book, I became interested in writing fiction. Like golf, bowling, or any other activity, once I took it up I decided I not only wanted to try writing, but to become proficient at it. Since CRITICAL CONDITION will be my seventh published novel of medical suspense, perhaps I’ve succeeded.

As for why I write in the genre of Christian fiction, I suppose it’s just natural for me. Many other authors have shown me that it’s possible to craft a good novel without including profanity and overt sex, and I’ve never seen any need to do otherwise.

5. You’ve been in the Air Force and also a semi-pro baseball player. What are some memories you would like to share from the time in the Air Force?

I was in the US Air Force for almost three years, stationed in the Azores, a Portuguese possession. Although we were on an isolated base, my wife and young child were able to join me after three months, and we had some good times there, including a couple of vacations in Europe.

I suppose one of my lasting memories is the time my hospital commander and I performed a relatively simple operation that saved the life of an Azorean child, something that was written up in the service newspaper, Stars and Stripes, and for which I was awarded an Air Force commendation medal.

6. What is the single most important thing you have learned during the writing process of crafting a novel?

No writer ever produces a good novel in the first draft. It takes several revisions and input from a number of people to turn out a novel people enjoy reading.

7. A word of advice for new writers?

Spend the time and effort to learn the craft. Realize that sometimes it takes writing two, three, even four novels before you truly find your “voice” and are able to turn out a good novel. Be persistent. Don’t compare yourself and your work to what you see around you—be yourself and strive to improve with each book. And, although we wish it were otherwise, it will be up to you to take the lead in letting others know about your books.

8. What are your thoughts on the latest publishing industry developments, mainly the rise of the self-publishing? Did you ever consider it or might you consider it in the future?

When I started writing, about a decade ago, self-publishing was looked on as something writers resorted to when they couldn’t get representation by an agent or interest from an editor. Now it’s become an accepted way of life, and many authors are “hybrids,” having built a readership through traditional publishing and then turning to e-publication. There are advantages to each approach, and I have to admit that I now have an open mind about both avenues of publishing.

9. What are your favorite pastimes?

A friend and I try to play golf once a week, weather permitting. I’ve had a life-long love affair with baseball (as a player, coach, and fan), and during the baseball season, my wife and I enjoy watching Texas Rangers baseball. And, of course, I like to read.

10. What is your next book going to be about?

After CRITICAL CONDITION, there’s some question about the publisher of my next book, but I can certainly share the gist of the story. The working title is DEAD ON ARRIVAL:

In the Emergency Room, Dr. Mark Baker and Nurse Linda Atkinson find themselves at the mercy of a gunman. He points to his wounded brother and declares, “If he dies, everyone here dies.” At the end of the evening three men lie dead. One of them is a police officer Mark couldn’t save. The other two are members of the feared Zeta drug cartel, a group likely to seek revenge on Mark, Linda, and others.

It isn’t long before the shootings begin—the anesthesiologist for the operation is killed. Soon Mark is high on the police list of suspects, and the best way to clear his name is to find the real shooter. It could be the Zetas seeking revenge. It might be someone administering payback for the policeman whose life Mark couldn’t save. Whoever it is, can Mark find them…before they get him?

Weekly Work Progress Report

I have decided to start posting a weekly work progress report to inform my fans about my writing and other events related to my books.

Work on ROGUE AGENTS is moving forward according to schedule and I am close to the halfway point of the book. ROGUE AGENTS will be the fifth novel in the Justin Hall spy thriller series. A series of developments in south Asia create a crisis for the Canadian Intelligence Service when two agents go missing after an operation in South Korea. The two agents end up in a prison camp in North Korea, where they are being tortured so they can reveal intelligence. Justin and Carrie are dispatched to bring an end to this situation. They are expected to infiltrate North Korea along with two operatives from MI6 and with the help of a North Korean defector.

I am hoping to have ROGUE AGENTS released sometime in early July.

EJones_ArcticWargame_800I spent a couple of days last week engaged in a wide promotional campaign for a couple of deals I am offering my fans. ARCTIC WARGAME is free for a limited time on all book retailers, so please enjoy a copy and tell a friend about it. I’m also offering a giveaway for a paperback copy on Goodreads, so you may want to check it out as well. And one of my other novels will be on sale in early May.

If you join my Fans Mailing List, you will learn about these news before they hit the blog and you will have a chance to enjoy advance readers copies, promotions and many other deals not available anywhere else.

On April 16, I’m revealing a new surprise for my fans on this blog. So please come back on that date to learn about something very, very thrilling.

Finally, thank you very much for your continuous support. Your book reviews and word of mouth helps so much and I truly appreciate each and every one of you. Please keep sharing this post and other links about my books on your social media and elsewhere.

Ethan Jones

The Ascendant by Drew Chapman

The AscendantThe Ascendant is a great debut thriller.

Garrett Reilly, a New York securities trader with a photographic memory, notices some unusual patters with regard to treasure bonds. A single unspecified source was selling two hundred billion dollars of US treasury bonds. Garrett suspect it is the Chinese. But why are the Chinese doing this? Is it an act of war on America?

Mr. Chapman’s writing is smooth yet heart-racing. The events unfold with many unexpected twists and turns and the dialogue is realistic and snappy. Some of the main characters use the F-word more than it is usual in thrillers of this genre. The descriptions sound realistic and Mr. Chapman has done his homework when it comes to researching this novel.

Garrett agrees to work with the US Army to identify the people who can plunge the US in the worst economy crisis of its history. But what will Garrett have to do to find the truth? And who are the people behind these transactions?

10 Questions with Janet Brons

A quiet killMy guest today is Janet Brons, author of A QUIET KILL. Please scroll down for her interview.

1.   Ms. Brons, thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed for my blog. A QUIET KILL, comes out on April 8. Tell us a bit more about this book.

Thank you for the opportunity! I actually wrote A QUIET KILL some fifteen years ago, shortly after resigning from the Foreign Service and beginning my consulting career. At that time, I made one half-hearted attempt to have it published by a big publishing firm, (which I don’t even think actually publishes crime fiction), then stuck it in a drawer. A couple of years ago I decided to try again, and here we are.

2.   Who are Stephen Hay and inspector Liz Forsyth, and where did you find the inspiration for these characters?

Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Hay and RCMP Inspector Liz Forsyth are my protagonists, who are brought together to investigate the murder of Natalie Guévin, Head of Trade for the Canadian High Commission in London, England. As with all of the characters in this book, these two are complete figments of my imagination. I always loved the English detectives, including Morse, Frost, Barnaby and Lewis, but Hay is modelled on none of these. Liz is also a product of my imagination, although of course all the characters one writes doubtless have bits and chunks and mannerisms that the writer has come across somewhere or another, and married together.

3.   Why do you write?

I have always enjoyed writing, although it was usually in a work context. I am a great admirer of the richness of the English language, of good words and phrases. I enjoy writing for the same reasons I enjoy reading I guess.

4.   What are your writing habits? Outlines or not?

I haven’t developed any particular habits yet! A QUIET KILL came to me in a blast of inspiration and I largely wrote it in three weeks, writing from morning until night. I’m not sure that sort of thing happens more than once in a lifetime. Working on the second book has been much more difficult, but I try to lock myself into my office for at least an hour a day to write. I’m not big on outlines – I think it’s much more fun to write my characters and then see what they get up to!

5.   A word of advice for new writers?

I’m a new writer myself, so it seems a bit presumptuous to be offering advice! I do think, however, that if you actually enjoy the process of writing you will probably turn out a pretty good product. I suppose the other thing would be to read, read, read all the best literature you can get your hands on. The classics can be sources of tremendous inspiration.

6.   What are your thoughts on the latest publishing industry developments, mainly the rise of the self-publishing?

This is probably something I haven’t given enough thought to. I suspect it is a confusing time for both publishers and authors, as we try to feel our way forward in a very different world. This, combined with the statistics that show we are reading less as a society, makes it a challenging time. Perhaps, though, the reader is the real winner in all of this, now having more options and formats to choose from.

7.   What was it like working for the Canadian foreign service in Moscow?

Fascinating. I worked at the Embassy in Moscow from 1994 to 1996, and as you know, that was during a time of great change in Russia and the Former Soviet Union. It was also exhausting: as if often the case in the Foreign Service we were understaffed at a time when there was a great deal of interest in what was happening there.

8.   What have you learned during the process of crafting a novel?

Probably way more than I can write here! One thing is that if you think you’ve finished the perfect manuscript, you have to expect that your editors will doubtless have other ideas!

9.   How hard is it for Canadians to sell thrillers in Canada and abroad?

It will be easier to answer that in about six months or so, at which time I would love to be able tell you that, “it’s easy! Everybody wants to read Canadian thrillers and they just fly off the shelves”! So watch this space!

10.   What is your next book going to be about?

This will also be crime fiction, and will feature Forsyth and Hay. This time, she has gone back to Ottawa while he has remained in London. They are each investigating homicides, but attempting, somewhat clumsily, to get together again.

 

Easy Day for the Dead by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin

Easy Day for the DeadEasy Day for the Dead is an action-filled thriller.

Navy SEAL Alexander Brandenburg loses a close friend during an operation in Iraq in 2006 in Chapter 1 but he does not let that affect his work. Six years later, Alex is dispatched with other SEALS to Iran, to destroy one of its nuclear facilities.

Mr. Wasdin and Templin are masters of the action. This novel moves forward at a heart-racing pace and almost never stops. There are a few places where things are spelled out for the reader (like how JSOC is pronounced on page 21) and disbelief is stretched quite a lot, but these are common in many thrillers of the genre. One of the main villains, Major Khan, is depicted as a monster and a pedophile, preying on young boys. Overall, the dialogue rings true and the plot is plausible.

How will Alex and his team get to their target? And what will they have to do in order get out alive?

10 Questions with Sara Paretsky

Critical MassMy guest today is world-renowned author Sara Paretsky, creator of the famous female private eye, V I Warshawski. The latest thriller in that series is Critical Mass. Please scroll down to enjoy her interview.

1.       Ms. Paretsky, thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed for my blog. Your new thriller, Critical Mass, comes out on paperback in October. Tell us a bit more about this book.

Vienna in the 1930’s was both an exciting and a terrifying place to be a woman doing physics. Exciting because the Institute for Radium Research offered women opportunities that no lab before or since has provided. Terrifying because although the Nazi party was outlawed, pro-Nazi sentiment ran high. For a woman who was also a Jew, political events could spell the end not just of her career, but her life.

Critical Mass, Sara Paretsky’s new novel, tells the story of one such woman scientist, Martina Saginor, a physicist who disappeared in the slave labor camps of World War II. Martina’s only child made it to safety in England, and then Chicago.

Martina’s daughter’s story is closely twined with that of another Viennese refugee, Dr. Lotty Herschel, the friend and confidante of Chicago Private Eye V I Warshawski. When Martina’s tortured history starts coming to light in contemporary Chicago, Lotty turns to V I for help. In Critical Mass, the race for the atom bomb and secrets of the war, and of the human heart take V I on a quest from Chicago’s premier science labs to the Viennese ghetto where Lotty and Martina were forced to live. The journey across present and past makes V I a moving target for powerful figures who’d like to see the past stay dead and buried.

2.       Where did the inspiration for this story come from?

Critical Mass came out of my reading and musing about Marietta Blau, one of the notable physicists of the 1930s, whose work, like that of other women, has been forgotten. She did groundbreaking research in cosmic ray physics and was a member of the Institut für Radiumforschung (IRF) in Vienna. The IRF was unique in the era between the world wars for its aggressive hiring and support of women scientists. When the Nazis gained power, the Jewish staff and the women were fired within short order, and the IRF lost its cutting edge in research. Blau’s work was so valuable that Einstein himself tried finding her a job in the United States. He was unsuccessful but saved her life by getting her to Mexico City in the nick of time. Her enforced exile from the heart of physics meant that at war’s end, Blau had lost her mental edge as a researcher. Her story haunted me for many years and eventually inspired me in creating the character Martina Saginor.

3.       How has V. I. Warshawski grown as a character since 1982 when you first created her?

1982 was the first year women could serve as regular members of the Chicago police force (It was 1981 in New York and San Francisco). V.I. came to life at a time when women breaking into new fields often found hostility both among clients and co-workers. In the early books, V.I. has a chip on her shoulder because of the resistance she meets as a woman. Those days in law enforcement have passed, and so V.I., like other feminists, can broaden the range of issues she tackles.

4.       What are your writing habits? Outline or not?

I don’t outline. I have tried it and it doesn’t work for me. I need to put characters in motion before I can see the trajectory of a story. I usually start with the idea of a crime, why it’s been committed, and why the perpetrator is willing to commit murder to keep this crime secret. In the case of Critical Mass, however, I started with my scientist, Martina Saginor. It took me almost eight years to come up with a story that I could use with that character.

5.       What is the single most important thing you have learned during the writing process of crafting a novel?

Every novel is different. Each novel presents unique challenges, both in the motivations of my recurring characters and in the storylines I’m trying to develop.

6.       A word of advice for new writers?

Write what you care about. There are occasional writers who are very successful in writing to the market rather than from their hearts, but the market is a fickle mistress. If you’re not writing out of your own passions, your work will almost inevitably be dead.

7.       What are your thoughts on the latest publishing industry developments, and the rise of the self-publishing?

The publishing industry has contracted dramatically in the last decade. Self-publishing offers a way for people to bring their work to the public if they can’t find access to an established publisher. Again, there are a handful of extraordinary success stories among the self-published, notably 50 Shades of Gray. However, the work involved in publicizing and distributing a self-published book is formidable. It takes 30-50 hours per week to do it effectively – more if you’re looking for overseas markets.

8.       What are your favorite pastimes?

I like to walk Chicago’s lakefront and I enjoy singing.

9.       How do you connect with you fans?

I love bookstore events as a way to meet readers in person. I’m also active on Facebook.

10.       What is your next book going to be about?

Critical Mass is set on a big stage – the race for the atom bomb, the Second World War, and the long tail of damage that war has left behind. The new book returns to the small stage of Chicago politics and corruption.

The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer

The Cairo AffairThe Cairo Affair is a good spy thriller.

The story opens up with Jibril Aziz, a CIA analyst, going into an unusual mission to Hungary to gather intelligence about a secret CIA project known as Stumbler. Then it moves to Hungary and we learn about the man Jibril is planning to meet. The man, a diplomat with the US Embassy in the country, is shot in the head in front of his wife, just after telling her he knows about her affair with a Cairo-based CIA agent. It’s a complicated story and we’re only on page 23.

Mr. Steinhauer has crafted a smart yet complicated tale. And as with many things that are complicated, some details are overlooked and the readers have to suspend their disbelief quite a lot. From the first page, it seems that the CIA algorithms are completely useless as they miss to connect the dots when five politically active Libyan exiles vanish from the face of the earth in a matter of just three days. The story moves back and forth in time and space and the reader needs to pay attention to keep track of everything that is going on and determine what is important to remember and what is just background noise and backstory. There is some gratuitous sexual references on page 17 and then a mercenary who is protecting Jibril while he infiltrates Libya during the Arab Spring acts in an absurd way, seemingly to advance the plot and the storyline.

What is the connection of the dead diplomat to the Stumbler project? How will the CIA find out who is the leak in their Cairo station? And what was the true purpose of Jibril’s mission?

10 Questions with Ted Scofield

Eat what you killMy guest today is Ted Scofield, author of EAT WHAT YOU KILL, and excellent debut financial thriller that came out today. Please scroll down to enjoy his interview.

1. Mr. Scofield, thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed for my blog. Your debut financial thriller, EAT WHAT YOU KILL, came out today. Tell us a bit more about this book.

Thank you. It’s an honor. As a first-time novelist, it’s exciting and new to be asked about my book.

EAT WHAT YOU KILL has been described as American Psycho meets Wall Street. On the surface, it’s a fast-paced, (hopefully) entertaining story about an intriguing young man obsessed with money – and the material possessions, both animate and inanimate, money can provide.

But lurking just below the surface is a morality tale and anti-objectivist polemic. The book examines what I believe is the logical – and inevitable – endpoint of Ayn Rand’s philosophy.

2. Where did the inspiration for this story come from, and how much of it is true and how much is fiction?

Sometime around my eighteenth birthday, I shorted a stock for the first time; that is, I bet the stock’s price would fall. I had about two grand riding on it, and I was nervous. I thought to myself, What would I be willing to do to make the stock go down if it insisted on going up? What if my entire net worth or reputation were riding on the bet?

At that moment, the seed was planted.

Over the next fifteen years I went to college, worked in politics, went to both business and law school, and toiled in the trenches as an attorney for a multi-national law firm representing “Wall Street” clients.

And the story grew, around a character I feared I knew too well.

I didn’t realize until years later, after I had finished the novel, that the protagonist, Evan, and I share initials (my real name is Edward).

3. Why do you write? Why thrillers?

I write because it is the most challenging, gut-wrenching, terrifying yet rewarding experience I have ever endured/enjoyed. With EAT WHAT YOU KILL, I contemplated every single sentence, and often every single word in the sentence. I hope part of that pathology was due to inexperience. I pray I can shorten the process with the sequel.

Honestly I never intended to write this type of novel we call a “thriller” and did not realize EAT WHAT YOU KILL was a thriller until my agent put a label on it. I set out to write down the story in my head. It spread out like a spider’s web, but all of the major plot points were there all along.

4. What are your writing habits? Outline or not?

With EAT WHAT YOU KILL, the notion of “habit” is far too generous. I didn’t have one. When the story had advanced in my head, not in general terms but the actual wording, I would write it down, longhand. Once again, this process, or lack thereof, must change with the sequel, and I must discover a more disciplined approach, but for the life of me I can’t predict what it will be.

I did not outline EAT WHAT YOU KILL and I don’t plan to outline the sequel. I know many of the major plot points and I’ll just see what happens along the way.

I must add, I am a life-long, super-organized non-fiction outliner. I sought out university classes with term papers because I enjoyed the research, outlining and writing. But, so far, with fiction, that process just doesn’t seem to work for me. For me, it hasn’t translated to creative writing.

5. What kind of research did you do for EAT WHAT YOU KILL?

I did quite a bit of very specific research, primarily on locations, products and industries. I also re-read Rand, Camus, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Conrad, and Eliot, among others. And I had the incredible experience of visiting the New York Public Library’s Rare Books Division to review an antique translation of Leon Battista Alberti’s Della Famiglia. Why? Alberti was a fascinating 15th century Florentine and, I insist, a proto-objectivist. Near the end of EAT WHAT YOU KILL, our protagonist quotes him: “To those of noble and liberal spirit, no occupations seem less brilliant than those whose purpose is to make money.”

That being said, I feel like everything I experience and read – from the quotidian to the sublime, from the daily newspaper to some odd theological treatise to today’s bestselling novel – is research. I kept a running list, pages and pages, of interesting things that I wanted to include. I read about a fancy shoe in GQ and it’s in the book. I met the owner of a new tequila brand and it’s in the book. A tour guide in Italy explained campanilismo, and it’s in the book. You get the picture. With EAT WHAT YOU KILL, about ninety percent of my list of items made it in.

6. What is the single most important thing you have learned during the writing process of crafting a novel?

A good writer is not necessarily a good storyteller, and a good storyteller is not necessarily a good writer. A certain level of technical skill is of course required, but that alone does not a novel make. A well-crafted novel must balance story and skill.

7. A word of advice for new writers?

Isn’t it always the same? “Don’t quit your day job.” But seriously, achieving the balance of story and skill takes time and patience. You must write well, and you must have something – story – to write well. If you’re in a rush, you’ll be disappointed.

And, besides, the process is incredibly slow-moving. You’ll finish your novel, jump for joy, and then the agent query process begins. Hopefully months, if not years, later, you’ll secure your literary agent. Then your agent starts querying publishers. Certainly weeks will pass, if not months or even years, and your book will find a home. You will rejoice. Eventually your editor will pick a publication date, most likely anywhere from twelve to thirty months after the ink dried on your contract. From first word to bookshelf? Ouch, I don’t even want to think about it.

8. What are your thoughts on the latest publishing industry developments, mainly the rise of the self-publishing? Did you ever consider it or might you consider it in the future?

I never considered self-publishing and can not foresee circumstances under which I would. I certainly don’t oppose it and I wish the best of luck to those writers who go for it, but I personally need the institutional screens to improve my work. Starting with several agents, most notably my own, and then moving to Charlie Spicer, my talented editor at St. Martin’s, EAT WHAT YOU KILL is a far better book than it would have been had I self-published.

(Certainly I understand that a writer can hire an editor to critique an unpublished work, but I wonder if the incentives are the same, and therefore the results.)

9. What are your favorite pastimes?

My wife, Christi, and I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a short walk to Central Park, any I love to run on the bridal path. It’s the only time of day I’m disconnected. I don’t run out of obligation or because my doctor tells me I should; I run out of pure joy.

Like most all writers, I’m an avid reader. At any given moment I’m reading a novel, a non-fiction book, something with a theological or philosophical angle, and a New Yorker.

Christi is a talented contemporary artist, and, fortunately, I have always enjoyed visiting art museums and galleries. Now, having seen it created in our NYC apartment, my appreciation for fine art has increased exponentially, and we spend a lot of time absorbing it.

I’m also a scuba diver, but sadly I have far too few opportunities to indulge my passion for breathing underwater. That will change in the future, I tell myself year after year.

Finally, Christi and I enjoy exploring New York City and traveling the globe. Over the past couple of years we’ve lived in Paris for three months, and in May we’re going on a tour of Germany and Austria to study Martin Luther, stopping at biergärtens along the way. We call it our “Bible and Beers” tour.

10. What is your next book going to be about?

I’ve started to write the sequel to EAT WHAT YOU KILL and it’s absolutely invigorating to be back in the story again.

 

Eat What You Kill by Ted Scofield

Eat what you killEat What You Kill is a fantastic debut.

Evan Stoess is a young Wall Street analyst obsessed with getting rich, who will stop at nothing to get to the top. He picks a stock that turn out to be a winner and he does climb, very fast and very high. Then things change on a dime and swift comes his fall. Evan lands hard on his back and loses everything. But Evan is not a quitter and he gets a second chance. This time instead of a winner he has to pick a stock that will become a loser.

Mr. Scofield’s writing is quick and to the point. The language is simple without the complicated professional lingo that usually bogs down such financial thrillers. The chapters are short, the storyline develops fast, and the reader cannot resist turning the page and reading more about Evan’s woes and victories.

As Evan is giving a new lease on life, what will he do? How will he play his cards this time? And when disaster is drawing near again, what will he do?

Red 1-2-3 by John Katzenbach

Red 1-2-3Red 1-2-3 is an interesting thriller.

A failed writer is plotting the murder of three red-headed women, the only thing in common among them. The women try to contact the police after their each receive a threatening letter, but their attempts are not taken seriously. The women find each other quite easy as they live in the same city and plan to turn the tables on the killer, who goes by the name of Big Bad Wolf.

Mr. Katzenbach has done a great job building the psychological suspense necessary for this kind of thriller. His writing flows well, but the pace is quite slow and there is a lot of background and backstory about each of the three women. While these details help the reader see them as real people and human beings, they also slow down the narrative and the action.

What will the women have to do to escape certain death in the hands of this serial killer? And how will they find the Big Bad Wolf?

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