Blindside by GJ Moffat

By Christine Goff

GJ Moffatt’s thrillers have been described as “white knuckle adrenaline rides” that should be devoured in one sitting. BLINDSIDE, his gripping third novel, makes no exception.

When a passenger jet crashes in Denver, Colorado, nobody survives.

In Glasgow, Alex Cahill is surprised to receive a phone call from the wife of an old Secret Service colleague who was supposedly travelling on the doomed plane. But there is no record of his name on the passenger list. Cahill uses his connections to find out what has happened but no one is talking. Not even to him. Enlisting the help of his friend, Logan Finch, Cahill is determined to get answers and travels to Denver for a confrontation with the FBI.

Logan’s girlfriend, DC Rebecca Irvine, is also looking for answers. A new drug is killing users on the streets of Glasgow. But is it accidental death or could it be homicide?

As Irvine searches the streets of Glasgow, and Cahill and Logan head to Denver, they are unaware that a perfect storm of events from war-torn Afghanistan, to Colorado and the mean streets of Glasgow is about to engulf them all…

The DAILY MAIL calls Moffat “one of the rising stars of his generation . . . Elegant and unexpected, it’s [BLINDSIDE is] not to be missed.”

GJ Moffat is a thriller writer by night, a lawyer by day, and a father and husband at all points between. Wanting to write since reading the Hardy Boys mysteries during his childhood days, his thrillers have been described as “white knuckle adrenaline rides” that should be devoured in one sitting. Recently, the Big Thrill editor Christine Goff caught up with Moffat to ask a few questions.

You are Scottish and reside in Scotland, yet BLINDSIDE has both a Glasgow and Denver, Colorado setting. In fact, in BLINDSIDE nearly half the action takes place in Denver. Do you have a connection to the city or was it randomly chosen?

I’ve always loved American crime fiction, from Chandler to Leonard to Ellroy and beyond.  So when I started to write my own books I wanted there to be a US element to them.  My first novel (unpublished) was set wholly in Denver and other locations in Colorado.  I chose Denver for two reasons: first, it was a major metropolitan area that had not been used much in crime fiction and, second, it was close to the Rockies which suited the story I had in mind.  That book remains unpublished but I had visited Denver to research it and had such a good time in the city that I wanted to go back to it in a story.  BLINDSIDE gave me that opportunity.

As a Colorado resident, I was impressed with how well you handled the action that takes place in Denver. How did you do your research?

I spent four days in Denver in 2003 and have a video recording of my walking tour of city centre locations.  So it is still fresh for me.  I also have a very helpful contact in the Denver Police Department, Sergeant Larry Subia, who assists me with police procedures and local colour.  Larry has been a great source of information since my first e-mail contact with him in 2002.

In BLINDSIDE, Finch and his girlfriend, Irvine, are working opposite sides of the same case. It seems as though you must carefully plot your novels in order to make the threads come together. Are you a plotter?

The books I enjoy most have strong narrative propulsion and that’s what I try to achieve with my own stories.  My planning has developed from having no advance structural planning, to detailed chapter by chapter structures to my current way of working.  It’s really a mixture of initial basic plotting and character sketches and then letting the story develop on its own.  I find that works best for me.  It does lead to some headaches when trying to draw the plot strands together coherently.  With BLINDSIDE, for example, I took a break about two-thirds of the way through to fine tune the structure of it.

There is a strong family/relationship element in BLINDSIDE, with the protagonists entangled in relationships and being parents. This goes against the stereotypical James Bond-type characters often found in thrillers. How intentional was this?

Absolutely intentional.  I started writing seriously after the birth of my first daughter and wanted the characters to be more real – to have families and relationships that I recognized.  There are just so many lone detectives and heroes out there with dysfunctional personal relationships.  I didn’t want to be another one of those.  I didn’t realize at the time, however, how difficult it would become to have my characters involved in international intrigue.  The child care arrangements are challenging!

Your first two books, DAISYCHAIN and FALLOUT, are set in Glasgow and revolve around Logan Finch and more local plots. In BLINDSIDE you expanded the setting and the featured crime. Can we expect to see more expansive plots and intrigue in future novels?

Yes, my next book – PROTECTION – is based mainly in Colorado with a secondary plot involving events in London, England.  I had always planned the US elements to become more central – which is why the Cahill character was created as a native of Colorado.  PROTECTION is my version of a serial killer story – but with a twist.

BLINDSIDE is scheduled for a January 2012 release. For more information, please visit G.J. Moffat’s website.  This is a thriller you definitely don’t want to miss. Watch for it!

Christine Goff

Christine Goff is the award-winning author of the bestselling "Birdwatcher's Mystery" series soon available from Astor+Blue Editions.A former Colorado journalist and Willa Literary and Colorado Authors’ League Fiction Award finalist, Goff was Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2002 Writer of the Year. Her most recent work is a thriller set in Israel currently with her agent.

Visit Chris at: www.christinegoff.com.

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