By Tim O’Mara
In David Healey’s new thriller, DEADLY ANTHEM, the Star-Spangled Banner flag is stolen from the Smithsonian, and it’s up to historian Francis Scott Keane (does that name sound familiar?) to get it back. To do so, he will test his knowledge of history and his skills as a researcher as far as he can. He will also discover a disturbing historical twist as old as the flag itself. And ultimately, he’ll have to survive a final showdown in the nightmarish tidal marshes of Chesapeake Bay to determine both his own fate and that of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Healey’s protagonist is a distant ancestor of Francis Scott Key. I wanted to know what it is about the composer of The Star Spangled Banner that he finds so fascinating.
“I always liked Francis Scott Key,” Healey says, “because by all accounts he had a lot of humility and truly believed in the words that he had written, based on being an eyewitness to the flag being raised over the fort. Just imagine seeing that! As noted in the novel, he did not approve of the heavy drinking and bawdy behavior of the Royal Navy officers when he was on their ship.”
And what about Healey’s fascination with the War of 1812?
“The funny thing is, I got into learning about the War of 1812 when I was planting tomatoes in the backyard and found a musket ball. Somebody suggested that it might be from the War of 1812, so I started doing some research and learned that there had been a lot of skirmishes and even a few battles all around the Chesapeake Bay region where I live. In fact, I did so much research that it became a nonfiction book about the efforts to preserve 1812 history in the region.”
That is, until Al Shabaab decides a hundred American women would be worth a C130 full of gold. From the sea to the Sahara, from a cruise to a crusade, Mike Reardon should have known he’d end up downrange in the sights of bloodthirsty suicidal terrorists. And it’s not bad enough they’ve taken his new friends, but they’ve ripped away the young singing sensation he’s being paid to guard and his new girl—now it’s personal.
From London to Lisbon to the Mediterranean it’s smooth sailing, but Algeria and Libya is another thing altogether. While the White House and State Department negotiate, Reardon retaliates. Lead flies, and Mike vows to come back with the women, or not at all.
L. J. Martin sat down with The Big Thrill to talk a bit about his prolific career and the tenth book in the Repairman Series, THE BLUE PEARL:
By David Healey
Deep under the oceans, more than a century from today, a struggle is being waged for the survival of humanity.
After the devastation wrought by rapid climate change, the remaining world superpowers are coping with how to sustain their populations. Where do people live? How are they fed? Where will resources come from?
This is the future that Canadian author Timothy S. Johnston images in his newest novel, THE SAVAGE DEEPS.
In addition to being a thriller, the novel also poses so many interesting questions about the world in 110 years. Instead of turning to space for survival, Johnston imagines that the answer lies under the oceans. Mineral deposits sit on the ocean floor, waiting to be scooped up. Geothermal heat and oil deposits are there for the taking, along with new fishing grounds. To feed the masses, vast forests of kelp can be grown and harvested.
However, the superpowers are fighting over these resources. It has triggered a new Cold War—and sometimes a hot one.
Cathi Stoler’s newest Nick Donahue adventure, OUT OF TIME, is a full-blown, adventure-packed novel which pulls from current events. She manages to entertain and enlighten her reader with both the premise and characters.
Nick is a unique protagonist. One doesn’t often find a gambler in the middle of this type of adventure story, though he does seem authentic. When life forced me to put the novel aside, I couldn’t wait to get back to Nick and the other characters.
OUT OF TIME takes you from New York to Kentucky, to Dubai, and back. In this adventure, Nick and his partner, PI Marina DiPietro, are hired by billionaire Adnan bin Haddad to protect his thoroughbred racehorse from death threats but, as they investigate, they uncover the real threat.
Stoler’s wonderful way with words and her ability to intersperse humor are no surprise given her career as a writer of award-winning ad campaigns.
A native New Yorker, Stoler has traveled the world and spent time working in advertising. Her life experience shines through in her writing. In a short period of time she has written an impressive collection of novels.
By George Ebey
Author William Nikkel is back with another installment of his Jack Ferrell suspense series.
This time, Jack goes with his buddy Robert to Key West to purchase a yacht and replace the one he lost in the previous adventure. The new boat is too much of a bargain to pass up. In the meantime, Cherise Venetta learns that a friend’s father has disappeared while on a Caribbean cruise. So begins a high-stakes adventure that reunites Jack and Cherise in a deadly ruse to prevent a brother and sister team of con artists from killing again. And this time, Jack’s the bait.
The Big Thrill checked in with Nikkel to learn more about this latest Jack Ferrell novel and what the series overall has in store for readers.
Just when they thought life had new adventures, a couple’s trip to Australia throws them into stormy waters, and invokes the spirit of Sid Vicious and a former nurse, now turned evil ghost.
Lisa de Nikolits’ new serio-comedic, tarot-with-a-twist thriller is about the meaning of life, healing from old wounds, romantic love at all ages, and how with love and passion, we can make a difference, at any age.
This month, The Big Thrill caught up with Nikolits to get the scoop on her writing influences and how they helped her to write THE OCCULT PERSUASION AND THE ANARCHIST’S SOLUTION.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
Hope and motivation that life can offer all kinds of amazing surprises in later years—albeit by crime and mystery! This one-of-a-kind punk-themed suspense thriller combines the winning elements of many bestselling novels. A picaresque thriller with elements of punk rock, combined with domestic thriller intrigue, aspects of esoteric spirituality, unexpected adventures and a new cast of unique, hilarious, and relatable characters. This book will inspire readers to believe anything is possible!
Face-Look is the world’s largest social media company. When that company’s president is brutally murdered, the FBI investigates. As more people are killed, former Special Forces soldier John (J. T.) Ryan and FBI Assistant Director Erin Welch are assigned to the case. Ryan and Erin delve into the mystery and begin to uncover a vast criminal conspiracy behind the murders. A conspiracy involving not just Face-Look, but also the world’s other social media and high-tech corporations.
As more people are murdered, Ryan pursues the secret cabal of criminals across the USA, Japan, and Europe. The dangerous and harrowing journey takes him from the mansions of the super-rich to the gritty back streets of the criminal underworld. There he learns the ultimate goal of the secret group known only as Viper. A goal so explosive it will cause the collapse of the American economy.
Can John Ryan and Erin Welch capture the murderous criminals before they themselves are killed?
Award-winning author Lee Gimenez took time out of his busy day to speak with The Big Thrill about his latest J. T. Ryan thriller, CROSSFIRE:
There are plenty of horror novels out there, but if you want to read something truly strange, concerned with myths and magic, exploring language, tradition, and those spaces in between realities, you’ll want to pick up DOORWAYS TO THE DEADEYE by Eric J. Guignard.
This epic tale revolves around Luke Thacker, an everyman thrust into a life-changing experience. Guignard describes him as a relatable, likable, and honest young man who was orphaned as a pre-teen and had to make his own way during the hardships of the 1930s-era Depression.
“He embraces the life of a hobo, tries to do the right thing, and ultimately discovers that he’s granted a bit of knowledge and access to the world of memories by a benefactor who’s been grooming him,” Guignard says. “Luke does not see himself as a hero at all, nor would he want such a title, until he realizes that’s the only way to make his own memory stronger, which leads him to be able to fight injustice as well as nefarious enemies.”
Luke’s life changes forever when he enters Athanasia, another name for the realm of the Deadeye, which is the state of collective memory amongst the living. In the book, memories are tantamount to ghosts; they’re all around us, unseen, unless they “take” our attention, which then causes us to remember them, and by that action, make the memory stronger.
“The idea,” Guignard says, “is that once someone dies, they become part of the collective memory of the living. Memories reappear where they were thought of strongest, and they act as they were recalled, whether the memories are factual or changed through mythology or legend. For example, Harriet Tubman helps people escape troubles. The Earp Brothers act as vigilantes according to their own sense of justice. Lizzie Borden is an emotionally-unhinged spinster with an ax. Pocahontas, on the other hand, tries to change her legend from a love-struck doe to an indomitable warrior.”
By Basil Sands
Ronie Kendig knows her stuff—and her latest novel, STORM RISING, is the high-adrenaline, pulse-pounding proof.
Kendig grew up an “Army Brat”—her words not mine—in a classic military family; father often deployed to parts unknown, and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. By the fourth grade, Kendig had attended six schools. Her only constant companions were the characters she created.
Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Kendig and her books have hit bestseller lists and garnered awards and critical acclaim. Oh, and did I mention she writes high-energy, action-packed novels that can take you down a quick path to tachycardia?
In this The Big Thrill interview, Kendig gives us the scoop on her latest release and shares insight into her writing process.
Cole Haufner has no equal as a professional MMA fighter. At the peak of his success, Cole suffers a horrible personal tragedy. His grief deepens when his brother, Butch, a Delta Force operator, goes missing. Desperate to find Butch, Cole travels back to his childhood home in southeastern China and the Shaolin Temple where he was raised.
When Cole meets his brother’s Delta teammate, code name Hammer, his fame and personal agenda collide with the Delta unit’s mission to recover an invention that could transform the human race. It could also see its downfall, if the pursuing North Korean agents find it first.
Cole’s spiral downward approaches madness as a family secret is revealed, one that could force him to choose between his brother and one of the most important, and potentially deadliest, discoveries in modern human history.
The Big Thrill caught up to author Mike Houtz to discuss his must-read action thriller, DARK SPIRAL DOWN:
Aimee Trapnell reluctantly leaves her apartment on Manhattan’s Central Park West to return to her childhood home in Georgia for her father’s ninetieth birthday. Also on hand are her two brothers, wily Marsh and ne’er-do-well Trainor. With a forty-billion-dollar inheritance at stake, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make the old man happy.
To their shock they learn that what their father wants for his birthday is to kill someone. He doesn’t care who it is. He just wants to know what it’s like to commit murder.
Betrayal, double-dealing, and fast-paced action set the Trapnells on a collision course with an unexpected villain. Their journey takes them from the swamps of Georgia, to Italy’s glittering Amalfi coast, to rugged Yellowstone National Park.
Award-winning author Jill Hand took time out of her busy schedule to discuss her latest thriller, WHITE OAKS, with The Big Thrill:
When the commission for this article dropped in my inbox, I wondered why the Big Thrill gurus had chosen to pair me with J. T. Brannan for this interview. A quick visit to his website and all was revealed: it’s a case of us Brits sticking together.
Brannan’s Colt Ryder series kicked off in 2015 with The Thousand Dollar Man, about a homeless war veteran who travels the US with his dog, Kane, righting any injustice for a fee of $1,000. The 10th installment, THE THOUSAND DOLLAR KILLERS, finds Colt and Kane visiting Las Vegas for some down time, only to be swept up in a bloody mafia scheme.
In his latest talk with The Big Thrill, Brannan discusses several of his ongoing series characters, and shares the disturbing statistics that led him to set his longest-running action series in the United States rather than his native Britain.
THE PANDORA ROOM is New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden’s chilling exploration of what happens when the original Pandora’s Box is discovered in an ancient subterranean city, stirring international conflict and exposing the archaeological team to curses, whispers, and the terror of a legendary plague.
In one ancient variation on the myth of Pandora’s Box, there were two jars, one for Pandora and one for her sister, Anesidora. One contained all the blessings of the gods, the other all the world’s curses. Now, in a subterranean city in Northern Iraq, archaeologist Sophie Durand has discovered a secret chamber covered in writing that confirms that version of the tale–a chamber which contains a single jar. “Weird shit” expert Ben Walker joins Sophie’s team just as the mystery deepens and grows ugly. Those who believe the myth want to know which jar has been found in the Pandora Room, the one containing blessings, or the one full of curses. Governments rush to lay claim, but jihadi forces aren’t waiting for the dust to settle. Whatever the jar contains, they want it, no matter who they have to kill…or what will emerge when they open it. For Sophie, Walker, and the others, the Pandora Room may soon become their tomb.
Bestselling author Christopher Golden spent some time with The Big Thrill adding some insight and intrigue into his latest thriller, THE PANDORA ROOM:
Big Anthony Tagliabue is a local character whose woman owns a stable on the eponymous island. She is secretly training a promising filly for the track when she discovers that Tagliabue also harbors a secret: he accepts assignments from a cryptic agent named Giselle. The latest one involves a Russian spy ship transiting the coast on her way back to Saint Petersburg. It’s another dangerous mission from Giselle and it’s complicated by his quest to solve the murder of his mate.
Award-winning writer Paul A. Barra took time out of his hectic schedule to discuss his latest thriller, WESTFARROW ISLAND, with The Big Thrill:
Richie Makepeace flees to South America after being framed for a double murder in Miami. After settling on La Vaca, a classic tiny town on the edge of the Colombian jungle, he meets Vicki Freeman, a top fashion model with a thing for “bad boys.” While Richie fights falling for her, she and her rich boyfriend devise a wild “adventurous” plan that will rely on Richie helping them, something he does not want to do. But with cash running out, he concedes and sets up what will result in chaos, backstabbing, and bloodshed. The rules of the jungle will prevail and those unprepared will pay the highest price.
Author Glenn A. Bruce carved some time out of his busy schedule to meet with The Big Thrill and discuss his adventure thriller, BANANA REPUBLIC: RICHIE’S RUN:
John Lee is the Extractor, an ex-US Air Force Pararescueman trained to retrieve personnel from behind enemy lines, in the most inhospitable environments on earth. Now running his own “extraction” business, his team is hired by the Russian government to locate Yuri Yushenkov, one of the country’s top nuclear scientists, who is believed to have been kidnapped by the Russian Mafia.
It is believed that the scientist is being held in a secret camp somewhere in northern Siberia, in the death zone within the Arctic Circle—and John therefore sets off into the icy wastes, supported by his loyal team. He must fight against temperatures that drop to -50F, calving ice glaciers, blinding blizzards, and avalanches, as well as ferocious polar bears.
And as he faces the appalling conditions, John knows that even if he does manage to locate and rescue Yushenkov, he will have to escape back across the dangers of the Arctic once more—this time with an untrained civilian to look after, as the Russian Mafia pursue them all the way back to Moscow in order to exact their savage revenge.
Bestselling author J. T. Brannan discussed the third installment of his John Lee series, THE EXTRACTOR – MISSION: ARCTIC, with The Big Thrill:
By P. J. Bodnar
Arliss Cutter is a man of action—so when his sister-in-law suffers a tragic loss, Arliss doesn’t hesitate and moves to Alaska to help. A Deputy US Marshal, Arliss is called to a remote island off the Alaskan Coast to look for a missing girl. But when others go missing, Arliss must use all his skills to find the missing—and bring the suspects to justice.
OPEN CARRY is the first book in a new series from bestselling author Marc Cameron. His other work includes the popular Jericho Quinn series and the Jack Ryan books in the Tom Clancy franchise.
Cameron is a retired Deputy Chief US Marshal with more than 20 years’ experience hunting people. He took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down with The Big Thrill and talk about his new thriller, OPEN CARRY.
Cutter pushes the limits at times but has a strong moral compass. How does he balance this?
Arliss Cutter will always err on the side of action. He rarely smiles so it seems like he has a bad temper, but that’s not it at all. He’s a big, imposing guy who believes wholeheartedly in the law, but he also has a strong view of right behavior. He doesn’t have to decide what to do in the heat of the moment. That decision has already been made. Cutter will suffer virtually any insult against himself personally, but he will not allow another to be bullied. There is a line he will not allow others to cross. Ever. No matter the consequences. He’s the type to put himself in the middle of a confrontation.
As the plot of OPEN CARRY unfolds, we see there is a moment in Cutter’s past that changed him profoundly. He feels extreme guilt for a time he feels he should have acted, but didn’t.
United Nations sanctions are crippling North Korea. China has turned her back on her malevolent partner. The North Korean military machine is crumbling, unable to function. Oil reserves are minimal and the government seeks new alliances.
Cargo and tourist ships are disappearing along the Somali and Kenyan coastline at an alarming rate. Speeches abound, but inaction emboldens Al-Shabab to seek their next prize: Kenya. The terror organization controls land but requires weapons.
Bedlam Bravo team leader Colonel (Ret.) Trevor Franklin leads the small international team into East Africa. Tempers flare as the team is embroiled in a political quagmire. The axis must be stopped to avert an international crisis but at what cost?
Two of Randall Krzak’s novels are semi-finalists for the 2018 Global Thriller awards, The Kurdish Connection and DANGEROUS ALLIANCE. He took time out of his busy schedule to speak with The Big Thrill about his latest thriller, DANGEROUS ALLIANCE:
Colt Ryder – the Thousand Dollar Man, a near-mythical figure who travels America, helping those who nobody else will help – is finally allowing himself some time to relax, and finds himself in New York City with his loyal dog, Kane, for the Christmas celebrations.
But he finds that trouble never leaves him alone for long – for while he is enjoying the decorations at Macy’s on Christmas Eve, the department store is overrun by armed criminals. The exits are sealed, thousands of customers are taken hostage, and nobody knows what they want – are they thieves or terrorists?
Colt Ryder doesn’t know, and he doesn’t care – they’ve spoiled his vacation and, one way or another, he’s going to make them pay.
The Big Thrill caught up with bestselling author J. T. Brannan to discuss his latest thriller, THE THOUSAND DOLLAR CHRISTMAS:
A highly advanced society, Hy Brasil is faced with pending catastrophe and Olan is determined to live on. Archaeological discoveries throw light on a civilization previously confined to legend with grave consequences for a young couple caught up in this extraordinarily dynamic enigma.
Set in ancient and present times, this is a tale for readers who adore adventure, history and extraordinary epics. It embraces influences of the Gothic, Dickensian; so too, Literary, and then bonds them into a story which delivers a thrilling read that will captivate audiences from the start.
With its colourful descriptions, complex characters and a plot line as well as prose complete with symbolism and imagery, Hy Brasil is certain to entertain, spellbind and mesmerize the book lover for Eternity.
Author Robert E. Kearns took some time to talk to The Big Thrill about his debut novel, HY BRASIL, ISLAND OF ETERNITY
AN ANCIENT TREASURE
While on vacation in Malta, Jonathon Payne and David Jones bump into an old friend, who has come to the islands to search for a long-lost treasure of the Knights Hospitallers, an organization that dates back to the First Crusade in 1099 AD.
A VENGEFUL CRIMINAL
When Ivan Volkov—the ruthless leader of a Russian crime syndicate—is betrayed, he is willing to do anything to get retribution. Protected by a team of hackers and henchmen, he travels to the Mediterranean, where he leaves a trail of bodies in his wake.
A FINAL SHOWDOWN
Before returning home, Volkov learns about the ancient hoard, one with possible ties to Paul I and the Russian Empire. With pride and riches on the line, he focuses his wrath on the only people who stand in his way, but Payne and Jones refuse to back down as they try to locate one of the most important treasures of antiquity.
Bestselling author Chris Kuzneski took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his latest thriller, THE MALTA ESCAPE, with The Big Thrill:
When Derrick Daniels, Justice Department attorney, reluctantly investigates the possibility that rogue Arab states developed deadly diseases as a terrorist weapon against the United States, assassins and inexplicable forces threaten his existence. Soon, the powers of ancient law collide with contemporary villainy, threatening the fate of all humankind. Every living thing is at risk, from wild animals that become road kill to the most elite members of every society. Is widespread violence random, or is there a combination of unrelated plots conspiring to bring an end to the idyllic life that used to define the American way?
TheBigThrill caught up to Dr. Fleisher to gain some insight into his debut novel, THE DIVINE AFFLICTION:
The murder of three prominent leaders—a Supreme Court justice, a senator, and a cardinal—blasts Lee Gimenez’s FIREBALL off to a searing start, and the danger grows more intense as the pages fly by.
The U.S. President—teetering on the brink of impeachment—asks former Special Forces soldier and Medal of Honor recipient J. T. Ryan, now a private investigator working with the FBI, to join a small cadre of trusted aides to track down the killers. He suspects rogues within the National Security Agency. The murders pile up as J. T., his boss, FBI Assistant Director Erin Welch, and CIA Agent Rachel West uncover an international conspiracy that pushes the United States and Russia to the brink of nuclear war.
Gimenez is the author of 14 novels, including six science fiction and eight mystery/thriller. He was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award and was a finalist in the Terry Kay Prize for Fiction.
I caught up with him for The Big Thrill to talk about FIREBALL, the latest in his J. T. Ryan series.
The Greek countryside and a beautiful woman might seem like enough to satisfy anyone’s vacation plans, but the intrepid archaeologist Harry Thursday seems bereft of a good time if someone isn’t trying to kill him.
During WWII, the Russian Amber Room and a hoard of diamonds worth 200 million dollars were stolen from Göring’s Kunstschutz commander, Erich Koch.
Now, over thirty years later, Russian art historian Elina Kulinov is attempting to recover these items when Harry Thursday stumbles along. He joins her in a race against a Philadelphia museum and SMERSH.
With everyone looking for the same items, who will find them first? And who will survive?
The Big Thrill caught up with Robert Walton to discuss his adventure thriller, WISH TO DIE:
In William Nikkel’s Sea of Heartbreak, marine biologist Jack Ferrell is sailing the Kaiwi Channel near Oahu when he rescues Allison Hunter, who’d been pushed overboard by her husband and left to drown. Jack is reluctant to get involved—until his boat explodes under suspicious circumstances and Allison is killed. When he sets out to settle the score, Jack is reunited with the beguiling and mysterious Cherise Venetta. Working together to bring down a major drug trafficker, they become entangled in a web of murder, drug violence, and lost treasure.
The surging fentanyl crisis and the increase in opioid-related deaths plaguing the nation provided the idea for SEA OF HEARTBREAK, number eight in the Jack Ferrell series. Nikkel recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss his literary influences, the inspiration for the treasure hunt at the heart of his latest novel, and the future of his best-known character.
What research did you do for SEA OF HEARTBREAK?
I live on Maui and have visited Oahu on a number of occasions, giving me first-hand knowledge of the island. Beyond that, my research consisted of discussions with friends, law enforcement contacts, and web searches primarily centered around fentanyl manufacturing, smuggling, and just how deadly the drug can be when it is combined with street drugs and introduced to opioid addicts.
The Gunn brothers are at it again in Jim Hilton’s latest international thriller, PRAY FOR DEATH, in which the action and intrigue never let up.
Celine Chavez has disappeared while vacationing in Mexico. She’s the closest thing to a daughter Clay Gunn has, so he and his brother Danny take up her trail, which leads them into the violent Mexican underworld. They’re determined to bring her home, no matter what it takes, and they have the tools and skills to do the job.
Danny and Clay Gunn followed rather different paths growing up after their parents separated. Clay, the older brother by six years, chose to live with his father’s family in Texas. Danny spent his formative years around Glasgow in Scotland. Both wound up in elite military units—just different armies. While these are two dangerous men, they’re both quite likeable.
“Both have a wicked sense of humor and old-fashioned manners,” Hilton says. “Both are natural storytellers without making it about themselves. Both are gentlemen around women and intolerant to bad manners in others. And neither brother would class himself as a hero, but regard many of the soldiers that they served with as such.”
They may not see their own actions as heroic, but neither is willing to let injustice slide without retaliation. This makes the Mexican underworld a natural setting for their kind of action. To get a feel for what they’d be up against, Hilton studied the cartels, their methods, organization, and infrastructure for months. He found that the more you look into these criminal empires, the more you come to realize just how immense and powerful they are.
After witnessing the horrifying murder of her friend Tom Haley, Mallory Lowe, a cautious university mathematics professor, must emerge from her cocoon to become the gutsy and unpredictable woman she’s always dreamed of being. Running on the guilt of a past family tragedy that she blames on herself, Mallory is determined to find Tom’s now-missing daughter.
Following the clues in a 300-year-old equation left by Tom, Mallory’s search propels her into the tangled threads of a ruthless corporate entity known as Möbius, bent on controlling the world’s most precious resource: fresh water. Mallory is propelled along a perilous journey from the southwest United States through the breathtaking landscape of Switzerland and into the inner workings of a massive hydroelectric dam in Turkey. She solves the riddle of the centuries old mathematics equation—only to discover something more ominous and deadly in the process.
Author Lee Lindauer spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest release, IRRATIONAL FEARS:
A world-class thriller with non-stop, heart-pounding tension and action, OBSESSED brings back Matt Curtis and Renee Drummond and their villainous nemesis, Lonnie Jackson. This second installment in Joseph Badal’s The Curtis Chronicles takes the reader from Rio de Janeiro to the mountains of New Mexico to the Mexico/United States border, following a crazed Jackson on his single-minded quest for revenge against the two people he blames for the deaths of his mother and brother and for the destruction of his criminal empire in Hawaii.
OBSESSED is another master stroke of fiction from this Amazon #1 Best-Selling Author, two-time winner of the Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction Book of the Year, and three-time Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal Winner.
The Big Thrill caught up with Badal just in time to discuss his latest thriller:
At a research station in Antarctica, scientists discovered a strange and ancient organism.
They thought they could study it, classify it, control it. They couldn’t.
IT HAS THRIVED
Six months ago, a secret paramilitary team called Unit 51 was sent to the station.
They thought the creature was dead, the nightmare was over. It wasn’t.
IT HAS EVOLVED
In a Mexican temple, archeologists uncover the remains of a half-human hybrid. They believe it is related to the creature in Antarctica, a dark thing of legend that is still alive—and still evolving. They believe it needs a new host to feed, to mutate, to multiply. They’re right. And they’re next. And the human race might just be headed for extinction…
Award-winning author Michael McBride took some time to discuss his latest thriller, FORSAKEN, with The Big Thrill:
Ben Blackshaw’s old friend Travis Cynter is dead. Cynter was Blackshaw’s comrade-in-arms in the U.S. Navy SEALs. He was killed in full tactical gear during a black-ops mission on American soil. FBI Agents Molly Wilde and Pershing Lowry try to draw Blackshaw into helping them solve Cynter’s murder. The agents need Blackshaw because the case landed in their laps from an American intelligence agency with overseas interests. From two previous cases, these Feds have come to appreciate how Blackshaw can work in the shadows, off the books, and be easily disavowed should his investigations implode.
Blackshaw is torn. He has a longstanding mistrust of doing any kind of clandestine work for government intelligence agencies. In fact, when patriotism has led him to do the right thing in the past, usually against his better judgment and instincts, his friends and loved ones have suffered; many have died. Helping Wilde and Lowry always comes at too great a cost. This unhappy history weighs heavily against Blackshaw’s profound desire to solve the mystery of Travis Cynter’s death. Should he serve with patriotic duty to an ideal that might not exist, or act with honor to clear the name of his murdered friend?
Against the wishes of LuAnna, Blackshaw’s expectant wife, and contrary to the grim and hard-won advice of his friend Knocker Ellis Hogan, Blackshaw reluctantly launches the investigation with a close study of the murder scene on Dog & Bitch Island near Ocean City, Maryland. The trio finds the exact spot where Travis Cynter died. It is LuAnna who discovers a clue which spins the team into a deadly transatlantic chase; she quickly learns that the Feds have not told them the whole truth about Cynter’s final mission.
Thanks to Ellis’s wisdom and wealth, and LuAnna’s independent deductive logic, Blackshaw operates like a small covert agency unto himself. Along the way, he tangles with an old enemy, discovers an unfinished SEAL mission, and cuts out rot at the highest levels of government, including a scandal that could rally terrorists the world over. And it is all controlled by the iron hand of a shadowy syndicate called Faction.
DOG & BITCH ISLAND author Robert Blake Whitehill was kind enough to discuss his latest thriller with The Big Thrill: