It started as an ordinary day for Jed Patrick: A quick run into town for gas and a few groceries. But ordinary was not what followed. Returning home he finds his wife in tears and his daughter gone—taken by people who want something from him.
Welcome to the world of Jed Patrick, a man with a complicated past. A past that continues to dog him unexpectedly and in ways not anticipated.
Jed is convinced he is doing all it takes to keep his family safe—new names, new location, new identity. But just when he thinks he finally has his life back, the unthinkable happens. Jed needs to find a way to use the classified information he possesses to dismantle the Centralia Project. But eliminating Centralia may require compromising his own values. As danger escalates Jed isn’t sure whether there’s anyone or anything he can trust—including his own senses.
Jed and his wife, Karen, and daughter Lily are living in the mountains of Idaho, far from the horrors of Centralia. Yes, the same Centralia that has been burning for years in rural Pennsylvania. But besides the untamable fires, Centralia was the secret base for a sinister plot using a form of mind control.
We first meet Jed in last year’s Centralia. Jed is mourning the loss of his wife and child in a car accident he has no memory of. But a constant nagging doubt keeps him believing they still live. A hidden note from his daughter leads him on a chase that ends in the smoldering town of Centralia, whose abandoned streets and homes are a cover for something far more insidious.
“When I began Centralia I wasn’t sure if it would be a series or not,” Mike Dellosso said. “But the further I got into the story, the more it became evident there would be more for Jed to do. He isn’t a once-and-done kind of hero. He’s useful, smart, cunning, and deadly. Someone, somewhere is always going to be wanting to either use him or kill him. When I completed Centralia I already had several story ideas for Jed.”
Now KILL DEVIL brings the next installment to the Jed Patrick story. Once again the “government” wants something from a man with Jed’s special skills and it appears they will stop at nothing to get it.
The idea for KILL DEVIL flowed naturally from Centralia. Readers want to know what happened to Jed and his family. And as Dellosso puts it, “Unfortunately for them it’s not all happy ending. Once again, their world gets torn apart and Jed finds himself having to do the unthinkable to protect his family.”
It is obvious Dellosso likes his main character. “I love that he’s a family man. That’s so me. I infuse a little of myself into all my leading men and Jed got a healthy dose of that part of me. It becomes a real struggle for him because he feels he put his family in danger because of the life he lived and the enemies he made. He needs to protect them and ultimately he just can’t. He can’t be everywhere all the time and he hates that he has to leave them vulnerable.
“There’s this struggle between wanting to be a certain kind of husband and father and being forced to be someone else to protect the ones he loves most. I think this aspect of Jed sets him apart from a lot of similar heroes in fiction. Jed’s not just this super agent/soldier with all these mad skills, he’s also a husband and dad and that conflict threatens to tear his world apart.”
At the heart of both Centralia and KILL DEVIL is the technology behind artificial or synthetic telepathy. “To think the technology is there to manipulate people via mind control is fascinating. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong and it sets up all kinds of ethical problems but it’s still fascinating.”
The two novels also share the classification as religious thriller. Don’t let that moniker turn you away. The religious aspect is not overdone and is very real to the characters. And the addition of religion certainly hasn’t affected the thrill factor in these novels.
Balancing work/family/and a writing career is one of the hardest things Dellosso does. His writing day begins before the rest of the family wakes up. He starts around 5 am and works until 6:15 or so when it is time to get ready for work. Dellosso aims for 7,000 to 10,000 words per week, and on that schedule he can get through a first draft in three months.
KILL DEVIL is Dellosso’s twelfth novel and the second featuring Jed Patrick and his family. The two Patrick books mark a change in direction for Dellosso. Prior to Centralia, his novels were supernatural suspense, but his new publisher, Tyndale, wanted “straight up thrillers.” This gave him the opportunity to move his ideas for Jed Patrick to the forefront and admits he is glad about the change.
Jed Patrick will return in the next Dellosso novel. “It’s another psychological thriller where reality and fiction blur. I’m also working on some short stories featuring Jed, giving readers a glimpse into his life before Centralia.”
Dellosso credits Jack London and A.J. Cronin as early influences, saying, “They mesmerized me with their stories. Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker fueled my fire for supernatural suspense and then I fell in love with Dean Koontz’s writing style and storytelling. It wasn’t until I started devouring Koontz’s works and, to a lesser degree, Stephen King’s, that I feel I really came into my own as a writer.
“I write for the reader and try to make my stories as exciting and surprising and interesting as I can while infusing them with a message that goes beyond the entertainment quality. I hope my stories not only entertain but provoke thought and eventually change.”
Mike Dellosso is the author of several novels of suspense, an adjunct professor of creative writing and popular conference teacher, a husband, and a father. Born in Baltimore, Mike now resides in southern Pennsylvania with his wife and four daughters. KILL DEVIL is a Jed Patrick novel.
To learn more about Mike, please visit his website.