An explosion is triggered and a cloud of hydrofluoric acid envelops a popular Minnesota senator addressing a crowd at a demonstration noting completion of a controversial pipeline. ER physician Drake Cody, with paramedics, loads the senator into an ambulance amid the panic and desperately resuscitates the dying leader as they race for the level one trauma hospital.
Within minutes of arrival at Drake’s ER, the second part of the domestic terrorist group’s diabolical plan is executed with cold-blooded savagery as the extremist leader and his brutal militia kill several and lock down the ER.
Drake Cody, his ER workmates, the critically ill senator, and a handful of vulnerable patients are hostages as the terrorist leader informs all that he has planted weapons of mass destruction about the city. The terrorist uses the takeover and the resultant media frenzy as a platform to make his demands for ending what he sees as government-industrial tyranny.
Drake and his unarmed crew battle to survive and prevent widespread destruction while Minneapolis detective Aki Yamada and FBI special agent Dylan McGinnis lead the nation’s efforts from outside the ER as the terrorists threaten to launch devastation unmatched in US history.
Tom Combs recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, INSURRECTION:
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
This is book #4 in the series, so my character(s) led the way, but the setting and plot joined in a fusion that made this story flow. Current events and the nature of emergency medicine/ERs as being inextricably a part of the trauma, conflict, and violence in our cities make my fictional events so completely credible they are a cause for concern.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
Balancing critical medical and technical info in a manner that does not bore mainstream readers, yet also stimulates and challenges nurses, doctors, and all those with medical knowledge.
The biggest challenge of every book is how to engage the reader not only intellectually but emotionally. Emotional engagement is my primary focus.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
Uniquely authentic content based on my experience and the truly incredible resources/friends who contribute (FBI agents, a state senator, homicide detective, EMS leadership, paramedics, nurses, and so many more…).
Without spoilers, are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?
Yes-I feel the domestic terrorist leader is a unique character. Complex and intelligent yet…
“It ticks all the right boxes for a thriller-great characters you really care about, three dimensional bad guys, twists, totally believable plot and setting, and time tension. One of the best things about the end is that it is completely unlike anything typical.”
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
So many! James Lee Burke, Nelson DeMille, and Michael Connelly.
What’s it like having your book be a runaway bestseller, loved by millions, and in the process of being made into a movie?
My answer-“Dream come true!”
Twenty-five years facing illness, trauma, and tragedy as an ER doctor on the front lines in busy, inner-city, level-one trauma centers provide Tom Combs’ background for his gripping stories. High-stakes, deadly conflict, and a flawed hero who is compelled to protect others are central to his books. Authentic emergency and critical care medicine, shared in non-technical language, fuel his emotionally engaging, suspense-packed fiction.
Tom consistently hooks up with foremost experts in law enforcement, law, business, and medicine to fuel his imagination while crafting credible tales of suspense, intrigue, and emotion. Tom lives on a lake in his beloved home-state of Minnesota with his artist wife, Michele.
To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.