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THE SCARLET OAK is about murder, spies, and spirits and two hundred thirty-eight years of unexplained deaths linked to one American Revolutionary-era home. The unassuming residence of one of General George Washington’s Culper spies. With no medical or physical evidence to support Finn’s hard-boiled cop’s suspicion of murder, he embarks on an unauthorized homicide investigation when suddenly his life takes on an unexpected turn of events to save an alluring confidant and to stop a killer.


Jerry Aylward recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, THE SCARLET OAK:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Besides the story being entertaining, I hope the reader can appreciate some of the sacrifices suffered by the real American patriots that suffered at the hands of a foreign army occupying America.

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

I enjoy history, thrillers, and mysteries.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

Many of the mentioned characters played some role in the American Revolution.

Without spoilers, are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?

Maybe the paranormal side of historical events.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

The historical role of real American heroes.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Oh, there are so many. To start with, most if not all of Edgar Allen Poe’s stories, the great Agatha Christie, and Arthur Conan Doyle, for their voices in storytelling. Tom Clancy, Michael Connelly, and John Le Carre’ for their plots and POVs.



Jerry Aylward is a retired detective with thirty-two years of service with the Nassau County Police Department. He served another ten years in federal law enforcement with the United States Department of Homeland Security as a criminal investigator with OCSO (Office of the Chief Security Officer) at a high-level government research facility. Jerry has a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from NYIT and is a New York State–licensed private investigator. Jerry has also authored Francis “Two Gun” Crowley’s Killings in New York City & Long Island and a pictorial history of the Nassau County Police Department.

To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.