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Rachel West is the CIA’s best operative. She’s tough, highly intelligent, and beautiful. When the man she loves, John (J.T.) Ryan, is kidnapped, she plunges into a desperate search for his captors. Rachel soon learns the shocking truth behind the kidnapping. To gain Ryan’s release, Rachel must accomplish a nearly impossible task: Assassinate the most well-guarded person on earth–the President of the United States. Does Rachel commit murder and treason to save the man she loves?

The Big Thrill spent some time with award-winning author Lee Gimenez learning more about his latest, KILLSHOT, a Rachel West thriller:

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

I love to read fast-paced, page-turning novels, and that’s the type of novel I like to write as well. I enjoy putting my heroes and heroines in danger. My goal is to create ‘cliffhangers’ at the end of every chapter. And most of all, I strive to include suspense, tension, and conflict on every page.

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

I had to do quite a bit of research for this book. The main plot line of the novel are the attempts to assassinate the President of the United States. Because of this, I needed to do extensive research into the Secret Service, whose primary goal is to keep the President and his family safe. I incorporated this research into the action scenes that take place throughout the book.

Lee Gimenez

Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?

In KILLSHOT, the plot was the first thing I developed. In fact, the plot is the first thing I have developed for each of my 17 novels. I find that once I have the basic premise for the novel, the rest of it flows much more easily. The plot of KILLSHOT revolves around a simple, yet very profound question: What would you do to save the person you love? Would you commit murder? Would you commit treason? This is the question that faces the main character of my novel, CIA agent Rachel West.

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

Several authors have influenced my career as a writer. They include David Baldacci, Brad Thor, Robert B. Parker, Lee Child, and Janet Evanovich. These authors create suspense-filled, action-driven novels with timely plots. I enjoy reading these types of mystery thrillers and like to create books with a similar feel to them.

Can we read one book in either the Rachel West series or the John (J.T.) Ryan series without having read the others?

Yes. Each of my novels is a standalone story and can be read without reading the others.

Lee Gimenez is the award-winning author of 17 books. He is best known for his highly acclaimed J.T. Ryan thrillers. His latest mystery novel is KILLSHOT. Lee was a Finalist for the Author Academy Award and is a multi-year nominee for the Georgia Author of the Year Award. He was also a Finalist in the prestigious Terry Kay Prize for Fiction. Lee is a US Army veteran. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech University, and he also earned an MBA degree. All of his books are available in the USA and internationally.

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

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