PI Steve Rockfish’s morning meeting was supposed to focus on a case of straightforward harassment. Two clients had purchased a miniature golf course and instantly became victims of vandalism and projected intolerance.
But as the team investigates, a neighborhood’s bigoted knee jerk reaction to a new sapphic-owned business, is in fact a laser focused plan of intimidation. Before anyone can yell FORE!, violence litters the front nine after Rockfish uncovers the real perpetrator, their actual motive, and dangerous accomplices.
Soon, an old nemesis returns to raise the stakes with plans of revenge and domination. Now facing a battle on two fronts, Rockfish finds his allies thinning at the worst possible time, and recklessly goes on the offensive.
The back nine takes Rockfish and McGee on a frenetic ride from a corporate boardroom, across cyberspace, and to the 19th hole where a long overdue showdown will change everything for the partners, for better and worse.
Author Ken Harris spent some time with TheBigThrill discussing the latest installment in the “From the Case Files of Steve Rockfish” series, A BAD BOUT OF THE YIPS:
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
My protagonist, Steve Rockfish is a mixture of the 70s & 80s private investigators I enjoyed watching on television with my father growing up. I wanted to use my law enforcement background in a crime fiction series, but have the reader feel the same I did for the hard drinking, sarcastic detective. Surround him with a team. Some helpful and some a detriment and take the brake off the ride. The reader should pour themselves a nice Irish whiskey and not plan on putting down the book until the end.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I started playing the virtual reality mini golf game, Walkabout Mini Golf. It brought back the love of the actual game I had growing up, playing with my wife and now my kids. I immediately realized that I wanted to write a story where my private investigators, Steve Rockfish and Jawnie McGee are involved in saving a mini-golf course targeted by evil people for bad, nefarious purposes. Add to that a long simmering interest in bringing back my antagonist from the first book and WHAM. My protagonists are fighting a war on two fronts while I get to wax poetically about a sweet game I love to play.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
I knew this was the story to tell when I began floating the idea of bringing back characters from the first two installments. One good, one bad. Readers reacted overwhelmingly positive when I brought up the idea during my daily Twitch writing stream. They wanted the witty banter and sarcasm between friends Steve and Raffi along with seeing what Annetta Provolone was up to after the first book where Steve and Jawnie brought down her continuing criminal enterprise. Give the people what they want and I found the experience a blast to type out each and every morning.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
I am currently working on my second short murder mystery story for the Mysteries to Die For podcast. Always on the front burner is the fourth Steve Rockfish novel. In this story, Steve comes to his friend Raffi’s rescue when Raffi gets in over his head selling expired MREs to a local militia group. The rag tag militia group is referred to by Steve as the Great Value Boys (a jab using the Walmart store brand).
Ken Harris retired from the FBI, after thirty-two years, as a cybersecurity executive. With over three decades writing intelligence products for senior Government officials, Ken provides unique perspectives on the conventional fast-paced crime thriller. He is the author of the “From the Case Files of Steve Rockfish” series. He spends days with his wife Nicolita, and two Labradors, Shady and Chalupa Batman. Evenings are spent playing Walkabout Mini Golf and cheering on Philadelphia sports. Ken firmly believes Pink Floyd, Irish whiskey and a Montecristo cigar are the only muses necessary. He is a native of New Jersey and currently resides in Virginia’s Northern Neck.
To learn more about Ken and his work, please visit his website.