Adventurer Chase Baker is back in action. He, along with the beautiful daughter of a Hasidic Jew who owns a New York City pawn shop, fly to Europe to uncover a stash of Nazi gold estimated to be worth over $1.5 billion dollars. How are they going to do it? They have a secret SS diary in hand with a map inside it. And X marks the spot. Only problem is, some modern-day Nazis and the war in Ukraine are getting in their way.
“Zandri does a superb job interlocking puzzle pieces.” — The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Zandri has brought back that wonderful ‘quest’ story that keeps the reader alert and pinging with anticipation from beginning to end. His ‘Chase Baker’ character is cocky, smart, and multi-talented, but with that brotherly quality that reminds you of a best friend in school. These are the types of characters we remember and follow, and Zandri does them with flair, along with non-stop action and a surprise ending. What thriller reader could not love that? … THE SHROUD KEY is well worth every minute.” — SUSPENSE MAGAZINE
Vincent Zandri recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, CHASE BAKER AND THE QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I travelled to Turkey last April. I made my way all the way to the Syrian border (or as close we could come to it) in a 4X4. I discovered all sorts of interesting Biblical stories and facts about the grail and how it might have traveled with the Holy Mary and Saint John to Efes where she spent the rest of her days.
I also invited “a friend” and in the middle of it we almost had a fist fight. That gets in the book too.
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?
This question is so off the mark it’s almost laughable. I write clean copy the first time around without an outline. I write close to three thousand words per day while also conducting freelance writing assignments. Plus I’m able to work out a couple hours per day and take a nap. I quit every day whether I like it or not at 4:30. I can finish a 60K novel easily in one month. In the two year period you’re talking about I can write 24 novels.
I avoid dev edits and polishing until the piss has been removed from it. By piss I mean the author’s individuality and voice. That’s why most of the novels you see on the front table at the B&N feel and read like basically the same book. They’ve been edited to death.
If you’re taking more than a month to write a serial genre novel, you are not having an ounce of fun.
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
I listened to a lot of XTC English Settlement while in Turkey. Don’t ask me why.
Vincent Zandri is the New York Times and the USA Today bestselling ITW Thriller and PWA Shamus Award winning author of more than 115 novels and novellas including the Dick Moonlight PI series. Called one of the most “prolific” writers of his generation, Zandri is a freelance journalist and the host of the Writer’s Life Podcast on YouTube.
To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.