The Big Thrill Discusses ALL THAT GLISTERS with Topper Jones
When the facts don’t add up in his surf buddy’s bizarre death, forensic consultant (and daddy-to-be) Thaddeus Hanlon investigates, volunteering to go undercover to pick up where best friend Rafi Silva left off in a secret probe of the U.S. gold stockpile—every last bullion bar.
Rafi’s spunky fiancée, Bri de la Guerra, has suspicions of her own and soon joins Thad on the hunt for answers. Together, the two amateur sleuths delve deep, stumbling onto a financial a-stock-alypse in the making, triggering a brutal manhunt along the Eastern seaboard meant to silence anyone looking to set the ledger straight.
Topper Jones recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, ALL THAT GLISTERS.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
The year was 1977. I was working for a small publisher in North Carolina. Summer was slipping away, so I took my little family to Myrtle Beach, SC, for a little “water therapy” and a chance to catch up on my reading. Top on Publishers Weekly suggested beach reads: Robin Cook’s medical thriller Coma. I stayed up all night. Couldn’t put it down. I thought: If a physician can write a bestseller, why can’t a certified public accountant? We were both professionals. We both had the writing bug. All I needed was a preposterous premise. That’s when I came up with the idea for ALL THAT GLISTERS.
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
Yep, yep. The fanfare from The Final Countdown by the ’80s Swedish glamrock sensation Europe. Heard it on an episode of the comedy TV series Arrested Development where GOB (George Oscar Bluth, Jr.) using his over-the-top theatrics, underwhelms his audience as a third-rate magician. Couldn’t get the keyboard riff out of my head. Ended up creating an audio loop that I’d play over and over to motivate me as I wrote the “raising the stakes” scene for the midpoint of ALL THAT GLISTERS. Three, two, one. Lift off!
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
Back in 1977 when I had the idea for ALL THAT GLISTERS, gold was $160 an ounce. When I penned the first draft in 1982-83, gold had moved up to $450. And when I launched into the rewrite in 2017, gold had almost tripled to $1,250. As of today, gold is now a solid $1,990 an ounce, haven risen 430% since I first put pencil to page. Why the run-up in the price of the precious metal? Crazy inflation. I wrote my debut novel to be entertaining—a mystery with plenty of action—but my hope… what I would love to see happen…is that the story becomes a conversation starter about the risk of hyperinflation. As my dad, an enrolled agent with the IRS, used to say, “Inflation is a tax that no one ever votes for.”
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
Book Two in the Thad Hanlon & Bri de la Guerra Mystery Series has been workshopped, reviewed by beta readers, and is currently in final revision. Here’s the logline: Newly licensed private investigator, Thad Hanlon, takes a break from catching waves along the California Central Coast to land his first client—a former exotic dancer from Bakersfield looking for her surf prodigy son who has gone missing in the wake of a string of ritualistic murders terrorizing Oceano Beach.
Author Christopher G. Jones, Ph.D./CPA goes under the pseudonym Topper Jones for his detective novels featuring surfing crime-fighter Thaddeus Hanlon and his sassy partner Bri de la Guerra. ALL THAT GLISTERS—book one in the series—has a release date of September 20, 2023, and is being published by The Wild Rose Press in both print and e-book format.
Before devoting himself full-time to writing, Jones worked in public accounting and higher education, where he taught accounting, computer information systems, and business writing. To be close to his family, he makes his home in the southwestern desert rather than his native California, but every chance he gets, he treks the 450 miles to the Pacific Coast to get in a little “water therapy” and catch a few waves.
To learn more about the author, please visit his website.
ALL THAT GLISTERS with Topper Jones