The Big Thrill Discusses RICOCHET with Taylor Moore
DEA Special Agent Garrett Kohl and his CIA team embark on an off-the-books investigation and partner up with a ragtag crew of outcasts and outlaws to stop extortionists and dismantle their operation before complete devastation rains down in their Texas High Plains community in this pulse-pounding thriller for fans of C. J. Box.
After hunting down a rogue spy as part of an elite CIA counterespionage unit, Garrett Kohl returns home to Texas in hopes of settling down and carving out a normal life. While learning the ropes of fatherhood, falling deeper in love with his high school crush, and rebuilding his wildfire ravaged cattle ranch, he is approached in secret by an engineer working at a nearby nuclear weapons plant, who is in desperate need of his help. Utilizing a unique skill set—abilities Garrett has honed as a deep cover narcotics agent and former Green Beret—he embarks on an off-the-books investigation and learns that Iranian operatives are blackmailing weapons facility employees and potentially planning a devastating act of sabotage and destruction.
Already engaged in an intense shadow war with Tehran and their Quds Force spies, Garrett’s CIA team rallies to take down the extortionists and dismantle their operation. But before they can get their mission under way, enemy commandos hijack a train carrying nuclear weapons, and activate a lone wolf assassin to murder the visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense. Caught flatfooted by the sudden attack, Garrett musters the only help he can find—a ragtag crew of outcasts and outlaws, some of whom he’d once put behind bars. Although they’re from different walks of life, and opposite sides of the law, they hold in common the deep desire to protect their homes, their families, and their way of life on the remote, wild, and alluring Texas High Plains.
Taylor Moore recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, RICOCHET.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
RICOCHET and the entire Garrett Kohl series has always been about pure entertainment. I want readers to get swept away in a wild adventure on the Texas High Plains. I’ve joked in the past that my goal was to write airport books—the kind of stories that weary business travelers can read to forget about their frustrations, and simply get lost in an exciting new world. If someone comes away breathless from the action and suspense, and hungry for the next book then I feel like I’ve done my job as a writer.
Was there anything new you discovered, or surprised you, as you wrote this book?
I’m always surprised to find out how much of what’s happening in my own life finds its way into the novels. I put a lot of myself into the story without even realizing it. I don’t read my books again once they’re published, but I do listen to them on audio a year or so later. And it’s always fun to think about why I wrote what I wrote in a given moment. For some reason, it takes at least that long for me to process. There’s a strange catharsis in this, a way to reflect on the real-life obstacles and dilemmas that inspired my writing.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
Tom Clancy, Nelson DeMille, and Larry McMurtry were three of the biggest influences for me as a reader growing up, and really inspired the kinds of stories I wanted to tell. With these writers, it was the action, intrigue, memorable characters, and witty dialogue that I admired most. More recently, C.J. Box has had a tremendous impact on my writing. I wanted to do the level of world building for the Texas High Plains that Box does for Wyoming in his Joe Pickett series. I also love how he’s created a cast of characters that readers can grow with. Even if there was no exciting plot in his books, I would still want to check in on Joe, just to see how his family is doing.
Taylor Moore is the author of Down Range, which was nominated for the Barry Award for Best First Novel, named a Strand Magazine Best Mystery of 2021, and selected for the Texas Library Association’s Lariat Reading List, and the follow-up Firestorm. He is a sixth-generation Texan who grew up on a farm and ranch northwest of Houston and is a former CIA Intelligence Officer who worked in both analysis and operations and later consulted for the Department of Defense in Theater Security Cooperation, Force Protection, and Counternarcotics. He now lives in the Texas Panhandle with his wife and two children, where he is a full-time author, screenwriter, and speaker. This is Taylor’s third novel featuring Garrett Kohl.
To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.
Ricochet with Taylor Moore