With more than a dozen kills under her belt, ex-Marine Mara Roberts is one of the Agency’s most reliable assassins. But her latest target—a convicted traitor about to be released from prison—is different than her other marks. He’s a former agent who betrayed his country. He’s responsible for the death of Mara’s mother. And he happens to be Mara’s father…
Scott Roberts knows that his daughter was sent to kill him. He realizes he has only one chance to change her mind, to convince her that he’s been framed for treason—and that every member of their family are pawns to be sacrificed, one by one. Mara isn’t sure she can trust her father. He is a master of manipulation, as ruthless as he is resourceful. But when her nephew is abducted, she agrees to follow Scott’s lead and expose the global elites who are pulling the strings. But first, they must infiltrate the highest levels of power. Then they must attempt the unthinkable: kidnap the President of the United States…
USA Today bestselling author Jeff Gunhus took a few minutes to chat with The Big Thrill about writing and his latest thriller, SILENT THREAT:
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
There were some twists in the book that I planned going into the writing, but I wasn’t certain how I was going to pull them off convincingly. Along the way, the characters surprised me, and the twists changed in an unexpected way. (So much for the outline!) I think this helped mask what happens since I didn’t know myself as I wrote it. That also created the biggest opportunity as I feel like I was on a similar ride the readers will experience.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
I took a full-day masterclass with Steve Berry as part of ITW Thrillerfest. I learned more in one day than the previous five years of slogging away at novels on my own. The clarity around intention and the power of carefully structured conflict made me a better writer. Hank Phillippi Ryan offered out of the blue to look at the opening pages very early in the process. Her input was fundamental to getting the book off to the right start. Both Steve and Hank and so many authors (especially the incredible K. J. Howe) in ITW have been the community that has made my writing career possible.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I love intrigue and action, but always in the context of emotionally resonant relationships. I hope readers will turn the pages quickly as the action kicks in, but that they enjoy slowing down a bit and savoring an exploration of the father-daughter relationship between Mara and Scott Roberts. I hope they also buy in to their world and leave excited for book two.
Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade, The Jack Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists, an ITW Thriller Award nominee, and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.
After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on his website.