Adjusting to his newfound wealth, Monk meets his youngest brother, Jacob, a Marine. Withdrawn and anxious, Jacob joins Monk in LA only to run off after an accusation of sexual assault from a dead comrade’s mother. Jacob is found dead from an apparent suicide. Trying to understand what drove Jacob to kill himself, Monk learns that many of Jacob’s fellow Marines have died from suicide or murder.
Joined by his father, Moses, Monk does what he can to discover what happened to the Marines on their last tour in Afghanistan, and what led so many of them to take their own lives. Monk and Moses find themselves targets, with Monk coming to believe that he’s dealing with murder, not suicide.
David William Pearce recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, IN THE SERVICE OF OTHERS:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
That in this day and age, military service is a harder road to travel than we think. I wanted to ask some tough questions in the guise of someone, Monk in this case, who hasn’t served and therefore has no personal experience with which to understand what is going on.
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I’m a big fan of using mystery to ask questions and compel the reader to follow the story to the end.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
Because it’s part of a series, continuing to make the main characters interesting is the biggest challenge, which I feel is the biggest opportunity because it’s the main characters and how they change over time and become more complex that attracts to keep reading.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
How quickly you re-inhabit the mind of your main character.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
That there’s a lot more humor than you’d expect from this type of story.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
The biggest influences are Walter Mosley and Raymond Chandler. Mosley because from him, I found that the characters are what bring you back again and again; Chandler because it’s a way to focus on the world as it is without the obvious polemics and bromides of where it succeeds and fails.
Is there a question that you feel is important to you and/or your novel? Write it in below, but be sure to answer it too!
Q: The big question is whether there is value in service, military or other, and whether we need to understand where it can take us for good or bad.
A: As a former service member, I feel strongly in service that its positives outweigh its negatives; that what you gain from the experience is invaluable.
An engineer for 40 years, Mr. Pearce, following open-heart surgery, decided to pursue his muse and write. He is the author of the Monk Buttman Mystery series. When not writing, Mr. Pearce is the accomplished recording artist Mr. Primitive. He and his wife live in Kenmore, Washington.
To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.