Dean Koontz admits the The City is unlike any novel he has ever written. In our conversation he reveals that until his wife read the manuscript, he didn’t realize that there were autobiographical elements in this book. Despite writing from the perspective of a black, city dwelling musician, Koontz sees himself in the main character, something that could not be said about most of his prior works.
The Washington Post‘s prize winning columnist David Ignatius has maintained a successful career as a novelist, and his latest effort, The Director, adds to his stature as one of America’s foremost authorities on intelligence gathering. The book is particularly timely in light of the Edward Snowden episode, and Ignatius expands on how much information the CIA is capable of collecting and potentially misusing. He also separates truth from fiction, maintaining that everything he writes is possible and plausible in the current environment. A penetrating look into the dark side of those charged with protecting our nation and what needs to be changed for our intelligence services to function more efficiently while remaining in line with our professed moral codes.
Natchez Burning is the first of a trilogy from best selling author Greg Iles. Throughout the nearly eight hundred pages, he exposes the shocking truth about the violence surrounding the civil rights movement in Mississippi and Louisiana, a brutality not confined to lower class perpetrators. Iles explains why he chose to tell this story as graphically as he does, since it is based on true crimes he discovered while growing up in the South. A true masterwork, it is hard to put down, despite its length.
Preston’s The Kraken Project deliberately misleads the reader… one may think it is an undersea adventure, a space travel odyssey, or an ancient Greek mythological tale. That is why it is important to give this thriller time, because it really is an update of Frankenstein, using artificial intelligence as the potential monster. In our talk, Preston outlines his fears that strong AI, as it is called, may eventually be mankind’s undoing, with some prominent scientists sharing his dread. Entertaining and thought provoking, it’s a great summer read.
Alex Grecian’s latest Victorian potboiler is entitled The Devil’s Workshop. It chronicles the Scotland Yard murder squad’s pursuit of Saucy Jack, who has been captured by a vigilante group and tortured for his crimes. Grecian explains how he maintains the century-old sensibility of his novels while keeping them accessible to the modern reader. He also explores his belief that the gory violence of that era should not be sugarcoated or romanticized, but exposed in somewhat graphic detail.
After over a decade since it was made into a successful film starring Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington, Jeffery Deaver has penned a sequel to The Bone Collector. His latest villain kills by injecting poison into his victims, then tattooing them with numerical clues leading to his identity as The Skin Collector. Deaver talks about how he plots his twists and false endings, and his ability to write in such detail about the tattoo underground, a subject he knew little about before embarking on this project.
Robert B. Parker’s Spenser is alive and well, although sadly, the late author is not. Ace Atkins has picked up the mantle for the third time with Cheap Shot, and the transition is virtually seamless. Ace captures Spenser’s unique voice and lovingly recreates Boston, both the legitimate and the underbelly, through the detective’s eyes. This plot involves the kidnapping of a New England Patriots player’s son, and Atkins speaks about how the plot lines are constructed and reviewed to stay true to Parker’s legacy.
David Baldacci’s The Target features a quote from his fictional president… “(we’re facing) a choice between the awful and the terrible.” This encapsulates the decisions that every major character must make, unsoluable dilemmas where the righteous can cause greater damage than the villainous. A Robie and
Reel thriller, it will have you contemplating our country’s place in the world, while being entertained by a master at the top of his game. Our conversation with David helps divine the real world from the fictional, although the lines are frequently blurred beyond recognition.
C. J. Box’s latest thriller Stone Cold features his continuing protagonist, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett. Tasked by the state’s governor to investigate some shady goings-on in the Black Hills, Pickett uncovers
a deadly secret involving a philanthropist who seemingly brings hope to a desperate and corrupt small town. Locale plays a major role in the drama, and Box talks about how his Western roots influence his style. He also talks of guns and their place in his culture as
opposed to more urban settings.
Dean Koontz latest
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effort is Innocence, a stand alone thriller about a young man who lives a subterranean life, rescued from his loneliness by an equally challenged woman. Koontz talks about why so many of his protagonists suffer from low self esteem, relating back to his own childhood. He also speaks of plans to bring some of his books to television.