A taste of No Remorse

I received over 5,000 downloads of my novel No Remorse last week. Hope you enjoy readers!
Here’s a little taste of Chapter 1:

Lee McCloud ached to kill the five men in the valley below. But he couldn’t. Not yet. He ignored the sharp piece of rubble under his ribs and eased the sniper rifle into the familiar position, butt firmly against his shoulder, hand cupping the grip, finger resting on the trigger guard. Like spooning with a woman, Mac reflected, though he hadn’t done that in a while.
He watched the Ford Explorer, with Bob at the wheel, racing towards the meeting point up through the barren hills surrounding the El Carrizo dam. He switched his view back to the five men standing around a van and a Land Cruiser. Checking the laser range finder, he adjusted the Hensoldt scope. Six hundred yards. As close as he and his men would dare go. They couldn’t risk stirring the loose rubble to get closer. As it was, they’d only just made it into position before the Mexicans showed.
He wouldn’t admit it in a psych evaluation, but he enjoyed the feeling of having an enemy in the crosshairs. For a few seconds he had God-like control. All he had to do was squeeze. But right now they needed confirmation that Sophia and Danni were in the van before he could give the order.
The exchange was taking place a few miles outside Tijuana. Desert country, scarred with boulders and littered with caves and patchy grass that reminded him of an area northeast of Kandahar, where four years ago his unit had freed a six-person UNAMA team held by Taliban insurgents. But not before they had raped the two women and castrated the team leader.
A gust of wind blew grit in his weathered face. Swallowing several times to suppress the urge to cough, Mac put a small pebble in his mouth, sucking on it to relieve the irritation. He could hear the click of the digital SLR behind him as Termite took photos of the kidnappers and their vehicles through the zoom lens, in case they needed evidence later.
He pressed his radio’s talk button. “Sierra One, this is Sierra Six. Notify when you are in position. Over.”
He shifted his aim to the skinny one with the bowlegs, who he assumed was the leader by the way he was ordering the others about. All of them wore gray uniforms with Atlantic blue caps and a Mexican flag patch on their left shoulder. The uniform of the Federales, the Mexican National Police. From the nonchalant way they were standing around, he decided they probably were real cops. If anything, this made him angrier. They were kidnappers. Taking advantage of their position to earn a corrupt living. Way he figured it, killing these creeps would do both countries a favor.
All the same, if they had to let the bastards go or forfeit the ransom money, he wouldn’t care, so long as they got Sophia and Danni back safely. The three volunteers he’d recruited from his Delta unit knew that freeing the girls was their one and only priority.P1010024

sniper laying on the ground covered in a ghille suite tall grass and trees in the background

“We’re good to go, Sierra Six. Over.” Scotty’s voice was as mellow as a tenor’s. After six months away from combat operations, Scotty was hungry for action and had been the first to volunteer for the unauthorized mission.
Mac shifted the crosshairs of his scope to the thickset Federale with the pockmarked face and dull eyes. This guy reeked of thug—he was spinning a long-bladed knife as though it was a juggler’s club, had a tattoo of a skull on his neck, and when he laughed his lips pulled to one side in a sneer, as though he’d been cut and sewn back together by a surgeon with Parkinson’s disease. All of these guys would kill without hesitation, Mac was sure of it.
Scotty and Freckle were tucked away somewhere in shadows on the next hill. Two firing positions gave them better observation capability and a broader perimeter of fire.
After the call from Bob telling him the sixteen-year-old best friends, Sophia and Danni, had been snatched off the street in Tijuana, he’d had just enough time to grab three volunteers, hunt down some kit from the Delta store, and hitch four seats on the shuttle from Fort Bragg to San Diego. With luck, they’d be back on base before anybody noticed. But if the shit hit the fan, they were on their own.
“Sierra One, I’ll take the guy with the knife and the leader with the pistol. Scotty, you take the two with the AK-47s. Freckle, you stop the van going anywhere.”
“Affirmative,” Scotty said.
Bob’s dusky silver Explorer bounced along the rutted gravel track past the ruins of an adobe hut and pulled up near the kidnappers’ Land Cruiser. It was close enough now that he could hear the two fathers in the Explorer talking through the transmitter disguised in Bob’s belt.
The kidnappers’ leader flicked his cigarette onto the barren ground and hacked up a gob of spit as the two men got out of the Explorer. None of the kidnappers made any attempt to adopt a defensive position.
That was when Mac realized something wasn’t right.

Je Suis Terrasse

This extract from my novel No Remorse was set in Saint-Denis in Paris. Not by accident. The area has been known as a font of extremism for years, which is why I set the chapter there.

My sympathies and respect go with the people of Paris who didn’t deserve to die at the hands of those miserable excuses for human beings. And for the too many others before and after. There’s only one solution for these types of perpetrators of violence through intolerance, and that’s at the end of my chapter.

CHAPTER 26

It was almost two in the morning when they arrived at Jog’s assembly point, set up inside an old abandoned warehouse not far from where Emil, The Frenchman, was keeping his girls. There were four others already there, dressed in gear similar to that worn by the French Police RAID team—helmets, body armor, and black coveralls with POLICE emblazoned on the back—swarming around a Peugeot Boxer van, choosing their weapons. Most looked in their late forties or early fifties, but only one had a spreading bulge that suggested he enjoyed his beer and croissants. Then again, he moved as well as the others. A second van contained all manner of equipment they might need for the planned incursion. Nearby, a Caterpillar bulldozer was sitting on a trailer parked next to a bus.

A full-size headshot of The Frenchman, Emil Bladelescu, was taped to a wall and Mac studied it to memorize the face. Next to it was a Google Earth enlargement of the target premises, a three-story whitewashed brick building with metal bars welded across its shuttered windows. The building was surrounded by a corrugated metal fence eight feet high, with two strands of barbed wire above it. One fence bordered the banks of the Saint-Denis Canal. A possible escape route for those inside.

Even though he knew Jog was good, Mac was astounded at the level of preparation. “Jesus, you knew I was serious, didn’t you,” he said as he looked around and smiled.

“I know Sophia is special to you, so this is more than just any mission. I only hope we find them in time. But I think Scotty has a sound plan.” Jog took him over to meet the team. Gaston and Jean-Claude were ex-DGSE Commandos, Marcel was a retired Foreign Legionnaire, and Yanis was one of Jog’s former colleagues from Beirut.

“This is your operation, Scotty,” Mac said, pulling on black coveralls, body armor and a utility belt. At the weapons van, he swapped the Walther for a Glock, which was more familiar, and loaded up a Benelli shotgun. “So, guys, how many are we up against?”

“From what we know, there are seven or eight,” Yanis said, clipping a magazine onto a Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle. “Schmidt’s watching the premises as we speak.”

“All right,” Scotty said, moving over to the map on the wall. “Let’s go over the plan and synchronize watches. We move at 0345 hours.”

Clouds hid the moon. Schmidt had smashed the nearby streetlights. Marcel maneuvered the bulldozer alongside the canal and without pausing crashed through the rear gate. Mac hurled himself off before Marcel stopped the machine and sprinted across the yard to open the gate. Jog drove the van into the courtyard and the others piled out.

Strangely, there was nobody in the courtyard to defend the place. Emil’s men must feel very secure, or maybe they’d left. Or maybe they were busy with the women.

Mac raced back to the entrance of the building and fired the silenced pistol to shatter the lock. Yanis and Gaston smashed the door in with the rammer and he rolled a flash-bang inside. They stood back, blocking their ears and closing their eyes, as it exploded with the brilliance of a flare and a boom that would render anyone temporarily senseless.

Scotty led them inside and they split into two groups to sweep from the ground floor up. That way Emil and his men would be trapped. The plan was to secure the building first, then worry about the girls. They didn’t want chaos with panicked women running around getting shot. Their main objective was to take The Frenchman alive.

Mac crept left with Gaston and Yanis towards what smelled like the kitchen. He signaled stop while they listened. Nothing. He moved slowly into the room where burning gas on the stovetop made a low hiss. Food simmered in a large pot. Someone had been here moments before.

“They’re not far away,” Mac whispered, glancing in the pot. French onion soup.

“Gaston, watch our backs,” Mac said as they passed into a dining room with seating for about thirty people. The skin of his back started to prickle. He glanced left and right. Someone was close.

Hola!” came a shout from behind as a door cracked open.

Mac twisted around, bringing up the shotgun, but as he did a second door burst open behind him.

“Back!” Gaston shouted.

Mac fired three times, hoping Gaston had the other guy covered. Too late. Bullets thumped into his back, propelling him forward. He sensed a blinding flash, followed by a velvety blackness and thousands of flashing stars.

Mac wasn’t sure how much time had passed. Seconds, maybe, or a couple of minutes. Where was he? What was that shooting? He became aware of someone kneeling beside him, calling from a distance.

“Mac? Mac? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” he heard himself reply from what seemed like miles away. His head hurt like crazy, and his back. He sat up. “Where are they?”

“Both dead, mon ami,” Gaston said, leaning over him. “The body armor stopped their rounds or you would be also. Are you able to continue?”

He took several tentative breaths and stood up, ignoring the painful bruising in his back. “Let’s go.”

A burst of automatic fire came from somewhere else in the building, followed by a series of single shots and shotgun blasts. A brief silence. Then more shooting.

“Let’s take it slow.” He pressed the transmit button on the handheld. “Two reds down here. You guys okay?”

“Four reds down,” Scotty replied. “No sign of Emil. Going up to level one. You guys take two.”

They crept up the stairs to level two. It had a long corridor with doors off both sides, like a hotel. The doors were bolted on the outside and they ignored the panicky female voices behind them. Mac sprinted along the corridor, checking each door while the other two covered him. All were locked, making it unlikely there was anyone waiting inside to ambush them.

At the end of the corridor was a locked door under the stairs. Mac spotted wear on the carpet that showed a lot of foot traffic. While Gaston and Yanis kept guard, he fired the Benelli and the lock shattered. He pushed open the door. Inside was a spacious office with a solid, carved oak desk covered in papers and a notebook computer. A sizeable safe was built into the wall and there were two filing cabinets and an extensive bar.

“We’ve found The Frenchman’s office, Scotty,” he said on the radio.

“Copy that.”

He began to search the room when Yanis hissed like an irate football fan. He jabbed his finger towards the rear of the office, where a section of wall had begun to open. A small hatchway, about half the size of a normal door. It would have been almost impossible to detect if someone hadn’t been opening it.

Mac crouched behind a filing cabinet as the others took cover behind the desk. After a moment, the snub-nosed barrel of a submachine gun appeared, followed by the head and shoulders of a man. Not Emil.

“Just get the computer, leave everything else,” came a voice from behind the man.

Mac fired the Benelli. The top of the man’s head splattered the far wall and the body dropped, preventing the hatchway from being closed. There was return fire, then the body was dragged back inside and the hatch pulled shut. He fired again at the hatch but the pellets had no effect.

“Damn it!” He turned to the other men. “Who’s got the Semtex?”

“In the equipment van,” yelled Yanis.

“Yanis, keep an eye on the hatch. Don’t let them get that computer. Gaston, guard the door. Wait here until the others arrive before you release any of the girls. I’ll try and stop them leaving.”

As he leapt down the stairs, he radioed Scotty to tell him what he was doing. He raced out the smashed rear gate and glanced around. If there was a tunnel it would most likely exit onto the banks of the canal. There seemed to be three possible places where an exit door could be disguised: a pile of rusting oil drums, a derelict graffiti-sprayed hut, and a pile of old car bodies. He darted behind the drums. After a few minutes, two men with pistols emerged from among the car bodies, checking the surroundings before scurrying along the bank towards him.

“Police! Arretez!” he yelled, firing the shotgun into the ground in front of them. The two men stopped dead and thrust their hands into the air, still holding their pistols.

“This is a mistake,” said one of the men, his eyes darting around. The Frenchman!

“Drop your weapons, Emil,” he said. “You and I are going to have a little chat about some kidnapped girls.”

The man with Emil placed his weapon on the ground, but Emil fired twice and took off along the canal. Without a second thought, Mac blasted the other man in the chest and sprinted after Emil.

The bank of the canal was thick with long reedy grass and slippery with stinking slime, and Emil had a head start. Mac needed one hand free in case he slipped. He took out his pistol and threw the shotgun in the water, not wanting to risk it being found later. Emil was visible ahead through the reeds, and Mac steadied himself. Fired. Not to kill. He needed Emil alive. Emil kept running.

Two shots thudded into the ground, missing him by inches. He reacted instantly, rolling down the muddy bank. Coming back up onto his knees, he let off three low shots towards the source of the firing. There came a grunt from up ahead. Mac crept forward through the thick reeds a few feet from the mucky water. Suddenly, just a few yards ahead, Emil jumped up and ran towards the road. Turning back he fired at Mac but tripped and went down. Mac raced forward and pounced, shoving the barrel of the Glock against Emil’s shoulder joint as they wrestled. Fired point-blank.

He dragged Emil bleeding and groaning back to the building where he used plastic ties to cuff him to one of the steel ovens. Schmidt and Jog guarded him and two other of his men while Mac ran back upstairs to help free the girls. He wanted to be on hand if Sophia and Danni were among them.

As Scotty opened a door, the stench rocked him. Six sweaty bodies lay on two double mattresses, crammed into a tiny space with a hand basin and filthy toilet. Used needles littered one corner. Two of the girls were unconscious and the other two were barely able to communicate. He spotted a waif-like figure shivering under a pile of clothes, whether from the cold or from heroin withdrawal, he couldn’t tell. He got out of her in broken French that her name was Stela, and the girls sharing the room were friends from Bucharest. They’d been promised work as housemaids or nannies, and that they could enroll as students. But once they arrived, she said, they had been injected with heroin and forced to work in Emil’s bar to pay for their habit.

In all, they rescued twenty-eight young women and girls, but Sophia and Danni were not among them. They helped the girls onto the bus and Jog drove them to his farm a couple hours east of Paris. Jog and Claudette would see that they were fed, rested and cleaned up before being sent home. The other men on the team packed up the van and the bulldozer and were soon gone.

It was nearly dawn. They needed to move fast, before the area started waking for the working day. In the kitchen, Mac made a big deal of sharpening a knife. Emil was bound naked on a gas cooktop, watched by four of his men who were plastic-cuffed to an overhead utensil rail. Emil knew what a blade could do, but he might have learned something new that night. Mac didn’t take long to get the answers he was looking for.

Afterwards, they left Emil and his men tied up in the kitchen.

“This is almost too good for those bastards,” Scotty said, as he unrolled the detonator wires across the street, where they crouched behind a wall well out of harm’s way.

It was Scotty’s operation, so Mac let him do the honors. Scotty lifted the safety cover of the switch and depressed the lever. A series of muffled explosions came from inside the building. Then it collapsed, clouds of dust and smoke billowing out.

“Perhaps a little too much plastic.” Scotty winked at him.

Mac could hear sirens wailing in the distance. “Time to leave, I think.”

They drove away, leaving behind a smoldering pile of rubble in the twilight of dawn.

Emil had given them just one name. Adnan Ziad.

france+flag

 

Thanks Gough

Saddened by Gough Whitlam’s passing. His time as Prime Minister still stands as a remarkable era of change for Australia and will, I believe, be remembered as the period that we grew up as a nation. I had coffee with Gough and his minders in Hobart in 1976 – he was surprisingly unpretentious for someone with huge charisma and ego. Intellectually he was a giant, as well as being highly intuitive. A great human being, who left a tremendous legacy for our country. Thanks Gough.

whitlam

Interview with Helen Smith

An Extract of my interview with Helen Smith in The Big Thrill this month. For the full interview, go HERE.

Helen Smith was ranked as America’s most popular mystery writer on Amazon last summer.Her latest release, BEYOND BELIEF, the second in the Emily Castle mysteries published by Thomas and Mercer is an entertaining mix of humor, mystery, and British eccentricities.

Smith writes novels, children’s books, poetry, plays, and screenplays. Her books have reached number one on Amazon’s bestseller lists in the US, UK, Canada, and Germany. Her first book, ALISON WONDERLAND, was one of the top five bestselling books from Amazon Publishing when it was launched in the US in 2011.

Beyond-Belief-by-Helen-Smith-e1390240401888In BEYOND BELIEF, famed psychic Perspicacious Peg predicts a murder will occur at England’s Belief and Beyond conference, prompting her science-minded colleagues to recruit twenty-six-year-old budding sleuth Emily Castles to attend the event as a “future crimes investigator.” The suspected victim: celebrated magician Edmund Zenon, who plans to perform a daring stunt at the conference—and is offering fifty thousand pounds to any attendee who can prove that the paranormal exists.

In the seaside town of Torquay, Emily meets a colorful cast of characters: dramatic fortune-teller Madame Nova; kindly Bobby Blue Suit and his three psychic dachshunds; Sarah and Tim Taylor, devastated parents mourning their late son; and religious cult members Hilary, Trina, and the Colonel. Tensions rise as believers in science, the supernatural, and the spiritual clash with one another. But once a body count begins, Emily must excuse herself from the séances and positivity circles, and use old-fashioned detective work to find the killer.

Helen, tell us more about the clash of science, the supernatural, and the spiritual in BEYOND BELIEF?

Ian, thank you for the introduction and the questions. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to talk about my work. I love magic and sleight of hand, and I’m fascinated by psychics and spiritualists, and the skills and personality types required to earn a living in any of those fields. I wanted to bring together a group of people with differing ideas about how the world works, with consequences—such as loss of income or loss of reputation—if they are challenged and proved wrong, that would make them possible suspects in a murder case. And because I wanted to have fun with it—and keep the police out of it, to give my amateur sleuth a chance to solve the case—BEYOND BELIEF starts with a murder that hasn’t yet happened.

You describe Emily Castles as a “twenty-six-year-old budding sleuth”, and she has as a side-kick Dr Muriel Crowther. Would it be fair to say Emily Castles is your version of Sherlock Holmes?

Dr. Muriel is a philosophy professor so she’s very clever, rather than a slower-witted foil like Captain Hastings to Poirot, or Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes. Dr. Muriel likes asking questions and Emily likes solving puzzles, so they make a great team, with plenty of respect for each other’s abilities.Emily is more like a young Miss Marple than Sherlock Holmes, with her eccentric friend Dr.Muriel encouraging her to develop her detective skills as the series progresses.

Obviously the killer must remain anonymous here, but can you tell us about some of the colorful characters that Emily finds herself dealing with?

Emily meets some larger-than-life characters, including a clairvoyant called Perspicacious Peg, the first black president of a scientific organization who is trying to get to grips with Twitter,a challenger for a prize of fifty thousand pounds who has three psychic dachshunds, three members of an obscure religious cult, a spiritualist,a fortune-teller, and a magician.

What made you decide to make Emily Castles a series character?

I wanted a likeable amateur sleuth who could plausibly go into all sorts of situations where she might get mixed up in murder, but I didn’t want her to have any special powers or skills that would give her an advantage over the reader. I came up with a bright, inquisitive young woman who hasn’t quite found a job that’s right for her, which means she takes on various temporary assignments around the country—and even overseas, if the series continues. With a set-up like that, there should be endless possibilities for Emily to investigate when people start dying around her.

You’ve written stand-alone dystopian stories, classic crime, paranormal suspense, literary novels, and black comedy. From your writing experience, are you drawn to any particular genre?

It sounds like quite a mix, doesn’t it! If I need to simplify things, I tend to just tell people that I write comedies. At the moment I’m really enjoying writing mysteries. Like everything I write, they have some funny lines in them, and a slightly surreal quality to many of the characters and situations.

For the full interview go HERE

My Interview with Vincent Zandri, author of The Guilty

The Guilty by Vincent Zandri

Visit The Big Thrill website for more new novels and author interviews!

TheGuilty2 (2)By Ian Walkley

Harlan Coben describes Vincent Zandri’s novels as “Gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting…” Vincent’s latest mystery thriller THE GUILTY finds former prison warden and private eye Jack Marconi investigating a local restaurateur who’s not only obsessed with the sexy, dark romance novel, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, he’s accused of attempting to murder his school teacher girlfriend. As the now brain-damaged young woman begins recalling events of that fateful winter night when she was allegedly pushed down the stairs of a West Albany mansion, she becomes the target of the angry foodie/sex-obsessed boyfriend once again. Only this time, he’s cooking up a plot to keep her silenced forever.

Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, THE CONCRETE PEARL, MOONLIGHT RISES, and more. The bestselling author of SAVAGES, Don Winslow, says of Zandri: “He’s a terrific writer and he tells a terrific story.” Zandri’s work has been published in many languages including Dutch, Russian, and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for LIVING READY, RT, GLOBALSPEC, as well as several other news agencies and publications, Zandri lives in New York.

Vincent, what are some of the things we’ll discover about Jack Marconi in this story?

In the first two Marconi novels, THE INNOCENT(formerly AS CATCH CAN), and GODCHILD, Jack was much more brooding and dark-minded due to his obsession over who killed his wife Fran and why. That mystery now solved, and ten years having passed in the meantime, Jack is now a little more cocky, and somewhat happier. He’s come to terms with Fran’s death and although he hasn’t remarried, he’s gotten his life back and it shows.

And what or who are some of the obstacles Jack has to face?

Maybe Jack has gotten his life back, but he’s also aging in a way that’s making him feel culturally irrelevant. Smartphones, texting, blogging, Facebook, Google…none of these things were around during his previous adventures or, at least, were in their infancy. How does he compete with a would-be killer who’s obsessed with the post-modern indie erotica novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey?” He has to find a way to get into the killer’s mind-set. Not an easy thing for someone who is essentially still rooted in the 1950s. The sense of isolation he feels adds to his already heightened sense of existentialism. He feels at once alone and dismayed at a new generation of socially media savvy and digitally raised young people who can torture others both sexually and mentally with all the ease and carelessness as one would experience playing a video game. I explored a very similar theme in my stand-alone thriller, SCREAM CATCHER.

What are some of Jack’s flaws? Did you develop these through conscious character design, or do they flow more from the storyline?

Jack is always going to do the right thing, even if it means breaking the law. He’d rather hire a convicted drug dealer and killer as his sidekick than a white-bread goody-two-shoes, because he knows the former knows a hell of a lot more about real life in the modern world than does the latter. Such close underworld associations, however, can make Jack suspect in the eyes of both the police and his clients. It also elevates the potential for Jack to do something bad in order to get at an ultimate good. Like shooting a bad guy in the thigh for instance in order to extract some much needed information.

Who are some of the other characters in THE GUILTY, and how will they impact Jack.

Jack’s a got a new side-kick in the form of a former Green Haven inmate whom he once was in charge of incarcerating. Blood, which is his nickname, is now the local neighbourhood watchman which means he more or less controls who sells and buys what on the street corners. He can also get anything done…anything…but for a price. He is a handsome, very in shape, middle-aged African American man of strict morals who knows what it’s like to be on the wrong side of a set of prison bars. Like Keeper, he only wants to get at the truth of any given case.

What did you particularly enjoy about writing THE GUILTY?

It was fun being back in Jack’s voice. Some readers will say that Jack seems a lot like my other serial character Dick Moonlight, but there are tremendous differences. Jack would do stuff Moonlight would never do and vice versa. They know one another, and often work with the same men and women at the Albany Police Department. One day I’m going to sit down and start writing a novel with both of them in it.

That sounds like a fun story to write. In what ways has your writing evolved since the first Jack Marconi book? Who are some of the influences that have impacted your writing?

I’m older and having written thirteen novels and countless articles in between, I’m a somewhat better writer. Or so I hope. I’ve also been exposed to some great voices over the past decade and a half since I wrote the first Marconi novel. Charlie Huston, Don Winslow, Boston Teran, Les Edgerton, Belinda Frisch among them. They have taught me all about writing great sentences and paragraphs with few if any wasted words.

You recently attended Thrillerfest. What were some of the memorable moments?

Andy Bartlet, my original acquiring editor at Thomas & Mercer, and I tried our best to steal a Kuwaiti flag which was mounted to a pole on the exterior of the Kuwaiti embassy. I suppose in the end it’s good that we didn’t get the flag because then we would have had to fight over who got to take it home. The whole adventure blended well with Thrillerfest in that it’s the one occasion during the year where editors, writers, publishers, fans, all get to let loose together and have some fun. It’s what keeps me coming back year after year.

As well as writing novels and short fiction, you continue to work as a freelance photo-journalist, travel a great deal, and play the drums in a punk rock band. You also spend time in Italy. Do you find your lifestyle creeping its way into your stories?

Sure, it can’t help but creep in. I just wrote a novel called CHASE which is about a writer/adventurer who lives in Florence part-time. He often gives walking tours for extra cash and on occasion will act as a private detective for the local police. In the first book he goes on the trail of a missing archaeology professor and ends up in post-revolutionary Egypt. Not the safest of places. I went to Egypt this past October to research the novel. I couldn’t admit to being an American. My fixer and I also got run off the road, our car crashing into a ditch. It was a strange feeling finding yourself in the hornet’s nest. But then, I like that sort of thing.

You have been extremely successful as an indie author, through Amazon publishing and through StoneHouse Ink, a highly regarded indie publishing house. Do you have a view about how publishing might evolve over the next few years?

I think the big six or five or four or whatever they are down to now will rebound and enjoy a new resurgence with e-books. It’s taken some time, but they are beginning to understand the potential of digital publishing and how it will now replace entirely the mass market paperback. Medium sized Indie houses like StoneHouse/StoneGate Ink will get larger and larger until they are either bought out by the majors or they become majors in their own right. Self-published authors will find it harder and harder to compete in a crowded marketplace but that doesn’t mean there won’t be huge success stories every year. At the same time, more brick and mortar bookstores will close including more Barnes & Nobles. However, the trade paperback will continue to share the podium with e-books while on-line sales thrive. I’m actually wondering what’s going to replace the e-book. Whatever it is, it will happen very soon.

It remains difficult for new writers to be noticed. Do you have any advice for aspiring novelists about increasing their chances of success?

Write great books. There’s no better way to be noticed.

 

THE GUILTY was released in July as a paperback original by StoneHouse Ink/StoneGate Ink.

*****

Vincent ZandriVincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, THE CONCRETE PEARL, MOONLIGHT RISES, and more. He is also the author of the Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA. Zandri’s publishers include Delacorte, Dell, StoneHouse Ink, StoneGate Ink, and Thomas & Mercer. An MFA in Writing and graduate of Vermont College, Zandri’s work is translated into many languages including Dutch, Russian, and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for Living Ready, RT, Globalspec, as well as several other news agencies and publications, Zandri lives in New York.

To learn more about Vincent, please visit his website.

Upcoming Book Signings

I’ll be signing copies of No Remorse in the near future at:

Thursday 29th August, 4pm – 8pmpm: Dymocks North Lakes

Sunday 1st September, 10.30am – 3pm: Dymocks Carindale

Saturday 19th October, 10.30am – 3pm: A & R Mitchelton

Hope to see you there!

Ian

No Remorse Wins 2013 IRDA Award for Best Mystery/Suspense

On 1 June I received the 2013 IRDA Prize for Best Mystery/Suspense for my debut novel, No Remorse.

NoRemorseCoverFrontAward3

The IRDA Awards were established to recognise outstanding indie published books from around the globe. The Awards were presented in New York at Book Expo America, the world’s second biggest publishing and book show.

Judges for this prestigious international award include a development director from 20th Century Fox, the publicity director for Penguin, a Senior Editor from Kirkus Reviews and other industry experts.

The judges described the book as: “A suspenseful adventure thriller that provides a sinister commentary on human conscience and the price people will let others pay for their own gain.”

Here is the link http://indiereader.com/irda/?irda_winners=no-remorse

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Goodreads Reviews of No Remorse

Here are some recent Goodreads reviews of No Remorse. Thank you to everyone for posting a review:

“I loved this book! An Excellent debut novel! I have never read a book like this before with the CIA and Al Qaeda in, but I defiantly plan to read more of Ian Walkley’s books.
This book is about a special ops agent Lee McCloud on a mission to rescue his kidnapped god-daughter. The book is full of suspense and action as well as a bit of romance.” Amy Potter, 4 star review

“Interesting read from start to finish. Considering that this is a debut novel, I wasn’t expecting to give it a 5 star rating when I started to read it. However, it was such a great read that I have ended up giving it a 5 star rating.
Looking forward to future books by Ian Walkley.” Emma Moulton, 5 star review

“Very good thriller. You dive straight into the action and the pages essentially turn themselves as you follow along waiting to find out what happens next. This book definitely has it all; a well thought out plot, action and realistic characters in a fast pace novel. Definitely worth a read!” Kerri Allen, 4 star review

“No Remorse is a taut action thriller which starts at a cracking pace and doesn’t let up until the final page.
The story switches from country to country with ease, and although the scenes involving the antagonist and his entourage are often confronting, it is a necessity of the storyline that the reader understands just what an evil person Khalid is and who the protagonist, Lee McCloud, must stop at all costs.
With a storyline reminiscent of the best of the military action thrillers available today, No Remorse guarantees an adrenaline-packed read for any fan of this genre.” Rachel Amphlett, 4 star review

“A great debut which hooked me from the start! Despite the subject matter (child sex slaves, organ harvesting), this is a read that cleverly brings together numerous characters to a satisfactory end. Looking forward to Ian’s next book The Bait!” Jane Stevens, 5 star review

The audiobook of No Remorse is now available – click on the link below.

NoRemorseAudible1