Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Clearcut by Jack Mahoney Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Clearcut
Jack Mahoney
Publication date: December 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller



Adrian Cervantes’s Ranger squad was betrayed and ambushed in Iraq, sent to deliver an embezzled payoff to a man who didn’t exist. The lone survivor, Cervantes went AWOL, returning to the States to distribute his purloined cash to the families of his squad. But it’s not as simple as leaving a check in the mailbox. Every family he visits has their own troubles. Law enforcement hunts him at every turn. And Cervantes’s need to see justice done earns him plenty of enemies.
Cervantes’s first stop is the fading lumber town of Cullinan, WA. His plans to visit the Quinones family are complicated by the death of the father and the suspicions of the widow. Teaming up with a local lawyer, Cervantes uncovers enough questions to cast doubt that the father’s death was a drunken accident. But his investigation puts him in the sights of local bruisers, crooked cops, and the real power behind the lumber mill. In the end, Cervantes discovers a conspiracy that’s robbing Cullinan of its livelood, and he puts it to rest the only way he knows how.



Guest Post

What sort of thrillers speak to me?



Two of my favorite TV series of the past 10 years - shows that I keep coming back to - are Burn Notice and Person of Interest. As formula shows, they work: a retired spy with exceptional skills helps innocent people solve problems that the cops can't help with. They have a variety of contacts and allies - some intimate, some reluctant - who help them on their way. They've done bad things in their past, but their freelance vigilantism gives them a chance at redemption.


In fiction, Barry Eisler's books (particularly the John Rain and Ben Traven series) and the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child have also been staples. Without the constraints of broadcast TV, Rain and Reacher can travel farther, hit harder, and play harder still. Eisler and Child's protagonists are lone, grim sentinels, but they get occasional help from a friend.

Writers write for a number of reasons, but one of the chief reasons, whether we admit it or not, is to imitate our favorites. (Another reason is to surpass them) So fans of Burn Notice or Jack Reacher may see some similarities in Adrian Cervantes.

The back cover copy for CLEARCUT sets the stage:

Adrian Cervantes’s Ranger squad was betrayed and ambushed in Iraq, sent to deliver an embezzled payoff to a man who didn’t exist. The lone survivor, Cervantes went AWOL, returning to the States to distribute his purloined cash to the families of his squad.

But it’s not as simple as leaving a check in the mailbox. Every family he visits has their own troubles. Law enforcement hunts him at every turn. And Cervantes’s need to see justice done earns him plenty of enemies.

The one thing that makes the Cervantes series different enough for me to feel it's worth doing, though, is the reason the hero sets out.

Many thrillers, whatever their other merits, have our hero stumble onto a problem completely by accident. He sticks around to solve the problem out of some innate, unflagging sense of justice. For some readers, that's sufficient. We don't need to ask why our grim sentinel sticks his neck out for a helpless bystander - we just want to see him dish out justice, one roundhouse kick at a time.

That's never quite been enough for me, though.

Adrian Cervantes isn't solving people's problems just for the exercise. Each victim is the family of a member of his squad. He owes it to the men he couldn't save to leave their families better than he found them. And, by the coincidence that powers all fiction, each family has problems that money alone won't solve.

My hope is that the personal connection makes these thrillers more engaging, impactful, and richer in variety than they would be otherwise. Though CLEARCUT is only the first in the series so far, I already have big plans in store for the successive novels. Wherever Cervantes ends up, he'll be fighting not just for his own idiosyncratic moral compass, but to make good on a promise. I'm excited to see where that takes him.



Author Bio:
Jack Mahoney lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts. When he's not practicing jiu-jitsu or catching up on crime thrillers, he's putting in work on the next Adrian Cervantes novel.

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