First, thanks to all of you who took the time to give me some feedback for what you’d like to see on Confessions of a Mystery Novelist…. I appreciate it very much. I was especially happy that several of you were interested in a new feature that I’ve decided to call Introducing. In this monthly feature, I’ll be introducing you to crime fiction authors you may not have “met” and whose work you may not yet know. One of my goals with this feature is to give you a chance to sample some work that I hope you’ll enjoy. Another is to give some of my fellow authors a bit of well-deserved publicity. The publishing world doesn’t always make it easy for an author to get his or her name “out there,” so I’ve decided to do my bit to help . So, welcome to the first edition of Introducing…
Today, I’d like to introduce you to Sam Hilliard. Like many authors, Sam lives a double life, managing to juggle a full-time “day job” (He’s the Network Administrator at a girls’ boarding school) with a writing career. Originally from Kansas City, Sam now makes his home in New Jersey.
Sam is the author of a crime fiction series featuring Mike Brody, a former Special Forces operative who now co-owns and runs S&B Outfitters, an extreme adventure tour company. In The Last Track, the first Mike Brody novel, Brody and his ex-wife, investigative journalist Jessica Barrett, are taking a holiday at Montana’s Pine Woods Dude Ranch. It’s a little awkward for them since they’ve split up. However, they arranged for the trip before their breakup and have decided to go through with it for the sake of their son Andy.
No sooner do they get settled in than Brody is drawn into an investigation. Fourteen-year-old Sean Jackson has run away from the dude ranch after witnessing the murder of David St. John. Sean is afraid that St. John’s killer will target him, too, and wants to get away. However, Sean’s run off into some very unforgiving country, so he’s in real danger not just from the killer, but from wild animals, the country itself and the elements. Detective Lisbeth McCarthy has found out that Brody’s in the area and asks him to track Sean and find him before the killer does.
With help (and some investigative research) from his ex-wife, Brody finds out that David St. John was involved with some very shady and ruthless people, and that his death is related to drug smuggling and corruption. Brody has to go up against a drugs-and-crime ring and the countryside if he’s going to bring Sean Jackson back safely.
The Last Track has a fast, thriller-like pace. It also features solid characters and a mystery with interesting twists. There’s an effective blend of the characters’ personal stories with the mystery at hand, and a strong sense of place, too.
The next Mike Brody novel is scheduled to be published towards the end of 2011 as I write this.
Want to know more about The Last Track? You can check it out at Amazon.
Want to know more about Sam? Here’s how:
In the coming months, I’ll be introducing you to other authors you might not know. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting them! In the meantime, I’m happy to get your feedback on this new feature. Feel free to comment here or, if you’d prefer, send me an email at margotkinberg(at)gmail(dot)com.