2015 Finalist – International Book Awards — Fiction: Thriller/Adventure
2015 Finalist – Beverly Hills Book Awards — Political Thriller
A masterfully crafted, intense, wild ride from Alaska to Washington to Vietnam with imagery and dialog that have the reader riveted to the page for the entire thrilling adventure.
Summer greets the land of the midnight sun as a lone rider races across the last American wilderness, delivering on a promise he made long ago. He has many names, but the world only knows a shadow called the Demon. Soon to be drawn into the Demon’s world, Claire Ferreti, an Army sniper, sips sake in Washington, DC with her lover, a young, ambitious General whose geosecurity specialty remains classified. When a boy finds a small machine, Claire embarks on a a black-ops mission that leads to a test of skill, a clash of ideologies, and her unconscious body lying in a typhoon-ravaged jungle. In that instant she becomes the hunted, the Demon’s tool for survival, and an unforeseen threat. As the General pursues them into a labyrinth of cyber-secrets, political necessity and financial reality collide like a fireball piercing steel.
Joe Klingler’s award winning techno-thriller is filled with fierce writing and fully fleshed out characters. It explodes from the remnants of a war long past to headlines of Washington secrets masquerading as corporate incompetence when two modern-day warriors face off. Both skilled at violence. And deception. Both accustomed to winning.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A true story about a young boy in South Vietnam who found a piece of leftover war ordnance, decades after the end of the conflict. He was very young, six or so, but somehow knew that what he found could explode. And he wanted to see it. So he leaned a board against a building, stood back, and started tossing the chunk of metal against the board, over and over. Eventually, he got his wish, it exploded and sent shrapnel throughout his body, ripping through his lungs and spleen. Doctors saved him, but he was very near death.
This got me thinking about the millions of land mines and unexploded shells that hide in the ground after a war. Especially after Vietnam, which was heavily bombed, and land mines that could be deployed from aircraft were first used. Who is responsible for clearing these deadly machines? What motivation did they have to clear them? And mostly, about the fate of thousands of farmers and children who hadn’t even been alive during the conflict, yet are now paying the price for it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted to create a character who was connected both to the reality of the original conflict, and to the aftermath still doing damage today. And he needed a solution, rather than to simply be trapped by the situation. So he had to have acquired certain skills during his lifetime. He develops a method that the U.S. government isn’t happy with, so they go after him in a clandestine way that creates its own set of problems.
But how do they go after him? With an age-old technique: a sniper. But in today’s Army, that sniper is a woman.
This combination provides a volatile mix when plans go wrong and everyone starts improvising to survive their piece of a complex encounter.
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