2015 WINNER NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD – Fiction: Thriller
Fairbanks Detective Qigiq–one name, rhymes with cheek, means white hawk–failed. He saw a suspect die, and never identified the techno-wizard who burned Alaska. Grandfather of the knife taught there is but one option after falling in the snow: stand…take another step.
So Qigiq heads south to San Francisco. His new hard-fisted partner, Kandy Dreeson, calls at dawn: a hysterical violinist named Robina is at the station shrieking about an Amazon box and her missing roommate. He rubs his eyes, grabs a jacket, and slices through Golden Gate Bridge traffic on his motorcycle–knowing this is his next step.
A barrage of body parts, heavily manipulated crime videos posted anonymously, mysterious mini-explosions, and millions of disappearing music files plunge Qigiq headfirst into a digital world of cybercrime he doesn’t understand–but is determined to master. He and Kandy dodge cars and bullets with each bit they decipher, growing ever closer to dangerous forces that trade money for murder. Closer with each delivery. Closer with each new victim.
Suspenseful and grisly with humor and seduction, Mash Up is a riveting read of intertwined action from the first sentence.
“Klingler’s new thriller is a ride into the dark side of computers and comedy. Klingler’s plot definitely has a Quentin Tarantino-feel to it.”–San Francisco Book Review (5 of 5 stars)
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A T-shirt. I was working as a software executive and a colleague wore a black shirt with a white Napster logo on the front into the office one day. It didn’t take much discussion for us to realize that if people could copy music files for their own use, they could trade them across the Internet, and all hell would break loose in the music industry. We discussed the ramifications of mass violation of the copyrights of artists, and how the world might evolve, a world that is still evolving with subscription services, congressional investigations, and criminal proceedings against site operators. That shirt started me thinking about the entire ecology of music making, how artists are compensated, how intellectual property is protected, and how the powers and fantastic gadgets of Silicon Valley sometimes work in one direction, and the rights of individuals in another. Mash Up is, indeed, a mash up of a start-up business with engineers and funding partners on the one hand, and a group of college musicians studying to make the best music they can make on the other. Naturally, much goes awry.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I’ve studied music formally, and know many people who live to play. Music is why they get up in the morning. I have also co-founded a startup, sold it, merged businesses, and been shut down. The hard knocks leave lots of memories…so the characters essentially found me.
I also asked myself the question: who are the players in this drama of the music world? The musicians for sure. But also, the engineers who develop disruptive technology, the business people who strive to profit from it, and of course, the listeners who consume in a myriad of ways the sounds the musicians create. It makes for a messy ball of wax, and some readers definitely disagree with the perspective of some of the characters, and consider those characters preachy.
But above this background of art versus technology, real crimes are committed in the name of the things crimes are often committed for. And Qigiq and Kandy are on the case.
Have you read this book or others by this author? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!