Authors Showcase: Dragonflies by Andy Straka
January 21, 2014
The Book: Dragonflies: Shadow of Drones
The Author: Andy Straka
The Story: Former Army helicopter pilot Raina Sanchez is plagued by nightmares. She can’t erase the memories of being shot down in Afghanistan, of losing her foot in the crash, and the death of her commanding officer. When asked by an ex-military contact to participate in a secret drone operation with ties to the war, she jumps at the chance to exorcise some of her demons.
She joins Tye Palmer, the decorated ex-infantryman who rescued her from the flaming wreckage of her Kiowa chopper. As civilian private investigators, together they embark on a sensitive, risky effort: using cutting-edge micro air vehicle drones in an attempt to expose the son of media mogul Nathan Kurn as a campus date-rapist.
But as Raina and Tye come closer to the truth about Kurn and his powerful allies, Raina’s loyalties take a potential detour when she begins to understand a chilling reality. In a world where surveillance devices as small as tiny insects are being piloted into places most would never imagine, public and private forces both large and small are maneuvering to control them with inevitable consequences. For Raina and Tye the danger didn’t end when they finished their military careers–the threat has just begun. www.andystraka.com
About the Author: Publisher’s Weekly has featured Andy Straka as one of a new crop of “rising stars in crime fiction.” His books include A WITNESS ABOVE (Anthony, Agatha, and Shamus Award finalist), A KILLING SKY (Anthony Award Finalist), COLD QUARRY (Shamus Award Winner), KITTY HITTER (called a “great read” by Library Journal), RECORD OF WRONGS, hailed by Mystery Scene magazine as “a first-rate thriller,” FLIGHTFALL, and the recently released thriller THE BLUE HALLELUJAH.
Andy has worked as a book editor, movie production accommodation agent, commercial building owner and consulting vice president for a large specialty physician’s practice, surgical implant and pharmaceutical sales representative, college textbook sales and manuscript acquisition representative, web offset press paper jogger, laborer on a city road crew, summer recreation youth director, camp counselor, youth basketball coach, assistant parts manager at an auto dealership, assistant manager at a McDonalds restaurant, and even been registered as a private investigator. (Not to mention a longstanding stint as a stay-at-home Dad to six, which makes neurosurgery look like tiddlywinks.)
A licensed falconer and co-founder of the popular Crime Wave at the annual Virginia Festival of the Book, Andy is a native of upstate New York and a graduate of Williams College where, as co-captain of the basketball team, he “double-majored” in English and the crossover dribble. He lives with his family in Virginia.
Review by D.M. Prum: Dragonflies: Shadow of Drones grabs you on the first page. The book is gripping and fast-paced. Straka’s main characters are well-drawn; they are people we care about. Drones are an integral part of the plot which makes the story both timely and informative. This is a great read–a slam-dunk for Andy Straka.
Review by Ruth A. Hill: I have to admit that I was not looking forward to reading this book. The saving grace was that I knew the book was short, and I was hopeful that it was a quick read. Science fiction and thrillers often don’t set well with me, and I am honestly not sure why I agreed to review this book.
Well, I have to say that this author has almost done the impossible. That’s right–I found myself completely drawn into the story, and I was quite distraught when the book ended so abruptly. I want to know the outcome of the story, and I connected with the characters to a degree.
The best part of the book is that there is very minimal profanity and no sex scenes! Yes, it does deal with rape, but there are no details in the account. Thrillers and even science fiction books often come well-equipped with these two issues, and I want to support this author since he left out these elements.
So if you are not a fan of thrillers, I still invite you to check out this book. It is very timely in light of the current news (we hear about drones and technological advances quite regularly), and the book is short. In other words, you won’t invest a lot of time into the reading of the book, and you just might find yourself pleasantly surprised.