Jeffrey Marshall: Meet the Author Podcast at Indie Book Source
January 25, 2023
Join satirist and thriller writer Jeffrey Marshall tonight at 7 p.m. EST on the Meet the Author Podcast at Indie Book Source, hosted by Rob and Joan Carter.
Jeffrey Marshall is a writer and retired journalist living in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is the author of five books, including the novels Squeeze Plays (2022), Undetected (2019) and Little Miss Sure Shot (2014).
He also wrote a business book on community reinvestment (1991) and a volume of collected poems, River Ice (2009). Undetected was named a “Notable 100” indie book by ShelfUnbound for 2020.
Marshall grew up in Connecticut but spent most of his professional life working in New York and New Jersey (hey, don’t knock New Jersey!). The bulk of his career was spent in business journalism, and included chief editor posts at two national business magazines; he was also, at various times, a feature writer, columnist and book reviewer.
He also freelanced widely for magazines and newspapers, appearing in The New York Times and New Jersey Monthly, among many others. Most of his writing now is on environmental subjects, and he serves on two national boards of Trout Unlimited, the coldwater conservation group, and formerly served on the board of a local land trust in the Phoenix area.
Marshall has a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern. Interests include tennis, golf, hiking, movies, finding new restaurants and travel.
He’s stayed in or traveled through all 50 states – sometimes passing through was enough! He and his wife, Judy, have two rambunctious dogs, Maggie and Blaze.
A modern tableau about money and power set in New York and London.
Two powerful men, a bank chief executive and a New York tabloid publisher, are at odds over a loan that would keep the publisher afloat. Enter a ruthless Russian oligarch with an offer of a financial life raft to the publisher – a gambit uncovered by a dogged financial reporter who senses a big story.
In Squeeze Plays, Jeffrey Marshall whisks us into the paneled boardrooms and lavish penthouses of the New York elite and shows us their lifestyle, their desires and their foibles. Using his background as a financial journalist, he carefully details the reporter’s story, which ties the central characters together in what becomes a stunning front-page expose.
Along the way, the reader visits New York, London, Nantucket and the English countryside and sees not just financial skullduggery but sexual blackmail, strong and principled female characters, and a brisk and often satirical take on the corrupting influences of wealth and power.
Marshall writes: “I had a great time writing this book, drawing inspiration from an editor I worked with in the financial arena some 30 years ago. The book itself came quickly in a first draft during the pandemic, but then I spent some 18 months altering and refining it, often on the advice of other readers.
“All of my novels have been different: a historical novel, a psychologicial thriller, and now Squeeze Plays, which defies an easy label. Amazon has it listed under “satire,” which is probably as good a label as any, since I really dig into the characters’ shortcomings and foibles.
“The novel stands on its own as a tableau of financial pressures, intrigue and blackmail, as well as a richly detailed look at the wealthy and powerful in New York and London, the world capitals of finance. While the financial themes are strong and central to the story, they are definitely NOT meant to require a knowledge or interest in finance to follow.
“And the reporter’s quest for the truth, and his use of sources, draws heavily from journalistic traditions that I think most readers can relate to.
“I spend a great deal of time letting the reader observe the characters and their lives – perhaps at the expense of pacing – before setting the major plot events in motion.
“But one professional reviewer called the book the best character-driven novel he’d read in a year, which I took as a great compliment for the effort I spent on them. And the book is rich in simile and metaphor, which I think adds spice for the reader – and pleasure for the author.”
Suzy is a survivor – but her husbands aren’t. In “Undetected,” Suzy Perry, a lovely and accomplished older woman, marries into a new family in Westchester County, NY. Little does her new family suspect that she’s a black widow who has dispatched two husbands in other parts of the country.
A narcissist who lacks empathy, Suzy manages to charm most people she meets and disguise her demons – until she’s ready to strike.
As the story unfolds, her new husband’s son, a journalist, tries to find out something about her past, which she’s loath to talk about. As his questions mount, he hires a private detective to delve into her past – and what emerges, which often seems circumstantial, is troubling.
When the evidence reaches what seems to be a tipping point, the new husband confronts Suzy with some of it, and she senses the jig may be up. Then Suzy is on the run, fleeing back into a comforting friendship from her past that she sees as a port of refuge. Her flight takes her across the country, and into a new place with a new name. Will she really get away with it all?
Link to all previous episodes at: https://indiebooksource.