The Mystery Writer: Three Days of a Thriller
January 14, 2021
He’s an assassin. But he has a conscience. He makes mistakes, which is why he fell in love, and he’s a stranger to affairs of the heart.
I write thrillers.
At least, that’s what I think I’m doing when I sit down and throw the first words on a blank screen.
Usually, they are historical thrillers, set during the 1930s and 1940s with the evil threats of Nazi Germany hanging like storm clouds over Europe.
But the assignment for Lovely Night to Die I gave myself was different.
Let’s jump in and see what happens.
The story had to be as fresh as yesterday.
I wanted to create a modern-day hero.
I sat down at my word machine, and Roland Sand introduced himself.
At least, he was.
He works within a rogue intelligence unit in an office that doesn’t exist, inside a building that doesn’t exist, somewhere between a pair of mountains that don’t exist.
He’s an assassin.
But he has a conscience.
He makes mistakes, which is why he fell in love.
He’s a stranger to affairs of the heart.
He receives his mission: Kill the President.
Is it sanctioned?
Who ordered the hit?
Someone in the government.
Why must the President die?
He’s a weak President.
He’s losing in the polls.
He will lead his party to defeat, and no one wants to lose in the game of politics.
It’s been a bad winter.
It’s about to get worse.
For the product description of Lovely Night to Die on Amazon, I wrote:
Roland Sand has killed two government operatives sent to execute him. He is arrested and represented in court by a beautiful young public defender, Eleanor Trent. Their eyes connect. So do their hearts, but both keep their feeling buried deep inside them.
Eleanor does not know that Sand is an assassin for a rogue intelligence agency that sells its deadly services to foreign nations as well as to its own country. He has angered his chief, the one-eyed Bohemian, by refusing to kill an accountant who accidentally saw the details of a top-secret mission. Sand sees no reason why an innocent man should die.
The Bohemian’s agents kidnap Sand and take him from the Durango, Colorado, jail. He is given one chance to redeem himself. He must carry out the assignment to assassinate the President of the United States. It is a mission sanctioned from inside the United States government.
Eleanor is furious, and she is frightened. She has lost cases before. But never has she lost a client. In desperation, he calls Navy SEAL Commander John Nickols to help her track down the missing Roland Sand. She handled a case for one of Hurt’s friends years earlier, and he said she could count on him if she ever needed him.
At Midway Airport, Sand awaits the arrival of Air Force One. The President comes down the steps, and Sand sees Eleanor in the greeting committee. He is told, “Kill the President or we kill the lady.” He has only a second to make up his mind. And Nickols knows, if necessary, he must kill Sand to save the President.
I had planned to write a trilogy.
But something’s wrong.
What if Sand fails?
What if Nickols kills him?
What will I do then?
I didn’t know until the final three pages.
It was a short wait.
It was a short book.
The thriller begins.
Three days later, it’s over.
Sand was a stranger when I met him.
He became family overnight.
As Jackie Taylor Zortman wrote in her review:
“This novella contains characters that will capture your heart or repulse you. They will keep you wanting answers from page one to the end. The twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages.
“There’s a lot of intrigue and gunplay in the story that keeps you saying, “Just one more chapter and I’ll put it down,” repeatedly. Of course, there are also parts that grab you by the heartstrings and make you wish you could manipulate the outcome. Roland Sand is a fascinating character for me, as are Eleanor and, to me, the lovable John Nichols.
“They all finally come together to create an ending that will blow your mind.”
I hope she’s right.
I only knew the ending blew mine.
Please click HERE to find Lovely Night to Die on Amazon.