New York Times Review of The Adjustment by Scott Phillips

“Wayne Ogden is a prince of a fellow, as long as you judge this bad-boy protagonist of Scott Phillips’s caustic crime novel, THE ADJUSTMENT (Counterpoint, $25), according to his own perverse code of ethics. As a quartermaster for the United States Army stationed in Rome during World War II, Ogden had a rewarding career as a pimp and a trader on the black market. But life in postwar Wichita proves a letdown (even the funnies aren’t as “funny and mean as they used to be”), and Ogden feels his skills are wasted in his job, which involves enabling the owner of an aviation company to indulge his various degenerate and illegal hobbies. Going by his own rule book, Ogden is just “playing Good Samaritan” when he escorts pregnant girls to a “reliable angelmaker,” distributes drugs to needy addicts and takes lonely women to bed. And provided he doesn’t kill too many people or run out on his nice wife, who’s to say otherwise?” — Marilyn Stasio Link to review:...

Eliot Pattison on Ashes of the Earth

From a recent guest post by Eliot Pattison on Omnimystery News: “Endings of worlds have occurred throughout human history. Some have been abrupt, like the annihilation of the original, ancient Carthage by the Romans. Some have been gradual, like the destruction of the Tibetan world over the past fifty years by the Chinese. But none have encompassed all of humankind. Only in recent years have we developed the capability for annihilation on a planetary scale. While there may be many reasons to believe that such a nightmare will never occur, the moment that capability became real, global apocalypse entered the realm of the possible. Ashes of the Earth is certainly not meant to be a prophecy, but implicit in its backdrop are predictions about the state of technology and science after such universal destruction. Even with highly trained scientists among its inhabitants, it seems likely that a society of survivors with no electricity and no internal combustion engines would turn to early industrial age technologies. Locating the Carthage colony on the Great Lakes endowed its inhabitants with an environment rich in minerals, timber, water and wildlife, meaning that simple technologies like those for making matches, paper, cloth, glass and lumber would be readily available. Once foundries and forges were developed, steam engines and other simple machines would not be far behind. The setting on the inland sea also means the colonists are able to travel long distances by water—and in a region of long winters with few roads, incentives would be great to advance the iceboat technology of an earlier century. The effects of global destruction on the external...

Interview with Eliot Pattison on Bookpleasures

Excerpt from an interview with Eliot Pattison on Bookpleasures: How did you get started in writing? What keeps you going? At a very early age I was an avid reader, a ravenous consumer of almost any genre. By the time I was in college I often found myself thinking of alternative endings to the books I was reading— that really began to nurture my fiction muse. After fifteen years of writing non-fiction books I decided to give voice to that muse and was lucky enough to win an Edgar for my first mystery. What keeps me going as a writer is the bond between reader and writer, the need to be able to speak meaningfully, on every page, to those who invest time in reading my books. In doing so I seek to explore themes and messages that are neglected elsewhere, voices and peoples which have been lost in the rush of globalization and the revision and dilution of our history. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Currently I am working now on my tenth novel, having written six in my Inspector Shan series, two in my Bone Rattler series and my latest, Ashes of the Earth. You have to be zealously invested in your current project if it is going to be effective—so I would have to say my favorite is always the book I am writing now. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? I have been a globetrotter for much of my life, roaming around every continent but the frozen one, and in doing so I have invested...

Bookpleasures praises Ashes of the Earth by Eliot Pattison

This excerpt from a Bookpleasures review of Ashes of the Earth really captures the relevance of Eliot Pattison’s newest mystery in today’s world, in which the powers that be have the top survival knives (www.knifefellas) to obliterate humanity: “Take a glimpse into the future. Think about your world as it is right now. Trees, markets, stores, technological advances such as the best vape pen, medical breakthroughs and modern conveniences that everyone takes for granted and rarely gives thanks for. Imagine in one strike of a match your world goes up in flames and the end result is a total global holocaust. What is left is smoke, ash, soot, burned buildings, pieces of glass and human beings so deformed so ill they can barely survive. Humans exposed to radiation and expelled and exiled not to contaminate others. Martial law reigns. Those who question are exiled or punished. Those who dare to challenge the government tortured. Imagine a world devoid of flowers, trees, metal, medicines, books and paper to write on and the basic comforts of life. Picture the devastation shown in Japan just this month. Remember the Tsunamis in Hawaii and Korea as the world comes to an end and the result will rock your world and give the reader much pause for thought. Hadrian Boone is the main character in this book. Often imprisoned on petty charges and beaten, tortured and abused by those in charge he manages to stay afloat using his intelligence, connections and instincts. A founder of the colony and former professor, he hopes to work to rebuild what is left of Carthage. His long time...

JDPR NEWS

Victoria Patterson interviews James Brown for Nervous Breakdown: “You write about what you care most about, what you know most about, what you think most about, the memories that haunt, your obsessions, your shortcomings, your successes and failures, and how all these experiences and feelings have shaped how you see yourself and others, particularly those you love most in this crazy world.”    ...