Monday, January 24, 2011

Let Us Put Aside Childish Things

...and nail the toy box shut, to paraphrase Corinthians 13:11.

What you see is the cover art dreamed up today by Mrs. JP and I for my new novel, The Toy Cop, which is being uploaded on Kindle right now. It ought to be up for sale by tomorrow afternoon and you can be sure I'll give you the URL as soon as it becomes available on my Kindle dashboard.

To give you a basic overview of the book, here's the synopsis that worked its hypnotic magic on dozens of literary agents desperately in need of some brrraaaaaiiiinnnnnssssss:

In the middle of the Utah badlands four years ago, 10 canisters of VX nerve agent disappeared from an Army truck miles from the Dugway Proving Grounds. In the truck were found two dead soldiers, setting a bleak stage for the most disastrous hostage scenario in FBI history. Special Agent Michael Brodie, head of the elite FBI crisis negotiating corps, had lost his chance at the Bonneville Salt Flats to capture IRA terrorist Seamus Hannigan, the man responsible for the VX theft and his daughter’s death as well as the destruction of his credibility and career when Hannigan blew up himself and three other people.

Four years later up the eastern seaboard during a freak October nor’easter, former Navy Seal Jack Gallagher and three other men have taken hostage a United States Senator and 12 other people and have holed them up at the Eastbridge, MA armory. The 13 make up the entire team assembled to witness the televised federal execution of Edd Corn, the most notorious child killer in US history. Corn nearly killed Jack Gallagher’s daughter Deirdre three years ago. Now determined to mete out justice personally, Gallagher seems determined to end his life to that end while his ex wife, rookie patrol officer and ad hoc negotiator Penny Gallagher, helplessly watches outside.

Now a crisis negotiation instructor at Quantico, Brodie sees that Penny is out of her depth, and tortured by the memory of his slain FBI daughter Leighann, he pulls every string and calls in every favor to get involved in the negotiations while somehow avoiding the emotional mine fields put up by his skeptical superiors and Jack Gallagher. Among his detractors: Special Agent Ray Cardoza, his one-time future son in law and the first FBI agent at the armory. And Ray is one of many who hold Brodie accountable for Leighann’s death.

The nor’easter has paralyzed traffic up and down the entire eastern seaboard, making it impossible for the FBI’s elite Critical Incident Response Group, or CIRG, to respond. It’s just Penny, the distant Brodie and a smattering of local and state law enforcement already divided between the televised high profile execution and the barricade situation.

Then, during the negotiations, Brodie hears a voice from the grave: Seamus Hannigan. Could the hostage scenario be a mere coverup and is Jack Gallagher somehow involved with the IRA plot four years ago to appropriate and use 10 canisters of VX on countless innocents? Or has Jack unwittingly invited one of the world’s most lethal terrorists in his midst in the blind pursuit of his own agenda?

Adding to the complicated matrix, the Gallaghers’ nine year-old daughter Deirdre, the only victim of Edd Corn who survived, sees her parents on television and runs away from home and tries to reach the armory during the blinding blizzard at roughly the same time a freak helicopter crash gives Edd Corn his release. And when he finally captures Deidre and shoots Penny before joining the standoff, the already unstable situation at the armory turns into a double hostage scenario, setting up an explosive and brutal climax.

With a wide cast of characters, most of whom pursuing personal agendas, The Toy Cop involves national tragedies from Waco, Ruby Ridge as well as the 1998 Omagh bombing in Ireland. And these previously unrelated tragedies set off a chain of chaotic events, gradually but inexorably coalescing into what could become the greatest tragedy in American history. The lives of 13 people are at stake, including that of a United States senator during a reelection bid. And unless the Gallaghers and Brodie and Cardoza can put aside ancient antagonisms and broker a peaceful outcome, many more lives will be lost in what could become the worst holocaust since September 11th.

So be there or be square.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What is it NOW?