Behind the Scenes is a combination of the author’s messages and updates on future books.
Between May and December of 2021, I will publish four books. Why so many within a short period, and what’s my excuse this time since I similarly published four books in 2020? The answer: it’s the way I write. The Mistress is a storyline I’ve mulled over for approximately a year. Before going to sleep, most people blank out. Some, like myself, think about something. In my case, I think about the manuscripts I’m writing or storylines that I believe will make a great novel. Therefore, as my wife will attest, it’s common for me to get up at any hour to start writing – adding to a current manuscript or typing an outline for a future novel. In the case of The Mistress, I got my inspiration at 2 a.m. and typed through the night and into the day. You’re going to love the story.
The Gunter Wayan series resulted from a trip to Indonesia researching a future Matt Moretti novel. However, the area and the storylines I had in mind didn’t fit his character. I needed someone local who was rough around the edges but had a code of honor. Gunter Wayan was born. I gave him an assistant, and the Gunter Wayan-Eka Endah team set up shop in Bali. I liked these characters so much that I wrote three Gunter Wayan manuscripts back-to-back – The Organization, The Frame, and The Arrangement. I promise, they will get into as much trouble as Matt Moretti or Mauro Bruno. The storylines are unique to this area of Asia, and will involve North Korea and Kim Jong-un.
THE GUNTER WAYAN SERIES
Below is the preview on the back cover of the first book of that series, The Organization:
A military drone attacks a small boat off Bali and leaves a disgraced former police detective turned private investigator adrift in the Indian Ocean; an Indonesian attorney is tortured and killed delivering his client’s documents; the head of North Korea’s money-laundering clearinghouse is murdered when his car is forced off a mountain road; a Chinese army lieutenant colonel appears to die of a heart attack while on a flight to Beijing; and a server is taken from what is believed to be an impregnable office on the 101st floor of a building. These are the events that Gunter Wayan and his assistant Eka Endah must piece together if they are to stay alive and solve the mystery handed to them by a client who was on the receiving end of a sniper’s bullet moments after they were hired. Now, whoever killed their client is after them. But Wayan and Eka have no intention of going down without a fight and decide to take the battle to their pursuer. Bodies soon pile up in Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, and North Korea. As the forces that are after them close in, Wayan encounters an unlikely person who can provide the information necessary to bring down The Organization, the international money-laundering enterprise which they discover is after them. The only problem with convincing this person to help is that she just tried to kill them.
MATT MORETTI-HAN LI SERIES
Below is a preview of The Archivist:
General Lin Bogang, China’s highest-ranking military officer, has a plan that will force the government into naming him his country’s leader. And there’s a strong likelihood hell succeed, thanks to secret documents written by Mao Zedong. The general has two problems. He only has copies, which could be discounted as forgeries, and he doesn’t know the exact location of the originals. Soon he discovers that the key to finding them lies with Matt Moretti, an alcoholic former Army Ranger currently working as an archivist for the US government. Hunted by the general, a Chinese assassin, European police, and his own government, the archivist goes on the run across Europe as he tries to unravel the clues that will reveal Mao’s long-kept secret. Along the way he meets Han Li, a beautiful Chinese agent and assassin in her own right who is also seeking the original documents. Only time will tell, however, whether they will manage to keep them out of the hands of the general. In this thriller, an alcoholic former Army Ranger joins forces with China’s top assassin to recover secret documents that could topple the Chinese government.
Below is a preview of The Abductions
Following a gala, the presidents of the United States and China disappear after retiring for the night within their heavily guarded palaces inside the Forbidden City. After an intense investigation ensues, no one can determine how the dignitaries were abducted while under constant surveillance. When an internet video is released that shows the heads of state kneeling before the flag of the Protectors of Islam, the question of who abducted them and what they want is answered. The Islamic terrorists threaten that unless their demands are met within seventy-two hours, both men will be beheaded live on the internet. With each country’s intelligence agencies paralyzed by a lack of clues, Matt Moretti and his Chinese agent counterpart, Han Li, work outside their organizations bureaucracies to find the leaders. After they uncover a conspiracy focused on attaining a singular objective at any cost, Moretti and Li are arrested for interfering with the investigation. Now they must outrun the army, make sense of complex clues, and race to find the presidents before their abductors carry out their evil plan. In this thrilling story of intrigue and murder, an American civilian intelligence officer and Chinese agent must do everything in their power to stop the beheading of two international leaders by Islamic terrorists.
Below is a preview of The Payback:
In this latest Matt Moretti-Han Li thriller the clandestine unit known as Nemesis, a joint Chinese-American off-the-books organization, is faced with its first challenge just minutes after it’s activated by the presidents of the United States and China. Their first assignment is to find and retrieve two aging Soviet nuclear weapons that were smuggled into China to destroy its major cities and are on a countdown to detonation. They soon learn that the face behind this act of terror is Awalmir Afridi, the former leader of the Protectors of Islam, who the world believed to be dead following a US and China cruise missile attack that decimated his strongholds. Helping Afridi is a wealthy Saudi businessman and member of the royal family. When the Saudi government discovers what’s happening, they fear the retribution that would follow. Lacking the resources to retrieve the weapons on their own, they inform the Russian and Chinese governments separately that they’ve uncovered a terrorist plot to smuggle former Soviet nuclear devices into China. Because China is economically critical to Russia, Putin is determined to retrieve the weapons and deny that former Soviet nuclear devices were ever held by terrorists. To accomplish this, he sends a war-hardened colonel, Vasily Kvachkov, to do whatever it takes to get them back from fanatics who’d rather die than surrender them. The problem is, he no idea where they are. As Kvachkov and his men covertly enter China, President Liu of China turns to Nemesis to retrieve the nuclear devices, thereby unknowingly placing them on a collision course with a Russian colonel who has a reputation for never coming in second.
Below is a preview of The Forgotten:
A young girl escapes her kidnappers; the US embassy compound in Athens comes under a devastating missile attack; a U.S. Navy amphibious carrier, returning from a goodwill tour, engages hostile aircraft over the Adriatic Sea; and an abandoned Soviet submarine base in Bulgaria is secretly refurbished. These are the seemingly unrelated pieces of a puzzle that Matt Moretti and Han Li encountered while on vacation. It started innocently enough when the two agents from the off the books White House organization known as Nemesis were walking back from dinner and saw a young girl being chased by three thugs. After dispensing their own brand of justice on her pursuers, and on hearing that she and others like her were kidnapped and being sold into slavery, they decide to get involved. However, they soon find that the tables have been turned and they’re being pursued by someone with seemingly limitless resources. Needing to stay alive long enough to take down the human traffickers, they receive help from where they least expect it.
MAURO BRUNO DETECTIVE SERIES
Below is a preview of The Patriarch:
Milan’s chief prosecutor is killed when his car is pushed off a narrow mountain road; the city’s mayor is shot by an assassin on the steps of his office building; and an abbot and his librarian are killed in a monastery. This occurred days before Chief Inspector Mauro Bruno, whose father was one of the victims, came to Milan to arrange for the funeral. Suspicious by nature, and generally acknowledged within the polizia di stato as being the best detective in Italy, Bruno uncovers clues that lead him to believe that a man known throughout Italy as the patriarch, the head of the wealthiest and most powerful family in the country, is behind these murders. But he needs proof. He soon discovers that that the reason for these killings resides within centuries-old papers stored within the Vatican’s secret archives, to which only the pope has access. Hunted by the patriarch’s men, Bruno attempts to stay alive long enough to find out what the patriarch and the Vatican have been hiding for seven centuries, and why a multi-billionaire is willing to risk everything to protect that secret.
Below is a preview of The Scion:
Detectives Mauro Bruno and Elia Donati, surviving numerous attempts on their lives while bringing Duke Rodolfo Rizzo to justice, decide to take a vacation in Paris to celebrate and relax. However, not long after they arrive Donati is cleverly framed for a murder that he finds impossible to refute since the killing was captured on the hotel’s camera security system. With Donati in jail, Bruno tries to discover why his friend has been framed and who’s behind it. Helping him is a French investigator, Lisette Donais. Not long after, Bruno is also framed for murder. While on the run, he and Donais uncover a web of deceit that involves a Saudi official, the French mafia, a recluse in the wealthiest residential area of Paris, and a suicide in Milan that started this chain of events. As he delves deeper into this mystery, Bruno discovers that the key to vindication is in his past.
Below is a preview of The Artifact:
A reporter is killed before he can publish a story on arms smuggling; a geologist is murdered when he tries to hand over photographs that will reveal the person behind a secret terrorist network; a dirty bomb sits in a hotel room just blocks from the White House. The person behind this, a wealthy industrialist, wants to harm the west in a way that will be remembered throughout history. His plans might have gone unnoticed and unconnected to other events if not for the discovery of an artifact – a three-by-three-inch piece of silver that was found at a victim’s residence. In this third novel of the Mauro Bruno detective series, the Italian detective and his new partners, Elia Donati and Lisette Donais, try and stop an attack on the NATO summit in Rome that’s to be attended by the President of the United States and two other world leaders, while simultaneously trying to prevent a dirty bomb from making large portion of Washington uninhabitable for generations.
Below is a preview of The Mistress:
Mauro Bruno receives a mysterious envelope containing a letter he wrote to his wife twenty-five years ago on the day she was murdered. The letter was stolen by the killer, who was never caught. The desiccated body of a woman is discovered during repairs in the president of Italy’s office, his knife lying beside her. For over two decades a Mafia chieftain has been grooming a government official, killing anyone standing in the way of his progression within the ranks of government. Now running for president, the chieftain’s protégé is neck and neck with the current president, his victory assuring the Mafia will have a grip on the country for at least the next decade. These are the events that confront BD&D investigations who have been hired by Dante Acardi, the deputy head of the Polizia di Stato, to find the murderer of this mysterious woman whose fingerprints don’t exist within any EU database. But soon after starting their investigation, finding her identity takes second place to staying alive after they get an inkling who she was. Digging into the woman’s background, Bruno discovers that she and his late wife had something in common, which ultimately led to their deaths.
In this latest Bruno, Donati, and Donais novel the three investigators find themselves pitted against the Mafia, the president’s political rival, and an assassin who has never failed to deliver on a contract – all wanting them dead before they can unravel the mystery of the dead woman.