Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes is a combination of the author’s messages and updates on future books.

Between April and June of 2020 four new books will be published. The first in the new Mauro Bruno Detective Series, The Patriarch, was published on April 8, 2020 and is available in softcover, revolves around Detective Mauro Bruno, who played a crucial role in The Archivist. The second book in the Mauro Bruno Detective Series, The Scion was published on April 21, 2020 and is now available in softcover. The third book in that series, The Artifact, was published in June 2020.
I haven’t forgotten about Matt Moretti and Han Li – the third book in the Matt Moretti-Han Li Series, The Payback, was published in June 2020 and is now available.
Why so many books within a few months? Good question. The reason has to do with how I wrote these novels. I started with The Payback, which is the third novel in the Matt Moretti-Han Li Series. It took me about 6 months to write that manuscript, which is how publishers refer to an author’s text that has not yet been published. Completed about a year ago, the manuscript resolved a lot of issues that were left hanging in The Abductions. Also, in this newest novel of the series the reader will experience the president’s super-secret organization, Nemesis, in action.
I had every intention of sending The Payback to the editor, but I wanted to put one more coat of polish on the prose, which usually takes me two to three weeks. However, those good intentions got sidetracked when I started writing an outline for a new book series centered on Mauro Bruno. The urge to create this series had been festering in my mind ever since I completed The Archivist and received so many comments from readers who wanted to write a novel centered on this character. I agreed that the chief inspector from Venice was too good a character to let slip away after just one novel, so I decided to build a series around him and set him afloat next to the Matt Moretti-Han Li Series. So, one day I sat at my computer, took my outline, and started typing… and typing … and typing. Six months later I had The Patriarch, which allowed me to show a side and depth to Bruno that I couldn’t put in The Archivist, or it would have detracted from the main protagonists – Matt Moretti and Han Li. However, the ending of The Patriarch was such a cliffhanger that my wife told me that, prior to sending the manuscript to the editor, that the next Mauro Bruno book had to be written, and that both should be published at the same time. I agreed. Although publishers like cliffhangers so as to keep the reader in suspense for what amounts to a year (writing and publishing the manuscript), I wanted the reader to have a resolution to this cliffhanger. And so, I started typing… and typing … and typing. As a result, I wrote The Scion.
The Artifact, the fourth non-fiction book that was published in the short time period referenced above, is the third book in the Mauro Bruno Detective Series. I didn’t intend to write it when I did, but to do it after the next Matt Moretti-Han Li novel. However, I had a few ideas of how I could get Mauro Bruno into some interesting and life-threatening situations and was excited to get those into a manuscript. And so, I started typing… and typing … and typing. The result was The Artifact.
While these four manuscripts worked their way through the editing process, I went back to an outline I’d written for the next Matt Moretti-Han Li novel, The Forgotten, and sculpted that into a manuscript. I expect that will be published near the end of the year.


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 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.