I had a great time catching up with fellow thriller writer Chris Holm, author of The Killing Kind, one of my favorite books of last year. I talked to Chris and the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) about getting kidnapped, talking to special operations guys, and the scariest thing I did while researching Cold Barrel Zero. Here’s a little bit of the interview:
Cold Barrel Zero is chock full of cool tradecraft, weaponry, and next-level tech — some of which I’m sure the government would prefer folks didn’t know about. How’d you pull it off? What was the coolest thing you stumbled across while researching this book? What was the scariest?
I had a former thief as a protagonist in the first two books, so I spent a lot of time talking to people who are into physical security and lock picking, and for the heist book I worked with “red teams,” people who get hired to break into secure facilities to test their defenses. They’re often ex-military, which led me to the classified tools that are only available to US intelligence and military. That’s how I found out about the urban escape and evasion class, too.
My favorite gadget is a real one. Certain agencies and military teams have a universal skeleton key device that I describe in the book. I haven’t seen any other public mention of it, so that was fun to include. There is actually more open-source information on classified military and intelligence operations than there is good material on how criminals do their work.
The scariest thing that came up, scarier than getting kidnapped or stun-gunned, was giving the manuscript to some special operations guys to check out. There was no greater relief, and I was really honored, when I heard back from them that they liked it and took it on deployment and passed it around the platoon.
Rainy Day Books. Fantastic crowd and discussion. Vivien, Roger and Becky
put so much love in this store and it shows. This is right after I demonstrated
how to get out of the cuffs.
Went to the range with a fan who’s a former police officer/SWAT team member
and the owner let us try a suppressed SIG rifle!
Touring through DC. I got my first challenge coin today. There’s nothing better than when a made-up plot checks out with people who do the real-life work.
Great crowd at the Mysterious Galaxy reading. Next stop Barnes and Noble, Holmdel NJ!
Cold Barrel Zero comes out today! It’s a new direction for me, a fast-paced multiple point-of-view thriller in the vein of the Bourne books and movies, and I’ve been blown away by the response. It was chosen as an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and has gotten starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal.
You can check out an excerpt here or pick up a copy through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, your favorite local indie, or get a signed, personalized copy from my local bookstore. Here’s what the critics are saying:
“Flat-out explosive.” -Publishers Weekly.
“A major step forward…Quirk’s best novel. The story is expertly stripped down, the action relentless, and the characters multilayered..” -Kirkus Reviews
“An unputdownable blast! The writing is spare and masterful, you care about the characters, and the action is hair-raising, authentic, at times even mesmerizing. Cold Barrel Zero is one of the must-read thrillers of the year!” -Ben Coes, NYT Bestselling Author of Power Down and Independence Day.
My last five advance copies of the new book are up for grabs at Goodreads!
You can enter here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/…/179188-cold-barrel-zero
Big tour for Cold Barrel Zero this spring. Reading, signing, showing how to break out of handcuffs–the usual stuff. Come out and say hello. Details in the Events section and below
April 2. Mysterious Galaxy. San Diego, CA. 2pm.
April 9. Barnes & Noble. Holmdel, NJ (Hometown reading). 7pm.
April 11. Powerhouse Arena launch party with Alex Berenson! Brooklyn, NY. 7pm.
April 14. One More Page. Arlington, VA. 7pm.
April 18. Rainy Day Books. Kansas City, KS. 6:30pm.
April 21. Poisoned Pen with Michael Robotham Scottsdale, AZ. 7pm.
April 22. Vroman’s Bookstore. Pasadena, CA. 7pm.
April 23. Book Carnival. Orange, CA. 3pm.
And the Cold Barrel Zero giveaway winners are: Austin Blue, Abbi McIntyre and Steve Rhodes! I’ll send you an email for your address so I can ship out the signed copies. Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who entered. Signed, personalized copies are available here.
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