What’s become of Fat Jack Craft?
Last Saturday I began a new series featuring an old character, Jack Craft. He’s become much more “lean” and is now badge number 12 of the Denver Police which actually formed unofficially in late 1874. The story opens in the fall of that year, and moves into 1875 when the force is finally separated officially from the city marshal.
This new series is a “thrystery” as I like to call them, a combination of thriller and mystery, or mostly one, or mostly the other. There’s a good argument to be had that a mystery is a puzzle to be solved by the detective along with the reader while a thriller is a story that happens to the detective even while the audience knows or suspects more than the protagonist and often a bit of what the villain does know. In suspense, by contrast, the reader almost always knows what the villain is up to, the protagonist can only guess if they have any idea at all.
Many of our favorite modern “mysteries” though, in a very real sense, are “thrysteries” because they combine elements of both in a way that gives the reader a puzzle to solve while still being able to deduce more information than the detective/policeman protagonist.
In The Woman Without a Face Jack Craft is answering a simple resident complaint and discovers an unusually gruesome murder. Short staffed as the new police force is, Jack is tasked to work with an assistant city marshal to solve the crime, but they are thin on leads. Bit by bit the marshal helps Jack discover enough pieces to get a working idea of who committed the murder, but not enough to take to the city attorney or a judge for a warrant. As the investigation goes on, however, a second murder similar to the first tells Jack that he is facing a killer unlike anything he had ever imagined.
That’s about all I can give away without telling the story itself, so you’ll just have to pick up a copy and give it a try. But if you like just the western series that includes Farr Gunn, don’t despair—I plan to wrap up that series sometime this year because it is only fair that if Jack gets a series, Farr must have one too. But first, they must part company.
Gearing up to write to a pulp
If you think I let off the gas a bit last year, you would be right, but I have an aggressive schedule planned for this year, though, so stay tuned. The day that The Woman Without a Face went live in the online stores, I completed the draft for the next book in the series. You’re going to have some time, though, before it is available.
In fact, what you’ll see before it comes out are the first few episodes of a new series I’m planning under the series title of Tales of the White Shadow. The series will be set in the South Seas during the years leading up to Pearl Harbor, and if you like sea adventures as much as I do, I think you’ll enjoy this. I’m planning the series as a string of “novelettes,” similar in length to Incident at Diamond Springs, and much like a television series, each episode will contribute to an overall story arc that will be tied up at the end of the season.
The good news is that I plan to offer individual episodes for FREE (dare I say it out loud?) until the season is complete and they can be bundled into a complete book. Look for them at all online stores and probably on Indiefree.com as well. But fair warning, they will stop being free once the season is complete and the bundle is available, so act early and please leave a review.