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w552873Basic Law is available now, and getting some good play in the press.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch had high praise, noting:

“A perfect blend of thriller and whodunit, “Basic Law” provides an absorbing look at a perilous time. A yarn spun with skill and chills, moral absolutes and moral ambiguities, it challenges the reader from first to last page.”

Read the full review here.

Also, the International Thriller Writers Big Thrill magazine just published an interview with me on the writing of Basic Law. Check it out here.

And my publishers also posted an article by me re the backstory to this novel. Find it here.

w552873My new thriller, Basic Law, the first in a trilogy, is available this week. Set in the post-Cold War Europe of the 1990s, it features foreign correspondent Sam Kramer.

Here’s a quick synopsis:

“Expat American journalist Sam Kramer is burned out: too many dead bodies, too many wars covered, too little meaning in it all. He’s got a dead-end job at the Daily European as the correspondent for Vienna, where nothing happens now that the Cold War is over. And that is exactly how Kramer likes it.

But his private neutral zone is shattered with news of the suicide of Reni Müller, a German left-wing firebrand and Kramer’s long-estranged ex-girlfriend. To his surprise, Kramer suddenly finds himself the executor of Reni’s literary estate—but the damning memoir named in her will is nowhere to be found. Tracking down the manuscript will lead Kramer to the unsettling truth of Reni’s death, drawing him back into the days of the Cold War and showing him the dark side of the woman he loved.”

Reviewers at Amazon have been very enthusiastic about this book: “Tough as nails and tautly written,” noted one reviewer; “Wow, this was one heck of a ride!” noted another; a third called it an “action-packed mystery and thriller,” while yet another reviewer commented that “If you like noir and a ‘Third Man’ style of story (even though this is mid 90s)… you will like this book.” I agree with still a further reviewer in her assessment: “This is more than just a mystery or crime novel. There is an element of suspense and thriller mixed in that can really get your blood moving.” A Vine Voice critic also noted: “The book is a page turner, and I greatly enjoyed it. The plot is complex, and the historical details about middle-aged men and women trying to leave their radical youth behind them ring true.”

Sam Kramer first appeared in a couple of my early (unpublished) novels. In celebration of the publication of Basic Law, I post here a much more recent short story iteration of him .

Enjoy!

Continue Reading »

w552873Hey folks–if you missed out on the last Goodreads giveaway for my new thriller, Basic Law, out next month, have heart. My publishers have just begun another one with 11 copies available. Sign up between March 10 and March 23 to be included in the drawing.

w552873My new thriller, Basic Law, is out in mid-April, but my publishers are conducting a giveway now for interested readers over at Goodreads. The book has already attracted very positive buzz with Amazon Vine Voice reviewers. So hurry on over and put your name in–the drawing ends March 2, 2015!

german 2My new thriller, The German Agent, is now available in the United States.

A quick blurb:

A ruthless German spy is torn between love and duty in this powerful espionage thriller

February, 1917. A lone German agent is dispatched to Washington to prevent the British delivering a telegram to President Woodrow Wilson – by any means possible. For this is the Zimmermann telegram: it contains a devastating piece of news which is sure to bring the USA into the war on the side of Britain and her allies.

Having fought in the trenches himself, Max Volkman knows that America’s involvement will only prolong the slaughter of innocents and is implacable in his determination to kill the British envoy carrying the telegram. But when his pursuit of the Englishman leads him to the home of American heiress Catherine Fitzgerald, wife to one of Washington’s most powerful politicians, he is presented with a terrible choice: loyalty to his comrades in the trenches or the loss of the one woman he has ever truly loved.

His decision will determine the outcome of the First World War.

Also see my earlier post re the inspiration and historical background of the novel. Also see a lengthy interview at The Big Thrill.

Here’s what some of the critics are saying about The German Agent:

“Jones is generous with his action sequences, most of which find Volkman barely escaping capture. He’s also dexterous at re-creating the sights and sounds of Wilson-era D.C. You can almost smell the cigar smoke and hear the sighs of hand-rubbed leather as this story transports you inside retreats of the privileged. And its street scenes—filled with the rattle of automobiles as they claim increasing dominance over roadways—and episodes in the city’s less-tony quarters show Jones to be a writer who can strike that careful balance between demonstrating his historical research and maintaining his tale’s momentum.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Beautifully written and the details of the period hold great interest … the agent is initially determined to carry out his role and there are some good chase sequences and the way in which he stalks the British man carrying the relevant information is fascinating.”–Thinking about Books

“This book is centred around one of the most intriguing diplomatic incidents of World War I – the Zimmermann Telegram.”–Crime Fiction Lover

150thI  had the honor to contribute an essay to a Festschrift for the 150th anniversary of the opening of Vienna’s Ringstrasse, the grand boulevard that encircles the Inner City: Vienna’s Champs-Élysées.

Recently, I read this essay at a Vienna Salon organized by the Vienna Tourist Board at San Francisco’s Ritz Carlton. I include the essay below for those interested.

My connection to Vienna has always been a visceral one: I came of age in that city; it is my second home. Thus, my addition to the essays from thirteen writers around the world is much more of a personal anecdote than a historical reflection. Continue Reading »

w552873My newest mystery/thriller comes out this April, the first of a new series set in Europe in the 1990s.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

Expat American journalist Sam Kramer is burned out: too many dead bodies, too many wars covered, too little meaning in it all. He’s got a dead-end job at the Daily European as the correspondent for Vienna, where nothing happens now that the Cold War is over. And that is exactly how Kramer likes it.

But his private neutral zone is shattered with news of the suicide of Reni Müller, a German left-wing firebrand and Kramer’s long-estranged ex-girlfriend. To his surprise, Kramer suddenly finds himself the executor of Reni’s literary estate—but the damning memoir named in her will is nowhere to be found. Tracking down the manuscript will lead Kramer to the unsettling truth of Reni’s death, drawing him back into the days of the Cold War and showing him the dark side of the woman he loved.

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