The ultimate guide for creating captivating characters Former private investigator and New York Times Notable author David Corbett offers a unique and indispensable toolkit for creating characters that come vividly to life on the page and linger in memory. Corbett provides an inventive, inspiring, and vastly entertaining blueprint to all the elements of characterization--from initial inspiration to realization--with special insights into the power of secrets and contradictions, the embodiment of roles, managing the "tyranny of motive," and mastering crucial techniques required for memorable dialogue and unforgettable scenes. This is a how-to guide for both aspiring and accomplished writers that renders all other books of its kind obsolete. .
In El Salvador, a young American faces his troubled past--and a dangerous present Jude McManus has landed on his feet. Following time in the army, he scored work as an "executive protection specialist" in El Salvador, where he safeguards a hydrologist for good money and gets to surf during his downtime. But this slice of paradise comes with post-civil-war dangers, and distance won't erase his cruel memories of Chicago. Ten years earlier, his cop father was outed as part of the Laugh Masters, a group of police officers investigated for robbing and brutally beating drug dealers. In the wake of the scandal, the family fell apart, and his father died under suspicious circumstances. When McManus gets a call from Bill Malvasio--one of his dad's closest friends and an escaped member of the Laugh Masters, now living in El Salvador--the past comes knocking in a big way. Malvasio opens up about what really happened, and seeks help for another member of McManus's father's old crew. Is the disgraced ex-cop being straight with McManus? Hidden corruption abounds, and it will take all of McManus's wits to come away with the truth--and his life--intact.
An ex-con risks his freedom and his life to rekindle an old love affairThey call him Bad Dan, the Man Who Can. A talented photographer who makes his living smuggling premium Thai marijuana into the States, he meets Shel at a Las Vegas blackjack table, and falls instantly in love. After two years of whirlwind passion, they are living in California and plotting a final score. But in his haste to escape the con life, Dan makes a fatal mistake. The score goes sour, and Dan agrees to a ten-year stint to buy a light sentence for the woman he loves. When he emerges from jail, Dan's freewheeling spirit is gone. His parole bars him from consorting with known felons, but no power on earth can keep him away from Shel. Attempting to reconnect with her draws them both back into the smuggling game, where the only things hotter than their passion are the tempers of the men who want them dead.
Caught up in a scheme to smuggle his deported uncle back across the border, a young American must fight to save his family, himself, and the woman he loves At eighteen, Roque Montalvo is a gifted guitarist and a hit with women, but the rest of his life is a struggle. Orphaned at birth and scraping by in a rough Northern California town, he helps support his hardworking aunt and tends to his ex-marine brother--a physical and emotional wreck after his tour in Iraq. Then, to make matters worse, his uncle gets snared in a workplace raid and federal immigration agents deport him back to El Salvador. When Montalvo's loose-cannon cousin, himself a former deportee, shows up unannounced, he draws Montalvo into a scheme to rescue his uncle and bring him back home. It's a perilous undertaking in the best of cases, now that gangs and organized crime control the smuggling routes, and the risk ratchets higher when Montalvo learns he'll be transporting not just his uncle, but also a Palestinian refugee and a young beauty destined for the clutches of a fierce Mexican crime boss. A gritty, realistic, and unforgettable adventure where all borders are tested, Do They Know I'm Running? tightropes the perilous line between menace and hope, danger and home.
A saxophonist's murder is only the first shot fired in a citywide warAll great blues musicians chase something. Raymond "Strong" Carlisle calls it "the deep sweet"--that perfect note that always seems to sit just out of reach. For decades he has made crowds swing, made women smile, and earned the respect of some of the greats. But as long as he strained for the deep sweet, nothing he did with his baritone sax seemed to matter. Chasing that fantasy has led him here, to lie in the rain beneath a sycamore, counting his bullet holes as he dies. The detective on the scene is Dennis Murchison, a white cop who has seen too many murders to be shocked by a dead blues man. As he eliminates possible suspects, he's left to decide between a lowlife drug pusher and Toby Marchand--Strong Carlisle's son. As the city heaves into violent frenzy, Murchison finds that answers hover like the deep sweet: just out of reach.
Seven stories of desperation and death from a master of crime fictionSterling Associates recruited Satcher in the killing fields of Iraq. A marine who learned the brutalities and frustrations of war in Fallujah, Satcher was ideal for Sterling, a shadowy corporation whose business is to kill for America when the CIA can't. He comes to Guatemala, the deadliest nation in the Americas, to kidnap a Sinaloan cartel member and turn him against his family. There he meets Odilia, an idealistic young lawyer dedicated to raising her country from the mire. Both want to save Guatemala, but Satcher's method means destroying it first. This new story from the hard-boiled mind of David Corbett is a glimpse into a life most Americans prefer to ignore. Along with the six others in this volume, it provides a glimpse into the darkest corners of the modern world, and a reminder that hope springs even from the bloodiest soil.
Thirteen beautifully wrought tales of crime, passion, and people on the brink of disaster Marybeth met Jamie at the Horn & Whistle, a neighborhood pub warm enough to keep out the chill on a bleak January day. Over a pint of stout, he won her heart with bad jokes and cynical Irish charm. Two years later, she loves him more than ever, but she can see that he's bracing for a fall. When everything collapses, when Jamie's job disappears and the house is foreclosed on and Marybeth feels death creeping into her bones, it's up to her to save them both--even if it means doing something that will tear them apart forever. "Stray," along with the twelve additional short stories in this exquisite collection, showcases author David Corbett's unparalleled ability to build a life in just a few pages, and then shatter it in a single sentence. From the first confession to the thirteenth, these stories cut deep--and show no mercy.
From International Thriller Writers comes Watchlist: two powerful novellas featuring the same thrill cast of characters in one major suspenseful package. The Chopin Manuscript and then The Copper Bracelet were a collaboration by some of the world's greatest thriller writers, including Lee Child, Joseph Finder, Lisa Scottoline, and Jeffery Deaver, who conceived the characters and set the plot in motion. The other authors each wrote a chapter and Deaver then completed what he started, bringing both novellas to their startling conclusions.In the first novella, The Chopin Manuscript, former war crimes investigator Harold Middleton possesses a previously unknown score by Frederic Chopin. But he is unaware that, locked within its handwritten notes, lies a secret that now threatens the lives of thousands of Americans. As he races from Poland to America to uncover the mystery of the manuscript, Middleton will be accused of murder, pursued by federal agents, and targeted by assassins. But the greatest threat will come from a shadowy figure from his past: the man known only as Faust. Harold Middleton returns in The Copper Bracelet-the explosive sequel to The Chopin Manuscript-as he's drawn into an international terror plot that threatens to send India and Pakistan into full-scale nuclear war. Careening from Nice to London and Moscow to Kashmir to prevent nuclear disaster, Middleton is unaware that his prey has changed and the act of terror is far more diabolical than he knows. Will he discover the identity of the Scorpion in time to halt an event that will pit the United States, China, and Russia against each other at the brink of World War III?
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