Saturday, December 15, 2012

Most Excellent News!

I’ve just been on the phone with Martin McPhillips, and he has assured me that his blockbuster thriller Corpse In Armor will have a sequel! Current working title: A Time Of Troubles.

For those who haven’t read the first book, here’s my review, originally posted at Eternity Road:

Fiction writing is a far tougher road to travel than op-ed; ask anyone who's tried it. As satisfying as it can be artistically, its practical frustrations can make the aspiring fictioneer wonder why he didn't put his spare time into something constructive, like teaching manatees to tap-dance.

Many fiction writers claim to write for the sheer pleasure of it. Some claim they only write for the revenue -- "to buy groceries," as the late Robert A. Heinlein put it. But all of us, without exception, write to be read. Anyone who claims otherwise deserves no more of your time.

Thus, it is both heartbreaking and wildly exciting to encounter a self-published writer who deserves to be widely read, and to have a hand in publicizing his achievement:

    "Can you tell me anything, Professor," Ryan asked, "about rogue KGB factions surviving the Soviet collapse?
    "I can tell you two things," Wolfe said. "First, the KGB was for a long time in business for itself, before the collapse. Second, the KGB knew for twenty years that the collapse was coming and had long prepared for the transition to, what should I call it, the private sector."
    "Where do they operate out of?" Ryan asked.
    "Everywhere," Wolfe said. "They were everywhere and they stayed everywhere. Finding work is easy for them. When they can't find work, they make work. The cells are now autonomous, but they of course know each other. It's a brotherhood, a network. Dying out in some places, getting stronger in others, especially in the homeland."
    "Russia?" Ryan asked.
    "Yes, indeed. Look who's in charge there."

And a bit later in the same exchange:

    "Have you pressed your case or published anything about this?" Ryan asked.
    "If I did that," Wolfe said, "I would be pigeonholed as a Cold War obsessive."
    "But it's your area of expertise," Ryan said.
    "Ironies abound," Wolfe said. "I am the expert until I offer my conclusions. Then I'm still fighting the Cold War."

The book, probably the best thriller I've ever read, is Corpse In Armor, by Martin McPhillips.

Honestly, seriously, Tom Clancy and Larry Bond would give their souls to write something this good. I'll go further: If I were still charging a price for my work, and a prospective customer were to ask me whether he should spend his valuta on one of my books or on Corpse In Armor, I'd send him and his money to McPhillips's book without a second thought.

By agreeing to assist a young actress who claims to be in fear of her life, protagonist Mara Rains, a Manhattan lawyer, is drawn into a world of murder, terrorism, and supranational intrigue, in which no player can be trusted ab initio and altitude of position guarantees nothing. At first in self-defense, later from a steadily awakening patriotism, she becomes part of an organization that exists to protect Americans from a violent shadow world to which governments cannot admit. Its agents operate outside of all legal sanction; they must live, work, and die without ever being recognized for what they are.

This novel is unflinching about right and wrong, about love of country and the nature of justice, about our preference for comforting fictions over harsh truths, and about the perfidies of the highly placed. Among its other excellences, it features the manliest characters and the most crackling, piercing dialogue to be found in fiction of any description.

Corpse In Armor, self-published by Martin McPhillips. Highly recommended!

Let’s hope to see the sequel sometime in 2013. Sometime early in 2013!


Mark Butterworth said...

I agree with Francis. I got a big kick out Corpse in Armor. The action keeps ratcheting up and you find you can't read as fast as you'd like as the tale accelerates. Very exciting tale.

I'm glad to see that the author has a sequel in the works.

Col. B. Bunny said...

I agree. It's a first-rate yarn by an excellent story teller. I read it on the strength of Fran's recommendation. Normally, I ignore him, but this time I'm glad I didn't.