Friday, May 9, 2014

An Absent Mind VBT

Blurb:
A riveting new novel from Eric Rill, author of Pinnacle of Deceit and The Innocent Traitor, is about a race against time. The ticking time bomb is Saul Reimer’s sanity. His Alzheimer’s is going to be the catalyst that will either bring his family together or tear it apart.


Excerpt:
SAUL: THE FAƇADE

It’s been almost two years since they told me how sick and useless I was. I am able to keep it more or less together most days. And I stress days, because by dinnertime my mind is exhausted. I never knew you could have an exhausted mind, but I do now. The sheer weight of having to pretend I am normal all day for my friends, or the store clerks, feels like a boulder around my neck. What happens toward sundown is like when you hear the snap, crackle, and pop when the transistors in your old television go bad. Everything numbs and becomes foggy. Sights, sounds, and smells meld into a ball and explode toward the sky. It’s as if I’m not the same person I was when I got up.

As of now anyway, I can see everything I want to say as clear as ice. It’s right there on a blackboard in front of me, spelled out perfectly. But then to actually say what’s written on the blackboard isn’t always a piece of cake. Sometimes it’s easy, like it is right now. I know what I’m saying to you is coherent and that my vocabulary is correct—but that could suddenly change and become difficult, sometimes impossible.

In the morning, I can be happy—well, maybe not happy, but not feeling sorry for myself. It’s different by lunch—if I remember to eat, and I generally do because it’s on my list, although I have been known to leave my pad somewhere and not be able to find it; if that happens, Monique usually reminds me. At least I think she does. Regardless, by lunchtime things generally start to go downhill.

Today, while I was sitting in my easy chair, she bent down to kiss me and brought her hand quickly to her mouth.

“Whew,” she said, or something like that. “You didn’t brush your teeth. Why did you check it off?”

I didn’t bother answering, not because she was interrupting my soap opera—I really wasn’t focusing anyway—but because I didn’t know the answer. Maybe I didn’t check the toothbrush to see if it was wet or dry, like I’ve been doing. Then she scolded me, like it was my fault. First they tell you you’re sick because you can’t remember anything and then they give you hell for not remembering.

The doorbell rang, and Monique disappeared for a minute, reappearing with Arthur Winslow in tow. I was standing there with the telephone receiver in my hand. Monique took it from me and put it back in the cradle.

Arthur was in high school with me and was actually the one who squealed to the principal that I was the one who decked Ian Coulter. Coulter, even though one of the great anti-Semites of all time, lived by a code of honor and wouldn’t have turned me in, but Arthur did, and I understand why. You see, Arthur was the goody-goody of the class. He would have turned in his own mother if she had done something wrong. But other than squealing on me, he was a true and trusted friend.

Arthur lives down the street—at least I think he still does—and faithfully drops in to see me. Sometimes I think he has nothing else to do. I can’t tell if he has missed any days visiting, or, if so, how many, but that doesn’t matter now. What I do know is he cares, and I hope he keeps coming, even if I don’t recognize him one day.

I already know that there will come a time when I won’t know him, or people like Bernie. Frankly, I don’t give a damn if I don’t recognize Bernie—in fact, that could be the Lord’s gift to me, something to make up for what lies ahead. What does bother me—in fact, scares the hell out of me—is not recognizing the kids. As inconceivable as that seems, they say it will happen as sure as night follows day. Who, you may ask, are they? I remember when I was a kid, my grandmother would always quote the almighty they. I would ask her, “Who are they, Granny?” She would always answer, “You know, they.” I think maybe she had Alzheimer’s!


Research from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for Pinnacle of Deceit

I was referred to a senior agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for my novel Pinnacle Of Deceit.  It was the latter two that I needed help with. I really knew almost nothing about guns, and less about explosives. He was quite open with me, probably because my contact, who referred me, was a ranking government official, and he assumed correctly that I had no intention of using any of the information for nefarious purposes. I would hazard a guess that in today’s secretive world, I would never have been able to elicit that kind of information.

We actually never met in person, but I was able to glean quite a bit from our phone calls.

In my novel, I had criminals from different countries carrying weapons, some concealed, some not. And the damage they could inflict and the trail that could be left was something way beyond my expertise. He filled me in on the different characteristics of guns, and which ones a criminal might use. And he also explained the different guns law enforcement would carry, depending on the circumstances, the specific situation, and their jurisdictions. And the damage that each could inflict. That was the easy part.

The hard stuff was explosives. What did C-4 look like? What damage could it do in different locations—inside a small room, in a large hall, in an underground parking garage? If someone is wired with C-4 with a “dead man” switch, how could it be defused, if at all?

I won’t divulge any more, that would be a spoiler, and they just brought out the second edition in February!



Author Bio and Links:
Eric Rill was born in Montreal and graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts, and from UCLA with an MBA. He held several executive positions in the hospitality industry, including president of a global hotel group. His hobbies include trekking, scuba diving, and collecting antique carpets. Eric has two sons and divides his time between his residence in Panama and international travel. You can reach him at his website at: www.ericrill.com

Buy Links:
Barnes& Noble     |     Amazon

6 comments:

  1. Intriguing excerpt, thank you.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  2. Interesting research

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  3. Interesting excerpt seeing it from Saul's viewpoint.

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  4. Interesting post. Thank you for sharing your research experience with us.

    ReplyDelete