Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Derrick NBtM

In Hyde Park, a movie theater erupts in flames on a bitterly cold November evening.

It seems like a job for the fire department, but under Captain Creighton’s direct orders, Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner, Derrick Williamson, must investigate. Arriving on the chaotic scene, they find multiple fatalities —but one of the victims is most peculiar…

Gavin soon discovers that this fire wasn’t the first of its kind. The arsonist has set ablaze other buildings around Chicago, and more female victims left in the same gruesome state have been discovered.

Gavin and Derrick determine that the arsonist is not an arsonist at all—but a sinister serial killer with an agenda.

Juggling the unexpected events in his personal life, Gavin digs into the locations of the explosions. At the same time, Derrick probes into the victims’ lives, searching for any possible connection. 

However, when the next explosion occurs, the killer leaves behind a significant object, and Derrick becomes noticeably reserved. Gavin soon uncovers an enigmatic link, one that points to Derrick’s military past. A time that his partner had wished to forget. Yet, to catch the vicious maniac, Derrick must tell Gavin everything.

In a suspenseful, gripping ride to the end, it is up to Gavin to rescue his partner from the clutches of a  killer. But will he make it in time?

WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent sexual situations.

The Opus Theater was a gouged-out smoldering shell of a building, resembling a nefarious beast defeated at the hands of a mob of local villagers. Its massive first-floor entrance breathed out the last of the smoke, the toothy marquee scarred with black soot. Above, its blackened window-eyes stared down upon the people menacingly. As Gavin ambled closer, avoiding the other officers, a gripping scent of chemicals, fabric, and noxious gas filtered into his nostrils, then wafted away with the wind. Next to the theater, a pair of smaller sibling buildings, a shoe business and a comic magazine shop, were scarred and smoldering as well. Even from here, Gavin could make out the shattered glass sparkling grimly against the siren lights.

As he had seen on the news, the fire trucks clustered near the front of the buildings. The crews were already wrapping up their gear, and one was lowering its long ladder. Firemen dashed from the trucks into the dark façade of the building, being swallowed up by the dying beast. Other men tugged on the thick gray hoses that were haphazardly tossed around on the street. Already, pockets of ice were forming on the standing water and small icicles began to grow from the edges of the building. Gavin carefully stepped over the hoses, which reminded him of ripped-out intestines from the gut of the savage beast, and tried to get out of the firemen’s way.

Hastily, a fireman rushed past him and knocked him slightly. Grunting an apology, the man kept talking into his radio and rounded one of the trucks. The smell of smoke invaded Gavin’s nostrils once again.

From behind him, Derrick shouted, “About time you fucking got here.”

Choosing the City of Chicago as a Setting
Even from the very moments of the opening scenes, DERRICK transports the reader to the heart of Chicago. Throughout the book, various locations around the city and iconic destinations, the reader will admire the beauty and even darkness of Chicago. In Book 1 of the Gavin Nolan Trilogy, GAVIN immerses the reader in the vibrancy of city life.  When I wrote both GAVIN and now DERRICK, Chicago was a just a natural choice as a setting for several reasons.

First and foremost, Chicago has a rich, turbulent history. Between the historic landmarks, the Great Chicago Fire, infamous gangsters, 1893 World’s Fair, and the fated Chicago Stockyards, Chicago was built on determination, dedication and devotion. The city created a unique cityscape in the heart of the Midwest which bridged the East Coast and the West Coast. The beautiful turn-of-the-century architecture, the towering skyscrapers and the futuristic modern glass structures line Michigan Avenue, State Street and Wabash with both reverie and prestige. One can only imagine the streets of the burgeoning city in the Industrial Era, changing landscapes as buildings rose to the heavens in midcentury and the modern expanse circumventing the city to spiral out in the neighborhoods.  In addition, Chicago truly becomes a tertiary character. Echoing New York City and Los Angeles, Chicago’s bustling city life does not cease. Within the subtle shadows of DERRICK and GAVIN, Chicago can be seen as constant moving mechanism as it always stirs at any given point of the day. As you read my books, you will feel this motion of city life through bustling traffic noises, an intoxicating fragrance and busy streets full of people.

On a personal note, I lived in Chicago for nearly two decades. Having been raised in Milwaukee, WI, I didn’t know of any city larger. When I was eleven, my older sister and I travelled to Chicago, which had a profound effect on me. The grandeur and beauty of the city stole my imagination, and even then, I was instantaneously smitten for Chicago’s zeal of life. About fifteen years later, an opportunity rose for relocating to Chicago, which I grabbed immediately. With much excitement and trepidation, I became immersed in the city by touring and visiting as many sites, locations, museums and neighborhoods throughout the area. My admiration for Chicago comes out through Derrick’s poignant moments in the book.

Even though I currently live in South Texas, and had lived in Upstate New York, I often go back to my pseudo-hometown of Chicago and admire the beautiful glass and steel scenery. The city gives me a sense of wonder and awe. Each time when I see the beautiful city scape, I feel the goosebumps rise on my arms, and become memorized by the beauty.

Please check out both GAVIN and DERRICK today. Currently, I am working on the final part QUINN. Also, follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Read to Escape!


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Author Bio and Links:
Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Slipping into alternative universes allows him to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Currently, he lives in South Texas with his wife, two kids and several cats.

DERRICK is a 2018 Winner in the New Apple Literary Awards, receiving Official Selection in Psychological Suspense.

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  1. Great post and I appreciate getting to find out about another great book. Thanks for all you do and for the hard work you put into this. Greatly appreciated!

    1. You are too kind!
      Hope you take a gander at both GAVIN and now DERRICK...if you like a dark, suspenseful story like Silence of the’ll enjoy my books!

  2. Are there any sublots that you wished you could have added or explored more in your book? Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    1. There are many hidden layers with my series: The Gavin Nolan Trilogy. In ‘DERRICK’ I continue from ‘GAVIN’ some subtle storylines and bring to surface. I highly recommend that you Tear into GAVIN first...😉
      Thanks! Russell

  3. Thanks so much! DERRICK is a visceral book with many unexpected twists and turns...