The Reckless Engineer
The Reckless Engineer, Book 1
Genre: Literary Suspense Fiction
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: Soon
Love is a battlefield.Excerpt:
The aftershocks of an affair reverberate out to those in the lives of the lovers, who will NOT take it lying down.
Jack Connor's lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering of Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law Douglas McAllen's extreme engineering company in Oil & Gas. He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife Marianne Connor. Their delicately balanced lives are shattered when sexy Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair and who is pregnant with his child, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.
Jeremy Stone brings London's top defence attorney, John Stavers, to handle his best friend's defence.
Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim's house? Who is "KC" who Caitlin makes secret calls to from a untraceable mobile? Has powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter's first partner and is he capable of killing again? Is Caitlin's brother Ronnie McAllen's power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame his brother-in-law? Is the divorce from Jack's first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be? Are his sons prepared to kill for their vast inheritance? Who are the ghosts from Caitlin's past in Aberdeen, Scotland haunting the marriage? What is the involvement of Jack's manager at Marine Electronics?
The cast of characters is made even more colorful by the supporting entourage: the big Scott and his gang, Hosé and Heineken, who carry out Douglas McAllen’s “troubleshooting;” McAllens' bumbling solicitors McKinley and Magnus Laird; Caitlin McAllen’s handymen, Cossack and Levent; and Jeremy’s sidekick, the gay black actor working in the London West End.
While Jack is charged and his murder trial proceeds in the Crown Court under barrister John Stavers’ expert care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend's life, if he is in fact innocent, in a tense saga of love, desire, power, and ambition.
Harry and Jeremy were just about to call it a day and head over to the pub for a drink when the call came through. Harry had gathered the files and papers spread over the round table that stood diagonally opposite the large polished oak desk that dominated his office. There they liked to sit in the afternoon, take stock, and mull over matters at hand once every few days. The London sky, turning a misty orange-red through the window behind Harry, was being served to them lukewarm and sliced finely into stripes by the blind. Jeremy didn’t envy Harry his large west-facing office. He liked his sun served whole, with a black Americano and two sugars, early in the morning.
Harry had pricked up his ears on the phone. ‘Jeremy, it’s for you,’ he said, locking grave eyes onto his friend’s, ‘from the Guildford police station. Do you want to take it in here?’
A call to Jeremy from a police station was an odd occurrence. It must be something serious, he thought. He had learned by then that such a look from Harry portended serious events to follow without fail.
‘Thanks, Harry.’ He took the phone. ‘Hello?’
He was wholly unprepared for the voice that came through to him.
‘Jeremy, it’s Jack, from Marine Electronics. You remember Michelle? She’s dead, man. I’ve been arrested. I need a solicitor.’
Today, we welcome Jac Wright to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give him a big Geeky welcome!
I have some questions for you that are writer specific as well as some fun stuff so that we can really get to know the real you. *grin* Plus we will finish things off with round of Think Fast. Ready to begin?
1. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
I am both Buddhist and Christian (Protestant). It is easy to easy to reconcile being a Christian as a Buddhist as Buddhism is highly tolerant of anything that is “good”; but “He is a Jealous God” and it is difficult to do it the other way round. However, I have managed to reconcile both into a sort of personal philosophy by realising that Buddhism is philosophy and Christianity is a religion. So I am not cheating, right? I am only moderately (not excessively) religious, though.2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I am an Electronics Engineer by day and moonlight as a writer. I am dual qualified in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering with specialization in Machine Learning or what is commonly known as “Artificial Intelligence.” There is nothing I cannot do that can be done in software.
I used to be an amateur photographer in the good old days when photographs were taken with a manual camera and developed in a dark room, but I have drifted away from it since everything became automatic and digital.
I read and write to relax. I also watch a good number of DVDs and my favourite TV programs like Dexter, The Good Wife, and Criminal Minds. I love bodies of water. So in the evenings I go running by the sea or along the bank of a river depending on where I am.3. How did you choose the genres you write in?
I love suspense. I like to combine it with thrilling action that requires my heroes and heroines to be firstly very resourceful and secondly, cerebral. And I love the big unexpected twist.
I grew up watching Tales of the Unexpected featuring Roald Dahl’s work, and Mission Impossible, Perry Mason, and MacGyver. I also loved reading Dhal, Agatha Christie, and Earl Stanley Gardner alongside my classics – Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, Dickens, Somerset Maugham. Hence when I started to write, the stories came out in the genre of Suspense naturally.
I was a poet before I became a writer, published in literary magazines. My mother enrolled me in weekend Speech & Drama classes when I was 3 years old and I studied and trained in drama, poetry, and literary fiction every Saturday for 14 years. These influences of poetry, drama, and the classics bleed into my suspense writing and makes it also Literary Fiction.
I hero-worship Patricia Highsmith who writes literary psychological thrillers. I really like following the psychological motivation of my characters – I give the main characters a psychology and keep each one true to that psychology. I studied Freudian and Jungian psychology as part of Stanford’s humanities course requirements. And I have read how the movement to modern wiring came about with the Bloomsbury group led by Virginia and Leonard Woolf who were also deeply influenced by Freudian theory. Hence I like to write psychological thrillers.
With all these influences combined, Literary Psychological Suspense & Thriller genre is the sub-category I am most comfortable with writing in myself.4. Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
Roald Dahl and Patricia Highsmith.
I hero-worship Patricia Highsmith. Her character creation in The Talented Mr. Ripley is unique and unrivaled to this date, even though as a Buddhist I find her excessive rewarding of the bad at the expense of the good hard to stomach. Her writing is almost a close psycho-analysis of the character falling perfectly into Virginia Woolf’s Bloomsbury school of writing. Her POV is perfect and her work is a master-class in compelling character creation.
Roahld Dahl was a master in suspense story-telling in the short form with an unexpected psychological twist.
They authors are my deepest influences.5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I think both have come from my editor, Debbie Gilbert. She is so nice and we have so much rapport that she disguises any criticism as advice with a smiley face at the end. There is one thing in her edits that really stuck in my mind. She crossed out the last sentence of one chapter and noted: “You never end a chapter with the protagonist going to sleep. It is a cue to the reader that he or she could do the same also. :)”
That’s right, reader. We plan to keep you up all night long.
The other advice or criticism she had in the first round edits of this manuscript was that I need to add a lot more visceral emotion and visceral sections that engage the other senses as well as vision. I think this advice transformed the book for me.
Debbie’s compliments have also been very nice. However, the best compliments have come from my fans for the short fiction book that is out already:Fun Stuff
"Clearly, the author is a poet. THE CLOSET transports the reader to a lonely farmhouse where animals stand as structures, and Duncan is soaking wet from the rain. Mr. Wright draws the reader into the scene with very distinct atmospheric prose that I've seen mostly in poetry."
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
Bill and Hilary Clinton. Bill Clinton knew how to run the country, offering prosperity, social justice, and a surplus in the bank to the people. I think Hilary Clinton will do better. She has a harder job with the mess the country is in after years of reckless adventure, but man the country needs her now.7. You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
(1) A sturdy computer with a satellite Internet connection(2) An electricity generator(3) A debit card to my bank account
I could happily live there doing the 2 things I love – writing and programming – for a long, long time. I could take engineering contracts over the Internet and write my sell my books over the Internet.8. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why?
Again Bill and Hilary Clinton. Their ideologies, placed slightly to the left of the centre, are perfect for me. They are brilliant and highly educated. I would still be an electronic engineer and a writer though. And wouldn’t it be great to be the First Son for 16 years?9. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Freshly squeezed orange juice.All the ingredients to make spicy enchiladas.A half-empty bottle of tequila. Mix it up with OJ and I have one of my favourite lunches. =^)10. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
The first thing that came to mind was: “Stories on your Circuit Boards?”
It kind of highlights that I am both and Engineer and a Writer, both aspects that are equally important to me.Think Fast
Summer or Winter? Summer all the way, in England at least.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee.
Cake or Pie? Cake. Don’t eat the crusty stuff.
Car or Truck? Truck, one of those off-road driving ones. I should love to go on a safari.
Print or Electronic? Print. Nothing like a print book, man.
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Seize the day. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” - Buddha
This is the first book in the Reckless Engineer series by Jac Wright. I was contacted by the author with an offer of an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review. I had not hear of the author before, but after reading the blurb, I thought it sounded like something I would be interested in reading and I was correct.
The story starts with main character, Jeremy sitting down with Harry, his best friend & attorney at the end of the day. They are getting ready to head out to a pub for a drink when Jeremy's old friend and fellow engineer calls asking for his help. It seems Jack's long time mistress Michelle, who is now pregnant with his child, has been murdered. Jack has been arrested for the crime and is looking for not only an attorney, but a friend to assist him. Since Jack was such a good friend to Jeremy during a trying time in his life, Jeremy feels that he should return the favor. As Jeremy begins to the process of finding evidence to exonerate his friend, Jeremy travels around England and Scotland, dons disguises and flirts with the boundaries of the law looking for clues to answer the questions: Who killed Michelle and why did they frame Jack?
This was a cleverly written mystery. I will admit that I never guessed who-done-it, right up to the reveal. The author did a wonderful job of dropping enough red herrings and false trails that I simply didn't see the subtle clues for what they were until it was all over. It was an entertaining story, made more interesting by the all the bold and vivid characters throughout the story. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Stuart Woods novels, it had a very similar tone and intellectual level. I gave the book 3 stars on Goodreads.
Jac is hosting an ARC giveaway contest and a contest to win an Amazon Kindle or $70 gift card during the launch week on his website.
Jac Wright is a published poet, published author, and an electronics engineer educated at Stanford, University College London, and Cambridge who lives and works in England. Jac studied English literature from the early age of three, developing an intense love for poetry, drama, and writing in Trinity College Speech & Drama classes taken every Saturday for fourteen years, and in subsequent creative writing classes taken during the university years. A published poet, Jac's first passion was for literary fiction and poetry writing as well as for the dramatic arts. You will find these influences in the poetic imagery and prose, the dramatic scene setting, and the deep character creation.
These passions - for poetry, drama, literary fiction, and electronic engineering - have all been lovingly combined to create the first book in the literary suspense series, The Reckless Engineer. There are millions of professionals in high tech corporate environments who work in thousands of cities in the US, the UK, and the world such as engineers, technicians, technical managers, investment bankers, and corporate lawyers. High drama, power struggles, and human interest stories play out in the arena every day. Yet there are hardly any books that tell their stories; there are not many books that they can identify with. Jac feels compelled to tell their stories in The Reckless Engineer series.
Jac also writes the literary short fiction series, Summerset Tales, in which he explores characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances in the semi-fictional region of contemporary England called Summerset, partly the region that Thomas Hardy called Wessex. Some of the tales have an added element of suspense similar to Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected. The collection is published as individual tales in the tradition of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers and Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales. The first tale, The Closet, accompanies the author's first full-length literary suspense title, The Reckless Engineer.
To connect with the author online:
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