Today we sit down with mystery and crime thriller author Adam Netherlund whose novel Eyes of the Dead, will be published later this month. Full details including the book synopsis can be found at the bottom of this post after the interview.
ENEMYONE: Hello Adam. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us about your new book, Eyes of the Dead. I guess congratulations are in order. How does it feel? We’re getting pretty close to your release now.
ADAM NETHERLUND: Yeah. I’m a whirlwind of emotions right now. The final files were created today and we’ve got some giveaways up on LibraryThing and Goodreads, too. Deep down, I’m excited, but also a little nervous. I never thought I’d write a novel, and yet, here we are.
E1: So, why don’t we start with the basics. Why the mystery/thriller genre?
ADAM: That’s an easy one. It’s what I love to read. I’m more of a fan of the old stuff, though. The pulps. When I first got into the genre I was reading authors like Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, and James Ellroy. From there, I gravitated to Dennis Lehane and eventually found myself leaning more toward the mysteries and thrillers of the 40s and 50s. I’m not sure that I remember how I ended up reading the hardboiled stuff…discovering Richard Stark and Donald Westlake, maybe. Or maybe, their rad cover art. Those Robert McGinnis covers were to die for.
E1: So, Eyes of the Dead. You’ve described this as an ongoing series of books to us. Maybe something similar to Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels?
ADAM: Yeah. The series is called The Gardens and Eyes of the Dead is the first book. I knew I wanted to write a sort of crime book/police procedural, but I didn’t just want to write about cops. I wanted to write about mobsters, hitmen, serial killers, private investigators, you name it. Bad people doing bad stuff and the people that are trying to put a stop to it. This would naturally, lead into writing about everyday people, too. Regular folk that maybe fall on some hard times and are thrust into extraordinary situations. The difference is, of course, that I wanted to do it all within one series. So I’d have a detective in one book that wouldn’t show up again until Book 4 or whatever… The same could be said for a reporter or a con-artist. Their lives would intersect and crossover at various times throughout the series. I didn’t want to write about one detective or an FBI Agent like we see in today’s mysteries. I wanted to build a world. Maybe some spin-off series or one-off novellas featuring a character down the road.
E1: Ambitious. It sounds like you may have your work cut out for you.
ADAM: Yep, but that’s perfectly okay by me. I plan to build this little world of mine and rummage around in the playground for many years to come. Unlike most authors, I don’t have the urge to write in different genres. Not yet, anyway. We’ll see.
E1: So tell us about the book. Who do we meet in the first book of the Gardens series?
ADAM: In the first book, we meet some of the boys and girls working in the Garden Homicide Unit. Primarily, there’s Detective Berlin and Detective Mitchell, the newcomer to the Squad. Berlin hasn’t had much luck in the past. When we first meet him, he’s meeting with a police psychologist due to events that precede the book. He’s a newcomer to the Squad, too, but he’s worked Homicide before in a neighboring city. It’s safe to say things didn’t go so well over there, though. He’s got baggage. The detectives’ first case is solving the murder of one of their own. Undercover police officer Tim Scott.
E1: I notice you’re leaving out quite a bit of the story there.
ADAM: Yeah, well, I want the readers to go in as cold as possible so they can discover the twists and turns on their own. You’ll get no spoilers from me!
E1: Is this the type of series that the books should be read in order?
ADAM: I’m going to suggest reading them in order, yeah. I think you’ll get more out of it watching the characters grow and find it easier to follow along with the subplots. Once I get to Book 4, I’m going to try a standalone tale before I jump back into some more subplots, but still, that could change. I’m unpredictable that way.
E1: So, why should readers give these books a try?
ADAM: I’m aiming for a fast, fun, thrill-ride series of books. Readers who enjoy lightning-fast pacing with a plot that twists and turns all the way to the end will get a kick out of this series, I think. The Gardens series will be a mix of genres. When I set out to write these books, I wanted to create something that mirrored exactly the kind of books that I like to read. Something along the lines of private detective novels, serial killers, vigilante justice, police procedurals, murder mystery and action thrillers.
E1: So, what’s next for you?
ADAM: Next, is Book 2 of the series which will be called Speak of the Dead. After that, I have an itch for a novella, I think before I dive into Book 3.
E1: Sounds good. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Adam.
ADAM: No problem. It’s been a pleasure.
Eyes of the Dead will be released February 17th on Amazon in both ebook and paperback formats. The ebook version is now available for preorder on Amazon. You can find it here: Eyes of the Dead
Here’s the synopsis for it:
Homicide Detective Joseph Berlin’s life is a mess. He’s drinking too much, he dreams of his dead wife, and he’s been off the job for the last three months. After a forced meeting with a police psychologist and a transfer to the Gardens police department, Berlin is tasked with solving the murder of undercover police officer Tim Scott.
But when Special Agent Widmark shows up from the DEA, offering to make a trade with him, Berlin is faced with a difficult decision. Does he give up evidence from the case to answer a question that has plagued his thoughts and nightmares for several months? Or does he perform his duty and push ahead no matter what secrets and lies he may uncover?
Now, with a police chief demanding swift action and a new partner questioning his methods, Berlin tries to fit all the pieces together. If he has any hope of catching the killer, he’ll have to battle his inner demons, navigate through twists and turns, and separate lies from truth. But who do you trust when you can barely trust yourself?
In a city fueled by greed, corruption and deceit, Berlin will come to face face with his greatest fear in this exhilarating first book in the police procedural series, The Gardens.
There’s still time to enter the Goodreads giveaway if you’re at all interested in winning a paperback copy of his new book. The contest is open to users in the US and Canada. Good luck!