Thriller / Suspense
Date Published: 7/28/2015
James Lilliefors's unlikely detective duo, Pastor Luke Bowers and homicide investigator Amy Hunter, return in a new murder mystery set in Maryland's picturesque Tidewater County
Tourists like Susan Champlain pass through the Chesapeake Bay region every year. But when Susan pays Pastor Luke Bowers a visit, he's disturbed by what she shares with him. Her husband has a short temper, she says, and recently threatened to make her "disappear" because of a photo Susan took on her phone.
Luke is concerned enough to tip off Tidewater County's chief homicide investigator, Amy Hunter. That night, Susan's body is found at the foot of the Widow's Point bluff. Hunter soon discovers Susan left behind clues that may connect her fate to a series of killings in the Northeast, a powerful criminal enterprise, and to a missing Rembrandt masterpiece,The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Whoever is behind the killings has created a storm of deception and betrayal, a deliberate "tempest" designed to obscure the truth. Now Hunter and Bowers must join forces to trace the dangerous secret glimpsed in Susan's photo. But will they be the next targets on a killer's deadly agenda . . . ?
Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
Not a single message, although The Tempest (like The Psalmist) deals with the subtle and unexpected ways that good and evil infiltrate our lives. Amy Hunter is a homicide detective and Luke Bowers a Methodist minister, so both are in the good and evil business. But as the story unfolds, it becomes difficult at times to know who (among the other characters) is good and who’s not. That ambiguity is at the heart of the book.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I tend to do a lot of research and it’s often a challenge to put the research aside and get on with the writing. This is particularly true with the Mallory brothers books, which are geopolitical novels.
How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
My favorite book is usually the one I’m writing now, which, at the moment, is a political thriller involving Russia and the United States.
If you had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?
For Amy Hunter, I think Kate Mara would be good. Not as sure about Luke Bowers … perhaps Jude Law or Daniel Craig.
When did you begin writing?
When I was a boy, I made up stories in my room and wrote some of them down. Later, I discovered journalism and that became my career. I still consider what I do a form of journalism.
Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
The short stories of Ernest Hemingway were a big early inspiration.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
When the story begins to gel and you know your characters well enough that you trust them to take the lead.
Describe your latest book in 4 words.
Art, crabs, humor, murder.
Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
I have two series – the Amy Hunter/Luke Bowers novels, which are mysteries set on Maryland’s Eastern Shore; and the Mallory Brothers books, which are geopolitical espionage novels. Charles Mallory is a private intelligence contractor and former CIA agent, and his brother Jon is a Washington-based investigative journalist.
The first book in the Bowers/Hunter series was The Psalmist. The new one, The Tempest, published in July, takes readers into the world of stolen art, involving the theft and fate of Rembrandt’s painting The Storm on the Sea of Galilee. A third book in the series, tentatively called The Harvest, should be out next year.
I’m finishing the third book now in the Mallory Brothers series and hope it will be out next year as well.
About the Author
James Lilliefors is the author of the geopolitical thriller novels The Leviathan Effect and Viral. A journalist and novelist who grew up near Washington, D.C., Lilliefors is also the author of three nonfiction books. The Psalmist and The Tempest are the first two books in the Luke Bowers and Amy Hunter series