James Beck never saw it coming.
Two men gruesomely murdered at his doorstep. His closest friend and ally abducted. Someone is out to destroy everything he has and everyone he cares about.
Why? Who is behind this? How can he stop a merciless attacker who always seems to be one step ahead of him?
Beck will have to uncover a mystery shrouded in his past, make an alliance that will put him at even more risk, and face a monstrous enemy in a shattering climax that will change his life forever.
I’m often asked by readers – “How did you get the idea for a book?”
The idea behind DEATH COMES DUE came more from a sense of discomfort than a “What if?” question. Although I write books dealing with violence, I’ve always been uncomfortable with novels and movies that avoid dealing with the consequences of violence. You know what I mean. The hero gets the crap beat out of him, jumps up, wins the fight, and goes on his merry way. When I was a teenager, I learned how ridiculous that is. I saw an acquaintance of mine get into a fight that lasted no more than ten seconds. The damage he rendered in those seconds sent his victim to the hospital.
Speaking of hospitals, I worked at Bellevue Hospital in the seventies. In the medical hospital, not the psychiatric. It was a civil service job that involved looking into hospital admissions to figure out how the bill would be paid. Anybody with a heartbeat and a college degree qualified for the job. Every Monday, I knew I would be seeing patients on the L ward, the trauma ward. Why? Because on Monday, all the guys who got into drunken fights on the weekends were recovering from their injuries. This usually included getting their broken jaws wired. I remember the diagnosis on the charts: fractured left mandible. Over and over, fractured left mandible, fractured left mandible. Why always the left mandible? Because most guys are right-handed, and when they punch you, their right fist hits the left side of your jaw. Crack! Apparently, it’s not that hard to break a jaw. Takes less than a second. Takes a minimum of six weeks to heal. Not a happy six weeks with a tooth removed so you can eat through a straw.
Then you have novels where the hero kills a half dozen guys, gets a pat on the back, and goes his merry way. There’s generally a nod to the toll killing takes. Vague references to the burden someone who has killed must live with. But not much detail on the scope and nature of the burden.
Readers of AMONG THIEVES and BRONX REQUIEM know that James Beck has led a life of violence and crime, albeit somewhat justified by his circumstances. But that doesn’t erase the fact that he has killed in both hot and very cold blood. So, I thought the third book in the series should take on the challenge. What if Beck were made to face the consequences of his violent actions?
That’s what DEATH COMES DUE is about. And rest assured, “death” might be a welcome relief for our friend Mr. Beck by the time the karmic debt is paid.