With his latest novel author Alex Grecian is moving in a new direction with a new series, a new era, and a new setting, Kansas. Another book that took place in that state, Wizard of Oz has a famous line “Lions, Tigers, and Bears. Oh My.” Replace that with The Saint of Wolves and Butchers and readers have the title of this new book.
This intriguing story involves Travis, a man who chases down evil-doers with help from his trusting companion, a dog named Bear, and a Kansas State Trooper, Skottie who join forces to track down a Nazi in hiding.
The plot begins in 1951 when wanted war criminal Rudolph Bormann succeeds in making his way from South America to rural Kansas, where he begins a new life as Rudy Goodman. In the present, Travis Roan, the head of a family foundation devoted to bringing war criminals to justice, comes to Kansas after a report that the German was recognized by Ruth Elder, a concentration camp guard. Aided by his canine companion, Bear, a massive dog, and another ally, Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Skottie Foster, the search continues for this horrific figure who had performed medical research on unwilling victims. To make matters worse, Goodman decides to become a Church Pastor for a Nazi-type cult where he continues his cruel experimentation.
Readers will yearn for the next book to see how Grecian flushes out the characters’ backstory, especially Travis Roan, whose mysteriousness is intriguing. Hopefully, this does become a series, because of the unique characters and storyline.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story?
Alec Grecian: While driving through Western Kansas to visit my wife’s family I saw a lot of ranch/farm country. Regardless of where I am I look for angles I can use to write a story. I found out that German POWs captured in Africa were sent to Kansas. After the war, most of these people were allowed to become farmers and stayed here as authorities turned a blind eye. It occurred to me this would be a great place to hide if I ever committed a crime.
EC: Do you think Bear stole the scenes he was on?
AG: Yes. He is a Tibetan mastiff who understands Esperanto and became mute after poachers cut off his vocal cords. He is brave, smart, and loyal, where everyone except the antagonists have complete trust.
EC: How would you describe Travis?
AG: Travis is calm, intellectual, unfailingly polite, and very moralistic.Travis keeps to himself so we do not know where he has been in the world and where he has come from. He is mysterious and I purposely did not say if he is Jewish. I do hint at the terrible tragedy he has gone through. As time goes on readers will find out more about him.
EC: Another character, Elder, the guard was not dislikeable?
AG: I wanted to write her as sympathetic considering she was forced into becoming a guard by the Nazi regime, after refusing to have sex with German military officers.
EC: You also discuss how guns are just a tool?
AG: This is why I put in the book quote, ‘These chunks of metal that were largely useless without a hand to point them.’ The evil comes from the person who uses it to their advantage. It is the person that needs to be blamed.
EC: What about your next book?
AG: Since Travis and company will hunt for evil-doers, for the next book I would love to have Skottie, Bear, and Travis searching for the bad guy behind the funding of the Nazi in this book who runs a human trafficking ring. I think I will set it in Alaska.
The Saint of Wolves and Butchers
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