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Today we are really pleased to welcome bestselling author, Mark Greaney!
One Minute Out by Mark Greaney
One Minute Out by Mark Greaney, one of today’s top authors, is an intense thriller. His style is distinctive in that the reader gets a glimpse into the protagonist’s mind as Court Gentry speaks directly to them.
The story opens as “The Gray Man” is in Croatia, hired as a private contractor. Deciding to fulfill his mission by assassinating a Serbian war criminal up close and personal, Gentry comes face to face with girls who have been human trafficked. This global human trafficking ring is known as “the Consortium.” Because it is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises, netting billions of dollars, a black-market pipeline is established. The criminal leaders do not consider the snatched girls as people, but rather slaves, merchandise, and products. Knowing he cannot morally ignore these captured girls, Gentry decides to right a wrong by rescuing them. In the process, Court meets a young woman whose sister is among the many girls captured by the Consortium. Talyssa Corbu, a young Europol analyst is determined to find and save her sister. Knowing she will be eaten up alive by the bad guys and killed, Court agrees to work with her to find her sister and the other girls. Needless to say, this is where the action takes off as Talyssa and Gentry hunt down the evil-doers.
Greaney is one of those authors who creates a suspense filled story where the action never lets up. The characters are always well developed. Anyone who has not read a Gray Man book is missing out.
Elise Cooper: The Gray Man’s moral compass was put to the test in this story?
Mark Greaney: I wanted to have a book where he is on a mission he believes in, but the consequences are not what he considers. He makes a crusade to right his wrong. Even though he did the right thing in assassinating a war criminal there were unforeseen circumstances.
EC: Why sex-trafficking?
MG: I did a lot of research on this subject. I did not want it to just be that an American hero goes off to a distant land where horrible things are being done. I wanted it to come back to the US because statistics show how 1/3 of foreigners are coerced to come here and are exploited. Victims are found and groomed, which is what I show in the book. I was brutally impacted by this. Just look at people like Jeffrey Epstein who were coddled and protected by important people. Because sex trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world, it sadly has a lot of people turning a blind eye.
EC: How would you describe Talyssa?
MG: She is an intelligent woman who is desperate, since she feels personally responsible for her kidnapped sister. I think she is courageous, stubborn, and someone who follows her conscience. She sees Court as a tool to help her.
EC: How is she different than Zoya who is also Eastern European and has worked with Gentry in the past?
MG: Zoya is from Russia and Talyssa is from the Balkans. Talyssa is mission focused on her sister, while Zoya is a field operative. Although Zoya will be back in future books, Talyssa is very specific to this book.
EC: You had The Gray Man working on his own?
MG: Yes, he is not doing a mission for the CIA. Throughout the series he has been bounced around from working on his own and doing missions for the CIA. When he works alone, as in this book, there is more room for me to explore him psychology.
EC: The bad guy was really bad?
MG: I wanted to show how the demand for human traffickers also involves people who do not just wear the black hats. He has a family and lives a “normal life.” First, he worked in illegal finance by laundering money. But then he tweaked it to become more involved with human bondage. His organization was also violent using assassinations, turf wars, and executions of those women who would not or could not work. I put this book quote in for emphasis, “The American in the Hollywood Hills was a supervillain masquerading as an everyman, albeit an outrageously wealthy one… (He) compartmentalized his criminal behavior and his home life, and nothing was more vital to him than keeping those two worlds apart.”
EC: Some of the action scenes written in the book are breath-taking?
MG: I went to Croatia and walked alleyways to see how to get from one roof to another. I plotted how much time it would take to get from one rooftop to another. I do a lot of the ground research. Also, because some of the setting is in the Hollywood Hills, I rented a house there for ten days to get a feel for the area. I referred to some different terms like pit maneuver and blood sweeping. I did some of the first, but not the second. I also went scuba diving in Croatia to see what it would be like. I wanted to make the scuba scene in the book is scary where Court’s gear is not working and he is sinking to the bottom very quickly.
EC: A shout out about your next book?
MG: It will be the tenth in “The Gray Man” Series. The setting will be in Berlin, Dubai, and Central America. It delves into world finance and its connection to intelligence agencies and terrorist organizations.
If you liked this interview
A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
From Mark Greaney, the New York Times bestselling author of Mission Critical and a coauthor of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels, comes another high-stakes thriller featuring the world’s most dangerous assassin: the Gray Man.
While on a mission to Croatia, Court Gentry uncovers a human trafficking operation. The trail leads from the Balkans all the way back to Hollywood.
Court is determined to shut it down, but his CIA handlers have other plans. The criminal ringleader has actionable intelligence about a potentially devastating terrorist attack on the US. The CIA won’t move until they have that intel. It’s a moral balancing act with Court at the pivot point.
One Minute Out by Mark Greaney
Book Beginnings / First Chapter First Paragraph / Tuesday Teaser!
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