Today we are really pleased to welcome bestselling author, Sean McFate!
High Treason by Sean McFate is an authentic thriller. The story has plenty of political intrigue and is action packed. There are explosive assassinations, heated gun battles, and trying to decipher who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.
Tom Locke, the protagonist of the story, is staying with a good friend in Israel. He watches an explosion of a bridge that takes out the Vice-President and his wife. Realizing that it is too sophisticated a job for the suspected culprits, Islamic terrorists, Locke believes his former employer, a high-tech mercenary organization, Apollo Outcomes, is responsible.
He is not alone with his suspicions about those accountable. An FBI Agent, Jennifer Lin, believes that it is not Jihadists, but is certain that Russia is behind the strike. Her off the book investigation leads her to Locke and his former teammates who are also trying to find out the murderers. They join forces to find the traitors and ruthless mercenaries.
Tom Locke is a hero people can get behind. Unlike some other political thriller characters, he does not have the attitude of feeling sorry for himself. He and Lin make a good team and will remind readers of Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill.
Elise Cooper: Why did the book start out in Israel?
Sean McFate: This book starts off in Tel Aviv because I have a personal connection there and for the plot it made sense. I also write a series of non-fiction books about the strategies of war. A book that came out a year ago, New Rules of War, had me do some research in Israel. I was a visiting faculty member at their war college. I wanted to learn how Iran is changing its warfare. My family and I had a fantastic experience. In fact, Colonel Ari Roth is based on a true person, a hybrid. In the future I would like to bring him back.
EC: Mercenaries do not have a good reputation?
SM: It is never the case where everything fits nicely into Column A and Column B. I was under contract as a paramilitary in Africa. We helped stopped a genocide in Rwanda and took care of war lords in West Africa. These are things I would be proud of if I was still in uniform as a US Army paratrooper. While in Africa, I did some intelligence stuff merged with some Special Ops stuff.
EC: Why fictionalize it?
SM: I try to use fiction to pull back the curtain on mercenaries. They do things the US military cannot do and the CIA does not want to do. The Tom Locke series was actually going to be an autobiography. I was told not to do it or I would be sued so I fictionalized it.
EC: How would you describe Locke?
SM: He is part of a military force that is not glued to a nation. He makes decisions of what battles he chooses to fight and does not fight. For him, it is not about money, but the cause is everything. He is based on me, but more badass. In the beginning of the series he is a professional warrior. The last two books he is trying to find his soul. He is neither a superhero or a boy scout.
EC: How would you describe Apollo Outcome?
SM: It is like the company I used to work for, a high-end corporate mercenary outfit that mainly works for the US government and US companies. The fictionalized company spies on citizens, break laws, and initiates political assassinations. In this book it becomes a villain after some tried to stage a coup of the US government. It is a mixture of 9/11 and the assassination of JFK. I wanted to explore if private military contractors can make regime change within their own government.
EC: How would you describe Jennifer Lin?
SM: She is cunning and a thinker who is in her twenties. She is talented and does not have a lot of patience for the chain of command. I wanted to write a female warrior because I ran into a lot of women warriors in my line of work. Just like Jennifer they were able to be warriors but also feminine. At first, this book was mostly about her. But I was told by my editor it should be a Tom Locke book so I changed it.
EC: What will happen to Lin in future books?
SM: There are a number of possibilities. She might come back in a Tom Locke book and work with him, or there could be a spin-off into her own series. In future books she can be a main figure as a co-lead or possibly come in and out of the Locke books.
EC: Do you enjoy classical music because there were references in this book?
SM: Yes, I was a violinist. I went to a boarding school that was a feeder school for Julliard and Eastman. I dreamed of playing Tchaikovsky in Carnegie Hall. But at the age of thirteen I had a “mid-life” crisis and realized no matter how much I practiced I would never be Itzhak Perlman. I gave up; yet, I did maintain a love for classical music and as a party trick I can tell you a song played.
EC: What do you want the reader to get out of the story?
SM: Tom Locke is not pure imagination. I use this series to show the future of modern warfare. A lot of what happens is real and it even had to go through the Pentagon’s scrutiny to look for classified information. Fiction is a better way to tell this world, which is partly why I write.
EC: Next book?
SM: Part of me wants to keep Locke in the US. Yet, good novels get ahead of the headlines, and what is happening in the US might make that impossible. I might have to move the setting to Eastern Europe. I might have my next non-fiction book about the threat of China.
“McFate just might be the next Tom Clancy, only I think he’s even better… The action is non-stop and shuttles back and forth between scary-believable and rollicking good fun. I read High Treason during a six-hour plane ride and the trip went by like the snap of my fingers.” –James Patterson
In this pulse-pounding action thriller perfect for fans of Brad Thor and David Baldacci, Tom Locke must stop dark forces working to overthrow the president
En route to the National Prayer Breakfast, the U.S. vice president’s motorcade is hit in a vicious, expertly planned attack that throws Washington, DC, into chaos. Everyone assumes it’s terrorists– everyone but young FBI agent Jennifer Lin. She is certain that the easy answers here are not the likely ones. . . . Half a world away, former military contractor Tom Locke has his own doubts about what happened–and who did it. He suspects his former employer, Apollo Outcomes. But why would the global private military corporation orchestrate such a brutal strike on U.S. soil?
Returning to DC, Locke teams with Lin and discovers that a civil war is secretly brewing in the military-contracting world. A division of one company has gone rogue, led by a power-hungry former colleague of Locke’s who may have planned the attack on the vice president himself. But this man couldn’t have pulled it off without help from inside the government. The VP’s itinerary and route were confidential–which means there must be a traitor high up in either the White House or the NSA who is leaking information.
But why? And who could be pulling the strings? Radical Islamic terrorists? Or is this a new ploy by Putin to subvert American leadership? Or is someone else behind the attack? Only Locke can get to the bottom of the conspiracy–and blow it apart with one bold strike before it’s too late.
“High Treason has brutal assassinations, shocking betrayals, even heated gun battles in the shadow of the White House. It had me breathless–from the sheer audacity of its storytelling to its breakneck pacing. It’s not to be missed!” –James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Odyssey
High Treason (Tom Locke) by Sean McFate
Book Beginnings / First Chapter First Paragraph / Tuesday Teaser!