Hello book lovers, welcome back! Welcome to our Tuesday post! This includes #TeaserTuesday, #BookBeginnings and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros! Enjoy!
Deep Into The Dark by P. J. Tracy is the first book in a brand-new series set in Los Angeles. It explores obsession, revenge and grief. Some might know the author from the Monkeewrench series set in Minneapolis and co-written with her mother.
Readers are introduced to compelling characters. Each of the characters have private wounds. Sam Easton is a veteran returning from Afghanistan with PTSD. He is the sole survivor of a car bomb that has left him with horrible nightmares and blackouts. Medication has not seemed to help, but he has found a psychiatrist, Dr. Lynette Frolich, who has some helpful suggestions. Now working at a bar, he has become close with his co-worker, Melody Traeger. She is trying to regain her life after being a drug addict, but she also seems to attract men who are abusive. Then there is Detective Margaret Nolan who is haunted by the death of her brother, who fought so gallantly in Afghanistan.
The action ratchets up after some bodies are found connected to Sam. When friend and colleague Melody Traeger is beaten by her boyfriend, she turns to Sam for help. After he and Sam’s ex-wife turn up dead the next day, Sam becomes the perfect suspect. But LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan, whose brother recently died serving overseas, is sympathetic to Sam’s troubles, and can’t quite see him as a killer. Working on hunches, Sam, Melody, and the police detectives will cross paths as they attempt to find the murderer.
This book has a riveting mystery, well-developed characters, and plenty of action. Unfortunately, readers will have to wait a whole year before the second book of the series comes out.
Elise Cooper: Why Los Angeles?
P. J. Tracy: I used to live in LA and wanted to write about my vast experiences and observations. My friends and I, after going back there, realized how much it has changed. When I was living there, people were tripping over the homeless. I did love living there, but it became a love/hate relationship. Every place has its flaws, annoyances, and rough edges. I put in these quotes about LA to emphasize the flaws to enhance the plot. “Pretending your neighbors didn’t exist was an unspoken canon of LA life,” and “ Predators, prey, parasites: that was Los Angeles in three words.”
EC: Why put in about PTSD?
PJT: I know quite a few men and women who have served this country, some with PTSD. I am inspired by their bravery and courage. Sometimes the battle after the battle is the hardest part. It is a silent battle. The character Sam has to find his way. He has waking nightmares yet still recognizes the distinction between his dreams/hallucinations versus reality.
EC: How would you describe Sam?
PJT: He is anxious, kind, scarred, and regretful. But also, moral, brave, strong, and compassionate. Hopefully readers become more informed about Sam’s everyday struggles. I made this book Sam’s book.
EC: How would you describe Detective Nolan?
PJT: She is a strong female lead, basically a kick-ass. A perfectionist, compassionate, and a cynical idealist. She believes in justice and a strong desire to make things right.
EC: How would you describe Melody?
PJT: She is one of the most vulnerable characters. In some ways, unstable. She is struggling to overcome her addiction. I have known people with addiction. Also, she was once in a rock band like me, and the name of both our bands was Poke. I liked being in the band for the camaraderie. At times she is street smart, tough, and works with Sam to overcome their struggles.
EC: You talk about a victim versus a victim mentality?
PJT: People can either embrace victimhood and blame everything that goes wrong on someone else or can blame the fault of the past. People must remember they have free will. Does a person have an inner strength and a support system? Otherwise, they stay as a victim. Melody does not consider herself a victim.
EC: Can you explain the gun quote by Sam?
PJT: You are referring to “guns didn’t kill people, people killed people.” Sam was a military man. He believes if there are not bad people, guns would not be a problem. A person needs to actually take the weapon and kill someone with it. Anyone with firearm experience has a different level of understanding on what guns can do.
EC: Can you give a heads up about your next book?
PJT: All the police characters will be in it with Detective Nolan taking the lead. But Sam does have a pivotal role. Melody will be in the background. The plot has a wealthy family murdered. It is tracked to a quasi-religious cult. Hopefully out next year, its’ working title is Out of Darkness.
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros
I’m also taking part in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where readers share the first paragraph of a book that they are reading or plan to read soon.
Looking forward to visiting your blogs and seeing what your Teaser Tuesday, Book Beginnings and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros are this week!