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Friday, May 5, 2023

Efficient and Divine - Gene Kendall's New Crime Thriller (Also, Free Stuff)


Quick-witted and clean-cut Mason Mackay has something dark within. Struggling to accept his sinister urges, Mason must choose between those he loves and those who deserve brutal justice.

Gene Kendall here, once again acting like a hog and using a blog post to plug his projects. I've been at work for a few years now on Efficient and Divine, a small-town crime thriller series. (They're available on Kindle Unlimited, which is currently running a free trial promotion.) The first novel Almost Heaven is an origin story of sorts for Mason Mackay, a handsome documentarian who discovers a staggering capacity for violence.

Honey Locust, the follow-up that is on sale today, has Mason now "at peace with his lust," unaware that his ex-fiancĂ©e -- who also happens to be an ambitious police officer -- is on his trail.

I wasn't sure this would be a series, actually, until I read John E. Douglas' The Killer Across the Table. (Douglas is the FBI profiler who inspired the Netflix series Mindhunter.) In the book, Douglas details an interview with a serial killer who claims he sublimated his urges for years by attending organized hunts of drug dealers in Mexico. The logistics of how these "hunts" would work, and what kind of entrepreneurial Frank Castle might be behind them, inspired the second novel.

I'll also confess that some aspect of the sequel was sparked by YouTube videos of guys at the range with shotguns that are identical to '90s Rob Liefeld guns, and one character has a philosophy similar to some...intriguing thoughts presented by Jim Steranko in that 1970 Rolling Stone piece on Marvel Comics.

The genesis of Efficient and Divine was, frankly, an irritation with contemporary mystery/thrillers. Amazon sends out a dozen or so "free reads" to Prime subscribers every month, and I've consumed far too many of these second-rate duds. Bland characters, predictable twists, and far too much padding. As a fan of endearing boozehounds like Raymond Chandler, I told myself I could do better.

There's the possibility you disagree, of course, and I'm curious to read your reviews. Reader feedback is indispensable to authors; it's the audience that will let you know if you took things too far or not far enough. (I probably took things too far.) I'd be curious to read your reviews on Amazon or  Goodreads. You can also check out a sneak preview of the audiobook at this super-secret YouTube link.

Also, to celebrate today's launch, I'm offering some of my previous novels for free on Amazon.  A cantankerous cartoonist cast aside in the modern day, and a teen vigilante who discovers something shocking about her cranky mentor -- all can be yours for the low, low price of nothing. For today, at least.

And a free short story awaits if you sign up for my mailing list.  Additionally, The Saturday Evening Post currently has two of my short stories on their site, free for subscribers and non-subscribers alike. 

I'm also still contributing to CBR.  Recently, I penned a review of a 1991 Wolverine and the X-Men screenplay from the era when James Cameron was producing the film. I also did a deep-dive on the early development that went into creating the Transformers for a Western audience. Maybe this was too obscure, but I personally find stuff like Muffy and the Mysterians (a Scooby-Doo take on the property) fascinating.

Regarding the future of my posts here...well, it's clear that I'm running out of old G. I. Joe commercials to mine for content. Of course, the other major Hasbro property of that era also had television ads for their Marvel comic, so it makes sense to also cover those, right? And it's possible this could lead to another new series with a similar theme. Regardless of what the future holds, thanks for your support, everyone.


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