Christian fiction suspense author, Tom Threadgill, is a full-time author and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). He is also the author of Collision of Lies. In this interview, we discuss his latest suspense novel, Network of Deceit, which is book number two in his Amara Alvarez Series.
FF: What was the inspiration for your new book, Network of Deceit?
I drove past an abandoned water park several years ago and it struck me as a great setting for a novel. The more research I did, the more I liked the possibilities of a crime happening in the middle of a crowded park. I think it presents a unique opportunity for readers (and Amara) to wonder why, of all places, anyone would choose to commit murder there.
FF: In this book, Detective Amara Alvarez must dive into the murky world of cybercriminals and computer hackers. Why did you choose this focus for the book?
As the internet becomes more entwined in our lives, there’s no escaping the downside. Loss of privacy, questionable security practices, putting our trust in companies, stuff like that. There will always be people looking to take advantage of others, and the internet is the perfect place to do it. It’s an issue that’s not going away, and I wanted to explore it in the novel but keep it as untechnical as possible so readers wouldn’t get bogged down.
FF: What do you love most about reading suspense novels and writing them yourself?
For me, it’s all about the surprises. When a character does something unexpected but remains true to themselves. Nothing worse than when the story doesn’t feel real, like the detective who continually makes stupid decisions or the huge coincidence that saves the day. I’ll usually quit reading when that happens since I’m pulled out of the imaginary world.
FF: Readers who have read your first book, Collision of Lies, have already met your main character, Amara Alvarez. What new lessons does Amara learn in the sequel, Network of Deceit?
In this book, Amara struggles with several issues, some personal and others professional. She’s at a point where decisions are difficult and long-lasting and priorities are mixed. What she does now will affect the rest of her life. The balance between her personal life and work is iffy at best, and there are no easy answers. She has to decide if what she’s wanted for so long is worth the sacrifice.
FF: Did anything surprise you as you were writing this story?
I’m always surprised when I write a novel. Usually it’s by something a character does that I didn’t see coming. That’s one reason I don’t plot. It allows me to have more of a flow to the story and let the characters tell me what they’re going to do. Yeah, I know that might sound odd, but it’s what happens. Kudos to those writers who can plot out their story from start to finish, but I’m not one of them.
FF: What do you hope readers will gain from Network of Deceit?
Mostly, an escape from reality for a little while. I write to entertain. Nothing makes me happier than getting an email from a reader telling me they couldn’t put down my story.
FF: What new projects are you working on?
I’m tossing around a couple of ideas, including a sequel to Network of Deceit. Amara has plenty more stories to tell.
She’s following her instincts. They’re following her every move. After her rescue of nearly fifty kidnapped children made international headlines, Amara Alvarez gets what she’s worked for: a transfer to San Antonio’s Homicide Division. But reality sets in quickly when her first case, the suspicious death of a teenager at a crowded local water park, plunges her life into chaos. As the investigation moves forward, Amara finds herself stalked online by cybercriminals who uncover her personal life in frightening detail. With few leads, she’s forced to resort to unconventional methods to find the killer and prevent her first murder investigation from ending up in the cold case files.
Network of Deceit
Amara Alvarez Series #2
Release Date: February 2, 2021
ISBN-10 : 0800736516
ISBN-13 : 978-0800736514
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