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Question: What was your inspiration for the shadowy conspiratorial organization that your book The Shop is named for?
J. Carson Black: There has always been speculation--especially in thrillers--that secretive organizations have existed within the federal government--that there are black bag operations, often carried out in other countries.
Human nature being what it is, it’s easy for me to picture people in power at the highest level planning all sorts of operations. Power corrupts, and if the resources are available, I have no doubt that something like The Shop could exist. All it would take would be people who are powerful enough to put it in place, and the operations could go as far as their imaginations would let them go. Throughout history, powerful people have made enormous mistakes, and have corrupted power to their own needs. I can picture the rich and powerful--the people who can command just about anything--coming up with the most hair-brained of schemes--and getting away with it. It’s more about human nature than anything else.
Q: Do you think it's possible an organization like The Shop could really exist?
JCB: I think it can. Recently, it has come to light that the secretive clandestine operations team "JSOC", Joint Special Operations Command, has an assassination squad operating with impunity in other countries.
Q: Jolie Burke and Cyril Landry couldn’t be more different and make for a very unlikely duo. Can you tell us more about how you developed these characters? Do you have a favorite?
JCB: I like them both. I didn’t expect to like Landry, since he’s a killer, but he sort of evolved for me. For one thing, he and I both have a passion for horse racing. As I wrote my way along, he kept showing new facets of himself. He has a wife and daughter. He has a code, although it’s a bit relaxed compared to those of normal people. He was trained to be a warrior and a killer, as people in the armed services are, and these are the skills he depends on to make a living. Having been a Navy SEAL, he has extraordinary talents and abilities. And he thinks he is killing in the name of his country.
Jolie is my idea of what a homicide cop should be. She’s strong and reasonable, capable and calm. And Jolie has to deal with plenty of red tape and departmental b.s. She’s thorough and cares about what she is doing. She cares about the young man whose death is at the center of her investigation. The young man is gay, and she doesn’t want his death to go unremarked. She wants justice for him.
Pretty far fetched. The story took a long time to develop. Cyril a little too super human to believe. Wonder if Jolie will return in book two.Published 3 days ago by E259
Very easy to follow. I plan on reading many more from Black. Hope this one becomes a movie. Nice job.Published 3 days ago by Susan Peterson
Did not like the ending of this book...no closure and many loose ends. Maybe there is a sequel, but will not read more from this author.Published 13 days ago by Kay
This one was right up my alley. The author did a very good job of getting me in early and holding me to the end. Loved it. Will read more of Black's books. Neat, neat, neat.Published 19 days ago by Mark A. Hosterman
A nice readable book but jumped around a bit and I just couldn't get into it. Starts out strong and exciting and then gets muddled.Published 24 days ago by Jan Williams
J.carson black certainly has the potential to be a great thriller writer but pulling the ending together still needs better attention to detailPublished 26 days ago by driftwood
The story is not quite what I expected. But, I really enjoyed it. Jolie was an interesting character, and there was a lot of history that needed looking into. My kind of story. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Jessica L
After reading an ARC of J. Carson Black's upcoming HARD RETURN, (#2 Cyril Landry thriller), was so intrigued with the characters had to purchase and read (#1 Cyril Landry), THE... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Judith D. Collins