From the Author
Q. Not every crime writer publishes a prequel to their crime series. What inspired you to write Five Knives and set it up as a series prequel?
DFB. Frankly, the prequel took me by surprise. I'd just released Second Life (the fourth book in the Finch series) and I was planning the next novel. Then in a moment of inspiration that lasted less than ten minutes, almost all the elements for Five Knives appeared at once. I was walking down to my local cafe when it came in a flood. The concept, the conflict, the characters. It felt like a gift delivered by the muse. I'm not particularly superstitious, but I knew that I had to drop everything else and dive into writing Five Knives or I'd lose the intensity of the story.
Q. The novel's dedication page states that Five Knives is based on true events. Can you be more specific?
DFB. Readers who lived through the Great Recession might recall that Wall Street introduced something called Mortgage Backed Securities to the world. Billions of dollars of worthless paper were traded. Lives were ruined. Companies, banks, and private businesses dissolved. Several countries teetered on the brink of collapse. The people who created and sold MBSs are at the heart of this novel. As far as I know, Five Knives is the first book to examine this real catastrophe in a work of fiction.
Q. What do we learn about Will Finch that we don't already know from the first four Finch novels?
DFB. In the previous books, Finch's early life remained a minor mystery. This time out we learn about his parents -- and their untimely deaths -- and his four years of service in Military Intelligence in Afghanistan and Iraq. We also meet the woman about to become Finch's wife, Cecily who is the mother of his son, Buddy. More important, we see Finch's instincts, intelligence, and physical grit at work as he tackles his first story as a crime reporter.