Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The White Devil of Dublin

Today's special guest is p.m.terrell, who many authors and attendees at Book 'Em North Carolina know as Trish Terrell. She is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 20 books. The first book in the Ryan O’Clery Mysteries Series, The Tempest Murders, was a 2013 USA Best Book Awards Finalist and a 2014 International Book Awards Nominee. Vicki’s Key was both a 2012 USA Best Book Awards and 2012 International Book Awards Finalist. And River Passage was the winner of the 2010 Best Drama Award. The Pendulum Files is a 2014 Best Cover Design Finalist.

Prior to writing full-time, p.m.terrell founded and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her specialties are computer crime and computer intelligence, and her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Computer technology plays a major role in many of her suspense/thrillers. She is the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation and the founder of the annual Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair. She is also the Vice President of the Robeson County Arts Council and is on the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Robeson County Public Library.
I asked p.m.terrell which are her all-time favorite books. Here is her list:
Top Ten Favorite Books

1. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I doubt that it could be published today because of its heft and how much backstory there was with Gerald and Ellen, but I love every page of it. The movie doesn’t do the battle scenes justice, and my very first crush - which I still have - is for Rhett Butler.

2. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick. I love the setting of the old home by the sea, the gruff sea captain who falls in love with the very human Mrs. Muir, the way they wrote a book together, and how they lived together. My only qualm with the book is I wanted the captain to stay, and I wanted somehow for the two of them to unite despite the challenges.

3. What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson. It was the first book I could not put down, and once I read it from cover to cover, I started completely over. I dissected that book, page by page, to see how the author managed to pluck such emotional strings, and how he kept me turning the pages.

4. The Haunting series by Erin Quinn. I began with Haunting Beauty and I’ve read all four books in the series at least three times. I love the imagination, the beauty of Ireland, and the way she tells a story.

5. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier. I was told by a bookseller that this was the most terrifying story she’d ever read, so of course, I had to read it. I admit awakening at 3 a.m. in a cold sweat, and I got up at that moment, grabbed the book, and began to analyze how the author scared me so much. I love the moors of England, the house set far away from other inhabitants, the twists and turns.

6. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. I love true stories that take average people and place them into extraordinary circumstances. The story of Beck Weathers, in particular, has stayed with me all these years; how one man can survive despite all the odds, walking down Mount Everest in a blinding snowstorm when he is nearly blind from detached retinas, is just incredible. Left for dead not once but twice, it’s the story of one man’s survival - among many - and also the story of the adventurer’s quest to summit the world’s tallest mountain.

7. The Mummy by Anne Rice. I did not expect to fall in love with Ramses the Great, but I most certainly did. I’ve read that book countless times. I wish she would write more books set in Egypt, and I’d love to see the book made into a movie.

8. The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger. This is another true story of average people in extraordinary circumstances. The author provides the backdrop of the Maine town, its inhabitants, their dependence on the sea, and each of the men aboard the Andrea Gale. The book is far superior to the movie.

9. The Twentieth Maine by John Pullen. There have been countless books written about the generals in the American Civil War, but none written from the perspective of the common soldier in quite the same way that Pullen writes The Twentieth Maine. It is the story of men from the same geographic area who joined the Union Army; their trials, their triumphs, their sacrifices, their deaths and their lives, and a story that remains with me long after reading the book. Joshua Chamberlain became my hero as I watched him go from a schoolteacher to an Army officer, watched him face wave after wave of Confederate onslaught at Gettysburg, and stayed with him until he oversaw the surrender of Confederate weapons at Appomattox. It is a powerful book.

10. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I don’t know if there has ever been a first line of a book quoted as often as this one - “Last night I went to Manderley again” - and I can still envision the mansion, the cottage down by the water, the gardens and the secrets. It is true psychological suspense at its best.

Detective Ryan O'Clery agrees to meet a noted historian claiming to have discovered information about his ancestors, but when he arrives he finds her murdered and her computer stolen. His investigation will lead him back to 12th century Ireland, to a time of the Viking occupation of Dublin on the cusp of the Norman invasion, and to an albino known as The White Devil of Dublin. It will also lead him to a secret his family kept hidden for more than eight hundred years, and bring him face to face with a serial killer in the present day who is intent on finishing the job he started.

Midwest Book Review says, "Terrell's writing is absorbing, brilliant in scope, classic in style, with a hard-driving action plot, and unique in the personality development of resilient, believable characters."

Suspense Magazine says, "p.m.terrell's books are powerfully written and masterfully suspenseful. You have to hang on for the ride of your life."


North Carolina, present day

Ryan was still perturbed when he walked through the doors of the police station. The room seemed to quiet instantly as he entered. He had grown accustomed to that at one time, when a divorce from his first wife left him in a perpetually bad mood. Feeling the tension in the air now reminded him too much of that time—a time left behind when he met Cait.

Zuker was standing behind his desk next to Ryan’s. He was on the phone but when he caught sight of his partner, he ended his call abruptly.

He waited until Ryan seated himself at his desk before asking, “Where were you?”

“I told you where I was going when I walked out the door.”

“Remind me.”

Ryan called up his email. “I’ve been interviewing the only suspect the editor gave us.”

“What was his name again?”

He glanced at him. Zuker’s face seemed pale and he looked at him with an intent expression.

“Albert Petrironcalli.”

“Albert Petrironcalli,” Zuker repeated.

“Aye. Albert Petrironcalli.” Growing increasingly more irritated, he turned his attention back to his email.

“And you’ve been there this whole time?”

“That’s right.”

“Interviewing Mr. Petrironcalli.”

“That’s what I said.”

“That was a long interview.”

“Sometimes, a long interview is necessary.”

The room seemed abnormally silent.

“So, you left here over three hours ago, and you’ve been at Albert Petrironcalli’s home for this whole time.”

Ryan swore under his breath. “How many times do I need to tell you? Aye, I left here at whatever time I left, I went to Albert Petrironcalli’s home and I interviewed him. And now I’m back here, trying to do my work if you would leave me alone to do it.”

“And you didn’t go anywhere else.”

“I just told you where I’ve been.” Ryan’s voice rose to a roar.

Zuker remained standing and his expression hadn’t changed. “So, why didn’t I see you there?”

Ryan slammed his hand on the desk. “Did I not tell you that I was going to the man’s house to interview him?” Without waiting for an answer, he continued, “Then what, on God’s green earth, would prompt you to go there as well? Did you think I needed assistance interviewing a suspect?”

“Well, that depends,” Zuker said. His voice was smooth and even, though it was loud enough to be heard throughout the room. “Was he dead before or after you interviewed him?”
Author's website:
Twitter: @pmterrell

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