Monday, January 23, 2012

John Gilstrap, THREAT WARNING: And Some Unusual Book Release News

Last week I realized it had been a while since I'd read one of John Gilstrap's well-paced, rewarding thrillers. When I checked, I discovered I'd missed out on a title that came out last July: THREAT WARNING. Since it features Jonathan Grave and "the Big Guy," it was irresistible and I quickly laid hands on a copy. Now that's what I call good weekend distraction -- terrorist threats, a kidnapping, and the rescue specialists of Security Solutions spinning into an intense set of problems and eventual solutions that's perfectly paced for tension and occasional moments of "Yes! Yes!!"

This Gilstrap offering is also interesting for the conflict it paints on the team: Jonathan Grave and the Big Guy are former combat specialists and have a pragmatic military approach to how to handle deadly threats. Relatively new partner Gail Bonneville, emotionally involved with Jonathan, comes from a policing and legal position that values rights, laws, and what's proper. Can Gail make it on the team? More to the point, can she -- and they -- survive, if her inner conflicts slow her reflexes?

I particularly like the kinds of Special Forces-type problem solving that show up in Gilstrap's books. And I have a soft spot for plots that hang on whether friendships and partnerships can be sustained (and how they sustain, in turn, the souls of people whose lives involve a lot of death). So a prowl around Gilstrap's author website also intrigued me this weekend, but also startled me with two announcements: One, he's offering, right on the site, the original ending to his noted first book, Nathan's Run.  Might be interesting. Two, with publisher Kensington Books (Pinnacle imprint), Gilstrap is reissuing his less well known second book, At All Costs -- especially because it reveals the persona and background of character Irene Rivers, who makes only short appearances in the other thrillers but whose efforts are often pivotal in getting Jonathan and his team ultimately out, wounded or not, with their rescued hostages, in varied settings. And the book is coming out directly as an e-book first, now available on book-buying websites and at bookshops that peddle e-books (there are more of these each day!). Later this year, Kensington will follow up with a paperback of At All Costs. But why wait, if you're itching for another Gilstrap thriller?

Whether you read the new Nathan's Run ending or pick up the e-book of At All Costs or just spend a bit of time on Gilstrap's website (including an essay on why he writes thrillers), this unexpected shaping of book releases is darned interesting. Wonder what's ahead, and what the advantages will be to readers who can't wait for the next in this tightly constructed series?

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