We now have an official release date for the fourth thriller featuring Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson. The Devil's Bounty will be released by Bantam/Transworld in hardcover in the UK, and will also be available internationally (with free shipping) here on the 2nd of August this year. The paperback of the third book, Gridlock, is slated for release on the 6th of July.
As with the rest of the series if you haven't read any of the other books then don't worry, you can jump straight in with this one. They all function as stand-alones.
This time, Lock and Ty travel south of the border in pursuit of a wealthy serial date-rapist who has skipped bail in California, and who is being sheltered by a powerful, and extremely violent Mexican drugs cartel. But, as with the other books in the series, all may not be as it first appears. As readers have come to expect there is lots of fast-paced action with plenty of twists and turns. And let me tell you, as a man used to protecting his Principal, Lock makes for one hell of a bounty hunter!
Okay, so that's the pitch. But what, as one of my old screenwriting teachers at Columbia used to ask, is it REALLY about?
For me, it became a book about violence against women, and beyond that about the reaction of society, and more generally men's reaction, to how women are treated. Like a number of crime writers recently, I am mining the epidemic of violence in the border area of Mexico, and more particularly the thousands of mostly young, working class women who have been abducted, raped and murdered in the area that Ed Viullamy calls Amexica. It's an area at the cutting edge of globalisation (i.e. somewhere multi-national companies can pay a Mexican worker a tenth of what they'd have to pay an American worker), a place where the murder rate dwarfs that of Kabul and Baghdad, a land convulsed by spasms of horror that show no sign of abating.
The research shocked me - especially some of the documentaries, including the graphic, City of Lost Girls. You can read the headlines in the newspapers but underneath are stories of unimaginable torment, especially for those families who have lost daughters and sisters. This isn't a Ugandan warlord who isn't even in Uganda anymore, this is right on America's doorstep, and it is arguably being driven by the seemingly ill-fated War on Drugs. It's unarguably being driven by America and the West's appetite for illegal narcotics. Crucially for the story, it's a part of the world where you have no idea who you can trust.
So, that's a little about The Devil's Bounty. Oh, and what does the title mean? Well, for that, you're gonna have to read it.