Published: September 2014
Series: Dark Pantheon #1
LA Private Investigator Chalk is hired to find three adult sons a Hollywood mogul fathered through a sperm bank many years before. United, the three half brothers discover they share a desire to be warriors. They plan a heist to prove they are worthy of enlisting with a paramilitary leader who has taken both a name and a mad inspiration from Kubrick’s dark satire Dr. Strangelove. General Ripper’s forces begin by robbing pharmaceutical warehouses and then mailing the stolen prescription drugs to America’s veterans. They escalate to kidnapping video game designers and broadcasting their deaths. The ensuing chaos builds toward a culminating drone attack that will forever prove Ripper's warning that graphics have made warriors terrorists.
Chalk somehow got a lot of information very easily. It would be nice if PI work was so simple and it did help move the story as there were quite a few people he had to talk to. My issue might have been how each time he'd get cooperation he, not in so many words, would tell them to f&$* off. It was hard to connect with him, even after chapter five when his personality it all came together.
That aside, I thought the pacing was mostly good. There was a thick mystery with a few very well written action scenes and a notorious collection of antagonists that are both dangerous and intriguing.
The story also provided several fun facts and I'm a huge fan of learning while I read fiction. The author's background definitely aided the story's realism.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
At York University Carac studied English Literature. He read modernist and contemporary novelists but his main interest was always the detective genre. He wrote about the works of Raymond Chandler, H.P. Lovecraft and William Gibson.
While studying in Toronto he fell in love with the theater. Unable to afford the ticket prices as an impoverished undergrad he became a reviewer for a small magazine called Scene. This made it possible for him to see almost everything that came to the stage. His first play, Luck is a Lady, was produced in his freshmen year at Calumet College.
Finished his undergraduate degree, Carac started working for the University of Western Ontario as a low level clerk. Soon after he began transforming paper forms into web forms. This streamlined service delivery and brought an office still dependent on microfiche and stamps into the right century. He went on to found the Web and IT Team in Student Services. He has directed projects on database security, electronic data interchange, mobile devices and distributed online identity.
For too many years following the performance of his first play, Carac had amateur workshops and small productions of his dramatic works. These titles were always focused on adult relationships in the blossoming age of the internet—hidden love, secretive lust and virtual sex. He was a finalist in Theatre BC’s national playwriting competition with Cardboard Boxes. But professional success on the stage never came for him.
For his Masters in the Philosophy of Education Carac studied the psychology of crime in the HBO prison drama Oz. And he wrote about how technology is changing concepts of value in higher education.
Carac’s last role within Academia was focused on IT Security. As a member of Western’s Information Group on Security, the Risk Assessment team and an investigator in student hacking cases, he has seen the good, the bad and the ugly of the digital frontier.
During a difficult divorce Carac was motivated to learn about surveillance technology and he began writing Chalk’s stories.
Carac now lives in London Canada with his wife Beth and their children.
Where to Find: Webpage