The Dedman Emergence My First Spy Thriller


Wait. What? The Dedman Emergence isn’t a crime novel?

No, the debut novel in my new Jacob Dedman series is an espionage thriller (or spy novel). I haven’t tired of writing crime fiction featuring police detectives and private eyes, but wanted to try something different this time around, and this is a genre I’ve been keen to explore for many years. The Dedman Emergence is the product of that longstanding desire.

The funny thing is that my first attempt at novel writing was not crime fiction. It was a western, a genre I still write from time to time under a pen name. So, this isn’t the first time I’ve switched genres. Don’t worry, I’m not abandoning Malone, T. J., Howard Drew, or Rick Bishop. There will be more crime fiction coming soon. I was feeling a little stagnant and changing genres is a great way to break out of a writing slump. But why espionage?

Crime fiction isn’t only my favorite genre to write, but to read, and over the years I have accumulated a formidable list of favorite crime fiction authors. But no matter how many favorite authors you have, eventually you’ve read all the newest books and waiting for the next books to come out. What’s a reader to do?

When I don’t have a great crime fiction novel waiting to be read, I turn to espionage thrillers, always my second favorite genre as a reader. That’s because I’ve always considered crime thrillers and spy thrillers as adjacent genres in the world of literature. The protagonists and the antagonists are similar archetypes. There is the same type of high-stakes action and suspense, and both genres feature the familiar struggle of good versus evil.

Growing up, I have been a voracious reader of authors like Robert Ludlum, John le Carrè, and Tom Clancy. Jason Bourne and Jack Ryan have always been two of my favorite fictional characters, and my tastes in spy fiction run in that direction. I’m also a fan of many of the top contemporary espionage authors today, like David McCloskey, Jack Carr, and Mick Herron. Oh yes, I mustn’t forget to mention Mark Greany. I’ve read and enjoyed all twelve novels in his Gray Man series and can’t wait until my preorder of installment thirteen hits my Kindle reader next month.

Now, let’s talk about Jacob Dedman, the protagonist of the new series. The simplest way to explain Dedman is to say he is much like Jason Bourne, but with a twist. Like Bourne, Jacob Dedman is a CIA deniable direct-action asset. But while Conklin and Dr. Albert Hirsch made Bourne an ultimate assassin using behavioral modification and pharmaceuticals, the CIA uses cutting-edge genetic engineering to create Jacob Dedman in much the same way as some researchers today envision creating “super soldiers.” The genetic enhancements give Dedman distinct mental and physical advantages over others of similar physical size, fitness level, and intelligence. The genesis of Dedman differs greatly from that of Bourne. He doesn’t, for example, suffer from amnesia.

The plot of The Dedman Emergence in a nutshell is the super-secret, black on black CIA kill squad Dedman is a part of gets compromised. His handler, Gerald Wright, fearing a senate investigation may uncover the truth about his unlawful activities, must shut down the program. Everyone knows that federal law prohibits employees of the U.S. government from engaging in assassinations, right? He believes killing everyone associated with the program, including Dedman and his peer assets, is the best way to keep from getting found out and possibly going to federal prison. If no one gets left alive, then no one can talk.

Wright tries to take out Dedman by comprising him while he is on a mission targeting a terrorist leader in Istanbul. But Dedman escapes and soon realizes someone wants him dead. He goes on the run, trying to make it back to Berlin, his duty station, to find out who is trying to kill him and why. And Wright is in hot pursuit, intent on putting Dedman in a body bag. But of course, Dedman has no intention of going “gentle into that good night.”

As the chase continues from Turkey across Western Europe, Dedman eventually tires of running, and goes on the offensive. The hunted becomes the hunter.

If you’ve enjoyed my crime fiction novels, I would truly appreciate it if you would consider giving the Jacob Dedman series a try. The book will be available in paperback next week, and the eBook (Kindle), now available for preordering, comes out on March 5. I’m making the book available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers for a limited time, so it’s an Amazon exclusive for now. In a few months, The Dedman Emergence will be available from all booksellers.

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