GERONIMO HOTSHOT (The Ben Blackshaw Series #4) by Robert Blake Whitehill-Review, Guest Post and Giveaway
The Ben Blackshaw Series #4
by Robert Blake Whitehill
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Genre: adult, contemporary, mystery, suspense
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date: October 1, 2015
Ben Blackshaw’s wife, LuAnna, has been shot and lies in a permanent coma on Smith Island. Blackshaw has a disastrous falling out with his best friend, Knocker Ellis. Licking his wounds alone on Lethe Island, Blackshaw resolves to quit the Chesapeake. To his disgust, he soon uncovers evidence of the brutal lynching of a young black boy. Police fail to capture the murderers despite the evidence Blackshaw turns over; Blackshaw himself becomes a suspect. He deploys west to Arizona in search of the killers, and discovers an encampment of armed ranchers, along with a one-percenter biker gang, and a cult of white supremacist vigilantes who have all sworn to stop the flood of undocumented immigrants crossing the Mexico line.
But everyone hides deadly secrets, including a biologic Weapon of Mass Destruction, the bizarre shoot-down of a Customs and Border Protection helicopter, and the disappearance of its crew. The vigilante camp itself is surrounded by a raging wildfire. Blackshaw teams with Del, an Apache member of the Geronimo Interagency Hotshot Crew, who was detailed to battle the blaze. Together they patrol in on the gathering of monsters. Part of their treacherous journey takes Blackshaw and Del through a cavern system of strange, wondrous, and lethal beauty. In the end, fire and hate threaten to consume everyone; the light of the inferno reveals that Blackshaw might be no better than the quarry he hunts.
REVIEW: GERONIMO HOTSHOT is the fourth installment in Robert Blake Whitehill’s adult, contemporary Ben Blackshaw suspense series focusing on retired Navy SEAL Ben Blackshaw. Although this is the fourth book in the series, GERONIMO HOTSHOT can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any previous information will be revealed where necessary.
Told from several third person perspectives the storyline advances the series one month. Ben’s wife had been injured in the previous storyline (TAP RACK BANG) and currently remains in a coma; our hero is unable to consider the future without his wife and embarks on another solo adventure to Bisbee, Arizona where racist bigots and white supremacists find themselves involved in a high tech drug war with the FBI, Customs and Border Patrol, a former sheriff, a murderous motorcycle gang, and the possibility of a biological weapon of mass destruction. Raging wildfires add another dangerous dimension to the equation wherein Ben Bradshaw finds himself trapped between the fires and his imminent death.
The lynching and murder of a young African American boy finds Ben on a mission to locate the people responsible and the connection to a religious cult known as the Pure Nation Comitatus wherein the leader presents himself as The Messiah. On a cross country journey from Smith Island on the Chesapeake Bay to the drought riddled forests of Arizona, Ben will come in contact with several people whose connections to and information about the PNC sparks a new sense of dread and urgency in our hero. A local Native American will follow Ben on his journey in the hopes of retribution and revenge.
GERONIMO HOTSHOT is a storyline with several intersecting paths, graphic violence, murder, action and adventure. From racism, prejudice, drug trafficking and murderous vendettas GERONIMO HOTSHOT looks at cult and culture; society, social inequality and community; race relations and ‘new age religion’ wherein people are seeking direction from a charismatic leader who demands obedience and proof of loyalty.
The numerous colorful and dynamic characters drive a good portion of the storyline as the build up follows several plotlines that will intersect and merge throughout the course of the novel. One thing is for sure: Ben Blackshaw is not your stereotypical hero-more of an anti hero-but a man who will command your respect and interest. There is intrapersonal conflict for Ben; and intergroup conflict between the PNC, biker gangs and the former local sheriff. The backdrop of the Arizona forests is a major player throughout the story.
GERONIMO HOTSHOT is an intriguing, enthralling and intense topical storyline. Robert Blake Whitehill will seduce your mind into a world of retribution and revenge. The destructive nature and powerful control of cults, drug trafficking and gangs are central to the storyline premise wherein the ill-fated machinations of the Messiah, the sheriff, and the drug lord will see reprisal and retaliation in the form of Ben Blackshaw and the FBI. Prepare to be pulled into a dark and destructive storyline.
2. Nitro Express
3. Tap Rack Bang
4. Geronimo Hotshot
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy
Amateur Editors and Rewrites: From Hard Lessons to High Praise
By Robert Blake Whitehill
In film making, the editor assembles the movie from the raw footage gathered during production. In the newspaper business, an editor has the overall shape of the day’s edition in mind when recommending changes to the articles, and laying out their positions. In writing novels, there are different sorts of editors, and they can all make your book better, or make you crazy, depending on your point of view.
Every reader with an advance copy of your latest manuscript is also an editor. Every moment of the story, every word choice gets a subconscious yay or nay of judgment from the reader about the work. The reader might not realize this process is going on if you know your business, tell an interesting, well-structured story, and have done a few passes over the work by yourself before handing it off.
What happens if the reader finds a typo, or doesn’t like something in the story? The reader is pulled out of the story. Something got a nay. A professional editor will tell you exactly what the problem is with fine strokes of a red pen, or clever notes in an annotated .pdf file. An amateur reader/editor will identify trouble, or perhaps a specific issue. As writer, you might not agree that the noted point is a problem. That is always your choice.
Don’t overlook your readers’ concerns. They might not be able to articulate issues with the specific clarity of a professional editor, but their inner story-tellers are wired to flag problem areas. It is up to you to determine if the reader’s note relates to the exact place they mention, or if it is referred pain from a structural issue elsewhere in the manuscript. The reader is not at fault for missing your genius. Trust the reader’s judgment. Examine the area of concern closely. Nothing seems amiss? Next, examine what has come before that problem area in the manuscript. Still all good? Examine what comes after the place your reader planted that red flag. Yes, not providing certain information soon enough in the story might leave your reader confused. You cannot afford that.
The amateur editor will help you make your manuscript better. As an author, you must learn to interpret an amateur editor’s remarks to fully exploit their great value. Remember, amateur means doing a thing for the love of it. Quite possibly it is not for the love of reading that your editor has taken on your work. It is likely the reader has accepted your manuscript out of love for you. Respect that this affection can lead you to the truth of your best work.
~~Robert Blake Whitehill~~
Robert Blake Whitehill was born into a Quaker family in Mardela Springs, just outside Salisbury on Maryland’s Eastern Shore peninsula. The family home lay next to the pond that powered a colonial-era relic, the Barren Creek Mill. He grew up sailing the Chesapeake Bay, and one of her most beautiful tributaries, the Chester River.
After graduating from Westtown School Whitehill stayed in Pennsylvania to earn his B.A. in creative writing at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges. Later he trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. As with David Mamet, exhaustive studies of the best English language drama for the stage and screen transformed an aspiring actor into a passionate writer.
An early focus on feature screenwriting earned Whitehill film festival wins at the Hudson Valley Film Festival, and the Hamptons International Film Festival where he also received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship for his script U.X.O. (Unexploded Ordnance). His feature script Blue Rinse, co-written with Andrea Shane is currently under option with producer Bill Jarblum (Charley Bartlett, The Little Traitor, Cloudburst), with Olympia Dukakis to star, and Thom Fitzgerald slated to direct.
While writing many highly rated episodes of Discovery/Times Channel’s The New Detectives, Daring Capers, and The Bureau, he served as the Vice President of Independent Film Acquisitions for the groundbreaking Centerseat.com, developing and managing their Independent Film Channel.
His first thriller in the Ben Blackshaw series, Deadrise, was named by Cyrus Webb to the Conversations Book Club Top 100 Books of 2012. His second book in the series, Nitro Express, was named to the Conversations Book Club Top 50 Books of Fiction of 2013.
Movie studio HatLine Productions is optioning the first two books, as well as the third title in the series, Tap Rack Bang, for development into feature films.
Whitehill lives in New Jersey with his wife and son. For a number of years, he has worked with the Montclair Ambulance Unit as an emergency medical technician.
When not sailing, or knocking around the sky in a Cessna 152, Whitehill is a contributing writer to Chesapeake Bay Magazine.
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