What will Kentucky Book Festival visitors find on your table?
The three crime books from my Cain City Series. The latest, Bad Men Will Come, centers on Ephraim, a single father struggling to stay afloat, on the brink of losing his factory job. When a mysterious man emerges from the wilderness with a bullet in his gut and whispers of stolen money, Ephraim sees a chance to alter his family’s fortunes and becomes obsessed with finding the loot. What he finds instead is a crew of killers he’ll have to face down to survive.
The previous two books, Cash City and Hum Little Birdie, feature downtrodden P.I. Nick Malick. Cash City finds Nick scraping by from case to case, waiting to avenge the person he believes murdered his son, who is locked away in prison for another crime. In the meantime, he takes a case that tasks him with finding a young woman gone missing. Seems simple enough. But when his investigation exposes a link between a corrupt police force and a drug gang from Detroit, Cain City explodes. And Malick finds himself smack in the middle of all of it.
Hum Little Birdie sees Malick’s fortunes on the rise, as he now works for a prestigious law firm in town. The city is on the rebound as well, and a large scale movement to revitalize its downtown is underway. Malick’s latest investigation finds him tugging the threads on a criminal conspiracy that touches all rungs of Cain City society, from the squalid street corners to the prosperous upper crust. As the body count rises, the case becomes personal for Malick. It takes him to the brink of his physical and emotional limits and forces him to confront the sins of his past. It places the lives of the people he loves most in jeopardy, and it threatens to put the death nail, once and for all, in Cain City.
Whom do you invite to stop by? Who will benefit from reading your book?
My books were inspired by the old noirs of the 20’s, 30’s 40’s, and I thought it’d be interesting to bring that voice and attitude, with it’s iconoclastic, cynical worldview, acerbic wit, but also fundamental decency that just can’t be shaken (much to the character’s chagrin) – to bring that feel into a modern world with modern problems. So these books are for anyone who likes their crime stories gritty and dark, and (hopefully) laced with a good deal of humor.
Could you please tell us something curious about you and/or your book?
I used my hometown of Huntington, West Virginia, as a model for the fictional Cain City. It operates as kind of a shadow version of Huntington. So anyone familiar with the area will recognize plenty of locations, events, etc. And for those who don’t necessarily have first-hand knowledge of that region, hopefully they can sense the truth in the setting.
Is this your first time participating in Kentucky Book Festival? If yes – what are you looking forward to the most? If you’ve participated before – what was your favorite experience at the Festival?
This is my first time participating in the Kentucky Book Festival. I’m looking forward to taking in the whole experience, seeing what I can learn from it, and interacting with both readers and other authors. I’ll also be back in the area where I went to college (Georgetown College) for the first time in quite a while, so hopefully I’ll see some familiar faces at some point during the weekend.
Jonathan Fredrick is the author of the Cain City Novels, which were inspired in-part by his hometown of Huntington, West Virginia. Bad Men Will Come is a mystery thriller about pursuing a treasure and the fine line between desire and greed.