After a house fire hospitalizes his partner and forces him onto medical leave, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police detective Vic Lenoski starts a desperate search for the woman who set the blaze. She is the one person who knows what happened to his missing teenage daughter, but as a fugitive, she’s disappeared so thoroughly no one can find her.
Risking his job and the wrath of the district attorney, Vic resorts to bargaining with criminal suspects for new leads, many of which point to North Dakota. He flies there, only to discover he is far from everything he knows, and his long-cherished definitions of good and bad are fading as quickly as his leads. His only chance is one last audacious roll of the dice. Can he stay alive long enough to discover the whereabouts of his daughter and rebuild his life? Or is everything from his past lost forever?
“The mystery plot itself is riveting…a captivating and emotionally intelligent crime drama.” — Kirkus Reviews
Genre: Mystery: Police Procedural
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2020
Number of Pages: 294
Series: A Vic Lenoski Mystery; Pittsburgh Trilogy #3 || Each is a Stand Alone Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
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Peter W. J. Hayes worked as a journalist, advertising copywriter and marketing executive before turning to mystery and crime writing. He is the author of the Silver Falchion-nominated Pittsburgh trilogy, a police procedural series, and is a Derringer-nominated author of more than a dozen short stories. His work has appeared in Black Cat Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly, Pulp Modern and various anthologies, including two Malice Domestic collections and The Best New England Crime Stories. He is also a past nominee for the Crime Writers Association (CWA) Debut Dagger Award.
Q&A with Peter W.J. Hayes
What was the inspiration for this book?
Given that The Things That Last Forever is the third book of a trilogy, I had several plot lines to tie off. That said, the book starts with the search for a fugitive, and when I thought of placing the fugitive in North Dakota (her birth state), the pieces fell into place. I then travelled to North Dakota to get a feel for the fracking fields south of Williston, and knew almost immediately I had the right location for the novel. That first night in North Dakota I started sketching out the book’s scenes.
What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?
I think keeping a fire lit for all the years it took to work myself into a place where I had the time to work on a novel. I knew in eighth grade I wanted to be a novelist, but work and family intervened. At different times I did spend a number of years as a journalist, business writer, and advertising copywriter, and spent a fifteen-year stretch in a weekly writing group for fiction writers. However, as work demands increased I had to give that up. Toward the end of my business career, with some planning, but I was able to retire early to pursue writing.
What do you absolutely need while writing?
Coffee and a regular time to write each day. I’ve found that habit is the best predictor of success.
Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?
Yes. I try and write every afternoon. Some days are more fruitful than others. The best ideas, for me, come while I am writing. Waiting around for inspiration to strike doesn’t work for me.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Vic Lenoski, my protagonist for the three books of the Pittsburgh Trilogy. I like the complexity of his emotions and his doggedness. He also has a quiet instinct to teach the younger members of the police department, and absolutely does not suffer fools gladly.
Who is your least favorite character from your book and why?
For a long time it was Vic Lenoski’s commander, Tomkins Davis, who is better known as Crush. I disliked him because he was a bit of a caricature of a boss who only cares about his career. That bothered me enough that in The Things That Last Forever, I turned him into a more nuanced character who puts his detectives first (in the end).
• Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?
When I was visiting North Dakota to research the book, I was stopped by the side of the road looking at a map. A North Dakota State Policeman stopped and asked if I needed assistance. I explained what I was doing, and was inspired to ask him if he knew of anywhere nearby where a fugitive might hole up. He gave me two suggestions, and one of them is the exact location where Vic Lenoski finally tracks down the fugitive he is chasing.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
When I started to write, I thought it was about me getting a story on paper. I’ve learned since that writing a book is about much more than that. I’ve been stunned at how supportive and energized the entire ecosystem of booksellers, editors, publishers and readers are. Everyone wants writers to be successful, and I am very thankful of that. It’s completely changed how I think about my readers as I write.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’ve travelled quite a bit in my lifetime. I was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in northern England, and my entire family is English by heritage (with some Irish, Scottish and Viking thrown in—a predictable mix for northern England). My father’s work took him to Paris, France when I was small, and I attended French schools for a few years before moving to the ASP (American School of Paris). My father was then offered a job in Pittsburgh and we emigrated to America. Following college, I lived in Taiwan for a year and backpacked extensively in mainland China (in those days, I was reasonably fluent in French and Mandarin Chinese). I was a marketer by profession, rising ultimately to spend six years as Chief Marketing Officer for one of America’s largest companies, with responsibility for the company’s worldwide marketing activities. In those years business travel took me throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
What’s next that we can look forward to?
I’m currently rewriting the first draft of a standalone PI novel. The PI is named Levon Grace, and he appears in all three books of the Pittsburgh Trilogy. He is good friends with Vic Lenoski, the protagonist of those books, and has taken up with Vic’s partner, Liz Timmons. Once that book is delivered, I have a contract with Level Best Books to deliver three more Vic Lenoski books, turning the trilogy into a series.
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Peter W.J. Hayes. There will be 4 winners for this giveaway. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and two (2) winners will each receive one (1) physical copy of The Things That Last Forever by Peter W.J. Hayes (US Only). The giveaway begins on January 1, 2021 and runs through March 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.