by Haris Orkin
June 6 – July 1, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
A James Flynn Escapade
A young actress, involuntarily committed to City of Roses Psychiatric Hospital, plunges James Flynn into a dangerous new adventure when she claims one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood is trying to kill her.
Still convinced he’s a secret agent for Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Flynn springs into action, helps her escape and finds himself embroiled in a battle with a dangerous sociopath worth billions. In the process, he uncovers a high-tech conspiracy to control the mind of every human being on Earth.
With the help of his reluctant sidekick, Sancho, and a forgotten Hollywood sex symbol from the 1960s, Flynn faces off with Goldhammer and his private army in a desperate attempt to save the young actress…and save the world…once again.
Praise for Goldhammer:
“One of those books that has you laughing and turning pages well into the night.” —Len Boswell, Bestselling author of The Simon Grave Mysteries
“A riotous comic novel that’s also a legit page turner. A deftly plotted, swiftly paced thriller.” —R. Lee Procter, Author of The Million Dollar Sticky Note and Sugarball
“A fast-paced quixotic thriller that would make Miguel de Cervantes and Ian Fleming proud. The third James Flynn novel is a powerful cocktail of suspense, adrenaline and a whole lot of laughs. Orkin has the remarkable ability to keep the reader straddled between a genuine spy thriller and an off-the-wall comedy” —Joe Barret, Award-winning author of Managed Care
Genre: Comedy Thriller
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: June 23rd 2022
Number of Pages: 240
ISBN: 1684339677 (ISBN-13: 978-1684339679)
Series: The James Flynn Escapades, Book 3 | Each is a stand-alone thriller
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
The Corsican wanted him dead.
Of that James Flynn was certain.
Somehow, the assassin had infiltrated Her Majesty’s Secret Service as a security officer. Flynn didn’t recognize him at first. The killer had put on a few pounds and likely had plastic surgery, but what he couldn’t disguise were his eyes. His cold, dark, pitiless eyes. The eyes of a sociopath. The eyes of an executioner.
The only question was when.
When would the Corsican come for him?
He told his colleagues what he suspected, but they refused to believe him. They claimed his name was Thomas Hernandez and that someone else on the security team had recommended him. They also said they fully vetted him. But Flynn wasn’t fooled. He tangled with the Corsican before. The man was relentless. A cold-blooded enforcer who started with the Corsican mafia but went on to do contract hits for the Sicilians, the Albanians, the Serbians, and the Russians.
Instead of waiting for the Corsican to come to him, Flynn decided to flush him out. Force his hand. Expose him for who he was and why he was there.
Flynn dressed in black denim and a black turtleneck and waited until 2 a.m. to make his move. He kept to the shadows as he trod the deserted corridors. He had no weapon since lethal weapons of any kind were now forbidden at headquarters. A foolish rule put in place by sheltered bureaucrats who had no clue. Luckily, not even security could carry a firearm at headquarters. All the Corsican had was an expandable baton and a Taser. Even so, the man was lethal enough with just his hands and feet.
But then, so was Flynn.
Flynn heard footsteps ahead and ducked into a conference room. He waited and listened as the footsteps drew closer. As they passed the doorway, Flynn peered into the corridor to see the Corsican lumbering forward, quietly peering in room after room. Suddenly, he stopped. Flynn felt a jolt of adrenaline. The air was electric. The silence palpable. Could the Corsican feel Flynn’s eyes on him? Flynn knew that scientists have identified a specialized group of neurons in the primate brain that fire specifically when a monkey is under the direct gaze of another. Humans also appear to be wired for that kind of gaze perception. Predators like Flynn and the Corsican can also be prey and have developed a sixth sense to alert them to danger.
The Corsican turned and he and Flynn locked eyes for a moment. Before the hit man could take a step, Flynn took off down the hall in the opposite direction. He heard the footfalls of the Corsican as he chased after him. Flynn had his route all mapped out. Darting down one corridor. Then another. Running until he arrived at a door that led down to the basement and the guts of the building. Flynn had picked the lock after dinner, knowing that this was the night he would lure the Corsican to his end. He had a license to kill and could have used it anytime, but Flynn didn’t exercise that power willy-nilly. Only as a last resort. He didn’t want the Corsican dead. He needed to know who put the price on his head. Otherwise who ever hired the killer would continue to send hitters until finally one succeeded.
The building that housed HMSS was huge and had a substantial infrastructure. The basement utility plant had mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems that fed water, air, and electricity all through the facility. Flynn moved from massive room to massive room, staying just ahead of the Corsican. He needed to lose him and lay in wait. Flynn was confident in his abilities, but to come at a killer like that head-on didn’t make much sense. Why give your opponents any edge at all?
Flynn ducked into a room that housed all the electrical panels, distribution boards, and circuit breakers. Conduit snaked everywhere and Flynn found a metal door secured with a heavy padlock. Using two straightened paper clips, he quickly picked the lock. The door led to an outside area protected by a chain-link fence topped with razor wire. The security fence surrounded three giant transformers and two massive backup generators the size of semi-trailers.
Flynn stood next to the door and strained his ears to hear approaching footsteps over the electrical buzz of the transformers. Faint at first, they moved closer. Careful. Slow. Stealthy. He saw a shoe as someone came through and Flynn took them from behind, using jiu-jitsu to slam them into the ground.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” said the man Flynn had face down in the gravel.
“Get off me, man.”
Flynn released his comrade-in-arms and helped him to his feet. Bits of gravel still clung to his face. “I thought you were the Corsican.” Flynn’s British accent had a touch of Scottish burr.
“His name is Hernandez,” Sancho said.
“That’s not his real name.”
“And I’m telling you, he’s not the Corsican.”
“Don’t let him fool you, my friend. He’s not who he says he is.”
“Then why’d he call me? He knows I know you. He knows we’re friends. He asked me to find you. Talk to you. Calm you down.”
“Perhaps he wants to take care of you too.”
“Take care of me?”
Flynn heard the Corsican call to them, his voice deep and resonant. “You okay in there, brother?”
“We’re good,” Sancho said.
The Corsican walked in with two other men. All three wore the blue security uniform issued to those who guard HMSS. The Corsican looked at Flynn with his dark, merciless eyes. “You okay, Mr. Flynn?”
“Tell them who you are,” Flynn demanded.
“Who you really are.”
The Corsican rolled his eyes and sighed. “That’s who I really am.”
Flynn aimed an accusatory finger. “I know who you are. Born Stefanu Perrina in Porto, Corsica. Contract killer for the Unione Corse, the Cosa Nostra, and the Russian mafia. Wanted by Interpol for fifty-two confirmed kills.”
“I was born in Hacienda Heights.”
Flynn glanced at Sancho. “The man is a master of deception. It’s kill or be killed with men like him.”
The Corsican drew his Taser and the other two guards followed suit.
Sancho raised his hands. “Whoa, come on now. Easy.” He stepped in front of Flynn as the Corsican fired. The Taser darts caught Sancho in the shoulder and socked him with fifty thousand volts. He screamed in agony as his whole body seized up and shook. His legs gave out and he fell on his side, helpless and twitching.
Flynn dove behind a generator before the other two guards could fire. Each guard stalked him from a different side. Flynn clambered up over the top and launched himself from above, tackling the Corsican. He wrenched away his reloaded Taser and shot one of the guards in the crotch. The man went down with a shriek as the other guard fired on him. Flynn fell to his knees and the darts parted his hair before hitting the Corsican in the chest. The killer crumpled as Flynn sprang to his feet and pulled the Corsican’s expandable baton out of its holster. Flicking his wrist, Flynn fully extended the menacing club and turned to confront the last standing guard.
Someone grabbed Flynn by the arm and Flynn elbowed him in the face. Sancho staggered back, holding his bloody nose. “What the hell, man?”
Flynn heard a Taser fire and an instant later, two darts hit him in the side. Fifty thousand volts took him to his knees as another guard fired another Taser. Those two darts hit him in the stomach. Flynn lost control of every muscle in his body. And then he saw the Corsican looming over him with his own weapon. He shot the darts directly into Flynn’s chest. Right over his heart. Now all three lit him up with electricity. One hundred and fifty thousand volts rocked Flynn as they shocked him with charge after charge until the world faded into a tiny aperture that slowly began to close.
Excerpt from Goldhammer by Haris Orkin. Copyright 2022 by Haris Orkin. Reproduced with permission from Haris Orkin. All rights reserved.
Haris Orkin is a novelist, a playwright, a screenwriter, and a game writer. His play, Dada was produced at The American Stage and the La Jolla Playhouse. Sex, Impotence, and International Terrorism was chosen as a critic’s choice by the L.A. Weekly and sold as a film script to MGM/UA. Save the Dog was produced as a Disney Sunday Night movie. His original screenplay, A Saintly Switch, was directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starred David Alan Grier and Vivica A. Fox. He is a WGA Award and BAFTA Award nominated game writer and narrative designer known for Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Mafia 3, and Dying Light.
Guest Post by Haris Orkin
James Bond in the age of #MeToo
When I first found out I was going to be a father, I was happy, excited, and terrified. My wife and I knew we were going to have a son and the prospect of impending fatherhood raised all kinds of questions and fears. What kind of man am I? What kind of example would I be? What would I teach my son? What kind of man would I like him to become? With all those concerns and thoughts swirling around in my head, I started writing things down. It was a way to process my thoughts and feelings. Those thoughts and feelings eventually became a play that was performed at the American Stage Company, the Coronet Theater in Los Angeles, and at the La Jolla Playhouse.
The play was called “Dada” and the main character is David, an insecure father to be. At one point in the show he has an imaginary conversation with James Bond. 007 confronts him on the choices he has made.
“You settled. You gave up. You wanted to be me. How do you know you couldn’t have?”
“You’re not even real.”
“When you were fifteen I was more real to you than your own father. I embodied all your dreams. All your desires. You wanted to be suave and masterful and seductive and dangerous. You wanted men to fear you and women to fall all over you. Is that no longer true? Or do you no longer know what you want anymore?”
“You kill people. You force people to have sex with you.”
“I have a license to kill and because I do I will brook no insolence from anyone. I take what I want and I do what I want and no one tells me how to live or what I can or cannot do.”
“But no one cares about you. And you don’t care about anyone else. What kind of life is that?”
“A life free of sticky and unnecessary encumbrances. To love is to allow someone inside so deeply the can cause you…unmentionable pain.” Bond’s eyes fill with tears. “Why give someone that power?”
I was an impressionable 13 year old when I first saw James Bond in Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Bond was engaged to be married to Teresa Draco, played by Diana Rigg. I was a huge Avenger’s fan back then. (The English Avengers…not the one with Captain America and the Hulk.) Diana Rigg was beautiful and smart and incredibly cool. Who wouldn’t want to be engaged to Diana Rigg? But Bond wasn’t content with just one woman. He had to sleep with every woman he bumped into. Even those who seemed reluctant. At the time I didn’t realize that was a problem. I thought that’s what men did when they were engaged to be married. And then (spoiler alert) Diana Rigg died and Bond was heartbroken. It was clear even to my 13 year old self that the producers didn’t want a married Bond; a Bond who had to change nappies and help with the dishes. They killed off his fiancé so Bond could continue to be a lady killer.
The Bond ethos along with the Playboy philosophy warped the world view of my entire generation. Dan Draper on Mad Men reflected that ethos perfectly. Bond was of that age and also part of what shaped that age. By 1974 the feminist movement was burgeoning and my college years were shaped by James Bond on one hand and feminist girlfriends on the other. It was a schizophrenic time and when my son was about to be born sixteen years later, I reflected on all of that.
Connery’s my favorite Bond, but he was also the most “old school” in terms of how he treated women. Daniel Craig’s version of Bond feels a lot more nuanced in that regard. He’s just generally tortured and angry about everything. At least he’s not as glum as Timothy Dalton.
Does James Bond have a place in the age of #MeToo? I would hope he would change with the times. Or at least reflect them. It was never believable when every woman Bond met threw herself at him. That didn’t happen in the more recent Bond films starring Daniel Craig…so maybe things are changing. Judy Dench’s M always seemed wonderfully irritated with him. The first time we see her with Bond she calls him a “sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the cold war” (Though to be honest, every M since the first one has been irritated with Bond.)
When Bond is rebooted again, I’d like to see some changes. I’d like to see James Bond get rejected and ignored once in a while. I’d like to see Miss Moneypenny call HR on him. Maybe Bond should miss occasionally when he leaps off a building to grab onto a passing helicopter.
I love the daring-do, but anyone would have to be a little crazy to do what James Bond does. He’s always risking life and limb and scrotum (in Goldfinger) to save the world and rescue damsels and take down evil masterminds bent on world domination.
Do you know what other character that brings to mind? Don Quixote. A clearly delusional hero. But at least Don Quixote wasn’t such a jerk with the ladies. He treated Dulcinea with respect and followed the rules of chivalry. (Yeah, I know, turning women into untouchable objects of perfection can be just as problematic.)
I get that we like our heroes to be infallible and indestructible and always quick with a quip, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt if 007 took a few tips from crazy old Don Quixote. After Bond himself, that’s the character that most inspired James Flynn. Flynn even has his own Sancho. Together they blunder out into the world, seeking adventure, and slaying all kinds of metaphorical dragons. Flynn still loves the ladies, but he treats them with respect and isn’t a “sexist, misogynist dinosaur.” At least not all the time.
Catch Up With Haris Orkin:
BookBub – @HarisOrkin
Instagram – @HarisOrkin
Twitter – @HarisOrkin
Facebook – @AuthorHarisOrkin
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Goldhammer by Haris Orkin. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.