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Wednesday 1 July 2015

ℚ F Train: Brooklyn Crimes [1] - Richard Hilary Weber

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author and playwriter  to talk about his latest novel, F Train (, Alibi, 159 pages) a thriller which is book one of the Brooklyn Crimes series.

"A fast-paced thriller perfect for readers of Kathy Reichs and Linda Fairstein: dedicated Brooklyn cop Flo Ott unravels the mystery of a terrifying mass murder—from the cold underbelly of New York to the city’s glittering heights."

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Tour Stops

A big welcome to author Richard Hilary Weber - thank you for joining us at BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for your latest book, F Train?
"Reality inspired F Train.  The news, current/recent events.  The many years I lived in Brooklyn  [Richard Hilary Weber is from Park Slopeand rode the F train every day.  The sarin gas attacks in Tokyo.  The fears cultivated since 9/11."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"My characters, as I create them, live the F Train story.  I don’t appear in F Train."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I asked the designer [Caroline Teagle, Designer at Penguin Random House] to aim for a Weegee atmosphere on the F Train cover (& on all the covers in my Brooklyn Crimes series), Weegee being perhaps the most famous, grittiest, realistic of NY crime scene photographers, active in the ‘30s & ‘40s.  The designer succeeded in spades, with an ominous, almost sinister photo of a New York subway platform, where you’d think twice about lingering, as the eponymous F train pulls into the station, full of threat"
Why should we read F Train and what sets it apart from other crime fiction and thrillers? 
"Let a reader tell you, an Amazon Top 100 Reviewer Vine Voice … “What a treat, this novel hooked me completely from page one. I have not read this author before, but I hope to read his series. Retired FBI agent, Raymond O'Hara, was on his way home from his local bar, and waiting for the F Train. When it arrived he had the shock of his life, one car, filled with seven people were all dead, splayed all over the car. He called 911. These people it turned out were killed by the Sarin gas, and the fun had just begun.

Detective Florence Ott, of the Brooklyn murder division, was handed this case. Everyone was after her, including the Mayor who wanted the case solved tomorrow. The media also all over her, and if they knew the details, all Hell would break lose. Flo as she liked to be called had a great team. They liked her, worked their asses off for her. She did not have an easy life, her husband a quadriplegic from the recent war… lived in a rehab, one daughter in college in Boston. What Flo had was her husband's love, she visited him as often as possible, and she had her work.

The author knows a great deal about crime, how a detective division works, the perps and how they work, the police administration, the media, and Brooklyn. We are given infinite detail about the subway stations, the restaurants, the little shops, the Russian groups, the Chinese groups, the homes in and around Brooklyn. One of the reasons I liked this book is that I loved the characters, all real and well described. The locations felt like home while I was reading about them. This author knows his detail, and he knows how to write. Can't wait to read the next in the series …" [- Prisrob]
Can you tell us something quirky about the your story and its characters?
"Insofar as reality has its many quirks, so do all my stories and all the characters driving the plots."
Who would you recommend F Train to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"F Train should entertain all readers who find reality fascinating, particularly in dark-side urban settings."
If you could / wished to turn your book/series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Excellent question.  F Train is the 1st of 10 novels in my Brooklyn Crimes series.  If filmed, the integrated stories would probably work best as an HBO or Netflix type series.  The eponymous New York borough of Brooklyn would of course be most appropriate for exteriors.  The creative team behind ‘The Sopranos’ would be a perfect ‘dream team,’ as they were so gifted with colorful, credible characters from the dark side … and my Brooklyn Crimes series aims for precisely that."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"While writing mainly about character-driven crimes, in Brooklyn and abroad (my Foreign Crimes series), my own reading, apart from research, tends to be history. "
What is your writing process?
"Draft in the morning; revise in the evening.  Write every day.  Characters drive the stories.  Dialogue shapes/gives life to characters."
What is in store next?
"F Train is the 1st of 10 novels/novellas in my Brooklyn Crimes series.  The 2nd – FANATICS – will be released by Random House Alibi on Oct.20, 2015. Det. Lt. Flo Ott has to prevent the threatened assassination of a newly elected senator, while solving the murder of a notorious rap star.

For release in 2016 … SHOOT IN SUNLIGHT A Foreign Crimes Novel – memoir by an intelligent, observant, professional US assassin – female.  Winona Barry takes us on assignment, a targeted killing in a Provençal village, where she sets up house alone – the Bird Lady, Madame Oiseaux, as her French neighbors call her, after the photos & paintings she creates of local bird life.  Her assigned target is a weekend neighbor, a Swiss-German banker who arranges financing for Russian oligarchs, including payoffs to terrorists.  How she gets close to him, and how she confronts the obstacles that nearly destroy her, form the spine of her self-portrait as artist & assassin. (SHOOT IN SUNLIGHT is the 2nd novel in my Foreign Crimes series; the 1st is IN FLAMES, released in Feb 2015.)

DOCTOR LOVE A Brooklyn Crimes Novella – the story of a forensic psychiatrist, who's often an expert witness in NY criminal trials, and his decisive encounter with Det. Lt. Flo Ott. (So many surprises, none of which can be revealed here.)

CAPTIVE A Brooklyn Crimes Novel – a 1st person narrative – Kate McGinley, a former US "contractor" social worker in Iraq, and a prisoner there with other female foreign aid workers. She's now battling the stiffest odds to survive as a children's welfare bureau case worker in Brooklyn – while also working as a super in a Prospect Park West condo bldg – a determined woman who refuses to give up, her experiences haunting, her compassion fierce. To support the illicit painkiller habit she acquired in Iraq, she's become a small-time burglar and, ultimately, a killer. (Cameo appearance by Det. Lt. Flo Ott.)

And in 2017 … LISA & I: A Brooklyn Crimes Novella – a Beacon Hill Boston heiress working with addicts in Crown Heights Brooklyn bravely encounters vastly more than she ever bargained for.  KIDS: A Brooklyn Crimes Novel – a young boy & girl in Park Slope suspect an adult neighbor of crimes long hidden, and in spying on him, turn their otherwise comfortable world painfully upside down, as dark truths are revealed way beyond their suspicions & youthful imaginations.  DARK SABBATH: A Foreign Crimes Novel – set in 1920s-30s Berlin & Nazi-occupied Rome, the story of a Jewish resister who lures & hunts down Nazi occupiers, until he becomes a victim in a reprisal massacre."

F Train 
Portrait of a massacre …
Available NOW!

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