Sunday, May 31, 2015

Noteworthy Reads: NO TORRENT LIKE GREED by C.J. Henderson

Late last week, I had the rare experience of receiving a nice surprise—make that two very nice surprises—in the mail.
For starters, there was a book. Always a good thing. But upon delving into it, I found it was quite a special book … a brand new, never-before-published novel-length Jack Hagee mystery thriller—NO TORRENT LIKE GREED—by my old pal C.J. Henderson!

As has been previously covered here, we sadly lost Chris just short of a year ago (July 4, 2014) when that evil beast cancer claimed him as another victim.

For many, Chris was probably a bit better known for his horror/supernatural tales, mostly in the Lovecraft vein and also several Kolchak-Night Stalker tie-ins. But I knew him first and best through his hardboiled crime books and stories featuring Jack Hagee, PI. (Although Chris was famous for saying that “everything” he wrote was hardboiled – a sentiment I myself have echoed in regard to my own writing.)

After I had the privilege of introducing Hagee to readers via a short story entitled “What You Pay For” within the pages of my small-press magazine, Hardboiled, he went on to make many more appearances over the years. But there were only three Hagee novels, the last being NOTHING LASTS FOREVER in 1994. At least none that I (nor hardly anyone else) knew about. However, a mutual friend, John L. French, did. Chris had written TORRENT back in the early/mid-nineties, when Berkley was publishing the first three, and had sent a manuscript copy to John. When Berkley decided to discontinue the series, TORRENT went on the shelf and remained largely forgotten until John recently came across his copy once again.
John promptly went to work on editing the manuscript and simultaneously making arrangements with Rich Harvey at Bold Venture Press to get the work published … the result being NO TORRENT LIKE GREED, fresh off the presses for May of 2015; though it’s vintage 1994 (taking place immediately following the events of NOTHING LASTS FOREVER). It’s also vintage Henderson/Hagee with all the grit, energy, and action readers know to expect from that pairing of byline and protagonist. As the jacket blurb promises: “What follows involves Jack and his friends with the Feds, the Russians, and an organization capable of blowing New York City off the map!”

All of this is available now as a nicely done trade paperback from Bold Venture, with an eye-catching Robert Maguire cover and an informative, heartfelt Introduction by Gary Lovisi.

Last but not least, it also features the following dedication, which warms my heart and puts a lump in my throat:
“To Wayne Dundee and Gary Lovisi – who knew a good thing when they saw it and shared it with the rest of the world.
On behalf of C.J. and all of his fans –
Thanks, guys
John L. French”
To which I can only say, for my part … the pleasure was all mine.

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