Inside the Authors: Rogues & Patriots with Patrick H. Moore

Rogues & Patriots

Rogues & Patriots by Patrick H. Moore Banner

ROGUES & PATRIOTS

by Patrick H. Moore

May 20 – June 14, 2024 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Rogues & Patriots by Patrick H. Moore

A Nick Crane Thriller

 

Patrick H. Moore’s new novel Rogues & Patriots is Book Two of Moore’s taut and topical three-volume series in which veteran LA PI Nick Crane finds himself locked in a life or death struggle with Miles Amsterdam and “the Principals,” a powerful but soulless group of aristocratic, right wing “super patriots” who are bent on turning the United States into a police state.

Eight years after he and his team liquidated Frank Constantine, a murderous military shrink and close personal friend of Miles Amsterdam, Nick Crane finds himself abducted, beaten and threatened with rendition to a black site in Egypt if he refuses to join the Principals’ cause, which includes attempting to incite anti-Muslim violence in every major American city. Crane, however, is rescued by his close friend and business partner, Vietnam War vet Bobby Moore, and the war is on.

With its well-drawn characters, non-stop action, and sharp, first person narration, Rogues & Patriots will leave the reader breathless. Itis a scintillating sequel to 27 Days, Book One in this series as, once again, Nick Crane stands tall as a world-weary PI everyman who takes on all comers in his drive to make America safe again for everyone.

Praise for Rogues & Patriots:

“Nick Crane is the kind of guy you can count on. He’s smart, tough, and persistent, a throwback to the classic American PI, in the mold of Marlowe and Spade, the kind of guy who runs into the burning building rather than hit the fire alarm. So, be prepared to buckle up for this wild ride.”
~ Charles Salzberg, Three-Time Shamus Award nominee, author of Man on the Run, and winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award

“In Rogues and Patriots, LA PI Nick Crane’s courage and cunning are put to the test as he battles sinister super patriots. A heart-pounding tale of espionage, friendship, and one man’s unwavering resolve against dark forces.”
~ Michael D. Sellers, award winning writer and director of Eye of the Dolphin

“Patrick H. Moore has written a book to savor––vivid characters and crackling, high-voltage dialogue… Moore is a master of poetic detail that captures the era’s howling rage while creating a dark and menacing mood.”
~ John Nardizzi, PI of the year and Shamus award finalist for The Burden of Innocence

“Moore has produced a thought-provoking and suspenseful thriller as PI Nick Crane squares off against a creepy cabal of paramilitarists intent on taking power. Set against the intensifying political divides of our time, Rogues and Patriots builds the action and plot twists with masterful, page-turning precision while offering an insider’s portrayal of the investigator’s world and the desperate, colorful characters who inhabit it.”
~ John Brown, Los Angeles private investigator

Inside the Author of Rogues & Patriots:

I’m so excited to share that Patrick H. Moore, author of Rogues & Patriots visited with me recently. Here are some highlights from our conversation.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book, The Gravel Road, grew directly out of two characters I invented in a burst of whimsy combined with my general interest in religion, and how it manifests is society. My lead character, Reverend Theodore Gravel, was a larger than life Unitarian minister who was mystified by the growth of born-again Christianity in the American heartland. He decided to investigate this phenomenon by touring the Midwest in his old Chevy pick-up truck. The Reverend’s unhappily married friend Scott Mender tagged along hoping to find something more meaningful than his rather dull, everyday existence. Together, they toured the heartland investigating born-again Christianity while getting into and out of numerous scrapes and difficulties.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

There is an old saying that a novel is never really completed; rather, it simply reaches a temporary resting place and is published as such. The point is: Any novel can be rewritten endlessly. Rather than publishing my latest PI thriller, Rogues & Patriots, I could have chosen to just keep working on it until I am old and gray. I bit the bullet, however, and went ahead and published it, knowing that it may be imperfect (most books are) in some manner. The truth is that after publishing a novel, I virtually never go back and read it. Why? Because I might find flaws and would be left with a sense of futility knowing that it was too late to change it. So, the answer to this question is no, I would not change anything in my latest book.

Who has impacted your life the most and in what way?

This is a tough question. Numerous people have impacted my life—some in dramatic fashion, others in a quieter, more long-lasting manner. But if forced to choose, I would say my mother has impacted my life the most, more by her absence than her presence. She became ill when I was seven years old and died when I was eleven. We were a Midwestern farming family and after her death, my father felt that psychologically he could not continue to farm without her. He remarried quickly and we moved to California when I was twelve. Thus began my long sojourn in the Golden State. Most of the key events in my life have occurred here in California including my job as an Investigator and Sentencing Mitigation Specialist here in Los Angeles. Twenty years at this job has provided me with much of raw material that has inspired me to write PI crime thrillers. If my mother hadn’t passed away, we would never have moved away from Wisconsin and I would never have experienced California––the good, the bad, and the sublime—and I might not have ever become a writer.

What event in your life do you remember first when asked for a humorous story?

My father raised geese which we sold each year around the winter holidays. Although they’re too heavy to fly very well, domesticated geese are nasty, cantankerous critters with very strong wings. When it storms, geese wander as far as they can get, and we kids had to retrieve them as best we could.
When I was ten years old, I participated in summer bible school at a church in a nearby town. Our minister Reverend Collins drove us farm kids to and from school. One day, shortly after a thunderstorm, the Reverend was driving me home, down our long driveway in his van, when we spotted two full-grown geese half-submerged in a drainage ditch full of mucky water. The good-hearted Reverend braked and jumped out of the van to help. He reached down over the ditch and tried to grab one of the geese to lift it out. Oops! I should have warned him. You have to grab geese right were their wings connect with their body. Otherwise, disaster may ensue. The Reverend didn’t know this salient fact. He tried to grab the goose, and it flapped its powerful wings and drenched the poor man head to toe in filthy brown water. The Reverend was a good sport about it, for which I give him great credit.

Oh my!! =D That’s hilarious – and I’ll bet even more so to a 10-year-old!! Geese are something else 😉 Thank you so much for chatting with me, Patrick. It’s so telling that many of our most wonderful experiences begin in something painful. I hope we get to connect again soon.

Book Details:

Genre: PI Thriller
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: April 22, 2024
Number of Pages: 361
ASIN: B0CVG42JRY
Series: A Nick Crane Thriller, 2
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

PART ONE

CHAPTER ONE

The frowning corpse of Roberto Diaz was found by a jogger on Friday morning at six a.m. on a windswept hillside in East Los Angeles. Cause of death still unknown. Time of death according to the ME, around two a.m. Not an accident, not according to my LAPD friend, narcotics detective Tony Bott. Roberto had been Tony’s best informant, and my friend was beside himself with anguish and rage.

Twelve hours before the body was discovered, Tony had charged into my office on the third floor of the Poseidon Building, near Third and Alameda. All wound up. First, he told me he’d been called down to the old Spring Street Courthouse by a federal prosecutor named Sam Blaylock, who’d told him that henceforth his best informant, Roberto Diaz, would be off-limits. Starting today, Diaz would report to one of Blaylock’s DEA agents. He would work for a new DEA-ICE task force dedicated to combating drug trafficking, sex trafficking, and human smuggling. Not to mention narco-terrorism and murder-for-hire. The whole nine yards.

“It was strange,” said Tony. “Blaylock was all casual and dismissive. Like jumping a man’s informant was no big deal. He never even apologized. But I controlled myself. Got out of there fast. I figured I had to talk to Roberto, see how he felt about this, but when I called him, his voicemail was full. So I paged him. That was three hours ago. He still hasn’t gotten back to me. That’s not like Roberto. I’m worried.” Tony paused. Took a deep breath. “So listen, Nick, listen to what happened next. Either I’m crazy or something weird is going on.”

Tony stopped, pulled a bandana out of the pocket of his Tommy Bahama walking shorts and mopped his forehead. He was wearing his casual designer clothes: Izod pullover and Polo deck shoes to go with the shorts. And the mirrored Ray-Bans pushed up on his forehead. Why this instead of his usual dirty white boy riding-in-the-Mexican-car undercover look—black jeans, colored tee-shirt, and blue bandana? Or his basic go-to-court look—Dockers, bland polo shirt, casual shoes?

Simple. He had a date right across the street from my office at the Third Street Korean Bar & Grill. At seven p.m. Or as Tony explained:

“This woman came up to me in the parking lot outside the courthouse. Right after my meeting with Blaylock. I was steaming. And plenty worried too. ‘Cause Roberto is kind of a simple guy. Those sharks are the last people he needs to be working with. That’s when I felt her breathing on the back of my neck. I turned around, and she gave me a big smile. She looked about forty. Stylish enough, I guess, but a bit wizened in that clubwoman kind of way. Wrinkles around her mouth and eyes. She says, ‘Hey, Tony, got a sec? I need your help with your old informant Roberto Diaz. That prick Blaylock wants me to shadow him. He thinks Diaz won’t suspect anything ‘cause I’m a woman. Says he wants to know what Diaz is really doing. Yeah, right. How the hell should I know? I’m in over my head. Maybe we can catch a drink later, and you can give me some tips?’ She acted like we were pals. It made no sense. And why in hell would Blaylock want his own informant followed? I deadpanned, and she said, ‘Look, I’m Tami Wheat. I’m a new investigator with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. And I need your help. C’mon, Tony, be a sport. I would so appreciate it.’”

He paused for breath while I mulled it over. Tony was right. It made no sense.

“Then,” said Tony, “I was about to ask her why she thought I could help, but I stopped myself. ‘Cause I figured if I helped her out, it might help me stay connected to Roberto, when and if he surfaces. So what I said was, ‘Sure. I can meet you for an hour or so. Around seven. But I’ll have to bring a friend ‘cause we already have something planned for the evening.’ She didn’t like it, and I told her to take it or leave it. I guess she decided to take it.”

I rubbed the back of my neck. Thinking. Spoke. “It does seem weird. Why in hell would she come up to you five minutes after Blaylock gave you the black spot? It makes no sense. I never told you this, but three years ago Blaylock was the AUSA on a twenty-pound federal meth case where my lawyer friend Jack Snow got the client a year and a day. A year and a day! With no cooperation. Outrageous! I remember thinking at the time that it seemed kind of sketchy.”

“Something’s up with that Blaylock fool. I can feel it.” Tony nodded firmly. “And Roberto’s been spooked for a while now. He was approached by some undercover guys about a week ago in a North Hollywood bar. He managed to shake them, but he was freaked out. Said he was going to disappear for a while. Which was fine up until today, when I learned what the Feds have planned for him. He’s not here legally. They’ll hold that over his head.”

“Does Roberto have a local case?”

Tony grinned. A bit sheepishly.

“I know. He’s working off a case that’s never even been filed. Jack Snow says that’s pretty much taboo among the Feds, but that you local boys do it all the time.”

“He’s right,” said Tony. “Those federal bastards have no mercy. They put you to work setting people up, and then they still send you to prison. Whereas we local boys have heart.”

CHAPTER TWO

At seven o’clock we walked across the street to the Korean Bar & Grill. A smiling Tami Wheat greeted us halfway down the bar. “Gentlemen. How nice of you to be on time!”

“Always,” said Tony. I stepped forward and introduced myself as Nick. Perfunctory handshake.

Tami was about what I expected—on the petite side, toned and tan with a determined look in her close-set blue eyes. She was wearing expensive jeans, a frilly white blouse, and a brown leather bomber jacket.

“It’s too noisy in here for conversation,” I said, nearly shouting. “Let’s sit on the patio.” Outside, we sat in swinging chairs suspended on chains under a bamboo awning. A moment of awkward silence, waiting for the drinks to arrive. I stepped into the breach. “Nice place, huh? Whenever I get the chance, I sit out here with a Pellegrino while I write up my case notes.”

Our drinks arrived. More chit-chat. Then Tony got down to business. “So, what can I do for you, Ms. Wheat? You said something about needing pointers on how to shadow Roberto Diaz.”

“That’s right,” said Tami. “But please call me Tami. I’m pretty new to this game, and although they trained me, I’ve never done surveillance on my own before. And because Diaz has disappeared, I’ve got to figure out how to find him.”

Tony and I exchanged a quick glance. Was it possible Blaylock and his team had not yet located Roberto? This would help explain why Tami had appeared out of nowhere, asking Tony for help.

“Just so you know,” said Tony slowly, “I can’t find him either. The damned guy has disappeared. And this can be a slow game. I’ve had informants disappear for months at a time and then reappear with a new target.” He paused and shook his head, his lips set in a hard line. “But more to the point, why on earth should I throw you a bone when your people have made it crystal clear you’re stealing my prize informant?”

“Wow!” said Tami. “You’re angry. I would be too, I suppose.” A moment of silence. Then she plunged ahead. “But there’s no need to be defensive. We’re all on the same side here, aren’t we? I mean, we all want to indict these drug trafficking bastards and lock ‘em up. Protect our borders and all that good stuff.”

“I wonder,” said Tony, cracking a half-smile, which, given his mood, dripped more menace than mirth, “if we are on the same side? The way I see it, your people want to fuck me and use Roberto. Then when he runs out of information, you’ll indict him for trafficking and lock him up. Then, when he’s done his time, you’ll deport him. A bad deal all around.”

Tami was shocked by Tony’s vitriol. At least she looked shocked. My friend’s cell phone pinged, and he punched in his code. Stared at his screen, worry lines erupting across his forehead.

I stepped in. “Here’s what you need to understand, Tami. Detective Bott has every reason to be angry. The standard procedure here in LA is for our federal colleagues to share informants with local law enforcement. It’s been that way for decades. And here you and your team go and break the rules. Without any reasonable explanation.”

Tami shrugged, a casual lifting and falling of her shoulders. Almost too casual. “I understand. And just so you know, like any good conservative, I have great respect for precedent. But this situation is different. We are a brand-new state-of-the-art task force, and we are taking all due precautions to keep everything in house. In order to avoid any possible slip-ups.”

Tony looked up from his phone. Treated Tami to his best scowl. Went back to his readout.

“That’s completely out of line,” I said. “You’re implying Detective Bott would screw things up unless he’s cut out completely. That’s downright insulting. Not to mention ironic, considering here you are trying to persuade my friend to help you out with Roberto when, according to your boss, Sam Blaylock, he’s not even supposed to go near the damned guy.”

Tami looked at Tony, who was ignoring her. Looked at me and smiled. Broad, friendly, and phony as hell. “Why should you be insulted? It’s no skin off your back. You’re not law enforcement. In fact, Mr. Crane, unless I’m mistaken, you’re one of those rare PIs who never even was a cop.”

Hit me like a gut punch. This woman, notwithstanding her green and helpless act, knew exactly who I was and what I did for a living. Which made no sense. Unless…I took a long pull from my Heineken.

At that moment, Tony’s phone pinged again. This time, he swiped up, glanced at the number, frowned, and held the phone to his ear. “Holy shit.” The blood drained from his face. “Gotta roll.” He stood up, flung down some bills, and was gone within seconds. I had a bad feeling. Diaz.

And I had problems of my own. Here I was, alone with this peculiar woman, who seemed to know more about me than she had any business knowing. I decided to probe. “Sorry my friend had to leave. I didn’t see that coming. But I’m curious. How did you know I’m Nick Crane? We’ve never met before.”

She looked at me. No smile this time. Instead, a measured, thoughtful look, like a hunter surveying her prey. “Well, if you really want to know, we know all about you, Mr. Crane. We know you’ve almost lost your investigator’s license countless times for breaking the rules. It’s amazing you still have a license to carry. Suffice to say, you’re not too popular in certain circles.”

She was baiting me. Much as I wanted to, I decided not to bite. I stood up, nodded shortly, and walked away, leaving her there on the patio, one hand wrapped around the waist of her St. Pauli Girl, the other reaching for her phone.

***

Excerpt from Rogues & Patriots by Patrick H. Moore. Copyright 2024 by Patrick H. Moore. Reproduced with permission from Patrick H. Moore. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Patrick H. Moore

Patrick H. Moore is a Los Angeles based Private Investigator, Sentencing Mitigation Specialist, and crime writer. He has been working in this field since 2003 and has worked in virtually all areas including drug trafficking, sex crimes, crimes of violence, and white-collar fraud.

“There’s no feeling quite like walking into a prison to consult with a client knowing that he or she is facing many long years behind bars, unless you can thread the needle and convince a skeptical Federal judge to give your guy or gal a second chance. Criminals are not known for putting a high priority on telling the truth; neither are cops and prosecutors.”

This is no easy task but mastering this job, which combines art, science and intuition, has given Patrick the tools to write realistic crime fiction that depicts the unpredictable and violent world of cops, convicts, prosecutors and defense attorneys.

27 Days, Patrick’s first traditionally published thriller, was published on February 6, 2023 by Down & Out Books. It is the first in a three-part series in which veteran Los Angeles Private Investigator Nick Crane battles a group of aristocratic domestic terrorists known as the “principals.” 27 Days was recently named a finalist in the General Fiction category of the 2023 American Fiction Awards.

The second book in Patrick’s three-part series is entitled Rogues and Patriots. It was published by Down & Out Books on April 22, 2023.

Catch Up With Patrick H. Moore:
patrickhmoorewriter.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @patrickhmoore77
Instagram – @patrickhmoore1
Twitter/X – @PatrickHMoore1
Facebook

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1 Comments Text
  • Great interview!
    The goose story… Oh mu goodness!
    Yes, I agree, geese can be very mean. I was chased by one when I was younger and have been kind of afraid of them ever since.

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