If anyone could be called the KING OF MODERN THRILLERS, it would be David Morrell. Morrell’s claim to fame is often summed up in the words “He Wrote Rambo.” This is an incredible disservice to a man who has written many of the absolute best thrillers of all time.
At ThrillerFest 2009, Morrell received the prestigious award of ThrillerMaster. This is the industry’s top honor having been won in the past by Grit-Lit favorites: Clive Cussler, Robin Cook, Sandra Brown and Katherine Neville.
In an industry where the average writing career lasts about 15 years, Morrell has been creating impossible to put down books for over 40 years. And he does it the hard way.
No easy, 15 book hero based series where the same good-hearted but deadly hero fights the good fight, overcomes evil and wins the dame. While he has some repeat characters (for example, Rambo appeared in more than one novel) Morrell works hard to bring us the new, unusual and stories.
Grit-Lit was delighted to learn that Morrell believes in our “Three Sacred E’s”, supporting the concept that books should Enlighten, Educate and Entertain.
Noted for his research, Morrell graduated from the National Outdoor Leadership School for wilderness survival. In practical terms that means he spent 35 days living wild in the Wyoming mountains.
That’s thirty-five days without toilets, toilet paper or, EGADS, a reliable food supply. In addition he has trained in firearms, hostage negotiation, assumed identities, executive protection, anti-terrorist driving and knife work (and we aren’t talking about cooking). This is not a man you want to get in a fight with.
In his just released novel, “The Shimmer,” (Vanguard Press $25.95 326 pages. Hard cover.) www.davidmorrell.net, the lead character is a private pilot. In order to get things right, Morrell earned his license and says, “Becoming a pilot is a highlight of my life.”
The central theme in “Shimmer” is that a vital life skill is learning to see what is really there. Not what you believe is there. And not what you see at first glance. But what is really there after careful, thorough inspection.
In “Shimmer” Morrell introduces us to a unique natural phenomena that has defied scientific explanation for more than 100 hears. In west Texas, outside the small town of Marfa, magical lights occasionally appear. They bob, weave, float, waver, blink, glow, appear and vanish. Some people can see them all the time. Some people can see them some of the time and some people never see them. Some people are transported by the lights and others think they are no big deal.
Morrell uses these lights and there varied affects on viewers to tell a totally engrossing tale involving a vanished wife, a massacre and a deadly government secret dating back to the First World War. More cannot be said without giving away the tremendous story and exciting ending.
Two of Morrell’s best books are being re-released by Random House. Both are exceptionally worthwhile,
“The Brotherhood of the Rose,” (Random House, $15. 448 pages. Soft cover). Morrell’s first big international thriller.
Two boys in an orphanage are befriended by an elderly man, who unknown to them belongs to the CIA. He makes the boys love him as a substitute father, and then trains them to be his personal intelligence operatives.
The story is filled with all kinds of authentic CIA history and trade craft.
“The Fraternity of the Stone,” ($15. 480 pages. Soft cover.) The brothers from “Rose” join forces to learn why old men are mysteriously disappearing. At first, the disappearances seem to have no connection to each other, but it’s soon evident that the sins of the fathers are being visited upon the sons.
The third book in this trilogy, “The League Of Night and Fog,” will be re-released next spring.
Other Morrell books Grit-Lit recommends included: “Desperate Measures,” “The Fifth Profession,” “Assumed Identity,” and “Extreme Denial.”
Do yourself a favor. Spend your summer with David Morrell. With 29 outstanding books, you can’t go wrong.