Hal Crook with Simon Rentner on WBGO Jazz 88.3


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My novel RAMPAGE is a 94,000-word thriller that shines the light on social and racial injustice, vigilante violence, human trafficking, and, more philosophically, the illusory nature of the self and how it impacts our attitudes toward good and bad.

The time is the recent global recession; the setting encompasses the mean streets of South Providence Rhode Island, the pristine coast and backwoods of Little Rody’s South County, and the smallest state’s largest landfill. Government cutbacks have squeezed law enforcement’s power to protect and serve, and one family pays the price for it in blood.

The plot follows 52-year-old African-American botanist Agnes Hampton, whose pacifist nature is challenged when her husband is murdered in their home and the lives of her daughter and three grandchildren are threatened by a ruthless serial predator. When an opportunity arises to strike him down her maternal instincts trump her moral values, transforming her into “a defender—not a murderer.” (Think The Matrix, the Oracle goes postal.) Agnes must now reconcile her new identity and defeat an even shrewder nemesis—a disfigured opera-loving savant—quickly and quietly, otherwise she herself may fall prey to the law, or risk becoming victim to a murderous rampage.

RAMPAGE shares elements with such best-sellers as The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (brilliant female protagonist pursues serial predator), Death Wish by Brian Garfield (vigilante justice), and A Time to Kill by John Grisham (racial bias, revenge), but also fills a unique niche in the marketplace by questioning the assumption that higher consciousness and criminality are mutually exclusive, and by exploring the diverse locales and cultural quirkiness of Rhode Island.

Stay tuned for excepts. Coming in 2018!

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