A Debt of Death is Now Available

I’m happy and proud to announce the release of A Debt of Deaththe fourth book in the Adam Lapid Mysteries series.

This book takes place in January, 1951, a few months following the conclusion of The Auschwitz Violinist, and has Adam running into some of the most sordid, vivid, and memorable characters I’ve ever created.

The book begins with Adam finding the body of a man on Allenby Street, a man Adam knows quite well. Soon, Adam is in the middle of an investigation which will place him in great danger.

A Debt of Death is most action-packed, fast-paced, and suspenseful of the Adam Lapid novels — all in my opinion, of course — so you should be able to breeze right through it. Expect lots of twists, shocks, and surprises.

A Debt of Death is currently out in ebook form only. I will have a paperback version up in a few weeks. It is, for the moment, also available on Kindle Unlimited. If you’re looking for a riveting read, check out A Debt of Death.



Does Your Character Need To Grow?

One of the most common precepts of modern fiction writing is that your character needs to grow or change over the course of a novel (or series). If this does not happen, the overall enjoyment a reader will derive from your book will be diminished. This is said to be true even if the plot of your novel is exemplary.

This is why one hears often of the need for a character arc. It is a literary term for the personal development journey your protagonist is supposed to go through for your story to be complete.

But is this really the case? In the past, it sure wasn’t. Erle Stanley Gardner wrote a bushel of novels starring Perry Mason and dear old Perry didn’t change one iota throughout the lot of them. That didn’t seem to affect sales of Perry Mason novels, which were stratospheric. Gardner became a household name, and so did Perry Mason–both in books and on Television.

A similar lack of growth or personal development was common with other popular literary characters from that time period. They remained virtually the same, one novel after the next, and readers didn’t seem to mind. These characters maintained the same marital status (or lack thereof), never aged, and retained much of the same idiosyncrasies and frame of mind.

James Bond did not age throughout his appearance in Ian Fleming’s novels. His temperament remained virtually the same. He drank the same martini, bedded any beautiful woman in sight, and continued to fight villains with his British charm and aplomb. Still, the public gobbled up these novels, which gave rise to a host of movies, and James Bond became as immortal a character as any in fiction history. It seems that the enjoyment of the fantastical life of 007 was not adversely affected by his lack of personal growth.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t worry about whether your character is changing or growing? Not at all. Tastes and trends change with time. These days readers expect to know their characters a little better than they did in past decades. Readers want to learn their habits, their faults, their quirks, their relationships with minor characters who are not directly related to the plot of that particular novel. All these details appear to foster a better connection between reader and character.

But still, especially in action-filled novels, your character can be on the shallow side and still be widely admired–if your plot hits all the right emotional spots.

But you must avoid going to the other extreme and inundate the reader with trivia that will likely fail to interest him. This is fiction, not a biography, so the story needs to flow or your reader will choose another book with which to entertain herself.

It should also be stated that your protagonist is not obliged to undergo a total transformation. Especially if you’re planning on a series of novels, you need to pace the growth your character experiences, and to make sure this change stems from what the character goes through in the book. Otherwise, it might seem contrived.

I find that some characters feel incomplete unless they grow while others lose their luster if they do. For instance, I wouldn’t want James Bond to grow older and start complaining about arthritis. On the other hand, if your series is highly realistic, it will likely suffer if your hero does not change with time, as we all do.

The growth or lack thereof of your protagonist should match your book, its themes and mood. If it does, the readers will notice and appreciate it.

What Am I Up To These Days?

With the launch of my latest novel, Ten Years Gone, already three weeks in the past, I figured this would be a good time for an update.

I’ve been working hard on a number of writing-related matters over the past few weeks. Let me share some of them with you.

My main project at the moment is the fourth novel in the Adam Lapid series. I’m nearing 60,000 words in this one, and it’s shaping up to be a hell of a story. I like the characters, I like the drama, and the action is great too. I think this will be my most tense and exciting novel so far.

When will I be done with it?

That’s a hard question to answer. My two boys are about to begin their summer holiday so I expect my production speed to take a nosedive. We’re also moving to a new apartment, which means a lot of hassle and time that could have been used for writing being channeled toward other things.

If these were ordinary days,  I would likely have finished the first draft in a month. Then a few weeks of editing, cover design, and formatting — say another month — and the book would have been done. But as these are not ordinary days, I cannot make a prediction. But I am working on the story as fast as I can.

I’ve also started a second project, this one a standalone crime novel, not featuring Adam Lapid. I can’t say too much about it yet save that the main character is a young woman who finds herself in deep trouble and has to dig deep within herself to reach a solution. I’ve practically finished chapter one, and so far I’m loving it.

Besides writing, I’m also exploring various marketing methods to try to reach new readers and to boost sales. These are early days in that respect, and at the moment I don’t have much to report. It’s the beginning of a long education process. It’s tiring, and I’d rather be writing, but it does have its moments.

That’s it for me. Now back to writing that Adam Lapid novel.

Last thing, if you’re on Goodreads, check out my page. You can check out ratings and reviews for my books there and send me a message with any question or feedback that you might have. See you there.

The Dead Sister is on Sale

Book 2 in the Adam Lapid mysteries series, The Dead Sister, is now on sale for a measly $.99 on Amazon.com. This is a limited time sale. It will last for just seven days. The book is also available for £.99 on Amazon.co.uk. And if you’re a Kindle Unlimited user, you can download it for free and read it.

The Dead Sister tells a story of the murder of a young woman, a case that the Tel Aviv police are reluctant to investigate rigorously. Adam Lapid is hired by the victim’s brother who wants him to find the killer, but not to tell the police who it is. The brother wants to exact his revenge personally on whoever killed his sister.

Adam Lapid launches an investigation into the murder, an investigation that quickly plunges him into a dark underworld of crime and debauchery. Along the way, Adam will meet an irresistible woman and will have to do battle with a crafty and sinister killer.

The villain in this novel is quite willing to kill again and again in order to evade capture. Adam Lapid will need to marshal all his strength and ingenuity in order to prevail.

The Dead Sister has a 4+ rating on both Amazon and Goodreads. It is not a long read but it is a complete murder mystery that you can enjoy even if you haven’t read book 1 in the series, Ten Years Gone.

So if you’re looking for a new and exciting mystery to read this week, pick up a copy of The Dead SDister at this rock bottom price and enjoy a well-written, engrossing murder mystery with one of the most exciting private detective characters in the genre.

Ten Years Gone is Live

At long last, Ten Years Gone, book 1 of the Adam Lapid Mysteries series, is live on Amazon.

This is the third published novel featuring Adam Lapid, but it takes place first in the internal chronology of the series. However, each novel in the Adam Lapid series is a standalone mystery so people read them in any order.

In Ten Years Gone, Adam Lapid is hired by Henrietta Ackerland, a Jewish woman who has just arrived in Israel (in 1949), after masquerading as a Christian German throughout the war.

In 1939, Henrietta made a terrible decision: her husband had been arrested by the Nazis and she had a baby son that she feared for. A woman she knew by the name of Esther was about to leave Germany for the Land of Israel. Henrietta prevailed upon her to take her son, Willie, along with her.

Henrietta planned to follow shortly but managed to get to Israel only ten years later. During that time, she’d had no word from Esther or Willie. She now wants Adam Lapid to find them.

Naturally, things get complicated in a hurry.

If you’re looking for a historical mystery with many emotional twists and turns, check out Ten Years Gone. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited for the next 90 days.