New bestseller: Seek and Destroy

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The second Eva Driscoll thriller will be available on Amazon on Wednesday, November 14. Get a taste of this new blockbuster

By Alan McDermott

As Gray stepped up to the ATM machine, he looked around out of habit. He’d known a couple of people who had been the victim of distraction thefts, so he always made sure there was no one near him when he used the machines. That was when he saw the Renault pull up on the other side of the street. The buzz cut and leather jacket of the driver grabbed his atten­tion, setting him immediately on edge.

“Daddy! You’re hurting me!”

Gray looked down at Melissa and let go of her hand. He hadn’t realized he’d been squeezing it so hard. He knelt in front of her and kissed her tiny fingers. “I’m so sorry, darling,” he said, with one eye on the Renault.

Two men had climbed out of the back seat, and they were heading his way. He recognized the look they shared and pegged them as mili­tary, either former or current. Whichever it was, they reeked of trouble.

Gray took Melissa by her other hand and led her away from the ATM. He needed to get her somewhere safe, and the only place he could think of was the café. If something bad were about to happen, he didn’t want Melissa witnessing it, and the owner was a friend who could handle himself. Like Gray, Marco had spent time in the armed forces. Unlike Gray, Marco was built like a tank.

Gray led Melissa to Marco’s place, and when he glanced back he could see that the two heavies were still following him and had closed to within twenty yards. He opened the door and saw his friend behind the counter, preparing a sandwich.

Ciao, Tom. Come va?

“Marco, I need help.”

The big man’s forehead furrowed. “Problem?”

“Maybe. Can you keep an eye on Melissa for a few minutes?” When Gray saw the confusion on Marco’s face, he resorted to what many peo­ple do in foreign countries. “You watch Melissa? Five minutes? I go?”

Si, si, non c’è problema.” Marco smiled.

Gray tried returning the expression but suspected that it came out as a weird grimace. He turned and left the café just as the two strang­ers mounted the curb. There was no emotion on their faces, and Gray wondered if they were simply heading inside for something to eat, but that thought was quickly dispelled.

“Courtesy of the ESO,” the first one said, and launched at Gray, aiming a boot at his chest. Gray easily parried it and countered with a punch to the man’s jaw that connected with a satisfying crunch. He followed up with a left, but it glanced off his opponent’s forehead. The other man joined in, catching Gray on the side of the face with a fist that felt like a hammer, and Gray’s legs barely kept him upright. He’d never been hit so hard in his life, and wasn’t about to let it happen again. He shook his head to clear it, then spun and delivered a roundhouse kick that almost tore the second thug’s head off. The man went down, and Gray turned to face the other just in time to block a fist traveling at speed toward his face. He struck out with his open palm and caught the man in the sternum. The crack of bones echoed the pain on the man’s face.

“Sonofabitch!” he grunted, but kept coming. A vicious uppercut sent Gray staggering backward, and he fell over the café’s wooden adver­tising board and ended up in a heap on the ground. He tried getting to his feet, but kicks started flying in. One caught him in the temple, and he collapsed once more, curling into a ball to prevent damage to his major organs.

The assault stopped abruptly, and Gray heard shouting and the sound of a distant siren. He opened an eye and saw Marco chasing after one of the thugs with what looked like a meat cleaver. The two attack­ers were sprinting to the car they’d arrived in, and they managed to get inside the moving vehicle before Marco could take a swipe at them.

Gray sat up, trying to make sense of it all. A single word jumped into his head.

Melissa!

About Seek and Destroy

She got away once. They can’t let it happen again.

Eva Driscoll is on the run. She has a new identity, and the best part of $20m liberated from the CIA. Henry Langton is dead but his sinister allies are circling, and not even a presidential pardon can help Eva against an organization that operates above the White House.

With agents around the globe and no tactic off limits, Langton’s men are calling the shots. When they track down ex-CIA computer expert Farooq Naser and threaten Andrew Harvey and Tom Gray, Eva knows they will come for her next. She needs to run—and fast—but what chance does one woman have against the most powerful group in the United States, with just a few ex-spooks and a couple of mercenaries on her side?

But her pursuers should know that, even backed into a corner, Eva Driscoll is not the kind of prey to give up without a fight. But will it mean hurting those she cares for the most?

Alan McDermott

is a husband, father to beautiful twin girls, and a full-time author. Alan lives in the south of England, and in 2014 he swapped writing critical application for the NHS to penning thrillers that have gone on to sell close to a million copies.

His debut novel, Gray Justice, was well received and earned him membership of Independent Authors International. That book launched in July 2011, and by the time he’d written the follow-ups, Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption, it had attracted the attention of a major publisher. Alan signed with Thomas & Mercer in 2013 and has now written six novels in the Tom Gray series and a spinoff called Trojan. Alan’s eighth novel, Run and Hide, introduced a new female lead, Eva Driscoll.

Alan can be found:

BestSelling Reads author page   |   Amazon Author page   |   Website   |   blog   |    Facebook    |   Twitter

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When fiction meets fact

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By Alan McDermott

Your favorite bestselling authors have noticed times when real events seem to mimic events they depicted in their fiction before. This week, Alan McDermott describes something that should give us all pause, where reality seems like a page from his spy fiction.

spy through your cell phone

Photo: Andy Rennie, Creative Commons

After I released my fifth novel, Gray Vengeance, in May 2015, I had a few reviews that suggested the idea of the security services being able to take control of just about every device in the country was a bit fanciful.  I’d created a fictitious program called Brigandicuum that allowed the US and UK governments to gain access to any device that contained a chip.  Mobile phones, TVs, laptops, computers, nothing was beyond their reach.  Not only could it intercept communications, it could recognize every keystroke and send the information to a facility where analysts would action it.  The spyware was concealed within the kernel of the device’s software and was activated when a file was placed on an NSA server.  The moment the device found the file, it was an open book.   In Gray Vengeance, MI5 used Brigandicuum to track down and neutralize a domestic terrorist cell and find the man ultimately responsible.

In response to those reviews, I was tempted to point out that the thing about fiction is, it isn’t real, but Edward Snowden beat me to it.  In an interview with the BBC in October 2015, he revealed that smartphone users can do “very little” to stop security services getting “total control” over their devices.  According to Snowden, GCHQ had the power to hack into phones without their owners’ knowledge.  While not as sophisticated and all-encompassing as Brigandicuum, GCHQ’s Smurf suite of spyware could turn phones on and off, access the microphone at any time, and track it more accurately than the well-known triangulation method.

So how exactly does GCHQ get control of your phone? “It’s called an ‘exploit,’” Snowden explains. “That’s a specially crafted message that’s texted to your number like any other text message but when it arrives at your phone it’s hidden from you. It doesn’t display. You paid for it [the phone] but whoever controls the software owns the phone.”

So next time you read a novel and think, “Yeah, right, like that could ever happen”, you have been warned.

Gray Vengeance spyingGray Vengeance

An African militia has a new leader—and Tom Gray has a deadly new problem.

Da Sunan Annabi has a ruthless new leader whose aim is to train British nationals to bring England to its knees.

As their plans unfold with deadly precision and Britain is crippled by a series of attacks, the government is forced to deploy its new secret weapon: a surveillance network that can spy on nearly every human being on earth. It is nearly foolproof—but is it ethical? And does that even matter now?

Soon, Tom Gray and his daughter are in the militia’s sights, and their lives depend on Gray finding the man behind the recent atrocities. His desperate search leads him to Africa and Cuba, for a final showdown with an enemy he could never have imagined.

Gray Vengeance, the fifth book in the action-packed Tom Gray series, leaves you breathless until the very last page.

Bestselling author Alan McDermottAlan McDermott

lives in the south of England,  and is married with beautiful twin daughters. He recently gave up his job of creating critical applications for the NHS to write action thrillers full time.

His debut novel, Gray Justice, was very well received and earned him bestseller status. The next two books in the series — Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption — were enough to attract the attention of a major publisher, and he has since added Gray RetributionGray Vengeance and Gray Salvation to the list.  Alan’s seventh title, Trojan, is a spinoff featuring MI5 agent Andrew Harvey, Trojan, was shortlisted for an ITW thriller award.

His new series will begin with Run and Hide, launching on August 22. You can read a preview on BestSelling Reads right now.

Alan can be found:

BestSelling Reads author page  |    Website  |  blog  |  Facebook    |   Twitter

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Thriller Thursday: Run and Hide #thriller

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This week’s teaser is from the upcoming new thriller from the author of the bestselling Tom Gray series.

By Alan McDermott

It hadn’t been hard to find Rees Colback. The electronic trail he’d left all over New York had been easy to follow, and he was now walking down Fifth Avenue without a care in the world.

If only he knew.

The hunt was always easier when the prey didn’t know they were in the crosshairs. A deer might be naturally cautious and take heed of every twig snapping in the undergrowth, but a man with no known enemies was oblivious to the dangers around him.

And they were closing in.

The rider watched him stop and admire the display in a department store window, one of millions of people in New York City, going about his business unaware that death was stalking him. For most, the end came naturally, but Rees Colback was a marked man. Someone had decided that his time on the planet should come to a halt, and now it was all about waiting for the right moment.

She sat astride a powerful motorcycle at the side of the road, a hundred yards behind Colback. Any closer and he might notice the machine and spook, so giving him a head start was the best option for now. On foot he’d have no chance of outrunning the mechanical beast, making patience the order of the day.

The strike would come, she could sense it. It was only a matter of when.

Lifting the visor of her helmet, she scanned the avenue: nothing out of the ordinary, no threats sensed. Simply a huge crowd enjoying another sweltering evening in Midtown Manhattan.

A black SUV crept around the corner. Nothing sinister in that, but when it stopped and a the passenger got out and walked purposefully toward Colback, she knew it was time to move.

That was when a yellow cab chose the most inopportune time to double-park and drop off a fare. Trapped between it and the sidewalk, she kicked out angrily at the cab’s door. The driver rolled down his window to yell at her, but the rider wasn’t listening. The man from the SUV was closing in on Colback and that was all that mattered.

The cab driver was still shouting and gesticulating, but the rider wasn’t hanging around. She had business to attend to. She twisted the throttle and the bike leaped onto the sidewalk, scattering pedestrians in her way. Others were slower to react, making it difficult to avoid striking them with the heavy street bike. At the first opportunity, she cut back off of the sidewalk and onto the crowded avenue.

Now Colback was struggling with the man as the big SUV pulled up to join the fight.

Eva Driscoll hated being right.

About this thriller

Run and Hide is the first novel in a new series by acclaimed bestselling thriller author Alan McDermott. This new thriller will be available on Amazon on August 22.

There’s only so long you can run for your life.

Eva Driscoll is used to chasing down bad guys, but now the bad guys are chasing her. She knows they won’t stop until she’s dead.

After her brother is killed in a faked suicide, Driscoll teams up with ex-soldier Rees Colback, the one person who can help her find answers. Together they’re determined to uncover why members of his Special Forces squad are dying in mysterious circumstances.

But with every agency in the country in hot pursuit, their only choice is to flee.

The clock is ticking. They can’t run forever. It’s time to make a choice: kill or be killed…

You can pre-order it from Amazon.

About the author

Alan McDermott is a husband, father to beautiful twin girls, and a full-time author. Alan lives in the south of England, and in 2014 he swapped writing critical application for the NHS to penning thrillers that have gone on to sell close to a million copies. His debut novel, Gray Justice, was well received and earned him membership of Independent Authors International. That book launched in July 2011, and by the time he’d written the follow-ups, Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption, it had attracted the attention of a major publisher. Alan signed with Thomas & Mercer in 2013 and has now written six novels in the Tom Gray series and a spinoff called Trojan. Alan’s eighth novel introduces a new female lead.

Alan can be found:

BestSelling Reads author page   |   Amazon Author page   |   Website   |   blog   |    Facebook    |   Twitter

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Bestselling writing goals for 2018: Alan McDermott

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For the beginning of 2018, BestSelling Reads members will reveal member authors’ writing plans for the year ahead—so you know the great reading you can get excited about. This week: the bestselling Alan McDermott.

Well, 2017 started off much as 2016 ended; with a work in progress that wasn’t progressing in the slightest.  I’d started my new novel in the usual way.  The seed of an idea came to me one day, and I just started writing.  After a few hundred words, I made notes for the next few chapters, but it was such a slow process.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I got stuck.  Days, even weeks would go by before I found enough inspiration to add to the manuscript, but the next block was just around the corner.

In all, it took me seventeen months to finish Driscoll: Run and Hide, and as always, it was straight onto the next idea.  Only this time, I didn’t have time to sit and write, so I just made notes over the next few days.  That turned into bullet points, then into full blown chapters ideas.  Within a week I had 35 chapters planned, and as soon as my wife set off for a two-month holiday, I began writing the second Driscoll novel.  That was the best 48 days of my writing career.  I worked twelve hours a day, every day, and finished the book before she returned.

Now, I’m back to square one.  Looking for an idea that I can turn into a three-book series.  The only problem is coming up with something original.  I thought about an MI6 agent, but that’s already been done in the form of James Bond.  An ex-soldier?  Did that with Tom Gray.  A group of high-tech vigilante do-gooders?  The PRIMAL series by Jake Silkstone has that covered.

So, my task for 2018?  Come up with something truly original that fans of the action-thriller genre can relate to.

No pressure, then…

Alan McDermott

lives in the south of England,  and is married with beautiful twin daughters. He recently gave up his job of creating critical applications for the NHS to write action thrillers full time.

His debut novel, Gray Justice, was very well received and earned him bestseller status. The next two books in the series — Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption — were enough to attract the attention of a major publisher, and he has since added Gray RetributionGray Vengeance and Gray Salvation to the list.  Alan’s seventh title, Trojan, is a spinoff featuring MI5 agent Andrew Harvey, released in 2017.

Alan can be found:

Website and blog  |  Facebook    |   Twitter

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Thursday teaser: Driscoll: Run and Hide #excerpt

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This week’s excerpt comes from Alan McDermott’s upcoming new thriller, Run and HideRead on to see how YOU could WIN a free signed copy!

By Alan McDermott

Colback was picturing the mouth-watering plate of juicy steak and baked potato that lay a couple of blocks south when his sixth sense kicked in.  Years of special-forces training and working in warzones had honed his personal alert system. Tilting his head slightly to the right, he identified the black SUV out of the corner of his eye. No telling how long it had been cruising slowly next to him; the tinted windows meant he couldn’t see who was inside.  He kept a subtle eye on the vehicle and quickened his pace slightly, but he jerked to a stop when he felt the hard object dig into the small of his back.

Shit. He had been too focused on the vehicle and had missed the real threat. He turned his head slightly to see the man who controlled the pistol behind him.  The short-cropped hair and bulging biceps under the white shirt told Colback that this wasn’t a typical street robbery.

Acronyms flashed through his mind.  CIA. FBI.  NSA.

Whoever they were, they’d gone about making his acquaintance the wrong way.

Colback saw the SUV come to a complete stop and the side door opened.  He had an instant to decide what to do.  Given the way this was going down, he saw only one choice.

Fight.

Colback pivoted quickly at the waist to face the threat, spinning his right arm around in an arc as he turned and trapping the assailant’s arm just below the elbow, the pistol now safely under his own arm. Dropping slightly at the knees and then thrusting up he palmed the man under the nose, breaking it bloodily. He followed through with his right arm, delivering a vicious punch to the throat, then grabbed the man’s gun hand and snapped the wrist backwards.  The weapon clattered to the sidewalk, but any thoughts of retrieving it were tempered by the sight of two more bodies exiting the vehicle.

Instead, a single word leapt into his head.

Run!

Colback’s legs were pumping before his own mental warning even registered.  A round from a silenced weapon slammed into the front of a building next to his head, and he took that as his cue to leave the sidewalk and run into traffic.  He almost collided with the hood of a yellow cab as he crossed Fifth Avenue, hoping to make his pursuers think twice about following him.  A glance back told him he was mistaken, their tenacity confirming that these weren’t simply thugs out to rob him.

At the corner of Fifth and East Forty-ninth, he took a left, dodging more traffic as he crossed to where a gaggle of pedal-powered rickshaws converged outside a department store.  At eight in the evening, the pedestrian crowds remained as heavy as the street traffic, which only made the brazen attack more worrying.

Colback crashed through a large throng of Asian tourists and stole another look behind him.  Two figures wearing leather jackets were hot on his heels, and the black SUV was tearing down Fifth Avenue, no doubt to cut him off at the end of the block.  The armed pair was closing fast, and he was quickly running out of options.  He turned right at the corner of Madison and Forty-ninth and found himself outside a café, its outdoor seating area cordoned off by half a dozen metal poles supporting red ropes.

Colback had a better use for them.

He unhitched two ropes and picked up the pole.  It weighed at least fifteen pounds and the base made it unwieldly, but it was all Colback had.  He held it over his shoulder like a baseball bat, listening for the sounds of rapid footsteps approaching the corner.

Colback swung the pole, its round base catching the first of the pursuers square in the face, stopping him in his tracks.  The second one couldn’t stop in time and barreled into his companion.  Both hit the deck hard, and with a couple of more swings Colback made sure they’d stay down.

About the book

Driscoll: Run and Hide is the first novel in a new series by acclaimed bestselling thriller author Alan McDermott. It will be available on Amazon later this year. Continue to follow BestSelling Reads for updates on when you can pre-order it.

Win a signed copy

You could win a free signed copy of one of Alan McDermott’s acclaimed, bestselling Tom Gray series. All you have to do is enter into the Comments below an answer to this question:

In the Tom Gray series, main character Len Smart has a hobby he indulges in every book. What is it?

About the author

Alan McDermott is a husband, father to beautiful twin girls, and a full-time author. Alan lives in the south of England, and in 2014 he swapped writing critical application for the NHS to penning thrillers that have gone on to sell close to a million copies. His debut novel, Gray Justice, was well received and earned him membership of Independent Authors International. That book launched in July 2011, and by the time he’d written the follow-ups, Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption, it had attracted the attention of a major publisher. Alan signed with Thomas & Mercer in 2013 and has now written six novels in the Tom Gray series and a spinoff called Trojan. Alan’s eighth novel introduces a new female lead.

Until the end of January, the first three books in the Tom Gray series are on sale on Amazon.com, and the first six are just £1 for readers in the UK.

Books by Alan McDermott

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