Saturday, November 20, 2010

Take a Look . . . Under

I met Brian Shaughnessy,  unpublished author and former NYC transit cop, when I was commuting to work on the train. 

Brian sat in his usual seat with his notebook computer perched on his lap tip-tapping away.  This went on for months before someone in my little knitting clutch finally decided to find out what in the heck he was doing.  A bunch of nosey busy bodies we are, but we met Bri-guy so it’s all good.

It turns out that Brian was working on his first book.  I happily had the honor of pre-reading the book . . . literally contained within the cover of a three-ring binder.  I have to say that, even in its rough form, I was impressed with the story and his writing abilities.  Being a fan of Stephen King, James Patterson, Stuart Woods and the like, I am a fan of dark gritty stories.  Brian’s book, Man Under, had all the elements I love - believable characters, suspense, realistic scenarios, twisting plots with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure.  Really good reading fun.

His first book was published by   Shannon Road Press in August 2008.
Man Under is a realistic page-turner.  Brian’s experience as an NYPD cop is evident throughout with the details of the inner workings of the transit system and the personalities of the characters.    

When the city is rocked by gruesome murders committed underground, a detective squad is sent to find the sadistic killer who preys on the homeless. These are not Cookie-cutter cops; each has unique strengths and weaknesses. When the unthinkable happens--a member of the squad becomes a victim--the reader is given an insider’s view of the NYPD when one of their own is murdered. With some scenes resembling Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, Shaughnessy spares the reader no detail. MAN UNDER--the term used when a body is found on the tracks—will enthrall readers until the final shocking revelation. 

Brian’s second book, Out From Under, was published by Shannon Road Press in July 2009.  It was an excellent follow up to the Man Under.  Once again, had the opportunity to read this book, but this time in its rawest drafts.  Brian was kind enough to listen to my thoughts and ideas and even took me up on some of them.  I thought the first book was great and this one is even better.  

Retired NYPD cop, Brian Shaughnessy's experience is evident in OUT FROM UNDER, the second thriller in his UNDER series, after MAN UNDER. The cop-speak, the teasing and testing of mettle, the heroism, camaraderie and competition all ring true, and we get an authentic look at what it's like to be a cop in the big city. But Shaughnessy shines the spotlight not only on New York's Finest, but also on a few of its dirtiest. 

The book begins with a brief flashback to September 11, 2001 when hero Firefighter Tommy Bowen repeatedly enters the flaming North Tower of the World Trade Center to rescue its fleeing occupants...and then the building collapses. 

The annual memorial service held in honor of fallen 9/11 heroes includes Tommy Bowen, who, only the day before had been set to go on trial before OATH (Office of Administrative Trials & Hearings) for extreme misconduct, which would have ended his career and possibly landed him in prison. 

Now six years later, witnesses and members of that disciplinary board are being systematically murdered, and Detectives Kevin McCaffrey and Vinnie Venera, of the Major Case Squad, must find the killer. But as the jaws of the law tighten around the killer, he seems always to evaporate before their eyes. 

Office politics and sexual tensions abound in Shaughnessy's taut thriller, as well as suspense and uncertainty as the thin trail leads to a showdown full of surprises. And for good measure, the author adds a thoroughly satisfying mop-up epilogue. 
Brian signing my book

I know that Brian is working on other stories and may even have another one getting ready for publication.  Since I don’t ride the rails to work anymore I haven’t had the occasion pre-read the next one, but I know the plot line and it’s a good one!  I can’t wait!

 Interview with Brian Shaughnessy with a local news outlet.


Cher thinks the UNDER series by Brian Shaughnessy is number one Homespun fun!  Good reading!

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