I am delighted to welcome J. Gregory Smith to Linda’s Book Bag today. Greg has written several books and has kindly agreed to stay in to tell me all about one I think sounds brilliant.
Staying in with J. Gregory Smith
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Greg. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
Thanks, Linda. I brought my latest novel, Quick Fix, which is the first book in a new series called The Reluctant Hustler. The series is written from the perspective of Kyle Logan, a truck driver who works for a military contractor and who has been injured over in Iraq by an IED. When we meet him he’s recovered physically from the experience but the reverberations to his personal life have just begun.
That sounds a very interesting read. Tell me, what can we expect from an evening in with Quick Fix?
The story is set in a colorful neighborhood in the city of Philadelphia called Fishtown. It provides an ever changing background as the area transforms from blue collar to a more gentrified mix. For Kyle, the changes reflect his own circumstance and we learn he left for the Middle East as much to escape his reality and growing distance from his wife as it was to seek adventure.
Once he finds more excitement than he bargained for, thanks to a bomb attack on his truck convoy, he returns home hoping to return to a normal life, even if it is too late to save his crumbling marriage.
His plans collapse by his own hand, or rather his fist, when he caves to a moment of rage after being provoked by his wife’s new boyfriend. Now suspended from work and facing certain termination, if not a criminal record, Kyle is open to temptation via his shady best friend who offers an easy lifeline to reverse his fortunes. All Kyle has to do is drive for two nights work in what seems to be a victimless crime.
(Quick Fix sounds very exciting.)
What made the story setup so compelling for me is that I tried to create an imperfect protagonist and place him in a situation where we all know he should walk away, yet we understand why he might give in to the pressure. Needless to say, all does not go as smoothly as promised and we see Kyle dragged into a world that lives by different rules with life and death stakes not just for himself but everyone he cares about.
(Which just goes to show that there is rarely a ‘quick fix’ to our problems!)
What else have you brought along and why?
Fishtown in Philadelphia PA
The Philly neighborhood of Fishtown is a character all its own in Quick Fix, in some subtle (and not so subtle) ways. The main character was shaped by it while growing up, tried to escape it by travelling around the world and now must rely on it for his survival.
Not only have you made me interested in Quick Fix Greg, you’ve made me want to travel to Fishtown too now! Thanks so much for staying in with me to tell me all about it.
Military contractor Kyle Logan’s luck has gone from bad to worse ever since he returned home to Philadelphia following an injury by an IED in Iraq. First, his marriage crumbles, then his career after he’s pushed to the brink and assaults his wife’s lover, who is also her divorce attorney.
When Kyle’s shady best friend turns up and offers him a “once in a lifetime” chance to regain his job and his life, all for just a couple night’s work, Kyle figures he’s got nothing to lose. The police, Philly Irish Mob and a couple of drug cartels all think otherwise.
Now forced to fight for his life, and those around him, Kyle must turn to allies from his old neighborhood in a desperate effort to stay alive and out of prison.
Quick Fix is one man’s fall into a world of unintended consequences that seeks to tread the razor-thin lines between right and wrong, loyalty and treachery.
Published by Red Acre, Quick Fix is available for purchase here.
About J. Gregory Smith
Greg Smith is the bestselling author of the thrillers, A Noble Cause and The Flamekeepers as well as the Paul Chang Mystery series including his breakthrough novel, Final Price and the sequels, Legacy of the Dragon and Send in the Clowns all published by Thomas & Mercer.
Prior to writing fiction full time, Greg worked in public relations in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. He has an MBA from the College of William & Mary and a BA in English from Skidmore College.
His debut novel, Final Price, was first released as a self-published work before being signed to Thomas & Mercer and re-released. Greg is now working on new thrillers as well as a YA fantasy series.
Greg currently lives in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife and son.