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- Many congratulations are in order, 2019 was a big year, with two New York Times bestselling novels. Now we have a new Gray Man thriller, One Minute Out. Your absolute best one yet in my opinion and you’re engaged, congrats again!
—Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed the book and, yeah, I’m getting married in September, and am very happy about that.
- Last time we talked, I asked if there will be a follow up to Red Metal. You said, “it will depend on the reader’s reaction, but you and Rip have ideas?” Being a New York Times bestseller, I’d say the readers reaction was good. So, what can you share? Is WWIV with China on the horizon?
— Things look good for a Red Metal 2. Rip and I are talking about it with the publisher now. It won’t be out anytime soon, it will take a lot of research and work, but I do believe we will be doing another book.
- If so, what returning characters can we expect to see?
— We are still plotting it out so I’m not sure who will be back yet.
- By the second page of One Minute Out I was hooked, Gentry spoke to me, the reader, and I could not have been more impressed, more engaged in a book. Can you talk a bit about how you made this change to first person perspective? Is it permanent?
— That’s terrific to hear. I have been wanting to do first person in a Gray Man novel for a while, and this book had Court alone at some key times where I wouldn’t have another character to play off of him in the dialogue. So, I thought this might the right book to go first person, to his personality shine through and you can get the full range of his emotions. It’s definitely not a permanent change, but I absolutely might do it again in a future book.
- How did you come up with the plot for One Minute Out?
I wanted to put Gentry in a situation where his actions, while noble, lead to something terrible. In this case the novel opens with him attempting to assassinate a war criminal for crimes committed decades ago, but in so doing he discovers a group of women and girls who have been kidnapped. His arrival only makes their bad situation worse, so the guilt of that is what drives him on in the story, sending him through a gauntlet of dangerous people to try to get them back.
- Hanley tells Court, “the next job I have for you… it’s bigger than that.” So, what’s next for Violator and Poison Apple?
—I’m working on book ten, but am very early on in the process, so I can’t go into the story.
- I mentioned in my review, there’s a quick, blink and you might miss it bit of dialogue that gave me the impression you might be going back to the old days with Court being public enemy number one, even to the CIA. Did I pick up on something possibly?
—His relationship with the Agency is tenuous. I like the thought that he could work with them or run from them, depending on the story line.
- With Lima Charlie, I get to work with a lot of up and coming authors. What advice do you have for someone who is just starting to write?
—Finish something, whether it’s a novel, novella, or short story. Pick one thing and make it as good as you can make it, all the way through. So many people I talk to are working on 2, 3, 5 projects, and to me that just says they are writing the easy parts of a work and then moving on to something else that’s easy. If you write something completely, even if it’s a short story, then you are honing all the skills you need to be a good writer.
- What are the last three books you’ve read and what is on your TBR stack?
I’m reading books on surveillance and biometric data technology for my 10th Gray Man book, so my three last books have been in this vein of nonfiction. In my stack next to my bed and on my Kindle are November Road, by Lou Berney, Deep State by Chris Hauty, and Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor.
- You’re trapped on an island, you have one book, one weapon, and one personal item (Non-electronic) with you. What are they?
—The SAS Survival Handbook, a Remington 870 shotgun, and a medical kit. (I almost said a pizza).
OUR REVIEW FOR ONE MINUTE OUT
The world’s most dangerous assassin is back in One Minute Out. Mark Greaney’s ninth Gray Man novel, his absolute best one yet. The plot in this book is all too real, being a father myself of a little girl it made me fear the world she’s growing up in that much more. Human trafficking is all too real and I was thrilled to see Sierra Six exact some revenge on these assholes he stumbles upon while on an unrelated mission.
Since Back Blast when Court more or less settled his issues with the CIA, he’s been working for them conducting critical missions all over the world. What I’ve noticed Mark Greaney has been doing is alternating each new novel by having Court conducting a CIA sanctioned mission one book, then the next he would take up a mission as a freelancer. Last year’s New York Times Best Seller, Mission Critical, Gentry code name, Violator, and the other assets, Anthem, and Romantic all part of a CIA black program named Poison Apple stopped an attack on The Five Eyes intel community when they had their annual conference in the UK. Which means, in his next outing, Court is on his own.
One Minute Out starts with Gentry on a freelance mission in Croatia, laying in his hide, sniper rifle locked and loaded and from there we get something we’ve never had before. A Gray Man novel in first person perspective. I heard Mark Greaney had been wanting to do this and expected it, yet when I was reading it took me completely by surprise. It’s as if you’re in Court’s head with him, it makes the read so much more captivating, even if I dare say, more intimate. As I’m reading, it made me wonder what was going through his head in other missions he’s been involved in. This first-person perspective couldn’t have happened at a better time, while he’s on this free-lance mission to take out an old Serbian war criminal, he’s ready to take his shot and be done with it, earn himself somewhere North of a Million Dollar pay day. But Court Gentry doesn’t just take any contract job, he ensures the asshole he’s being paid to kill deserves some killing. And this asshole deserves more than a quick, painless shot from a quarter of a mile away, so instead of taking his shot Gentry sneaks up on this retired Serbian General and attempts to make him feel some real pain before punching his ticket. But when he gets there he’s not prepared for what he finds. The general is part of the world’s biggest human trafficking ring. This set Court off on a journey from Bosnia, to Croatia to Italy and ultimately to the United States to find the men at the top of this horrible chain and punish them. Along the way he is joined by another person tracking these bad guys. This person is a lot less qualified but much more motivated for this type of work, as one of the trafficked girls is her sister.
Court is aided but also blocked in his efforts by many familiar characters, Zack Hightower, Matt Hanley and Suzanne Brewer among them. There’s a very quick, blink and you might miss it type of moment that made me wonder if Mark Greaney is planning to go back to the early days of Court being hunted again, not only by the bad guys, but by all the worlds intelligence agencies, like the first few novels in the Gray Man Series.
One Minute Out is a non-stop, action filled, globe-trotting thriller with a plot that is too real, too scary. Being in first-person perspective it gives Court Gentry a new voice, an outlet for you the reader to get to know him on a much deeper level. You learn that, while super bad ass, he’s still human. He has doubts, he has fear, he has feelings like you, and I do. Earning itself a Blast Radius of a Nuclear Bomb, a must read 10/10 rating. This novel is hard to put down and is one of those fast paced, must reads that must be finished in one sitting.
Author: Mark Greaney
Series: The Gray Man # 9
Pages: 512 hardcover
Release Date: February 18, 2020
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkGreaneyBook
Lima Charlie Rating: A BLAST RADIUS OF: A NUCLEAR BOMB (10/10) – The potential here is death on a global scale, nothing is scarier than a nuke. This is the best rating a book can get
About the author:
Mark Greaney’s debut international thriller, THE GRAY MAN, was published in 2009 and became a national bestseller and a highly sought-after Hollywood property.
Seven subsequent Gray Man novels have been released to date, including MISSION CRITICAL, and his latest, ONE MINUTE OUT, releases February, 18th, 2020.
Mark is also the #1 New York Times bestselling author or coauthor of seven Tom Clancy novels, including his most recent TOM CLANCY TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE. He collaborated with Tom Clancy on three Jack Ryan novels before Tom’s death in 2013.
On July 16th, 2019, RED METAL, a military thriller written by Mark Greaney and Lt Col Hunter R. Rawlings, USMC, was an instant New York Times bestseller.
Mark’s books are published in several languages and are also available as audiobooks.
A feature film adaptation of THE GRAY MAN is in development at Sony Pictures.
Mark has a degree in International Relations and Political Science. In his research for the Gray Man and Jack Ryan novels he has traveled to dozens of countries, visited the Pentagon, military bases, and many Washington, D.C. Intelligence agencies, and trained alongside military and law enforcement in the use of firearms, battlefield medicine, and close-range combative tactics.
Mark lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his two Catahoula Leopard dogs, Lobo and Ziggy.