Writers Inspiring Change feature book review: Crosscurrents
Crosscurrents, by William Beck, is right up there with Clive Cussler and his adventuring wild man, Dirk Pitt. Filled with action and intrigue, the book carries the reader to the end because you just want to know what happens.
Overview: Bryson McGann, the central figure in this book, and a member of NESSA, is having a pleasant afternoon lunch with his girlfriend in Victoria, British Columbia, when he notices something suspicious happening at the table nearby. Within moments, his sense is proven right when a bullet kills a patron and several others soon fall prey, as a sniper spreads his brutal carnage. In its wake, a bomb explodes leaving even more dead and more questions as to who did it and the mystery man who fled the scene. This is a story with multiple plots built into one. A secretive monastic order with ties to the Knights Templar. A terrorist in Algeria bent on starting a global meltdown. A US senator seething with corruption and blood-stained hands. All of these tangents come together neatly, into a multi-level story that crisscrosses the planet, eventually landing in Jerusalem, where the terrorist, Ali-Azir Bou-Zhamed, is plotting a debacle, a true conflagration. Bryson is no superhero, he takes his share of bullets and he bleeds - which makes this thriller all the more real and enticing, as he and his partner, Joe Canton, try to put the pieces of this plot together before it is too late. Although the focus of the book is on the terrorist plot, the author does an excellent job of spotlighting environmental issues and manages to cleverly lace this into the story in a rather seamless way which gives it another dimension, and sub-message.
Technical Overview: This book is well-written. It has a smooth fluidity to it. It is generously laced with colorful and lucid phraseology, metaphors and descriptions - which add both realism and imaginative landscaping for the reader. The author ties the multi-level plots together, bringing them into focus by the end, and sets the pace for the continuance of the series. The writing style is very good - the author has a good rhythm and a good sense of pace - and this is reflected in his wording and descriptive mediums which really play well with the story line and what is happening at the time. His action scenes are detailed, bloody and get the adrenaline pumping.
In all this is a very good read, and this series has a good future ahead of it. I recommend it for readers of action, adventure and thriller novels.
Review by International Writers Inspiring Change
About William Beck
IWIC: Tell us about yourself. William: I reside in Nashville, Tennessee with my wife, Rebecca. When I am not writing, I can often be found in some of my favorite haunts; Florida, New England and North Carolina, spending time with family and friends. I have what I consider to be an intriguing list of interests. A move by my parents took me from the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio to Florida during my childhood. It was there that I developed my affinity for the sea, inspiring me to become a PADI certified scuba diver and underwater photographer. My zeal for this endeavor has led me to various locations and adventures around the globe. I also hold the rank of Sho Dan, a black belt in Go Ju style karate. I have served as an expert medical witness, I am a pistol marksman, I enjoy sailing, preparing culinary creations, but most importantly, I am a proud U.S. Army veteran. My writing came to life with my character, Bryson McGann, and the National Earth Seas Science Agency (NESSA). The first title, H.A.A.R.P.’s Fury, launched the series. It was followed by RED 7, Caribbean Agenda and then Crosscurrents. The fifth adventure thriller, Polar Meltdown, will be released in 2018 followed by The Orion Project at a future date. The Judas Coin, the first suspense thriller in a spin-off from the McGann series, features female archaeologist Jess Colton in her debut title. After accepting a consulting position at NESSA, Colton embarks on a perilous journey that will determine her fate and mankind’s destiny as she searches for the cursed coins of Judas. It is set for release in the summer of 2017. The next intriguing tale in that series, The Edessa Image, is currently being written.
IWIC: What prompted you to become a writer? William: I always say it all started in 1966 when I first heard the Beatles sing their #1 hit, Paperback Writer. I clearly remember wishing when I grew up I could do that for a living. That tune sparked the imagination of a young boy from Northeastern Ohio, creating a flight of fancy lingering today. But there were other things just as important. I remember two TV programs, Sea Hunt and Adventures in Paradise. Mike Nelson and Gardner McKay were my boyhood heroes. Those programs stirred the cauldron of my imagination and little did I know then I would fulfill my daydreams by living similar adventures later in life. The impetus to write resurfaced in the late 80’s. A desire to create children’s literature took hold and planted the seeds of novels to come. It blossomed into adult fiction and the creation of Bryson McGann and his cohorts at NESSA. Writing is my passion in life. The ability to bring the ideas of my creative juices together into a published work is something that really excites me. While bringing a novel to market is exhilarating, feedback from fans is the reward. It stokes the fires and provides the incentive to pen the next novel.
IWIC: What do readers like about your writing? William: As mentioned, the feedback I receive from fans keeps me on a heading. I envision a movie with all the characters playing before my eyes as a tale comes to life. I simply add the storylines. For me, it is what makes writing as easy and enjoyable as it is. For those readers who enjoy suspense, intrigue, action and adventure, they are rewarded by a film coming to life as they turn the pages of my novels, a comment often stated by fans. They also enjoy realistic characters who are not super heroes capable of doing impossible feats. I strive to make the participants in my novels as real as possible. I think this honesty translates to something readers truly appreciate and brings them back for more. I even choreograph all my fight scenes as I write them. My karate background allows me to do this.
IWIC: Is there a message weaved into your writing? William: I want my readers to come away with the idea that not only did they get a great story, but the McGann and Colton novels are not just another paperback. They are packed with real life issues facing the world. NESSA is the means by which those issues are addressed. Environmental concerns affect us all and need honest representation with factual information from scientific data. We all live on this planet and caring for its future is imperative for generations to come. Perhaps the message can be summed up with one word. Honesty. Without it, what do we have?
IWIC: What is it that you want to inspire in others or change in the world through your writing? William: So many times in life we are struck by the thought of an idea or a dream that takes shape before us. And so many times the day to day aspects of life smother the flickering flame of desire. We all possess creative talents of some sort. Do not ignore them. I cannot stress enough that if you have a desire to write, sing, paint, or any other worthy endeavor in life, then go out and do it. Be honest with yourself and assess your talents. You may not be able to perform at a professional level but that should never hinder you from striving to perfect your creativity. You owe it to yourself to be and do your best. Become the example, that person whom others wish to emulate.
IWIC: Tell us about your most recent book and why you wrote it? William: Bryson McGann returns in the adventure thriller, Crosscurrents. “… What’s not to love about William Beck’s new adventure thriller Crosscurrents? Told with all the skill of a university historian but with the plot-pounding mastery of Clive Cussler, this action-packed novel will make your heart race.” – Vince Zandri – New York Times Bestselling author.
Two men seated at an outdoor table at the Black Opal restaurant in Victoria, British Columbia conspire quietly. Bryson McGann eyes them curiously while enjoying breakfast with friends when an assassin’s bullet takes the life of one of the men. The other man makes his escape just before an explosion across the street at the Grand Empress Hotel rocks Victoria’s Inner Harbor. The stranger who escaped, Ian Paice, is from a monastic order in Vermont with ancient ties to the Templars. Paice and McGann confront one another and that meeting leads them both to Jerusalem. The stage is set for a fast-paced thriller as the ultimate jihad is about to be perpetrated upon the world by Algerian terrorist Ali Azir Bou-Zhamed. The maniacal terrorist prepares to ignite tensions between the world’s three major religions by doing the unthinkable and creating the ultimate jihad. Bryson McGann faces death in his attempt to stop Bou- Zhamed. The final seconds are ticking off the doomsday clock but the question is will McGann be able to end the terrorist’s scheming plot before it is too late?