Mysteries in Hillerman Country with R. Lawson Gamble
Mysteries tied to history and setting.
As author R. (Rich) Lawson Gamble and I discuss in this interview, the scene that he reads to us from his book The Dark Road is reminiscent of a right-of-passage ritual. Tolliver is just out of the FBI Academy and as you'll hear, somewhat out of his depth in the unforgiving Arizona landscape.
Rich's Zack Tolliver series has seven books, with an eighth to be released very shortly. The Dark Road takes us back to Tolliver's origins and we meet the man who will become his law enforcement partner and friend. In the interview you'll hear Rich explain the very personal reason why each book in the series focuses on a new location.
This week's mystery author
R Lawson Gamble, known as Rich, was born and raised in New Jersey just west of the last commuter train station to New York. Born to a family of readers and musicians, he took his degree in music and sang professionally in the Boston and Providence, R.I. area performing oratorio and opera. He later accepted the position of Music Chairperson at a private school near Boston, where he worked in various capacities, from soccer coach to Dean of Students for the next 34 years. Rich moved to California in 2009 to begin his career as a writer. He has published eleven books to date, ten works of fiction, seven of which constitute his Zack Tolliver, FBI mystery series, a children's story starring Australian animals, and a history of Los Alamos Valley, his new home, for Arcadia Press.
To learn more about R. Lawson Gamble and his books visit RLawsonGamble.com
Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher, Android, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Spotify.
You can also click here to listen to the interview on YouTube.
Excerpt from The Dark Road
“Sometimes it is hard to see the dark road." Ashkii Nez
A sudden blast of hot wind set his tie flapping and flew on to form a spiral of dust beyond him on the deserted tarmac. His ears throbbed with the drone of the Cessna 172 he had just deplaned. He stood, suitcase in hand, a solitary vertical object in a horizontal world of runway and sand and watched the small plane inch away raising dust with its single prop. At last it reached the far end of the narrow airstrip and performed a clumsy pirouette, pausing momentarily as if undecided as its engine’s roar grew. It surged forward now, accelerated rapidly and somehow, as if by accident, bumped up into the air. Suddenly graceful, it angled southward and soared away joyously, all its former bonds with the clumsy earth now severed. For Zack Tolliver, FBI, it took with it the last vestige of everything he'd known in his short twenty-four years of life.
He watched the black dot fade into the dark blue. Long after it disappeared from his sight and its mechanical drone became one with the wind, he sighed and turned his head in a slow sweeping arc. A flat barren landscape surrounded him, gray and rust-red, defined by faraway vertical cliffs layered with horizontal ledges like a ladder for giants. At his feet, eruptions of yellow-green weed clawed at cracks in the aging concrete of the tarmac. His searching eyes found nothing resembling a terminal.
The enormity of his transforming experience settled upon him like the dust itself, growing in him as the heat of the July afternoon assailed him. An occasional isolated breeze blew even hotter, like a dragon's breath. Sweat appeared in droplets on his brow, neatly trimmed brown hair became plastered to his forehead. The creases in his new polyester-rayon trousers expired, soggy circles bloomed in the armpits of his white linen shirt, his expensively tailored jacket wilted.
Within minutes he removed his jacket, folded it carefully over his arm, relishing the momentary cooling effect of air moving against his damp shirt. He glanced at his watch.