Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Deadly Game We Play by Patrick W. Phillips : Sneak Peek, Interview & Excerpt

The Deadly Game We Play is the debut novel of North Alabama's own Patrick W. Phillips. At its heart, it is a story of empathy, apathy, violent infatuation, and love. It tells the story of two young detectives over the course of a few short days. Nicholas Constantine is a handsome, dark and brooding sleuth of the kind not seen since the Prohibition Era. Grace Christianson is his unassuming side-kick, or so it seems to him; at the very least, she can throw a knock-out left hook or snipe a suspect with ease. Their affections for each other are evident, though strangely neither one can see it. It may have something to do with Nicholas's womanizing or - later - his blind quest for revenge. An already complicated situation spirals into darkness when the mad heiress Natalie Abrams falls for Nicholas and weaves a psychotic web of destruction and mayhem.

Most importantly, though, this is the story of the trials and tribulations endured by the duo that makes up C&C Investigations. This work caters to all kinds: romantics, lovers of action and gunshots, and perhaps those who believe that there is a bit more to life than what is clearly presented for us.

From “Chapter 1: The Desert Casino”
of The Deadly Game We Play
Written by Patrick W. Phillips

       A young woman stood in the smoke left by the explosion. Was this a hallucination? No. Even though the smoke hid most of her distinguishing features, she seemed real enough. There was something odd about this young woman, something besides the black driving gear she wore or the matching motorcycle helmet tucked under her arm. Yes, there was something oddly familiar about her. He saw blond hair flowing in the breeze that carried the smoke. The breeze suddenly intensified, and Nicholas coughed as the acrid smoke came to his lungs. The wind whipped as though it was under the command of the Lilith he beheld. He saw a pair of full red lips curl into a mischievous sneer just as his eyes also began to suffer the effects of the smoldering rubble.

       Even in that heat, though, something about her chilled Nicholas to the bone. It was her eyes. They were deep steel blue, hard and focused. They seemed electrified with lighting, and the crackle of fiery embers served as her thunder. Those eyes, along with her smile, seemed sickly compassionate but not in a maternal or caring way. She looked like a woman watching over a share of stock or a new plaything. She seemed to hover like an angel of death rather than the angel of mercy Nicholas had prayed for. Her aura seemed to radiate a feeling of evil and malevolence a thousand times more potent than the one he had felt in the office. This sensation appeared to defile her beauty in some psychotic way, but she seemed to indulge this quality. She placed a hand to her lips and blew him a kiss. She turned around and walked away into the inky blackness while putting on the helmet.

I recently sat down with Natalie H. Abrams. The CEO was inbetween confrence calls, but the “Executrix of Wall Street” took the time to answer a few questions. 
Laurie: Good afternoon, Natalie.
Natalie: It’s Ms. Abrams.
Laurie: Okay, Ms. Abrams, how are you today?

Natalie: Not well. Some idiot in one of my holding companies invested in an arms firm that’s tanking right now. I’ve lost thirty mil since breakfast.  Heads are going to roll…among other things.

Laurie: Umm, okay. Well, thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I know you’re busy, so we’ll get right into it. Tell me, what’s it like being 19 and running an internationally renowned, publicly traded company?

Natalie: Time, age if you will, is irrelevant.  You either have the drive to accomplish something, or you don’t. Either you’re ordained by destiny or you’re not.

Laurie: That’s an interesting philosophy, mixing personal drive with the idea of destiny.

Natalie: Some things are destined to happen. Period. But, the people who contribute to those things happening must realize that they must act or the honor will go to someone else. Think of players in a game. A king is destined to fall, but one of two players must act properly in order to come out on top.

Laurie: But there can always be a stalemate.

Natalie: Bucking destiny is not something to mess with. Defying the will of destiny, or the will of a players who has realized her duty, can have…consequences.

[Ms. Abrams giggled loudly for several moments.]

Laurie: Alright then. One final question, and I’ll try not to get into any more philosophy. Who’s your favorite author?

Natalie: Orwell. Without a doubt it’s [George] Orwell.  Sorry, but I’m afraid that I’m always philosophical these days. I absolutely adore his ideas on how reality is completely inside the skull. Control all the input into a person’s brain, control their perception of reality. The same is true if you manipulate their emotions. Orwell was always quick to use the idea that fear can make people realize that two plus two is five. Alas! He never gave much thought to other emotions: lust, greed, sorrow…. [She trailed off and went silent for several moments.]

Laurie: Okay then. Oh, one last question, for real this time. Any young man in your life right now.

Natalie: Oh, there’s a boy alright, and I think he has a little to do with everything we’ve just talked about….

Natalie Abrams had to end the interview at this point. She said something about having a secretary send me a bottle of ginger ale as a parting gift.

Patrick is a 2012 graduate of Harvard University. He splits his time among Boston, London - where he is a member of The Royal Society of Literature - and his hometown of Guntersville, Alabama. He enjoys the study of heraldry and collecting '80s luxury and sports cars. He is currently single.

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