Behind The Book: THE EXECUTION

Over the last thirty-five years, the bulk of my time has been spent creating and running cop shows from Hill Street Blues to Miami Vice and the Law & Orders. As most TV viewers know, the networks do not make mini-series anymore, but I’ve never lost the desire to tell bigger stories than I could tell in an episode of any of my series, especially ones about terrorism in all its frightening and emerging mutations. I have been a fan of serial detective novels for years. Starting with “The Hardy Boys” in first grade, I moved on to a life-long passion for Sherlock Holmes as well as other great literary detectives from Rex Stout’s Nero Wolf to Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole. Jeremy Fisk is a natural extension of my focus on crime on television, and I love writing about him. Writing fiction gives me the storytelling range and scope that I think TV now lacks.

The NYPD Intelligence Unit provides a goldmine of story possibilities for Fisk. As much as the threats – narco-terrorists in The Execution and Muslim fundamentalists in The Intercept – what also attracts me about these stories is the possibility of exploring the things that drive the people involved in counter-terrorism on a daily basis. The psychological toll of knowing that the only good days are the ones in which nothing happens. Coupled with constant anxiety about the cost of failure against enemies who are often unknown. This makes Fisk an idiosyncratic, yet totally disciplined investigator.

The Execution explores the international narcotics industry. After almost thirty-five years of continuous growth, the drug business is now as organized as any multi-national corporation. There are departments handling communications, transportation, R&D, even HR. The stakes are literally in the billions of dollars. Fisk is thrust into a world where the cartels fear no one, least of all cops. It’s a game with no rules – except that the losers die.

My hope is that each of the novels will give Fisk the opportunity to demonstrate the kind of intelligence and insight that has kept Sherlock Holmes so fascinating for over a century. One of the things that has kept that fascination alive is the specificity of the era and the vast changes – in communication, transportation, warfare – that has been taking place. Hopefully, each of the Jeremy Fisk novels will explore this rich terrain.

Dick Wolf