New York Times bestselling author Ted Bell is taking his fan-favorite Alex Hawke series from William Morrow (HarperCollins) to Penguin after signing a two-book deal with Berkley.
Hawke, a James Bond-like character who kicks twice the ass and has more money than 007 could dream of, was last seen in 2018 going toe-to-toe with Vladimir Putin in Bell’s explosive tenth novel, Overkill. His next book, the first as part of his new deal with Berkely, is slated to hit bookstores in 2020, and Book Spy followers are getting an exclusive first look at the plot details.
“We’re extremely excited to be working with an author of Ted’s caliber,” said Tom Colgan, Vice President and Editorial Director, Berkley Publishing Group. “He’s a legend in the thriller genre, an inventive storyteller, and a proven bestseller. Best of all, he’s got some ingenious ideas to spring on readers in the next few Alex Hawke books.”
“Words cannot begin to express how thrilled I am at the prospect of working with Tom Colgan and his Team, aka, the “Dream Team! It is my fervent desire to take the Hawke franchise to the next level,” said Bell, “and I’ve now got two ‘true believers’ on my side to accomplish that mission. Tom Colgan, my new editor at Penguin/Berkley, and John Talbot, my new literary agent at the Talbot/Fortune Agency. As far as I’m concerned, the best in the business.”
As for what readers can expect from Hawke in the next book, Bell told me he’s “already hard at work on the new Hawke novel, number eleven if you can believe that! The tentative, or, working title is Dragon. An early word of caution to all Hawke fans: ‘Buckle up, and try to remain calm for this one.’ You’ve never seen Alex Hawke operating at this level before!”
Bell also teased Dragon, offering up an in-depth synopsis that’s sure to have his fans excited and ready to buy the next Alex Hawke adventure the second it becomes available.
“The brand new Chinese Ambassador to America arrives in Washington, D.C. on 8 December, 1941. It is the day after the Day of Infamy. His name is Tang, Tiger Tang. Brilliantly educated, he holds a Masters in American Political History from Cambridge and a ‘double first’ PhD in Western Political Thought from Oxford. Brilliant, elegant, and with charm to burn, he is soon adopted by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
“FDR knows, that without China, there can never be any chance of defeating the Imperial Japanese Army. The Ambassador also finds himself in the company of a handsome young Royal Naval Officer from London, now working as military attache to the Chinese Embassy. His name is John Black Hawke. He is the grandfather of our Alex Hawke.
“The two dashing bachelors soon take wartime Washington by storm. Invited to all the best deb parties and country club dances, they are soon having the times of their lives. But something lurks beneath the surface of all this glamour and romance. The Chinese Ambassador is not who he seems. He is a man of many secrets. Deep, dark, and deadly secrets . . .
“Meanwhile, in the present day, our dashing hero, Alex, has his hands full. It seems that Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth’s favorite grandson, a wild playboy named Prince Richard, has suddenly gone missing. He was last seen at the ultra-exclusive Caribbean resort called the Black Dragon Bay Club. It is, quite simply the most expensive resort in the world. Hotel reservations are by invitation only. The BDBC, as it’s called, is owned and operated by two of the most infamous members of the Chinese Mafia: the Tang Twins. Tiger and Jackie Tang. And, you guessed it, the twins are the direct descendants of our friend Ambassador Tiger Tang.
“Hawke arrives at the club, and, no sooner has his dark blue Gulfstream touched down at Nassau, than the third Tang sibling, Zhang Tang, has the unwary Commander Hawke in her steely clutches. Hawke is all too quickly aware that the resort is not as it appears. Heavily armed security forces are everywhere. As are armed patrol boats. Hawke identifies them as Chinese Navy Missile Frigates. So, why the hell is all this security necessary, 90 miles off the southern tip of Florida? He calls in Stokely Jones, Jr. and Chief Inspector Ambrose Congreve to help him find out.”
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance developmental editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.