The Gray Man, one of the most lethal characters in the thriller world today, is finally back in bookstores—and this time around he’s taking on a dangerous human trafficking ring in One Minute Out, the latest must-read thriller from New York Times bestselling author Mark Greaney.
Following last year’s Mission Critical, Courtland Gentry, the legendary assassin who moonlights with the CIA when he isn’t taking other jobs around the world, finally sees the horrors of trafficking up close in this one, and decides to do something about it. But while trying to burn the heartless operation down to the ground, Gentry’s contacts at CIA come across credible intelligence suggesting that one of the masterminds behind the trafficking ring has valuable information regarding a potential terrorist attack on America. Suddenly, Court and his handlers differ on how to best handle things, complicating matters for the Gray Man in more ways than one.
As always, Mark Greaney delivers another up-all-night thriller that’s too good to be missed, especially if you’re a fan of Vince Flynn or Brad Thor. His grittiest work to date, One Minute Out is also Greaney’s first book written in first-person narrative, which allows readers to hear directly from the Gray Man, something we’ve never seen before. Trust me, it works in all the best ways imaginable, adding that little extra something to this one, which is a legit contender for the best thriller of the year.
Just before heading out on his book tour, Mark Greaney agreed to go back on the record for our Five Questions segment, and I asked him about everything from how he came up with the story idea for this one to what’s next for the Gray Man moving forward.
Check out the full Q&A below, then make sure to pick up your copy of One Minute Out, now available in bookstores everywhere.
TRBS: I don’t know how you do it, but each new book seems to be better than the last. How did you come up with the story idea for One Minute Out?
Greaney: Thanks! The initial idea for this one began with me picturing the Gray Man on a vengeance mission for something far in the past, but in the process of discovering something unrelated, that’s bigger and more deadly. I then came up with the opening, where he’s going after a Bosnian war criminal. I soon decided on focusing on human trafficking after doing some research on the subject.
TRBS: Anyone who follows you on social media knows that you often travel to the locations you write about. What sort of research did you do before sitting down to write this one?
Greaney: For this book, I went to Mostar, Bosnia, Dubrovnik and Rovinj in Croatia, Venice, Italy, and Los Angeles. It’s essentially the path the Gray Man takes as he makes his way along the pipeline of smuggled victims. I learned a lot at every step along the way.
TRBS: Incredibly, this is your ninth Gray Man book. Do you ever feel pressure to top yourself, and does that factor into your writing process at all?
Greaney: I think all the time about being better at my craft, and also creating something I haven’t done before. It gets harder and harder, and I have to do more work to make the stories fresh.
TRBS: What’s the last great book you read, and what’s currently on your TBR pile?
Greaney: I really enjoyed Without Sanction, by Don Bentley. I think it’s coming out very soon. I have a stack of books to read but next up is The Unwilling, by John Hart, the author of Redemption Road, and I’m excited to get into it.
TRBS: Lastly, what’s next for the Gray Man moving forward?
Greaney: Book ten is already in the works and will be out next year. Not one hundred percent sure of the title yet, but The Real Book Spy’s readers will be among the first to know!
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 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.