Luke Graham was once a highly decorated top cop. Then, his father, also a police detective, is gunned down in the line of duty when backup fails to arrive in time. Despair burns in Luke’s heart, turning his life and career into bitter ashes. He becomes a pariah on the force. No one wants him as a partner, because they can’t trust him to have their backs and everyone knows Luke trusts no one. He’s lost all faith in his fellow police officers, himself and his God. He’s a ticking time bomb about to explode.
Then, while on a case, Luke defies procedure and pursues a killer without backup, as his father did. He nearly gets killed.
But fate isn’t quite done with Luke yet. A serial killer hunts in the city. Victims are falling to gruesome attacks and left always with the signature blue ribbon across their eyes. The ribbon is a message to a hidden agenda aimed directly at the cops, but no one can see it, except for Luke.
Saddled with a partner he doesn’t want, and tied to a hospital bed he can’t get out of, Luke nearly gives in to despair, But then, from a promise he made at Death’s door, a spiritual ancestor from Luke’s past appears and offers to guide him-for a price. In return, Richard, a 1000-year-old spirit knight, will repay his own debts of honor.
But, catching a maniacal killer is more important to Luke than helping a depressed spirit from his family line. Can Luke discover who’s behind the Ribbon Killer’s brutal attacks before Richard’s patience runs out and he cashes in Luke’s soul?
And now let's get to know Jeff a little better....
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1 Steph Post: If you were forbidden to write, how else would you address your creative energies?
Jeff Messick: Dungeons and Dragons with my kids. Or blow my brains out. Forbidden to write? Ye Gods!
SP: Do you have a particular author who has influenced your writing the most? How has she/he influenced you?
JM: Raymond Feist (Riftwar Saga) and Robert Parker (Spenser novels). Mr. Feist creates a wonderful world so many details researched and painted into the background. His imagery is awesome and his political vision (who’s next to the throne?) is compelling. Mr. Parker carries the torch for the hard-boiled detective novel and gets an amazing amount of description and prose out in the character’s CONVERSATIONS! His dialogue is second to none in my book…though Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files gets REAL close.
3 SP: Do you have a set writing schedule? How often do you stick to it? (be honest!)
JM:I have four kids, so NO WAY! I do what I can, when I can. My wife works odd schedule sometimes, so I’ll use that time. Weekends belong to me and the kids.
4 SP: Do you read certain types of books or genres when you are in the middle of a writing project? (as opposed to at other times in your life)
JM: I read everything I can except Romance. I have found though that books I truly enjoy will find that style leaking into my writing. I have no problem with that though. I consider it proper homage to those that write what I love to read.
5 SP: What is the number one feeling you want people to take away from your writing?
JM: Enjoyment. Sit back and like a good book. If it’s my book you’re reading and you’re liking it, I’ve done my work well.
1 Television show: Highlander: The Series
2 Carnival ride: The car ride home. Too many people at carnivals.
3 Artist: All those that have made comics and graphic novels through my lifetime.
4 Book you read in high school or college: The Riftwar Saga and Lord of the Rings.
5 Mode of travel: Thought.