Sunday, September 24, 2017

Wonder Where the Money Went? - A Guest Post by Diane Capri

This month, Fabulous Florida Writers is pleased to welcome guest blogger Diane Capri. Diane is the  New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Hunt for Jack Reacher series based on Lee Child's enigmatic character. Her latest novel, Jack the Reaper, (Book 8 in the series) will be released on September 26. Diane was our featured author on January 18, 2015.

Jack the Reaper is the newest novel in my Hunt for Jack Reacher series. When I began writing this spin off series back in 2009, I had no idea whether readers would embrace the concept or not. Eight years later, the series about two FBI agents, Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar, on the hunt for Jack Reacher has now sold well over a million copies, hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists several times, been nominated for a few awards and even won a couple of them. The series has found readers around the world. Let me tell you, I couldn’t possibly be more thrilled about all of that!

Perhaps the question I’m asked most frequently is where I get the ideas for my books. I usually joke and say I buy them at But the truth is that I don’t always know. Sometimes, ideas simply pop into my head. Other times, like this book, real life events inspire the story.
 In the case of Jack the Reaper, what sparked my interest were the secrets being revealed by whistleblowers and watchdog groups. As a lawyer, I’m required to keep confidences and secrets. If lawyers reveal private matters, we can lose our license to practice, which means losing our ability to feed our families. All of which meant I was intrigued by the big scandal the media dubbed The Panama Papers.

Do you remember that one? A Panama law firm’s files were hacked. Private information about thousands of offshore tax havens was exposed. Prominent people found themselves in embarrassing situations. Some of those situations, it turned out, were also illegal.

How might Jack Reacher be involved in all of this, I wondered. After all, Reacher is one of the least likely men on the planet to be hiding hordes of cash from tax collectors. Reacher seems to care very little about money at all. He cares even less for paperwork. It’s not likely he’d have an offshore shell corporation holding boat loads of pre-tax cash. Not likely at all.

Where would he get the money, for starters?
It turns out that Reacher did have access to nine million dollars of untraceable cash at the end of in the Lee Child novel, The Hard Way. Nine million is a lot of money, for sure.

What if Reacher went back to The Dakota where the money was hidden after he dispatched the bad guys?

What would Reacher do with all of that cash?

What if more bad guys wanted that money back?

Jack the Reaper developed from questions like these. Like all of my Hunt for Jack Reacher series novels, this one uses a Lee Child novel as its source book and springs from the characters, settings, and events in The Hard Way. Coming up with a compelling story that isn’t a sequel to the original but retains the flavor of a Reacher novel is a challenge every single time.

But when the magic happens and an exciting story results, it’s well worth the effort. Don’t you agree?

 In Jack the Reaper, the exposure of sensitive banking records leads to a thrilling chase from Iraq to London to New York and Palm Beach. Agents Otto and Gaspar are caught up in deadly situations they don’t understand. Everyone knows more about Reacher than they do. They’re forced to learn fast to stay alive.

And what exactly happened to all that cash?

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