Today's guest blogger is Sam Hilliard. We're going to be getting to know a little bit about Mike Brody,the main character from Sam's mystery/thriller novel, The Last Track.
Imagine if being late meant a child disappeared forever. That is the fear that drives Mike Brody—the man you want when the one you love is missing.
In The Last Track, a police detective recruits Mike to help find an asthmatic boy lost in the dense woods surrounding a dude ranch in Montana. An unwitting murder witness, the boy burrows ever deeper into the rugged terrain, fearful of being found. As Mike and a local officer search for the boy, the killer follows them.
While the investigation expands, Mike’s ex-wife, a well-connected journalist, uses her contacts to unravel the truth behind the murder.
Her discoveries threaten to snare them all in a treacherous conspiracy . . .
Getting to Know Mike Brody by Sam Hilliard
While Mike Brody has a broad set of skills—one bordering on supernatural—it is the depth of his childhood wounds that truly forged him. The circumstances of his abduction and the murder of his brother haunt him to this day.
Able to think and adapt in the most chaotic of situations, he sees what others overlook. By tapping into the emotional charge left behind in their tracks, Mike can visualize the circumstances that led to a person’s disappearance, as if through their eyes.
A former Special Forces operative and member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, Mike’s spent most of his twenties in the military. Toward the end of his tour of duty, Mike suffered a serious knee injury during a mission that resulted in several months on the sidelines. Though eighty percent of the mobility in the affected knee returned, specialists agreed that even with a full replacement and months of rehabilitation, he would never return to full capacity. Since the injury could potentially prevent him from giving one hundred percent in a combat situation, both parties agreed not to extend his service upon expiration of his contract.
While his wife, Jessica, celebrated the end of his military career—a recurring point of stress between them—her joy was short-lived. Mike soon began leading extreme excursions all over the world and smoke jumping forest fires in the Pacific Northwest. Occasionally the knee injury flares up and requires treatment, temporarily sidelining him once again.
In the midst of all of this, are the calls from law enforcement agencies and desperate families asking for his help in the search for the missing. He answers, always, no matter what the cost to him personally, emotionally or professionally.
Jessica finally tired of his adrenaline seeking ways and his refusal to seek help for some issues she felt impacted their marriage, filed for divorce. Currently, they work hard to maintain an extremely civil friendship for the benefit of their young son, Andy. But they continue to struggle with an on-again, off-again relationship, that doesn’t work well when they are together, but doesn’t work at all when they are apart.
Besides the knee injuries, Mike suffers from night terrors, as well as post traumatic stress and abandonment issues—the product of losing his parents just before high school and reinforced by his own divorce.
At the end of the day, Mike Brody is an unlikely hero. He is a man who wants to do the right thing, for all the right reasons. But it is the way he approaches those situations that the people who care for him the most have trouble accepting.
Read the reviews!
"The Last Track by Sam Hilliard is an emotionally charged mystery thriller."
"I hope the Mike Brody series continues because I really enjoyed this first installment and hope to learn even more about Mike during further books."
- My Reading Reading
“From the very start The Last Track captivates with a frenetic pace, keeping the reader engaged in a series of suspenseful events."
- Cindy Otty, Amazon.com Reviewer
Sam Hilliard was born in the Midwest in 1973. Right before he graduated from college, his family moved to Red Bank, New Jersey. He worked at a convenience store, but he knew he wanted to be a writer--even if he wouldn't admit it. After his marriage and subsequent divorce, Sam spent the next two years writing The Last Track. He's now the Director of IT at an all girls boarding school, and lives in New York City with his girlfriend and an army of cats.
You can visit Sam online at samhilliard.com.
This post first appeared at The Book Connection.