Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Spotlight & Interview: The Bone Hunters (Robert J. Mrazek)

The Bone Hunters (Lexy Vaughan & Steven Macaulay #2)Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Signet

The award-winning author of Valhalla brings back archaeologist Lexy Vaughan and retired Air Force officer Steve Macaulay, as they race to save a priceless discovery from disappearing forever.…
One of the greatest archaeological finds of all time, Peking Man, the 780,000-year-old remains of our earliest known human ancestor, disappeared during World War II from a cargo ship bound for America.
Now the Chinese government is fighting to keep a new religion from taking hold—a faith based on the belief that Peking Man is God. And they dispatch ruthless operatives to find and destroy the world’s most priceless fossil.

But the U.S. government has its own team on the hunt. From the mountains of Bavaria to the jungles of Central America and across the vast Pacific, Professor Barnaby Finchem, his brilliant protégé, Lexy Vaughan, and pilot Steve Macaulay will brave the wrath of nature and of man to win a race against unbridled tyranny.…

Robert J. Mrazek
Robert J. Mrazek is the author of the novels Valhalla, The Deadly Embrace, which won the W.Y. Boyd Prize for Excellence in Military Fiction from the American Library Association, Unholy Fire, and Stonewall's Gold, winner of the Michael Shaara Prize for Best Civil War Novel of 1999. He is also the author of two works of nonfiction, To Kingdom Comeand A Dawn Like Thunder. You can find him on the web at

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

The inspiration for this book came from a combination of factors. I have always been fascinated by true archeological mysteries, such as the strong possibility that Leif Eriksson and his Norsemen reached American soil five hundred years before Columbus, the untapped secrets of the Pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, or in this case the strange disappearance of the Peking Man, the most important archeological discovery related to our human origins. The fossil disappeared on the first day of World War II after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. I have always wondered what happened to the small US Marine convoy that was attempting to save Peking Man and that disappeared into the war torn landscape. My novel answers these questions.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

My favorite character is Barnaby Finchem, probably because I made him my own age and gave him the kind of infirmities old people have to deal with while still feeling young inside. They say 70 is the new 40 but it only works if you remove all the mirrors from your house. Barnaby has a sarcastic sense of humor, as I do. Unlike me, he is cynical, but essentially holds onto the values of courage and sacrifice against the odds. 

Which came first, the title or the novel?
The story of the novel came before the title. It always has with my nine books. 

I am proud of the culminating scene in the novel, which choreographs a series of violent confrontations between the heroes and a diverse set of characters in the middle of a powerful hurricane. It required a careful calibration of action and dramatic denouement to resolve all the sublayers of the plot.

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

I have wanted to be a writer since I was a boy. My earliest stories came from my unformed personality and were primitive homages to my favorite writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Later on I developed a love for film and film making. In 1968, I had just gotten out of Newport Naval Hospital and was attending the London Film School when Sen. Robert Kennedy was assassinated. At the time, it felt like what I was doing in film school was pretty trivial while our country was being torn apart by the war in Vietnam. I ended up coming back to the U.S. and going into politics. That detour lasted twenty five years. I decided to try writing again after five terms in Congress. Now it’s nine books later and I like to think that my writing reflects a well-formed person with a lot of life experience. I’ve also learned that practice makes better.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I think the cover of The Bone Hunters is mysterious and inviting. It contains visual images that suggest exotic locations and danger.

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2016?

I am looking forward most to the first book in Rick Atkinson’s trilogy on the American Revolution.

What was your favorite book in 2015?

A wonderful thriller named VALHALLA.

What’s up next for you?

I had the chance to write and direct a feature film called THE CONGRESSMAN last year ( We will be bringing it to theaters in April 2016, and I will be pretty busy during and after the premiere in Washington, DC. Making a feature film, particularly if you are trying to make a good one, is stressful, exciting, and tremendously challenging. We had a wonderful cast starring Treat Williams and Elizabeth Marvel. I look forward to getting back to the peaceful surroundings of my writing lair and beginning my next book.

Praise for the works of Robert J. Mrazek:

“Literate, exciting, poignant, and engrossing.”
 —#1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille

—New York Times bestselling author Susan Isaacs

“A taut, original thriller.”
—Ryan Lockwood, author of Below

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