For their novel, “the CATCHER,” the once married Kingston residents chronicle a reclusive private investigator’s search for a missing child. With “the CATCHER” shining a light on the issues of child abduction and human trafficking, Towers said it was important not to set the book’s storyline in a Third World country.
“I just wanted to make it unique and make it in a First World country, just make it top tier,” he said. “Someone on Park Avenue would have this catalog. ... [So] I thought that would get the reader on board emotionally. It’s not like someone’s dealing diamonds or gold. My God, it’s a person.
“And then, the catalog, the kicker was that [these are] photographs of real people ... [and] you can order them. You can order someone who’s 50. I really wanted to put a spin and verve on it. [This is] not just something that happens in Bangkok.”
The book’s positive critique from Kirkus Reviews stated, “Towers and Frazier keep their prose brisk, their characters colorful and their action scenes nimble, with plenty of henchmen for Clayton and Winston to maul in creative ways.”
According to Kirkus Reviews’ synopsis of “the CATCHER,” “Organized predators snatch children in this boisterous thriller. Scarred of body and heavy of heart, legendary private eye Clayton Russell retreated to his woodland compound in Georgia to sharpen his deadly knife-throwing skills and forget the world’s cruelty with his brainy Airedale Terrier, Winston. Then Pamela Waters, Clayton’s ex-partner and estranged lover, scolds him out of retirement to find a vanished sixth-grader. ... All signs point to the girl’s abduction by child traffickers, and all clues lead to an Amsterdam-based criminal outfit called De Blauwe Organisation.
“Clayton mobilizes his vast [Rolodex] of mercenaries and miscellaneous cronies, including a madam with a heart of gold, to take down DBO. But he hasn’t factored in Fionna Marceau, DBO’s top ‘catcher,’ ... Gorgeous, amoral and wry, she’s a stealthy killing machine to rival Clayton himself.”
Towers introduced the character of Russell in a previous short story, which later became his inspiration for “the CATCHER.”
“[Genevieve] said, ‘You know, you really ought to write some fiction’ and I entered a couple of short story contests,” said Towers, who during his 30-year advertising career developed a knack for naming memorable products, such as Coca-Cola Co.’s Mello Yello and Kellogg’s’ Smart Start. “I sent them off and I forgot about them. Then one day, I get an award in the mail.
“A short story I wrote called ‘Fast Tracks,’ which had this Russell character in it won a national award from Writer’s Digest — it’s a monthly periodical. I thought, ‘Well God, that’s good. I’ll just expand on that.’ So that’s really the catalyst [for this book].”
Prior to having it self-published in 2012, “the CATCHER” was in development for about three years, starting with a 70-page outline by Towers. Along with helping him edit the book, Frazier also added complexity to many of “the CATCHER’s” female characters.
“He wrote this book and it was about 1,000 pages,” said Frazier, who operates a law firm in Rome. “He was writing it while we were married and it just kept getting bigger but it wasn’t going anywhere. And, of course, he said, ‘Well, why don’t you read it?’ Well, when I read it, its original manuscript focused on Clayton Russell. To me, it was more like another 007. So I said, ‘Why don’t we change the lead?’ which is very difficult to tell a writer to do.
“So I suggested that the antagonist have a much stronger role in the case and change the [book’s] name from ‘Out of the Blue’ to ‘the CATCHER’ and begin to focus more on her and [give] the female detective a stronger lead. So from a character standpoint, that was probably my biggest input. I was the one that sliced and diced and cut it down to what I thought was a manageable read.”
To purchase a copy of “the CATCHER,” visit www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com. For more information about the novel and its authors, email Gary@GaryTowersWriter.com.