Books and Reviews
The Court of Blue Shadows
Former military officers can be very good at action novels, but how many of them are real writers? Maynard Allington… is one of those rarities; a military man who is also a deft writer… Most of this beautifully written book has to do with the psychology of a young man who mistakenly thought he was one of the German elite. There is plenty of action… But this is not a typical adventure story. Rather it is a sensitive and powerful examination of humanity at its worst and at its best.~ The New York Times, April 23, 1995
…An evocative, haunting story of great love, greed, jealousy and betrayal. Allington delivers what he promises – intelligent, well-written yarns that make you think.~ Orlando Sentinel, May 21, 1995
Gripping novel… Exciting action… Truly a Holocaust narrative.~ Dade Jewish Journal, August 23, 1995
The Fox in the Field
An extremely good espionage novel… Allington gives a glimpse of the extremes of poverty and beauty in India, and a central character worthy of comparison with Nick Charles.~ Washington Post, July 3, 1994
Allington writes with grace and verity. The dialogue is true, the research seems impeccable, and the flair for local color emphasizes India in all its mystery. Allington has a gift for clear and lustrous prose that engages the reader immediately.~ Library Journal
Riproaring stuff, stylishly written… an engrossing thriller. Allington evokes the beauty, poverty and mystery of India.~ Publishers Weekly, January 10, 1994
The Grey Wolf
Adventure, intrigue and romantic complications… Swift, flavored with local color, and entertaining…~ Publishers Weekly, June 27, 1986
Action builds dramatically toward a final confrontation and escape scene that will hold the reader's attention to the final sentence…~ The Observer (Books)
Literate and well written...All the elements of a really good read, and characters you care about…~ Florida Today
Mysteries and Thrillers
The Psychoneurotic Vampire
A young commercial artist, fearing he may have been responsible for the deaths of 3 women, approaches PI Rich Hazzard for help. His bizarre story stretches back more than a century to the impressionist era in Paris and involves a young woman with an equally strange past. Why are they both still alive and physically unchanged?
Listening to the artist, Hazzard is left to wonder if he is delusional, or the victim of an elaborate medical conspiracy. The man's mind is full of shadows and aborted experiences that often seem only half real.
Hazzard's investigation will take him from Paris to a mysterious clinic in Geneva, and finally to a remote chateau in the Bernese Alps where he will discover the truth that nearly costs him his life.
The Sunset Boulevard Dialogues
Private Investigator Rich Hazzard receives an unusual invitation to tea, accompanied by a photo of a woman whose throat has been cut. A perfumed note reads, If the photo interests you, please call on me at this address – CARA SHEARS.
The address turns out to be an estate on Sunset Boulevard. A mute bodyguard ushers him into a dimly-lit suite where portraits of a stunningly beautiful girl cover a gallery wall. The girl is Cara Shears, a silent film actress who abandoned Hollywood for Berlin and German expressionist films in 1933. Hiding from view behind a silk partition, she tells him she’s dying from cancer and wants him to write her story, which also involves the woman with the slashed throat.
In a series of taped conversations, Cara Shears recounts her life, and it’s soon obvious to Hazzard that he’s dealing with a serial pattern of murder. He never sees her face on the other side of the silk portiere and comes to wonder if the person talking to him really is the one time film actress. What he doesn’t know is that he’s being set up as the final victim in a complex scenario of murder that traces back to Hitler’s Third Reich.
THE SUNSET BOULEVARD DIALOGUES is an offbeat neo-noir mystery. While it keeps the noir voice, it has the architecture of a literary novel with a powerful theme as opposed to the formula driven mystery.
The Wormwood Pact
Investigating the homicide of a Medal of Honor recipient from Vietnam, Rich Hazzard uncovers a disturbing clue - a photograph of slaughtered Vietnamese women and children in a Montagnard hamlet. Is the murder of a war hero part of a high level cover-up? Hazzard's search for answers will take him to the mean streets of Ho Chi Minh City (present day Saigon) and into a heated affair with a mysterious woman who may be as deadly as she is lovely THE WORMWOOD PACT is the third novel of the Rich Hazzard mystery series.
The Summer of Cinder Red
TURKEY, 1941. Secretly backed by Berlin, a cadre of Turkish officers has planned a military coup to topple the neutralist government and enter the war on the side of the Axis.
Documents linking the insurgents to German Intelligence fall into the hands of an elusive Turkish criminal who plans to sell them back to the highest bidder. In both British and German Intelligence circles, a frantic effort is mounted to recover the “Cinder Red” papers.
The hunt pits two men against each other, Wolf Koeller, a resourceful Abwehr operative, and Wilson Chance, an American. Street smart and wry, Chance has a cynical allegiance to nothing. When the British blackmail him into working for them, he finds himself swept into the heart of the Cinder Red conspiracy, and a relationship with two women, one of whom is a double agent. From the cabarets and teeming brothel quarter of Adana, to the ruins of a crusader castle above the Mediterranean, Chance follows a trail of murder and intrigue to its ultimate conclusion.
The White Raven Portfolio
After a mountain climbing accident on the border of Tibet, Cord Salter is picked up by a Chinese ski patrol. Held and interrogated inside an old lamasery, now a penal camp for Chinese dissidents, he discovers an aging American POW from Vietnam. Rich Larkin is the sole survivor from a missing platoon of Americans never accounted for at the end of the war. Larkin has no idea what happened to the other men who have disappeared, one by one, while in captivity. Nor can he give a reason why he, alone, is still alive.
Salter escapes, and after a harrowing pursuit by his Chinese captors, reaches safety. Back in the U.S. he tracks down Cari Larkin, the daughter of the surviving POW. Now the mystery of the missing platoon begins to unfold as Salter and Cari seek proof of a decades old conspiracy code-named WHITE RAVEN – a search that will turn deadly as they soon find themselves on the run from the CIA as well as the Chinese.
An international criminal, known only as DARIUS, has offered to sell stolen intelligence of vital interest to the U.S. He has stipulated that payment be in diamonds carried by DALTON ROSS, a one time pilot for Air Algerie, to Stone Town in East Africa where a courier will contact him. At a deserted spice plantation outside Stone Town, Ross finds the courier murdered. The intelligence is missing, but the dead man carries a notebook with a list of people targeted for assassination. Beside one of the names is a reference to Department X.
Who is Darius? What is Department X? The search for answers will take Ross on a dangerous hunt across North Africa and into a heated love affair with a young Israeli Mossad operative.
Department X is a contemporary novel about the catastrophic reality of cyber war.
The African Dodger
Jim Lax, a black man looking for work, joins a carnival as the “African Dodger.” Each night, in a flare-lit arena, he must stick his head through a hole in a hanging tarpaulin and dodge baseballs. As the days pass, Jim and 10-year-old Cager Hart develop a close bond. Jim is different from previous “Dodgers.” Soft spoken and educated, he clearly doesn’t belong in his present situation. Cager knows little about his friend, except that he once fought in the ring and saw combat in the First World War. The rest of his past remains a mystery, and the boy begins to suspect Jim might be running from something.
THE AFRICAN DODGER is the story of a young soldier, broken by war, who is left to question the value of his existence in a morally shattered world. His search for answers will take him from postwar Paris to a remote region of Tibet, then back to the Harlem Renaissance of the “Roaring ‘Twenties” and a dangerous love affair with the colored mistress of real-life racketeer, Owney Madden. Jim’s star-crossed relationship with Virgie, a girl from his past, lies at the heart of the story and the “mystery” of the “African Dodger.”
The Man with the Sunlight Spear
QUENTIN FENDER, an American poet whose reputation rests on a single epic poem, has lived for two decades in Mexico City. At 45, Fender has never grown up. He lives off the charity of a Yaqui mistress, drinks too much in the cantinas, and carries the relics of serial brawling on his face and knuckles. But his life changes after he is drawn into an affair with a young American Communist and, unknowingly, into the plot to assassinate Soviet exile, Leon Trotsky.
The real life conspiracy to assassinate Trotsky in Mexico City in 1940 provides the action backdrop for this novel of sexual betrayal and self-discovery.
The Sand Artist
Karen Larsson, a young woman diagnosed with terminal cancer, returns to the beachside resort town of her childhood. It’s the summer of 1939 – a season of deceptive calm and lazy, sun-drenched days. Walking on the beach, she sees a sand artist at work. Patrick Quinlivan, once an aspiring sculptor, has lost an arm in the Spanish Civil War. Now he can only sculpt in sand. Their lives will converge one morning before dawn when Quinlivan catches sight of a despondent Karen attempting to drown herself in the surf.
The Sand Artist tells the story of a brief love affair, poignant and desperate, between two people whose lives have been shattered in separate ways. The overarching metaphor of sand sculpture, washing away in the tides, expresses the larger theme of impermanence and mortality in a world drifting toward war.
With the exception of three mysteries previously published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, this collection of short fiction contains some of the author’s best work in the literary genre.
Voices in a Salt Lagoon
Sentenced to death by a People's Court for his CIA connections, Tran Van Tuan escapes from a re-education camp and returns to Saigon to search for his dead brother's son and the boy's mother, a beautiful and domineering woman Tuan has always loved. An escape from Vietnam by boat will prove more harrowing whn they must face an attack by sea by Thai pirates and a raging typhoon before reaching a squalid, overcrowded refugee camp in Malayasia where Tuan must face an agonizing choise - one that will involve life and death.
Set on an army post at the outbreak of WWII, Fiddler's Green tells the story of Top Sergeant Robin Dollar, a composite of the modern horse soldier, hardened by years in the saddle, as quick with a laugh as with his fists, and indentured to tradition.
He soon finds himself at odds with his new CO, Captain Holden Cross, who is aligned with a cabal of senior officers intent on replacing the horse with the tank. The clash of wills escalates to another level when Dollar is seduced into an affair with the CO's wife, a multiple personality driven by three identities, one of which is viciously promiscuous. How these conflicts ultimately play out on a Soviet battlefield in 1943 bring the novel to it's dramatic climax.