Now we know what happened "Before the Book." Our presenters were great. We had anti-terrorism consultant/expert Tj O'Connor, former editor of several metropolitan New York tabloids, dailies and NBC digital news R. G. Belsky, and former CIA analyst and debriefer at the highest levels of the U.S. Government Bill Rapp.
Mr. O'Connor regaled the audience with tales alternatingly scary and funny. It included investigating unidentified dead bodies and making quick trips to foreign countries. In one episode, our author gets himself beat up by Greek gendarmes. When trying to find out why, he is told it's because he mispronounced a Greek word with a long "i" sound as an "e".
His latest novel is The Consultant. This is the first in his new Jonathan Hunter Thriller series.
Mr. Belsky had a whole repertoire of stories and anecdotes ranging from tracking down serial killers to celebrity scandals. The celebrities included "the Donald" Trump, with whom he had an interesting lunch. More amusing, however, was Belsky's men's room meeting with Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. Mr. Jagger placed his head on Mr. Belsky's shoulder. Then the glassy-eyed Jagger stared a bit and then said "Sorry, Mate! I thought you were Keith [Richards]." It isn't everyone who gets mistaken for a Rolling Stone by a Stone.
His latest book is Yesterday's News and also starts a new series—Clare Carlson Mystery.
Bill Rapp finished up the program with a discussion of how intelligence really works. Real life examples included stories about Markus Wolf, longtime head of the Stasi, the East German security service. Wolf got the better of U.S. intelligence services on several occasions. That led to studying his methods in detail. Rapp's duties included briefing such unassuming luminaries as Condoleeza Rice. His latest book, The Hapsburg Variation is the second in his Cold War series.
Signed editions of all of these authors' books are available here at the Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop. We definitely plan on having these guys back!
R. G. Belsky