Release date: January 9, 2018
The Knock on his Door…That Changed his Life
Fifteen years after Donovan’s daughter is abducted, Monica Russell knocks on his door. She claims she knew his daughter while in captivity and says she made a promise to tell him about their friendship.
The Last Friend to hold His Daughter’s Hand
When Monica claims to know where his daughter’s remains are buried, Donovan is immediately committed to doing whatever this last friend needs from him, regardless of the warnings from his family and friends.
The Friend Who Can Help Him Seek Vengeance
And when Monica claims to know where he can find the man who abducted, assaulted, and murdered his princess, Donovan knows he will stop at nothing to get his vengeance.
What Cost Will He Ultimately Pay?
Monica claims she can show Donovan a lot of things about his daughter, but what price will Donovan ultimately pay the young lady who claims to be the last friend to know his daughter?
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Last Friend! I read and really liked this book late last year and am so pleased to be sharing some more with you guys today.
The Last Friend – Harvey Church
– Special Agent Mike Klein –
| Who is Special Agent Mike Klein
Klein is an old-school investigator. He began his career investigating missing people, kidnappings, abductions, ransoms, etc.. But with funding constraints, his unit has shrunk. He’s now overworked, hitting the mid-point in fifties and eyeing retirement.
He believes in the justice system, the rule of law, and that makes things difficult for him in the case of Elizabeth Glass and the many other young girls who have gone missing in The Last Friend.
| The Inspiration for Klein’s Character
Once, while I was out of town with my family, I dined out at a restaurant. Nothing fancy, just a regular place, and it was packed. At the next table, there was a trio of older men. One of them was the most handsome older man I’d ever seen – strong jaw, penetrating eyes, the kind of tan and weathered look that belongs in a Western Romance. At this man’s worst, he’d look better than me at my best. As we all do, I started wondering what this man did for a living. In my mind, he was an investigator. The only reason he was dining at this restaurant was because the owners had kidnapped kids from across the country and forced them into working for them, and this special agent was going to lock the place down once his crème brûlée arrived. (Okay, I might have had wine, on an empty stomach, but that was honestly how Klein’s character came to me).
| The Creation of Klein
Er, see above?
I’ll add that bringing the old guy from the restaurant into my novel involved giving him traits that—oh, wait, I get to talk about that next…
| About Klein’s Character
So, as I was saying, adapting the good-looking old man to the novel wasn’t as easy as I thought. Was he married? What’s his past? What does his office look like? And, most importantly, how do these things reveal themselves when Klein is a secondary character to the grieving father (Donovan) and his missing daughter’s last friend (Monica)?
To compensate for Klein’s secondary role in the Last Friend he is the secondary character of another novel I’ve written (The Last Night) as well as one in development for a summer 2018 publication. The summer 2018 novel gets more into Klein’s head as he tidies up some loose ends from The Last Friend, particularly that opening chapter…
| Does he have any similarities with anyone ‘real’?
If so .. tell us more!
If anyone ever asked me what Klein and I have in common, the answer would be: nothing. We are polar opposites in terms of our nicotine addictions, our calm and collected way of dealing with injustice, our beliefs in the ‘system,’ our views on politics, how we dress, and what’s important to us. That’s not to say or suggest that special agent Mike Klein is an idiot (because it’s probably the other way around), but we’d probably not cheer for the same football team. And if we were ever seated at a bar together—okay, we share an appreciation for single malts, which is a start, I suppose—we’d probably disagree about things like fiscal policy, which Netflix show to watch next, and whether David Hasselhoff is going to make a comeback as Michael Knight.
| What do you like most about your character?
He’s fearless and certain about everything he does. Klein doesn’t make mistakes. Plus, he’s the type of guy that offers hope that a better world exists outside of all of the horrible things that happen around us.
| What do you dislike about your protagonist’s character?
Klein’s inflexibility doesn’t allow him to see shades of grey. For Klein, everything is a black and white problem. In The Last Friend, that’s not a big problem—a young girl was kidnapped and her captor should suffer. But in The Last Night, things aren’t so black and white, and that causes issues for Klein.
| Would you and Klein be friends ‘in real life’?
I think it’s good and smart to be friends with people who can save your life, and Klein could definitely do that. But he probably wouldn’t cheer for my favourite teams, and he’d likely try to stiff me for the tab if we went out for drinks. Plus, I bet he enjoys golfing, and I can swear and throw things out of frustration in the comfort of my own home, without having to pay inflated green fees, thank you very much. So, no, Klein and I likely wouldn’t be friends.
| What’s Next?
Up next for Klein is the novel, The Last Night. In this one, Ethan Vernon’s wife was taken away from her home in an ambulance in the middle the night. Except she never made it to the emergency room. When Ethan starts doubting himself, he searches the other hospitals, always with the same result: your wife’s not here. At his wits’ end, he calls emergency services and learns that no ambulance was ever dispatched to his house in the first place. In fact, Ethan himself becomes a suspect in what he believes is a massive cover-up, only to come face-to-face with a truth he might rather never know. Guess who is in the middle of this mess? Yup, special agent Mike Klein.
About the Author:
Harvey Church has a background in finance, which is how he found himself writing about the people and ridiculousness (sometimes the same thing) of that field in his Edwin Burrows light mystery series. Although he considers himself retired from that field (aka not working), he’s planning another three Edwin Burrows novels for 2018.
His first “serious” novel, The Last Friend, is a Kindle Scout writing competition winner and was published by Kindle Press on January 9, 2018. The BookLife Prize called it “an entertaining read for mystery and thriller fans alike,” and said it is “an unexpected and exciting series of events that will grab readers.” Harvey plans two sister novels to The Last Friend in 2018, one titled The Last Night (Spring 2018) and the other tentatively titled The Last Survivor.
For fun, Harvey likes to practice street magic and spends hours engineering tricks to wow his audiences. He is also an avid hockey fan (Go Leafs Go). He has a wife and two kids. His favorite color is blue, but he drives a black car because he read somewhere, back in the 90’s, that radar detectors have a tough time seeing them. Interestingly, he never speeds because he’s too busy singing like nobody’s watching, or maybe it’s that everybody is deaf.
He’s a supporter of double-chins, double-dates, and double-dipping (though never on double-dates), and obviously enjoys writing about himself in the third person, in the voice of the narrator from The Royal Tenenbaums.
Connect with Harvey Church by searching Harvey Church Mysteries on Facebook, at @hashtag_harv on Instagram, and @harveychurch1 on Twitter. You can also find him wandering the streets of Chicago, Toronto, Montreal or the Lido deck of a Princess Cruise ship. If you ever meet Harv, ask to see a magic trick!
Don’t forget to sign up for his email list at AListHarvey.com
Harvey Church Online: