John A. Bray, Author

 

 

 

 

 

Williamsburg, VA

(757) 345-0405

 

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Echo of Darkness - New Release

Dante Falconieri is now a private detective with an office in Manhattan. A former agent with the DEA, he left Federal service under a cloud of suspicion that still follows him. His partner, both at the office and in matters of the heart, is Clara O’Shea. She was a New York City detective now retired on three quarters disability pension after being shot while working as Dante’s handler when he was on loan to the NYPD as a confidential informant. A woman named Amelia Boyle comes to their office to retain their services. Her husband disappears at strange hours and she suspects infidelity and wants to know who he is involved with. With the marriage failing, and Amelia seeks a divorce. She also wants a large financial settlement from her husband’s wealth when she leaves, knowing if he has secret trysts might increase her chances of a significant cash award. From the first time Dante follows Ada’n ‘Ed’ Boyle, he knows an extra marital affair is not the reason for his absences from home as he witnesses Ed meeting with a group of suspicious looking men on a Hudson River pier. The question is why Ed, a Syracuse University graduate with a high IQ, a former employee of the United States Agency for International Development and now a well paid investment banker with the firm of Karagian Brothers, is associating with unsavory people. As Dante pursues leads into Boyle’s involvement to uncover the husband’s strange conduct, Amelia Boyle is found murdered. This event brings the NYPD and all of Dante’s past crashing together as more and more bodies appear. Ed Boyle then asks Dante for help in disentangling himself from the gang he meets on the pier. Filled with twists and turns, Echo of Darkness takes the reader through the dark world of international crime and diamond smuggling. Finally, Dante risks his life to help his new client and unearths evidence of another conspiracy far worse than gem smuggling.

Broken Force (Sequel to Blue Heat)

Play the 2013 interview about this book:   

Dante’s back but he’s not an agent anymore. Working undercover as a confidential informant for the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, he is sent to New York on loan to the New York City Police Department to help solve the theft of a million dollars worth of contraband drug evidence from the Department’s Property Clerk’s Office. Teamed with detectives from a highly sensitive and secret unit working directly for the Police Commissioner, Dante must face Mafia gangsters and crooked detectives bent on preventing him from uncovering the truth.

Murder and mayhem dog his tracks while he pursues the deadly ring responsible for the daring and outlandish crime. To complicate his life, he falls in love with Clara, a beautiful but hard-boiled female detective, assigned to his back-up team. She must decide whether to become romantically involved with Dante while aware of his checkered past and lone-wolf personality. Dante’s peril increases, placing the team with whom he works in danger, when an unknown insider within the department threatens to reveal his identity.

Broken Force, the sequel to the novel, Blue Heat, is a no-holds-barred suspense thriller, which exposes the constant struggle to rid law enforcement of those whose greed undermines the effort to stem the flow of illicit narcotics into the nation’s big cities. A page-turner from beginning to end, with unexpected twist and turns, Broken Force continues the exploits of Dante Falconieri, a once and future infiltrator of criminal conspiracies.

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Home Front (formerly titled Code Name: Caleb) <> Read Review of this book  

Play the 2013 interview about this book:  

Young and penniless Johnny Madigan lied about his age to become a Union Soldier. And after surviving serious injury on the Civil War’s most notorious and blood-soaked killing fields, was recruited to work under cover to infiltrate Confederate spy rings.

In this sequel to the acclaimed Flags of Our Sons, Johnny – older than his years, but much younger than believed by the army, battle-hardened and a master of espionage – is sent back to New York to penetrate an underground counterfeiting gang supplying forged US currency the enemy South.

His assignment takes him to Canada where a murderous Confederate spy ring is plotting an armed uprising to take over New York City and hold it hostage.

Johnny’s dream is to return to childhood sweetheart, Deidre, who kept him alive as a destitute youth in the city’s slums, but there is more than the daily risk of sudden death keeping him from her as he enters the very heart of the conspiracy. Suspected by some plotters, he is seduced by a beautiful woman – herself a key member of the gang – whose orders are to expose him.

Will the war-toughened, but still romantically naïve, Johnny see through sexy Letitia’s love ploy to complete and survive his vital mission and to be re-united with Deidre, or can the conspirators lower his guard with Letitia’s wily help, make their bold, history-changing plan succeed … and see Johnny dead?

John Bray’s immaculately researched and race-paced ‘Home Front’ thrusts the reader into the murky depths of intrigue, plot and counter-plot that became the dark underside of the War Between the States.

Read Author Interview in "the Big Thrill Magazine"

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Blue Heat (Formerly titled The Confidential)

 Play 2011 Interview:

Dante Falconieri lives in the murky shadows, assigned to the dirtiest undercover job of all … trapping fellow cops on the take from crime lords.

Dante is the guardian who guards the guardians.

But who guards Dante, the lone wolf and the wild card?

He's cynical and disillusioned. His promotion's stalled. He craves to return to the narcotics stings that made him among the best undercover men of the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency. He's weary and needs a vacation. His cop-on-cop busts have led him to mistrust his bosses, their bosses, his closest partners, district attorneys, and the Joint Federal, State and City crack task force to which he's on loan for the biggest sting of all.

His trophy girlfriend needs much more than his agent's pay check can buy. And what comfort he has left – this all-consuming passion for Mina – is threatened by his code of secrecy, his unexplained, mysterious midnight disappearances from her bed at a bleep of his phone, and his shallow pockets.

His mind and his devotion to justice are showing cracks as subtly visible as those that felled the House of Usher.

Can Dante himself be trusted, or can he be turned to the dark side by the very villains he's dedicated his life to putting behind bars … or consigning to hell? They're trying hard, and disheartened Dante is a desperate man. Open to temptation?

Author John Bray is a 17-year NYPD vet, who retired as a lieutenant attorney prosecutor and took early retirement to become a crime lawyer before becoming a full-time author. He knows what makes the man who is coded by investigation-hardened insiders as 'The Confidential'.

This Byzantine tale of intrigue and cunning deception twists and turns at every flip of the page, building to a climax that will leave you wiser – wise enough to be scared stiff. Dante is a beautifully flawed anti-hero … an irresistible character you'd never want to meet, but who you can't wait to read more of. Paperback or Kindle

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Flags of Our Sons (formerly titled The Ballad of Johnny Madigan) 

Play 2010 interview:

Johnny Madigan’s journey starts with a lie – then life presents him with the reality of its most terrible truths.

The lie is told to a Union Army recruiting sergeant on the dockside when Johnny – orphaned, penniless and barely sixteen years old – blushingly claims to be eighteen to join up and march to war.

It’s Johnny’s first and last lie. And it almost costs him his life, time and time again. Will his next brush with death be his last?

There is no room for make-believe on the blood-soaked killing fields of the bitter battle between the states. He becomes a reluctant killer … and a mourner, as close friends in blue and stranger-boys in gray are scythed down by the pitiless and ravenous reaper of young lives and innocent dreams.

But it is a dream that sustains Johnny: A young girl who showed kindness to him back in the slums of New York City.

As the mini balls and shells take their awful toll, as he suffers capture, as he struggles to live through the ordeal of a gruesome makeshift hospital, as he plays the deadly game of undercover work to expose a nest of enemy plotters, Johnny has two questions burning in his mind …

Can he survive? And if he can, will he return home in time to thwart his sweetheart’s mother’s plan for her to become a nun?

John Bray takes no prisoners in this disturbingly detailed telling of the ordeals of that cruelest of all conflicts – civil war. As the pages turn, the reader can only hope that Johnny will survive against all odds, that his endearing innocence will somehow escape being slain or maimed in the bloodbath, that he will save Deidre from life behind a convent’s walls. This is a tale terrible yet tender, brutal yet beautiful.

Endorsement

"Had The Ballad of Johnny Madigan [i.e.; retitled Flags of Our Sons] been written 100 years ago, I have no doubt it would already be an American classic and  have been filmed half a dozen times. Because it’s so recently created, it will take a little time for us to establish it as such (and you don’t have to be dead). Your book seems to go further – much further – than anything I’ve come across; even Red Badge.  The movie Cold Mountain hardly compares. A magnificent job of work, John." -- Neil Marr, BeWrite Books