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= Thrillerology =

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Valley of Seven Castles, a Luxembourg Thriller

Fascinating Background Info, including my discovery: Alfred Hitchcock's Final Secret.

01. Welcome to my Paris-to-Luxembourg Thriller.

02. A Modern Progressive Thriller.

03. Thrillerology Historical Sketch (to 1900)

04. Thrillerology Historical Sketch (since 1900)

05. Bombshell Revelation for Thriller Lovers

06. The Final Secret of Alfred Hitchcock

07. Gender Equality & Plot Structures A Century After Buchan


1. Welcome to my Paris-to-Luxembourg Thriller

Welcome to my novel, which is not only a Luxembourg Thriller, but also a Progressive Thriller. It is a love story (of course: all literature is the love story). It ends in Happy Ever After (HEA). And it is written as a fast-paced suspense novel that covers much mileage really fast, both on the ground (danger) and in the head (ideas).

Plot Spoilers or Appetizers? In my judgment, what little mention is made here of plot elements should serve to whet your appetite rather than deflate your suspense. The purists out there may want to read Valley of Seven Castles first, and then come back to the Thrillerology (and that is perfectly fine).

In this Thrillerology, I have a lot to tell: the background of this novel, not only as a novel of ideas and as a first-class romp across Europe amid danger and romance—but structurally and technically, a carefully built engine of storytelling that draws upon some amazing secret sauce I uncovered while tracking down the secrets of some top thrillers of the past century. The really amazing thing is that I found what I call The Final Secret of Alfred Hitchcock (more on that shortly, but lesser things first).

For the general (global) reader, this novel should be a sort of fast-paced, colorful, sometimes gritty tour of one of the world's smallest nations (Luxembourg, 999 square miles of sovereign nation, with the same seating in the United Nations as the United States and other world powers. Luxembourg was a founding member of the U.N., of NATO, and of the European Union. The town of Schengen, in Luxembourg, near the meeting point of France and Germany, gives its name to a major EU operating treaty.

Like the 2002 suspense thriller film The Bourne Identity, starring Matt Damon and Franka Potente, this novel takes my two heroes (Rick Buchan and Hannah Smith) on a desperate and dangerous ramble through the heart of Europe. The core of my novel starts in Paris and ends in Luxembourg City. They’re running from ruthless and deadly enemies, but they’re also running toward a Luxembourg solution to the world’s problems, in the form of Professor Hilaire Sander. Sander’s son invented a key military technology (the Intelligent Fuselage Skin for aircraft, or IFS), but Pierre Sander was murdered in London by the Chinese zillionaire (Wan) of Shanghai who happens to also be Hannah’s boss, or owner, in a terrifying new world of the near future.

For Luxemburgers, and their neighbors, I hope this will be an entertaining 'make you proud' tour of their scenic and fascinating region. If you love a rousing adventure, a passionate love story, and a novel of ideas, I have a Sachertorte of books for you. Of course, I am the chef, so I would think so.

In this Thrillerology, I am going to touch upon a number of important themes. You may ask: What is a Thrillerology, and why write one? The answer is: initially, I had no idea about writing such a thing. I was simply intoxicated and infatuated with my young characters, with the wonderful landscapes of Europe and specifically Luxembourg (where I lived as a child, still speak the language, and have cousins living there today).

Driven by my study of history, as well as my concern with U.S. politics (not partisan; who has time; but the larger picture, like seeking universal health care for all, and yes we can afford it by a long shot), I was impassioned to write a progressive thriller. The thriller is a favorite form of mine. In fact, based on my 2008 historical thriller Lethal Journey (closely based on my nonfictional scholarly research in Dead Move: The Haunting Mystery of Kate Morgan and Coronado, a 1892 true crime story and famous ghost legend), I was made an Active Member of ITW, and my San Diego small press imprint Clocktower Books was named an ITW-Recognized Publisher. The time seemed overdue to lay aside some of the staler tropes from the last century's thrillers (non-stop shooting, running, yelling, lurid kissing, etc.; see Jeff Goldblum's immortal words in Jurassic Park II)… and instead present timely, relevant new food for current thought along with good entertainment (yes, shooting, running, yelling, kissing, etc.). Writing this novel was a love affair on several levels, and I plan to write more of these Progressive Thrillers, many of them anchored in Luxembourg and greater Europe. I've written other novels, including a few thrillers, and I never felt moved to write an '-ology' (from Hellenic logos, meaning word, speaking about, knowledge, etc.). There is a first time for everything.

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