How ironic that my latest novel’s release came at the very same time the nation was witnessing a horrible example of media malpractice in which a group of Catholic school teens were vilified by a social media mob that resulted in threats of death, the burning of their school, and the destruction of their futures—all based upon a gross misrepresentation of fact.
You see, MR. DIAZ’S REVENGE is largely about that very thing. It is an intentionally uncomfortable exploration of the inherent biases, manipulations, and outright lies, that now plague modern American society. The kind of lies that will, if allowed to go unchecked, destroy us all.
What some readers might not realize is that by the time one of my novels becomes available to the full public, it has been read by a number of people and during that initial process which takes place over the course of weeks and months, I’m given valuable feedback and insight. MR. DIAZ’S REVENGE received a bit more of this than usual because it generated a rather strong response. That’s good because that’s exactly what I wanted the story to do.
One of the primary areas of discomfort for readers was what they felt to be an unusually contradictory protagonist in Mr. Diaz. Is he good? Is he bad? Is he actually the antagonist? That’s the uncertainty I wanted readers to feel about the title character. Like most of us, he’s a tough one to pin down. And therein you discover one of the foundational tenets of the story. How the powers that be have become so intent on pinning us down, labeling us, putting us into our respective boxes from which there is to be no escape. Are you liberal or conservative? Republican or Democrat? Do you watch CNN or Fox News? Do you support President Trump or despise him? Is it Apple or IBM? Gay or straight or other? And on and on it goes.
It is a divide and conquer system whereby nearly everything is an outrage to be posted/tweeted/texted 24/7 a million times over. People no longer discuss, consider, and they certainly do far too little reflecting. Everything is shouting, screaming, attacking, up to and including adults advocating a Catholic school be burned down with all of the students trapped inside because they watched a viral video clip that was quickly proven to have been taken terribly out of context. There is nothing healthy about a society that is so willing to attack school kids and their families like that.
Enter MR. DIAZ’S REVENGE. Amos Diaz is a minority who is sick and tired of being labelled a minority. More importantly, he is a teacher sick and tired of being stuck in an educational system that no longer teaches students but labels them, indoctrinates them, drugs them, and then disposes of them like used tissue. If you’ve ever felt like screaming at how wrong the world is today then you’ll find some common ground with Mr. Diaz.
The secondary protagonist/antagonist is a father of two and a military combat veteran who, like Mr. Diaz, has come to the end of his proverbial rope. He’s beyond sick and tired of being looked down on for being male, white, and poor. He feels betrayed by a country that sent him away to fight far off wars only to return to a society that no longer has any use for him.
Though they don’t yet know it, the destinies of these two seemingly very different men are soon to be intertwined and the results will prove explosive. I like to think of MR. DIAZ’S REVENGE as a thinking person’s thriller. It’s often dark, gritty, but not without hope and ultimate redemption.
Kind of like me. Kind of like a lot of us.
I hope you like it.