Spider Green Series
by Norm Harris
GENRE: Mystery/Thriller Legal Military
FRUIT OF THE POISONOUS TREE (Book One):
A female lawyer must prove a war hero’s innocence. Navy SEALs hijack a Russian warship to stop a North Korean missile crisis.
“A great read with a stunning finish.” - Advocate, Narayan. “Picturing Justice,” published by the Faculty of Law, University of San Francisco.
Every now and again, a unique story comes our way, a story unlike any we may have read before. Such is “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree,” author Norm Harris’s first critically acclaimed mystery/thriller. The story’s focal point is Faydra “Spider” Green, a dedicated Navy lawyer who has lived her life in the shadows of a great and powerful man: her father, former President of the United States William Green. Green cannot heal the wound in his relationship with his daughter. His former power and influence curse Faydra and cause her to wonder if her accomplishments were her own doing.
Faydra is anxious and excited as she undertakes her first homicide investigation: the murder of a Navy SEAL. She reasons a successful investigation will provide her the opportunity to validate her sense of self-worth. Thanks to her remarkable deductive abilities, Faydra soon realizes the accused man, a Special Ops Marine war hero, may be innocent and the Navy is using her as a pawn in a complex cover-up.
“A sharp, crackling military thriller..., Norm Harris’s ‘Fruit of the Poisonous Tree’ offers a labyrinth of military cover-ups, surprise twists, and insider techno knowledge. Good, exciting, inventive read.” - Wendell Wellman, actor, producer, and screenwriter for Clint Eastwood’s “Firefox” and Producer of “Top Hat,” “Sail Away”, and “House in the Canyon.”
Meanwhile, a seasoned Navy Sea Captain, Egan Fletcher, a single parent, struggles to balance his Navy career with raising a son. When the Navy purposefully pairs him with Faydra in a meeting, the two Navy officers embark on an adrenaline-pumping adventure. It is a top-secret mission-impossible taking them around the world in an attempt to avert a catastrophic act of terrorism in the form of a biological war.
“Norm Harris’s book grabs the reader with its first sentence and holds the reader throughout with its fast-paced action. Dialogue is always the hardest to write, but Harris has captured the art and, with his writing, keeps the reader turning pages. His ability to heighten the intrigue keeps the reader on the edge of his or her seat throughout the story. Strongly recommend the book…” - CAPT David E. Meadows, US Navy, author of numerous (15) military thrillers, such as “Sixth Fleet,” “Seawolf,” and “Tomcat.”
Set against the dramatic backdrop of Washington State’s Puget Sound and the mystique of East Asia, Fadra’s story revolves around a woman who appears to be as pure as the driven snow—yet, she is driven by an insatiable need to complete any assignment, no matter how dangerous. Along the way, she transforms into a symbol of hope, perseverance, and a woman’s ability to overcome life-threatening events.
“This story is complex and well crafted, and you’ll immediately invest your emotions in these vivid characters. The dialogue is some of the freshest I’ve encountered in some time…. As a reader, and as a novelist myself, and now as a fan, my hat goes off to this guy. A wonderful debut.” - Larry Brooks, critically acclaimed author of psychological thrillers (including “Darkness Bound,” “Pressure Points,” “Serpents Dance,” and others), in addition to his work as a freelance writer and writing instructor.
The first novel, “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree,” begins the riveting Spider Green Mystery Thriller series. If you enjoy the razor-sharp dialogue, strong-willed people, twists, and high-octane action, then “Spider” Green, the intrepid female sleuth and unpretentious hero in this taut, fast-paced adventure, will appeal to you.
Spider Green Series by Norm Harris
Mystery/Thriller Legal Military
Fay turned and descended the ladder to the waiting boat. She dug deep into her soul to gather what courage she now carried with her to the dark and foreboding place known to all seafarers as “Davy Jones’ Locker.”
The frigid night air slapped her face as the small boat raced across the flat surface of the night water; sea spray soaked her face and hands. She squinted and fixed her gaze on the wall of black now standing before her. I’m going to need severe beauty salon time when I get back to civilization, she thought.
Shortly after, the boat arrived at the prescribed dive location. The dive team donned their facemasks and tested their gear—then, one by one, the divers rolled backward from the boat and into the water. Fay was last to leave the safety of the small boat.
The cold salt water stung her skin momentarily, until the thin layer of water between her skin and her wetsuit warmed to a tolerable temperature. She bobbed on the surface for a moment, then flicked on her underwater torch. Fay then slipped beneath the water’s surface and began her descent toward the bottom.
The wreck was ninety feet below. The Carr came to rest upright on the edge of a reef. The ship had not completely settled and was subject to shifting with each tide change. All good reasons for her to exercise extreme caution.
Nothing could have prepared Fay for the frightening feeling she experienced as she struggled to see and gain some sense of direction. She could tell she was sinking, but only because the luminous dial of her depth gauge so indicated. Following the eerie flickering lights of the three torches preceding her, she suppressed her fear and the feeling of claustrophobia by thinking of those people nearest to her heart.
About the Author:
Norm Harris' first novel debuted on an Amazon bestseller list in 2002. It was a one-and-done, but now he's back with a plan to publish a couple of sequels to that first mystery/thriller of days gone by. Except for time spent in military service, he is a second-generation Seattleite (that's what they call those who dwell in the shadow of Mt. Rainier), with his legal beagle son, K-K, and five giant tropical fish. His upcoming release, Arid Sea, is the third book in what he hopes to be an award-winning Spider Green Mystery Story series.
Q&A With the Author
When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?
Twenty years ago, I had an idea to write a novel. My son, K-K, did not like to read my thinking was that if I wrote something, he might read it. He was perhaps in the 7th grade at the time. I wrote Fruit of the Poisonous Tree, a military legal thriller, to a reading level for that age range. I do not know if he read the book or not. He did go on to become a high school honor student, so he did have to read at some point. K-K graduated from college with a double major. He graduated from law school with a Master’s of Jurisprudence degree and published a law journal. A best-seller titled Drones: Proposed Standards of Liability, available through the Santa Clara High Tech Law Journal. I want to think my first book started it all.
What advice do you have for a new writer?
Be patient and have confidence in yourself and your ability to tell a story. As you are writing, write. Do not worry about editing or formatting. That all comes later. Tell the story and then go back and work on the mechanics. Your most creative time of the day maybe when you first awake. Think about your story and your characters rather than clutter your mind with the day to come or the day past. I get some of my best ideas when I first awake.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
The entire process seems easy to me. I am telling a story, and I am a good storyteller. I learn storytelling while in the Boy Scouts. We were forever telling ghost stories while roasting marshmallows around the campfire. I don’t do the hard stuff. Editing, proofreading, and formatting. I pay the editor to do that.
I will tell you a secret I do not like killing off one of my characters. I invented them and gave them their life story.
An example from book 4, The Girl Who Knew Death. Our protagonist, Spider Green, says goodbye to her friend Azrael, the angel of death.
“Thank you, “Fay said. “I very much look forward to our next meeting.”
Before she closed her eyes, the Angel of Death smiled, winked, and said, “See ya around, kiddo.” She closed her eyes.
It seemed to Fay as if a very dear friend had died. She rose from the sofa, walked across the room, retrieved the remote, and clicked on the TV. She returned to the couch, covered her friend with a soft blanket, then sat to await Azrael’s reawakening.
What is your favorite part of this story?
This is a four-book series. It is difficult to single out one piece. I like them all. But I do like the parts where Faydra interacts with her sister JP. The times when the assassin Jon Shaman turns up at 3 a.m. in Faydra’s bedroom, they have whatever discussion they have. And I like the parts where Azrael is interacting with Katrinka or Faydra.
Which Character was the most fun to write about? Why?
Faydra “Spider” Green, her sister JP, Chicago crime boss Joey “the Guppy” Stupanado, Joh Shaman (hitman-assassin), Azrael (the angel of death), and Katrinka, the princess spy. I may have forgotten someone. But I like each for a different reason.
Faydra because she is the anchor of the entire series. She is relentless and brave. I like JP because she is bright but does not know it. She lacks self-confidence and yet accomplishes everything she thinks she cannot do. Because she tries with good results.
Mob boss “The Guppy,” for all the evil he is, is much like a little boy and, although he is a crime/mafia type, is a caring man deep down. Jon Shaman, the assassin, is a complex man sent to kill Faydra, and like Joey, he is a loving man deep down. He actually likes Faydra, and in the end, rather than killing her, becomes an ally, he saves her life at least three times throughout the series.
And finally, Azrael and Katrinka. I will say I did ask the editor this same question. Her favorite is Irishka because Irishka is the Russian special op/spy/assassin character. “Irishka is interesting,” was her assessment.
Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?
All of the ladies. Because I am not one. I rely on the editor, Carolyn, to correct my point of view and thought processes. I mean, how does a guy write about a woman when not one themselves?
Norm Harris will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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