08 August 2013

Blast: Cover of Darkness

Happy Thursday! Please enjoy today's guest, Gregory Delaurentis!

This author is giving away one $50 amazon gift card! Enter here, and follow the tour here.


A high profile murder of a Wall Street executive in Westchester pits three people against the criminal underbelly of Manhattan nightlife. The key players are two ex-cops turned private investigators—Kevin Whitehouse, whose sharpest tool is his keen analytical mind, and David Allerton, a former Special Forces operative—and Margaret Alexander, Kevin’s lover. In their search for a killer, they are forced to travel to the edge of sanity and morality, while stumbling onto their own confusing secrets as well. The Cover of Darkness is a gritty noir saga that untangles a web of deceit in the course of tracking down a brutal murderer.


The pool area was wide and reflected the sun on this hot summer day. It was edged with white marble so polished that it looked like pearl. Deck chairs lined the sides of the long pool, which was two lengths more than Olympic-sized. Outside the deck area was the carpeted lawn of the vast backyard, dappled with sun.

Hugh Osterman walked along the side of the pool wearing a heavy terry cloth robe and sandals. In his right hand, he held a martini glass. He ran his left hand through his sandy sun-streaked hair as he looked over his shoulder at the man following him.

“What’s going on? I don’t get it,” Osterman said, stopping at the end of the pool where the flotation chairs were kept.

“They said no,” the man replied. Considering the backdrop, he was incongruously dressed in a dark suit and tie.

“They said no . . . just like that?”

Osterman sat his drink down on the marble surface, and pushed a flotation chair into the deep end of the pool, sending it out and away. Then he peeled off the robe and dove smoothly into the water, emerging next to the floating chair.

“You go back and tell them that we aren’t pleased,” Osterman said sternly, pulling himself up and into the seat of the chair. “You tell them that Hugh Osterman wants to know what’s holding things up—what the problem is.”

The suit just stood at the edge of the pool, opening his jacket against the heat of the day. Osterman paddled to the side, and reached out and retrieved his martini glass. “I take it you have nothing to say about this?” he persisted, despite the other man’s silence.

The suit shook his head.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” Osterman said as he tipped the glass up to his lips. Suddenly, the bottom of the stem shattered. Osterman gurgled as he dropped the glass, blood bubbling from his mouth, an open tear in his neck. He jolted upright in the chair as the suit closed the distance between them, his Colt .38 Super still trained on its victim, its silencer smoldering.

Osterman slowly sat back as the suit pumped more rounds into Osterman’s bare, well-defined chest—the hot shells of his pistol ejecting out and striking the surface of the water, settling to the bottom. His life ended as his body tumbled from the floating chair, his blood a widening crimson slick roughly in the area where his body slipped through.

The suit popped his clip, slipped in a new one, and headed for the sprawling house.



I don’t have many tips for researchers. I don’t know how well a researcher I am myself. One thing that I do know when I’m researching is that I look for primers first. I usually get these from the Internet just to get an overall view of what I’m researching. A lot of time I’m researching the law, and those topics can become downright arcane. The need for an overview is as important as in-depth research itself. It gives you a sense of confidence as you move forward into the deeper things of the subject you are researching. Otherwise, to me, you are jumping off at the deep end of the pool.
Another tip is to not get too involved into what you are researching unless your novel calls for it. Case in point: the gist of my story was a murder, but two crooked cops were being investigated at the same time. What was needed by me was to research a department of the NYPD that does the investigating of officers that have been accused of wrongdoing. So I began researching this department, jumping in and delving deep. After a few days I was hip deep in study, juggling all types of data and frankly I was drowning in information. But what was more important was that the research was taking over the focus of the story which was a murder. At this point I hit the brake, simplified my explanation of the department and went back into my story, diminishing the investigation of the two officers and bringing to the fore the investigation of the murder. The moral of this story: keep your priorities. When it comes to research, don’t lose track of what your novel is about and research accordingly.
Finally, is your research all that important? It’s nice to be able to point out erudite facts on a subject, and it makes you look like you know what you are talking about, but are these facts germane to the story or does it inflate your ego? I know this is a strong statement because if you write about something it’s important to be an expert about it, but not all the time, and not concerning everything. The best thing to be an expert about is your story and your characters. Don’t get lost in scholarly explanations of subjects or terms or places when you should be concentrating on developing your story and keeping your readers from being bored with external things.
Like I said, I don’t consider myself the premiere researcher, but I do my studying accordingly and in conjunction with my story so that one does not outshine the other.


Gregory Delaurentis spent his adult life roaming from job to job, working for Lockheed in California, various law firms in New York, and financial firms on Wall Street. Throughout this period of time, he was writing—unceasingly—finally producing a large body of work, albeit unrecognized and unpublished . . . until now. Cover of Darkness is the first in a series of upcoming books that include Edge of Darkness, Pale of Darkness and Cries of Darkness. These novels follow the lives of three individuals who do battle bringing criminals to justice, while they struggle to understand the complex relationships that exist among themselves. This intriguing trio has absorbed the attention of Mr. Delaurentis for the past year and a half, so much so he decided to self-publish their stories to bring them to a wider audience. [AUTHOR’S DISCLAIMER: These are works of fiction. Name, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.]
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