Sixth in the Ari Ciminon (The 56th Man) series. Homophobic Ari Ciminon (The 56th Man) almost meets his match when he searches for a young man who has run off with the Thebans, a group of gay bicyclists for whom fitness is paramount. Joey Haider, the son of an official at the Iraqi Consulate, eludes his bodyguard in Richmond. Called in to translate for the guard, Ari quickly becomes embroiled in the search for the boy. This puts him in far more peril than he had anticipated, including a run-in with MS-13. This is not helped by his open antagonism towards the gay community. Even when it appears he will not make a dime for his efforts, his hunt is relentless. It takes him to places he would have once avoided like the plague: a gay hostel, a gay club and a house in an unlikely hamlet tucked away in the Virginia backwoods where the Thebans are targeted for execution. All the while he is shadowed by the mysterious Peter Pan, who might or might be a guardian angel. Ultimately, though, his most dangerous adversary turns out to be his own bad back. Now available at:
In a month or two I will be publishing the sixth of my Ari Ciminon books: Backside. This series has already generated some controversy...to the point that a number of reviews were removed from The 56th Man. I was never given the opportunity to read them, so I can't say if they were actually obscene. It never dawned on me that Ari might provoke a negative reaction--not as far as the character was concerned, at least. But it does seem that some people were offended by the idea of an Arab hero. Which seems odd, since even the Crusaders thought of Saladin as a hero. Yes, he was a Kurd, but they considered him an Arab. In any event, I would not be surprised if there is some backlash against the new book--although, considering my limited readership, it should not be too severe. In Backside, Ari takes on Hispanic drug dealers (racial stereotype controversy), the Iraqi Consulate in Washington (political controversy) and a gang of gay bicyclists (uh...). Add to that the fact that Ari is an atheist from a Muslim country (religious controversy) but was raised in a Sunni household and maintains some of their ideals and predjudices (beaucoup cultural controversy) and I have the makings of a real explosion. All right, maybe just a cherry bomb. Since I'm the kind of writer who follows his main character wherever he takes me, I can say this in my defense: I'm just along for the ride.
I am the author of more than fifteen novels. I was born and raised in Virginia, where I currently reside. I was First-Place Winner of the Hollins Literary Festival a number of years ago. Among the judges were Thomas (Little Big Man) Berger and R.M.W. Dillard, poet and husband of the writer Annie Dillard. Along with my wife, I have rescued and maintained 22 stray cats, which should tell you something about me (good and bad). Permanently addicted to writing, I am currently at work on "Backside", the sixth in the series of Ari Ciminon (The 56th Man) novels.