*** Author Spotlight *** Meet the Man Behind the Detective Mike Eisner Mysteries -- @ClabePolk #auth
I grew up in central Florida squarely in the middle of the Florida citrus and cattle industries, hunting, fishing and sailing…with the Florida Phosphate Mining Industry at its peak. As I grew up I watched economic growth displace nature; one type of lifestyle evolving and giving way to another. I remember when Interstate 4 and Interstate 75 first came to Tampa, and when Walt Disney opened The Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista in 1971. I was a twenty year-old Biology/Natural Science major at the University of South Florida wrestling with understanding the ecological impacts of growth and fielding a new found interest in environmental toxicology. By 1980, the year the U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender Blackthorn struck the Skyway Bridge and capsized…and the freighter, Summit Venture, collapsed the center bridge-span into the ship channel, I was well into a career of professional environmental protection. The following years proved ideal for observing the impact of growth on the natural, and human, environments.
In the late 1970’s and through ‘80s and ‘90s, my career took me through the eras of the infamous Love Canal and the subsequent passage of controls on hazardous chemical waste disposal, the implementation of federal “Superfund”, Chemical Emergency Response management and planning, and eventually becoming a subject matter expert in environmental criminal law enforcement where I remained until I retired. I spent most of my working career in civil and criminal investigations and training others.
Retiring allowed me to support my two daughters as they traveled pursuing excellence as USTA Junior Tennis competitors. Eventually, they played college tennis on scholarship, and are now in graduate school. I began writing fiction after retiring and my girls were settled into college.
Social growth, particularly economic growth, is not an end; it is a continuing process that exacts a price. The price is paid by those unable to participate in the growth for whatever reason. My books are about people who are victimized in some way; by growing criminal activities, by technology, by changing attitudes toward personal responsibility for one’s actions, by government or corporate actions, by age, by disease or by other factors. The Detective Mike Eiser Series poses the question “What happens when urban crimes common to a large metropolitan area spill into adjacent small towns and change their social environments?” Who are the victims? Who protects them? To what degree can they protect themselves?
The Adventures of Harry Morgan Series explores the changing environment of advancing age and a few of the many challenges to active seniors. The Road to Armageddon explores the potential for catastrophic changes in the Earth’s physical and social environments as envisioned in the “Book of Revelations”. Finally, a new pending science fiction story line will explore what could happen when industrial arrogance and greed runs amuck without external controls.
There are no super-heroes here; no one with extraordinary resources or backgrounds. There are only real people fighting real battles with real limitations and determination in realistic circumstances. Their faith is tried and sometime fails; their courage sometime falters into tears. Sometimes facing enemies together makes new friendships. These are realistic people with realistic problems making realistic choices.
Deep stuff, huh? Not really. These books are action-packed and written in an engaging style with believable dialogue and believable scenarios. They are action books at their best with a focus on entertainment first. You can always ponder the deep stuff later (or not!) after the action entertainment wears off. Better than a sleeping pill!
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Schism: A Detective Mike Eiser Novel
By Clabe Polk
Police action thriller
Kat Thomas thought she left gang violence behind in Atlanta when she fled to Poplar Bluffs. Now, many years later, the man who killed her son Quinton’s father has returned…and he wants Quinton for his gang The Raven Claws.
And he’s willing to go to any lengths to get him.
A criminal’s criminal, Milton “Mad Dog” Lincoln is a man even the cops fear. All except Detective Mike Eiser who’s seen Mad Dog’s kind before. It’s up to Eiser to protect Quinton.
But Mad Dog has an agenda. He undertakes a campaign of intimidation aimed at Quinton in which his friends and family are targets; and an agenda double-crossing his crooked gun-running Federal management team. Eiser, faced with stopping Mad Dog’s agenda, must accept vigilante help in the face of a pending four way gunfight with Mag Dog and his associates…and Kat, whose faith in men has been permanently destroyed, is determined that Mad Dog Lincoln will not win. Can Eiser and Kat Thomas together defeat Mad Dog Lincoln and the Raven Claws? Or will Mad Dog destroy Kat, Quinton and everyone around them?
Nothing prepares you for Mad Dog’s final play …or its consequences…and Kat’s left with something to help restore her faith.
The silent men spilled out of the van, opening fire with automatic assault weapons. One focused on the Suburbans in the doorway and two fired at each group of advancing SWAT officers. All three died in seconds.
Rolling out of the van onto the floor, MD’s three men came up firing and, like the three silent men, died in seconds. MD rolled behind the front tire, partially under the van. As he moved to draw his gun, suddenly there was silence. A SWAT officer stamped a booted foot down on his hand from behind, stuck an assault rifle in his ear, and disarmed him. Before he fully understood what was happening, his hands were cuffed while SWAT officers pried the crates open in the back of the van. MD looked around. He was the only one left alive.
A SWAT officer handed an AK-47 from the back of the van to a tall, thin man wearing a navy blue windbreaker with a yellow “ATF” patch on the back. He walked over to where MD lay bound and held up the AK-47 for him to see. “Guess today’s not going to be your most profitable day is it, Lincoln?
MD stared at him. “Yo’ knows me?”
He bent down close to MD’s ear and said quietly, “Sure. We’re old friends. You just don’t know it, yet.”
CLABE POLK is into a second career as a writer of fiction. So far, he has written four novels, three novellas, several short stories, and has a couple of other novels in process.
A lifelong reader with a great variety of life experiences, Mr. Polk brings an avid interest in natural sciences and more than thirty-seven years of professional environmental protection program management and law enforcement experience to his writing.
He lives in Powder Springs, Georgia with his wife, two daughters, and the family’s Cockapoo named Annie.
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Angelica: A Detective Mike Eiser Novel
By Clabe Polk
Police action thriller/murder mystery
Angelica Cassidy knows all about survival. Since running away at seventeen, she’s danced on poles, been sawn in half on the magician’s stage, and done some things that are better left unsaid. But her most brazen act by far was marrying Big Joey Vicetti, the head enforcer for the Scarpone crime syndicate. When her husband died in a car accident, Angelica took their son and fled Las Vegas, one step ahead of the Scarpones.
Eleven years later, her nightmare past long behind her, Angelica is an upstanding citizen of Poplar Bluffs, with a thriving business and high hopes for her son, who seems destined for a major university baseball scholarship; until a name from her distant past sends a shock of foreboding and fear travelling down her spine.
Antonio Scarpone—her husband’s former boss—is facing federal trial for multiple racketeering indictments. As the aging Scarpone’s world crumbles around him, he falls into mindless obsession, focusing on one failure, and the one person who alone knows about that failure: the beautiful, young Angelica that slipped out of his control all those years ago. With senility and prison looming, Scarpone is willing to sacrifice himself and his entire organization to ensure Angelica’s death.
Angelica was running for her life. Angelica Cassidy Vicetti had started life in a rundown, doublewide house trailer in the edge of the north Georgia mountains. Her mother died in a car accident when she was little. She grew up with her drunken, abusive father until a rival killed him in a bar fight when she was sixteen. After that, Angelica had been many things in her short life: a topless dancer, a call girl, even a magician’s assistant in a Las Vegas magic show. Freaked out by a rehearsal accident, she had left the act and returned to life as a call girl when Joseph “Big Joey” Vicetti found her on a couch, dead drunk at one of Scarpone’s lavish parties. Joey took pity on her, sobered her up, and eventually married her with all the speed, pomp and circumstance of typical Las Vegas weddings. Big Joey Vicetti was an enforcer for Antonio Scarpone, capo di tutti capi in Las Vegas. Joey needed respectability and flash. Angelica was a drop-dead gorgeous blonde that cleaned up very well indeed. She had a body that turned heads no matter whose table she was dancing on at the time. She needed stability, and while Joey wasn’t the most stable of men, he was better than anyone she’d ever known. Joey never knew the things she had done as a call girl, just as she never knew the things Joey did for Don Antonio. Angelica knew that she knew things about Don Antonio that Don Antonio could never afford to have known, so despite Don Scarpone’s assurances, she felt that she and her son were only loose ends for him. Never a fool, she had watched Las Vegas become a cloud of dust in her rearview mirror.
Fire on the Mountain: A Detective Mike Eiser Novel
By Clabe Polk
Police action thriller/murder mystery
Peter Stanwick did one thing wrong; he got killed.
Stanwick, the dead ‘cook’ for Jack Haven’s crank operation, was found with Jack’s wife, Susan’s cross in his pocket; its chain broken. How did it get there?
Jack’s lab where Stanwick worked is torched. Susan is beaten severely. Jack dies suddenly. A traffic accident or murder? Who burned the lab and why? Why was Susan beaten and by whom?
The Havens are a dynasty of bootleggers with history dating back to reconstruction progressing from bootlegging moonshine whiskey to growing and distributing marijuana. Brothers Jack and Jason compete to produce and distribute crank.
DEA is unable to locate one or more crank labs in Jericho County. Will Eiser’s investigation of Standwick’s murder lead the way?
Can Eiser, his girlfriend, Arson Investigator Donna Miley, and his partner Malcom “Mini” Moore wade through the Haven family’s entangled motives while sorting through piles of twisted confused evidence to solve multiple murders?
Will Susan use the ongoing investigations and the internal family tension to burn the Haven family down?
Mike Eiser needs to know.
Pointing a shaking hand, she answered, “There’s a…a…body back there!”
“A body?” QT grinned. “Yah sho’?”
“Damned straight I’m sure! I freaking know what a body looks like. If you don’t believe me, get your ass up there and look!”
“Okay…okay, Ah believe yuh.” He walked uphill toward where she’d fallen. “Gimme a second, okay?”
“Shouldn’t we call the police?”
“In a minute. Jes’ lemme look, okay?” Quinton could now see what caused her to trip. A foot clad in a black boot protruded from the ground. He squatted for a closer look.
The boot was attached to a blue jeans clad leg that disappeared into the soil. A couple of feet away, a hand extended from a camouflaged shirtsleeve that emerged from underground in the same manner as the boot and blue jeans. Softened by digging the grave, the soil had been eroded by recent spring rains. Quinton could not see the head or any other details, but a sunken impression marked the edges of the grave. The hand was not decomposed; the body had not been there very long. Wild animals had not picked at it, meaning it had probably been uncovered by the hard rain the night before. Displaced soil and leaves showed Sondra had fallen squarely on top of the grave. No wonder she freaked out.
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The Adventures of Harry Morgan, Volume 1
By Clabe Polk
Crime action thriller/murder mystery
Three interlocking related novellas focused on Harry Morgan. Harry is not an average retiree. Trouble sticks to Harry like a magnet!
Collegial Conspiracy --
What would you do if a dying friend asked you help him rob a bank…not just any bank, but the bank where you do business…and do it like Bonnie and Clyde? And then things really get complicated when the friend’s son, Tony, shows up.
Did Laurel Jackson commit suicide or was she murdered? Worse, did Tony Middleton do it? Harry finds himself playing detective, smack dab in the middle of an investigation rubbing up against the bank robbery he is working so hard to forget. Can he solve the mystery, free Tony and get away clean?
The Pirates of Cayo Pelau –
Harry's heard all the stories about pirates, old and new, along the Florida coast, As he teaches his friends to sail his new boat, he expects mosquitoes and sand gnats but he never expected to land in the midst of a slave smuggling ring. Now he must find a way to free the captives, keep his friends safe and put the smugglers out of business…before it's too late.
“That’s the good part,” answered Wiley. “Banks. Robbing banks is the creme de la creme of robbery. Only the best for Wiley Middleton. My mama always taught me to aim high.”
“You’re nuts, Wiley. You’re so nutty your nuts are nuts! Why do you want to rob banks?”
“I told you why.”
“No, Wiley. Why banks in particular?”
“Because that’s what Bonnie and Clyde robbed. It’s sexy.”
“Hell no, it’s not sexy; it’s dangerous. Besides, Clyde Barrow’s thing was gas stations and grocery stores, not banks.”
“They robbed a bunch of banks,” Wiley protested.
“No, Wiley, everybody thought they robbed a bunch of banks because that made fancy glamorous news stories, but mostly it was gas stations and grocery stores. It was pretty low rent and not glamorous at all.”
Wiley smirked. “Well, Harry, if you know so much, how’d they kill all those cops?”
“The cops were outgunned and trying to catch them. What did they expect, taking on automatic rifles with revolvers? How do you expect to go about robbing a bank, anyway?”
“That’s easy. The textbook method is to walk in, pull a gun, make everybody lie on the floor, then hand a note to a teller to dump the contents of the cash drawers in a bag.”
“Yeah, you know, the classic method,” said Wiley.
The Road to Armageddon
By Clabe Polk
Christian apocalypse / action adventure
Mark Bishop opened a new bank account…and discovered Hell on Earth!
Mark Bishop has too much month left when his money runs out. Seeking relief, he opened a bank account at new bank, International Financial Services (IFS).
He never suspects that he is buying into a strategy for world domination operated by the Antichrist…or that his world is plummeting toward the War of Armageddon.
He never suspects he and his family will be homeless, hunted and have an IFS bounty on their heads.
He never suspects he and his family will endure starvation, imprisonment, slavery and natural disasters.
Or that he will lose all he has has…in order to gain the only thing that counts.
Mark and his family are victims.
Can they rise to become victors?
“How long have you been with us, Mark? Five weeks? Things can change a lot in five weeks. For your information, about a week after you ran, about a thousand people gathered at Independence Hall in Philadelphia to protest IFS control. They brought knives and removed each other’s RFID chips on the street. The government ringed the protest with mortar shells, white phosphorus and mustard gas. More than three hundred died and nearly seven hundred were fatally wounded with burns and severely damaged lungs. It’s hard to imagine phosphorus burns and the agony of mustard gas. I saw the damage mustard could do among the surviving Kurds in Iraq when I was a soldier. Philadelphia was brought to you courtesy of your government under the influence of IFS.
“About a week after that, a group like us, more than five thousand of them, gathered in an immense refugee camp in an isolated mountain valley in southwestern Colorado near the Vallecito Reservoir. Troops parachuted in and cut the roads in and out. Then your government dropped a thermobaric weapon on the camp, incinerating them instantly and starting a forest fire that’s still burning.”
“No. Hell no!” Mark erupted. “You’re lying to me!”
“I wish I were. I’d much rather be lying to you than telling you this. Two days ago, five or six hundred people stormed and occupied the IFS building in Austin, Texas, protesting IFS control. IFS set off charges in the building supports, collapsing the building on the protesters and their employees that were caught inside. There were no survivors. These are the things that tell me we have no time to lose. We have to be ready when they come, and they will come, with overwhelming force.”