ARM & HAMMER (2022, Gambit Publishing)

In 1986 a US cargo plane carrying humanitarian aid was shot down over Nicaragua. On board was not food and clothing but crates of guns and equipment intended to arm CIA-backed rebel fighters scattered throughout the jungles of Central America. Found scattered amongst the wreckage was a diary exposing CIA names, secret airstrips, and a cocaine trail leading from Colombia all the way to the White House.

Known as the Iran-Contra scandal and spanning almost a decade of corruption, collusion, and conspiracy, it would see President Reagan admitting on national television to an unsanctioned and unapproved covert war in Nicaragua.

This incredible story begins in 1981, traverses time and treachery across continents and real life characters, before ending in the infamous indictment of some of the most senior CIA and White House officials. Told through a series of intertwining first-person perspectives, step into the lives of the agents, Nicaraguan revolutionaries, and LA drug dealers who were embroiled in a saga that brought the President to his knees and crack cocaine to America.

Captivating and gritty, this is a bewildering and breathtaking journey where the reader swiftly moves from sunny California, the humid tropics of Central America, and to the frosty lawns of the White House with each blood-spattered and cocaine dusted turn of the page. Fasten your seatbelts, this is a bumpy ride.

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Max Cooper, a stoic straight-faced collector, receives an assignment that isn’t what it seems: A woman with no past and possibly no future, he must choose between calling her in or saving her life. His decision made more difficult by her steady revealing of existential truths that not only challenge his way of thinking but perhaps of humanity’s too.

“Max, life will always be a paradox to you because out of the meaningless you create meaning, which at the same moment does not really exist yet is justified and felt deeply.”

This sci-fi novella balances probing questions and philosophical conversations about the value of human life with a relentless guns-blazing pursuit from mad scientists, criminal gangs, and illegal androids. Set in LA 2053, where the world has been ravaged by environmental disaster and climate change, and citizens seemingly live-out technologically immersed and trivial lives, Max must discover if there is anything worth living for… and then decide if it is worth dying for.

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So Dark, the Con of Man (2015)

Told over the course of a few days, it is a young man’s plight against the mediocrity, crippling monotony, and apathy of modern society. Recognising he is part of a cultural ‘lost generation,’ he at last loses his grip on the meaningless and empty.

While standing on the precipice of what he sees as humanity’s next great overcoming, and unwillingly embracing the nihilism of his predicament, a series of events and chance meetings cast him on a brief life-affirming journey into the depths of his unconscious that changes everything.

The mimesis of Turgenev, Hesse, Bukowski are prominent throughout, as well as the philosophical influences of Nietzsche and Sartre, and the spiritual humanism of Alan Watts. A contemporary critique of modern society that is undeniably confronting, frank, and beautifully finished. A must read if you’ve ever questioned the hollow call to fulfil your banal social destiny.

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